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

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

First time for everything. . .

I always begin the school year with my new kindergarten students talking about book care.  I show them damaged books that I keep on hand for these first 2 weeks with them.  Some have mold in them.  Others have had pink drinks spilled on them. One has coffee stains on the pages.  Another has purple marker on each and every page where a sibling decided to use it as a coloring book.  Then I show a couple of video clips made by other librarians out there.  Skippy Jon Jones and Pigeon are usually a big hit.  One clip has an early elementary girl leaving her library book around the house and the preschool little sister cuts, colors, etc., on/in the book.  We stop at each section and discuss what was wrong, etc.  This year, for the first time, I have a student who became extremely upset about the damage done to the books and now is afraid of coming to the library!  I promised no more video clips and we are going to move to centers and how we are going to do library centers while checking out books, etc.  I hope I can mend the gap with the student because it breaks my heart to think this student doesn't think of the library as a refuge.  That is my main goal in the library-to have the students want to come because it gives them a place to escape reality, testing, etc., by just losing themselves in books.  That is what the elementary school library represented for me back in the day.  I will keep working on mending my relationship to this student!

Part of my job (I feel) is to try to connect students with some book that resonates with them.  I have many students who come to me every week asking "What can I read?" "Show me what you would recommend for me to read."  Some 4th and 5th graders are still doing this after 4 to 6 years of this!  I will persevere!  As part of this, I stress to my classes that when we move about the library to "book shop" it is what they as individuals want to look at and read, not a friend, not someone else in the class and they need to experiment and branch out.  Some boys only will read nonfiction books about sports.  Some girls only want the drawing or art books.  I tell them they won't enjoy reading if they only read what others read or what others tell them to read.  This is one of my favorite quotes:

Sharing books or interests and partner reading is fine up to a point.  But independent readers and thinkers begin to experience books on their own only when they allow themselves to assert their interests, ideas, and tastes as an individual.

Watching the first graders take a beginning level nonfiction book, share it with a partner, discuss the pictures, pick out sight words they know, and help each other out with unfamiliar words is such an exciting part of my job.  Having them come to me to share a fact they just learned is very fulfilling.  Having a struggling reader, such as a 3rd grader that only reads graphic novels or snake books and reads on a 2nd grade reading level, get a DK book about reptiles that is probably on a 6th grade reading level, and read facts and come report them to me every 2 minutes just shows how important interest comes into play with becoming a successful independent reader.  "Did you know that snakes are not really slimy but are dry and smooth?" Straight from the book!  Hopefully, we can make inroads into his reading this year with this kind of interest!

Until next time, enjoy the beginning of the new school year!

Mrs. Trevenia

Friday, August 12, 2016

Beginnings and stuff

I have struggled with physical organization of my small library space as well as wrapping my head around ways to read aloud to students while adhering to a state librarian evaluation model that does not allow independent reading time, choosing of books or just reading to be entertained.  As I cleaned out, moved things around and read this summer, I found myself asking what is reading?

I don't have all of the answers nor do I pretend to be an expert.  However, I have found one blog post that at least gives an easy to understand, layman's definition of close reading. Many parents probably have no idea what it means.  This teacher explains it well.

Meanwhile, parents juggle schedules, sports practices, games, work, supper, and other things but are asked to read to children every night, even school-age children.  Reading is one of THE most important things anyone can learn to not only survive in life but to succeed. This site from the Smithsonian is a great source of informational text that anyone can use.

Free online read alouds are a great way for me to introduce new books or topics to my students. Our library is small. Likewise, our budget is very small.  I cannot order a wide variety of new and interesting titles every year. Online books give me an option to meet that need.  Students need to hear books read fluently and with expression.  These options are a great starting point.

For residents of the state of Tennessee, through (Tennessee Electronic Library-a free service to Tennesseans) you can access World Book's early learning resources.  It is a great site I learned about this summer.

I have more to share next month! Happy August! 

Mrs. Trevenia