Friday, October 30, 2015

Top shelf idea: Reading aloud is powerful at ALL grade levels

Elementary librarians had a staff development a couple of weeks ago about the importance of reading aloud. While that may seem like a strange topic for a group of readers, the purpose was to remind us all what an important instructional strategy reading aloud really is.

As book people, it is our responsibility to help classroom teachers discover this fact and put it to work in their classrooms. At the end of our session, I challenged the librarians to go back and really promote the read aloud on their campuses. This is what Brittney at Gentry Elementary did for her teachers:

I put the attached note and a picture book in all teacher boxes on Tuesday.



I also sent out the following email. Teachers,I went to a staff development last week on READING ALOUD and the important role it plays in all grade levels!  Did you know that a good children’s book is three times richer in vocabulary than conversation?! I know that there is a limited amount of time in your curriculum for reading aloud and I’m thinking of ways to make this easier for you.  Today, I placed a picture book in your box.  Please read this book to your students for your next read aloud.  Many are short, easy-to-read books that can be read quickly.  A few books, in the upper grades, are longer and might need more time.  When you are done with this book, simply return it to my box and I will find another one for you! J I hope to keep this exchange going with all of you!  If you have any questions, please let me know.
 I have already have several teachers return the books and I have quickly replaced it with another great read.  A few teachers have left me notes telling me how much their class has enjoyed the book I picked for them.  After a few picture books, I want to change the upper grades to chapter books.  I also want to add in some poetry for all grade levels.

Thanks, Brittney, for rising to the challenge with an easy to implement idea!

What are you doing to promote reading aloud on your campus? 


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Texas Bluebonnet Award news

1. Would you like to have one of your students chosen to present the Bluebonnet Award to the winning author? It is possible if you submit this form to Kelli Phelan by November 1. Remember one from each TLA district is chosen. 

2. Would you like to be on either the TBA Selection or Program Committee? All applications and recommendations are due to Mariah Aguilar at TLA by Nov 1. Click here for the application form.

3. The TBA Program Committee has put together some fantastic resources for you to use. Click here for Youtube/TeacherTube author/illustrator interview videos, book trailers, Bound To Stay Bound sponsored Readers Theaters, discussion questions, read-alike suggestions, hands-on activities, and website connections. 

4. The 2016-17 list was announced last week at the Texas Book Festival. Watch the video below to see the nominees or click here for the list!


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Update to Author Visits on the P&P site

Storyteller Elizabeth Ellis at Seabourn
There's been a new addition to the Author Visits page on the Library Policies & Procedures site. 

MISD librarian Kristen Bottoms has collected information on authors, storytellers and reading promotional guests that have had successful visits in MISD schools and put it in a document for us. 

If you have anyone to add, please let us know in the comments below and we'll add the information to the document.

Thank you, Kristen!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Digital Library Simple Login

Great new feature that may be very useful for a picture book read-aloud or digital library demo.  Let me know if you have questions.  It's ready to begin using today! I'll send an email with the login user id.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

TexQuest/Britannica Webinar Series

Britannica is offering a series of one hour TexQuest webinars. Library Services will be showing these at the TEC conference room and we invite you to come join us! Info about the webinars are below. Fill out the Google form to let us know if you can attend. Dates and times are listed in the form.

  • Read like a detective;Write like a reporter- Explore resources to support evidence-based reading and writing.
  • Discover STEM resources with Britannica- Find resources to support critical thinking, real-world applications, problem-solving, research, inquiry skills, collaboration,writing and preparing students for college and careers.
  • Flipping Out! Design a flipped classroom and library with Britannica- Take away examples on how to easily integrate Britannica school videos, learning activities and other content into the flipped approach.

Monday, October 5, 2015

TLA is now accepting applications for TALL Texans

We have many strong leaders among our group. If you are interested in strengthening your leadership skills, you might consider this opportunity.

Don't let cost hinder you - assistance will be available for any MISD librarian who is accepted!




Online Application Form  is now OPEN!

The TALL Texans Leadership Development Institute is one of the oldest and best known library leadership seminars in the United States. Twenty-four mid-career individuals will be selected from all types of libraries to study advanced leadership and management topics at the Montserrat Retreat Center in Lake Dallas on June 12-16, 2016 (note that the Institute has been restored to four days, from 4pm on June 12 to noon on June 16).

Topics include types and applications of leadership, strategic planning, community engagement, building diverse organizations, power and influence, organizational change, conflict negotiation, coaching, teambuilding, risk-taking, career planning, and effective networking.

The TALL Texans seminar is often called a transformational program which enables participants to better serve their libraries, their communities, and the profession. They leave with new goals to serve their institutions and new connections to support their service.

Applicants are required to have five years of work experience in any type of libraries.
Applicants are also required to be members of the Texas Library Association by February 1, 2016.
Financial aid is often available from TLA units, community organizations, and even vendors in the library field.




Thursday, October 1, 2015

Top Shelf librarians: TLA 2016 has some presenters you may know!

Back in the early days of blogging, some of you may remember that I had a blog called The Top Shelf. That blog focused on the "best stuff" for school librarians. I read a lot of library-related blogs and web sites, then shared what I thought was the best stuff from what I read. Sadly, it was abandoned in 2011 when Debbie and I began blogging here and using Twitter more. 

Now, though, I think it's time to bring back the Top Shelf concept, but with a different twist.


As we do walkthroughs, visit with you, check your websites and your Facebook pages, Debbie and I see lots of exceptional things going on - things that are worthy to be designated Top Shelf - so we're going to start highlighting them here. 


All Top Shelf entries will be labeled as such, so when you're looking for good ideas, you can click the Top Shelf label and see all of the tremendous things that MISD librarians are doing.


This is our first Top Shelf entry for 2015-16!


One of the main duties of the Chair of the Texas Association of School Librarians is to round up programs for the annual TLA conference that will be useful and relevant to Texas school librarians. 

Renee Dyer, TASL Chair for 2015-16, has gone to great lengths to find some new voices from among the many fabulous school librarians across the state. The programs listed below are just a sampling of what TLA will have to offer, but these will be presented by librarians you might not know yet, but who have some great new ideas to share.

Do you see some names you recognize?



Congrats to these Mesquite librarians for being accepted to present!

Read the entire blog post here.