Tiffany and her BFF Alaina post about their travel experiences. They are ISTE attendees who took a road trip from Baton Rouge to the host city of San Antonio. Along the way they stop to take pictures with Flat Fountain (their principal) in front of historic or high interest tourist attractions. They rode down Route 66 and went rafting on the Colorado River. Sharing this post with students she could introduce books that relate to the places she visited or allow students to trace her trip on a map. Another post included a book fair hosted at a local bookstore to prepare students for summer reading and how it was a great success. Everyone benefited from the bookstore owner who may have gained new patrons who visited the school book fair and the school raised money for the media center.
In a recent post title Back to School Blues, she spoke of all of the grunt work librarians have to do. She was burned out dealing with textbooks, lost library books, and AV equipment that does not work. Setting up teacher and student accounts and dealing with textbook adoptions is taking her focus away from planning and preparing for class visits and projects. She describes accurately what we all go through at the beginning of the year. Taking care of all the behind the scenes things can distract us from the real purpose of our job which is teaching children.
The purpose of this blog is to inform media specialists about the different aspects of their job and how they fit into their school community. Julie Greller includes information for each level and has tabs for Web 2.0 tools that you can integrate into your lesson.
Types of post include:·
Confusion of our titles and how similar our job responsibilities are to that of technology coach. Depending on the district where work we can be librarians, teacher librarians, media specialists, technology coach, or technology literacy coach to name a few titles. When our job encompasses so many things how do we choose which title best fits? She compares a librarian to a technology coach and points out that we have the same skill set although our focus may be different. For either to be effective they must build relationships and trust as they both work to make the teacher look good. She stipulates that we are the school’s technology coaches and lists the things we should be doing and suggests actions we can take to get our district to jump on the trendy technology bandwagon.
Cultivating diversity in the library is part of the librarian’s job. In this post she shares statistics that show that our minority population is growing but 90% of the books written in the last two decades have been by or about Caucasian Americans. We as librarians have to talk about books where race, culture and setting are integral part of the book. We can provide the resources for teachers to use in their classrooms.
· Is loving books enough to be a great media specialist? Not anymore. You need to be familiar with the latest technology and willing to use it. Technology has opened so many possibilities for the media specialists that go beyond being keeper of the books. If the administration has an open mind there so many positive directions that the media center can go in to attract more students and make it the center of attraction for the school.
The purpose of this blog is to keep us up to date with what is going on in the library world. The name of his blog says it all. When we are too busy to find it for ourselves, he has already found the information. Matthew Winner’s enthusiasm and down to earth personality makes it an easy read.
His posts include podcasts with interviews, some topics include:
· Current book recommendation and interviews with the author of Mustache Baby, Bridgette Heos. She is the author of 60 nonfiction books. He enthusiastically suggests that we read the book to a group of children immediately.
· A librarian is the teacher of the year, Kathy Burnette is interviewed on a podcast about what she is doing to share her passion for reading. It is great to see a media specialist among the finalists especially when some don’t consider us teachers. According to Winner, Kathy Burnette has united her school in the reading of one book. In the podcast interview she explains how she reorganized her library by genres. She believes that the students are more eager readers now that they can find the kind of book they like quicker during their library visit. She believes that a student who does not like to read has not found a genre that they like. She is on a mission to help students to find the type of the book they like to read. Her interview is refreshing as she shares she did not know that she was nominated. It wasn’t until her colleagues told her all the things she does that she realized that she deserved it as much as any other teacher.
· Model of an expressive catalog search is a great to catch the attention of all types of readers. This is a great way to get students/patrons interested in what they could find in the library. This of course would take a lot of work. It is also a great lesson about adjectives.
Incorporating blogs into my library program – one example I viewed Bulldog Readers – Julie Hembree, showed students in pictures reading in different places. I thought this idea would get parents involved and hopefully encourage more reading outside of the school walls.
Another blogging adventure I have been considering is having the after-school club I sponsor to blog about their learning experience. The C.A.T. Club, Communications Arts and Technology Club, operates the TV studio and broadcast the morning announcements. One of our goals is to develop their writing and speaking skills. Blogging is another venue we could use to do just that.
Wicomico County has been encouraging blogs for years now. I have not heard of too many elementary teachers with blogs. I asked my 17 year old, recent high school graduate, how many of his high school teachers had blogs that he was asked to contribute posts…his answer – NONE. Wow, I thought at least the high school teachers would try this to engage their students since they, teenagers, spend so much time communicating via internet already.
To begin utilizing this resource in my school maybe I can pair up with a teacher and we can start one together and share the responsibility. I think the main hindrance is the updating. Some may get started but making the time to update the blog amongst the million other things to do, it falls to the back burner. So may be having an accountability partner will encourage us to maintain and update a blog site.
From professional development aspect as a facilitator, I would offer an inservice on how blogging can enhance your writing instruction. As Ms. Yolli’s Classroom blog demonstrates students would comment writing a paragraph using the Step-Up Writing Format where each part of the paragraph is a different color to show they understand how to write a paragraph. She also required that they would have an adult proofread what they wrote before they posted. Students love to share what they have written, starting out it can begin with simple sentences and build from there. The great thing about writing is that it has to be done in all subject areas.
Professional development from a participant’s aspect, I would join a professional blog site and begin contributing and exchanging ideas with like-minded individuals to enhance my library program. Even if no one in my immediate educational circle is a blogger, there are plenty of other librarians who have begun the journey and I can benefit from their experience.