lisahobbsSpotlight: Lisa Hobbs (Ms Lisa) – Library and Technology

This time we spotlight our wonderful library and technology teacher, Lisa Hobbs. The Library and Technology instruction is one of the many programs that are 100% funded by the Crocker Highlands PTA.  Please support Annual Giving to keep these programs running.

Q: How many hours do you work and where do you spend your hours(what classrooms)?
Ms Lisa: I work 32 hours per week. I see all students once a week in the library and also in their classrooms for computers.
Q:  What is your background in this role (education/experience/number of years):
Ms Lisa:  I have a BS in communication from the University of Utah and an MA in communication from UNC Chapel Hill. Following graduate school, I worked as a management consultant on software implementation projects for Anderson Consulting and Deloitte Consulting. I took a few years off when I had kids and then got an MLIS from San Jose State. I’ve been working at Crocker for 9 years.
Q:  Please give an overview of what you do in your role for both Library and Computers and how it differs by grade.  What are you covering now or plan to cover by end of year?
Ms Lisa:
In library, a big part of my job is to make reading fun and interesting so I read tons of books and share them with classes, individual kids, and teachers. I work to get the kids talking to each other about what they’re reading, too. My recommendations are pretty good, but theirs are really powerful in a different way. Most of us, whether we like reading or not, like reading more if we have good books and people to share them with. There is power in finding a community of readers — it can be just a couple of kids who love the same series or genre, a class sharing a read aloud, or a book group (in person or online). I love that there are books that every Crocker kid knows and loves – it’s one way we’re connected to each other. We’ve all read Mac Barnett’s amazing book Sam and Dave Dig a Hole – you should, too. It will drive you crazy! This year, many of our classes read a chapter book called The Wild Robot. It’s been fun to see kids share the story with classmates, but also kids in other classes and grades. Now we have hundreds of kids who know the story of Roz the robot and we’re all stuck living with the serious cliff hanger at the end!
In Technology:
K/1: We’re really getting used to using laptops and learning some of the vocabulary we need to use them (cursor, trackpad, user name, tab, volume, etc). We try to do this with activities that dovetail with whatever students are learning in their classrooms. For example, in first grade, we played a game using online manipulatives (10s and 1s) to create numbers up to 100. The game let us practice math concepts being taught in class while practicing clicking and dragging on the trackpad. We also played a game involving odd and even number recognition which reinforced a concept taught in class and let us practice using the trackpad without clicking. We finished by typing some words on a website called Alphabetimals. Alphabetimals is a fun way to play with words, gives their fingers a break from clicking and dragging, and lets the kids use the keyboard without requiring serious typing skills. In kindergarten and first grade, we also use ebooks, audiobooks, and a research database just for young kids. Using these tools let us have conversations about what they are and practice using them.
2/3: In second grade, we’re still learning how to use the laptops and expanding our technology vocabulary. Because the kids’ reading and spelling skills are improving, we start learning to use the library catalog, an online encyclopedia, and doing other kinds of online searching. Late in the year, we’ll use Google Docs to write a paragraph and a poem. This gives us a chance to get our feet wet and do a little writing, formatting, saving, etc. In third grade, we introduce keyboarding and Google Drive, Docs, and Slides (G Suite) and teachers begin to use them on projects in their classrooms like the living museum, animal reports, and short stories. (All OUSD students have Google accounts administered by the district. No, our students don’t have access to Gmail through these accounts.)
4/5: We continue using and improving our skills with tools like Google Docs and Slides. We continue practicing online searching using different techniques in a range of places. To a greater extent, we work on projects that grow out of classroom activities that are different depending on the teacher. For example, some 5th graders research elements on the periodic table, create scientist trading cards, create individual or class slide shows, or rate/ review books online. Some projects that seem simple allow us to practice a wide range of skills. We recently created word clouds, took a screen shot of our work, and uploaded the screen shot to Google drive. We’ll be using the word clouds later this year when we upload the image to student blogs the 4th and 5th graders will be creating.
Q:  What do you like about what you do?
Ms Lisa: I get to know all of the kids, many of the families, and I work with all of our teachers.
Q:  Can you give me an example of how what you do has made an impact on a kid or kids at Crocker?
Ms Lisa: I coordinate events that connect all of us as a community — the book swap, Poem in your Pocket Day, puzzle week, Hour of Code. I also get to work with kids individually — helping them find a great book or learn a new skill and they help me find great books and learn new things, too.
Q:  Anything else worth mentioning that parents might be interested in knowing?
Ms Lisa:
  • Crocker has one of the best elementary school libraries in Oakland! I’m really proud of that. It wouldn’t be possible without our incredible community support.
  • The library is open every day after school for 15 minutes so kids can exchange books or check out additional books.
  • Your student can show you some of what we do on the Crocker launch page at
  • I really appreciate all of you who help keep things running smoothly in the library and help out during computer time. Thanks!
Thanks to all who support the PTA to keep Lisa Hobbs employed through the PTA.  To keep this and our many other wonderful programs running, please donate to the PTA through Annual Giving.  Any amount helps!