Common Core Take-aways

Over the Thanksgiving break I finally got caught up on a couple of issues of School Library Journal.  In them I noticed ads for a series of webcasts they’re doing about the Common Core specifically for librarians.  Two of the three have already gone by, but I decided to register for the third in January and view the archived ones I missed.  (The link below will get you there.  You have to register in order to view the archived sessions.  Once you register you’ll get an email with the webcast link.)

I especially enjoyed the first one with Marc Aronson and Sue Bartle.  Called Getting Real it focused especially on the shift in the CCSS to more informational text.  The second dealt with how librarians can take the CCSS and use them as a way to start conversations and collaborative efforts.  Here are my takeaways from both of the sessions:

How you read shapes how you will write

The third “C” in CCSS needs to be collaboration

We need to be talking to each other (teachers and librarians) to assure that major shifts are happening

Librarians are well poised for helping kids to be active questioners

How well do I know my non-fiction collection?

The issue for kids (in reading a text) is “Do I care?”

I need to approach non-fiction in new ways–aim, approach, point of view, voice/style

Spend more time with non-fiction elements and structures

Do the “heavy lifting” for teachers–unpack the standards and show how I can help

Less content, but more meaningful learning

Process is the emphasis;  content will be learned as a result

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Another “e”-vent!

Where are you in the transition from building a collection with mostly print materials to one with more “e” materials?  If you need help and are interested in what others in the field are saying and recommending about this shift, check here for a day-long “e” conference coming in October.  This is the third annual E-books and Beyond conference sponsored by MediaSource (the folks who bring us Junior Library Guild, SLJ, Library Journal, and the Horn Book) and offered at a low-cost for your professional development.  Team up with some of your librarian buddies, go off-site for a day and learn together!  Site licenses are available, as well as early bird discounted registration.  (Do it soon, though.  You only have ’til the end of August.)

More information about specific speakers and sessions is available here.

Image : ‘Show Me Your Library Card – downloadable+audiobooks+and+eBooks

flickr.com/photos/42437434@N00/5014437293

Are you Connected?

If you are one of those people who has heard a lot about PLNs, PLCs, nings, Twitter, etc. and you’re thinking that maybe the upcoming school year is the chance for you to dip your toes in the water so to speak, there are lots of opportunities just waiting for you!  It seems like every day I get notification of at least a couple of ways to grow as a professional and to connect with others and learn new things.  Over the next few posts I’ll share a few that sound intriguing. Here’s the first, from Lisa Schmucki (lisa@edweb.net) on behalf of edWeb:

The US Department of Education has declared August Connected Educator Month, aimed at broadening and deepening educator participation in online communities and networks while providing opportunities for education leaders to work together to move forward faster.

I hope you’ll join in this celebration of how the power of online communities can improve teaching and learning. Join in a month of online events and activities, including forums, webinars, guided tours, open houses, contests, badges, and more–sponsored by more than 60 major national education organizations, communities, and companies, including edWeb!

All of our edWeb events in August will be celebrating connected educators!  Check out the calendarand join in the many special activities being held this month.  Join our community on edWeb Connected Educators to received notices about all edWeb events.

Don’t miss the Learning 2.0 Conference!

edWeb is delighted to be a sponsor of the Learning 2.0 Conference, a free worldwide virtual event from August 20 – 24, 2012 that is being held in conjunction with Connected Educator Month.  This is a great chance to participate (and present or volunteer!) in a global conversation, with educators all over the world.  Join the conversation on rethinking teaching and learning in the age of the Internet. Subject strands include changes in the classroom, student learning, professional development, school environments, and pedagogy.

See you online!

Summer PD: Join Google’s MOOC!

Google recently announced an opportunity you may be interested in.  Become your school’s expert on Power Searching in Google by joining their MOOC (massive, open, online course).  The class will consist of six 50 minute sessions, some of which are interactive. The  course is free and if you complete it all Google will issue you a certificate.

Registration is open now, and the first class will be rolled out on July 10.

Great tutorial site!

I don’t know about you, but (especially) when it comes to technology, I learn best by watching someone else use a tool, and then trying it myself.  I have learned a lot from UK tech and ELL guru Russell Stannard at his site.  Full of teacher-training videos done as screencasts using Camtasia software, Russell walks you through a web tool and shares how you might use it with students.

I’ve learned the ins and outs of Glogster, Voki, Twitter, and mybrainshark from Russell’s videos, to name a few.  It’s easy to search his site, and once you’re “in” one of his trainings it’s easy to go back and see/hear one part again by clicking on the slides in the sidebar.

What’s your favorite way to explore a new tool?  What’s your favorite new tool?  Please share!

Walk through the World of Wikis!

If you or some of your teachers have been curious about what wikis are, how you might use them, and how to go about setting one up, you might consider registering for the next OK2Ask  “snack session” at Teachers First.  Pre-register by this Friday, January 27 here.

This is a two part session:  Monday, January 30 and Monday, Feb. 6, with your choice of a 4:15 pm or 7:00 pm start time.  Certificates of participation are available when you complete the sessions.

Never done a webinar before?  Read what I had to say about some snack sessions I “attended” last year here and here.  Relax, grab a cold or hot drink, put your slippers on, and engage in a little PD!

10 Rock Star Take-aways

Last night I “attended” a TL Virtual Cafe webinar about advocacy.  Jennifer LaGarde and Tiffany Whitehead  did an excellent job reminding us about how we can prove our worth, especially in these tough economic times.  The webinar will be archived in the next few days if you missed it, but meanwhile here are my take-aways:

1. Make everything about the kids.  Every policy, decision, purchase, and interaction has to be about kids.  Only then can you show how you impact student learning.  Don’t advocate for librarians or libraries–advocate for your students.

2. Keep an advocacy file.  Store in it thank you notes from staff or parents, successful lesson plans, samples of student work, etc.  These artifacts will tell the story for you of how you make a difference.

3. Show that you know about more than books.

4. Collect and share data.  Jennifer has an “Advocacy Wall.”  Post monthly stats–how many classes came to the library, how many books circulated, etc.  ANALYZE relevant data.  Can you connect the dots between test scores and library use in your school?

5. Share what’s happening in your library–through social media, PTO and department newsletters, local papers, local organizations.  Step outside of the library world and share with those who may have no idea about what today’s libraries are like.

6. Host family/community events in your library and share those in the local press.

7. Have a mission statement.  Post it everywhere;  make it part of written communications.

8. Elevate those people who are your supporters. (administrator, volunteers, etc.)

9. Make the time to advocate.  Don’t be shy about the good things you do–it’s not bragging if it’s true!

10. Bring solutions to the table when attending meetings.  Show how you can help with whatever is keeping your teachers or principal up at night.

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