Every time I get the chance to be around my fellow school library media specialists, I am blown away by what a creative, tech-savvy, collaborative bunch we are. It's barely the start of the first full day of concurrent sessions and I'm already filled to the bursting with great ideas I want to try implementing, collaboration I want to try and foster, and lessons I can teach. Please forgive the lack of coherence in this post - I'm mainly using it as a way to jot down my ideas and impressions before I get too overwhelmed with all the fantastic, incredible things I'm learning here.
It began yesterday with the IDEAxCHANGE, a poster session where librarians from around the country share their best practices and innovative programs. I met up with people I have tremendous respect for and have worked with in the past but I also saw some new faces and learned a great deal. I saw the library center trio, live and in the flesh, and got some great pointers from Mrs. Lodge on how she rotates her centers and how she incorporates a decent number of permanent stations, something I think I need to do just so that there's always something happening. I heard from a colleague of hers, Jenn Reed (who I think is fabulous) about an online pen-pal program she started with a teacher in Minnesota, and now I can't wait to explore some more connections through Skype and hopefully make some lasting connections. I think I want to target 2nd grade with that project. I learned about a librarian in New York who's running a peer writing mentor station in his library, which I LOVE because that's what I did in college, and I know first-hand how powerful an experience it can be. Now I want to run back to school on Monday and immediately sit down with the 7th/8th grade ELA teachers to discuss the possibility. A presentation on flipped instruction has me thinking that maybe we could also sit down and formulate an entirely online-based research skills course for them to do, complete with assessments to gauge their skills before they go on to high school. I'm also pondering using an idea I read in a Joyce Valenza article (link to come when I have time to go find it) about a teacher doing PD with her colleagues by creating badges that they earn for demonstrating proficiency in particular skills. I wonder if I could translate that over into working with my kids.
There was also an intriguing library that has done away with Dewey/FIC in its entirety and is now interfiling fiction and non-fiction. I think I want to try this but not for the whole library. It'll take a heck of a long time to figure it out, but I may wind up with a tri-organized library (blended, Dewey, fiction). There was also a great idea that I am definitely going to use for a graphic book challenge. Students wrote and illustrated their own stories, and then got to have them bound and put o
And then and then and then! The first session I went to was on 50 new and great NF titles for kids and how to teach using them. At the end, we all had to get up and pick books and each book had a task inside it. Our challenge was to come up with something that incorporated the book and a relevant activity that met the parameters on our card. Game.On.
This group of librarians presented an idea (thought of on the fly) to complement a book about animal predator relationships. They came up with a lesson that would have students read the book, then get assigned some predators. They would research the predators and then make a card game about them, a la Pokémon. Students would have to classify each predator in three categories based on what they're learned in their research and then battle their predators against each other. I.Love.This. My mind is reeling at the thoughts of what I could do with this - reading, teaching the kids how to use KidsInfobits, and maybe even a program to create their cards in. I'm going to do this lesson, I just don't know when.
My name is Ms. Bery. I am a PK-8 library media specialist in the Boston area. In addition to being a certified school librarian, I am also certified in instructional technology, and have a strong interest in exploring and integrating technology in new and exciting ways in the classroom.
I am also a 2016 PBS LearningMedia Local Digital Innovator, and a 2015 recipient of the Massachusetts School Library Association's President's Award.
Check out the Sandbox for apps and websites I've found useful in supporting student learning and creativity. I also review children's, middle grade, and young adult books on Instagram.
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