Monday, December 5, 2022

I Miss Microblogging

 Twitter is a dumpster fire.



For those of you who are non-users or only casual users, Twitter is under new "leadership". Doug Peterson talked about it on his blog in October but it's gotten worse since that post. In the name of "free speech", certain individuals have had their Twitter accounts reinstated while others, like the above example, have had accounts suspended for insignificant reasons. Twitter was never a completely "safe" space, but it's noticeably declined. People I respect online and especially on Twitter provided these suggestions to prepare for the potential destruction and mass exodus:
  • request an archive of your tweets
  • lock your account
  • change your password
  • bookmark your archives
  • delete your DMs
I've done almost all of these steps. (It's hard for me to delete the DMs because it can't be done in a batch and I like holding onto things.)

I haven't figured out a replacement yet. Doug Peterson shared his experience introducing himself to Mastodon. Hive also looks promising. There are several articles championing various alternatives, like this one from MakeUseOf or PC Magazine, or Paste. I already have Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Signal, and Discord. Thing is, none of them are quite like Twitter. 

I joined Twitter in 2009 and first blogged about it soon after. I took a brief hiatus in 2019 but returned with enthusiasm. I've given workshops at ECCO and for AQs about using Twitter as an educator. I've grown my account to over 3000 followers. (That doesn't sound huge compared to people with 10K+ but that's big for me.) 


I miss the community that was built over time on there. I miss the ability to share small snippets of my day in digestible bites that both friends and acquaintances could access. Here are a few moments that I would have tweeted this past couple of weeks.


My Loose Parts Update


A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about trying to incorporate the use of loose parts in my school library learning commons. Aviva Dunsiger commented and I wanted to tell her about the changes.

I left the single, more impactful loose parts provocation and a few of the Grade 7s did some very cool things with the set-up.


As they explained to me, "we decided to create a mouth, because language is such an important part of culture". 

A friend of theirs ago made this. I didn't get a chance to chat with him about what it represented, other than the most literal interpretation. 


No one used the picture book as inspiration, so I think I'll have to actually teach how to interact with a loose parts provocation more explicitly, as Aviva suggested. 

My next question for myself is, "How do I differentiate between the Makerspace materials and the Loose Parts equipment? Should I?" I think I will need to, because I don't want to keep buying new items that are meant for reuse. However, then I see a creation like this, made by a Grade 6 student who used a mix of loose parts and Makerspace resources to design a yo-yo.




STEAM Challenges for Intermediate Library Users


Another moment that would have been "Twitter share perfect" involved the Grade 6-8 classes. They have twenty-minute sessions once a week in the library as a whole class. The classroom teachers accompany them. The Grade 7 teacher noted that many of the students did not know how to use the unstructured time productively or appropriately. (Throwing puppets was a popular pastime for some individuals.) This gifted educator (Lisa Daley) gave me some ideas about how to maintain the welcoming, flexible environment while providing some constructive options and I ran with them.  I created three STEM / STEAM challenges. I took two minutes to quickly explain them to classes and then gave them the rest of their half-period to do what they chose. Many of the students gravitated to the STEM challenges and really enjoyed them. Here are descriptions of the three and then some observations. Every activity had an element of student agency and science/engineering/math components.


Cup Pong with ping pong balls is a classic university/college party game that involves lots of predictions and attempts.


Buildzi is a game produced by the makers of Tenzi. As a fan of Tetris, I was drawn to the different shapes / solids (and this game is much cheaper than this wooden Tetris game I was eyeing online). 


This is a modified version of the game Tenzi. As described on the website ilovetenzi.com

"Everyone gets ten dice. Someone says, “Go.” Then everyone rolls and rolls as fast as they can until someone gets all their dice on the same number and shouts “TENZI.” Lots of different ways to play."

Once again, the students absolutely loved these games / centres. I love how they altered the rules and invented new ways of playing. 







Sharing these via Twitter would have been more immediate and quicker than waiting for my weekly blog post.

