December 24, 2013

So Long 2013

- Taking down decorations

- Judging student foot traffic and deadlines

- The Cold Weather

- Christmas shopping

- Holiday Assembly

- Prepping for January Behind the Paws shows

Here's a couple pictures that describe the last two weeks of school. 


December 19, 2013

2014 Dr King Show and Educator Resources

   Inspired by Dr King's powerful words and fueled by the Chicago Public Schools chicken patty lunch meal.  My students are Bad! They researched recited and edited their Dr Martin Luther King quotes for the King Holiday tv show.  #AheadOfTheGame  #BossLibrarianChronicles #teens #highschool #library #ipaded

Here's a listing of some of my 
2014 MLK Resources for teachers

Here's my slideshow I created last year that devoted to the MLK Memorial in Washington, D.C.

December 16, 2013

True Story by Ni-Ni Simone

My student Jada is happy to be the first student allowed to check out the new
 Ni-Ni Simone release, True Story.   Check out the author's website, 
which has sooooooo many things that teen girls just love.  

Follow Me On Instagram!

My LMC Instagram page is still developing.  Follow me at phillipslmc and see what takes place in my busy Library Media Center.

Holiday Greetings from Behind the Paws

Continuing in the holiday spirit, here's another episode of the Phillips High School, "Behind the Paws" student news show. Enjoy!
Behind the Paws S2 E7 from WPAHS Video Page on Vimeo.

December 11, 2013

Proud Moment

I finally found it.   A blast from the recent past and a very proud moment.   Below is a picture of me receiving the Chicago Public Schools 'One's to Watch' award January - 2013.  #librariansrock

December 10, 2013

Teens, Language & Texting

Just pulled this off of Twitter.   Very interesting....

If I were a parent, I would especially 
pay attention to this one below!

Preparing for the King Show

The Behind the Paws students are preparing for the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. show in 2014.  Here's a couple of pictures from today's class period.

Students wrote critiques of the current episode of Behind the Paws and researched possible quotes that will be read during the segment. 

I'm really proud of my students Myiah and Rossanli.  Both ladies are showing strong leadership and technology skills with using the iMovie app.  You will see in the picture how the girls are showing their peers how to pull images from Google and insert them into iMovie.


December 9, 2013

RIP Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
1918 - 2013
Anti-Apartheid Icon and 
Father of Modern South Africa

BTP Holiday Show

     Here's the latest episode of my students news program, "Behind the Paws".  This is a fun show where the students have the opportunity to capture holiday greetings from the teachers and staff members of Phillips High School.  This show is shot on iPads.
     I'm so proud of my students and the hard work demonstrated last week to produce this show.  Make sure you check out the segment produced by my two students Myiah and Rosalini.  The students used the iMovie app to create the Nelson Mandela tribute.

Behind the Paws S2 E2 6 from WPAHS Video Page on Vimeo.

December 4, 2013

Follow Me On IG

Just a quick blog post. 

The Phillips Library Media Center now has a offical Instagram page.  Follow @phillipslmc to view posts from this busy library in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood.

November 30, 2013

Latest Episode of Behind the Paws

Here's the latest edition of the 'Behind the Paws' student news program.  My students just get better and better.


Behind the Paws S2 E5 from WPAHS Video Page on Vimeo.

November 26, 2013

Databases for Research

     This lesson was an introduction to using databases for my freshman and sophomore classes.  I engaged the students in a brief discussion about upcoming research based assignments for their classes.  I then introduced and encouraged the students to listen critically to a short video describing internet search engines vs. library databases.  Next, I led the students in a brief discussion about Google and Wikipedia as a respected primary source for research. 

     The lesson concluded with the students logging onto Gale Student Resources and conducting a simple search using the subject:  Chicago Violence.

November 24, 2013

Twerking and Books

I've been really busy over the last two weeks. If you are a school library media specialist you know that it's grant writing  season. I've been up to my eyeballs in writing grants and proposals.  I'm really tired and I'll be glad to finish writing  these last three proposals.

