Refreshing Ideas at the VAASL Conference
I had the great fortune of attending the Virginia Association of School Librarians conference in Roanoke this year. Needless to say, it was a lovely place to stay for a couple of days, and the conference was certainly educational. But what I loved most were the refreshing takes on the school library and education at every session I attended. Here are just a few:
- Kendra Albright discussed graphic novels written by incarcerated teens to educate other students. “AIDS in the End Zone” was written by a group of incarcerated young men who used their own lives as inspiration to write a graphic novel that could educate student readers about HIV/AIDS. Students who read the graphic novel instead of the CDC material on HIV/AIDS retained significantly more information. This makes me think of two immediate projects for the school library: 1) Be sure to acquire graphic novels that deal with nonfiction issues across the curriculum, and promote them with the staff; and 2) Creating a graphic novel would be a great way to assess students’ ability to synthesize and connect to researched information.
- Having a mock-Caldecott award competition was a great idea provided by Elyse DeQuoy. This would be a great way to ask students to think critically about why they like a particular book or illustration, while introducing them to a wide variety of new books. As a middle school teacher, I could do the same program, but with the Newbery Award.
- Author Kimberly P. Johnson was exactly the kind of presenter that I needed during Saturday’s third session. She said that we would feel rejuvenated after her session, and she was absolutely right. Keeping us on our feet, thinking quickly, and laughing with a variety of games, she reminded us that students need this stimulation to become engaged in their learning, and that it can be applied to the library- or, in fact, any educational setting.
My time at the VAASL conference was definitely well-spent. As well as packing my days full of inspiration and excitement about being a librarian, it was great to share that with my coworkers, professors, and classmates. I look forward to using all of these fresh ideas in my classroom and practical library hours, and eventually in my own library.
This entry was posted by Michelle Sanders on November 17, 2014 at 3:52 pm, and is filed under 2014-2015, School Librarianship. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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