Classics Challenge: Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery

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Image from amazon.com

WHEN I Discovered This Classic: I discovered this classic a few years ago when I received the box set of Anne books from my sister. At that time, I only read the first three books in the series.
WHY I Chose to Read It: As I packed up my books to move into a new house, my eyes fell on the Anne series again. I remembered how much I loved the first few books in the series, and I wanted to continue to read through Anne’s journey as hers was similar to mine at this point in my life: developing my career, getting married, and buying my first “house of dreams.”
WHAT Makes It A Classic:  The main character, Anne, is a classic character. In the literary world, who has not heard of the red-haired, charismatic, mischievous orphan from Green Gables? The descriptions of nature and the landscape of Prince Edward Island have always made me want to visit this place.
WILL It Stay A Classic: 
This book will stay a classic. I wanted to be Anne when I was a little girl, going on adventures and discovering kindred spirits. I still want to be her as an adult. The Anne series showcases friendship, loss, adventure – many experiences that all people go through, no matter what age or time period.  
WHO I’d Recommend It To: 
I would recommend this book to anyone entering the world of adulthood: career, house, relationship. I connected with Anne’s experiences and it has made my journey into the next chapter of my life full of adventure and laughter, just like her adventure has been.

Thing 30: Final Reflection

***Plan to complete News Literacy lesson once it is available***

What Did You Learn?

  • How did you put what you learned into action at school? Personally? Finished signage for the collection and modified the physical space of the library. All the sections but makerspace and everybody books are done. My library aide helped to create colorful and strategically-placed signage for students on the bookshelves. We moved around the physical space of books (having an easy chapter book section) and moved high-interest genres to a more prominent location. This has helped students become more aware of different books available. We also moved around the physical space of the library. We now have a designated reading/social area, makerspace area, computer area, quiet area, etc. I do want to purchase more rugs this summer to make the library more welcoming for the fall. Also, it is up to me to become an enthusiastic advocate for the library program. No one else can start but me. I have projects in place for the summer to complete that I want to implement in the fall.
  • Did you expand your Personal Learning Network? Make new professional connections? I should have done a better job connecting with other people. I would read their blogs, but did not comment on any.
  • What challenges did you face during the workshop? I am still not a fan of coding personally, but if my students are interested in it, I will happily and enthusiastically learn about it and provide it as a program for them.

What’s Next?

I have started some projects this year that I want to follow up on in the future. They include:

  • Create an infographic as my annual report in June: add more than statistics though
  • Develop the library Goodreads account over the summer to make it ready September and incorporate it into my lesson plans
  • Connecting with stakeholders: create a brochure to connect with students and parents for September, add comments to report cards that show specifically units and standards covered for each grade level, contribute more events and programs, as well as tips (digital citizenship, information-literacy, reading websites, apps) in the monthly school newsletter, create a monthly Smore newsletters for teachers
  • Connect with my public library. For the second year, the children’s librarian will come to speak to all classes about the summer reading program in June. Also, I want to invite a rep to come to open house in September so families can sign up for public library cards
  • Re-shoot the technology sign-out video for the website
  • Maintain a daily journal of what I do each day
  • Use Pixlr for more photos on the website and school Facebook page
  • Have two weeks dedicated to the Hour of Code in December for students instead of one. This summer, I will complete a PD course on coding so I can become more knowledgeable in this area
  • All of the information I gathered I plan to share during the librarians’ PD days over the summer

Did You Like Learning This Way?

Participating in this program has proved to be another enjoyable experience. I appreciate that I could work at my own pace to complete the lessons each week. Online learning has never been a problem for me: I am able to manage my time accordingly.

The most valuable item of this program was new lessons, especially connecting with stakeholders. That track provided some excellent tips for me to implement. I also valued that I could revisit a lesson previously tried a year or two ago.

I need to do a better job connecting with other participants of the program. I read some blogs, but should have done a better job to comment and connect with other educators.

Thank you, Polly, for creating another wonderful experience for us. I plan to complete this program again if it is offered.

Thing 19: Social Reading and Book Stuff

Recently, I joined Goodreads as Shelfari has merged with the social-reading site. So far, I have only transferred my personal account, but for this lesson I made an account for Granby Library.

When Shelfari was around, I posted new books and embedded the widget onto the library’s website. Every few months, students would spend a library special writing a book review for a recent read. This information would be posted to the library’s Shelfari account for others to see.

With a new Goodreads account, I reflected how to make social reading more active and relevant to students, specifically younger kiddos.

To Start

  • Use Goodreads as the discussion format for book clubs instead of Schoology
  • When finishing reading books to students K-3, pull up Goodreads and have students reflect on the book. After reflection, have students rate the book as a whole class. After a couple of months, I think it will be eye-opening for students when I show them what books we have read. This can assist with data, as I can see what books students prefer or do not prefer. I am particularly excited to start this new practice with my students
  • After reading short stories with my older grades, create a discussion around the book in Goodreads (instead of Schoology)
  • Introduce Goodreads to students in the fall during library orientation, along with Destiny Quest
  • When a student uses the book request form, use Goodreads to add the book to the to-read list. This way, students may keep track to see when the book arrives in the library

To Continue

  • As new books arrive, use Goodreads instead of Shelfari to display the books so students know what newer titles are available in the library. Display widget on library’s webpage
  • Updating the library’s Goodreads profile with better pictures and adding the widget to the website