End-of-the-year Activities!

Although there is only a month left in the school year, we still have exciting things happening at the SES Media Center.

Our last reading log collection date is April 30th for the Million Minute Challenge. Great news! We have already surpassed 1,000,000 minutes!!! Remember, the top readers receive recognition and medals at Awards Day; the top classes in each grade receive a popcorn & movie party; the top class gets to design a celebration. Our Dance Party to celebrate our Million Minutes will be held during specials time on Friday, May 11.

Summer is almost here, and so is the Summer Reading Challenge!! We’ll be using Biblionasium to record reading minutes during summer. Each student’s goal is 1,500 minutes. Turn Summer Slide into Summer Boost! I’ll teach Biblionasium during the next two weeks of Media Center lessons. We’ll have great prizes for those of you who meet that challenge.

What are you going to read this summer? Here are three great options:

The Great Smyrna Book Exchange starts Monday. For the next two weeks, you can donate gently used books. Donations will be received outside of the office before school. Then, during the week of May 7, you can select a book from those donated. Donate one book; select one book. Donate five books; select five books!

The Scholastic BOGO book fair will be held May 14-May 18, 7:15-3:00 every day. It will be open during Awards Days! Unfortunately, we will not have any Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl books for next year, but we’ll have lots of fantastic options.

The SES Media Center will be open once a week during Summer Break! We’ll post days/times soon!

Smyrna Success

The SES Media Center had a fantastic fall semester and is looking forward to a great spring!

I am so proud of our students and their reading habits! We are making great progress toward our 1,000,000 minute challenge. Our next reading log collection date is the end of January. With the Cobb County snow days, we have time to log lots of reading minutes!

New books in the library are on the shelves! We have added a number of Spanish-language books to support our DLI program. If you have requests for new titles, let me know.

During the 2nd quarter, all 3rd grade classes participated in a mock trial. The classes tried Alexander T. Wolf (aka The Big Bad Wolf) after reading the story of the 3 little pigs from different points of view. Every class did a fantastic job, and I was truly impressed by some performances. What talented students we have!

Fourth grade’s Constitution breakout game was also a highlight this fall. In the spring, both 4th and 5th grade classes will participate in a Breakout game based on Growth Mindset. Smyrna Elementary believes in the power of YET!

I am extremely excited about the County’s PASS program–the collaboration between CCSD and Cobb County Public Libraries. I will work with the new resources in most classes, and information will be sent home to parents. Plus, Amy Walker of Lewis A. Ray Public Library will be our special guest for Family Reading Night; she can answer additional questions.

Finally, we are hard at work on our first Black History Month Living Wax Museum. The date is set for Thursday, February 15th. Our fourth and fifth grade students will be wax museum participants and usher historians; our third grade students will perform a song.

There’s so much going on at SES Media Center: we’re publishing our own eBooks, becoming better digital citizens, embracing new technology, and reading great books!

It’s a great day to be a Smyrna Star!

Brand New School Year!

It’s another year of learning and literacy at the SES Media Center! Once again, we will be offering regular classes addressing our students literacy and information literacy needs. We have a new face in the Media Center: Sonia Torres is our new Media Paraprofessional. She joins us from Harmony Leland, and she will be providing instruction as well, especially for those students in the dual-immersion program.

Soon, we will start our Million Minute Challenge again! Our students are challenged to read for 1,000,000 minutes outside of school this year. We are hoping that we will meet our goal even earlier this year, and we are working hard with the PTA to secure great prizes for our readers.

We are offering parent volunteer training to teach volunteers how to use the teacher workroom equipment (e.g., the laminating machine, the electronic die-cut, the poster maker, and the new copier). Our first offering with be Friday, August 4th at 8:00 and 10:00. We plan to repeat the same training on the first Friday of each month at 8:00. Our schedule may be altered by DEAL Clubs, so I’ll post an official schedule soon.

Speaking of volunteering, we would love to have some volunteers in the Media Center this year! If you’re interested, please let me know.

Looking Back and Looking Ahead

It has been a wonderful Fall Semester at the SES Media Center!

Some of our highlights include

*Starting the Million Minute Challenge, a program that encourages students to read at home.

*Beginning a Spanish-language news program.

*Exploring the President’s job and the election process; having a mock election at SES.

*Learning information literacy skills in 4th and 5th grade classes.

*Having scavenger hunts to learn about the library’s collection, the Destiny catalog, and the Cobb Digital Library.

*Completing a 2nd grade PowerPoint project on significant Georgia figures James Oglethorpe, Mary Musgrove, and Tomochichi.

*Identifying the parts of a book in Kindergarten and 1st grade classes.

*Celebrating Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday.

