Monday, November 11, 2013

The beginning of the last......

This year is the year of lasts...the last things that will happen in THIS RCE building.  We have to remember that it isn't Rummel Creek that is going away...just this building.  But...these halls have so many memories to share.
The last few weeks...
.....the Last Book Fair in the current library, and possibly the last book fair as we know it at RCE?!?  Over the time at RCE we moved from a totally Table Top Book Fair that covered the ENTIRE library (the old one), to one that is in cases, yet covers most of the library ...Thinking now...will we have a Book Fair in the new building?  Will we have a Book Fair in the transition campus?  Need to think about the purpose of the Book Fair - to get books into the hands of students...but how many students now access books through e-readers?  Do we need to move to an electronic Book Fair...should it be more of a celebration of reading?  Need to evaluate why we do a book fair...what is the purpose.  We've had a book fair at RCE for more than 40 years.  It is one of the most well attended activities at the school.  In the "old library" there were many nights and days that you could not move in the library.  My first year at RCE (1990) I was not prepared for the attendance.  Even with two cashiers (from the company), we could not keep up and the line was over an hour waiting and we only took cash or check.  Times have we have Mom volunteer cashiers, we take credit cards and try to have three or more registers open at any one time to keep the line moving.  Book is something to consider for the new building.

Another last - Book Character Parade.  I can't remember when the parade started...but it's been here for more than 15 years.  It used to be during Children's Book Week.  But somewhere in the last few years...Children's Book Week has disappeared ...but the parade continues...just after Halloween (keep your costume out for another week.)  This year the weather was beautiful and the costumes were great. Such a fun tradition...something to look forward to...A last in this RCE Building....
Oh these memories!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The reality Begins

October has been the month to really get into weeding.  About 1000 books have been removed from the shelves...still 4000 to go!  It's so hard to let go of the books from the 60's so many memories!  But reality is....the students today will not pick up those monotone "ugly" books of the 60's (the ones I read over and over).  When I first started teaching (back in 1980) I tried to read those special books that I loved in Fourth Grade..I realized that the books that I adored have no interest to the students today - even way back in 1980.  One of my favorite books was the Five Little Peppers and How they Grew.  My fourth grade teacher (Mrs. Lednicky) shared the book as a read aloud...and then I must have read it over and over.  I found that book to read to my fourth graders.  I made it one chapter before i realized that it was NOT going to be a good selection.  Just as television shows, movies, and music reflect on our society - so do books.  Those few classics that are truly timeless are hard to find and hard to motivate students to read. we weed the "golden oldies" and move on to modern and "pretty"...and even electronic.  Rummel Creek may be 50...but our library collection will be much more current!
Weeded books....4 carts full

Another loaded cart of weeded titles!

The shelves before weeding....

The shelves after weeding....

Another shelf before...

And after...just current titles left.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

It's only just begun!

I know that it's 9 months away....the packing and moving that is...but only in the first week of school are all of the books on the shelf and in some kind of orderly order!  So...the past two weeks, as students came to the Library Learning Commons for orientation....they marked the hardback books they want to see taken to the transition campus. This way every child at RCE has a voice in the books being taken to the transition library.   It was most enlightening  for me to watch the books selected by the students as most took this job very seriously.  A few surprises - military books were some of the first to be tagged by the intermediate boys, followed by books on optical illusions!  Primary students quickly picked the books that their teachers had shared last year in author can definitely see a pattern.  Other surprises were the biographies and science books selected...I was glad to see they selected somethings that were not in the curriculum.

This year I am focused on e-books, that will add dramatically the number of books we will have at the transition campus...and...they are available to the students 24/7 when they forget about a "book report" that's due.  So many students at RCE have e-readers of some sort, I'm hoping the e-books take off this year...I also hope to have enough of a collection that the students will want to check out those that are available.

This year will be a year of changes in more than one way.  The idea of the Library Learning Commons will change as the year moves on and we move to the transition school and then on to the new building.  CHANGE.....

Here are some photos of the students "dotting" the books to be taken to the transition library....