Funding is greatly needed in my library media center this year so I will continue to apply apply apply for grants. My attitude is, 'The only thing they can do is tell you no.'

My friend Rosie texted a picture to me this afternoon.  I laughed so hard that I began to cry. Forgive me if I have offended anyone, I just couldn't help but post this picture.

November 13, 2013

Water Anyone?

This is my rountine at the beginning and end of each week:  dragging in a suitcase full of bottled water to my second floor Library Media Center.

Since Veterans Day was Monday and Report Card Pick Up was yesterday today, Wednesday is the beginning of the work week.   This water is not just for me, but also for my students.  I'm so grateful I have a elevator in my school!


November 10, 2013

It's All In A Name

I love it when my co-workers use the correct name:  Library Media Center.  This is a sign on the door of one of my colleagues.  This was a friendly reminder to her students that they were to report to the Library Media Center during the class period.


I love getting flowers at work.  My friend Karen sent me these flowers to make me smile after a rough week.  #FeelingSpecial

Saying Goodbye

I hate saying goodbye...especially to students.  My student Jessica was a joy to have in class.  On her last day, the Behind the Paws crew held a class party and ate cupcakes.   I'm so glad social media will play a part in keeping in touch.
Jessica is second from the right

Behind the Paws - S2, E2

Here's the latest episode of Behind the Paws....enjoy!

Behind the Paws S2 E2 from WPAHS Video Page on Vimeo.

November 6, 2013


My first post using the Blogger app on my Galaxy 3!

Guess who's #TeamAnimal, my student Dana.  Dana is a voracious reader of the genre Street Literature.  After conducting a Reader's Advisory interview, K'wan's Animal was the next and natural reading selection for this student. 

Dana visits the Library Media Center about three times a week during 8th period.   In this case with this book, Dana read the adult Street Lit book in one day.  As she explained to me, she gets much of her reading accomplished while using public transportation and when she completes classwork early. 

When she returned this book yesterday, she immediately inquired about the sequel.   As I informed her,   Animal II is scheduled for release on November 19th.   In the mean time, she is enjoying reading some of K'wan's previous books.

October 30, 2013

TV and Production Class


Here's a really nice video the students in my TV and Production class produced last week.  It's a promotional video for my school, Wendell Phillips Academy High School.  


Schoology @Phillips HS

Yes, my school is a Schoology school!

     Schoology is an online learning, classroom management, and social networking platform that improves learning through better communication, collaboration, and increased access to curriculum and supplemental content.   Teachers in my building use this website heavily and the students love it.  Many students have downloaded the app on their Android/iPhone devices and enjoy completing their classwork and homework assignments with greater ease.

     Below is a video highlighting how my co-worker, Ms Decker effectively integrates Schoology into her daily lessons.   Library Media Specialists:  This is another way you can support the curriculum at your school. Videotape your peers teaching lessons that successfully integrate technology and share it with other teachers.  Maybe just maybe, videos like this will inspire teachers to try integrating more technology in their classroom.

     Sorry for the shaky camera work.  I had the flu when I shot this video.

If you would like to learn more about Schoology, play the video below.

A Gift From My Students

My students have given me a gift...the flu then a very bad cold.  
I haven't had the flu since 1999, so this bug really hit me hard.   
All I have to say is....I suffered, I endured and I am now over it.
Now it's time to play catch up on EVERYTHING.....I'm so far behind.

Everyone please take care of yourself!

Struggling Readers & the Common Core

Last week I was a panelist on webinar hosted by Booklist Magazine.  It was fun, and I gained so much information from my fellow presenters.  Click the link below so that you will be redirected to the network recording player.  Just click on the playback button and enjoy the webinar.  
(October 22, 2013) 
     The goal of the Common Core is to accelerate students’ reading achievement to grade level by the end of 2014, but educators can’t begin to make an impact on young adults who are reading below grade level without rich resources to aid them.   In this webinar, sponsored by Orca Book Publishers and Saddleback Education, an expert panel will offer tips about how to implement the Common Core State Standards with struggling and striving readers in the middle- and high-school classroom.

