KASL Blog https://kaslblog.com Information and stories from Kentucky school librarians... Mon, 23 Sep 2019 13:33:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 https://kaslblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/cropped-Copy-of-KASL-Logo-Transparent-32x32.png KASL Blog https://kaslblog.com 32 32 The Power of School Councils https://kaslblog.com/index.php/2019/09/23/the-power-of-school-councils/ https://kaslblog.com/index.php/2019/09/23/the-power-of-school-councils/#respond Mon, 23 Sep 2019 13:33:36 +0000 http://www.kaslblog.com/?p=878 In response to the landmark ruling of the Kentucky Supreme Court in Rose v. Council for Better Education[1] in June 1989, the Kentucky General Assembly dramatically changed the system of public K-12 education in our state. What was introduced to the Kentucky General Assembly the following session as HB 940, became known to all as the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA), changed the face for Kentucky education, and introduced the world to school-based decision making councils. 

KRS 160.345 brought forth what some people thought was the single most progressive part of KERA, the required adoption of school-based decision making councils. For all guises, school councils were an attempt to transform schools into communities where the appropriate people (teachers, parents, and the principal) constructively participate in decisions that affect them. For all factual purposes, school councils do so much more. School councils have power that many of us are unaware that they have.

Good grief, Lady, what are you talking about and WHY?!? I seriously did not read this blog for a history lesson on SBDM…

Okay, okay, no one really cares about the history of SBDM. I get it. I do. What you really need to know is:

  1.  What does SBDM have to do with libraries?
  2. What can your SBDM do for YOU?

Lucky…I’m here to tell you.

Every year on March 1, your Board of Education sends your principal and, yes, your SBDM council something called an allocation. This allocation is a number of positions that your building will be able to fill the next school year. These allocations are based on KRS 157.360. You can read it in your free time (or after you stop laughing about the fact that you have no free time). It’s important to remember that councils may only talk about positions, NOT people at this stage. When the board of education sends the staffing allocation over, it may have an administrator, a certain number of teachers listed, etc. Some of the positions may be full positions, some may be 0.5 positions, and some may be listed as even less. 

Why boards continue to send the allocation to the school in this format is the question of the day/week/month/year/decade…you get it. Here’s why…

The only certified positions that a school must have are:

  1. An instructional leader
  2. A librarian (KRS 158.102)—yes, this statute has been interpreted by KDE to mean a portion, any portion, so advocacy to your school-based decision making council is KEY!

The only classified positions that a school must have are:

  1.  A P1 (kindergarten) assistant for every 24 children.

That’s it. All other positions are supplemental and not required under statute or regulation. [2]  Every single other position can be changed by your school council to something else if they so choose. Your school council has the power to do with positions in your school and with ALL the money in your school what they wish. These are required council policies (KRS 160.345 (i.)). 

So, what can your school council do for you? Everything, when it comes to finances! If your council is being sent an allocation from the board of allocation like it’s always been sent, and your position is not 1.0, advocate for your position to be 1.0! Even if it IS 1.0, advocate for your position to STAY 1.0 because they have the power to CHANGE it. If your students need books (and they ALWAYS do), advocate for that Section 7 money that comes from your board of education to buy them! I suggest that you talk to your council members if your library is being affected AT ALL! I suggest you talk to your council members even if it isn’t. The more your colleagues know you are ALL ABOUT ALL KIDS ALL the time, the more they will be willing to put themselves on the line for the things that your library needs. Run for your school-based decision making council! And, if you are not presenting to your school council at least once a year about the state of your library, get on their agenda!

If you have further questions about things your school council can do, ask your principal. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, each district has an SBDM district coordinator. Still not comfortable? See the link below to reach out to the fantastic people at the Kentucky Department of Education. Just remember that the law and best practice aren’t always the same. Advocacy is key in putting forth best practice!

Your board of education is only going to send you the money they are allotted by the state for the students in your building. What your school council decides to do with it makes all the difference!

Other documents or webpages you may be interested in perusing:

  1.  School Based Decision Making
  2. SEEK and SEEK payments (SEEK is the amount of money your district gets from the state per student)
  3. Kentucky Association of School Councils
  4. KDE Library Media

[1] Rose v. Council for Better Education, Inc., KY No. 88-SC-804-TG

[2] SBDM Staffing Allocations Information, Kentucky Department of Education, 2019

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Keeping up https://kaslblog.com/index.php/2019/05/18/keeping-up/ https://kaslblog.com/index.php/2019/05/18/keeping-up/#respond Sat, 18 May 2019 14:03:57 +0000 http://www.kaslblog.com/?p=857 Staying on top of everything these days seems nearly impossible. I depend on my professional learning network to like, retweet, or reshare the best things. Here are three blog posts I feel are well worth your time. I hope everyone is having a smooth ending to the school year. Know that Jen Gilbert and I are excited to see you at the 2019 Summer Refresher in Eminence. If you haven’t registered yet… click here.

