Showing posts from September, 2012

High Note in Library at End of Busy Week at PFTSTA

I can't believe how frantic it can get in a school library. You might think of libraries as the calm oases in the sea of children who move in out of classrooms and down the halls of a school, but the library at PFTSTA is often so busy that my head is spinning by the end of the day. 

We are currently in the midst of getting the middle school students ready to write the research paper for the annual social studies fair. That means I am teaching all the students about where they should look for resources and how to access and utilize those resources. I will also help them learn how to create citations for this paper, but we have not started our lessons on using Easybib yet. 
Along with teaching classes most of the day, I was preparing for the annual Open House for prospective students. Once all the preparations were in place, then I actually had to return to school on Thursday evening and give my two minute spiel about the library almost 25 times as parents and students moved in and …

Myra McEntire Visits PFTSTA

School has really started with a bang this year. School begins, then we are out seven days due to Hurricane Isaac, then I am out of the building four days talking to librarians across the state, and when I return, Myra McEntire comes to town. I feel like my head is spinning, but the students were thrilled with our first author of the year. 
Myra talked to the students about her writing process. First she gets her kids off to school, when she returns home she likes to dance. She uses dance to get the ideas flowing. She explained how the ugly fuzzy socks that she wears helps her to zip around her kitchen. Then it is work time. She avoids social media in the morning because she doesn't want it to get her down or cause a writer's headache that stifles her creativity. About noon she takes a break for lunch and the laundry. Editing her work is saved for the afternoon. Her books are fantasies, but she likes to base all the time travel on real science. So she has lots of research to …

LA LAMP: Keynote Speech Reaches over 300 Librarians

2012LAMP Keynote entitled -- define: Collaboration
On September 10th, I started my tour across Louisiana as the keynote speaker for the 2012 LA LAMP conference. LAMP is an acronym for Louisiana Association of Library and Media Professionals. It is free professional development designed for school librarians that travels to the librarians throughout the state. The vendors set up exhibits in the morning, and half the attendees attend the exhibits and half attend the keynote speech, and then they switch. Right before lunch, the vendors and keynote speaker pack up to go to the next venue. The local librarians have planned the professional development sessions for the afternoon, so there is a full day of programming. The conference is sponsored by the vendors along with the Louisiana Association of School Librarians (LASL).
I have been attending LAMP in my area for years and was an afternoon presenter at the 2004 LAMP conference. Then two years ago, I was asked to be the site coordinator f…

Isaac Put a Damper on BRiMS

On September 7th, the members of BRiMS were finally able to have their first book group meeting of the year. The meeting was originally scheduled for August 29th, the day that Hurricane Isaac blew through town. The school system had closed down the schools for seven days because of Isaac, and we kept changing the date of BRiMS every time the district announced a new return date for the students. It was crazy not knowing day to day when school would reopen. On September 6th, we did get back to work. 

For this event we discussed the Richard Peck book, The Teacher's Funeral. I selected the book because I read it years ago and remembered how funny it was. The story is set in rural Indiana in 1904. This is like living on another planet to today's middle school students. Since I purchased the book for the library, no one had read it. Students at PFTSTA are not big readers of historical fiction. I knew that if I required them to read the book before they could join BRiMS, then they …

Learning How to Use Another Curation Tool

I have been having a lot of fun using the various curation tools that are available and trying to choose the best one for the job at hand. Last school year, I created a wiki for the school's annual social studies fair project. I spent so much time working with the middle school students that I felt that I was neglecting the high school students. The wiki allowed me to be in everyone's class at the same time. I even created some instructional videos that I embedded in the wiki so that the students could receive some direct teaching. The wiki was such a success that I used Livebinders to create a binder for the science classes as they navigated the independent research project (IRP) that was required in all high school science classes.

Last week, I searched for a tool that would more visual and less dependent on text. The members of Bookmarked are writing reviews for SLJ Teen twice a month. I wanted to find a place online where I could save the links and then share with the stude…

New Orleans Almost Back in Business

All those green lines means New Orleans has rejoined the grid. Unfortunately, there are still areas waiting for power to be restored. Due to much damage and problems throughout Jefferson Parish, school will not resume until Thursday, September 6th. Crazy, I know. School has barely started, and we will be out for 7 days due to Hurricane Isaac. We are going to have to make up these days, but I am still going to spend the next two days catching up with some library work. I will be at school tomorrow with or without students. However, I won't be getting up at 5:30 to get there for 7AM. Now that would be ridiculous.