Friday, December 16, 2016

Happy holidays from Library Services

Wishing you all a joyful holiday season!

(Click through to see the embedded video if you're reading via email.)

Thursday, December 15, 2016


Favorite finds from around the web. 

***The Thursday Three will go on hiatus for the Winter Break and return on January 5. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!***


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

2017 Little Maverick Graphic Novel List

The 2017 Little Maverick Graphic Novel reading list is now available! The Little Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List is a recommended reading list designed for children in grades K-5. The purpose of the list is to encourage students to explore a variety of current graphic novels.  It is also a great collection development tool. 

You may view the list at .   They are currently updating the website and forthcoming there will be an all new resources page for the starred titles on the list. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Season's Readings 2016 from Library Services

In keeping with the traditional holiday song, The 12 Days of Christmas, Library Services would like to gift you with 12 book recommendations. These are some of our favorite books from 2016 and we hope that you will find a reading treat among them to give yourself over the holidays. Click on the ornaments below to find our "gifts" for you!
We hope that one of these books of Christmas finds its way to your home this holiday season. If you have a book for us, please leave it in the comments below!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Teacher Day at TLA 2017

Below is the text of an email that I received. If you have teachers who might be interested in attending TLA, please check out the info below!

We are excited to announce a new event coming to the 2017 TLA Annual Conference.  Teacher Day @ TLA, on Friday, April 21, is designed especially for classroom teachers with the goal of developing library advocates.  One hundred classroom teachers will have the opportunity to learn more about the value of teacher/librarian collaboration through specially designed activities, including conference sessions, guest speakers, and other engaging activities.  A very special invitation-only breakfast will take place on Friday for participating teachers and their sponsoring librarians.

Now is the time for interested librarians to identify motivated teachers, invite them to attend the conference with you, and assist in helping them secure permission and travel funding. For $155, Teacher Day @ TLA attendees will receive full conference registration, attendance at the special invitation-only breakfast, focused activities on Friday, and a one year membership to TLA.

For additional information and updates, visit our website or - better yet - encourage a teacher to fill out the Teacher Day @ TLA Application Form now!

Thanks to all of our Teacher Day@TLA sponsors:
·        ABDO
·        Follett School Solutions
·        Junior Library Guild
·        OverDrive

  • Perma-Bound

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Grant opportunity

Applications for TLA's Christina B. Woll Memorial Grant are now being accepted at  The application deadline is January 31, 2017.  

Be sure to read the "Tips for a Successful Application" before applying.  The "Tips" page also describes how grant applicants will be notified of the committee's decision and what documentation will be required of the grant recipient.

The Christina B. Woll Memorial Fund was established to perpetuate Christina’s love of reading and commitment to providing quality literature to children.  Based on the merits of individual applications, awards of up to $600 will be granted prior to the TLA Annual Conference to a Texas school or public library that demonstrates one or more of the following:
  • A commitment to providing a collection of quality children's literature
  • A need to develop or enhance a particular part of the overall collection
  • A need to develop or enhance a particular program
  • A need to support a particular part of the curriculum
Applicants must be TLA members.

Please visit for more information and to submit your application.


Favorite finds from around the web. 


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

LITE UP Conference coming soon!

Consider attending the 2017 LITE UP conference on Thursday, January 19th hosted by Dallas County Schools. There is a $25 fee to attend, but it is well worth it.  
  • Breakfast and lunch included
  • Fabulous Shannon Miller is this year's keynote (The Library Voice Blog)
  • Travis Allen, founder of the iSchool Initiative, is the lunch keynote and he's bringing his "Escape the Bus" for a fun learning experience
  • Network with librarians around the metroplex
  • Vendors available for questions
  • Great sessions on Makerspace, Coding, PD badging and more
  • MISD tech facilitators, Kristi Petty and Selena Knight with a session for next year's Bluebonnet list

Monday, December 5, 2016

December Digital Resource

One of the top skills employers look for in graduates is, "the ability to obtain and process information".  Opposing Viewpoints in Context can help your students build these needed research skills.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Are you up for the Follett Challenge?

