Thursday, June 7, 2018

Summer Musings and Things I Have Learned This Summer

Several of my fellow county librarians were able to attend the 2018 Google Summit.  They have collected many ideas, tidbits, and app information that they are sharing with those of us who were unable to get a seat at the summit.

Some of the apps they mentioned are Flipgrid and ScreenCastify.  They also heard that Shorten URL to get QR codes will be discontinued soon from Google.  Not sure what will replace it.  One person heard that is also going away.  I hope not!

Four of us attended the Lincoln County-Fayetteville Books and Bytes workshop on June 5, 2018.  The keynote speaker, Dr. Jeanne Gilliam Fain, from Lipscomb University, hit the highlights of the ALA Notable Books.  Several of the books sound like something that would go great in our ELA and SS TN standards.

One session covered    The neatest thing about this is you can grab YouTube videos and trim/edit them for classroom use.  Thus get around YouTube inappropriate advertisements and firewall issues that many school districts have accessing YouTube.  You can build in questions to assess students during a video, too, and it grades it for you.  There is a free Chrome extension called edit edpuzzle to use to edit the videos.  You can also incorporate TED talks, Vimeo, and CC videos.  Sounds like something I will be trying in the 2018-2019 school year.

Another session was taught be a very knowledgable and great Technology Instructional Coach from Williamson County, TN.  She presented different ways to edit and use Google Drawing in classrooms and libraries.  Words cannot describe the great the presentation and information.  She provided ready-made templates and collaboration projects with suggested curriculum connections!  Check her out on Twitter at @BevNOzburn.  

At the elementary round table session, one idea on creating and using Reader's Theater in the library is to have students write their own Reader's Theater about a certain topic.  One librarian had the students write a Reader's Theater on Aesop's Fables.  An alternative to Accelerated Reader might be   Several Tennessee school districts are losing access to Accelerated Reader due to budget cuts and are struggling to find a free or lower cost alternative. is a great tool to use for timers, etc., to display on a projector.  We were encouraged to look into the free trial for a younger Bill Nye the Science Guy type of science videos at  

The last session I attended discussed Genrefying an elementary library.  Lots of neat ideas.  The presenter started with the nonfiction.  She created a color code for the different genres.  She purchased see-through color labels to go over her existing spine lables instead of printing all new spine labels.  Acknowledging that the books might be somewhat disordered within the section but all of a genre are together was a big point she made to us.  

Part of my summer resolution is to clean up my files.  I primarily use Dropbox.  Google Drive is what my district provides with my Google Classroom account but I have problems having what I need where and when I need it.  At the same time, I have multiple copies of quite a few files as well as my personal photos.  So, I am spending a few days getting all of that cleaned up.  I chose to use Ashisoft's Duplicate File Finder found here.  

I have plans to go through Google Suite certification training on my own this summer!  Hopefully I will be able to post how that went!

Enjoy your summer!  August 1 will roll around before you know it!  Our district gets out Memorial Day weekend and students start back on August 1.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Bulletin boards and things

I never seem to get caught up and my youngest recently said, "You know, I think you work too much."  That is a reflection on how hard I find it to say "no" to people.

But, I do all of it for the kiddos.

In March, we are doing a March Madness version for TDS.  I am calling it the TDS Tournament of Books.  I pulled reports from my library circulation software to give me the initial 32 top picture books and the 32 top chapter books based on number of times checked out this school year.  I included graphic novels in the picture books.  Then I drew the brackets and printed book cover images, and began the process of creating QR codes and ballots in Google Forms.  The students are loving the idea of voting and seeing which book is going up against another, etc.  I originally got the idea from  Here is a picture of what I ended up posting on our bulletin board.  

In February, I started two after-school book clubs.  I have 27 1st and 2nd graders signed up to stay about every 2 weeks on Monday until 4:00.  I have 20 3rd through 5th graders signed up to stay about every 3 weeks.  We have a snack (popcorn mostly) and have book talks/reviews of the books, and they choose new books. 

The first 2 times the 1st and 2nd grade group stayed, we chose from my Caldecott collection.  The 3rd time, they were able to choose from sets of early chapter books or popular titles such as Stink by Megan McDonald.  Early chapter books includes the first A to Z Mysteries book The Absent Author by Ron Roy, the first Magic Tree House book Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne, the second Magic Tree House book The Knight at Dawn also by Mary Pope Osborne, Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown, etc.  I provided a cute little form that asks questions like "If you wanted to convince someone to read this book without giving away the ending, what would you say?" "What is one thing you really liked about this book?" I also included a thought bubble and asked the students to draw how they would picture the main character(s).

