Sunday, June 29, 2008

A funny thing happend on the way past the Ellison Die-Cutting Machine Table

So, there I was walking around the Exhibitor's Hall, looking at hundreds thousands of books and library materials, when I sneak a glance at the Ellison table. I have been severely underutilizing our Die-Cut machine! The sales person showed me how to fold the paper and make a notepad, connected paper dolls, a wreath, a booklet, a standing sign, and more. She also told me that the machine can cut more than paper. It can cut felt, fabric, pop-up sponge, and laminated paper! She directed me to their website where I found even more ideas. I can't wait to create new projects for next year!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

ALA Session: Sisters' Act

Sisters' Act: Learn How to Make Your Library Lessons Award Winning and Generate Enthusiastic Readers
Presented by sisters, Brenda Copeland and Pat Messner.

This session was a breath of fresh air. I love watching presenters who are obviously passionate about what they do and know how to present at a rapid pace to keep the audience interested. In addition to providing a handout with standards based lessons, resources, and a bibliography, the presenters offered to forward the lessons presented if you send them an email.

Lessons learned from watching these presenters:

  1. Show the audience, don't tell them. I love that they both became the character during their book talks (Rosa Parks from the book Rosa and the student from the book Sister Anne's Hands.
  2. Use realia. They showed several ways to incorporate the use of objects from the story into library lessons. Examples:
    1. Reading with Mr. Dewey using a vest, glasses, umbrella or cane and a briefcase. Put books in the briefcase and have students figure out where they belong in the library.
    2. Atlas Review Lesson- Cut a map like a puzzle. Groups assemble the puzzle and answer the questions about maps (Ex. Where is the nearest school to...., How many parks are in the city of..., How far is it from...)
    3. Dress up like Fancy Nancy and make fancy and plain word cards for students to match (Sample words: Limousine and Car)
    4. Use a backpack to become the student from Sister Anne's Hands.
    5. Make a photo album about myself (from birth to now) and pair it with That's Our Librarian to do a compare/contrast lesson at the beginning of the school year. (another option: collect baby pics from the teachers/staff and make a school book of then and now describing what kind of kid they were on one side and describe their job and duties at the school today).
    6. Use seed packets with character names taped to them and match the character with the problem and solution cards, or setting cards with the book Muncha Muncha Muncha.
    7. Brave Harriet by Marissa Moss. Create the English Channel using a large sheet of blue paper, provide paper and directions to make paper airplanes, fly the planes of the English Channel and provide prizes for the plane that goes the farthest.
    8. Mr. Wiggle's Book. Fill a backpack with "good friends" and "bad friends" (Ex. Soda can, water bottle, soap, gum, candy, bookmark, etc.) Each child will hold a GOOD sign and a BAD sign to hold up when you pull an item out of the bag.
    9. Skeleton Hiccups. Use physical props related to parts of the story for a sequencing lesson.
  3. Give away free stuff! Everyone loves to pause for a free giveaway.
  4. Have fun! Enough said.

Friday, June 27, 2008

ALA Preconference: Eating the Elephant 2.0 with Doug Johnson

Today I attended my first conference presentation by Doug Johnson called, Eating the Elephant 2.0 One Bite at a Time: Using the Read-Write Web in Classrooms and Libraries. I am one of those librarians who is determined to keep up with all of the free technology tools. I have so many things in my head that sometimes I think I might burst. It's inspiring to watch Doug present because he has taken some of the popular web 2.0 tools and presented them in a very accessible and non-threatening way. I was familiar with 90% of the tools he presented. Although I was familiar with the topic, I viewed it as an opportunity to learn.
I learned:

  1. Introduce 1, 2, or 3 new web 2.0 tools to my staff per year. Don't overwhelm them with too much too soon.
  2. Show teachers exactly how they can use these tools with the students.
  3. Talk about responsibility and privacy issues with the staff as well as with the students before problems arise.
  4. Use problems that arise as teachable moments. Learning from mistakes is a powerful metacognitive behavior.
  5. Use videos, comics, and/or images as transition tools (ImageChef, Big HUGE Labs Motivator, Web Crash 2007 Video . He used a variety of Common Craft tools to introduce the concepts of blogging, wikis, social networking and RSS feeds.
  6. People like to receive information in list format ;) ex: "Top 10 things you should know about... and 23 Things on a Stick (and the California Version)"
  7. I can convince my teachers to create a Professional Learning Community on a small scale through the use of social bookmarking tools like, FURL, and Blinklist.
  8. Use screensavers as a learning tool or to relay library and/or school news. (This one I came up with myself as the result of being hypnotized by his pre-conference "Doug's T-shirt says..." slideshow)
I have so much information inside me. When I look at Doug and think about Joyce Valenza and David Loertscher and I look at myself, I think...I need to step out of my comfort zone and start writing and presenting in front of adults.

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Overachiever vs High Achiever (Ms. K vs Keisa)

Overachievers are unconsciously fulfilling a need they have for approval and recognition. Their desire to get the approval from other people prevents them from living the life they want to live. It's all about proving themselves to someone else verses building their own lives. Overachievers do not believe that who they are is enough, so they go looking for achievements to make them feel better about themselves. Overachievers focus on what's still missing.

White, J (1999, March 12). Stop Overachieving! Be A High Achiever . Retrieved June 8, 2008, from The JWC Group Web site:

High achievers are confident of their talents and are able to enjoy their hard work and the success it brings.
Grabmeier, J (1998). Overachievers find success comes with a psychological price. Retrieved June 8, 2008, Web site:

Today I stumbled upon these two terms and had an a-ha moment. I definitely fit the profile of an "overachiever" with a twist of "impostor syndrome". I never feel like I am done with anything that I do. And then when I finish, everyone loves it, but I secretly believe that anyone could have done it. Last week, one of my colleagues called me obsessive compulsive. I was initially offended...until I thought about my problem-solving approach: I NEVER give up until I solve the problem.

I love being a school librarian. I get a rush when I witness my students learning. I love researching and finding resources for my teachers. What I can't figure out is how to turn work off when I get home and how to push that overachiever to the side to make way for the real me underneath.