Saturday, September 27, 2014

Teen Read Week 2014

Teen Read Week, October 12-18, has been one of my favorite celebrations as a secondary school librarian for over 10 years now.  The national campaign by the American Library Association to encourage our young adults to read is an annual event at our school.  The awesome logos and promotional items make the celebrations fun and easy to plan.  The 2014 logo "Turn Dreams into Reality @ your library is the slogan of our library for the next few weeks.

Our festivities this year will include:

  • Kahoot Day - Classes will be invited into the library to participate in a student designed Kahoot with questions about popular YA literature.  The questions were designed by my library student aides through a collaborative Google document. Prizes will be awarded to the winning Kahooters. FYI, it was our Technology Club that introduced me to Kahoot last year!
  • Book Talk Slam - Students, teachers, and the library staff will participate in a Book Talk Slam.  Everyone is invited to share their favorite book through a book talk in the library. Pictures will follow on our Instagram account.
  • Book Club - What would TRW be without a great gathering to talk about an exciting book? Our club will be discussing Legend by Marie Lu.
  • Book Cover Selfie Display - My students have been busy gathering books with covers that will make good selfie pictures.  I'll post our final pictures on our library Instagram account.
  • Teens Top 10 - Our students will vote on their Top 10.
I must give give credit and thanks to my student library aides during Teen Read Week.  We could not have planned such a successful week of celebrations without their collaboration, ideas, and cooperation.  Even after 25 years as a school librarian, I am still learning about the power of a student driven library program.

ALA Store for Teen Read Week
Ideas for Teen Read Week
Teen Read Week Pinterest Board
Teen Read Week Ning
Teen Read Week - YALSA
Pike Middle School Smore
Readwritethink activities

Teen Read Week Logo. Digital image. Teen Read Week. N.p., n.d. Web. .

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Student Technology Club Anyone?

It's another Technology Club post of our awesome adventure into this programming/coding club.  The collaboration continues in this highly motivated student driven  club.  Click on the link to see our latest post on the AASL Tuesday Tech Tips blog.

Student Technology Club Anyone? by Librarian Sue Fitzgerald and Instruction Technology Coach Kirsten Wilson.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

ThingLink Interactive Image Slam Webinar

As requested, click on this link to view the ThingLink Interactive Image Slam webinar.

Also per the webinar you may take advantage of the Premium Code Discount by entering the code below and receiving a 20% discount when signing up or upgrading your ThingLink account.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Learn and Collaborate - Free ThingLink Webinar

This summer I participated in the awesome ThingLink Teacher Challenge with Susan Oxnevad and what an enriching experience.  Join the free ThingLink webinar either on either September 16th or September 18th and view some of the innovative projects.

The guest panelist include:

eptember 16th at 8:00 PM EDT

Sunday, September 7, 2014

It's Time for Setting Your Goals

It's that time of year where I am required by my district to set goals.  So I look at last year's goals tweak some that I feel needs modifying, drop those that are not longer needed, and add new ones to challenge both me and the library program.

This year I was inspired by NancyJo Lambert's and Andy Plemmon's blog articles about setting goals. So I too set out to make some some simple goals for myself and will make them public in our library for all to see.

#1 - Infuse Technology in all Curricular Areas
  • Keep up-to-date on new and emerging tools through my PLN
  • Model tools to both students and faculty
  • Accept online challenges such as the Thinglink Teacher Challenge
#2 Promote Reading in a Variety of Formats
  • Provide formal training on the use of our digital eContent
  • Use the library website as a platform to host training and information of all content
  • Model the use of both regular books and our eContent
  • Use a variety of content who book talking 
#3 Participate in Collaboration Beyond the Library Walls
  • Seek online opportunities to collaborate with others
  • Invite authors and/or guest speakers either through Skype or Google Hang Outs into our school
  • Join Goolge+ Communities that specializes in global collaboration 
#4 Empower Our Student in the Learning Process
  • Provide opportunities of CHOICE for our students
  • Train students as "first responders" in technology issues
  • Facilitate a student drive Technology Club
Have you set your personal goals this year?  Do make them visible to others and to remind yourself?  As the year goes on I can sometimes put my personal goals on the "back burner" but not this year.  With the help of Canva I'll post them in the library for everyone to see!