The Follett Challenge is an advocacy program designed to give educators a platform to share their stories of innovating ways to teach skills needed in the 21st century. I know many of you are  implementing a unique, collaborative program that engages students and teaches skills needed in the 21st century.

Entries are being accepted now through December 23.  Please consider entering this contest that pays out $200,000 in Follett materials and/or services to 13 individual schools.  The contest is fairly simple to enter and they historically have had less than 150 entries per year.  An entry consists of a short (3-5 min.) video and a written component that describes how the school uses innovative methods to teach skills needed in the 21st century.

The Grand Prize is worth $60,000, but there will also be other prizes including ten $8000 People’s Choice Video Winners.  The People’s Choice is determined by votes received, so parents, teachers, students neighbors, etc. can all participate to help a school win.

Information about the program may be found at  

I hope some of you will enter!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

PD in your PJs - December 2016

December 2016 Professional Development

Title:  Beyond the Hour of Code: Implementation for All
  • Organization:
  • Date: Tuesday, December 06, 2016 @ 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm EST
  • Description:  Schools throughout the world participate in the Computer Science Education Week’s #HourofCode, which will take place in 2016 from December 5th to 9th. Unfortunately, many schools don’t move beyond that hour. As stakeholders in providing the best educational experiences to prepare students for tomorrow, it is imperative that we move “Beyond the Hour of Code” and truly integrate coding into the daily instruction for all. Join Bryan and his special guest to learn more about:
    • Creating a maker culture in your schools and beyond
    • Using computer science for inquiry-based learning and integrating computer science with all subject areas
    • What district administration can do to empower teachers to bring computer science into the school day
    • How to create coding/robotics electives and after school clubs
    • Where teachers can find curriculum to use year-round
  • Link:
Title:  Now I Have to Teach Coding? A Beginner’s Guide
  • Organization:
  • Date: Tuesday, December 08, 2016 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm EST
  • Description:  With the literacy of coding emerging as a “must” of 21st-Century learning, our already complex jobs suddenly seem to be getting more complicated. Teachers, however, don’t have to be masters of JavaScript or Ruby to give students the tools they need. Concepts like computational and design thinking, or connecting to the language of code to solve problems and create content, don’t have to be as complicated (or intimidating) as they sound. This webinar will focus on ways you can start incorporating these elements into your classes without having to attend a three-month coding boot camp first yourself. James Denby and Robin Ulster will share:
  • Accessible tools
  • A problem-solving approach
  • Strategies to inspire and challenge students (and yourself) to approach problems like coders
  • Link:
  •  Title:  Refining Learning with Microsoft Classroom
    • Organization: SimpleK12
    • Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2016 @ 2:00 pm – 2:30 pm EST
    • Description: Would you like to make the workflow in your classroom more efficient, while enhancing student learning, collaboration, and technology skills? Microsoft Classroom uses Office 365 to provide a platform for learning, collaboration, and resource management within the modern teaching environment. Join Tiffany Thompson as she shares how Microsoft Classroom streamlines work by giving teachers the ability to distribute, collect, and grade assignments within Office 365. She will explore features such as conversations, class notebooks, shared files, and embedded content, and show how Classroom is available anywhere, anytime through any web browser. Tiffany will also explain why it is the perfect learning management tool for novice or veteran, tech challenged or expert educators. Come discover why Microsoft Classroom is the ideal environment for online, flipped, or blended learning classes, as well as for redefining learning and helping students build ICT skills.
    • Link:
    Title:  12 Tech Tools for Your Classroom
    • Organization: SimpleK12
    • Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2016 @ 3:00 pm – 3:30 pm EST
    • Description: Would you like some new ways to promote creativity, collaboration, communication, culture, and curriculum in your classroom? Join Microsoft Fellow Todd Beard as he unwraps some presents that will make every teacher joyous – during the holiday season and throughout the year! Todd will share 12 tech tools that he uses to build a community of educators, parents, and students from every grade level. He will explain the function of each tool and share classroom tips for using tools such as Microsoft Snip, Minecraft, Excel Survey, FluidMath, Nearpod, and many more!
    • Link:
    • Title:  The Best Ways to Use Chromebooks in Your Classroom
      • Organization: SimpleK12
      • Date: Saturday, December 17, 2016 @ 10:00 am – 3:30 pm EST
      • Description: Join Simplek12 for this amazing line-up of information-packed webinars for teachers by teachers!
        • 10:00 am – 10:30 am EST: Chromebooks 101: An Intro to Using Chromebooks in the Classroom
        • 11:00 am – 11:30 am EST: Free Chrome Apps and Extensions to Help You Save Time and Increase Productivity
        • 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm EST: Help Students Take Ownership, Create, Share, and Reflect with Chromebooks and Chrome Apps
        • 1:00 pm – 1:30 pm EST: Easy Student Collaboration Using Chromebooks
        • 2:00 pm – 2:30 pm EST: Around the World in Eighty Days: Virtual Field Trips on Your Chromebook
        • 3:00 pm – 3:30 pm EST:  Flipping Your Class with Video and Live Streaming from YouTube Live
      • Link:

