Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Turning the Page

With the big change in my life called retirement, I am closing the book on this blog for now. I have had a grand time writing here about things related to my professional life with little bits of "me" thrown in here and there.

I started in November 2006 and think I have lived up to the objectives I set for myself in that initial post. It has been way more fun than I ever thought and has given me opportunity to do several other things that were exciting and fun. I have met many interesting people online and f2f because of my blogging efforts and for that I am grateful. I have learned a lot and had some really fun times with my blogging friends...even when the events didn't always seem to reflect "fun".

I am not leaving the blogging world...just turning the page for adventures in a new blog, a more personal reflection of my experiences and my thoughts about my new life and things that make me go hmmm. I am not counting on creating much of an audience with the new blog, but hope to create a record for my children and the few friends who are interested enough in what I think about things. If you come along for the ride, great! If you don't, I have enjoyed sharing information with you for whatever reason the last few years.

Take care and I'll see you on the back porch.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

TASLA 2011: A Little Bit More

I did not get this information posted in a timely manner relating to the administrator's conference in June. Life, my topsy-turvy life, got in the way! I wanted to go ahead and include it here, particularly because of the author Lester Laminack and his books! Charming word-involved picture books, but more importantly a master in drawing you into how to use his books or anyone else's for matter to convey an idea, share knowledge or create a mood. If you ever get the chance to experience him go for it! You will not be disappointed!

Day 2 is not starting off well...our Internet is being clunky! A room full of Librarians not connected is not a happy place. Grrr.

PSJA Reads Together...Catch the Reading Wave...Read!

A 7-year old community wide reading promotional program coordinated through the Library Department of PSJA ISD. Nora Galvan, one of my favorite TASLA friends, passionately is explaining it to us. It is a multi-level, multi-age program using lots of donated and half-pice books. Lots of book clubs giving the students a chance "to belong." Timeline seems to run by six-weeks periods.
Cute book Shiver Me Letters was part of her presentation. A very touching tribute to the New Orleans tragic hurricane--the film produced by middle schoolers was very emotionally charged for the book Ruined by Paula Morris. The high school example was for Speak. Another great production was for Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. Incredible student productions! (with editing help from the district) You can't help but want to read the books.
Some of the featured books (and others) are here on a YouTube collective video.

Maybe this can be adapted for a school who could work with a high school video crew???? A collaborative opportunity.

Project Share - Lannon Heflin, Region 13 ESC

You can have a url as a part of this online for you[your name once you register]
use it as a "teacher page", a training area, a whatever!
it can be your professional portfolio...something you really need to develop if you haven't!

There is a course catalog with projects developed and shared by others. You can see them by date or subject.

TEKs - updates & materials available for use

Digital resources .. free and otherwise
  • science resources will be here in place of the no textbooks plan.
  • open source content
  • NY Times digital archives - the speech example
Professional networking

Districts have space for PD (moodle, Blackboard idea)

student learning access - probably secondary level most beneficial. This part is just know starting, in the infancy stage.

Life-long teacher account. Has to be set up within an institution connection, but is ongoing.

Texas Education Itunes U - videos from colleges, univerisities, other entitites, free to use!

OnTrack - end of course prep materials

The Faces of Project Share - each school district has a presence.

Phase 3 - student account portion.
  • earth to space High School course - official online course for credit
  • OnTrack end of course info
  • other things I didn't capture

the after lunch speaker

keeps a writer's notebook
telling a good story is his reason for writing

The book he is currently working on ---Sam Loves Pink , 4 1/2 rough & tumble boy who just likes the color. A real-life experience he has had with a young kid; sounds fabulous.

Discussion of picture book uses...explanation of war
Playing War
Faithful Elephants - personally one of my favorite NOT for young children or those who can't get through emotionally charged material!

