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Hey everybody,

I'm Reading Queen Bee (Cheryl Hill),

I am having such a great a time reading about all of you! I am learning so much!
I have been a librarian for six years now, and, it took someone else to see the librarian in me to point me in the direction to become a librarian. I have always loved teaching children to read. I have always loved reading books and reading books to children. I have always loved using literature as a jumping off point to inspire children to read and write.

In becoming a librarian, I was told that librarians “grow” readers.
Well what does a librarian do when many children who enter the library door(s) do not possess the prerequisite skills to actually read the wonderful books in the library? How can a librarian inspire children to read and get excited about what they cannot do in the first place, which is to read? Armed with the knowledge and skills/tools from my previous life as a classroom teacher, I started thinking about it a lot, hence, the creation of
Although, I have incorporated various beginning reading games in addition to library skills’ games, I’m still mulling over various strategies to incorporate to be most effective, and, don’t yet have it worked out thoroughly as to how I will create a framework to impact the beginning reading skills of the struggling readers entering my library.

We engage children in the accelerated reading program and they love it! Also, I do have children (in grades 3-5) who are wonderful readers and they belong to my Bluebonnet and Beyond Reading Club; these children read 35-50 books (most of them chapter books) a year, in readiness for our district’s Name That Book Contest; yet, I still worry about the children who aren’t inspired and can’t get excited about books in order for the librarian to “grow” their reading because, either, they can’t read or they have gaps in their reading skills that cripple them from wanting to read and enjoy books.
My blog gives voice for my written expressions and opinions; I also share much of what I say on my blog in newsletter format with the teachers at my school.

p.s. My school has about 1,200 students--- Prekindergarten -5th grade.
Each day, I have 7 ancillaries classes (45 minutes each) and no library clerk.Delete Comment
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Mind Set VS. Skill Set

This morning we had some visitors from another high school. They came to see what we were "doing with technology". The assistant principal for instruction and I met with them and we had a lively discussion about the laptop program we are initiating next year. They asked the usual questions about laptop theft, breakage, and battery charging as well as how we planned to provide technical support. Then they asked about what we are doing about technology resistant teachers. At this point my assistant principal said that it's a question of culture.
He said the first question a school needs to ask what direction to go to achieve optimum student leaning.

We have decided that we want our students to be producers and collaborators-- we want them to do and create and share. The student laptops and wireless network will facilitate those goals. The culture at our school, developed through several years has become focused on these goals. It's very true that some of our teachers don't have the skill set they need to take full advantage of these tools. They all have the mind set. That is what is allowing us to proceed, to take risks, and try something where we don't have all the answers. Faculty, administration, staff, we all have the mind set. Now our job is to continue to provide to provide training to ramp up skills, but the hard part, the culture part is in place. The journey so far has been exciting, sometimes scary, but never boring.
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Please join Plymouth Whitemarsh High School (Plymouth Meeting, PA, USA) on May 17th from 7:00 p.m. EDT to 9:00 p.m. EDT as we share our talents with other communities around the world. This pilot event will be an opportunity to meet artists and see their work. We don't yet know exactly what to expect, but are hoping for happy, amazing and inspirational introductions to creativity around the globe. If you can't participate, we do hope you'll at least watch the stream --Erika

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Just spent some time perusing the forum and have come away with a refreshed sense of what I want to accomplish before the end of the year. My colleague is retiring and was speaking with me today about how she can make things easier on me through the end of the school year as she won't be here through the end (and I don't blame her for not wanting to lose some of her sick days, especially expecting a grandson around that time!). I just can't believe that the end of the school year is so close upon us. I was caught up with completing the yearbook until it was over and done with in March. Since then, I've been consumed with helping to plan the prom, but after tomorrow, that'll be over. I recently redid the school and library websites and now am just trying to maintain them and keep them current. Add to that the equipment inventory and state-mandated annual media and technology report and all the "normal" duties of a lms...

It's one project after another without a breath in between, unlike my first year here at this school. I was the only Media Specialist in a different, much smaller building of only 18 classrooms with every teacher floating, and I wasn't getting too much use of the Media Center. I came across some of the digital pics from that first year that I took of displays I had made and can't believe that I had the time to put so much work into them. I started wondering if administration cares that my creativity has gone more digital since then, but of course now we have library science students to do the displays!

After showing initiative and a desire to do more for the school, I've also taken on other hats and stay pretty consistently busy. Though I'll be soon taking classes for something that will take me out of the school environment, I really want to focus next year on continuing the build the library program. The ideas are there, I just need to 1) write them down so I don't forget them (!) and 2) create a great rapport with the new media specialist joining me in August so we make a great team to accomplish these goals!

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Book Buddies...

