Using the online catalogue

We are doing this!

We have been learning about the Dewey Decimal System as part of the information literacy program in the library all year long, with the end goal that students will be able to search for information in the online catalogue, and then locate the material on the shelves in the library.

Now the students in Division 10 are applying what they’ve learned to their research project on animals in the wild

Student-Led Conferences 2022

On Wednesday April 13 Maywood held Student-led Conferences for the first time in two years. Students were excited to show their parents the library, to talk about their favourite books, and to show them what they’ve been learning during their weekly book exchange time.

As part of the library Information Literacy program we have been talking about how to use the Dewey Decimal System to help find books and to get an overview of what kinds of books there are in each category. You might never have known we have these books otherwise.

Set in the Library

Last week, Ms Baker’s class came in to the library to work on their unit on ‘Cinderella’ stories from around the world. They are developing their critical thinking skills by comparing different versions of the story.

Our goal in the library was to learn about why the setting is important to understanding a story. We watched a short video about setting, we had a class discussion about how setting works in one of the stories we are reading, and then students used the loose parts materials to create settings for their ‘Cinderella’ stories.
We used the story of The Turkey Girl as an example of why setting is important to a story. The Turkey Girl is set in a Zuni pueblo in New Mexico. The Zuni people have lived there for hundreds of years, and they have many stories and customs that they pass on to their children. The Turkey Girl is one of those stories.

We looked at slides showing the old pueblo villages of the Zuni people, and the desert that surrounds them to this very day.

We talked about how the story was first told a long time ago, before European explorers came to New Mexico and changed the lifeways of the Zuni people.

Zuni Village | Frank Reed Whiteside | 1905-1910
We also talked about the importance of turkeys to the Zuni people, the ceremonial dances they performed, and the traditional costumes they wore. This discussion was interesting because many students mentioned connections they made with their own cultural backgrounds and traditions.
And then students created settings for their own ‘Cinderella’ stories, using the illustrations in their books for inspiration and the materials from the loose parts cart to realize them.

Ms Baker and I filmed the students explaining their creations, in terms of both the story and their use of materials. For the students, being able to explain their ideas out loud is an important first step in writing them down. For me, listening to them give their interpretations was the best part.

Image from The Rough Face Girl by Rafe Martin, 1998. Illustrated by David Shannon

Ms Baker posted the presentation information on the Division 8 Team site so students could have access to it as they worked on their projects at home. For Ms Baker and me this was a true collaboration–we each brought our ideas, resources, and skills to the lesson; we co-planned it and we co-taught it. It was a very satisfying experience all the way around.

Contest! Prizes! Reading! Library!

You’ve seen the demos!  You’ve watched the videos!   You’ve been practicing your skills!

Now is your chance to show what you know in the Maywood Community School ‘Power Users of the Library Online Catalogue Contest’


Contest runs from February 14 to March 12. That’s 4 weeks.
The class with the most individual students who place holds using the online catalogue during that time, wins.
You can only place a hold on a book in the week when your class does NOT come to the library for book exchange. That gives you two chances.
A ‘hold’ means you place a hold online and then you actually check the book out of the library. This means you should choose a book that’s IN the library already.

You can only borrow one book at a time, so if you already have a book checked out, you need to return it (you can return it on the day you borrow the new one).

If you put holds on two books and they are both ‘In’ the library, I give you the first one that comes up in my list.

Use the How-To videos on the library blog if you can’t remember how to log in, or how to place a hold, or how to look at your account information. Here is the link to the videos.


Depending on how many classes tie for first place, the prize money will range from a minimum of $20 to a maximum of $80.  As a suggestion, you could use the prize money for a book or a set of books for your classroom; it could be food; it could be a combination of books and food, depending on how rich your prize is.

Using the New Books links to find your next book

Congratulations to Tony from Division 5 for being the first person to find his next book by checking the New Novels and Chapter Books link in the right sidebar. He gets the glory and the reward of being the first one to borrow the newest Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End.

