Monday, November 24, 2008

Conference Days 3 & 4

As I feared, I just couldn't keep up with all the activities at the conference and blog them at the same time. So, here's a brief catch up.

On Saturday morning, I attended George Pilling's wonderful session on "Storytelling to Meet the Standards." What a great storyteller he is! I do booktalks at my library, but I have always felt too inhibited to be a storyteller. I really went to the session just to treat myself to hearing some good storytelling. Well, I came away convinced that I am just going to have to overcome my inhibitions and build stories into my lessons, since they truly are the best way of getting my students involved and paying attention. Wish me luck! I also got lucky --- I won George's generous "door prize" of one of his storytelling CDs. And, I was the winner bidder for his other CD at the Silent Auction! And, on the subject of storytelling, I also treated myself to a couple of Joe McHugh's books. I have the Thanksgiving week off, and plan to enjoy a lot of storytelling :)

I also attended the session on "Online Reference Books" and got some good ideas on how to better promote my ebooks. At Vicki Plefka and Joanne Ligamari's "Picture Books, Novels, and Google Tools" session, I learned how to do "lit. trips" projects using Google Maps and Google Earth. I'm definitely going to work on convincing a few teachers to let me help them incorporate these exciting mapping tools into class projects.

For the last concurrent session of the day I had the great treat of facilitating Tammie Celi's "Just Dewey It!" presentation. She not only gave us all tips on how to teach students about the Dewey Decimal System, she also staged an incredibly entertaining and funny performance of "Dewey Dewey." How lucky her students are to have her as their TL. Mark Bobrosky was also great as Melvil himself. :) Here's a slideshow:

Sunday morning I attended the Curriculum Committee meeting. This committee can play such an important role in helping us show the world the value of what we contribute to the curriculum. The committee is open to new members. Do consider applying to participate. After the committee meeting, I split my time between two of the several sessions I really wanted to attend: "Good Slick Stuff to Do with Photoshop Elements or iPhoto" and "M-Learning: Learning on the Go." That's the one frustrating thing about CSLA Conferences --- too many choices! I did get a lot of good ideas from both the sessions I attended, despite the frustration of not being able to be two, three, or four places at once.

The finale of the conference was the authors and illustrators brunch with a moving presentation by Rosemary Wells, and a great finale it was! She moved us all with her messages about how incredibly important it is to read to children, her reading of her Yoko book with its anti-bullying and tolerance messages, her account of her forthcoming book about Lincoln's sons, and her overview of Red Moon at Sharpsburg with its portrayal of the true devastation of war. I have been meaning to read Red Moon at Sharpsburg, and am now placing it at the very top of my "must read" list.

I can't give enough thanks to the conference committee, ARC staff, and everyone involved in putting on the conference this year. You all did a fantastic job. I am so glad I have this week off and can take some time to absorb all the wonderful ideas while they are fresh and make action plans.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Conference Day 2

What a wonderful and full day Friday was! It started with the opening session, and a very entertaining and thought-provoking session by storyteller Joe McHugh. He talked about the difference between mythos (sensory, emotional, holistic, immediate, participatory, and tribal) and logos (symbolic, analytical, sequential, nationalistic) learning and thinking. Both have value, but an overabundance of one or the other isn't good. We as librarians can help to keep a balance between the two.

The concurrent first session I attended was a talk by super advocates Pam Oehlman and Sandy Patton on "Advocacy 101: Using Your Voice to Give a Shout Out for Your School Library Program." They have done an outstanding job in Long Beach USD building support for the their program. We got some excellent tips on how to build relationships and advocate for our own school libraries. They will be posting their handout. Their superintendent, a great school library supporter, was the recognized administrator of the year at our Legi Lunch following the session.

At the Legi Lunch, our lobbyist Jeff Frost gave a report on the sad state of finances in California but reminded us that we need to get to know our new legislators and let them know what we do. I'm going to send a letter of congratulations and greeting to my new State Senator Fran Pavley as soon as I get home!

After lunch I attended the Good Ideas! Session and heard some great lesson plan ideas from this year's Good Ideas! winners.

Then, on to my session: "Connecting with Students Online is Easy Using VoiceThread." Thanks to everyone who came! I had a great time talking about my favorite Web 2.0 tool. Here's a link to the handout. What I forgot to say at the end of my session was what I plan for my next VoiceThread project. It's going to be a personal one, scanning a family photo, and giving an account of each of the family members. Then, I'll share it with other relatives to add their accounts. My other idea for a professional VoiceThread project is to put together a set of images depicting various 21st century skills our students need and each of the librarians in my district will participate in telling teachers how we can help their students achieve these skills. (I figure if I write my plans here I'll feel more oblidged to get them done :) ).

Both Gale and Nullmeyer had very nice receptions early in the evening. Thank you!

The last great event of the day was the Presidents Reception. Joe and Paula McHugh put on a wonderful, fun old time radio show. I was on the sound effects crew led by Paula. We had a ball making all sorts of sounds, and listening to the actors read their parts was lots of fun. I can't wait to get the recording.

I did take a few photos, but will have to post those later. On to Day 3.....

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Conference Opening

The CSLA 2008 Conference opened tonight. Here's a photo of Connie Williams, the new state president, and Jane Ritter, Conference Chair, cutting the ribbons. Yeah, sorry. I know it's fuzzy.
Here they are in the exhibit hall:

Here's the poster display I put together for how to form a book cart drill team, with Pam Oehlman, the new Southern Section President, who was also one of the "California Girls" team members:

The concurrent sessions start tomorrow morning, and I'll be doing my session tomorrow afternoon. I'll try to post tomorrow night about the sessions I attend.

CSLA Conference 2008 - I've Arrived!

I arrived in Sacramento last night for the CSLA Conference. As you can see from my post below, I haven't blogged in ages. But, I decided to spring for Internet access in my room and am going to try to share some of the highlights of this conference since I know there will be many. The CSLA Conference is always a wonderful opportunity to retool with great new ideas and skills, hear wonderful speakers and authors, and network with wonderful school library people.

If you are at the conference, please consider attending my session on Friday at 3:30 on "Connecting with Students Online is Easy Using Voicethread." Here's the "commercial" I created for the session:

Also, please check out the Poster Sessions in the Exhibit Hall. I put together one on "How to Form a Book Cart Drill Team." After the "California Girls" represented CSLA Southern Section at the Book Cart Drill Team Competition at ALA last summer, CSLA wants to put on a competition at next year's conference. The poster display is intended to encourage interest and provide information about how to form a team.

I'll be attending the CSLA State Board meeting all day today, so won't get to any of the workshops, but will be at the Exhibit Hall for the opening of exhibits at 6 PM tonight. I'll try to post a report tonight or tomorrow.

I'm looking forward to seeing old and new friends here!