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

25th Anniversary Celebration!

I am celebrating my 25th year as a school librarian.  Many have asked what are "my secrets" over the years in an ever changing profession.  My #1 secret is that I enjoy my job and I am fortunate to work in a school that feels more like a family than a faculty.  Here are my top 10 reflective thoughts on my secrets to a successful library program.

  1. Be passionate – Your passion as a librarian will be contagious so show it. You have the ability to set the tone within your school so do it in a positive and productive manner.
  2. Choose your own adventure – If and when something within your library program is boring, change it up.  You have the unique power of choice so use it.  Add new tools or elements to lessons, make an activity interactive, join a Google hang out, but just don’t continue with a monotonous presentation.
  3. Embrace technology – Delve into the digital age and take the time to concentrate and become an expert on a few new tools each grading period. Embed them into your program and watch the excitement grown within your learning community.  
  4. Engage in a magical mystery tour – Entice your faculty and students with surprises.  Leave them at the edge of their seats, yearning for more, and guessing what’s next with your library programming. Everyone loves a good mystery.
  5. Grow your personal learning network – Find others with the same ideologies and collaborate.  It’s a smaller world than just a few years ago. We are all just a few clicks away from one another so seek out others and share globally.
  6. Have fun – It’s all about having fun.  Greet your patrons with a welcoming friendly smile.  When you are having fun, the rest will follow.
  7. Learn to facilitate – Release tasks to your students or others in your school that you may have been tethered to in the past.  Be a friendly facilitator rather than a distant dictator. 
  8. Show advocacy – Take every available opportunity to be an advocate of your program.  Be an inspirational leader in your school and professional community – tell your story.  Mentor those in need and model to the masses. 
  9. Take charge of your own professional development – There are so many opportunities available to each of us whether it’s face to face, in a Google hangout, on a Skype call, or through a Twitter chat.  You have the choice so find the best prospects that will help you become a better librarian.
  10. Welcome change – Change can be difficult for many but confront it head-on and be the first in your school to greet the inevitable transformations of a 21st Century educator. Begin with adding a virtual presence in your library program. 
I ask myself where has the time gone with 9 years as a classroom teacher and 25 years as a school librarian?  There have been many celebrations over the years.  My most grateful celebration is that I have been proactive in making the right choices as a school librarian!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What's Your Challenge?

I am a firm believer that YOU are in control of your own professional development.  Whether you sign up for a meeting of interest, participate in a Twitter chat, attend an EdCamp or convention of choice, or partake in an online opportunity it is YOU who should decide on your professional development needs. 

When the ThingLink Teacher Challenge came through my personal learning network (PLN) at the beginning of the summer, I knew this was an awesome tool that needed further investigation so I eagerly joined a global network of learners for 10 weeks of collecting, curating, and sharing interactive images. The awesome Susan Oxnevad, author of Cool Tools for 21st Century  Learners, managed the TLChallenge communicating through a blog, Twitter, email, and Google+.  The challenge didn’t stop while I was traveling because I picked up my iPad and continued on.  I absolutely love the ease of this tool plus the new video platform.  It is rumored that  there will be "many more education features and functionality improvements coming in the next months."

What did I bring away from this experience?  
I had ready-made tools for professional development workshops, projects promoting literacy to share with my students, interactive maps to help our summer reading program, eContent tutorials, and expertise to introduce a new tool to my teachers and students.  I also had the privilege to have projects highlighted in the article The Global Search for Education: Pictures With Links and attend a freeThingLink webinar.  I hope to continue to add to my ThingLink projects and collaborate with those in the Challenge.

I chose this virtual experience that was well worth the 10 weeks of knowledge that I will bring back to my school and learning community for this coming year.  I am now in the 2nd week of the Edublogs Teacher Challenge with the amazing Sue Waters and I know this will be as extraordinary  as my summer challenge. What goals have you set for yourself and what professional development opportunities will you choose in the new school year?

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