Appreciation and Commiseration Posts


Tagging someone to thank them or share something wonderful they've done is part of what I like to do on Twitter. I have so many people I am thankful for. For instance, I am appreciative of our DECEs Jennifer Cadavez and Thess Isidro (plus volunteer Mayoori) for helping to facilitate the painting activity in the library. (I'll probably write more about it later, but take a quick peek at some of these photos.)






The same concept works with commiseration. I don't even have to go into detail. Just saying "Thanks Maha and Renee for Friday" or "Neil and Michelle, I'm glad I have you around" is sufficient. (It may be that months or years later, I won't have a clue what I was referencing. That's the case with looking at the yearbook comments from my then-best friend all written in shorthand. It's indecipherable to me now.)


ETT / ETFO Federation Day


Friday, December 2 was Federation Day, a professional learning day organized by our union. As much as I dislike learning exclusively in online spaces, sometimes it has its benefits. I attended the morning plenary sessions virtually and the experience was excellent. The lineup of speakers / presenters was just WOW - The Honourable Murray Sinclair, author Catherine Hernandez, Ricardo Tranjan ("numbers guy"), poet Shane Koyczan, politician Marit Stiles, Red Sky dancers and singer Shakura S'Aida. I took photos of some of my favourites. Shane made me weep with his powerful words. Catherine's connections had me smiling and several of my colleagues were asking to read my copy of her book. 



Memes


Twitter used to be a great source of memes. Now, I have to rely on the family Discord server. This is, to use my son's words, a "home cooked meme" he created after helping his father. 



It'll be interesting to see if I find my way to another social media site to scratch the itch that  minimizing Twitter will invoke. I love Michelle's words to me in a conversation we had, that joining a new-to-me social media platform in 2022 will be different than the way I joined Twitter in 2009 because of the honed media lenses I wear based on past experience. Wait and see!

 


Monday, November 28, 2022

GTA Resource Fair - Journey vs Destination

 Last Wednesday (and Thursday) was the GTA Resource Fair. I've written about this vital event for TDSB TLs before on my blog earlier this yearin 2019in 2016, (2015), (2012), and in 2011. The president of the Library Helpers Team decided who would attend and she recommended that half the crew go in the fall and the other half go in the spring. I thought that was a fair suggestion, although this meant that I couldn't just drive students in my car like I usually do. With 11 shoppers, I needed an extra supervisor (found in the ever-willing Ms. Thiya) and we needed to use public transit. We took the GO Train to Exhibition Place.

I'll be honest; I'm not a big fan of taking public transit anymore. Ms. Thiya gave me a fresh perspective. Travelling on the TTC and GO Train together was just as much a part of the "trip experience" as shopping at the GTA Resource Fair for our students. She was right. Lots of them took selfies and oohed and aahed when we took the upper level of the GO Train car from Union Station. 




The students did a fantastic job while at the GTA Resource Fair. They were welcomed warmly by many of the school library professionals in attendance as well as the vendors. We stayed in budget (only going $14 over our spending goal), shopped efficiently, and arrived back at school two hours ahead of schedule. They selected great books that we used the very next day for some staff Professional Learning related to our School Improvement Plan. 





I hope this is just the beginning of more regularly scheduled trips and excursions. It was great to see other teacher-librarians there and reconnect. Thanks to all the student shoppers, the participating vendors, and my school admin for letting me attend for the entire day. 


Monday, November 21, 2022

Try to Teach with Loose Parts

 I like taking Additional Qualification courses.  My last three AQs I obtained were for Mentoring (2015), Media Part 1 (2017) and Kindergarten Part 1 (2020). I plan on taking my Media Part 2 with AML when they offer it, even though I only have a few years left before I can retire. 

I find I learn a lot from the AQ courses I take. In my Kindergarten course, Kenisha and Gail taught us about how to use loose parts in our programming. Unlike my colleague Ashley Clarke OCT, who has incorporated it thoroughly into her pedagogical practice, it hasn't stuck as well with me. I decided to give loose parts provocations another try this year. The Library MakerSpace area is finally tidy and ready for visitors, and I noticed students didn't remember or know what to "do" in this area, so I set up some loose part prompts. I was also inspired by one of the Teacher Librarian AQ candidates in one of the courses I teach, who did their course inquiry on "passive programming" and I thought that'd be a clever and efficient way to review information literacy skills for my upper junior and intermediate students, whom I only see regularly for short periods of time outside of collaborative teaching time with their classes. These were my loose part centers.




