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Showing posts from August, 2015

Katrina Ten Years Later: My Story

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This is the story of how Hurricane Katrina ten years ago affected my professional life, as I remember it. I totally understand if you have no interest and want to skip this post. You have my permission to stop reading right now. 
I need to actually start in 2003. In spring of that year, I made the decision to leave the elementary school where I had been librarian for twelve years. It was an extremely hard choice to make. I loved the students and parents at that school. I believe that I was made to sing, dance, use puppets, and voices to bring books to life for the younger set. I had developed a program where I taught information literacy and library skills in a very systematic way to the students. I loved what I was doing and was extremely proud of my program, One of my good friends worked in a school of 1500 students in grades 7th -12th. The other librarian, who was also a friend, was retiring. If I did not move at this time, I might not ever have a cha…

Symbaloo Helps Teachers & Students Get Organized

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I am an organizing freak. Though my desk may not always be neat as a pin (I run a very busy library), I usually can put my hands on exactly what I am looking for whether it is in print or in electronic format. My belief is that it is my job as a librarian to help everyone else in the school to be organized too. Which is why I love curation tools so much including Wikispaces, Livebinders, Diigo, Sqworl, Pinterest (unfortunately blocked at school), etc. 
I learned about Symbaloo years ago at a librarians' conference but never really used it. Then at ISTE in 2014, I went to a poster session on Symbaloo. I was convinced that it would solve a huge problem at school. PFTSTA is a one to one laptop school, and the teachers try to teach with the least amount of paper as possible. As such, there are many, many on-lines google forms and responses, links, websites that are used on a daily basis by the faculty and staff. At the beginning of last year, I created the Symbaloo webmix that you ca…

First Week of School and the Library was Hopping

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Okay, I had an idea for a post where I had some pithy comments to make about the opening of the new school year and the library. Since I have been too busy to sit and write, I decided that I would post pictures of our first week showing you the students' interest in the library. It was overwhelming to me. I just want this excitement for the library to last all year long. That is why I spend a lot of time programming for the high school book group, the middle school book group, author visits, skype visits, Teen READ Week, Teen Tech Week, reading challenges, National Poetry Month, and on and on. 



I had a wonderful summer break and spent quality time reading and relaxing. Now that I have been back to work for two weeks, I am so glad to be spending my days with the marvelous kids who attend Patrick Taylor Academy. It is a wonderful school, and the library here is a special place where students can fuel their passions, learn, and experiment, and be accepted for who they are. Can you t…

Students Begin on August 10th

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In just two days, I will begin my 35th year of teaching and 10th year at Patrick Taylor. No longer am I nervous like I was so many years ago. Now I am brimming with excitement about all the special events that I have planned in the library this year and all the new books that may come our way as the year unfolds. 
To get ready for the new year, I began cleaning up the library website. There are always edits and updates that I want to make. I am anticipating changing the look of the website, but I want to gather some new pictures before I do that. One of the sections of the website that I am most proud of is the one offering assistance to the students in preparation for college applications. You can find a link to that page here
Finding authors to visit or skype with takes time because of all the scheduling logistics. The sixth and seventh graders will meet Jewell Parker Rhodes in October. This will be her third trip to our school, but the first in our new building. She has been a r…