Thursday, April 27, 2017

Camp Readamorra: Summer Reading PD Plans

I have noticed that most professional development sessions that address reading seem to be about dissecting, analyzing, and tearing texts apart. I wanted to put a course together that promoted independent, recreational reading. I also wanted to start building relationships with the teachers at my new school before next year. I thought it would be fun to use a camping theme so Camp Readamorra was born.
I debated between Camp Readamorra and Camp Wannaread. I wanted something cute that conjured up those happy feelings of summer camp, even though my own experiences at camp never met the high expectations from camp movies. I tweeted a poll and it ended in a tie. Internet, you failed me:)
I shared the outline of the tasks with the other librarians in my district and several expressed that their teachers would also be interested. I submitted the course for approval to my district to earn renewal credit and created a Google Classroom for elementary, middle and high school groups.

This is the outline for the course if you would like to adapt and use with your teachers. You can access a copy of the Google Doc here.  From there you could copy and paste the assignments into Google Classroom or another platform you prefer.

I shared a flyer I made using the Canva images above with a short description and the Google Classroom code. By the end of today I already have 8 teachers enrolled from all different content areas. Normally we focus on reaching out to our students and of course, that is essential, but I also believe we need to continue to share the power of reading to our teachers as well. I would love to hear how you're sharing with your teachers.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Summer Reading Plans 2017

Summer reading is so important for our students so I knew that I wanted to plan something as soon as possible for my new position. I found this article from YALSA and was inspired by Lauri Vaughan's ReCreate Reading program. As much as I would love to do this with the entire school I thought that might be too ambitious since I would not be there to make sure it all went smoothly. I know I'll only get one shot to convince the teachers and admin that the program is worth the time and effort so I wasn't willing to try it and risk failure. After speaking with my new principal we decided that I would implement this idea with our Freshman Academy only. I met with the FA admin and a few staff members and we worked out the final details. This is what I'll be sharing with the entire FA staff after Spring Break.

All 12 teachers, plus me, one guidance counselor, one administrator and the School Resource Officer will be sponsoring a book. This will allow our discussion groups to be under 20 students. I created a resource list of book titles to help the teachers choose a book. I included two authors that we are considering for author visits. When everyone has selected their title I plan to go to the middle school and meet with all of the rising 9th graders to share the summer reading plan and sign up each student for a book. I hope that our public library will have their summer reading materials ready at that time as well so I can share those.
My promotion materials will include an Animoto video with the book covers, QR codes that link to teacher videos explaining why those choose their book, and posters for each teacher to hang near their door. I'll post again when everything is complete, but this is what I have so far since a few teachers have chosen their book already.


I didn't forget the other grades. Even though it isn't feasible for me to plan a more involved summer program this year I did want to do something to encourage summer reading. I plan to make a quick video explaining why summer reading is important and share the SYNC YA information, our public library summer reading information and this BINGO sheet. I'll buy some affordable books to hand out as prizes.



I look forward to reading more about summer reading as the time draws near. I'll be sure to come back and post more when I have materials ready for my students. If you see something you would like a copy of or more information about, don't hesitate to contact me.
*All my background images were made in Canva then layered in Google Slides.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Follow Your Bliss-Back to the Library

After three years as an instructional technologist, I am excited to announce that I will be returning to the library. I have learned so much and enjoyed getting to know teachers across our district. It has been a pleasure to be on the team that rolled out 1:1 iPads to our schools.
Even though I have enjoyed this position, I have missed being in the library, promoting reading, planning student programs and being an integrated part of a school culture. I was thrilled to find out that I had been hired as one of our high school librarians. It was obvious to me that I had lost a bit of my spark when I realized that I had not blogged in about one year. I even found myself approaching kids wandering the stacks of a library that I was working in so that I could recommend a recent read or help them find a book.
I hope to share more of my journey during my transition back to the library. I already have several ideas in the works for this summer. Wherever you are and whatever you do, I hope that you are following your bliss-advice I haven't forgotten since watching Bill Moyers' interviews with Joseph Campbell in my high school senior ELA class.


Image result for joseph campbell follow your bliss