October 19, 2013

iMovie and Librarians

Today I am presenting at the Chicago Public Schools 'iPads for Librarians Professional Development Session'.  This journey describes by 18 month journey using the powerful iMovie app and how it has changed my job description and duties at my school.  Just click the arrow at the bottom to advance each slide.


October 13, 2013

Blown Away

     Recently I was blown away by a message on Twitter.  On October 1st, I posted a story describing a co-teaching lesson I did with the Leadership Department about Emmett Till.  I shared this post through my social media networks and was contacted by the The Mamie Till Mobley Foundation.   I really worked hard on this presentation and to receive this message from the foundation's @EmmettTillTalks Twitter page was an honor.

     Make sure you visit the website and Twitter page, I conveniently created direct links above highlighted in blue.

All I can do is say, WOW!
The foundation re-tweeted my post!

Girls and Technology

Picture courtesy of Google Images
I just love the Young Women's Academy Leadership classes at Phillips.  I just wish this was in place when I was enrolled in high school.  I'm proud of my female students, in particular with their ability to grasp onto new technologies this year.

Yes, my girls rock!  Whether it's their cell phone or a computer, my students definitely know how to use technology.  I've been quietly observing some of the class projects and assignments over the last couple of week and they look really good.  Once the grading quarter is over, I'll share some of them with you.

Until then, here are a couple of pictures of the girls in action.
Students use the Ask3 app in their Leadership Class
to post comments on a discussion thread..
I call this 'Art Meets Technology'.  A student logs onto her classroom
laptop so that she can complete a DO NOW assignment.
What would they do without their cell phones?
Two sisters these Galaxy 3 cases!
Now my girls have influenced me.  The case on the left is mine!


   A couple of you emailed and wanted to know how I start my day and what my circulation desk/area looks like.  Well here it is!

     I try to begin my day with forgetting all of the things that annoyed me the day before.  Since I'm on the run in the morning, I have to be creative.  Smoothies and my detox drink are my weapon of choice.  As far as what my circulation desk looks like....A HOT MESS!  I'm a solo librarian so I try the best I can to circulate/shelve books, support the curriculum/technology integration and keep a tidy space.
     Here's a couple of pictures I've taken over the last eight weeks that I'm willing to share.

One of my Fall book displays, my students helped me with this one.
The clock is just struggling on the shelf since it had a disagreement with the wall.

Breakfast smoothie:  cucumbers, melons and strawberries.

This is the most uncluttered part of my circulation desk!
My trusty Mac Book Pro and LMC iPads.  I try to drink a jug of my
detox drink of cucumbers, lemons, limes and fresh mint everyday.
One of my new Fall Book Displays.
Some of my students created this one and did a good job!

Pictures of family, friends and former students.
I keep my Librarian bling shirts on display at all times!
Another bling shirt and pictures with various authors and entertainers.
I use this as a conversation piece for my students.
This sign is in support of my football players who are avid readers.
I had to move the football behind the circulation desk.  The boys
were having a little too much fun with it on the floor.

Struggling Readers and Common Core

I will be participating in an upcoming webinar!  See the announcement below.

Event status:(Register)
Date and time:Tuesday, October 22, 2013 1:00 pm
Central Daylight Time (Chicago, GMT-05:00) 
Booklist Webinars
Duration:1 hour
The goal of the Common Core is to accelerate students’ reading achievement to grade level by the end of 2014, but educators can’t begin to make an impact on young adults who are reading below grade level without rich resources to aid them. In this hour-long, free webinar, sponsored by Orca Book Publishers and Saddleback Education, an expert panel will offer tips about how to implement the Common Core State Standards with struggling and striving readers in the middle- and high-school classroom.