Monday, September 2, 2013

First Week of school 2013

Yeah!  The first week of school has come and gone.  On the first day of school, Rummel Creek opened as it has for 51 years to smiling faces of students, teachers, and parents.  There were new faces, there were familiar faces, there were some faces that were excited, and others confused.  The Rummel Creek student population has changed over the pat 24 years.....when I arrived there was only 420 students  - now we have nearly 700. In 1990 several classrooms were only special needs classrooms, now we're nearly all grade levels with only a few special programs on the campus.  What a difference in the community as well...lots of new faces and new families.  Welcome to Rummel Creek!
On the first day of school, the parents and children lined up in front of the school waiting patiently for the doors to open.  The students were excited to see their teachers and their friends.  The first day as well as the rest of the week went rather smooth....except for one little bitty hiccup - air conditioning!  And you know how hot Houston can be in August!  But the students didn't let a little bit of heat keep them from doing their job.  

It's been a great first week of school.  It's also been a sad week...last first day of school in this building.  It's going to be a lot of lasts this year! 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Entering year 51....

It's hard to believe that last year we spent the year researching the history of Rummel Creek.  We had the big 5-0 celebration and visited with all kinds of former teachers, parents and students...and now...after a short summer its time to go BACK TO SCHOOL.

This year we won't be celebrating 50 years, we will be looking forward to the next 50 years.  This year we finish the plans for the new building and end the year packing up for the transition campus for the following 18 months.  This year we will be cherishing memories and looking to the future.

It's hard to think of the Rummel Creek building actually coming down.  It's been in the community for 50 years in the present state...yes...we've added classrooms, a gym and a fine arts wing in the last 15 years.  And after a flood we had quite a bit of remodeling.  But the building has generally stayed the same.  In June 2014, Rummel Creek as we know it will be torn down to allow a new and beautiful building to be built and carry the next generation of students into the future.  Wow...what a year we will have!

For me especially, this will be a difficult year...this year marks 24 years that I have been at Rummel Creek in the library - although in many seems like just yesterday I walked in the door as a new parent and new staff member.  Just after my first year, we implemented a computer circulation system.  With the help of parents and students, we weeded the collection, attached barcodes and tried to correct mistakes in the catalog.   About 15 years after that, the bond issue funded a new library.  Again, with the help of parents and students, we weeded and boxed the collection (it was stored on the stage for 9 months!) waiting for the new and improved library - and was new and improved - nearly tripled the size of the library - and finally all of the books fit on the shelves.  Just a few years later - a flood and roof leak helped to weed the library yet again and another remodel followed - so we packed the books up for a summer, stored them in the cafeteria and came back to new carpet and an updated library.  Now, this time - another big job of weeding and packing up the library in two ways - a small library to go to the transition campus and a larger part of the collection to be placed into storage for 18 months.

When I look back over the last 23 years, a lot has changed at Rummel Creek (the concrete playground equipment, the tiny library with just a few stand alone computers, and NO gym - the kids had a t-shack for rainy days!); but a lot hasn't changed (the PTA is still strong and supportive, the teachers are willing a ready to try anything that comes along, the students want to do their best and the community supports the school).  No matter where or what building - Rummel Creek will still be Rummel Creek.  I am looking forward to this year....yes...there will be tears...yes...there will be many "lasts",  but...there is a future to look forward to....something that will be bigger and better and.......

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Preparing for the 50th Celebration and Writing for Board appreciation Week

If it is January then we must be doing something to thank the SBISD Board of Trustees!  After years of videos, we are trying something different - students writing poetry. Yesterday I worked with a group of second grade students.  They did an outstanding job.  As we shared the writing, a big "AHA" hit me.  Not only could this writing be a gift for the school board, but also a great piece to share for our 50th!  The students are sharing what RCE means to them. The poems have been most enlightening as to what means the most to the students at RCE.  Sharing this writing lesson has changed my vision for another project needed for the PTA.  I'm so glad our students have ideas and help shape the way we do things at RCE.