Yellow star
erica's story
The woman's hat
scene from number the stars

railroad in the sky
under the the quilt of night

Ruby Brdges
Through my Eyes

accentuate that we are the same
there is difference
be good to eddie lee
momma zooms
human beings can be acting based on their feelings love and fear
show active violent bullying
One (another title Zero)
the terrible thing
Thank you Mr turrupt

critical literacy

Getting Boys To Read
ABDO has a list on web site
sophisticated media consumers by the time they enter school!
collection development ideas from boys' pajamas
using video games to develop collection
duty to have great football collection football literacy on the website

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

TASLA 2011: One More Time

Eighth year for my very favorite professional gathering!
The Texas Association of School Library Administrators conference...a small group of school library folks, about 75-100. Heard attendance is around 90 this year even in the midst of the changes and cuts. Many, many new folks on board...lead librarians were really encouraged to come this year.

Remember when you read is a rough cut!!

Selecting Multicultural Materials and the Tejas Star Book Award
Good list of books from ESC Region One for the 2011-2012 award.
5th year for this award. Let's get more students involved in these books..from across the state.
These books were originally written in Spanish or true Spanish/English bilingual format.
The year's list are all in the bilingual format.

Other lists to consider when working on collection development:
Mildred L. Batchelder Award - published in another language and translated into English
more later!

Facts worthy of thinking about:

English language learners in Texas schools - involves 86 different languages...86!!! 830,713 students. Almost 91% of these 830 thousand + students are Spanish speakers learning English.

Hispanics currently make up 16% of the U.S. population but only 2% of the books published have Hispanic characters and Hispanics make up only 2% of authors publishing.

African-Americans currently make up 12% of the U.S. population but only 5.2% of the books published have Black characters and African-Americans are only 2.7% of the authors publishing.

Advocacy for School Library Leaders: A Call to Action
Judy Moreillon

What ONE role of the five that we do will save us!
The group voted this way:
leader 24
instruction partner 15
info specialist 11
teacher 7
program administrator 0

her group when she initiated this study chose instructional partner as the most influential.

My personal choice is order to survive I believe we must be seen as a teacher first and foremost because the power brokers understand that position, that term itself. The other roles are natural partners to being an effective teacher.

As is my problem often, I think instructional partner is a semantic me collaborative teacher is the same thing!
And what I have know for a VERY long time is we must be ALL FIVE all the time!
But I still stick with teacher being my primary role if I am to survive as a school librarian.
Feel free to share your own thoughts!

God bless her, Gloria Meraz of TLA is trying to update the legislative/school financial issues as best she can with the positive approach she always presents. I just can't capture all the ideas in my head, much less try to put it on the blog. Read the papers, go to the internet, read what you want, write to who you think can influence the is just TOO much for me at this moment...maybe I can make sense out of it later. And remember one of the best ways to tell them how you feel...whatever side you are on, whatever group you support..VOTE. The primaries in March, the general election the next November.

SB8 vote next week

SB6 / HB6
instructional materials allotments
use the money to purchase databases, technology or textbooks "super fund"
must be spent on things that related to assessments....STAR, the tests
another version...must be spent on things that cover the TEKs

remember that allotments do not always get funded!

Moving from ratings to distinctions
School can earn distinctions in
fine arts
physical fitness
acquisition of foreign language, 2nd language (ASL)
21st century workforce
and the new 6th one advanced learners - high performers ...this one is still in development

it will still be a "competition"
but think about how you as a librarian can help your school achieve these distinctions!


Ok...I need to close out this session...more later. I am overwhelmed thinking about all of this AND all the side conversations going on both in sessions and breaks and meals!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sharing at TLA 2011: Librarians' Know-How!

Six terrific librarians from my district presented four sets of ideas to use in libraries during the first annual 1001 Great Ideas forum on TLA opening day 2011. We had 2 pairs of elementary librarians presenting ideas on bookclubbing using Skype and free resources and apps to use in creating student projects on Itouchs and Ipads. Two individuals, one in elementary and one in middle school, presented crazy ways to get kids hooked into books and how to make green screen movies, respectively.

It was so much fun and such a great way to start off annual conference. There were dozens and dozens of other ideas, projects, and adventures as well from school, public and academic libraries from across Texas! Can't wait to see what comes up next year!