The older group started out choosing a Newbery award book.  They did a brief review of the book and a few students did a brief book talk.  The second time they met, they got to either choose a stand alone Newbery book or a book from sets I provided.  I have students reading A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck, Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper, The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau, etc.

I wanted this to be an opportunity for the stronger readers in each grade level to be able to get together with like-minded students to discuss and be excited about books. So far, they love it. It is a noisy, exciting time in the library on the Monday afternoons of book club!

4th and 5th graders read A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle then we took a trip to the local movie theater to watch it. 5th graders are answering questions about book versus movie, etc., in the library. It is interesting to hear the discussions.

Students have been working toward earning the end of the year celebration in AR and earning the honor of going to Readapalooza. It seems every time I turn around, someone is handing me a reading log!

The book fair is right before spring break on March 22 and March 23.

4th graders are doing a research project in conjunction with the classroom social studies teacher. They have a person that is listed in the 4th grade social studies standards. I am providing a variety of templates and options for reporting their information through Google Classroom. They are very excited about using these templates. Trying to teach them to cite their sources, even a picture they find on Wikipedia or just from a Google search is quite challenging.

We have the ongoing myOn county-wide challenge that continues as well as SmartyAnts and Achieve3000 reading going on.

Through June 30, 2018, students have access to Tumblebooks Premium free. Mackin Tumblebooks Account. Students need to search for Discovery School, Dickson Tennessee then type in       thediscoveryes        as the username and       discovery       as the password to access these free books. Only until June 30, 2018.

Life is certainly not dull in the TDS Library!

Until next time, enjoy a good book!

Friday, July 7, 2017

2017-2018 Here We Come!

Well, new carpet in the library, new paint on 3/4 of the walls, nonfiction section moved to a different room, much junk eliminated, and a new schedule for this school year means we will have big changes to The Discovery School Library!

Students will only be coming to the library once a week this year instead of twice a week.  That is a BIG change for the students.  I will be doing intervention instruction all day long 2 days a week and the last day is reserved for my RTI managers duties including data/tier meetings every 4 to 5 weeks.

My plan this year is to primarily focus on students choosing a good book to fit their likes and abilities.  Students will be able to check out up to 3 books at a time.  However, I plan on doing ongoing chapter book reading with grades 2 through 5.  Students will be writing reviews, summaries, and predicting as part of these library visits.  I feel my role is to help foster the love of reading and the excitement of getting to know characters, settings, and stories.  Sometimes that will mean just quiet time to read.  Sometimes that will mean discussion and debate.

Last year, the 4th grade created a TDS Library Constitution based on the United States Constitution.  After reading the US Constitution, reading a book on it, discussing it, each table in both classes created what they thought would be a good library constitution.  Then, the students went to each of the other tables and voted on which one was the "best."  The next step of our lesson involved editing, debate, and discussion about each and every word.  After the edits were made in both classes, the final version was presented and voted on.  I had plans to post the finished product in the hall with the student signatures, my signature, and the principal's signature but somehow the document got lost in one of the classrooms.  I plan on creating a second copy and having the signatures put on it then enlarged to post on the wall.  The best part of the process was the day a few of the students sighed, rolled their eyes, complained about how long it was taking and how boring it was to these particular students, etc.  We had a good discussion on how Congress actually is just like this tedious process and how long it took for the lawmakers to create the original Constitution.  They agreed that our process was much easier.  They gained a new appreciation for the role of the elected officials attempting to pass laws.  It was a great few weeks of hands-on experience for them.

This year, the library will have a Chromebook for each student to use while in the library.  Each student has a Google Classroom login that can be used anywhere. They can log onto their Google Classroom account at home, too. They can use the Chromebook to research, look up books in the library Destiny software, access myOn to read online, and work on Google Classroom assignments.  My hope is that by the end of the year, 3rd through 5th graders will have become more comfortable with using these tools.  Middle school teachers expect a certain level of proficiency that I hope to help students achieve before leaving TDS.  If you have any questions about the Google accounts, please send me an email.

