Welcome to Mediapprentice Blog

Welcome to the Mediapprentice Blog. It is the online home of the Maple School LMC. My hope is that you will find excellent resource links for reading and research as well as informative posts.

My philosophy is that this is your LMC. This is your academic and reading playground. Your voice is important. Please comment and post your ideas and thoughts. If you choose, you may email me at akauth@district30.org to input your ideas. Also, check out the Suggestion Box on the menu above.

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Library Schedule – February 8 – February 12

Period Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri
Before School 7:55 7:55 7:55 CLOSED 7:55
After School Until 4:45 Until 4:45 Until 4:45 Until 4:45 Until 3:40
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Maple’s Research Web

For any research project remember this web:

Define your information need; pre-search; formulate curiosity questions. What is your assignment? Has the teacher defined your research topic for you or do you need to develop a topic yourself? If you need to develop a topic choose something you are interested in, making sure it is not too broad nor too narrow. Whether your topic is assigned or you choose it yourself, what do you already know about this topic? What are you curious about? Ask yourself who, what, where, why, how, and when questions. What are the required elements your teacher has assigned? Begin to “pre-search” your topic to get further background. As you pre-search, build a list of keywords that will help you find deeper resources.

Discover possible resources. Now that you know a little about your topic through pre-searching, what resources can you use to find deeper information? You will need to use at least three types of resources but it is good to use more. Be creative. Don’t restrain yourself to the same-old-same-old. We know that books, websites, and online encyclopedias are good resources, but what else can you think of? Are there primary documents you could use? Could you interview someone? Is there a museum you could go to? Can you send away for a pamphlet? Don’t confine yourself to the same old resources just because they might be handier.

Locate your resources and evaluate them. Using your keyword list, start gathering your resources. When using the Internet, don’t forget to use the website evaluation tool found in EasyBib. Remember, you need to evaluate every resource, not just websites.

Take notes to answer your questions or add new questions. Once you have gathered some resources, create your new project in EasyBib. As you begin to take notes from a source, first create a citation in EasyBib. On the subject of note taking, there are many tools for note taking and your teachers will discuss this with you. Whatever tool you use for notes, make sure to organize them and keep your sources cited in EasyBib. As you take notes, connect each note to the source it comes from. This will help you return to the source in the future, and also give you the information you need to create an in-text citation. Reflect along the way: Are you answering your curiosity questions? Are there new directions your research should go? Do you need more information? Do you need more resources? Are you fulfilling the requirements from your teacher?

Process the new information and decide how to convey what you have learned.  When you think about the facts you have gathered and add your own unique perspective and understanding to the topic, you synthesize the information. Depending on your assignment and your intended audience, you will create a final project that shows what you know. Try to choose a way to show your audience your knowledge that is true to the fantastic individual person that you are. Be creative.

Reflect on the research process as you are working. Take a moment to think back on your research. What went well along the way? What were your roadblocks? Did you find the answers you were looking for? Did you have to adjust your questions? Were you able to find helpful resources? If you could rewind and do this process all over, what would you do differently?

(Our research steps are based on a combination of the Big6 and IIM research models.)

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Avi and Brian Floca’s Visit

On Friday October 16, Newbery Medal author Avi and Caldecott Medal illustrator Brian Floca visited with our 6th graders at Maple. Avi and Brian spoke about the writing, editing, and illustration process and shared their new book Old Wolf. Ms. Sheridan, Mrs. Fosco, Mr. Bryant, Mr. Brekke and Ms. Nettelhorst prepared our students for this visit. The timing of this visit was perfect by supporting the current curriculum in both ELA and Art with real-world applications.

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Avi and Brian Floca to Speak with Our 6th Grade


The author/illustrator team of Avi and Brian Floca, who recently collaborated on the book Old Wolf, plan to visit the 6th graders at Maple on October 16th. As an award winning author, Avi has written over 60 children’s books including his Newbery Medal Winner Crispin: the cross of lead. Brian Floca is an author and illustrator who has collaborated on many books with Avi. Brian is the winner of the 2014 Caldecott Medal for his book Locomotive

Avi and Brian will be signing their new book, Old Wolf on the morning of October 16.

Click here to access the book order form. Have your student drop off the form to your school library as soon as possible. You may pay with cash or check made out to Maple School.

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First Open Mic of the ’15-’16 School Year

6th and 7th grades had an awesome turn out for the first Open Mic of our new school year. Poetry and songs were shared and enjoyed. Take a look:

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Inspirational Quotes


Last year, we asked the students to select inspirational quotes from a stack of sheets we laid out on the table. Then, after compiling the 64 selected quotes into a survey, the 8th graders and staff were asked to select their top ten. From that survey, the top nine are now installed on our high walls in the middle section of the library. Thank you class of 2015 and last year’s staff for taking the time to select these inspirational quotes. One student came in this year and was so overcome with how awesome they are, that he has decided to take one quote per week to focus on.

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Welcome Back


The 2015-2016 school year is off to a great start at Maple. A few highlights in the library are:

  • the addition of Mrs. King-Mulvihill using the computer lab area for her classes this year as we have added Project Lead the Way to our curriculum and they are using Mrs. KM’s old room.
  • the addition of inspirational quotes on the upper walls around the middle section. I’ll explain their selection in the next post.
  • the creation of a library teen advisory board. We are currently in the middle of receiving applications from 7th and 8th Graders interested in having an impact on library programming and book selection. I will share more about this cool new group in future posts as we develop our mission and tasks.
  • the bi-weekly chat and chew offered during lunch recess for students to informally chat with me about what they are reading. Yes, everyone who shares is offered an Oreo cookie. :-)

All parents and staff are welcomed to stop in the library to sit and relax. Maybe put your feet up and read for awhile. Come see why the kids like to be here.

