Posts tagged Audrey Church

2017 VAASL Conference

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This was my first trip to the VAASL conference, but it definitely won’t be my last.  It was amazing to see Audrey name every current and former Longwood School Librarianship student at the gathering on Thursday night – just one more example of how wonderful and personal our program is.  The conference was the perfect opportunity to meet librarians and reconnect with former colleges from all over the state and share some of the innovative and successful things we’re doing in our libraries.  As a result of these conversations, I’m going to visit a Hanover County library next week to see how they are mixing it up at their book fair.  My two favorite conference sessions were both led by Maura Madigan: Library Centers and Problem Based Learning in the Library.  There was not an empty seat, wall, or foot of floor space in either session.   What I loved is that I left both sessions with practical ideas about how to implement these programs in my library.  My photos are from the PBL session during the hands-on activity that challenged us to build the tallest freestanding structure from newspaper and a very small amount of tape.  I’ve done a similar activity with my classes that required spaghetti, string, and marshmallows.  I love that Maura’s version had fewer, simpler, and even easier to acquire materials.  My group was pretty proud of our stable structure, but as you can see, it was definitely not the tallest.  Though we didn’t win, we were thoroughly engaged, did a little self-evaluation, learned some lessons, and experienced first-hand how fun, engaging, and education these activities can be.   

 

 

VAASL Conference 2017

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My name is Rebecca Kronthal and I am currently a graduate student in Longwood’s 3rd Prince William Cohort for School Librarianship.  I was thrilled to be able to attend the 2017 conference for the Virginia Association of School Librarians from Thursday, Nov. 2nd until Saturday, Nov. 4th in Chantilly, Virginia.  I attended sessions on many topics and trends in the field of School Librarianship.  I enjoyed sessions reviewing “What’s New” in Children’s literature for 2017 as well as many “How to’s” on topics such as Makerspaces, book clubs, selecting authentic diverse books, author visits, lego stations, fostering a love of reading in a school culture, and judging “Fake News.”  The highlights of the conference were the fantastic author visits and keynote speakers.  I was very excited to hear Newberry winner Kwame Alexander speak about his journey to become an award winning author.  I also got to meet and talk with Donalyn Miller, author of the Book Whisperer.  She inspires me to want to create a school full of life-long readers!  (See photo.)   I enjoyed hearing Marc Nobleman speak about how his investigative research into the origins of Superman and Batman have changed history forever.  They were all very uplifting and inspiring stories.  Finally, I also got to network and meet many librarians from all over the state of Virginia and talk with them about their school libraries.  This is the valuable advice that can’t be learned from a textbook.  Hearing from librarians who are doing the job every day really gave me a lot to think about!  I also caught up with my fellow Longwood graduate students as well at a Longwood School Librarianship event on Thursday night at the conference.  We played Longwood trivia games and learned a lot about our academic department and Longwood, while playing Kahoot!  I am excited to try out a lot of the things that I have learned when I get back to my school, such as planning a lego station in my literacy centers and following Donalyn Miller’s advice to allow my students more choice when it comes to the books they read.  I hope to do even more when I become a school librarian.  Thank you for the opportunity to attend this great conference!  I am looking forward to the 2018 conference in Williamsburg!

VAASL Conference 2017

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This was my first conference for school librarians.  I attended two days worth of sessions and gained lots of great new ideas to use in the library.  One session I attended was about different topics and trends for 2017 in the library.  Some great ideas I am excited to learn more about are breakout boxes, teaching students about fake news, global goals, libraries as learning spaces, and using social media as an advocacy tool.  Audrey Church was the session leader and she provided great example materials for us to get started.  I was also able to attend two author sessions.  The first was with Kwame Alexander (pictured with me).  He talked about his love for poetry and how hard he worked to become a published author.  His talk about visiting different schools and letting students see what poetry really is was very moving.  The next author I was able to listen to was Ruta Sepetys.  Her session was about why she writes historical fiction and why she focuses on specific topics.  Her session was extremely powerful.  Another great session I attended was on makerspaces for the elementary library.  The speaker told us how he was able to create his space and what are good things to add to a makerspace.  He also brought some of his breakout boxes for us to try to open.  I definitely came home with some amazing ideas on how to make the library new and exciting for students.  The sessions also gave me helpful ideas on new lessons.  I cannot wait to attend next year!

VAASL 2017 Rocks!

