SCASL 2015!

SCASL 2015

Hooray!  Tomorrow is the first day of the annual S.C. Association of School Librarians (SCASL) Conference!

I’m looking forward to:

If you’ll be at the conference, leave a comment here or tweet me @LibraryLoriJune and let me know!

 

Creating Poetry – What I Learned from Kami Kinard

Kami Kinard

Author/Poet Kami Kinard shares her poem “Tick-Tock Tick” from the anthology Nasty Bugs (poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins) during her Creating Poetry in Your Library workshop at SCASL Conference 2014.

I’m so excited about the Creating Poetry in Your Library session led by author and poet Kami Kinard that I attended at the South Carolina Association of School Librarians (SCASL) annual conference last week!

She has perfected a process of poetry writing with students that combines research with writing to enable even the youngest student to create non-fiction poetry.  Kids use short magazine articles (such as those found in Ranger Rick and National Geographic for Kids) as a springboard for poetry writing by isolating the important words from the article and then using one or more of the principles of poetry (repetition, rhythm, alliteration, etc) to rearrange those words into a poem!

This activity encourages close reading of the text and improves comprehension.  (Hello, Common Core!) You can also have students reading from a variety of sources including newspaper articles and books, and older students can handle reading and taking notes from more than one non-fiction source.  Students can create a poem in a surprisingly short amount of time.  Her SCASL session was only one hour, and she had time to share this technique with us, along with a couple of other poetry-writing ideas, and still allow us time to read an article and create a poem ourselves!

You will want to take a look at the blog she created for a poetry residency she did at Summit Drive Elementary School and see examples of these “found poems” that she guided students to create.  I will definitely share this with my teachers — I think it will make a great collaborative project!

 

 

 

SCASL Conference 2014

SCASL 2014 LogoWhooo hoooo!  I’m looking forward to attending the South Carolina Association of School Librarians (SCASL) annual conference this week in Columbia, South Carolina!  Our theme is Leadership @ Your Library and we have some great speakers lined up including Ann M. Martin, author of Empowering Leadership; and Gail Dickinson, the current president of AASL!

computer_stick_figureI’m also excited about presenting a session this year titled PUTTING THE “TECH” IN POETIC.  I’ll be sharing lots of online poetry resources, as well interactive tools that will inspire students to write and share poetry.  We are using Edmodo at the conference this year, but I can’t post my group code online since it’s just for attendees.  However, all of my resources can be found in this Poetry LiveBinder which I’ve made public so that you can add it to your own collection of Livebinders and edit it to suit you.

Lori June presenting "Putting the 'Tech' in Poetic" at SCASL 2014.

Lori June presenting “Putting the ‘Tech’ in Poetic” at SCASL 2014.

I’m planning to “tweet the conference” using #SCASL14, but sometimes it’s hard to listen to a session and tweet it at the same time, and sometimes the technology just doesn’t cooperate.   We’ll see how it goes!

 

 

 

SCASL Conference 2013

Another S.C. Association of School Librarians (SCASL) conference has ended, and as always I’ve returned home revitalized and brimming with ideas for my own elementary library.  I’m so fortunate to be able to attend all three days of the conference each year, and to stay in one of the conference hotels rather than driving back and forth each day.  I do a great deal of personal professional development via the blogs, journal articles, Twitter conversations, and webinars that I routinely read/participate in, but there is definitely a place for attending a face-to-face conference as well.

Getting away from the daily bustle of school and family life gives me breathing space to reflect on what I’m doing in my library program, why I’m doing it, and how I can improve on it.  I have uninterrupted time to think and plan, and to discuss ideas and brainstorm with other librarians who are passionate about what they do.

Speaking of Twitter, this year I experimented a little with tweeting the conference.  (I tweet as @LibraryLoriJune if you’d like to follow me.  Look for #SCASL13 to see all the conference tweets.)  It was fun, but I found that it was distracting me from the presentations a little too much — I guess I need more practice listening and typing at the same time!  The good news is that we used Edmodo this year to create groups for each session and keynote speech, so I’ll be able to go back and review the presentations posted there to catch up on anything I might have missed.

I’ll be sharing more about the specific sessions I attended, but for now I’d just like to give a big shout out to our conference steering committee members who planned all the individual details that added up to a fantastic conference experience!  I’m already looking forward to next year’s gathering!

 

Powerless

Eeeek!  Five days without any internet access to speak of!  I left my bag of power cords and chargers at home on Tuesday as I headed out the door for the South Carolina EdTech Conference in Greenville this week!  I guess attending a technology conference and not being able to use any gadgets once the batteries died is just one of life’s little ironies!

I did soak up some fabulous information though, and thanks to old-fashioned pen and paper I was able to take notes on everything.  I’m working on my conference report now, which is not only a great way to share my experience with my principal, but also helps me to clarify what I learned.   (I should have it posted online tomorrow or Monday.)

I’m also catching up on some of the sessions I missed due to scheduling conflicts by visiting Edmodo.  Each presenter was asked to upload his/her presentations, handouts, links, etc to Edmodo, and attendees were given a list of codes to join any or all of the groups.  Big thanks to the presenters who have uploaded your resources already!

I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to “tweet” or “blog” the conference this year, but I’m excited about some of the ideas I’ve brought back with me, and I’m looking forward to sharing with my teachers and students.

 
Image: ‘Recharging
www.flickr.com/photos/44302262@N08/5461188253
 
 

Unwired and Unplugged!

 

I’m finally registered for the S. C. EdTech Conference (new policies presented a stumbling block this year, but my new principal really came through for me!) and I’m looking forward to an inspirational experience!

I’m excited about the wide variety of sessions being offered, and thrilled that so many will be led by South Carolina teacher-librarians, including Janet Boltjes, Betsy Long, Liz Hood, and Valerie Byrd-Fort!

The Keynote speaker is Will Richardson – educator, author, blogger, speaker, and change agent.

Will you be at the conference?  Let me know in the comments!

Page Turning Tool

I played with a fun new tool this past weekend called Page Flip-Flap.  It turns Word or PDF documents in online booklets, complete with a rustling sound when you turn the pages.  (And we book people sure do love us some paper rustling sounds!) 

Page Flip-Flap

All you do is upload your document and fill in your email address, which is used to email you the link to your online flipbook.  No registration or login necessary, and they promise not to use your email address for spam.  It’s free, so there are ads on your online booklet page, but you can banish them by clicking the “full-screen” button, which is at the bottom of the page next to the printer icon.

I used it to transform the S.C. EdTech Conference summary I created last year into a nice online report that my new principal could view.  (I’m requesting permission to attend as usual this year, and wanted to make sure she understands what a valuable experience it is for me.)  You can view it here.  Maybe. 

Or maybe the site is blocked where you are.  Like it is in my district.  As I found out this morning when I skipped to my school computer ready to copy and paste the link into an email to my principal.  And luckily tested the link first to make sure it was working.  And it wasn’t.  Sigh.

So there go my grand plans for Page Flip-Flap, such as converting our school newsletters into this nice online format for our parents to view, or publishing my policy and procedures manual as an online booklet, or anything else creative I might want to do but can’t because once again I’ve been thwarted by our filters.

Oh wait, this is supposed to be the happy sunshine blog where I celebrate good things.  Well, I guess I could request that the site be unblocked.  It could happen.  No, really, it could.  Right?