Welcome back! :-)

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Last Open Mic of the Year

Our last Open Mic was a fun occasion to end the 2014-2015 school year. We said good-bye to 8th graders who performed in Open Mic since 6th grade. We will miss your talent and your support of each other. There were so many 6th graders signed up that we needed to add a second day to give everyone their chance to shine – and shine they did!!

See you next year!! :-)

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LMC After School

At Maple, we are fortunate to stay open Monday through Thursday until 4:45. Students work on group projects, complete their homework while sitting next to friends, or just socialize and unwind from the day.

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February Open Mic

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We had a great turn out for Open Mic today. All grades came to the library for their lunch recess and the atmosphere was extremely supportive for our performers. Thanks to all of you that participated and shared your voice, both musical and spoken.

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Shout out to Tech!

Just sending a big thank you to our tech support, Jeff Loppnow, for being vigilantly available to us on Career Day. Jeff, we felt very supported! :-)


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The library was the setting for the school level competition of the National Geographic Society’s 2015 National Geographic Bee. Congratulations to all who participated and especially to our winner, Khangai!

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Career Day 2015

8th Graders experienced a special day on Friday, January 30th. In the morning, sixteen professionals came to Maple to provide our students with a mock interview. The students prepared for this experience in ELA, Advisory, and on their own. They compiled a resume, filled out a job application, and researched the interviewer along with the company they represented.

In the afternoon, the students were treated to presentations by another set of volunteers who shared their professional passion and journey.

Thank you to ALL of the volunteers, teachers, Admin, students AND their parents who made this day a success!

Take a look:


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You’ve Got Mail

Students, please get in the habit of checking your email several times every day. Thank you. :-)

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A Little More on the Power of Spoken Word

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Young Chicago Authors & Louder Than a Bomb

Have you heard about spoken word? Spoken word is poetry that is written to be dramatically shared in a performance atmosphere. There is a huge culture throughout the city of Chicago that supports and promotes youth literacy through spoken word open mic and writing workshop opportunities. Check out the Young Chicago Authors blog to see the types of opportunities they provide for youth to showcase their work.

February and March bring a poetry festival called Louder Than a Bomb. Here is a description from their blog:

Entering its 15th season, Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB) is the largest, youth poetry festival in the world. Founded in Chicago in 2001 and hosted by Young Chicago Authors (YCA), the event attracts 1000 participants from 120 schools in over 100 different Chicagoland zip codes. Imagine high school in-class and afterschool teams focused on a Literary Arts curriculum as a team sporting event — with reading & writing literacy as the goal! This is the power of the LTAB platform.

You can secure tickets to watch any of the bouts as your teen peers compete to see who will be the spoken word champion this year. Most of the competitions are centered around Columbia College downtown on Michigan Avenue.

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Can You Play a Google a Day?

There is a new link added under the Games section on the right side of my blog. It is called “A Google a Day” and I challenge you to use your information seeking skills to succeed at playing this game. Let me know what you think.

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Jordan Sonnenblick’s Visit

Maple enjoyed a visit from Jordan Sonnenblick, author of popular juvenile and YA fiction books. We learned that he is inspired to write his books from life’s challenges and the needs of those around him. We also learned about the path his manuscripts take on the publication journey. Jordan captivated both our students and staff and graciously took time to autograph copies of his books for students who brought them. Take a look:

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Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 10.51.32 AMMaple students are voracious readers and to help promote them to read outside their comfort genre’s and authors, we have a new program in the library where the student can adopt a shelf of books to read. While there are no strict rules in the choosing of a shelf, we do encourage them to find a shelf with a variety of authors and/or genres. We ask them to let us know if there are any “clunkers,” in their opinion, thus enabling us to make good use of our readers as reviewers. So far, a few students have embraced this challenge. You can see their names on a shelf sign starting with the logo you see on this post.

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Cool YouTube Channels You Shouldn’t Miss


CommonSense Media is, as you know, one of my favorite resources on the Internet. One of their posts listed 12 YouTube Channels OK for kids. You will find the teen and tween aged channels linked over on the side of my blog. Look down toward the bottom under the YouTube Channel section. I hope you feel inspired. If you have a channel of your own that you would like me to add to our list, please email me. Happy viewing! :-)

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A Warm and Welcoming Open Mic

October’s Open Mic reminded one student of fall. It was colorful with talent and creativity along with the feeling of warmth we experience after coming inside on a cool fall day.

Take a look:

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Popular Author to Visit Maple

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 2.32.05 PMPopular author, Jordan Sonnenblick, will be coming to Maple School on Wednesday, November 12, to share his inspirations as well as his expertise on the writing and editing process. Some of his best loved titles include Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, Notes from the Midnight Driver, and Zen and the Art of Faking It. Jordan’s presentations for every grade level will include a discussion about story development in all stages, a Q&A session and book signing.

****Special Note**** If you would like to purchase one of Mr. Sonnenblick’s books for him to sign, the Book Bin will give Maple students a 10% discount on any of Mr. Sonnenblick’s books. Just tell them the book is for school. How very nice of the Book Bin! :-)

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