Sunday, December 11, 2011
I introduced the kids to Leo Lionni by showing them the book Artist to Artist: 23 Major Illustrators Talk to Children About Their Art. It's a beautiful book with fold out pages of illustrators working in their studios, some of their early art, pictures of them as kids, and each of them has written a page about why they became an artist. The entry for Leo Lionni is written by his granddaughter Annie, for whom he wrote his first book Little Blue and Little Yellow, which was a perfect segue into our reading that as our first book. We then read read Inch by Inch and compared the stories and styles.
Random House has a great Leo Lionni website and I showed a video each week to the kids from their gallery. The videos are about 2 minutes long and are Leo Lionni talking about his childhood, why he writes about animals, etc. They are very sweet and make him come to life for the kids. One of the videos I showed after we had read Frederick was a video of Leo making a paper mouse by just tearing the paper and then I had the kids do it. It was a really great and easy project to do and the kids loved it. Here are some of their mice. After they made their mice, some kids got even more creative and made cats and dogs.
The week before we read Frederick, we had read Swimmy, at which point the art teacher began talking to the kids about Leo Lionni as well. She talked to them much more in depth about his techniques and also had a lot of examples of his books available to look at in the studio. The children began to experiment sponge painting with different textures and also talked a lot about collage and some of his other styles. This year as part of their classroom study, they are studying farmers markets and farms, so they had just taken a trip to the Union Square farmers market. Here is their Leo Lionni inspired farmers market mural they wound up creating.
We finished by reading Alexander and the Wind Up Mouse, although in some classes we also read additional stories if there was time. Throughout the month, I also used some of the biographical material on the Random House website. The kids loved the books and I really enjoyed being able to collaborate with the art teacher and it meant a lot for the kids, too.
This post was brought to you by HVLA Communications Coordinator, Kerry Roeder
Sunday, December 4, 2011
The rest of the conference is mostly an unconference, or open space sessions. Anyone can propose a session on any topic or question he may have. This style of conference stresses taking responsibility of your own learning; making your own choices and being encouraged to stay as long as one session is productive and leaving when it's not. You can see all of the sessions that were offered (as well as ones from previous years), with notes from nearly all of them here.
Aside from the open space sessions, it is a great place to get to know librarians and tech teachers and integrators. There are also opportunities to relax and take in the gorgeous surroundings, go on hikes or if you’re adventurous, attempt the rock scramble. Click on the picture below to see a slideshow on flickr of some great nature shots and technology.
Many thanks to HVLA’s own Kathleen Ellis, Barbara Lutz, and Diane Neary, who were on the organizing committee for this year’s conference.
If you are looking for ways to stay involved with technology throughout the year, here are some suggestions:
- New York Consortium of Independent School Technologists (NYCIST) This is a listserv dedicated to technology and education in independent schools. This group also has monthly meetings on topics such as Common Sense Media, Brain Pop, 3D Printers, etc. and it’s a great way to connect with people.
- NYSAIS Teaching With Technology (TWT12) Conference - February 22, 2012 This is a conference by teachers and is all about sharing with each other ways in which you are using technology in the classroom. If you have an idea for a workshop you would like to lead, you can submit proposals here.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Best Individual Blog: http://blog.schoollibraryjournal.com/afuse8production/
We love Betsy Bird's Fuse #8 Production blog for her regular book reviews, insights into the publishing world and her uncanny ability to predict the Newbery Award winners. Her write-ups on publisher's librarian previews are a huge help to those of us unable to attend in person and every weekend I look forward to her roundup of videos related to children's literature.
Best Group Blog: http://www.yalsa.ala.org/thehub/
Yalsa's The Hub (Your Connection to Teen Reads), exemplifies why group blogs are so fun. With over 30 bloggers contributing content including teen bloggers, this one gives readers a wide variety of programming ideas, breaking YA lit news and offers insight into Yalsa's Selection Lists and Awards that no other blog can provide.
Best New Blog: http://blog.schoollibraryjournal.com/printzblog/
Launched in September, Someday My Printz Will Come, fills a gap in online book awards discussion. We have the Newbery and Caldecott blogs, but no place to discuss the Printz Awards. Even if you aren't following the Printz Awards, it's still a fabulous blog just to get ideas for great books to recommend to teens.
Best Ed Tech/Resource Sharing Blog: http://www.hackeducation.com/
Hack Education is one of the best blogs for information about the use of technology in education. Audrey Watter is "committed to telling the stories of students, educators, organizations, entrepreneurs who are using technology to 'hack education.'" Her writing is accessible and her blog discusses the latest in technology developments relevant to educators.
Best Library/Librarian Blog: http://blog.schoollibraryjournal.com/adult4teen/
What did I do before School Library Journal's Adult4Teen Blog existed? When SLJ's Adult Books for High School Students column ended, few resources existed to help librarians determine which adult books would have appeal in teen collections. Many of the juniors and seniors in our library have moved beyond reading young adult titles, but want an adult book that speaks to them. Angela Carstensen's Adult4Teen blog, launched last October, has made it easier to make recommendations to this group of readers. Angela's blog is constantly updated with contributions from a variety of reviewers and all include that key element- will this book appeal to teenagers?