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thursday, November 3, 2016


Favorite finds from around the web. 


Teaching students to think independently is tough to do. Here are 6 strategies to try.



Some library makerspaces consist of board games and maker "kits." Is this really making?

Friday, October 28, 2016

PD in your PJs - November 2016

November 2016 Professional Development

Title:  Using Current Events to Reach All Learners
  • Organization:
  • Date: Tuesday, November 01, 2016 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm EDT
  • Description: Long gone are the days of the one-room schoolhouse. Most classes consist of students who are about the same age. And yet, today’s students come to school with a wide variety of interests, experiences, and abilities. When it comes to teaching and learning, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Using high-interest news topics as a starting point, it is possible to engage all students in rigorous learning that builds on their individual strengths. In this live webcast, Suzanne Zimbler and Melanie Kletter will discuss strategies and activities for engaging different types of learners in the analysis of informational text. Leveled texts and graphic organizers intended for students in grades 3–8 will be provided.
  • Link:
Title:  Great Ideas for Tech Infused Lessons
  • Organization: TeachersFirst
  • Date: Tuesday, November 01, 2016 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm CDT
  • Description: Learn about the resources provided by TeachersFirst to make technology integration easy. Explore the teacher-friendly features of TeachersFirst to help you save time in developing technology infused lessons. Participants will learn new strategies to incorporate the tools of the web successfully into any classroom. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will:
    • Locate resources within TeachersFirst to provide real-world learning experiences for their students.
    • Locate and evaluate effective, web-based tools and resources in support of teaching and learning, both for themselves and for their students.
    • Evaluate TeachersFirst membership features applicable to their individual technology expertise and teaching situation.
    • Find solutions to individual questions or practical problems of their teaching situation by exploring TeachersFirst and/or asking live questions during the session.
  • Link:
Title:  Kids Deserve It!
  • Organization:
  • Date: Wednesday, November 02, 2016 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm EDT
  • Description: Come learn from Texas principal and author, Todd Nesloney, as he shares ideas on ways to build a positive school and classroom culture, challenge conventional thinking, eliminate excuses, and connect with all stakeholders in a school. Todd brings the experience of starting a school over from scratch and working with a population that is 85% minority and almost 90% free-and-reduced lunch. Far too often the only limitation that is placed on our students, classrooms, or schools are the limitations that are put on by adults – by us! When we take the time to choose to do what’s best for kids and not what’s easiest for adults we can truly provide experiences that are unlike any other.
  • Link:
Title:  Coding with Kids
  • Organization: TeachersFirst
  • Date: Tuesday, November 08, 2016 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm CST
  • Description: Join us to learn about computational thinking skills and how you can develop them in your classroom. Discover the world of coding with your students. Begin by learning how to introduce students to the world of coding and computer programming. Learn about computational thinking skills and how it develops logical thinking. Continue with a hands on activity to activate a concrete understanding of programming. Explore three different sites that use visual coding to develop programming skills. By the end of this session, you will be well on your way to begin the journey in learning and teaching computer programming.
  •  Link:
Title:  Tabletop Games and 21st Century Skill Development
  • Organization: Infopeople
  • Date: Wednesday, November 09, 2016 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm EST
  • Description: Have you noticed many of your library users playing games? Have you ever wondered if games can be in your library for more than recreation? In today’s culture, games are ubiquitous. Although commercial games are recreational, they also provide opportunities for informal learning. In fact, to play games players must use at least one 21st Century Skill, and often players use multiple skills. Join webinar presenter Lauren Hays as she highlights how you can use games in your library to foster skills such as creativity, communication, critical thinking, and collaboration, vital to every library user’s needs.
