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Showing posts from July, 2018

Stations & Maker Spaces - Introduction

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It's that time when our brains are shifting back into gear for school (welcome or not, it's happening!). As those thoughts emerge, I'm getting more and more questions about stations and maker spaces. I'm just going to call them stations from now on.

I'd like to write about everything that happens, needs to happen up front, and where you might end up, but that won't happen in a single post. People come to the OTES library and ask:

How did you decide to use that?
How did the kids know to go there?
How long does this last?

And lots more. What they are seeing is years of trial, error, and success, so I'd like to share some of the process so you can decide what will work for you, and hopefully, some of the trial and error part can be minimized.

I'd like to address:

choosing & managing the materials
how to get started with the students
managing the day-to-day routines

What else do you want to know as I move through this? Let me know and I'll do my best to addre…

Evidences and the School Librarian

So you need some hard evidence that what a school librarian does grows students. I get it, we are data driven as an educational society.

My largest fear when data is requested is to show the librarian link to student learning, there is at least an implication that the learning impact is reflected in test scores.

I want to step back for a minute and consider the job of a school librarian. What school librarians do is highly individualized. We work closely with students, teachers, and parents to make sure everyone is being helped in a way that is most beneficial to each. We have been perfecting individualized learning for ages. Needs at my school are vastly different from the needs at the school just a few miles away. Even in one school, one year the librarian may work more closely with students. Another year, the teachers may get the lions share of the librarian's time.

So, here are a few ways that librarian impact on student learning can be measured:

Long range plans including scope a…

Blue by Joyce Hostetter

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I want you to meet Ann Fay Honeycutt. She lives on a farm in NC in 1944. When her father goes off to fight in the war, Ann Fay is left to fill his boots. I want you to see her standing there in her overalls ready and willing to fill in even while she knows the job is just too big. When you meet Ann Fay, you'll learn about farming and what a wicked beast that beautiful wisteria can be. I want you to meet her family, neighbors, and friends. Some with hearts big and brave enough to love through all kinds of heartache. Some with hearts that seem small and scared. All I can say is thank goodness for Junior and Bessie! Make sure you have a box of tissues handy. If you are like me, you will laugh quite a bit with Ann Fay, but there are times when you'll have to sort through the heartache with some tears. The tissues will come in handy then.

The Heartbeat of the School

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One of the highlights of the trip was the AASL Awards Ceremony. We got to meet our digital leaders, grant winners, and librarians of the year. This year, the AASL Distinguished School Administrator award went to Mike Daria, Superintendent of Tuscaloosa City Schools. Last week I was at ALA in the humongous conference center in New Orleans! Always a great event. Although the conference center was so very large, that I didn't see many folks from NC. I wouldn't have even known they were there except for Facebook.



Dr. Daria understands the value of school libraries to the culture of classes, schools, and districts at a level that is rarely seen. Please read what he says in a recent edition of Knowledge Quest. I talked with him for a few minutes after the awards ceremony. I repeated what he already knew - that so many in the upper ranks of education have no idea what a difference a good librarian can make in a school. He told me that he didn't either, until he listened to what s…