Saturday, May 14, 2016

#PSLA2016 Reflections


Keynote with Richard Byrne
Last year, on May 1st, I posted this picture to twitter.

Because I was. so. excited.  RICHARD BYRNE?!  THE Richard Byrne?!  When I posted this to twitter and tagged him, he helpfully pointed out that his name was misspelled.  Oops.  But I digress.  I had been following his blog, Free Technology 4 Teachers, since I don't even know when.  Every time teachers thought I was somehow a tech savant, it was really ideas and breaking tech news he had shared on his blog.  Which I highly recommend you follow if you don't already.  Back in the time of non-clunky RSS readers, I was more consistent, but still I check in on how everything is going with broadband in Maine.  So I was looking forward to this keynote for approximately a year and was not disappointed.

I'm sure this was only mildly creepy for Richard.
Some favorites:

  • Let them tinker.
  • Create wise consumers of information.
  • Use a google search challenge for students to come up with their own questions.
  • Help Your Students Become Better Searchers
  • As a teacher, you don't know everything anymore.
  • Instead of "Today we will learn..." shift to "Today we will explore..."
  • Model sharing for students.
  • Connect people to good ideas and let them do.
  • Let kids solve real world problems.
And looking ahead to next year...
#sharetheawesome: PD Under the Radar
If you caught up on my Common Ground update, then you may already know all about the awesome.  This presentation was only slightly different with the addition of one slide that I thought was a good intro for faculty meeting breakout sessions.  It looked a little like this.

Not true in my school because we have awesome faculty meetings now!
I created the above image using Image Chef if you'd like to try to make your own.  But the real difference this time around is that my co-presenter couldn't be there in person.  Which was bad.  And very, very good.  Because it gave us the opportunity and challenge to try something different.  And model for participants how to virtually connect.  So, we did.  And we had a few back up plans too.  After some connectivity issues at Common Ground and YouTube videos that were slow to load, we made a plan that Brittany would connect to the group via Google Hangouts and share her screen of the presentation so that she could follow along in live time and lend her voice.  We would flip back to my computer to show the videos from YouTube and I had them already loaded so there would be no buffer time needed.  And JUST IN CASE we lost the connection to Brittany, she even recorded videos of herself explaining her slides and programs.  To add a fun twist, the afternoon before our presentation, Brittany was invited to go on a field trip to accept an award with some of her students.  At the same time as our presentation.  So, she brought a hotspot and joined us FROM A FIELD TRIP.  That's dedication folks.

Thanks for making it happen, Brittany!
Oh, and did I mention?  No, I did not.  Our presentation was at 9:15.  At the SAME time that Jerry Spinelli and Alan Gratz were presenting author presentations and Richard Byrne (you remember him, from above) was presenting right next door to us.  And people still came.  I'm not going to lie.  I don't know if I would have come to our presentation.  But people came.  And I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to connect with some more teacher librarians and administrators.


And, to sum up our presentation, Christy Brennan created this awesome sketch note.


Beyond the Basics: Tech Tools for the Google Guru

Literature Review Roundtable

PSLA Teaching and Learning - Literature Review
Best of 2015 Book Talks

Extending Your Reading Reach: 
Connecting with Books, Authors, and Publishers

Lead the Change: Blending Professional Learning

Un-Conference #pslaunconf


Extending Our Reach: 
How Does an Author Ever Really Reach the Elusive "Reader"?

Jacqueline Davies is HYSTERICAL.  She told stories about her childhood, and how she and her siblings learned to read and the books they grew up with (of questionable quality).  Morals of the stories of her childhood: Stupid Molly painted herself into a (literal) corner; a rabbit who wished for wings, wished them away, and never wished for anything ever again.  Watching her mother read and wanting to do the same.  Not censoring writing to exclude difficult situations or words that have power.

Taking a Fresh Look at Your Library
Reordering Ranganathan
Five Laws of Librarianship
Law 1: Save the time of the reader.
Law 2: Every person his or her book.
Law 3: Books are for use.
Law 4: Every book its reader.
Law 5: A library is a growing organism.

The Four P's of Marketing

"Bad libraries build collections.  Good libraries build services.  Great libraries build communities." - R. David Lankes

Have teachers come through to look through their curricular section to inform ordering.
Use images in the catalog for tech items.