I realized that the last two centers (the ones with the prompts "How can we locate books in the library?" and "What's popular to read in the Macphail library?" were too narrow in their focus and didn't allow enough options for playful exploration. I should have included more items (like the map covered in acetate for repeated drawing/colouring, or books around the series labels). I thought my first loose parts center, with the prompt "How do we express our culture?", would be more successful. It had a book prompt, more supplies, and even a clearly delineated work space.

Almost no one touched it. One student found other items in the MakerSpace and asked if she could make a key chain. Someone else asked if they could keep one of the fake gems / jewels. One person made a face with two of the wooden circles and a blue gem. That was it.

I hope Ashley and Kenisha see this post so they can give me some advice on how to make it work. I re-read my post from 2020 and when I was struggling back then, Angelique (a Kindergarten AQ guest speaker) had these suggestions:

We also tried a modified version of Angelique's steps to becoming comfortable with using loose parts for play. (She said to Observe / Think / Explore / Create / Document. Her guiding questions were "What do you see? What can you do with it? How might you use the materials?" and I used the first and third questions with the students.) I recorded their ideas on a paper I left at an empty table.

I will definitely need to provide guiding questions to help them understand the scope of the tasks. The ironic thing is that I used a similar loose parts strategy in two other separate occasions this past week and they were much more successful. 

Big Loose Parts for Grade 2-3 Social Studies

The students were the ones that initiated this lesson! Last week, I wrote about how the classroom teacher and I took the students to the library to build urban spaces and rural spaces. Since then, the students have requested to return to the library to do something similar. We made time and for this iteration, we asked them to create urban, suburban, and rural spaces in ways that demonstrated where they were in relation to each other. Because I didn't have time to grab all the supplies from the kindergarten classrooms, we had much more abstract objects to use for the build - just wood blocks and straws/connectors. It's challenging to get around to everyone to hear about what they have created, so we asked them to use sticky notes to label what they made. They did a wonderful job and our discussions with students about their builds helped us educators see where their concept understandings were at.





Jamboard Virtual Loose Parts for Media AQ

I was honoured to be re-invited as a guest speaker for AML's Media Part 1 AQ. My topic was on Comics, Cosplay, and Consoles as legitimate forms of study for media literacy. My daughter and I designed this workshop and we deliberately wanted to include moments for the AQ participants to "play with the concepts". It's hard to make costumes when you only have an hour to present and everyone isn't together, so we devised a Jamboard with "virtual loose parts" that the participants could use to create cosplay templates. I wonder if I've been inspired by the work of Jennifer Cadavez DECE, who has invented incredible loose parts prompts for virtual kindergarten classes for the past few years. Here is the starting page (everyone received their own space to experiment) that I used for the Media AQ guest stint.



Virtual loose parts don't have quite the same power as physical objects (which was part of the point I tried to make in a project I was involved with in late October - more on that in a future post). Still, participants seemed to enjoy exploring and creating. In a few weeks, you might want to check out https://www.journalofmedialiteracy.org/humanaiissue for an article I wrote about comparing physical and virtual games.

Speaking of AQs, in just a few weeks, both the York TL AQs (Part 1, 2 and Specialist) and the Queen's TL Specialist AQ course fall sessions will end. Big thanks to all the participants who increase my own knowledge and understanding of school library issues via their observations, questions, and insights. Appreciation also goes to the Fall 2022 guest speakers for the York AQ: Denise, Tania, Kim Davidson, Darren Pamayan, Diana Will-Stork, and Jonelle St. Aubyn. 