Why We Need Diverse Books: My Reading Journey

This post by Nancy Jo Lambert on her Reedy High School Library blog is an honest and powerful story of how important our roles are to consider all of our students, and how much every teacher can impact their reading futures. Why We Need Diverse Books: My Reading Journey

5 Steps to Create a Library Insta Your Students Will Love to Follow!

Starting any kind of social media account for your library can be stressful. Check out these awesome tips from Kelsey Bogan on creating a library Instagram account (I love the title of her blog.. Don’t Shush Me!). You can find her gvhslibrary Instagram account here. You can find mine and Jen Gilbert’s here. Be sure to share yours in the comments. 5 Steps to Create a Library Insta Your Students Will Love to Follow!

10 Reasons Librarians Are More Important Than Ever

Common Sense is a resource I’m sure many of us use often. For a bigger picture look, and a reminder of why school libraries and librarians matter, check out this post. Sometimes we need these reminders, especially at the end of the school year. 10 Reasons Librarians Are More Important Than Ever

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AASL National Conference https://kaslblog.com/index.php/2019/03/20/aasl-national-conference/ https://kaslblog.com/index.php/2019/03/20/aasl-national-conference/#respond Wed, 20 Mar 2019 16:31:12 +0000 http://www.kaslblog.com/?p=849
AASL 2019 Image

Are you thinking about attending the AASL national conference in Louisville, KY, November 14-16, 2019? Want to have a say in what sessions will be offered? Now is your chance! Crowdsourcing is now open for concurrent sessions for the AASL National Conference!

What does that mean? School library practitioners (that’s you KY LMS’!), may select up to 10 program descriptions for each of the programming strands – Inquire, Include, Collaborate, Curate, Explore, and Engage.

The window is now open to review concurrent session proposals for Inquire & Include.  To access the Inquire session descriptions, please click here. To access the Include session descriptions, please click here. The other programming strands will be opened soon.

According to AASL, the goals of crowdsourcing are to:

  1. Help the national conference committee program co-chairs make final decisions on programming during the AASL National Conference
  2. Encourage participation in and boost excitement for the upcoming AASL National Conference.

AASL encourages all school library practitioners to participate in this new opportunity, however, please do not ask for friends or family members that are not school library practitioners to participate.

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Being Thankful https://kaslblog.com/index.php/2018/12/23/being-thankful/ https://kaslblog.com/index.php/2018/12/23/being-thankful/#respond Sun, 23 Dec 2018 15:17:54 +0000 http://www.kaslblog.com/?p=830 The November #KyLChat was held on November 27, 2018 with the theme of Being thankful.

A strong PLN is a blessing!  What school librarians or colleagues are you thankful for this year and why?

Heather Warrell is extremely thankful for Dr. Lynn Reynolds.  Heather says she is a strong LMS advocate, a cultural leader, and a visionary and that she is blessed to have her in her PLN and as a friend. Jen Gilbert is super thankful for James Allen who teaches her every day. She loves her #aaslleaders cohort–they’re always up to support and teach. She is also grateful for Kendra Waddell and Kerri Holder for making every day fantastic. Neil Arnett is thankful for Traci Tackett, Aileen Owens, and Edie Michelle Scott.  Kelli Reno always grateful to #KyLChat folks.  She also gives shout-outs to Jason Reed, S McGrath, Josh Rayburn, Alan Mayes, and Steve Greene for always seeing the ways the library is important in her school and to Amy Johns and Bob Moore for helping her vision her library program and for their support of FCPS libraries in general. Erin Pifer is thankful for this chat and The Future Ready Library Facebook page. Cindy Hundley is thankful for her sister, Amy Baker, as well as Stacey Alvey, Angela Manuel Perez, Janet Lanham, and Mrs. Johnson . Karrie Chajkowski is super thankful for Heidi Neltner pushing her this year. Rhonda Bell says that the LMSes in the Franklin County School District are THE best! She is extremely thankful for every one of them plus Tim Baker .  Amanda Hurley says her library clerk is amazing and helps keep her sane day in and day out and that adjusting to life in the library without Felica White has been rough! Heidi Neltner thanks James Allen for his “amazing support”  and for being “awesome and there”. She is also grateful to have Karrie Chajkowski on board at @FTWoodfillES this year the kids are getting into a maker mentality and sharing books like crazy. Kelli Ralston is thankful for all of the active librarians on Twitter. She is especially thankful for learning from Kathy Mansfield as she has shared her expertise through her UK coursework this year. Lori Coffey Hancock is very thankful for James Allen, Jen Gilbert, Renee Hale, Amanda Hurley, Sam Northern, and so many more for all that they do for @KASL_Librarians. Grace Cottam is thankful for all the supportive librarians that have helped her get settled and for all the teachers that are willing to collaborate and try new things. Leslee Frosta is thankful for  @KASL_Librarians board and members and for Felica White and her @CentralDistKASL peeps. She says they are wonderful supporters and advice givers. Kelly Wadyko gave thanks for @htxlib_ctory, @lispylibrarian, @RgvLibrarySquad, @yabooksandmore, @StarrReadnRun, @cuethelibrarian, @ViliaGarcia, @bizyreader, @Dobie9Library to name a few.