Ways to invest in students:

  • Provide warm transfer
  • Understand users' interests
  • Demonstrate library value
  • Toot your own horn
  • Leverage the power of social influence

Is the procedure helping your readers?  Reflect on each process and make changes where it makes sense.

Presentations I didn't attend but that I would have liked to, and they are sharing their resources, so I am saving their resources.  Thank you all for sharing your awesome!

Incorporating Research Skills Across the Grade Levels and Curriculum

Tremendous Tech Tools

Reach Your Students with Inquiry Based Learning

Big Ideas: Bringing a Litfest to Life in our School

Tech Tools for Every Librarian

One to One and Libraries: Now What?

Maker Club 101: A Look at a School's First Year of Learning

Makerspace Outline and Rationale
Letter to Parents
Reverse Engineering Discovery Sheet
Lego Marble Maze Instructions

Skip Dewey and Skype Around the World

Monday, May 2, 2016

Sharing ALL of Common Ground's Awesome Session Stuff

Here's a peek inside my brain after a conference.

Oh wait...that's every day.
And here's a peek at my lap.  Multiple devices all with way too many open tabs.  It's amazing they all held their battery for the day.

I'm going to use Hulk Notes (more on that...probably in the summer by the time I get to it) to sum up my experiences.  And links, lots and lots of links.  So that you too can have many open tabs.  You're welcome.

Collaborate, Investigate, Debate: An Elementary Research Project

Students research to debate and video record their debate.

The Pathway to Teacher Leadership

Daniel Pink Keynote

Attunement - Ability to see things from other perspectives
Buoyancy - How do you stay afloat in an ocean of rejection? *Decatastrophize rejection*
Clarity - Ability to curate info; access is no longer issue, ability to sift is
Be an ambivert.
Give people an off ramp; make tasks easy to complete.
Two types of people: those who make life harder and those who make life easier.  Be a person that makes life easier for someone else.
Not how, but why?  Give purpose.
Help people id the hidden problems.  Solve the obvious ones.

iDeal: Inspiring, Developing, Empowering, Assessing and Leading a School Wide Independent Reading Culture
Building classroom libraries, school libraries, family and community engagement, and independent reading time in the classrooms.

#sharetheawesome: PD Under the Radar

Voice and Choice: Fostering Reader Ownership

Donalyn Miller Selfie
"When a man is penalized for honesty, he learns to lie" - Criss Jami
Just because we are assigning rigorous books doesn't mean kids are reading rigorous books.
"Access to a full-time school librarian increases students' test scores, closes the achievement gap and improves writing skills." (Lance, 2012)
Literature is both a mirror and a window.  Make sure our book collection reflects that.
Express Your Shelf Bulletin Board with Shelfies
Levels are not for children, they are for books, and for teachers to match books with children; not badges for children to wear.
Self-selected reading is twice as powerful as teacher-selected reading in developing motivation and comprehension. (Guthrie and Humenick, 2004)
Book Recommendation: Choice Words by Peter H. Johnston

Cracking the Code
Unplugged Lessons
Videos for Computer Science Lessons (not part of presentation, I just found them while poking around on

Developing 1:1 School or District Level Digital Learning Plans

Growth Mindset Roundtable
More documents will be emailed to me!  But to start, I LOVE this bibliography!

Independence Hall - Building Independence Using Osmo
William Tignor and Sarah Pease of Snow Hill Elementary School presented as Osmo Ambassadors about all the possibilities in early elementary and beyond!

Digital Collaboration to Enhance Literacy

Suggested but not free: Literably; News-O-Matic
Didn't work well for me: Zing!
I organized these with ones I either already use or will plan to try in the top two rows, and others that were suggested but I'm less apt to try are on the sides and bottom.

Globally Connected: Making Two-Voice Poems and Authentic Learning Task

Supporting Formative Assessment with Technology
FAME: Formative Assessment for Maryland Educators

What's the Mood?  What's the Setting?  What's the Theme?
Create engagement and set the tone of lessons with pictures and music.  Act out actions, and discuss alternate paths of the plot.

Examples of books to use:

  • Goin' Someplace Special by Patricia McKissack
  • Firebird by Misty Copeland
  • The Magic Ring
  • The Golden Mare
  • Mufaro's Daughter
  • Patricia Polacco books