*Honoring the following classes with the Golden Shelf Elf award: Mrs. Linskey’s class, Mrs. Fielder’s class, Mrs. Lizzie Chastain’s class, Mrs. Jan Chastain’s class, Ms. Rowles’ class, Sra. Radu’s class, and Mrs. Debra Clark’s class. We look forward to honoring additional classes in the spring.

We have much to look forward to in the Spring Semester:

*Career exploration with 5th graders.

*Habitat projects with 3rd graders.

*Exploring stories (parts of a story, retelling stories) with younger students.

*Information literacy lessons with all students.

*A new “Wishing Box” for students to request books.

*Book talks to expose students to new books and series.



Million Minute Challenge

The Million Minute Challenge is underway! Our students are trying to read for 1,000,000 minutes outside of school this year. Once we achieve our goal, we will have a fantastic celebration at SES. There are individual and class prizes for top readers.

When a student has read for 360 minutes, he will receive a one-day pass for Six Flags as part of their Read to Succeed program. At present, we give the students a coupon, as the actual passes will not be available until spring.

Every 500 minutes earn a student a free Personal Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut; this is in conjunction with Pizza Hut’s Book It! program.

For every 1,000 minutes that students read, they receive a light-up star keychain to attach to their backpack. Once a student reads for 2,000 minutes, she gets to select a free paperback from our Scholastic collection.

We will have prizes as well for top readers in each grade.

Our next data collection dates are as follows: January 31st, February 28th, March 31st, and April 28th. Each time we collect data, we announce the classes that read the most that month (K-2nd grade group; 3rd-5th grade group). Plus, we announce the two classes that improved their reading the most during the past month. All of those classes earn a 1-hour recess!!

At the end of our challenge, the class in each grade level that has read the most will receive a popcorn and movie party in the Media Center. The class that reads the most in the school will receive a water play party!

Students must document their reading on a reading log provided their teacher. Some teachers use this one:


Logs should be signed by a parent and given to the classroom teacher. Please make sure the student’s first name, last name, teacher’s name, and total number of minutes read are on each log.

August Highlights

It’s been a busy and exciting first month of school at the SES Media Center. By the time August ends, we will have had over 100 lessons there!

Some highlights from our first month:

We awarded our first Golden Shelf Elf award to Ms. Linskey’s class! Congratulations! They have selected Fireflies by Julie Brinkloe as their book to add to the collection.

The only additions to our collection so far are approximately 100 board books. These books are for our students with Special Needs, and I’m thrilled that all of our small group classes are now visiting the library regularly for lessons. Our lessons usually involve a story, a song and movement, a sensory activity, and a time to explore books.

The periodical corner is being transformed into a Discovery Corner! We will have different task-oriented items in that area with accompanying instructions. Currently, we have Keva Planks there will various architectural challenges. Soon, we will rotate origami paper with instructions, other building materials, etc.

The WSES Morning News is up and running. We auditioned and selected twelve 5th graders for the news team out of over fifty applicants. Each member will serve as a camera person, producer, and news anchor during the time on the news crew. At the end of August, we’re launching a second morning news in Spanish for the dual-immersion classes (and any other class who would benefit from hearing announcements in Spanish).

Coming Soon . . .     Plans are underway to launch the new Reading Program in September! Also, next month we will celebrate Roald Dahl Day! He authored a number of classic children’s books, including Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and many other favorites. September 13th marks the 100th anniversary of his birth.



The Shelf Elf visits SES Media Center

For the first few weeks of school, we learn about Skoob, the shelf elf. After helping the shoemaker with his financial crisis, Skoob ended up at the SES Media Center. He helps take care of the library, and he reminds students about the rules of the media center: use a shelf marker, return books on time, keep your books clean, use a bookmark, be careful turning pages, keep books safe, and be quiet in the library. Even though we don’t always see Skoob, we will see evidence of his work and messages from him in the library.

Every two weeks, the best class to visit the library will receive the Golden Shelf Elf award. That class will be recognized on the morning news, keep the award in their room, get special bookmarks, select a book for the library’s collection, and get first dibs at checking out any new books delivered that week. It’s a pretty special award, and it’s for classes that are respectful of the lesson, the books, and the media center. There are already a number of deserving classes!

We are reading The Shelf Elf book to learn these rules, and we are checking out books. In order to learn the rules, the 4th and 5th grade classes are doing a Media Center scavenger hunt.

Welcome Back, SES Stars!

We at the SES media center are thrilled to start the 2016-17 school year! With a new media specialist, new resources, and some upcoming new additions to the media center, it is a fantastic year to be a Smyrna Star!

We will update this blog regularly to tell you about Media Center events and resources.

Students and Parents, please stop by the media center to check out some books, find out about Cobb Digital Library, and locate other amazing resources.