Best Free Web Tool: http://agoogleaday.com
Google's brain teaser challenge, A Google A Day, is a fun way to teach students how to hone their research skills. A new puzzle is posted every day and a running clock keeps track of how long it takes you to solve the puzzle using web search strategies. Students can try to beat their own record or compete against each other to see who can solve the puzzle first.
Over 400 sites have been nominated so far, see all the nominations here.
Monday, November 21, 2011
The Edublog Awards is a community based incentive started in 2004 in response to community concerns relating to how schools, districts and educational institutions were blocking access of learner and teacher blog sites for educational purposes.
The purpose of the Edublog awards is promote and demonstrate the educational values of these social media.The best aspects include that it creates a fabulous resource for educators to use for ideas on how social media is used in different contexts, with a range of different learners while creating an invaluable resource of the best-of-the-best on the web!
I'd like to use our blog to spotlight and nominate some of the sites, twitter feeds and other online resources we all use and would like to spotlight. The nominations period just opened last week- if you have any resources you think should be nominated please leave a comment on this post or send me an email. The categories are below. Please let me know by next week if there are any online sources you think should be included.
• Best individual blog
• Best individual tweeter
• Best group blog
• Best new blog
• Best class blog
• Best student blog
• Best ed tech / resource sharing blog
• Most influential blog post
• Best twitter hashtag
• Best teacher blog
• Best librarian / library blog
• Best School Administrator blog
• Best free web tool
• Best educational use of audio / video / visual
• Best educational wiki
• Best educational podcast
• Best open PD / unconference / webinar series
• Best educational use of a social network
• Lifetime achievement
Monday, November 14, 2011
Sunday, November 6, 2011
From talking with other librarians, it sounds like there are a lot of different ways to run a Mock Newbery, but our club begins in September with a list of about 50 books that I have been compiling since January. From this list, students weed down the list to about 15 just by looking at summaries and book covers. Once we have the list of 15 books, we talk more in-depth about each title. We watch book trailers, read excerpts and listen to audio-book excerpts. We discuss the Newbery criteria and talk about the merits of each book and students vote for their top five. From this vote we get our list of contenders and students must read and write reviews for all five in order to vote in the final vote.
Last year our Mock Newbery winner was the book After Ever After and the author, Jordan Sonnenblick, visited our book club via skype for a mock awards ceremony. We even created a little awards seal that students solemnly placed onto the cover of our library copy. We had about 25 students eligible to vote in the final election last year and it even inspired a Mock Printz Club to form in the high school.
Here are a list of resources that I refer to frequently throughout the year:
Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog- run by Nina Lindsay and Jonathan Hunt, this blog is a wonderful and thorough resource for anyone who follows the youth media awards.
Goodreads Mock Newbery Group- a Goodreads group where readers can discuss eligibility and make predictions.
A Fuse #8 Production- Betsy Bird also served on the Newbery Committee and offers great insight into potential titles. Her predictions have been uncannily spot on!
Newbery and Caldecott Mock Elections Tool Kit- I have an older edition of this, but I am looking forward to taking a look at the newly released toolkit.
The HVLA Listerv- when I first decided to try to run a Mock Newbery Club, I emailed our listserv and got some great ideas from colleagues in terms of creating a structure and process for the club.
Friday, October 28, 2011
- HVLA members Angela Carstensen and Laura Pearle presented (along with a few others) on collection development in the 21st century. Check out their pre-conference wiki for valuable links and resources.
- Angela Carstensen is also presenting on Outstanding Books for the College Bound which ties in perfectly with the book she recently edited for ALA. (Check back later for more links to presentation resources.)
- Did you know that you can get a free download of the eBook "School Libraries: What's Now, What's Next, What's Yet to Come", a collection of over 100 essays from around the world about the latest trends in school libraries? (Also, special thanks to overseas member Maria Falgoust for the heads up on this great resource!)
- The Learning Commons (formerly Blogger's Cafe) is in full swing with links to shared resources and links to liveblogging, livestreaming and and archived video. Check it out!
- There's still time to tune in to the virtual conference and check out some great live webcast events.
- Twitter is also a great way to stay connected to the conversation. Search the official conference hashtag #AASL2011. (UPDATE: Oops! The official hashtag for AASL 2011 is #AASL11--visit the twitter archive here.)
- And, of course, you can always network online with others at the conference--virtually and in real life--on the AASL Ning.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
A member of the California K-12 School Librarians List Serv had a great suggestion that
mimics the citation for a general website, with a few tweaks that are unique to apps such
as creator, version and release date. The iPad Journal had an equally helpful response.
The only difference I noticed between the two is a matter of labeling the medium.
Should it be iPad or app?