As a school librarian, how do you show your gratitude to volunteers (parents, students, speakers, etc.) throughout the year?

Jen Gilbert is going to try to add handwritten notes this season. Leslee Frosta has a “fabulous” small group of 8th graders that are in her library tech class.  She buys them food and drinks because they work so well together and so hard for her. She’s working on Christmas gifts now.  She also give notes, hugs, and high fives. If she has collaborated with a teacher and students come back and say good things to her, she always shares. Kelli Reno sends handwritten thank you notes, and then, depending on their social media presence, shares all sorts of Twitter love. Cindy Hundley tries to reward her student volunteers with treats and rewards often. Mrs. Johnson tries to give back to her volunteers and helps them whenever she can–volunteering for PTA events (her volunteers come through them) or just offering space for PTA meetings in the library. Rhonda Bell says that feeding people is always a good way to show your appreciation. She gives her student workers candy, stockings, Little Debbie snack cakes, soft drinks and hot beverages from their coffee bar. They work hard for her and keep things on track. Danielle Padgett has a “bucket filler” wall in the workroom. She says it has been so neat to give (and receive!) notes and small tokens of gratitude this year.  Heidi Neltner made book bags for volunteers that said “I like big books and I cannot lie” – it was pretty much the best thing ever – despite obviously leaving the iron on the fabric too long. Amanda Hurley tries to write little notes and lets them know how much she appreciates them. When parents volunteer, she introduces them to teachers when they come in and thanks them in front of others, not just when they’re alone.  Lori Coffey Hancock does a “library elf” breakfast in December for her student volunteers. For parent volunteers, one year, they made bookmarks with their children’s pictures and an Emilie Buchwald quote. They’ve also done a breakfast for parent volunteers.  Kelli Ralston  tries to always use “please” and “thank you” with her students for any little thing they do. Parties are sometimes involved to show thanks to them as well. She has kids write thank you notes to parents, volunteers, or grant providers. Karrie Chajkowski says a good old fashioned hand written thank you note sent to their house goes a long way. She also stocks a snack, coffee, and candy bar for them while they are in the library. Kelly Wadyko has students who participate in events with authors/speakers to make something for them. Katie A Newton makes lunch, breakfast, or homemade treats throughout the year for her student workers to make them feel special and to show her appreciation (she says her baked spaghetti wins them over every time). Amy Rogers Baker tries to personally thank anyone who supports the LMC. She sends texts and emails and writes a quick thank you note to the teachers, staff, and volunteers. She always volunteers to help the PTA anytime they need assistance.

What are some practical ways librarians can show their appreciation for collaborating partnerships in the building?

Katie A Newton gives shoutouts at faculty meetings and shoutouts when telling her “story” online.  She puts thank you and praise on doors. Kelly Wadyko does “Teacher Spotlights” in her @SmorePages newsletters showcasing teachers that utilize the librarians and/or library resources. Rhonda Bell brags on those teachers who collaborate with her and lets her work with their kids. She posts pictures and comments on FB, Twitter, monthly newsletters, etc. She sometimes invites administrators to watch them collaborate. Cindy Hundley thanks collaborators by sharing pics of the work students complete via social networking or throughout the school, attempting to work with them again, and providing resources they may need for work related or not, to what’s happening in the library. Amanda Hurley brags on her collaborating teachers to administrators and invites them to come and watch them co-teach. It builds trust and confidence. Everyone loves getting complimented!  Erin Pifer nominates them for teacher of the month and  invites administrators and instructional coaches in on their collaborative unit/lesson so they get props from them too. Karrie Chajkowski will pick up books for teachers and drop them off for their classroom libraries as a little present. She also brings them coffee the day after a big project culmination. Kelli Reno says she is more intentional about checking in with the folks whom she has partnered with in the past. She also makes sure her collaborations get a shout out in the staff newsletter. Jen Gilbert says talking up the teacher you collab with and letting them know you think they’re doing a great job is a natural way to help them feel good about the collab and want to work with you again.

Conferences are a great way to keep learning and stay inspired. What conference sessions would you be most thankful for at the next conference?

Kelly Wadyko suggests sessions that pertain teen/YA/HS libraries.  Lori Coffey Hancock would love to hear about successful collaborations and have some great take aways that she could implement as well as new technologies and online resources out there to use (or share with her teachers). Amanda Hurley would love for someone to facilitate a session on the #AASLStandards where HS LMS’ can sit around and brainstorm ways to implement the standards.  Kelli Reno is looking for the magic solution to growing high quality student library aides and more about school-wide reads. Rhonda Bell is rocking the box Breakouts with the platform access, but wants @Stella_Pollard to do a session on Digital Breakouts. LTMS Library wants to know the best video production and podcasting for chromebooks and how to run a “hands off” makerspace. Erin Pifer would like to see what LMS are doing to entice students and teachers into the library and how they are promoting a reading culture at their schools.
Danielle Padgett loves sessions on the KBAs, esp K-2. Katie A Newton would like to see community partnerships: tech based/reading based, efficiency, ALA standards, SAMR Model, and evolving makerspace.  Kelli Ralston would like see effective collaboration on a fixed schedule, advocacy, material acquisitions (such as process/timeline for ordering books, which reviews you read, etc. Kelli Reno would love sessions with actual collaboration and work time that focus on library programming for 1:1 schools and anything that tells you how to run a distributed media center format with a staff of one!

