Each year we pause to be thankful for all the blessings in our lives. Although we are thankful every day of the year, we are called to say “thanks” at this special time. As your school library, we strive to provide the best resources, services, and programs that we can. We are thrilled to be able to provide value to our students and staff year after year.
We are thankful for:
A large, comfortable, and beautiful library space that our students and staff can enjoy
A library staffed with a certified school librarian and library aide
A budget that allows us to purchase materials that our patrons want and need
Supportive administrators who understand the importance of a school library program in the lives of our students
Our students who inspire us everyday with their creativity, energy, and hunger for good books
Our teachers who work with us everyday to mentor, challenge, and motivate students to be lifelong learners
Our community for supporting public school libraries like ours
The list could continue almost indefinitely, but we feel these things are at the core of what we do. Thank you from the bottom of our book-loving hearts.
Our first “iChoose” book club of the year met on Wednesday. A total of 34 students brought the books they are currently reading to share with others (no spoilers though). Students sat in groups and gave a brief 1-2 minute booktalk about their book. We placed a list of 20 questions at each table for them to use as a guide or conversation starter. Several students learned about books they would want to read next! Stay tuned for announcements about our next book club meeting!
I’m super excited to be on the social media marketing committee for Teen Book Con 2014! This year it is taking place Saturday, April 26th 2014 at Alief Taylor High School. It is a FREEall day event for teens to meet authors, listen to panel discussions by authors, purchase books, and get authors’ signatures! Plus there are loads of other fun activities planned throughout the day!
Speaking of exciting announcements, our keynote and closing authors were just announced over Twitter! We are thrilled to welcome Laurie Halse Anderson as our keynote speaker and Matt de la Pena as our closing speaker!
Anderson is an award winning author that has written numerous books for teens and kids. Her latest book, The Impossible Knife of Memory, comes out in January.
Matt is the author of five books for teens and a picture book for kids. He attended college on a basketball scholarship. Matt lives in Brooklyn and teaches creative writing at NYU and Vermont College. His latest novel for young adults is The Living.
Follow Teen Book Con for even more exciting author news!
Yesterday I worked with 7th grade writing classes on perfecting their MLA citation skills. Ok, maybe not perfecting, but definitely reinforcing the importance of citing sources and the proper format required. Students have been working on these skills in the classroom but their teachers wanted me to do an extension activity incorporating EasyBib.
The first part of the lesson was spent discussing plagiarism and the importance of citing sources. We discussed characteristics of reliable sources for academic research, and we compared and contrasted reliable v. unreliable information. Next we reviewed the proper MLA format for books in print, as this was the primary objective. Using a document camera, I demonstrated where to find the publication information within a printed book. Then it was time to use our devices! Learning how to properly format citations is usually pretty dry, but with the introduction of iPads students were instantly engaged. Most of our students brought their own devices as we have a BYOD policy in place, but we supplemented with our new library iPads. Students downloaded the free EasyBib app and through guided practice we created our first citation. Each student brought their classroom novel to use for this purpose. Students were most impressed by the scan feature of the app. This created a discussion about the ISBN of each book and how to search by ISBN number. Most students were unaware that you could do this. At the end of the lesson students were able to email themselves the citation they created.
At the conclusion of the lesson we had students fill out an index card as their “ticket out” of class. On the front they answered three questions testing their knowledge of the activity and on the back they copied down the citation they created.
It was a successful lesson all the way around and I’m looking forward to repeating it with another group of students. Thanks 7th grade teachers!!
L to R: Jessica Brody, Leigh Bardugo, Erin Segreto, Ann Aguirre, Gennifer Albin
It wouldn’t be a YA event at Blue Willow without some incredibly swag! Each author brought fun bookmarks, buttons, patches, stickers, temporary tattoos, and even lip balm. Over 50 people attended, including a group of junior high students who drove all the way from Alvin, TX!