KC Boyd is a library media specialist in inner-city Chicago and author of the popular blog The Audacious Librarian.
Troy Fresch is the Assistant Principal at Tustin High School in Tustin, California and has served on the Tustin Unified School District’s Common Core implementation team.
Tim McHugh is the co-owner and VP of Sales/Marketing at Saddleback Educational Publishing.
Andrew Wooldridge is publisher at Orca Books and the editor of several series of successful novels for middle and high school readers.

October 1, 2013

Bronzeville History

Students are viewing a clip from the award winning series, "Eyes On the Prize"

Wendell Phillips Academy High School is located in Chicago's historic Bronzeville south side neighborhood.   Bronzeville served as place of 'new opportunities' for millions of African-Americans when they left rural southern states to come 'north' for a new life.  Many stopped in Chicago, while other families continued on to Detroit, New York and California.

The Leadership Department at my school decided to create a unit for the entire student body about people in history who displayed admirable leadership/courage during trying times.  The topic they selected was The Murder of Emmett Till.  Through this lecture I've been giving this week, the students are learning about the leadership/courage of:
- Mamie Till Mobley (mother of Emmett Till),
- John H. Johnson (Publisher, Ebony/Jet Magazine),
- Ahmed Rayner (funeral home director)
- and Mose Wright (uncle of Emmett Till).

The goal of this lesson was to not only discuss their displays of leadership, but to also educate the students about the historical influence the key players had as it relates to their grassroots in Bronzeville.  So far, the students have really enjoyed the lecture/presentation.

I will like to add that I've taught this lesson off and on for over ten years.  Each time I teach this lesson, I learn something new.  The Keith Beauchamp documentary called, The Untold Story of Emmett Till, provides historians with a new and fresh perspective about the unsolved civil rights era murder.  I credit much of my lecture to the new research provided by Beauchamp's film.

The Emmett Till story is an important story that must be re-told to generations to come.  Below you will find the powerpoint presentation as well as a internet pathfinder.  The teachers that I am co-teaching with have plans to load this pathfinder into each classes Schoology pages for further discussion and study.

Emmett Till Internet Pathfinder
Compiled by KC Boyd, M.L.S., M.A., M.Ed.

Online Interactive Resources
PBS American Experience -  
The Murder of Emmett Louis Till: The Spark that Started the Civil Rights
Movement - Emmett Till Murder -
Emmett Till – Biography Channel -

The Courage of Mamie Till Mobley and Jet Magazine Editor/Chief
Emmett’s Legacy: A Mother Keeps Her Son’s Name Alive 05/features/9509050005_1_tallahatchie-river-mississippi-naacp-black-race
The Face of Emmett Till - Till-UPDATED
Emmett Till – A Story With Lasting Power - lasting-power/

Eyes On the Prize: Emmett Till -
The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till -
Very short account of the Murder of Emmett Till -
The Emmett Tlll Case Re-Opened: 60 Minutes (Ed Bradley) -

Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America by Mamie Till-Mobley and Christopher Benson America/dp/0812970470/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1380223151&sr=8- 3&keywords=emmett+till
Simeon’s Story: An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmett Till By Simeon Wright and Herb Boyd Kidnapping/dp/1569768196/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380223046&sr=8- 1&keywords=emmett+till
Getting Away With Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case By Chris Crowe Emmett/dp/0803728042/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1380223151&sr=8- 2&keywords=emmett+till
A Wreath for Emmett Till
By Marilyn Nelson Nelson/dp/0547076363/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1380223151&sr=8- 5&keywords=emmett+till

Emmett Till and Trayvon Martin Comparison
A Longer Look at the Emmett Till- Trayon Martin Comparison martin_b_3606636.html
NAACP Compares Trayvon Martin Death To Emmett Till Lynching Trayvon-Martin-Death-to-Emmett-Till-Lynching
Justice Denied: Is Trayvon Martin Post-Racial America’s Emmett Till? america-s-emmett-till-1374329793

Picture of Ahmed Rayner
Courtesy of Pamela Rayner, October 2013