 

Monday, November 14, 2022

Refocus on Planning and Partnering

 What a busy week! It began with no students in the school and lots of uncertainty as CUPE and the provincial government squared off over the use of the non-withstanding clause, and ended with the first whole-school assembly in the gym since 2019 for Remembrance Day. In between, there were also York University AQ guest speakers and my parents' 63rd wedding anniversary. 

Because of all the administrative tasks needing attention lately, I noticed that my lesson plans were almost non-existent (as in, they were in my head but not written down) and my collaborative teaching times were very last-minute, just-in-time affairs. That's fine once in a while but I want to ensure that these partner co-teaching times were valued and valuable. I have 35% of my schedule as co-teaching time, a better schedule than I've had for a long time, and I don't want to lose that because of improper or insufficient use. This is a quick overview of some of the new and renewed teaching partnerships.

Grade 6 Social Studies with Connie Chan

Connie and I work well together. Our first foray into co-teaching did not go as smoothly due to all the interruptions related to reorganization and other external factors. This time around, we vowed to make it work. We are focusing on the expectations related to expectation A3.8 in the strand "Communities in Canada: Past and Present" - "identify and describe fundamental elements of Canadian identity". We are combining it with media literacy and oral communication and our first lesson together went quite well. 


Grade 3-4 Language with Brenda Kim

Brenda and I worked on a critical thinking social studies project a few years back. Our language unit together was the most thoroughly planned of all my recent endeavors. Having said that, it's a subject that we need to keep tweaking based on the student output. I borrowed the idea Lisa Daley and I had years ago about writing the ending to an existing story rather than a complete narrative, which worked well. This past week, we actually unwrapped the back of the book to reveal what the author's original ending was like, compared to the student versions. They were very excited for the "big reveal".



Grade 7-8 Geography with Farah Wadia

I love working with Farah. There's a reason why we keep nominating her for a Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence. I had a great idea related to geography concepts that I learned from my Drama AQ long ago and I used it way back in 2010. It didn't go in quite the way I had hoped. It began well and the students were very engaged. When things went south, Farah helped save the day to ensure things didn't become worse.



Grade 2-3 Social Studies

This particular teacher prefers that I abstain from mentioning her name online. She is also great to work with. Last year, due to class dynamics, our partnership involved separating into smaller groups. This year, we are more able to work in a single, cohesive team. We have expanded our resources to include videos from TVO Learn. We developed assessments to check for understanding before moving on to the next subtopic. The students were excited to explore atlases and made so many connections to their prior knowledge. A week or two before, we brought the students to the library to recreate urban and rural environments using furniture and big blocks and they keep asking when they can return to make a suburban space!








I might be missing other collaborations because I'm relying on memory rather than my notes right now. I'll take the rest of the weekend to plan the newest lessons that I deliver solo, as well as mark my university course work. Hopefully there won't be too many more out-of-the-ordinary interruptions.

Monday, November 7, 2022

Record Making and Researching (Toughest Task?)

Teachers of students in primary grades will tell you that it takes a LONG time to finish anything. This is so true. I've been keen to start my media literacy unit dealing with algorithms, but first I needed to finish our previously started tasks.

Today's blog post outlines how I proceeded with a six-week long media literacy inquiry into The Guinness Book of World Records. 

This focus on World Records was not my original intent. When Queen Elizabeth II died and we were "mandated" to teach something about her, I decided to use one of the lesson prompts I had designed for the Association for Media Literacy, about "The Queen and Breaking Records". I wanted the examination to be meaningful, so we looked at various copies of the The Guinness Book of World Records we had in our library. We created lists of superlative words (fastest, oldest, tallest). 

Based on my conversation with Sarah Wheatley and Dawn Legrow that we shared for Treasure Mountain Canada 7, I wanted to establish and practice research, citation and information literacy skills early.  The students were asked to peruse the various Guinness Book of World Records copies we had in the library and select one record that they were most interested in recalling. I asked the students to note the title and the page number of the record they liked. That was very challenging for many of our Grade 1-3 students (due to their "unfinished learning"). I had to conference individually with students to locate the page number and record it for them. Legible printing is also not a strong general skill right now, so I took their information finds and turned them into printing pages students could use for the books we are producing.




