Posts tagged Frances Reeve

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 2017 Conference

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I recently attended the VAASL conference held November 2nd-4th in Chantilly, VA.  It was absolutely amazing and I’m so glad I got to experience it. I was able to attend numerous helpful sessions and it was nice to see so many of the other students in my cohort. I was able to meet so many of my favorite authors too! I left every single workshop I attended with information I can use in the library, classroom, and life in general. The theme this year was Libraries for the People and the workshops demonstrated how libraries benefit everyone. I am already looking forward to attending next year’s conference. Here is a picture of me (on the left) with a classmate and Frances Reeve at the awards dinner.

 

2016 VAASL

015This was my first time attending VAASL and it was a super experience!  I loved meeting other librarians from the county in which I work as well as other librarians from the state.  Each session I went to was stupendous! What a wealth of knowledge and expertise there is amongst this group of people.  My big take away from the conference are ideas of how to get Maker Spaces started in my own library, but I also received some realistic feedback of some challenges I may face when first starting with Maker Spaces.

I had a great time at the Longwood reunion.  How fun it was to see how many people went through Longwood’s SLIB program.  The tribute to Frances was so sweet!  She has been such a treasure to me as I have gone through the SLIB program. She will be missed.

This conference allowed me to learn more about my profession, gave me new ideas to implement and time to fellowship with colleagues.  I will definitely be attending VAASL next year.

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!

Charting the Course: VAASL 2016

henrycoleI 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

Future Librarian Inspired by the 2015 VAASL Conference

Where to start?  The VAASL Conference was a wonderful experience, from perusing the vendors and getting to see 3D printers at work to attending conference sessions, it was nonstop.  It was hard to choose which sessions to attend with so many options.  My favorites were Online Tools in Action, Pairing Literature with Primary Sources, Oh the Places You’ll Go (four cool tools), and the Coding sessions, but I enjoyed every single one of the sessions I chose to attend.  I am so excited to try out the “Hour of Code” and am signed up for training in DC for next week.

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I thought the speakers were wonderful, especially Maggie Stiefvater who divided her speech into 8 chapters of her life.  I loved that and thought it was a brilliant way to keep the audience focused while she was talking.  I also enjoyed meeting Lamar Giles and can’t wait to share his new book in my current classroom.  This experience was well worth the cost and I hope to be able to attend next year, as well.

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I hate Nicholas Sparks-VAASL 2015

VAASL pictureI cannot stand his books!  If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading one, here is how THEY ALL go…there is a tragedy, and due to the tragedy, someone falls in love.  Now, you have no reason to ever have to read one his books!  Sparks has written tons of books, they have all been on the New York Times Best Seller’s List, and he has sold over 100 million copies.  So clearly, my feelings about his books are not the majority.  People like them.  They buy them.  LOTS of them.

As a graduate student in School Librarianship, I have been recently struggling with how to teach content in the library while not crushing the potential spirit of readers.  With so much emphasis in schools on test scores and data, how do you maintain student’s excitement?

Margaret Willison was Thursday’s keynote speaker at VAASL and she is funny!  And what I took away from her presentation is that people are going to read what they like.  It may not be what you like or perhaps even millions of people worldwide like, but for them, there is value in what they are reading.  So, instead of promoting certain books, promote the love of reading for there is certainly value in the love of reading.

We all have our things.  Sparks certainly isn’t mine.  But I LOVE the Confessions of a Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella.  And while the basic plot is the same in that series just like Spark’s books, I gain huge value in the pleasure of reading.

 

Where to find Willison:

https://twitter.com/MrsFridayNext?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

http://tinyletter.com/twobossydames

https://twitter.com/atvpodcast

http://www.npr.org/sections/monkeysee/129472378/pop-culture-happy-hour/

 

Sneaking into VAASL Fall 2015 Conference

IMG_4617 (2)Allow me to clarify: I paid to go to the VAASL Fall Conference, but it felt like sneaking in because I’m not actually a school librarian yet-still taking my graduate classes to get me there. But it was certainly beneficial being able to attend this conference as it gave me more of an idea as to what my future Falls will look like as I’m sure I’ll be attending this conference annually. Getting the chance to start the networking within the librarian community is also a wonderful benefit from attending as I’ll have people I can turn to from day one when I become a librarian myself.

And while I’m not a librarian yet, I can obviously see how I can use much of the information I learned while at the conference once I am. Now I will admit that there were so many sessions and new ideas/info that it was a bit overwhelming at times, but reflecting back a week later, there were some things that stuck pretty well. I really liked the session on genrefying the fiction section as this is a topic I’ve been curious about the relevance of doing this in a library; but based off the statistics and advice I heard in this session, I think it is certainly worth a try. Learning how significant primary sources can be when beginning the research process from a former Library of Congress librarian imprinted the notion that it is so important to ensure our students care about the work we ask them to do so it can be their work, not ours. Another session also uses the same LOC photos idea, but these two fun, creative librarians shared a lot of wonderful ideas for integrating more hands-on, critical-thinking activities like learning stations and research products using green screen technology. Lastly, there was the idea of taking students on virtual field trips via websites with video tours of locations (like the Sistine Chapel or the human body); a great idea for those days when there’s school-wide testing or the last days of schools.

Again, I’m not a librarian-yet, but attending this VAASL Conference has really inspired me to look forward to the day when I can implement the various things I’ve learned this past week. If the future conferences are anything like this one, I look forward to my future as a librarian and as an attendant.

A big thank you to Longwood University Graduate Studies for providing a travel grant so I could learn more about the career I can’t wait to start thanks to opportunities like this and of course my absolutely wonderful professors in the School Librarianship Program (as pictured).

VAASL 2014 Conference

1106140822Farmer Minor and his precious pets were a hit in the Exhibitor Hall of the hotel. A good cup of coffee and a doggie kiss first thing in the morning…it doesn’t get much better than that. This was my first stop on a whirlwind journey into The Heart of the School. There were so many things to see and hear I felt at times I needed another set of eyes and ears. It would be hard for me to choose just one thing as my favorite. I came away from EVERY session with new information, ideas and a passion for my job. The sessions were moving and inspiring producing laughter, tears and times of reflection.  The gathering of the Longwood alumni was a special time of making new friends. Thanks to all who gave their time, effort and energy to create an atmosphere of friendship, learning and fun. Thank you Longwood for making this journey possible.

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