Just out! Catch the latest news and updates in the November 2017 School Library Paige, from the Wyoming State Library’s School Library Consultant, Paige Bredenkamp. Please take a minute to respond to the School Library Hotline; results will be posted in next month’s newsletter. Questions about school library issues? Contact Paige at email@example.com or (307) 777-6331.
Learn more about the newly released American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National School Library Standards. Paige Bredenkamp, School Library Consultant at the Wyoming State Library, and Jennisen Lucas, Wyoming’s AASL Affiliate and school librarian, will host a webinar discussion, “Talking About the New AASL Standards“on Tuesday, November 28, at 3:30 p.m. MST. Come with your questions and ideas!
Questions about this webinar, or about other school library topics? Paige is on hand to help. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (307) 777-6331.
By Doug Johnson
Blue Skunk Blog
At a recent meeting, a school library professor expressed her concern to me about the profession’s enthusiasm for putting makerspaces into school libraries. While she personally saw the value of the kinds of learning opportunities makerspaces are supposed to offer, she asked:
It’s a good question and one all of us need to be asking.
Unfortunately when a sexy innovation like makerspaces makes its appearance on the education stage, too many schools take the READY, FIRE, AIM approach to planning. My friend Joyce Valenza called out this problem in a recent blog post “Makerspaces: On Scanning the Road & Gently Easing the Brakes” (October 3, 2017). She asks:
But should a formal makerspace need to be a part of every school library?
And she wonders if makerspace planning in schools always takes in the specific needs, goals, and resources of the building in which the makerspace is being placed (and worries that good programming in the library might be eliminated by makerspace real estate.)
In her EdSurge article “What Should I Buy For My New Makerspace?, Laura Fleming writes:
She then articulates a 5 step framework for selecting the right products for the makerspace. (If I can quibble, I would change selecting “product” to selecting “activity.” Product implies that makerspaces must only contain commercial equipment.)
Riffing on Joyce and Laura, here are some questions I might ask when implementing a makerspace in a school:
- Has my school articulated the “why” for its makerspace? Do teachers, administrators, and parents understand the purpose behind creating this very different learning enviroment? Is it in alignment with the school’s mission?
- Is there a suitable location for the makerspace? Is the space being considered currently being used for a valuable purpose? Can the makerspace be portable?
- How will the efficacy of the makerspace be evaluated?
- How will the makerspace support curricular outcomes?
- Who has responsibility for managing the makerspace, selecting activities, scheduling the space, maintaining the equipment, supervising the activities?
- How can it be assured all students have access to the learning experiences afforded by the makerspace? Will only identified students or students with teacher who are enthusiastic about the philosophy behind making get to use the space?
- Who will determine whether the true spirit of making – creativity, problem-solving, self-direction, etc – is being nurtured? Who will monitor to make sure the 3D printer is not being used as an expensive photocopier or the graphics program just a digital coloring book or the programming devices not just a exercise in following instructions?
Great results are nearly always the result of good planning and hard work. Interesting correlation. Resources — money, time, energy, space, PD — are too scarce to waste on a half-baked trend that does not benefit kids.
Reposted from the Blue Skunk Blog under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Students who participate in Letters About Literature write a letter to an author, living or dead, whose work inspired the student’s life. Although only a handful can win top prizes, every student who submits a letter should be proud of his or her achievement. If you would like to honor your students’ participation in LAL, the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress has now created downloadable, printable certificates for use in your classroom or library.
The certificates are one of the Letters About Literature resources for teachers. Also available are a teaching guide and an archived webinar (password Letters123!) of best practices. In addition, the State Library has created ready-to-print flyers that make it easy to promote LAL with your students on our information page at library.wyo.gov/letters.
Letters About Literature is open to students in grades 4-12. There is no entry fee to participate. Questions about LAL? Contact Susan Mark, WSL Publications Specialist, at email@example.com or (307) 777-5915.
By Doug Johnson
Reposted from the Blue Skunk Blog
This question was recently posted to LM_Net:
Ah, the first thing our parents hear from us are our RULES! Why not hit them with our SERVICES in that first communication instead? Rather than…
Please be aware of the library’s rules:
- Your child is allowed to check out two books each week.