It could be you next. Check the New Books links, see something you like, and put a hold on it to borrow it.

Burnaby Public Library visits our Kindergarten students online!

This week we are having virtual visits from the Burnaby Public Library children’s librarians, who are showing us around the children’s section of the Bob Prittie/Metrotown library. Below is a letter with information they want to share with parents. Right at the top of the letter there is a link to a kindergarten reading list (you can click here to get to that list too). When you open the link it takes you to the Burnaby Public Library website. Keep scrolling down the page to see the list. If you have a card for the Burnaby Public Library, you can use the ‘Hold’ button to immediately put a hold on a book you would like to borrow from the list.

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In case your child missed the presentation, or if you would like to watch it yourself, here is the link to the video presentation showing how to find the children’s section in the library, and also introducing some of the library staff who will be there to help you find the books you want: See the Metrotown Library

Virtual Book Fair coming to Maywood

Save the Date! November 30 to December 11!


Dear Maywood families

Mark your calendars! The fun and excitement of a Scholastic Book Fair is coming to our school! To adapt to our changing needs, Scholastic has developed a Virtual Book Fair to provide an opportunity for our students and families to experience the joy of reading together.

So save the date! Our scholastic Virtual Book Fair will take place on November 30 to December 11. When it’s time to shop, visit our school’s Virtual book Fair site using this link: Maywood School Book Fair [click here].

You can’t place orders until the Fair begins but before that, you can click the link to:

  • SAVE it to your browser
  • WATCH videos of popular new titles
  • PREVIEW Featured books

Watch for news leading up to our Scholastic Virtual book Fair!

Happy reading!

How I spent my CoVid Shutdown or What a librarian can do for you

During the CoVid shutdown, I collaborated with a group of Grade 3-4-5 teachers and two ELL teachers to create a unit on narrative fiction writing. I had started planning this with one of the teachers before spring break. When the shutdown happened we decided to continue online, and three other teachers joined us for various parts of the unit. Two ELL teachers also contributed material and ideas at different points.

It is a very different experience collaborating online, mostly because we couldn’t count on showing students how to do things in class. It was necessary to create low-barrier instructional materials that would work asynchronously online so students would be able to do the activities at home.

Here is the video I created to introduce the unit, and following that is a short video created by Nancy Kwan that became the centerpiece of the unit: Story Elements.

In total, I made about 12 instructional videos, plus two read-aloud videos for the two stories we used as exemplars. Most of these videos were accompanied by worksheets which were posted in the class TEAMS, and which could be completed online.  Students watched one to three videos each week, depending on how much work the related tasks required, and then completed the tasks. The teachers I was collaborating with contributed to this material, supplemented this material with their own material, and used as much or as little of this as they needed.

Unexpectedly, I discovered that this was one of the most personally satisfying projects I have worked on. I found the collaboration with colleagues was creative and comforting during what could have been an isolating time. The only thing that could have made it better would have been the opportunity to work in class with students (or small groups of students at a time) to make sure they understood the activity, had access to the materials, and felt confident experimenting with the technology available.

I see this as one of many possible ways librarians can support teachers going forward in the fall: collaboratively planning and teaching this kind of material as blended instruction. One thing I would add to the in-class instruction is demonstrations of how to create PowerPoint presentations like this so students could tell their stories in this format if they chose.

Thank you to Beverly Lee, Cynthia Johansen, Meredith Mckenzie, Kim Baker, Jason Woo and Nancy Kwan for being such generous partners and so willing to join in this experiment.

Year-End Library Timeline

  • All books should be returned to the library by Friday, June 26.
  • If you are attending school, you can leave the books in the bin on the library counter.
  • If you are not attending school, you can drop your books off in the bin outside the front door of the school. The bin is labelled ‘Return Books Here’
  • If you don’t get a chance to return your books now, please keep them in a safe place and bring them back in September.
  • We will not send out ‘Lost Book’ notices until September.

See you then! Have a safe, happy summer! Read lots!