Posts tagged Ginjer Clark

VAASL Conference October 2016

vaaslChristine Klisiewicz

Master’s of School Librarianship

I left the conference excited to implement many new strategies and programs with our students. There was a lot of talk about advocating for the library with the changes brought about by ESSA. I made sure to fill out the VADOE survey and posted it to my Facebook page, and this posting received 13 shares. And I felt empowered!  Longwood represented strongly at this conference. I  am working in my first year as a full-time librarian for Prince William County, while finishing my course work in the School Librarianship Master’s Program at Longwood.

My principal is on the selection committee for the 2017-2018, nominated books, and is a huge supporter of the Virginia Reader’s Choice Program. She is thrilled that I am sharing the primary books with all students at our school or the first time this school year. I attended two different sessions that provided me with insights as to how to use these titles as springboards for generating interest in other similar books in our library. One of the sessions tied each book to specific Virginia SOL’s.  In efforts to support our IB PYP program, I am looking for ways to highlight each of the learner profiles when it is evident in a Virginia Reader’s Choice nominated book.  Another VRC session taught the ins and outs of the program, providing a timeline, the voting policies, and a lesson to use as a follow up.    I will be teaching the fifth grade students how to create book trailers for each of the primary titles.  I also attended a breakout session on using various programs with students to create book trailers. We will get these started in December.

There was a session that was led by Ginjer Clark on engaging the reluctant reader through nonfiction texts. She is the author of a series of popular animal books published by Penguin Publishers.  I got her information because she is based out of Richmond and is available for an author talk.  Even though the session was basically a sales pitch for her books, I could appreciate her enthusiasm and could tell she puts on a meaningful event for her audience of students. I want to go over her prices and the program she offers with my principal so that we can keep her in mind for the future. One of my sessions ended early so I sneaked in on the tail end of a fun preview session. I was able to grab an extra list of 2016 new released titles and their links to the SOL’s.  I placed it in my principal’s mailbox when I returned.  I am scanning it for titles that we must have in our collection.

Our Prince William colleague, Carolyn Vibbert, demonstrated the value of gaming in the library.  She encouraged us to dust off some good old-fashioned board games and card games to use with students. She also introduced some other games that were new to me.  This served as a great reminder that playing games builds problem solving, communication, cooperation, and verbal skills.  I am excited to encourage teachers to book the library for inside recess sessions when the weather does not cooperate. We can help students learn some iconic games that they can teach to their families.

My favorite part of the conference was networking with other school librarians.  I loved having the opportunity to attend the conference where I could learn from others’ strengths and be encouraged.   It was such a magical experience to see Frances honored for her years of service.  It was obvious that she has made a lasting impact on all her students. I am excited to that next year it will be held in our neck of the woods at Westfield’s Conference Center.

(In the photo, I am on the far right, sitting at the table with my Prince William cohort members.)


VAASL Annual Conference: Norfolk 2016-2017

Octfullsizerenderober 20, 2016

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 (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!”



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!



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!


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