I was so happy to be the "cheerleader" for the folks from my district. They represented a larger group of hard-working innovative people who are trying all kinds of interesting things in order for children to dream, to learn and to create. I took some photos and will share those a little later on this post when I get permission to use their names, but I also took some Flip videos just for fun.

This evening I played with the Flip Share software and in about five minutes (no kidding) created this little Quick Flip movie! I downloaded my not-so-good pieces of video and the software grabbed a few seconds of each and produced this 30 second video on its own! Similar to Animoto in a way!

More later about conference and all the good "stuff" that came from it. I'm to bed!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Social Media Has Gone to the Dogs!

I love watching the Westminster Dog Show every year...and found this article describing all the uses of social networking at this year's event just as interesting. All kinds of devices, including QRs, were in use to keep people updated and informed.

Have YOU experienced a QR (Quick Response) code yet? Is your phone smart enough to do so? Check out more info about them here. Here is a sample of one.

Hickory is enjoying his filet mignon reward for winning. Lucky dog!

Photo credit: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Monday, November 1, 2010

027.8 District 8 Overview: A Worthy Gathering

Ok, I'm going to do my best to get back on track with my blog. I actually have missed writing and so many good thoughts and ideas are gone because I simply had no time.

So, let me begin my renewal with a short review of our TLA District 8 meeting that was held this past Saturday.

I was charmed by the author Gwendolyn Zepeda, a native Houstonian who has written both adult fiction and children's books. Her children's titles include Sunflowers/Girisoles and Growing Up with Tamales/Los Tamales de Ana, both bilingual books for children from 3-8. She shared wonderful little personal vignettes about her experiences in libraries as a child, a young mother, and as an author of children's books. It was was delightful! Being from the area, she might be someone you might consider for a visit.

The District 8 program offered a variety of things. Two colleagues presented sessions that turned out to be quite popular. As soon as I get their permission, I will link to their topics. I did a review of five things you can do to quickly become 2.0! Much of our time was discussing the difference between copyright and credit and how in an educational setting you have access to many things, but you still must credit them! That and the importance of hyperlinks..or making the info hot! such a simple thing, but o so important in adding depth to the online world.

Update: here is one of the sessions: Making It Work Together: Integrating Reading, LA, and 2.0 Tools

It was quite a memorable day for us. One colleague was asked to serve on a TLA committee and
the other was recognized for her length of service in libraries...36 years so far!! (and that doesn't count her many classroom years!) Yours truly...well, I have been to so many District 8 meetings no one (including me) can remember.

A good day, but I think for me personally, the highpoint was running into so many of my library school students...the ones who are working on their certification and degrees to become great school libraries. The eagerness and ethusiasm that registers on their faces and comes out in their comments really does me good. I am glad I have had a tiny little part in creating their readiness to take on one of greatest jobs, if also not one of the hardest jobs, in the world. They certainly helped me remember why I do it!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

371.3 ISTE 2010: SIGMS Smackdown

Ok...after a little rough start (some folks have never dealt with a hallway FULL of Librarians on a mission) we are all in and getting ready to hear a laundry list of resources and ideas given at lightning speed!

I am going to attampt to blog this forgive the typos, etc. I will attach any links that are needed to make things clearer....Joyce is here, David Loertscher is here, and...

I have typed this much and my battery is already at says 4 hours, ha I won't make 4 minutes at this rate! No power source available (see first sentence!) [update: the battery did last, but I am now sharing a plug with a lovely woman from NZ just in case for further needs this p.m.]

oh well... have the paper/pen back up ready!

while we are waiting for the fun to begin....

everyone is signing up for to participate behind the scenes. You create a wall and then can share with another wall...that is how they are going to share ideas today. Not sure I understand the concept at this point...but I'm listening carefully.

Joyce Valenza regarding wikiness (the twitter chatter)...the smartest in the room is the room itself rather the people at the front table.

On being a tribe - shared interest and way to communicate...stronger when we share...we built a geek tribe ...SIGMS, 2nd Life, School Library wiki...etc. we will survive because we are a tribe!
The tribe needs leaders, not just managers... web erases geography issues.