To make this learning personal, we also determined individual Class Records. This also took a long longer than I anticipated. First, we had a discussion about measurable records rather than subjective opinions (i.e. who is the "tallest" vs who is the "cutest"). Then, we started engaging in different challenges to establish some records. We threw Koosh balls, ran sprints in the hall, picked up pencils with one hand, and conducted other less-physical trials students suggested could make for intriguing records. It was my goal that everyone in the class end up with a record, which I know is contrary to the mission of The Guinness Book of World Records, but I wanted everyone to feel like they were the "top of the list" in some way. This activity really highlighted for me which students were incredibly competitive and which students actually didn't think highly of themselves. Students illustrated these personal records with a bit of exaggeration and a mixed collage of photo faces and drawn bodies. (Even just taking the student photos, colour printing them, and distributing them for making images took a long time!)

As we finally wrap up this project (which will result in 8 books), I sent home a reflection sheet for students to complete about the process. This was another difficult task because students need support with their reading and writing. I ended up creating some "circle the answer that best fits" responses, even though I would have preferred some more open-ended questions. (I used those but suggested they only answer two of the five options.) These are some of the questions below, based on Strand 4 of the current Media Literacy curriculum (Reflecting on Media Literacy Skills and Strategies).

Media Project Reflection - Guinness Book of World Records


Name: _________________________________________________


Part A: Choose two of these questions to answer on the lined paper


  1. What kind of records does the Guinness Book of World Records list?

  2. What kind of records are not in the Guinness Book of World Records?

  3. Why might people be interested in trying to be in the Guinness Book of World Records?

  4. Why do people care about records?

  5. What do records tell us about people?


Part B: Answer every question listed below. Circle the answers


  1. Do you remember the personal record you made? YES NO


  1. Do you remember the record you researched? YES NO


  1. How did looking at real records help you decide on making your personal record?

I SAW WORDS LIKE TALLEST / FASTEST / LONGEST


I SAW PICTURES THAT GAVE ME IDEAS


I GOT IDEAS FROM PEOPLE IN MY CLASS OR THOUGHT ABOUT MY SKILLS


OTHER: _______________________________________


  1. What skills did you use when making your personal record?


SPEED/STRENGTH - I HAD TO MOVE FAST OR THROW FAR


BALANCE - I HAD TO KEEP THINGS FROM FALLING


LUCK - MY RECORD WAS PART OF MY LIFE


OTHER: __________________________________________


  1. What skills did you use when researching an existing record?

READING - I READ THE WORDS TO PICK MY FAVOURITE


ORAL - I TALKED WITH THE TEACHER OR FRIENDS TO PICK 


VISUAL - I LOOKED AT THE PICTURES TO PICK MY FAVOURITE


OTHER: _______________________________________________



 I am relieved that this project is almost complete. I think there was a lot of rich learning that occurred but the amount of time it took to get through made me wonder how this could have been achieved in a much more efficient way. Maybe I just need to be more patient. After all, creating those What Is Media videos took nearly three months of work in the past, and they were definitely worthwhile. 

Monday, October 31, 2022

New Approaches to Old Favourites

Happy Halloween to all of those who partake!

This is a short blog post this week, created and posted on the same day.

In Grade 2 Social Studies, one of the expectations is "compare ways in which some traditions have been celebrated over multiple generations in their family and identify some of the main reasons for changes in these traditions". Lately, this expectation has gotten easier to teach, as COVID has forced many changes.

In our school, we used to gather in the gym for a loud and admittedly chaotic circle-share assembly. We haven't had an assembly yet this year so the students are unfamiliar with the routines. Sometimes it's hard to find the "right time" to try something different, but this was an ideal time. How might we mark this moment with the school community in a positive way? We discussed it at a staff meeting, surveyed everyone using a Google Form, and decided to try a different format this year - two school parades from room to room (with space for exemptions) - one for the kindergarteners and one for the rest of the school. We'll discuss what people thought about the new version.

