• SCHOOL YEAR Impact Report


  • Battle of the Books: Northwood 4th grade students read 10 novels, with a goal of qualifying for the school Battle of the Books teams. Students met at a weekly “Battle Crunch Lunch Bunch” to review details of the books and practice. After an exciting school Battle, the winning team advanced to compete in the MacArthur cluster Battle.
  • SEL Programming: Our youngest students are always invited to lightly tap a sign indicating how they are feeling that day (happy, sad, excited, mad, or worried). Grades 2 through 5 do a 5-finger checkin when they enter the library to indicate their state of mind. This standard library routine allows children to communicate their feelings and lets the librarian know if any child needs a special hug or greeting. Fortunately, coming to the library almost always results in 5 fingers up!
  • Birthday Books: Birthdays are special days and we love to help make it even better! Birthday kids can come to the library, squeeze the paw on our singing birthday plush puppy, choose a free bookmark, write his or her name on the birthday wall, AND choose a new paperback book as a birthday gift! Our children enjoy this program so much. Thanks to our community's support, we are able to make this program happen.
  • Makerspace: On some visits, our students can enjoy our Makerspace educational toys and games, such as Legos and Cubelets (electronic robot building blocks). We added a new Makerspace activity this year, our Stick Together poster. After checking out books, students can stick two squares onto the color-coded poster, working together to create a large mystery picture! Clues are posted every week or so to keep everyone engaged and guessing.
  • Schlitterbahn Reading Challenge: Many Northwood students completed this challenge this year and earned a free ticket to the Schlitterbahn water park in New Braunfels. Students were challenged to read 10 hours for fun and keep track of their progress. We have 50 students who will be enjoying a free day of fun in the sun this summer, all because they tracked their reading minutes!
Jeff Mack draws on tablet for students
ebooks books in collection
ebooks books checked out

Librarian and students show kindness posters


  • SEL Kindness Lesson - ALE/1st grade Our ALE class is so proud of the “Change the World” posters they created after we read and discussed the books A Small Kindness and Be Kind together. The boys wrote ways they can “save the world by being kind” on their traced hands (see picture below). Our first graders also enjoyed this lesson.
  • Six Word Memoirs - 5th grade. For the end-of-year Awards Ceremony, our 5th graders worked with Mrs. Philippus on writing Six Word Memoirs. In this project designed with the 5th grade teachers, students created a six-word statement that gave advice to future Northwood students or was a reflection on their life and learning so far. Students used technology skills to place the memoir onto a slide with an appropriate background image that complemented their advice or reflection.
  • Bluebonnet Books/Hispanic Heritage/Sora - 3rd-5th grades. During September and October, our 3rd, 4th & 5th graders learned how to use Sora, read a Bluebonnet book to check off their lists, and explored Hispanic culture by digging into the book Sharuko. This 2-part library lesson concluded with a draw-along YouTube video in the classroom, in which students drew a cabeza clava, the archaeological artifact that Julio Tello (a.k.a. Sharuko) is credited with discovering.
  • Food Chain research - 1st grade. After Spring Break, our 1st graders studied pond and grassland food chains using 2 print books, PebbleGo, and BrainPop Jr. In their research booklets, they developed questions, defined words, and created a drawing of a food chain. This 2-part lesson was developed in conjunction with the 1st grade teachers.
  • Local community customs - Kinder & ALE. Kindergarten students celebrated the return of Fiesta in April! “Tradition” has been a focus word for kinder lessons all year. Prior to King Antonio’s visit, students located San Antonio on a map, watched a TV news clip of Fiesta, read & discussed Fiesta A-Z with Mrs. Philippus, shared their background knowledge of the pinata tradition, and later created a fun “flat pinata” decoration using a cardstock line drawing and tissue paper squares. Viva Fiesta!

Students take notes about earthquakes for slide show project

Lesson Spotlight

3rd grade Rapid Changes Research. Students used Guided Inquiry research to do some deep learning about rapid changes to the Earth’s crust. Pairs of students selected a natural disaster, gathered information from print and digital library resources, and prepared a slide for a presentation called “25 Things You Didn’t Know About Natural Disasters!” Students were excited to find 3 new facts about the disaster so that they could “surprise” their classmates! This fun collaborative project resulted in some great learning.