As many other teachers, I spend my summer scouring Pinterest for lesson ideas, bulletin board ideas, Google docs and Classroom ideas, and classroom management help.  It can become an addiction!  I am finding lots of things to create on my original Cricut machine and a borrowed Cricut Explore Air.  I look forward to exploring more.  Pam Artis Cricut for the Classroom board.  Shannon Lee's Circut Classroom Uses.   Cricut's School and Education Projects.  The Kinderhearted Classroom  

Hopefully, I will be posting how the school year starts soon!  Keep reading Explorers!

Monday, February 13, 2017

What we do, matters!

No matter what is going on in the larger world as a whole, we the teachers and the students at elementary schools across the country persist on doing our jobs to the best of our ability with whatever tools we have at our disposal.  What it boils down to is the relationships between the teacher and his/her students.  Regardless of how I feel about government, laws, standards, and leaders, what I say and how I act with each student each and every day will have an infinite impact on that student's life.  Teaching is a hard and stressfull job because the responsibility is huge.  Let us be reminded of why we went into teaching.  

The February TDS Library Newsletter will go home this week.  Hopefully, the flu/strep/stomach bug illnesses will die down and things will get back on schedule.  

Earn dress down passes for reading at least one hour on myOn during Presidents Day weekend.  Accessing myOn has to be done through To use the myOn app, students need to bring the device to school so I can get them through all of the additional steps it takes. will NOT work for Dickson County students. Go to then choose Log In. Select Student. Type in The Discovery School in Dickson Tennessee. The student will type in their 7 digit iReady/MobyMax/Clever number in both the username and password fields. Kindergarten students passwords are 1234. 

5th graders are about 1/3 of the way through Financial Fitness.  Ask your 5th grader about what he/she has learned.  They can access Vault on using their student number and the password !abc123tds!  Students who had passed at least 2 quizzes on Vault were allowed to get a prize out of my prize drawer last week.  They can access Vault at home as well as at school. 

Read Across America Week is February 27 through March 3.  We plan to celebrate on March 2.  Look for details to come home next week (February 21.)

Friday, January 6, 2017

Happy New Year!

As I type this, we have had our first snow day in middle Tennessee!  I have spent my morning continuing to set up my new laptop and organizing my Google Photos.  I love the Google Photos site/app because it uses facial recognition software to group photos so that you can organize your pictures into albums much easier and faster than other methods I have tried to use in the past.  It is worth investigating if you have hundreds of digital photos like me!

Reading Picture Books with Children: How to Shake Up Storytime and Get Kids Talking about What They See by Megan Dowd Lambert.  I hope to provide you with important details from it as I read.

50 of our 4th and 5th graders have public library cards now that will allow them access to the Dickson County Public Library and Lifelong Learning Center's free ebook service through Tennessee R.E.A.D.S and Overdrive.  These students will be allowed to bring electronic devices to school one day soon so that I may help them learn how to access the site and borrow ebooks.  If you have a public library card, it is easy to login using your barcode from the back of your card.  Just go to

Continue reading and completing your PizzaHut BookIt reading logs.  I have issued about 15 free personal pan pizza coupons so far.  I know more of you are reading at night so make sure you are tracking it with your log!

One half of the year is over.  If your student wants to attend Readapalooza in May with me, he/she should be close to passing 50 AR tests or earning 50 AR points.  The requirement is 100 AR tests or 100 points.  Students must complete the Century Book Club form and turn it in to me.  

Did you notice the widget to the right?  It is the new Follett Destiny Discover widget.  It is linked directly to the TDS library catalog.  You can type in a book title or author and find out if I have it in our library!  How cool is that?!?  You can also go to and look to see if a book has an AR test.  The service is free.

Don't forget to be reading on myOn by logging into Clever and then choosing myOn.  Use your iReady/Clever/MobyMax/myOn number as your username and as your password.  

Dickson County is taking steps to become a Google Classroom district.  This will allow teachers and students to use Google Suite software to assign and complete projects from any location.  I am excited about learning ways I can use this to help students be prepared for middle and high school especially in research projects.  Look for more information later!

And I will leave you with a picture of my January bulletin board.  How will you spend your days in 2017?  

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Exciting happenings at TDS!

We have myOn again!  Be looking for information to come home in the next 2 weeks.  MyOn reading will count toward Readapalooza.