    • At the end of this one-hour webinar, participants will learn how to:
    • Identify games that help players use and develop 21st Century Skills
    • Implement a game facilitation strategy at their library
    • Help patrons reflect on the experience of gameplay
  • Link:
Title:  The Teacher 50: Critical Questions for Inspiring Classroom Excellence
  • Organization: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
  • Date: Thursday, November 10, 2016 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm EST
  • Description: Based on Principal Kafele’s new ASCD book, “The Teacher 50: Critical Questions for Inspiring Classroom Excellence”, this empowering, introspective webinar takes teachers on a reflective journey designed to challenge them to think deeply about their current practices relative to how they inspire classroom excellence. Principal Kafele’s self-reflective questions and penetrating insights reveal how teachers can:
    • Inspire students of all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds to strive for academic excellence;
    • Develop strong relationships with students, their parents, and the greater community;
    • Address the challenges and promises presented by millennial learners; and
    • Boost motivation and excitement about teaching despite entrenched obstacles and daily frustrations.
  • Link:
Title:  Introduction to Coding on Mobile Devices: Anyone Can Do It!
  • Organization: Simple K12
  • Date: Saturday, November 12, 2016 @ 2:00 pm – 2:30 pm EST
  • Description: Every day, our world becomes more and more technology driven and yet thousands of lucrative jobs within the technology industry go unfilled due to a lack of qualified workers. As teachers, we have the responsibility of exposing our students to the types of skills that will enable them to be successful in the future. Coding, which encompasses computer programming, app development, and more is one of those particular skills. Join Lauren Boucher as she introduces the concept and skill of coding. She will explain the value of coding, cover the basics of how to code, and provide several mobile and web applications that allow students to code their own games and stories. Don’t be intimidated – it’s easier than you think!
  • Link:
Title:  Increase Classroom Mobility, Don’t Be Chained to Your Desktop Computer
  • Organization: Simple K12
  • Date: Saturday, November 12, 2016 @ 3:00 pm – 3:30 pm EST
  • Description: As tablets become more and more commonplace, the need to use a desktop computer is diminishing just as fast as your need to be flexible and mobile is increasing. But what about those things that still keep you tethered, the things that still require a full computer? Like interactive whiteboards… Or maybe you would just like to be able to quickly access your computer from anywhere in your classroom – or even from another classroom! In the age of mobile computing, why should you be tethered to your computer or any specific location? Join Chris Casal as he explains how you can use various apps that allow you remote access to your systems anywhere on your network. You will discover how to access notes or lesson plans, change the screen on your IWB, and more – all while walking around your classroom or building.
  • Link:
Title:  3 Cool Tools: Using Images in Classroom
  • Organization: OK2Ask
  • Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm CST
  • Description:  Explore three online tools for working with images. Discover the differences between the three tools. Discuss and learn ways to use images in the classroom. Share ideas for different ways that images could be used in the classroom.  Create a project exemplar for use in your classroom. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will:
    • Learn about and compare 3 different tools for working with images
    • Evaluate the uses for working with these tools in the classroom
    • Share ideas for using tools with other participants
    • Start a project using one of the given tools
  • Link:

Digital Resource Top Shelf

After we explored the digital resources at the beginning of October you have been busy sharing and using them with students and teachers. MISD librarians ROCK!

I want to share a lesson that Anna Biggs and Meg Curts did on their campuses using National Geographic Kids to Teach Nonfiction Text features.  This can be found in our shared Digital Resources Lessons folder. You are invited to use or modify this lesson with your students.

I'm hoping to fill this folder with your great ideas! Let us hear what you are doing!

Thanks Anna and Meg for sharing TOP SHELF ideas using digital resources!