In true Karol Sacca style- today we held our final book buddies of the year. Since this was our last one, I made the kids read frompart of the world I chose.

For the last few years it has been authors from IRAQ,but this year since so many teachers in our building were working on Africa- we chose that. I'll bet we had 30 folkssigned up and they were reading some really good titles. I was a little disappointedbecause several students had to stay in class because of exams...bummer. But wehad some great student led book talks (after the nachos of course!)

All in all – it was just fine. I also missed it though, because I was teaching with the Health teacher. I guess this even just remindsme that the year is winding down. We start collecting books soon and I have toget ready to do inventory.

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adding to the conversation

I was just catching up on David Warlick's blog, 2 Cents Worth, and realizing that there's a conversation going on about people feeling they have nothing to contribute to current conversations (he was speaking regarding the Classroom 2.0 ning, but I've actually heard this comment in a few different places lately), especially with those who have much to say on those topics and who do speak out. I've been thinking that way recently, as well, though I also haven't had the means nor the motivation to really do something about it or well, really WANT to get my voice said... if only I had something to say.

When I was in high school, I taught myself html and made a website. I got a huge response and began communicating with people online - either via my website, irc, mailing lists, message boards (wait - what were they called? Not the "message boards" now where they live on a website and you post and others post, etc, but the ones you actually called into with your modem... why can't I remember this?!). I was really involved and active and met a ton of people and always had a conversation going. In college, I created a web journal before I knew about "weblogs" and then once that terminology started coming around, I realized that's what I had been doing all along. I had friends in Australia I talked to daily and lots more elsewhere in the United States or elsewhere in the world. It was an awesome feeling to know that I was so connected with these individuals and that we had something to talk about! After college, I became more and more disconnected, though I kept my blog going and still had a few key virtual friends.

Now, in a professional position, I feel I don't have much to write about. I don't want to write about what happens at school day-in and day-out. I don't have huge insights, but I do love to explore new ideas and ways of doing things and that's what really has me excited right now. Unfortunately, I haven't put myself out there to converse with anyone else about them. I do understand what people are saying, though, about not having anything new to add to the conversation, and I'm right here with them. I do love me some conversation, though, and wonder sometimes where that person I was fourteen years ago went. How amazing that I experienced what I did and in that time in internet history and to see how far we've come!

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Tomorrow night

This site is awesome. I will be sure to mention it tomorrow night at our SLST meeting at the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca. If you are in the area, you are invited to come!

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I've been doing some blogging for about a month now and am exploring how to make students more a part of the library online. Joyce's site has been invaluable. Feeling a bit as if I need a translator by my side, especially when things don't work. Hoping to learn/share lots here.
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a day of thinking

To my wonderful colleagues who might wander through this morning, it might look like I'm sitting on my rear and not doing anything. The truth is, I'm trying to rejuvenate myself for the last stretch until school is out and also take notes on ideas for next year. I'm starting graduate school again this summer (this time for a CAS in Digital Libraries) and know that even if I intend to plan this summer and come up with some snazzy ideas, I won't. I'm taking two classes this summer, then two in the Fall and again in the Spring until I'm through. We'll see where I go in my career after that, but until then, I really do want to make an impact with students here and collaborate more than I've been able to in the past.

The problem here is that teachers feel so much pressure from their pacing guides that they don't feel comfortable making them their own. I've spoken with teachers who say there are ways to still put yourself in your lesson plans and am fortunate enough to be working with one now. This English teacher and I both attended NCaect in March and came back with so many ideas and the motivation needed to do some truly awesome things with her students. Of course, both of us were yearbook advisors this year and now we're preparing for prom next week, so innovation sometimes tends to take a back seat... maybe that's why I need today to refuel. Until two minutes ago, I was lamenting not being able to put all of my ideas in one place, but then I saw that there's a blog on here and thought that this just might be the answer for me! We'll see... I started Midwood Innovators ( after the conference, but as Blogger is blocked here at school and the last thing I want to do sometimes when I go home is hop online, it's in a lull.


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I just signed on to this site yesterday. I am excited about having the opportunity to "play in the sandbox" with all of you. I have been a teacher librarian in Watertown, Massachusetts for about 17 years. I am happy to find a place where I can share experiences and thoughts about the field of school librarianship. Since hearing Chris Harris speak at the MSLA conference in Sturbridge, MA last fall I have been reading and exploring everything I can get my hands on regarding Web 2.0. In Massachusetts I see the job of school librarian and tech specialist moving closer and closer. In some communities school librarians are expected to do both jobs. I wonder if this is a trend that will catch on and change the way our jobs and libraries look in the future. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. School librarians have always been in the forefront of technology in schools. Remember when computers first started appearing in schools and administrators didn't know what to do with them, they gave them to the librarians. We figured out what to do with them.
LInda P.
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