- Books must be checked out and returned on the specified library days.
- If a book is not returned, no additional books can be checked out.
- Fines will accrue for late books.
- Lost books must be paid for by parents before report cards are issued.
The library program has some exciting opportunities in store for your child this year:
- Our curriculum will be promoting the very best of children’s literature to your child with activities designed to help student’s enjoy the stories even more.
- We’ll be doing our very best to get (or keep) your children “hooked on reading” by recommending specific reading materials to each individual.
- At each grade level, students will be learning research and computer skills specifically suited to their developmental needs.
- The new iPads in the library will be available for reading e-books this year!
- We have a lot of special events being planned, including author visits, a book fair, and reading contests.
- If you would like to volunteer to help in the library, please let me know. We’d love to have you.
Parents can and should be our greatest advocates, but this will only happen if we communicate the positive. Sure, it’s OK to communicate library “rules.” But what priority should this communication be given? Think about it.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
All bookmark entries must be postmarked by December 1, 2017. This contest is only open to Wyoming students, limit one entry each. Judging will be based on geographic content, artistic quality, and creativity.
First place winners will have their bookmark published and distributed to libraries and schools throughout Wyoming. First and second place winners for each grade level will receive an inflatable globe and National Geographic world map. The sponsoring teacher will receive a one-year subscription to National Geographic Kids.
Questions may be directed to Robert Rust, WGA Graduate Assistant, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (307) 766-3213.
Geography Awareness Week, organized by National Geographic Education Programs, encourages citizens young and old to think and learn about the significance of place and how we affect and are affected by it. Each third week of November, students, families and community members focus on the importance of geography by hosting events; using lessons, games, and challenges in the classroom; and often meeting with policymakers and business leaders as part of that year’s activities. Geography Awareness Week is supported by year-long access to materials and resources for teachers, parents, community activists, and all geographically minded global citizens. The event is organized by National Geographic Education Programs.
From now through January 12, 2018, Wyoming students can enter their letters in the 2017-18 Letters About Literature contest to engage with some great reading and to compete for state and national prizes. Classroom and individual entries are welcome. Teachers, librarians, and homeschool parents should know there are resources available to them to guide their student participants.
The Letters About Literature Teaching Guide provides activities teachers can use to guide their students through the book discussion and letter-writing process. The guide addresses the LAL teaching strategies and ways in which the program can dovetail with curriculum for teaching reading and writing. Also included are worksheets for duplication and assessment checklists.
Letters About Literature is a Library of Congress national reading/writing promotion program for students in grades 4-12. Students are asked to read a book, poem, or speech and write to the author (living or dead) about how the book affected them personally. You can download the guidelines and read winning letters on the Library of Congress website.
Postmark entry deadline for Wyoming participants for the 2017-18 contest is January 12, 2018. Students compete in three age categories: Level 1 (grades 4-6), Level 2 (grades 7-8), and Level 3 (grades 9-12). Letters are judged on state and national levels. Wyoming winners in each level will receive a $150 Amazon gift card for 1st place, $100 card for 2nd place, and $50 for 3rd place.
Heading to the Wyoming Innovations in Learning Conference? Don’t miss Chris Van Burgh’s session, “Students? Yes! Teachers? Yes!” Chris is the Database Instruction Librarian here at the Wyoming State Library.
Join her for an exploration of the many resources available free to you and your students (pre-K-college) through GoWYLD.net. Here you will find research databases, supplemental classroom materials, practice tests and computer skills, language learning, and so much more! Search and find articles with citation information on a topic. Locate career tutorials and computer skills tutorials. Discover additional material to promote and teach various databases.
The conference will be held November 2-3 at the University of Wyoming Conference Center in Laramie. Registration is open through October 15; fee is $25. Learn more and register.
Just up in our training archive from Paige Bredenkamp, WSL School Library Consultant, is a newly archived webinar, Tech Savvy in the School Library.
Explore software, apps, and hardware useful in the school library.