My Top Tips for Conference Engagement
Last week I attended the Virginia Association for School Librarians (VAASL) Annual Conference. It's always hard to get away from school for a few days, but I think it's worth it if I am able to collect take-aways that really upgrade the work I do every day in my library program and my learning as a professional. And, as I am heading out this week to attend our big national conference, the American Association of School Librarians, I thought I'd pull together some of my tips for turning a good conference experience into a great one.
Happy summer! Hope you are combining your summer learning with lots of time spent outside and energy focused on recharging before the next school year begins.
In this week's post, we've got a TED Talk, a cool Google tool, a podcast, tips for managing family screen time and ways to build better group projects. Take5 and jump in!
I am a big proponent of change in the library -- I think it's important to rearrange, freshen things up with paint, move shelves and books, add new programs and ideas, all with the best interests of your library community at heart, of course. I personally need this kind of change in order to keep my practice fresh and focused, especially as I've just wrapped up my 13th year in the same school. This past year, one change I made was moving the location of my desk. And it made all the difference.
I recently attended the Virginia Association of School Librarians (VAASL) annual conference in Williamsburg, VA. I love attending professional conferences and VAASL is one of my favorites. I like to connect with other school librarians from around the state to talk and learn and share ideas. The biggest theme running through the conference was that truly, and perhaps more than ever, school libraries are important and valuable. They matter. What else matters in relation to libraries? That's where my five take-aways from the conference come into play.
Early in the school year, our Reading team approached my co-librarian Susanna and I asking if they could regularly bring their students to the library for a quick lesson and book checkout. We jumped at the chance to develop this natural partnership and began to plan the first skills lesson: visualization. We chatted with our reading colleagues, did some searching on the web, and pulled together several different activities for our students with the goal of encouraging them to use all of their senses. These strategies could be used on one day or split apart to re-emphasize the skill over several days.
Longtime readers of BubbleUp Classroom may recall that my secret librarian admission is that I'm not a huge fan of book talking. In a quick conversation with a student, I may offer short book talks, describing a few titles at the shelf. However, book talking five books to a class of 30 students, leaves 25 of those students without one of those compelling reads. So, I'm constantly looking for other ways to share books with kids -- ways that get as many books as possible into their hands, giving them lots of choices. This posts offers a few strategies to work into your routine as you aim to connect readers with great books.
Librarian Lara Ivey is an inspiring, energetic force. Just four years into her library career, she won the James Regional Librarian of the Year Award for 2018 from the Virginia Association of School Librarians (VAASL) and serves as a leader on projects for both VAASL and the national organization, the American Association of School Librarians. We are excited to share a bit of her story in this week's BubbleUp Take10.
This week our Take5 has a bit of a library focus (surprise: I'm a librarian!), but There are take-aways for classroom teachers as well. Strong school library Instagram accounts and great read-alouds, meaningful makerspaces, a fun inquiry activity, and creating a menu of lessons -- check it out and share what's been sparking your interest!
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