I also took a new approach to carving our home jack-o-lanterns. This year, not only did I try out carving just parts of the pumpkin, I even painted the pumpkin! My Michaelangelo TMNT creation was inspired by something I saw online. We even bought special carving tools to do the job. I was really pleased with the results.



I know that Doug Peterson will be keeping an eye on this blog around this time of year because he knows how much I love costumes and dressing up. Doug, you wouldn't be disappointed. In the morning I was bacon (and my friend was an egg). In the afternoon, I was Tom Nook from the video game Animal Crossing. In the evening at the gym, I was a French maid. My daughter was Spamton from Delta Rune. (I changed back into my bacon costume to take pictures with my cosplaying-specialist eldest.)




There were more trick-or-treaters this year than last but the numbers are still lower than they were in the past. Enjoy your evenings, everyone (except for the people behind the terrible decision to rely on heavy-handed legislative moves instead of good faith negotiations with our CUPE education worker colleagues. Boo to you!)

Monday, October 24, 2022

BCTLA & TMC7

 Happy Media Literacy Week and Canadian School Library Day!

Last week and this week are busy ones, indeed. Today I'm going to reflect on the 2022 British Columbia Teacher Librarians Association Conference and Treasure Mountain Canada 7. I was only able to attend virtually this year but it still gifted me with lots of learning.


Friday, October 21, 2022 (9:00 am PDT, 12:00 pm EDT)

Opening Keynote: David A Robertson

3 Key Points

1) The ways we learn about ourselves often comes via popular culture and school

2) An absence of representation has a negative impact (note King's overview of the 3 common stereotypes of Indigenous people [savage/noble/dead]) and shapes the perception of the self. It also manifests violently with MMIWG.

3) We have made progress in terms of learning about residential schools and reconciliation (nowadays if you don't know it's because you don't want to know) but we need to continue to give books about Indigenous issues (first by Indigenous writers, then by non-Indigenous writers who have done the work properly) to kids so they can be the better leaders we need in our society because they can handle it.

So what? Now what? = I took so many notes. My next steps come directly from David's words: "teacher-librarians, dig in your heels, we need policies, be determined and fight! We can let book removals happen." My other next step is to read some more books by David. He was a captivating speaker.

Media Artifacts




Friday, October 21, 2022 (10:10 am PDT, 1:10 pm EDT)

A Peculiar Path to Library Leadership by Diana Maliszewski

Summary

Are you interested in making your mark in the field of school librarianship? What lasting legacy can you contribute? You might be surprised at the roundabout routes and curious circumstances that come into play. Chat with Diana Maliszewski, one of the writers of Ontario's pivotal Together for Learning vision document and a former recipient of Canada's Teacher-Librarian of the Year Award, to learn about how she got involved in different exciting projects and how she is now helping form new teacher-librarians at two universities. 

3 Key Points

1) The path to leadership isn't always linear or traditional - sometimes it's tangential to your work organization. 

2) If you volunteer, you might end up in the right place at the right time (and while you are there, lift others up - nominate them for awards, for instance).

3) Three key words: Network, Assist, Share

So what? Now what? = 82 people registered for my talk, although I didn't take attendance to see how many showed up. The tech was really well organized, with my special Zoom account, passwords, codes to access passwords, and links all in one convenient place. It's really hard to tell if people are enjoying your session, since cameras are off and it's mostly through the chat feature that we communicate. 

Media Artifacts




Friday, October 21, 2022 (1:00 pm PDT, 4:00 pm EDT)

Books to Build On: Indigenous Literatures for Learning by Erin Spring, Maureen Plante

Summary

This session focuses on 'Books to Build On: Indigenous Literatures for Learning,' an interactive web resource designed to assist educators with weaving Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing into teaching and learning, all while starting with story. Responding to the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the BC Professional Standard 9 for education, this resource helps teachers build foundational knowledge and competencies in Indigenous education.

3 Key Points

1) Alberta Education funded a grant to respond to the TRC and Calls to Action, encouraging people to integrate Indigenous knowledge into teaching.