Everyone needs a little more time and a lot less frustration this time of year. What tech tools are you most thankful for?

Shannon Bosley says she could not exist without Google Drive, Calendar and Classroom. Amanda Hurley uses @Tweetdeck to keep organized during #KyLChat, Google Hangout to connect with other librarians when they need to talk face to face, but can’t be in the same place at the same time, and @Newsela for high interest non-fiction Lexiled articles. CTE Library loves their @Sphero, @BloxelsBuilder and the Lightbot Hour App. They are great tools for promoting coding.  Kelli Reno’s go-to tech tools for library promotions and productivity are the @GoogleForEdu apps, @AdobeSpark and @Flipgrid. The question Gif images used in the #KyLChat were created with with @techsmith, and @Camtasia (@Snagit is awesome too!). Stella Pollard suggests @screencastify. Cindy Hundley loves @Flipgrid, @EpicKidsBooks, @duckduckmoose’s Draw and Tell, @PicCollage, @Stickbot, and #StickNodes. Mrs. Johnson is thankful for the LibGuide provided by @JCPS_LMS as a great way to share information and interact with students and families, and tools that engage students in learning like @Flipgrid, @GetKahoot, etc. Amy Rogers Baker uses @TouchCastEdu,  @Flipgrid, and @DoInkTweets. Amanda Hurley is trying Google’s @madewithcode this year. Students can create so many things in a short amount of time.

Hour of code is next week. What coding resources are you most grateful for being able to use and share?

Cindy Hundley plans to use @scratch, Jr. for her K-2nd students and Tynker with her 3rd-5th. She attended a @PlayCraftLearn (Minecraft for Education) PD which could also play a part in next week’s Hour of Code activities. Mrs. Johnson is using resources on http://code.org. Kelli Reno enjoyed the @Ozobot resources last year, as well as @scratch on the IFP for students to play with even if they only had 5 minutes. Best Coding Tools for Elementary from Common Sense Education has great coding tools tuned to the needs of younger students. Amy Rogers Baker will definitely be using @PlayOsmo and Dashanddot.nl (@DashanddotNL). Heather Warrell shared her district’s Hour of Code strategy created by Danielle Washburn.  The video is available at https://youtu.be/JB2ERisVPHU. Heidi Neltner has created a resource list for #hourofcode at https://www.smore.com/w6gfz. Karrie Chajkowski’s kindergarteners will be retelling stories for hour of code using BeeBots. Stella Pollard is using @Raspberry_Pi  and @GetPiTop and coding Ozobots to dance to Christmas songs.

Thank you to all who participated in the #KyLChat this month and to James Allen, Heidi Neltner, and Amanda Hurley for leading us.  

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Excel(sior) through Graphic Novels! https://kaslblog.com/index.php/2018/12/03/excelsior-through-graphic-novels/ https://kaslblog.com/index.php/2018/12/03/excelsior-through-graphic-novels/#respond Mon, 03 Dec 2018 15:45:05 +0000 http://www.kaslblog.com/?p=815

On Nov. 12, comic book legend Stan Lee passed away at the age of 95. In addition to co-creating numerous iconic Marvel characters, Lee is also credited with creating the concept of a shared comic book universe. Beyond that, Lee’s work impacted real lives. After Lee’s passing, a friend of mine who described himself as a “weird kid with massive social anxieties” credited Lee as the single most influential force in his life. He related to Spider-Man’s alter ego the most, he said, because Peter Parker dealt with real-world problems – problems like loneliness, bullying, self-doubt, scraping by, and providing for one’s family. Without comics and Stan Lee, my friend admitted he might not even be alive. Contrary to curmudgeonly critics like Bill Maher, comic books (even ones about superheroes) make a difference. Reading makes a difference!

As most librarians know, comic books and graphic novels can offer readers tremendous value. Like other books, comics and graphic novels can connect with readers on a deeply personal level. They offer a rich literary diversity, from superheroes to manga to memoirs to nonfiction to fiction of every genre. Graphic novels are also increasingly expanding in cultural diversity, allowing more readers opportunities to connect with the faces looking back at them. Long regarded as high interest reading for reluctant readers, graphic novels offer significant benefits (like visual literacy skills) for even proficient readers. That’s why our school’s summer reading list this year included a graphic novel. It offered value as well as connection to the curriculum.

As acceptance of the graphic novel continues to increase, are librarians and educators using the potential of these books to their fullest? What are some of the applications for graphic novels across the curriculum? What are some effective tips for librarians to grow and promote their graphic novel collection? In our presentation “Let This Dynamic Duo Answer Your Graphic Novel Questions” at this year’s KLA/KASL Conference, literacy coach Mitch Greenwell and I answered these questions and more. I hope this blog can help answer some of the same questions.

