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Showing posts from January, 2018

How Do You Book Group?

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On Saturday, I attended a one day professional development sponsored by the Louisiana Association of School Librarians. I really enjoyed it and got some great ideas to use in my library.

For my presentation at this event, I chose to talk about an activity that is relatively low tech. Technology is exciting. I love learning new ways to use it in the library, but I also don't want to concentrate on tech and not spread the word about the merits of reading and finding great books. I have three book groups that I run in my library. The middle school group meets monthly, but the other two groups for older students meet every week. It can be exhausting but also exhilarating. We have had some amazing discussions. I want to tell you now that you don't have to run a book group where every student in the group reads the same book. It can be very freeing once you decide to break the mold of book groups.

Another big aspect of all of my book groups is to have the students connect with autho…

Virtual Visit with Cori McCarthy was Wonderful

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Today, Bookmarked, the high school book group had the opportunity to chat with YA author Cori McCarthy. She is delightful, and both the students and I were on the edge of our seats drinking in everything that she had to say. Though several of her books piqued our interest, we met today to talk about her contemporary novel, You Were Here. This one she said is the most personal to her. She lost a classmate when she was in 8th grade right before the school year started. The adults told them that his death should not be discussed. All these years later, her emotional connection to this former classmate was the impetus to write the book. 


This book is told in five voices. When she began writing, it was very difficult for her to put words on paper for the character who was mute for most of the story. She decided that his voice would work well in illustrations. She was able to convince her editor to hire an artist to turn his part of the story into a graphic novel. She was thrilled with the…

If You Build a Green Screen, They Will Come

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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 where I…

Virtual Visit with Author Jodi Lynn Anderson

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In July of 2017, I served as moderator on a panel of four authors at a local bookstore. It was great fun, and I used the opportunity to ask all of the authors if they would be willing to schedule a virtual visit with one of my book groups some time. I think that all of them said they would, but I was such a fan of Midnight at the Electric that I choose to schedule Jodi Lynn Anderson with the 8th/9th grade book group, Bookmarked Jr. Edition. I will save the other three for another school year. 

Though she was very willing, it took some work to make it happen. First, I scheduled the visit in November, but then I forgot, and the day before I realized that I hadn't prepared the students and asked them to read her book. She was happy to reschedule, but had to do it in January once the holidays were over. Then school started late after the holidays due to a day off due to bad weather. Then, we had to scrap using Skype because the district can't decide whether it should be allowed o…