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Posts by Marci Hoyt
Charting the Course: VAASL 2016
I charted my course to Norfolk, where the 2016 annual conference of the Virginia Association of School Librarians was held. As a student, I was delighted to start off with the session, “New to You! Lesson Ideas”, which was chock full of lesson ideas to use in an elementary school. Both new and classic books were discussed with innovative ideas to use them in the library classroom. Dr. Rob Furman followed up with an inspirational keynote presentation that proposed “Principles for Facilitating a Reading Culture” that included suggestions on technology tools, such as Plotagon and Kindoma. I was fortunate to be able to attend Dee Griffith and Marsha Stewart’s, “What’s New in Children’s Literature” session. I attended their 2015 session, and was so excited to see that they were doing it again this year with 2016 published books. Being able to see the books in person, to examine the readability, and find out their connections to SOLs will be useful for years to come. The next stops on my voyage were to learning about strategies for supporting English learners in the library classroom and finding the treasures in AASL’s Best Apps for Teaching and Learning. Day one of my journey ended with a gathering of Longwood students and Alumni where we paid tribute to our Professor, Frances Reeve. It was an unforgettable day. Day two started off with “Managing the K-1 Library Period”, where I found out cutting-edge techniques of incorporating centers to ease the check-out process while keeping students engaged in learning. I traveled on to the Junior Library Guild presentation on new releases, followed by a presentation by my amazing cohort classmates who taught us how to promote reading with the use of book trailers. The last stop on my session route was the “Addictive Magic of Book Series” where I learned the benefits of series for our students. This expedition was definitely rejuvenating, and I am already looking forward to 2017 in Chantilly (my home turf!). – Marci Hoyt
VAASL Conference 2015
I attended my very first (of hopefully many!) VAASL Conference in Williamsburg, VA. The atmosphere was upbeat and contained so much information that my mind is still reeling!! The speakers were professional, prepared, and entertaining (the Keynote Address was amazing)! The technology-based sessions were full of useful interactive tools, apps, and websites that can be integrated into the curriculum. I learned about the safe, non-tracking, search engine, DuckDuckGo, and have already begun singing its praises at my school. Additionally, the real-life examples shared were so intriguing I have been sampling Kahoot! quizzes, making interactive ThingLinks, and have been investigating all that Skype Virtual Field Trips have to offer. The session I attended titled, “What’s New in Children’s Literature” was an incredible, fast-paced showcase of amazing picture books, which allowed a sneak peek into the text layout, and they even provided connections to the VA SOLs. There was a session on book repair where I got to learn first-hand from professional librarian’s how it is done when you are on your own with minimal funds. I was also fortunate to attend one of the my professor’s sessions. Dr. Audrey Church presented to a standing room only audience on the “Top Ten Topics and Trends for 2015”. I received a plethora of resources on a wide –range of topics, including coding, stations, and diverse books. Being able to network with librarians was such an incredible opportunity – everyone I spoke with was eager to provide me with answers and guidance. I cannot wait to attend again!