Graphic novels offer enormous benefits for readers, librarians, and educators. They promote reading skills, improve comprehension, and can even help raise reading test scores. Graphic novels are often much more rigorous than most realize, offering the same levels of complexity as other types of literature. Graphic novels are, unsurprisingly, great for developing visual literacy. When visuals and text are combined, this can help increase comprehension. We’ve all seen firsthand how a visual example can help a student recall information more readily, which is why we educators choose to incorporate visuals into our lessons. Graphic novels also work well in conjunction with the “7 Habits of Highly Effective Readers,” offering students ample opportunities to make connections, infer, synthesize, determine what is important, and more.

Because graphic novels are generally more high interest, they offer more potential to hook students who might not normally be readers. When students read more, studies show reading test scores also increase; so graphic novels have the potential to help raise test scores, by increasing the number of readers who are hooked on reading. One Washington Post reporter claimed that Spider-Man turned him into a straight-A student. Through wordless graphic novels, ELLs can use images to assist with comprehension and context, for example, by pairing an English-speaking student with an ELL student to write the story through post-its. Applications are endless. According to Teaching Visual Literacy, “advanced and engaged readers profit when the teacher combines the reading of graphic novels with the writing process” (p. 34). Further, graphic novels can do all of this while offering high interest reading options and consuming less class time.

Graphic novels offer many cross-curricular opportunities for teachers and students. Traditionally, novels have been taught in classrooms because they meet various standards. But graphic novels also can meet these standards, and with graphic novels available across all content areas, there really is no reason not to consider them in a classroom. In social studies, for example, there are graphic novels with tie-ins to economics, civil rights, the atomic bomb, Gandhi, 9/11, North Korea, the founding fathers, and so much more. In science and math, there are cartoon and manga guides to chemistry, genetics, physics, calculus, the environment, linear algebra, and relativity, just to name a few. Because graphic novels are inherently very stylistic, they also offer students the opportunity to develop their voice by creating their own comics in any content areas. Librarians can advocate for graphic novels by promoting these benefits to teachers.

In addition to promoting these benefits and cross-curricular connections to teachers, librarians can promote their graphic novel collections to students through film tie-ins, pairing titles with fiction and nonfiction on similar themes, and connecting titles to various anniversaries, observances, and events (e.g. Black History Month, the Grammy Awards). We’ve also promoted graphic novels through our school broadcast’s Library Picks of the Week segments, as depicted here with Mr. Greenwell.

Carefully curating the collection can also play a role in promoting it effectively. If your collection is lacking in diversity, both literary and cultural, it may not find the broadest possible audience. When I helped build our collection, I looked intentionally for titles that were audience-appropriate, popular, well-reviewed, culturally important, rich in literary diversity, offered a wide range of minority voices, and featured strong curricular connections across multiple content areas. By curating a collection with these qualities, we were able to promote much broader buy-in from students and teachers. Whenever I’ve had a question about whether a title was right for our population, I’ve sought feedback from experts in public libraries, comic book shops, and bookstores, as well as my most trusted comic book-loving friends. In just six years, our collection has swelled from 3 titles to well over 300, and has become one of our library’s most popular sections. You are welcome to take a glance at our collection in this handy spreadsheet, organized according to some of the qualities mentioned above.


Tim Jones has been serving in school libraries for 12 years. It’s his sixth year at Trinity High School. He serves on the KBA 9-12 Reading Committee for KASL and as Treasurer for JCASL. He has served in public and parochial schools, for elementary, middle, and high school populations. Mitch Greenwell has been teaching high school English for 10 years, in public and parochial schools. It’s his sixth year at Trinity High School, where he sometimes teaches a Graphic Novel elective he designed. You can follow Tim on Twitter @MisterLibrary and you can follow the Trinity High School Library on Twitter @TrinityLMC.

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Google Earth https://kaslblog.com/index.php/2018/11/21/google-earth/ https://kaslblog.com/index.php/2018/11/21/google-earth/#comments Wed, 21 Nov 2018 12:25:03 +0000 http://www.kaslblog.com/?p=797 Google Earth is a free resource that you can use with any grade level and every content area. It is our earth, in globe form, complete with 3D imagery, roads, addresses, borders, access to StreetView images, data layers, a measurement tool, and elaborate and professional Voyager Stories. Donnie Piercey has an excellent set of resources for Google Earth on this site. The official Google Earth Education site is awesome too for inspiration and resources. 

The Voyager Stories are my favorite. These are guided tours on a wide range of topics. Just click the ship wheel on the left menu.  (all images in this post are screenshots from https://earth.google.com/web/)

From there you can view many categories. Culture, Nature, Education, and Layers are my personal favorites.

My friends Peter, Jessica, Brooke, Joël, and Afzal worked on this awesome Voyager Story about the value of water, and conservation of the Great Lakes.

Blue Gold Voyager Story image

My friends Joël and Afzal created this incredible Voyager Story on the astrolabe.

astrolabe Voyager Story

Here’s a sample of one of the layers, Current Weather Radar.