I wanted to summarize reading things going on at TDS.

First, students can log their reading on the Pizza Hut BookIt logs that were sent home.  A new log will be sent every month.  When/if log is completed, bring it to the library and I will make sure your student gets a coupon for a free Personal Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut.

Second, is Readapalooza.  Students keep a log of AR tests they pass.  1st grade has their own logs but I have logs in the library for everyone else.  Students keep the logs in their library folders.  If they make an 80, 85, 90, 95 or 100, they need to write it down.  When the sheet is filled up, they will turn it in to me.  For every 25 tests they pass, they will get a charm and their name in the hall outside the library.  The goal is 100 tests or 100 points.  4th and 5th graders usually work toward points.  Reaching the magic number of 100 means they get to go to Readapalooza in May!

Third, we have myOn.  Students can count a score of 100 on the myOn quiz that is at the end of every book they read as a book on their AR log toward Readapalooza.  If they book also has an AR tests, they can click on the link, take the test and if they pass it, they can count that, too.  There are also projects on myOn that have been assigned to certain grade levels.  If students complete a project with strong effort, I will let them get something out of my prize drawer.

As I was working on the projects this evening, I noticed several 2nd and 3rd grade students started working on them immediately!  I think my prize drawer will empty out pretty quickly!

Cindy McCann's class has some AR goals we are working on.  Passing 20 AR tests each 9 weeks will earn them a trip to my prize drawer.  5 students got to go this past week and I anticipate several at the end of the block.

On a different note, the annual Tennessee Association of School Librarians conference was held this past week.  It is always a treat and a worthwhile meeting to attend.  Being information specialists, we get LOTS of information, links, sites, tips and ideas at the conference.  Sometimes it is hard to process and keep up with it all!  I hope to put the information in some type of document that I can share later.

Our library software has a way to link from this blog and our school web site to our software so students and parents can search our collection from any device anywhere they have Internet.  I hope to have that link active later this week!

Students will be checking out up to 3 book starting this week.  And they will be able to check out any title they want regardless of reading level.  But hopefully, students will choose books they are capable of reading, not just getting one to carry around and look like they are big stuff!

November is Picture Book Month.  I challenge everyone to read at least one picture book every day during this month.  I am posting my picture book reading on the TDS Library Facebook page.

And, last bit of news I want to share is I have registered for a project.  It is called Graphic Novels for Reluctant Readers.  I hope to add to this very popular collection in our library.

If you haven't already, follow us on our Facebook page at or look for TDS Library.  Our school's Twitter account is @TDSExplores.

Happy fall and have fun reading!

 Mrs. Trevenia

Monday, September 19, 2016

September 2016 News

We will be spotlighting an author or illustrator every month at our library. These will be geared toward 2nd through 5th graders. A few of the books by the author/illustrator will be on display on top of the Easy Fiction shelves. Students will be able to check these books out.

This month's author is Kevin Henkes.

A few of Henkes' books that can be found in our library are:  Chrysanthemum, Lily's Purple Plastic Purse, Owen, Old Bear and Birds.

Students who earned myOn rewards for summer reading should be bringing home letters regarding the water play and movie and popcorn day.  We still have not heard from Capstone about Wal-Mart cards or iPad winners.  Once again, thank you parents who encouraged your student to participate this past summer.  

If you want to see what books we have available at TDS Library, go to then click on The Discovery School.  You can search our card catalog from anywhere!

Limeades for Learning, sponsored by Sonic, begins September 26, 2016. You can vote on classroom projects and needs from the web site.  These are tied to We have a project on donorschoose.

5th graders have started the Financial Fitness curriculum in the library as part of a Dickson County pilot.  All 5th graders in Dickson County will be taught this curriculum in the library. It is a minimum of 15 lessons.   We took a pre-assessment to see what they know about finances.  When we finish, we will take a final assessment to see how much they learned.  One of our classes had an average score of 51% correct and the other 46% correct. There were 40 questions so most of the students knew about half of the terms and scenarios.  There is an online program that corresponds to the curriculum that is available for us to use for free. We will access the web site every other week for students to use their new knowledge in a dynamic way.  Students will have a workbook assigned to them but they will be leaving it at school. The state provided the workbooks and sent just enough for our enrollment.    A great web site to help parents have honest discussions and role-playing with students is