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Hello all!  I had the privilege of attending the Virginia Association of School Librarian’s annual conference last week, which was held in Chantilly, VA.  This was my first VAASL Conference, but it will definitely not be my last!  Before the conference even began, I was able to plan out the sessions that I wanted to attend.  I had such a good time reading about all of the sessions and choosing which ones really struck my fancy.  During my sessions, I was educated on various topics, such as problem based learning, the Virginia 529 plan, coding (which was new to me), and ways to implement the Virginia Reader’s Choice nominee books in our libraries.  As you can see from my picture, we were able to actually complete a project in our PBL session.  So fun!  All of these sessions gave me ample “take-aways” that I have actually already started using in my school library.  This week, I am using some of the VA Reader’s Choice lesson plan ideas with my students.  So far, they are loving the activities!  An aspect that I also enjoyed was getting to visit the library vendors during our break times.  There were vendors from several book companies, which allowed me to peruse books in person, that I normally would only have been able to see in print or online.  Also, some of the book companies were giving away books, which I am now able to add to my school library collection.  All in all, I had a fabulous time at the VAASL Conference.  I was able to take away physical items to add to my library collection and also use for my library programs; as well as getting intellectual take-aways that I can use to enhance my current library management and facilitation.      

2016 VAASL Conference

img_2133What a fun and informative few days. I knew of Mr. Schu before going to VAASL but I had never had the pleasure of hearing him speak. On Friday he was one of the many presenters so I thought it would be fun to go see what all the hype was about. I must say I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who loves children’s literature so much. He truly brought the books to life and made my reading list that much longer.

I was torn on which session to choose for my last one but after hearing that Audrey Church’s session was a conference favorite for the past few years it was a settled. We were flooded with so much information and I was introduced to new topics I had never heard of before such as ESSA. Good thing I went since I was the lucky recipient of Dr. Church’s new book. There’s nothing like leaving the conference with a prize!

VAASL 2016 in Norfolk

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As this was my first conference for school librarians, I was amazed at all the great information I took home in just one day.  While my friends and family teased that this would be a conference of “Shhh-ers” and that I’d learn how to better dust the library shelves, what I actually found was a diverse group of personalities from around the state brought real-world ideas and solutions to school librarianship issues.  Our own Dr. Audrey Church (School Librarianship Program) spoke during the keynote ceremonies as the current President of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL). Keynote speaker Dr. Rob Fuhrman, a principal from Pennsylvania, gave us “10 principles for creating a reading culture.”  In the many breakout sessions I attended, I came away with real-world strategies for bringing the VA Readers Choice books into library lessons, book ideas for boys who are reluctant to read, ideas for professional growth in our careers, and the best apps for teaching and learning.  I filled pages of notes with great ideas that I can’t wait to put into practice!  The culminating highlight of my day at the VAASL conference was the Longwood alumni gathering.  It was inspiring to see around 150 alumni from Longwood’s School Librarianship program all gathered in one room, and even more amazing to see Dr. Church introduce us to each person in the room, announcing their name and location from memory! I look forward to attending next year as well!

VAASL Annual Conference: Norfolk 2016-2017

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Today was the first day of VAASL (Virginia Association of School Librarians).  All I can say is it was a fire-hose of information!  It was very overwhelming to be around so many librarians, and having to decide what sessions to go to!  I appreciated Frances’ advice of sitting near the door (for easy escape) and tried to do at least half of all the sessions I attended (allowing me to see twice as many session). I started the morning in a session that linked the VA Reader’s choice books to state standards.  They had great handouts about all the different activities that could be done at the elementary level, but didn’t address any of the middle grade books.  From there I caught the end of a session on the magic of series (which was very disappointing). After the morning session we saw the keynote speaker, Dr. Rob Furman.  I spent most of his session firing off e-mails to my colleagues back at Smart’s Mill about all the great resources he shared.  I particularly want to check out James Patterson’s website www.readkiddoread.com (books for reluctant readers).  In the afternoon I went to a session on becoming Google certified (which is very easy to do and only $10 to apply), then we went to the first timers tea and got all sorts of free books!  My favorite session was the one I only caught the tail end of, which used themes to tie different fiction books together.  The presenters were so animated, and there are so many great titles!  I ended the day with author Ginjer Clark, who writes nonfiction books on weird animals.  Her focus was on encouraging reluctant readers to engage in nonfiction by showing them the odd and disgusting.  I had a great time seeing everyone at the alumni event, and was impressed by Audrey’s ability to name everyone (and so quickly!).  I loved the tribute to Frances – “Oh the Places You Will Go!”