Current weather radar

For my fellow HP fans, here’s another that explores the “real” world of Harry Potter.

Celebrating Harry Potter Voyager Story

In the options menu (3 lines at the top left) you can change the map style to show or take away map details and information.

Have fun exploring our earth with your students. Let me know if you have any questions or would like ideas on how to make Google Earth a part of your instruction. 

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#KyLChat 10-23-18: AASL Standards https://kaslblog.com/index.php/2018/11/20/kylchat-10-23-18-aasl-standards/ https://kaslblog.com/index.php/2018/11/20/kylchat-10-23-18-aasl-standards/#respond Tue, 20 Nov 2018 18:18:47 +0000 http://www.kaslblog.com/?p=791 The October 23, 2018 #KyLChat on the AASL Standards was hosted by Len Bryan, the library technical systems manager in Denver Public Schools. As it was getting close to Halloween, all the questions in the chat had a Halloween theme.

promotion for #kylchat

Collaborate:  What SCARY new collaborations have you created in the first few months of school? How have those relationships benefitted your students?

Cindy Hundley had a successful standards moment when one of her 5th grade classes chose to work together to create products for the global cause of clean water in South Sudan. She has also had several successful collaborations with 5th graders studying Native American housing, 4th graders creating Super Creatures and 1st and 2nd graders studying pollinators. Amanda Kozaka (School Librarian in a small 5-8 middle school in southern Maine) has been stretching her students’ curiosity and perseverance with Mystery Object challenges. She is also working with ALL Social Studies teachers in their classrooms and it is creating an “equitable and relevant instructional model for learning research skills.” Sydney Travis had success with a QR code scavenger hunt for “POE”tober. Amy Baker said that a flexible schedule this year has provided so many opportunities to collaborate with classroom teachers on amazing lessons and experiences. Amanda Hurley stated that collaboration with a science teacher on new NGSS standards for an upcoming unit has been a bit scary, but she is excited to collaborate more with the teacher. Deconstructing is so important! She is working with high school classes to discover human impact on the environment. Their culminating project will be students working through the scientific process to fix a problem.  James Allen reported that thanks to the library service menu created by Jen Gilbert they have had many collaborative moments. They started the first week of August and it’s still going strong. Half of Kate Osterloh’s ELA staff is new this year and she has been working with them.  Her next focus is going to be working with the science teachers. Shannon Bosley connected with teachers and paras through her sessions on Google Apps, helping them help themselves and their students. Nearly one hundred of Letitia Rudie’s 4th and 5th grade students between her two elementaries have signed up for Lunch Bunch book club and are begging to read the KBA books. Jessica Sparrow started doing Tech Tools Tip-Off on Fridays–20 minutes during plannings to learn a new tech tool. Rhonda Bell is doing Breakouts with different subjects this year–math, chemistry, social studies, family & consumer science. Amy Rogers Baker said that collaboration with the classroom teachers has provided opportunities for students to participate in interdisciplinary lessons, activities, and experiences and is providing students the opportunity to connect learning to real world experiences. Collaboration in Katie Newton’s district has lead to a Tri-School Read.  They are all reading Ghost by Jason Reynolds and creating a community of readers across the district. An officer from the soil conservation district visited Sam Northern’s library to help students understand the watershed/storm-water concept using an enviroscape. Erin Pifer has collaborated with the school resource officer to give digital etiquette discussions to 6th and 7th graders in correlation with Safe Schools Week.

Curate: what is your favorite FANGtastic curation tool today? Tell us how you use it to share resources with teachers, students, and your school community.

Sam Northern uses Symbaloo with his students, especially the elementary.  They have access to many sites with the click of a button. Heidi Neltner, another Symbaloo fan, has also been experimenting with using Google sites for curating specific topics. Cindy Hundley has been using Epic!  for creating mini collections for the different topics grade levels are studying.  The resources include books, videos, read-to-me texts, and audiobooks. Free for all educators! James Allen’s favorite tool is their library website.  Students and teachers know it is the place to go to find important resources curated by James and Jen Gilbert.  Christina Karvounis suggests using Padlet and Weebly for access to everything–card catalog, databases, curated linklists, and a blog for clubs. Amanda Hurley’s favorite curation tools are Twitter and IFTTT.  She has all of her “likes” go into a Google sheet so she can keep track of them in one place and make notes when she shares with others in her building or PLC. Sydney Travis is trying Wakelet, but also uses Symbaloo and Google Keep for notes. Jessica Sparrow started a Flipgrid for students and teachers to book talk books and in the future she plans to create QR codes to the Flipgrids and put on the books. Holly Hart uses the high school web page and her aides are using SMORE to create tutorials for our technology. Katie Newton says Google Calendar is winning for all things for keeping school wide information, office management and student conferences all in one place. Amanda Kozaka has been teaching students how to use curation features in Gale’s Research in Context database. She says it is easy to navigate and so useful!

Inquire: How are you inspiring learners to ask FRIGHTENINGLY deep questions and to share their learning products outside the classroom?

