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 – Week of August 25 – August 27

Period Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri
Before School Open @ 7:55 Open @ 7:55
After School Open until 4:45 Open until 4:45 Open 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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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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Stars were shining at our first Open Mic

Monday brought the first Open Mic of the new school year. We were dazzled by the stellar voices and brilliant minds of our Maple students. Take a look at our participants and their beaming audiences:

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Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 10.21.00 AMCheck out the Common Sense Media post about 24 video games that support the subjects our kids study in school and also their social skills. Cool!

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Have You Seen a Little Free Library?

LFL1At the beginning of the summer, my sister turned me onto the Little Free Library (LFL) movement. The idea is to provide a space in your yard where anyone can come to take a book or leave a book. No strings attached. My husband and I, both being school librarians, were impassioned to build one of these for our neighbors before we left for our summer trip. Between my sister’s family and our family, we designed and built our LFL in 7 days taking about 150 person hours. It was a labor of love as we are not carpenters…remember we are librarians. :-)

The success of our LFL has been heartwarming. Kids and adults alike, bring books and take books. One 5 year old was the librarian while we were on vacation. We left a journal inside for people to write anything they want. Many adults have left us encouraging notes. The kids, (girls AND boys) stop by to thank us. Lots of people stop to meet and talk about books in front of our LFL. One young mother, new to the neighborhood, was wondering how she was going to meet people, and felt warm and invited to sit awhile in our yard to talk with other neighbors. A retired Marine is inspired to build one in his yard to match his home. Although these little structures are adorable, the best part is in supporting reading. Literacy is the bottom line.

If you haven’t yet seen or heard about the Little Free Library, I encourage you to check out their site. If you want to build one yourself and have any questions, feel free to contact me. We are pretty proud of ourselves for figuring out how to weather proof our LFL and wouldn’t mind sharing our knowledge with you. :-)


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Don’t Forget to Use Your Common Sense

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 10.21.00 AMIf I were still in the middle of raising my children, (although do we ever really stop?), I would rely heavily on Common Sense Media to help me guide my kids through the media world. I blogged about this website in the past, and I just want to remind you to check them out. They offer balanced guidance in all things media.

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MAP Testing

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 10.11.26 AMAs you know, we are temporarily closed during the day for MAP testing. The library lends itself well to the various needs of our testers and technology and we are more than happy to support the school in this way. Please be assured that you can still check out books by visiting the librarian in the hallway outside the LMC. After school, we will be open as MAP testing will be over for the day.

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