Monday, October 3, 2011
Update: RSVP here
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
If you're in the market for a juicy read that just happens to have made it on the most frequently challenged list, you might want to take a look at culture blog, Flavorwire, where HVLA Secretary, Sarah Murphy, delves into 10 Banned Books That Talk About Sex. (Banned books are so hot right now!)
Another way you can participate is by uploading a video to the BBW Virtual Read-Out channel on YouTube. You can find all the criteria and instructions you need on the official BBW website. After all, if it's good enough for Judy Blume...
Librarians are a resourceful bunch. Have any great blogs, videos, or sites that we should know about? Share it in the comments!
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Here's the great news: BFS has arranged for James Kennedy, author of The Order of the Odd-Fish, to visit our middle school students!
Greater news: He'll be in the area a few days before the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival (which is Saturday, November 5th) and is available to visit other schools in the area! Contact him by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) to arrange something.
And the greatest news: James has invited my students to introduce their film live at the event. Needless to say, they are thrilled about the whole thing. Two of them are convinced that this is their ticket to fame. We shall see...
So what are you waiting for?! You still have three and a half weeks to grab some kids, a video camera, and get editing so you can submit a video entry to The 90-Second Newbery Film Festival. This handy, dandy flyer will help you get started. Good luck!
Monday, September 19, 2011
James Kennedy, author of The Order of the Odd Fish, and Betsy Bird of NYPL and SLJ's Fuse #8 Production blog, have joined forces to curate a film festival consisting of videos "that compress the story of a Newbery award-winning book into 90 seconds or less." This contest is open to all (ages 0-18) and at the bottom of a blog post back in January, Betsy Bird made note of a "New York Caveat" where NY kids are not restricted to only Newbery books. Imagine the possibilities! (Note: Since you're in the area, you can also attend the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival at the main branch of the New York Public Library on November 5, 2011 from 3-5pm.)
So if you're wondering why I'm making such a fuss over this clever little contest, allow me to explain. Near the end of last school year, I "caught" a few of my 5th grade students huddled around a computer streaming James Kennedy's video "A Wrinkle in Time" In 90 Seconds on Vimeo. One of the girls explained to me what the video was and how she wanted to get some kids together to enter this contest with her. Right away, I was interested in the project and knew I had to get involved.
As a faculty advisor, I was able to help the students get organized, access equipment that the school already owned, and provide a space/time for them to prepare and execute the video. I had the very good fortune of working with a group of kids who were extremely motivated as well as technically proficient. At times it felt hectic but for the most part it was fun! The students decided to create a 90-second(ish) rendition of Ellen Raskin's 1979 Newbery winner The Westing Game. Without further ado...
Want to see more 90-Second Newbery entries? Check out YouTube and search "90-Second Newbery" or visit James Kennedy's blog. Enjoy!
Monday, September 12, 2011
Brooklyn Book Festival
Date of Event: September 18, 2011
Location: Brooklyn Borough Hall (209 Joralemon Street)
About: Brooklyn presents the largest free literary event in New York City featuring "literary stars and emerging authors who represent the exciting world of literature today."
Don't Miss Out: As part of Brooklyn Book Festival's "Bookend Events" the Brooklyn Public Library is hosting a Librarian Mingle on Saturday, September 17, with Marilyn Johnson, author of "This Book is Overdue: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All."
BookFest @ Bank Street
Date of Event: October 29, 2011 (Registration begins September 12, 2011)
Location: Bank Street College of Education
About: This event is dedicated to the celebration and discussion of books for children and teens. The day includes conversations with kidlit luminaries Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer, and Leonard Marcus as well as panel discussions, break out discussion groups, and a delicious lunch catered by 'witchcraft.
Don't Miss Out: With only 150 spots open for registration, the event fills up quickly. Check out their facebook page for a link to register to this year's BookFest today.
Library 2.011 Worldwide Virtual Conference
Date of Event: November 2-3, 2011
About: HVLA is partnering with this free worldwide online conference. The conference co-chair, Steve Hargadon, describes it as a "unique chance to participate in a global conversation on the current and future state of libraries."
Don't Miss Out: HVLA members are encouraged to submit proposal ideas about the "Evolving Professional Roles of Librarians in Today's World" to HVLA vice-president and Library 2.011 liaison, Judy James at Judith_James [at] fa.org before September 15, 2011.
AASL 15th National Conference & Exhibition: "Turning the Page"
Date of Event: October 27-30, 2011 (Advance Registration ends September 29, 2011)
Location: Minneapolis, MN
About: "This conference promises to provide you with thought-provoking sessions, discussions, (in person and virtually) with colleagues and friends, time to investigate new materials and resources in the exhibit hall, and the opportunity to get invigorated with a big dose of energy to help you and your program turn the page." -- Ty Burns & Cheryl Steel, Conference Cochairs
Don't Miss Out: The Independent School Section Networking Event will take place on Thursday, October 27, 8-10pm. Be there!