Heidi Neltner is working towards developing a few new #PBL opportunities that will be cross curricular and include the possibility for sharing at community events. James Allen challenged students to ask questions by supporting Genius Hour, PBL, Passion Projects, and content-specific assignments. Cindy Hundley shares work on YouTube, Twitter, and soon in their 5th grade newspaper. Amy Rogers Baker says this is the second year their enrichment students have participated in Genius Hour in the LMC. This year they have put an emphasis on asking driving questions which will impact communities outside the classroom and school. Amanda Kozaka stated she thinks students ask deeper questions when they know they don’t necessarily have to answer them. She focus on formulating questions as a skill distinct from finding information. Christina Karvounis gives students time to research in groups at the start of independent projects–talk out ideas, stretch thinking and deepen questions–then go independent. She has students create infomercials, short podcasts, models, etc. as product rather than paper/poster. Sam Northern’s elementary Research Ambassadors develop their passion project research questions after gaining background knowledge on their topic. Students create “open” questions for #GeniusHour that require a lot of investigation and information from multiple sources. Sydney Travis said that in Jefferson County, LMSs take the lead with their “backpack of digital skills.”  The #jcpsbackpack will prepare students to “think about their THINKING.” Students present and defend 5th, 8th & 12th.

Include – we are tasked with devising TERRIFYING learning opportunities that require learners to evaluate a variety of perspectives – how have you done this so far?

With Christina Karvounis’ youngest PK-K, after a read aloud they retell the story from a different character’s point of view and ask how it changes the outcome/narrative arc or feelings. Katie Newton collaborated with a Math teacher to utilize Fligrid. Students could then see each other’s answers and compare/learn. James Allen stated that experiencing, evaluating, sharing, and being knowledgeable of a wide variety of perspectives is achieved through access to varied literature, games, collaborative opportunities, and content-specific knowledge.  Heidi Neltner hopes that a #PBL project she’s helping @JESscience4 brainstorm leads to some excellent connections and various perspectives in fiction and nonfiction pairings for environmental impact  and privacy.

Explore: What GHOULISH activities or experiences have you created that help learners recognize their capabilities and skills that can be developed, improved and expanded?

Len Bryan tries to take research assignments up several notches as students move up in grades – requiring more sources, variety, and deeper analysis of perspectives. Amanda Hurley said when students type in a keyword in a database or Google and find thousands of hits they are overwhelmed. It’s a teachable moment to help them revise – in real time – their keywords and get better results. After studying theme using fables, Amy Baker’s third graders wrote twisted fables with a partner and then turned them into a digital story. Several groups required many drafts of the fable and digital product. Sydney Travis has tried Hyperdocs as a way to level up the engagement and capabilities of students and has offered an after school PD for teachers. After working on their PBL project, Cindy Hundley’s 4th graders have proven to themselves that they can conduct research, create a physical project, and a TouchCast video demonstrating and sharing their knowledge with a real audience. Makerspaces, according to Katie Newton, really works on “soft skills”–teamwork, leadership, voice tone, encouragement, sportsmanship. Students learn quickly how to play with each other and how to compromise with each other for the best outcomes. Shannon Bosley suggests sharing differences between Google and database searches as well as showing what Boolean strategies can do for results.

Engage: How have you structured your MACABRE learning environment for the innovative use of information & information technologies?  

Amanda Hurley will be implementing a video production area for students to use.  She posts curiosity questions from @Wonderopolis on running TV presentation to promote inquiry. She also tries to change out #HCMakes area regularly.  In Sam Nothern’s library (@sesmediacenter), there is an iPad kiosk, chromebooks, VR, a video production room, Lego wall, and shelves filled with BOOKS! Sydney Travis has been at her school for four years and has a supportive principal who has allowed her vision of a “learning commons” concept to take shape.  Gordon Herring suggests using the Follett Learning Google Chrome Extension so that students see the resources the school library has when they use Google.  Christina Karvounis has a research station with a laptop where students can freely access databases to satisfy curiosities in her  #globalstudies focus unit and then share discoveries in an upcoming morning announcement. Shannon Bosley is doing a heavy weeding to help allow for rearrangement and  re-purposing of furniture and space. She is working to expand “play” space with puzzles, coloring pages, sewing machine, and green screen.

As Len Bryan stated, there were “many terrific examples in [this] chat that prove the #AASLStandards are not so scary after all – they simply reflect and encourage the amazing work we all do in your libraries each and every day!” The next chat for #kylchat will be on November 9th as we discuss books, books, and more books!

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Google Sites and Drive Folders https://kaslblog.com/index.php/2018/11/16/google-sites-and-drive-folders/ https://kaslblog.com/index.php/2018/11/16/google-sites-and-drive-folders/#respond Fri, 16 Nov 2018 18:26:25 +0000 http://www.kaslblog.com/?p=780 Although I love for students and teachers to improve their search and database skills, sometimes that is not the focus of a given lesson. For these cases, I’ve been experimenting with curating Kentucky Virtual Library and other web resources on our library website

There are so many great publications that have full-text PDFs of articles. EBSCOhost offers a button that allows saving these directly to Google Drive for MasterFILE and MAS ultra (the databases where many of these can be found.) Google Sites, which is what we use for our library site, allows easy embeds of entire Google Drive folders. The following directions will show you how to do that. If you use another website platform, you still may want to consider providing links to Drive folders on your site as a quick way to assemble a collection of resources. Even if your website is public, it is easy to give folder access to just those in your school.

