Monday, January 28, 2013

January 10

Happy New Year!

Every Other Thursday, you’ll get this short, fun, relevant newsletter.  It will contain a quote about the library and those who love it, an idea you can use to promote your library or reading in general, a Common Core implementation idea and occasionally a shameless plug for the programs I offer.  Enjoy!


“Consider what you have in the smallest chosen library. A company of the wisest and wittiest men that could be picked out of all civil countries, in a thousand years, have set in best order the results of their learning and wisdom. The men themselves were hid and inaccessible, solitary, impatient of interruption, fenced by etiquette; but the thought which they did not uncover to their bosom friend is here written out in transparent words to us, the strangers of another age.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Books," Society and Solitude
Promote (From the MONEY Section of 45 Ideas in 45 Minutes)
25. If you need to raise some funds for a special event or a needed resource not in the budget, consider doing a Mile of Pennies competition. (FYI, laid side by side, it would take 84,480 pennies to make a mile.)

Kids love competition, especially when it’s going for a good cause. A school of 600 students and 50staff members would have to donate an average of $1.30 each to make a mile worth $844.80. They don’t have to turn in just pennies to make this work.

Encourage teachers to come up with creative ways to use math to measure classroom participation (counting the amount for the younger kids, sets and groupings – # of pennies, # of nickels, etc. – with middle grades and measurement (one penny is ¼ of an inch, X 12 to see how many are in a foot, X # of feet in a mile).

Get teachers to share their ideas with their colleagues and keep the ideas in a folder so when you do it next year it will be easy to lead teachers to participate.

As with any competition, keep it friendly, make a public progress chart to encourage participation (and shame the ones who don’t!) and celebrate the achievement of the students. You could even have a staff team in the competition!

Common Core Connection

Speaking of math, I found this helpful from the Core Standards website:

In Mathematics, the Standards lay a solid foundation in whole numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and decimals. Taken together, these elements support a student’s ability to learn and apply more demanding math concepts and procedures. The middle school and high school standards call on students to practice applying mathematical ways of thinking to real world issues and challenges; they prepare students to think and reason mathematically. The Standards set a rigorous definition of college and career readiness, not by piling topic upon topic, but by demanding that students develop a depth of understanding and ability to apply mathematics to novel situations, as college students and employees regularly do.

This entire 4 page document is a quick read and is quite interesting as it discusses some of the myths and facts about the Common Core Standards.  Let me know what you think!

Shameless Plug

It’s time to start thinking about THE BIG TEST!  Whether your elementary students take the CRCT or the Stanford Achievement Test and the Alabama Reading and Math Test, I have a show for you!  We Can Do This! is a Big Test PREP Rally that gets your kids excited about doing their best on the test AND gives them strategies and tips to help them excel on this important assessment. 

Using interactive media, magic, puppets, and old fashioned question and answer, we look at sample test questions, talk about preparation and strategies for the testing days and discuss the importance of the BIG TEST for your students, teachers, and school.  Admittedly, most of the 45 minute assembly program includes stuff your teachers will tell your students, but there is something about having a magician tell them that really reinforces what they have heard. 

Here’s what some of your colleagues said about I Can Do This!

"All of the information was extremely relevant to the CRCT. The strategies were the same ones we have been stressing to our students, but I think it helps to hear it from someone else and in another format."

Carrie McAtee, Mimosa, Elementary School, Roswell, GA

"We just had Tommy Johns perform his CRCT assembly program, 'We Can Do This!' for the entire school and he was great. 'Awesome' was the comment of one of our teachers!

Tommy is very professional and entertaining. He weaves magic and puppets into important messages about preparing and taking the big test and the children loved the program. This is just what our children needed after taking benchmark tests; a positive, upbeat message. Another teacher commented that she really appreciated the fact that the assembly was academically oriented."

Karen Liebert, International Studies Elementary Charter School, Albany, GA

"The students heard from you some of the same things that their teachers have been telling them. I think it's a good reinforcement."

Helen O'Brien, Level Grove Elementary School, Cornelia, GA

If you are only testing some grades, I can bring a different show for the other students to fill up the half or full day of programming you need. 

Let me know how I can help!

Encouraging kids to read, I am
Tommy Johns
Educational Entertainment Specialist
Call (770) 640-6509 or Toll Free at (866) 490-READ
Your peers appreciate your advice about quality programs. Please tell them about your experience working with us. Our best sales people are our many loyal clients.

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