  • PLN Librarian Group. One of the silver linings of the Covid experience has been the online support group that several librarians and I formed on Teams. Throughout last year and this year, the five of us have discussed lesson plans, shared and developed ideas, and debated issues in our field. Even more importantly, we’ve provided each other with moral support and friendship through personal and professional challenges. This group has really been a blessing.
  • Chinese New Year - K - 3rd. During the last week of January, K-3rd grade students learned about author Grace Lin, used age-appropriate print & digital library resources, including books, PebbleGo, Discovery Education, and/or Britannica School, to learn about Chinese New Year traditions. They also listened to Lin’s book Bringing In The New Year. Back in their classrooms, students completed a Grace Lin draw-along video on YouTube to create a Chinese tiger for 2022 - The Year of the Tiger.
  • Intervention Groups. During the Spring semester, students in each grade participated in small instructional groups that targeted troublesome skills. As librarian, I had 5 intervention groups each week in addition to regular library classes: two 5th-grade, one 4th-grade, one 1st-grade and one Kinder. I communicated with the teachers about which skills needed addressing and ideas for how to do so, then implemented plans.
  • Endangered Animal Research with 2nd grade. The second grade team and I worked together to design a Guided Inquiry research project on Endangered Animals that addressed reading, writing, and technology TEKS. Students gathered information from print books and online Library Resources (through Launchpad) to create two Google slides for a class presentation.
  • Career Day with Counselor. Our school counselor and I worked together to plan and schedule multiple visitors for our first annual Career Day. I created a master spreadsheet for all grades, all speakers, and all locations that provided an organized framework for the event. She called and coordinated the visitors, and we hosted them in the library for coffee and snacks when they arrived at school.

Collaboration Spotlight

This year, we began a Therapy Dog program in which specially trained dogs (with their handlers) come to campus and spend time reading with students who need a boost in their reading abilities and motivation. The teachers chose students who were reading at least two years below grade level according to their MAP scores. Those students work with one of our dogs, reading pre-selected books once a week for 15 minutes. According to their teachers, this program has had a tremendous impact. One teacher commented that the program “has helped foster a love for reading as well as confidence” while another stated that her student “built confidence by spending time reading to an adult other than me or a family member.” Yet another said that “the dog provided the emotional support to help [my student] relax into reading.” Based on positive feedback from teachers and students, we plan to expand our program next year to involve even more students.


Therapy dog and handler read with second grade girl

Campus Leader

  • Discovery Education Training. In February, I conducted a Discovery Education training for our staff. I introduced them to the use of Channels within DE, reviewed search techniques, demonstrated the Activities Center in DE, and gave them time to explore Mystery Science for useful features they could take back to their classroom after I demonstrated its use. I received lots of positive feedback afterwards.
  • Book Fair. This year, we held two Book Fairs, one in December and one in May. Our Book Fair is a real community event; more than 25 volunteers signed up to help for each fair! These community members set up the fair, decorate for the fair, publicize it with posters and advertising, run the registers, help students locate books, and help tear down the fair. We are indebted to them for their help.
  • Why I Love the Library. Library advocacy can look many different ways. In this interactive annual library display during February (Love Your Library Month), students and staff write on a post-it note what they love about the library and then share it for all to see. The responses are always many and varied (see picture below), and a great way to demonstrate to everyone the many different programs we offer and the things people value about our space.
  • Literacy Night. As a member of the campus Leadership Team, I helped organize our Literacy Night on November 4. I contacted the children’s librarian at the Tobin Branch of the San Antonio Public Library, coordinated her visit for that evening, and provided everything she needed here in the library. She brought a “craftivity”, provided information about applying for public library cards, and handed out calendars for upcoming SAPL events. It was a great evening!
  • Professional Learning. Other than the training provided by Library Services, I was unable to attend workshops and training offered this year. So I set and completed a personal goal to complete the 34-hour Google Level 1 Educator Training online course, which I have always wanted to do. I learned a few things I didn’t know, and now have set another goal to complete the Level 2 training over the summer or next year.
Display covered with post-it notes about why people love the library
Librarian presenting to teachers about digital resource