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Cultivating life-long readers - preserve readers' choice

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I find that Module 3’s topic of cultivating life-long reading habits gets to the heart of why I want to become a teacher librarian. I look upon this as almost a sacred duty to support readers as they discover their interest and enthusiasm for reading. Knowing that being a reader is correlated with success in school and future careers, I don’t take it lightly when I student’s interest in reading is quashed. In the elementary school scenario in Module 3, a Grade 2 reader is sad when he is told he must restrict his reading to level 2.4 fiction rather than the nonfiction books about animals that he enjoys. I would help this student by defending his right to select his own books for recreational reading. 

Gaiman states that “libraries are about freedom. Freedom to read, freedom of ideas, freedom of communication,” (Gaiman, 2014) and the AASL’s policy on labeling is that “School library collections are not merely extensions of classroom book collections or classroom teaching methods, but rat…

LLED 462 - Recipe for a School Library

I have chosen to create a two-minute-long Powtoon animation showing my recipe for a school library for my Module 2 learning curation. I wanted to build on my learning from two weeks ago by creating my second Powtoon and I felt that the animated format lent itself well to a recipe. I am pleased that I was able to record a voiceover for this movie and time it to match the slides.

I see a connection between my essential question (“How can I build relationships with students, teachers, administrators, parents, and other teacher librarians?”) and the goal of school libraries as a hub of literacy and learning. As I mentioned in my animation, I believe that strong relationships are an essential part of the recipe. You can have the newest technology, amazing resources, and flexible seating, but if no one feels welcome in the library, it won’t be successful.

I think that time, another important factor in the school library recipe, contributes to relationships, as the teacher librarian gets to…

LLED 469 - Access for All Learners and Formative Assessment

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Module 9 addresses the important concept of ensuring that learning takes into account all of your students’ learning needs. I believe it’s very important to meet students where they are and to treat them with dignity. Putting this philosophy into practice can be challenging as a teacher on call as I am often working with a class for just a day and I don’t have time to get to know the students well. It’s challenging to try to figure out if a student is not following directions because they don’t want to, or they can’t understand the language you are speaking, they are going through something at home, or they have special needs, etc. I look forward to future jobs where I get to know the students by working with them for a year at a time, or even for multiple years as the teacher-librarian. I think being a teacher-librarian is a special role and I am excited at the thought of someday having the opportunity to follow students as they progress through school. I will consider the individual …

LLED 469 - Inquiry Learning by Design and Essential Questions

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Module 7 starts with comparing traditional research and inquiry and lists the reasons inquiry-based learning is superior to traditional research models. Traditional research is seen as teacher-centered, linear, and shallow, whereas inquiry is student-centered, active, and participatory. While I can understand the intellectual argument for inquiry-based learning, I find that I have an emotional reaction to this viewpoint. I was taught in the traditional way and was a successful student, so perhaps I am feeling defensive because the module implies that my education was shallow. I think it’s useful to notice this initial reaction and realize that others may feel defensive about the way they teach. Being aware that my colleagues may feel unsure about IBL will help me plan for Pro-D teaching opportunities. If I know some staff members are already familiar with inquiry and are perhaps taking part in their own professional inquiry, I might choose to work in a small group with them before bri…

LLED 469: Evaluating resources and curation

Reflecting on Module 5 and the selection and appropriate use of print resources is both exciting and a little overwhelming. When there are so many options to pick from, it seems like a challenge to assess and choose the resources that will best fit your users’ needs. However, I feel hopeful when I think of the collaborative community of teacher-librarians and reviewers who share their knowledge. ERAC’s K-12 Resource Collection is a particularly helpful tool as it evaluates resources based on connections to the BC curriculum. I was able find a review of Louis Sachar’s “Holes” and saw that it is a recommended resource. 

Reading “Copyright Matters!” and “Copyright Considerations” helped me further my knowledge of how to respect copyright in a school setting. I was happy to read that information that is freely available online can be used when properly cited. It seems that fair dealing covers most educational situations, so I am confident that I have been following the rules with print mat…

Library websites (Wix vs Weebly vs Blogger)

Website Exemplar
I have chosen the Selkirk Elementary library website as an example of a well-populated website. I was introduced to this website when I was teaching on call at Selkirk, the largest elementary school in Vancouver, and the sub notes directed me to the student links page which had several age-appropriate resources on bears that linked to the unit the primary students were studying. Having student links for a variety of topics and age ranges is useful both at school (in the library and in the classroom) and at home.
I enjoy the layout of this weebly site and find it easy to navigate. It has key information such as library hours and borrowing policy on the main page. I like the "request a book" feature as well as the "new books in the library" widget that rotates through the covers of new items. The links to the school district's OPAC, online databases, and even the local public library catalogue are easily accessible.
I appreciate that the Intermediat…

Library Policies and Supporting Staff

Module 5 reflection post for LIBE 461 Administration of the School Library Resource Centre

Welcoming Policies:

As a TOC, I have had the chance to work in many different libraries and I try to pick up different ideas from each one. Last week, I taught in a vibrant library in a large Vancouver elementary school. One policy that was successful for that library was accessibility! It seems simple, but by having the library open for twenty minutes before and after school every day of the week, students were encouraged to visit often. I only wish every school had this policy in place!

Circulation was high at this library and there was an entire wall listing holds on popular books. Another library I saw recently had a list of student names written on a sticky note on a new book to indicate the order in which it was to be borrowed.

In my children's school, the former TL used a positive reinforcement strategy in regards to overdue books. Classes with no overdues at the end of the year earned a…

New "Elephant and Piggie Like Reading!" book coming soon!

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I'm sure most of you who work with elementary students or have young children in your life are aware that Mo Willems has written his final Elephant and Piggie book and he is now overseeing the publication of books in the Elephant and Piggie Like Reading! series. The first two books are The Cookie Fiasco and We Are Growing! and my five year old has been enjoying them. I just saw today that there is a new book in the series coming out in May 2017. It's called The Good For Nothing Button and it's written and illustrated by Charise Mericle Harper. I'll be watching for it!


The Five Laws of Librarianship

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I'm currently taking a free online course called "Cataloguing for Non-Catalogers" from WebJunction (the learning place for libraries). I've just learned about the five laws of librarianship and the infographic below contained html code for sharing, so I believe it's ok to paste it here.

USC Online Library Science Degree

The Role of the Teacher Librarian

Module 1 reflection post for LIBE 461 Administration of the School Library Resource Centre

As a wannabe teacher-librarian, I'll have to use my best guess to prioritize the various areas of the job. I don't have a current SLLC, but I hope to have one within five years. In my hypothetical library, clientele comes first to me, as the goal of the library is to support student learning. In order to do so, I need updated, relevant resources (both physical and digital) as well as efficient and welcoming facilities. Image fits into this high-priority area as well, because if your library isn't known as a welcoming and interesting place to be, you won't succeed in engaging students.

Lower down on the list would be budget as I would guess it will be extremely low, so I can't get my hopes up for too many purchases for the library. It's hard to select any other aspects as less important, but as a new TL, I'm thinking it would take me some time to build up my leadership …