Posts tagged Karla Collins
VAASL Conference 2017
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!
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.
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.
I hate Nicholas Sparks-VAASL 2015
I 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:
Sneaking into VAASL Fall 2015 Conference
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).
This year’s VaASL conference was very well-organized and informative. Highlights of the conference were keynote addresses from Margaret Willison, pop culture guru, and Shannon Miller, an Iowa librarian who isn’t afraid to try anything and has a passion for the students and teachers with whom she works, and the Friday night author banquet with Maggie Steifvater, author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, who kept us in stitches with her 8-chapter life story. They were each very entertaining and approachable. I learned something from each session I attended, including amazing websites from Heather Moorefield-Lang, Karla Collins, and Audrey Church, that I will share with students and teachers at my school. Other topics that will help me improve our library were about diverse book selections, how to host a poetry slam, handling 1:1 implementation, teaching summarization, and making over your website. I even learned a lot from visiting various vendors (Alexandria, Follett, Mackin, Worldbook, Gale Cengage, and Library of Virginia) in the exhibitor hall. I will definitely attend next year’s conference in Norfolk!
VAASL 2014 Conference
Farmer 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.
I’m so happy that I got to experience the VAASL Conference. What a wonderful opportunity for librarians to share with other librarians (and librarians to be)! I attended some really great sessions. First I went to a session presented by Lynne Farrell Stover called The Contemporary School Story: A New Nemesis Appears. I heard this presenter at Longwood over the summer when she shared her lessons on Unspoken by Henry Cole so I knew I would enjoy it. She went through a few books that are now incorporating story lines with testing and data. She handed out lesson plans to go along with the titles she shared. I will be able to do some of these lessons in my own class and I’ll share them with the librarian in my school.
I also attended a session presented by Elizabeth Kyser and Rebecca Schneeberger called Virginia Readers’ Choice – Primary. These two presenters went through the newest list of Virginia Readers’ Choice books and talked about how you can use them in your classroom or library. I learned that the books on this list are not necessarily new. I saw titles that I’ve been using in my classroom for years. Uh, why did I not know that?
Dee Griffith and Marsha Stewart presented a session on Making the 2014 Elementary Connection: What’s New in Children’s Literature. This session was fast paced with book talks on a lot of new books! I feel like since I’m not using different types of technology in the library yet, I wanted to go to sessions on books. This one was perfect! Oh… the wish list of books I want to purchase!
The next session I attended was presented by the one and only Audrey Church – Top Ten Topics and Trends for 2014. I had told myself that I wasn’t going to attend sessions by our professors because they would most likely share this information in our classes at some point. But when I saw the title of this one, I knew Audrey wouldn’t be sharing this in class. This was another fast paced presentation on topics such as augmented reality, digital curation, evidence-based practice, genrefication, library reports, Makerspaces, professional development, project-based learning, and research. Wow! I plan on purchasing a few augmented reality books for my classroom. My students will love them. I also want to learn more about digital curation so I’ll be reading some of the articles Audrey gave us.
On Friday I attended NonFicton StoryTime by Gwen Lantz and Margaret Alger. The pair went through non-fiction books and talked about how they used them in the classroom. I got excited about using non-fiction and learned how to read this type of text to engage kids. The story behind Biblioburro: A True Story from Columbia by Luis Soriano was amazing. He had a library on his donkey!
I went to a session presented by Susan Morris called Reading Together: Parent/Child Book Clubs. She explained how book clubs are a great way to bring kids and parents together to enjoy good books. She went through the steps on how to start a book club and which books she chooses and why. I probably took the most out of this session because it’s something I’m going to do as soon as I get back to school.
I went to a session presented by a very animated Allyson Watkins (I wish she was my teacher/librarian when I was little) called The Math-literature Connection in the Elementary Library. Not only did we learn about good titles to use with math, but also her story about why she had to do so much math in the library was very interesting.
By this point in the day I was happily on information overload and went to relax in my room. The keynote with Stephen Krashen was uplifting, dessert with David Baldacci was very entertaining, and dinner with Neal Shusterman was moving. How lucky for me to be able to experience all this in just a few days! I am so looking forward to the next time we all get together as librarians and learn from one another. Fabulous!
Alicia LeRoux @ VAASL November 2014
This was my first VAASL conference and I can sum it up in one word: WOW! It was great fun going to the conference with my library cohort buddy Jenny Larson. I learned a lot in all my sessions…favorites were the ones on technology, primary sources, and makerspaces. I can only wonder when the day will come when I will be able to use all my new ideas when I am hired as a librarian. I really enjoyed the dessert buffet with David Baldacci, and yes, library friends out there reading this, he really is the brother of the family who attends my church. When visiting the vendors, I ran into a former colleague of mine and previous Longwood School Librarian graduate student, Leslie Swenson. She now works for Five Ponds Press. In the picture, you will see me to the left, Leslie to the right, the display of Five Ponds Press in the background, and my finger to the far right. I need to practice my selfie technique! A big shout out to Frances Reeve, Audrey Church, and Karla Collins for a lovely reception with introductions by Audrey (amazing!) and the gift!! Thanks to the Longwood Travel Grant for supporting my conference adventure!