I could not decide what to write next, and then I heard some news that I have to share. Last week I received word from the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association, that I was selected to receive the Information Technology Pathfinder Award for 2012. In June I will receive the award at the AASL awards luncheon held during the annual ALA conference in Anaheim. I applied for this award at the beginning of the year. It was the most intense application that I have ever had to do. There were twelve sections, and each section required anywhere from 500 to 1000 words. I used our winter break to fine tune the application which was due February 1st. By mid-January, I had finished it and sent it off. I tried not to think about it. I really had no clue if what I do in my postage stamp-sized library in Jefferson, LA could compete at the national level. Now I know that I can compete. That is the cool thing about all the technology that I use and share with the students and teachers at Patrick Taylor, size and location does not matter. I love working at a school with technology in its name. I love having the opportunity to learn new things every day. I hope that I can keep doing what I do for many years to come.
This blog post is being designed as a lesson for the English I students at PFTSTA. The teachers and I have collaborated on an activity to celebrate Banned Book Week (BBW). Many times in the past during BBW, I have invited the 8th graders into the library to discuss the banning and challenging of books in schools and libraries. I usually show some videos and share books owned by our library that have been banned or challenged somewhere in the US. This activity always spurs great discussion among the students and teachers. This year we wanted the students to create a written response to the presentation. We thought there was a real world connection if we had the students post their opinion online as a comment to someone writing about censorship in schools. The teachers and I want the students to learn how to compose a well thought out comment that is supported by evidence and concrete details. How more real world could it be than having the students comment directly on their librar
Every year, for Banned Book Week, I prepare a lesson for our 8th graders. It was always teacher directed with discussion until last year . The English I teachers and I created a lesson for the students that included research and writing. I pulled the materials that I wanted them to read, and the students would write a very short essay declaring their belief in the need for teens to be able to exercise their freedom to read what they want to or the need for certain books to be taken off the shelves of the library or pulled from the English curriculum. Above is the slide presentation that I have made for the students. Included in the slides are several videos that I thought would get the students thinking. There are slides with links to specific articles that we want the students to read and use for the concrete evidence to support their stance. A rubric is included at the end so the students know exactly what is expected. The teachers and I want the writing to have a rea
In November, I decided to add some new items to the library makerspace . I dedicated $350 to buy materials and games that we did not already own. Everything would be new not just more Lego or more K'Nex. While I was in the process of compiling my list of items to purchase, everything I bought on Amazon, I was following tweets from the AASL (American Association of School Librarians) conference in Phoenix. I was intrigued by the session on green screens from prominent librarians Michele Luhtala, Jane Lofton, and Deb Schiano. I looked at their Google slides and realized that my students would really love trying out a green screen. These librarians inspired me to order the green screen with my new makerspace items. Open here for a link to the slide show they used in their session at AASL maybe it will inspire you, too. Then I attended the LACUE (Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators) conference and went to a session on green screens with Janet Corder and Joan Gore