Th e panel presents these:
Reading 2.0 - using Technology to promote books - not replace them
Blabberize - web application create talking avatars from photographs
Google Search Stories
Voki - using to tell student story
Zooburst - virtual pop up books
Prezi - look at Maximum ride example to see how is used to do storytelling


For phones:
Gale mobile apps - you have to have subscription!
Tag readers - red lazer, shot savvy ---loooks like 3 dimensional bar code (more on this )

And then others online...
Google Apps - all on a Glogster that Joyce created.
Google Timeline features - sample is whole bunch on the oil spill from all newspaers
Mashpedia - wikipedia + other resources in real the oil spill as!
Pathfinder Swap - join and share
Build your own information space on iPad using Pulse...put your library there!


Get Your License - PBS
Mike Ribble book entitled ...
Digital Citizenship webquest
Brain pop free things on etiquette...district (Ed Tech) has subscription can get more
Digiteen from Flat Classroom Project...several things on NetEtiquette - shortcuts for texting....might be useful to look at to see what certainthings mean
Plagarism -proofing assignments by Doug Johnson
The disney video explaining fair use!
Creative Commons!! - it is hard to believe lots of people (librarians) don't know about it
21st Century citizenship - everyone is a copyright holder
and more that didn't get up before the time whistle


Twitter - worth lurking...more in another post about Mario Armstrong

TweetDeck - to manage what you follow...can make columns...more in another post. ha

Wikis - any product; keeping directions for teachers you don't repeat the same thing over & over

Google Reader and other RSS readers - helps you keep up with what has been updated!

DEN - Discovery Educator Network ..we already have the subsciption. take advantage of what is there

TL Virtual Cafe - transformative conversation

Social bookmarking like Diigo and delicious

Audience participation: is THE Link you need


everything contributed on the left under the various catagories

Others for books:

tagxedo! - wordle with a twist I think this is the winner! In fact, I tried to get in and the site was almost crashing! You need to look at it!

David Loestcher CLOSED

The Big Think time...

watch the game for patterns and will you win next time....

"So powerful voices out there saying all this is just fun and games...doesn't contribute to learning."

His challenge to us...what is learned. We must document the learning.

Use this and post it after every lesson, project, etc.

Because I used ______ I learned ___________.

More details later...

Monday, June 28, 2010

371.3 ISTE 2010: Overview So Far

Have disappointed some folks because I haven't blogged live...have disappointed myself!
The nature of the conference for me this time just hasn't allowed for it.
Then when I got back to the hotel I have been pulled in other official ways. Tonight I promise details, pictures, and video!

I am waiting for a session to start on leadership...will do my best to capture highlights (in rough form).

In the meantime, I am experimenting with doing the day only with the far so good and the battery life is great
Caught the tail end of informal session on how to bring administrators to the bold statement...bold for me anyway: "What are you doing to hold your school back? The ideas being too locked down; not allowing risk-takers to try things; not being users,much less consumers themselves...
Can say we have made great strides away from this issue, but we all have lots of work left to do!

Ok...have found it hard to go back and fix my text. Needed space between the two thought!
session starting
They have put the tweet deck up for everyone who will be following that way

Innovative leadership. 21st C Innovations That Matter
Cheryl leek

Note: I lost the post and ability to type in it so I took some notes that I will add later.

David Warlick next!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

006.7 EduBloggerCon 2010: The Fun Begins

I am so glad they don't measure how often you post before they let you in this thing!

I'm here...already reconnected with a couple of people from 2 years ago! It's like a big family reunion full of happy family members. And to do it in beautiful downtown Denver is extra special...although the mountains in the distance keep pulling my attention away!

I drove up yesterday with the top open and the AC off. It was great. I got out last night and wandered around the 16th Street air street fair and shops. It was lovely. Then I looked at the weather and all they talked about was how hot it was ! Huh? All a state of mind...yes it was 99 but not the same kind of 99 that those who share my normal physical space encounter!!

Anyway...the take so far is mostly catching up, but the tech word so will be great to hear what all these talented folks have to say about it.

More later...

P.S. when you read the time, it's actually one hour earlier here!