2) The group created a website for all people, although it is mapped to the Alberta curriculum - see http://werklund.ucalgary.ca/teaching-learning/indigenous-literatures-learning 

3) Another good site is http://indigenousstorybooks.ca 

So what? Now what? = I plan on sharing these websites with my staff after the panic of report cards is through.


Friday, October 21, 2022 (2:05 pm PDT, 5:05 pm EDT)

Closing Keynote: Ivan Coyote

3 Key Points

1) Queer, non-binary folks have to leave their small towns to travel to bigger cities so they can be more anonymous and understand about how to be themselves, even though being part of a small town is part of their identities. 

2) What if we celebrated tenderness rather than toughness? Often, people who are "marginalized" (a term Coyote doesn't like) are praised for their resilience and character, but why do they have to be resilient in their own communities? (Story of Indigenous and queer youth asking small town council for a rainbow crosswalk and being turned down, the councils wondering why people don't want to get involved.)

3) Places need to ask "Who are you already missing? Who has left the room?" Choose education over fear. (Story of Michael Marshall creating a great policy on supporting surgeries but who will benefit if people move?)

So what? Now what? = Once again, the speaker told us what to do. Ivan said, "They're coming for us via the school boards. ... It is enshrined in the Human Rights Act that people cannot discriminate based on gender identity. ... Build a community where people don't have to learn to recover from their differences." My other next step is to read some of Ivan's books. 

Media Artifacts





Saturday, October 22, 2022 (1:45 pm PDT, 4:45 pm EDT)

Afternoon Table Talks
a) Larkspur LLC End Year Reports 2020-2022 by Beth Lyons

Summary (taken from TMC site)

The 2020-2022 school years were marked with a great deal of change, upheaval and constant re-imagining of the system for all of the community members involved in education. COVID restrictions, online learning, closed classrooms and re-adjusting to a return to in-person learning for the majority of our students and staff took precedence over everything. As we worked to re-imagine what the Larkspur LLC might be in this “new normal” we constantly looked to ensure that we were centring the needs of students and their families. We reflected on our collection curation, choice of books for read alouds and maker materials to provide “mirrors, windows and doors” (Sims Bishop) for both students and educators as they interacted within the library space, both in-person and virtually. It is my hope that the Larkspur LLC and the library programming provided an opportunity for growth, for reconnection and most of all, joy.

3 Key Points

1) Collect data and examples throughout the year.

2) There are many tools you can use to make your end-of-year report beautiful.

3) These reports are important advocacy and history documents. 

So what? Now what? = Beth's reports have inspired me to "up my game" and I've made changes to how I've created my annual reports based on her experience. I'll continue to 

Media Artifacts

Thanks to @CdnSchoolLibrar for inviting me to #TMC2022 to talk about my LLC year end report in a virtual table talk. #ONSchoolLibraries https://t.co/LPys2otYcO #onted

— MrsLyonsLibrary (@mrslyonslibrary) October 22, 2022


Afternoon Table Talks
b) Riffing on OSLIP: A Conversation by Diana Maliszewski, Dawn Legrow, Sarah Wheatley

Summary (taken from TMC site) 

How can elementary and secondary teacher-librarians “combine forces” to better serve their students? Impressed by a recent Ontario Library Association study of transitions between secondary and post secondary, the writers embarked on a quest themselves. In their research and conversations, they explored the challenges facing both panels in preparing students for successful transitions. The writers invite you to share strategies and approaches you use to address this critical problem.

3 Key Points

1) Elementary and secondary TLs need to talk together more, using an asset-based approach.

2) We can help each other, once we understand each other. 

3) Schools with teacher-librarians can better prepare their students for the next stage, especially if they have access to the students and know what the upcoming goals might be. 

So what? Now what? = Dawn, Sarah and I had a good chat with the participants that chose to chat with us. Someone asked a good question about what they should be asking their secondary colleagues if they reach out and I think our answers were something like "What will you cover in Gr 9 and what skills would you like them to possibly come with before entering Gr 9?" I need to reach out to the local TL in the high schools my school feeds into. 

Media Artifacts