Step 1

Do an awesome search in MAS Ultra or MasterFILE Premier. You will see the “add to Google Drive” button on the right. The first time you do this a pop-up will ask permission. (If you don’t see it, the pop-up may be blocked by Chrome). You will then find the PDF in a folder named EBSCO in your Google Drive. I move these later in Drive depending on the project or collection.

Step 2

It doesn’t matter, but before your students will be able to see the contents of your folder you will need to share it in Google Drive. After you move your PDFs or other resources to your folder, click on the share button for that folder. Then turn link sharing on for “Anyone at Your School Name can view.” Then click done. 

Step 3

Now you can embed your folder into your Google Site. Click on Insert, and then From Drive. 

Step 4

Step 4: Choose the folder where you saved the PDFs and click INSERT. (Don’t forget step 2, change the sharing settings)

Step 5

You will see box appear on your web page with a list of files. I believe this is the default. I prefer to see the thumbnail view. That requires clicking on the settings/gear icon.

Step 6

Click on Grid View (thumbnails) and click DONE.

Step 7

That is about it. You can use the handles to change the size of the container on your Google Sites page. Be sure to click PUBLISH to update your site. If you add more files to your embedded Drive folder, they will automatically appear on your Google Site.

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We need you! #KASL19 https://kaslblog.com/index.php/2018/11/10/we-need-you-kasl19/ https://kaslblog.com/index.php/2018/11/10/we-need-you-kasl19/#respond Sat, 10 Nov 2018 13:54:43 +0000 http://www.kaslblog.com/?p=776 Greetings! It may seem early, but… awesome conferences take a bit of time to plan. We are ready for you to start submitting your session proposals for the 2019 KASL Summer Refresher, July 15 and 16. Jen Gilbert and I are excited to be hosting this Refresher in our own school, Eminence Independent! We will have a half day of workshop sessions on Monday, and sessions all day on Tuesday.

You may have heard. TheNational AASL conference will be in Louisville in November 2019! They are taking submissions too! Kentucky librarians should seize this opportunity to share and show off the incredible things we are doing. So… As you think about sharing at the Refresher, consider it a practice run for AASL 2019!

The summerrefresher.com site is updated. We will offer registration soon!

So. Consider the newAASL Standards, the FutureReady Framework, the ISTE Standards, your passions, your successes, your failures, and submit a session!

Click here to submit a proposal for the Summer Refresher.

Click here for more information about the AASL National Conference. You can submit sessions for AASL at this link. The deadline to submit is Monday, December3, 2018 at noon CT

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Sara Franks https://kaslblog.com/index.php/2018/11/04/sara-franks/ https://kaslblog.com/index.php/2018/11/04/sara-franks/#respond Sun, 04 Nov 2018 12:31:42 +0000 http://www.kaslblog.com/?p=767
Sara F

My name is Sara Franks, and I am thrilled to take on the new role as non-public liaison on the KASL board! I am now in the middle of my sixth year working at Louisville Collegiate School as a librarian for middle and high school students, with the title of Learning Commons Librarian.  I grew up in Louisville and was inspired to become a librarian by my mother, who worked as a University of Louisville librarian for over 40 years. She loved her job, and it rubbed off on me!  

In Library school, I developed a passion for research.  I began my career in academic libraries in Philadelphia, where I worked for Saint Joseph’s University. Three years and several trips across the Atlantic later, my husband and I relocated to Belgium, which was a great adventure and changed the direction of my life.  There, I began working as a librarian for an international school as a Middle and High School Librarian, and fell in love with being part of a smaller community and serving younger students. I started to thrive on the fresh energy that middle and high school students bring to school, and I was excited to add the challenge of creating and preserving a reading culture to my already enthusiastic approach to research.  

When the Louisville Collegiate School position opened, I jumped at the chance to return to my hometown and continue the good work I had enjoyed in Belgium. I love my job, and have served in numerous roles for the school, including chairing a committee on Digital Citizenship, teaching a coding course, coordinating a research program called the Guild for juniors and seniors, and seeing our programs through the plans of relocating to a new, beautiful Learning Commons building.

Being an independent school librarian affords me considerable freedom in my own organization, but as the only librarian on campus, my position can also feel lonely, and I know I would benefit from having a larger network of support. One of my major goals in taking on this role is to lay the foundation for creating a real, meaningful community of non-public school librarians in Kentucky. Voicing concerns and triumphs, celebrating each other and learning from each other – these things can add so much value to what we’re already doing!  

If you have ideas, suggestions, or just want to reach out to start building bridges, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at sfranks @ louisvillecollegiate.org

I hope to see many of you at KASL events this year, and beyond!

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