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October 21, 2016

Today was a fabulous day – best day by far!  All the sessions were absolutely amazing.  I began with the Junior Library Guild and their new releases for middle and upper grades.  I need to figure out how to get advance copies of books – what a tease!  My next session was sponsored by a math teacher aspiring to be a librarian and which Tech Tools we should integrate into the library to win over our math and science teachers.  My poor math SALT must have received at least 5 e-mails from me during this session!  Then we went to a session on Picture Books at the middle school level.  I was especially excited for this session as November is National Picture Book Month, and one of my reading promotions is to get each content to use a picture book to support their lessons.  The keynote speaker today was Mr. Schu – who is the fabulous library ambassador for Scholastic.  What a dream job!  Such an amazing speaker, and he was able to create such energy in that room.  Everyone should get a chance to see him speak!

 

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October 22, 2016

Short day today – only stayed for two sessions.  The first was on the Best Apps for 2016 sponsored by AASL.  Many of these apps were new to me, so my principal is allowing me to use 10 minutes in a faculty meeting to share with our staff.  My second session was presented by two first year librarians.  It was titled I Survived!  Overall it wasn’t the best presentation, but I did win a free book!  It did make me think about what I would want to share at VAASL next year if I were to present as a first year librarian.  So glad to have had this opportunity!

 

VAASL Conference – Norfolk, Virginia

20161020_165545_resizedLast week I had the pleasure of attending the VAASL conference in Norfolk, Virginia. It was a little overwhelming to hear so much good information in such a short amount of time. However, I came away with so many great ideas, and the men and women who presented have inspired me to take what I have learned and implement change for the benefit of our students.

Genrefying is at the top of my list; I wasn’t sold on it before I attended the conference – now I am a believer. Another great take away was how, why, and when to use picture books with middle school students. Every middle school should have a good collection of picture books to support the curriculum and student learning.

John Schumacher’s keynote address was a highlight of the conference. He knows the joy of reading and the joy of connecting a student with the right book that will make him/her a life-long reader.

Thanks to everyone who presented at the conference for providing such useful information and for the opportunity to attend. Looking forward to next year!

VAASL 2016

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I had the great opportunity to attend the VAASL Conference in Norfolk, VA.  This was the second opportunity for me to attend this conference.  Again, it was a wonderful conference, and I cannot wait to attend again next year.  It was very exciting to learn so many new things that I would be able to use in my classroom, as well as ideas for when I become a librarian.  This year, just like last year, I came away feeling refreshed, energized and excited about teaching and becoming a librarian.  I was able to attend Thursday, Friday and Saturday concurrent sessions, but my favorite day by far was Friday!

I attended, But they’re scary! Tech tools to over math and science teachers, using picture books in 6-8, charting the course with topics and trend and of course the keynote speaker, John Schu.  The concurrent sessions gave me some great ideas to use for my current classroom as well as share with my teachers in the building.  I am already planning on sharing the great tech tools in the math and science department meetings.  Listening to Audrey Church’s top ten, was just amazing.  I attended last year as well, and this year was just as good or better then last.

John Schu, was so inspirational to me as teacher, book lover and future librarian.  As I look into the future to becoming a librarian, I plan to keep the quote “What do you want your library students to remember about your library 10 years from now?”  and “Not to get the books back, but the readers back.”  He is a person/librarian/lover of books, that we all can hope to become and be able to share with students.  He gave some great book talks and ways to promote reading and libraries for every student.

Again, I was not disappointed by this conference and look forward to many more!

The Importance of Good Directions…

VAASLThe November 2015 VAASL conference was amazing, and my first large scale professional conference. What did I take away from said conference?  Well, always double check the room numbers.  Turns out that there is a BIG difference between auditorium and amphitheater.  Oops!  Luckily, we realized when no one showed up, that we were in the wrong place and made it to our session with a few extra minutes to spare.  As someone who has been to several smaller conferences, the VAASL conference has a lot to offer.  Sessions were lead by librarians and educators who genuinely have a passion for their profession.  All were eager to share their expertise and to lend a helping hand in any way they could.  I got so many great ideas from how to improve Sustained Silent Reading at our school, to sponsoring a Virginia Readers Choice group to listening to Longwood’s very own Dr. Church present on the 10 emerging trends in librarianship.  This conference was a great use of my time, and a fantastic way to network with other professionals!

I cannot wait to attend next year!

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