Lessons from My Father

When did you learn to value data?

In this editorial from our April online issue, Leslie Preddy shares her story. She blames her dad.

For more about using data, the importance of data, and what it can do for your practice, be sure to read our April online issue. Subscribers can access it hereNot yet a subscriber? Click here  for more information.

 

Ronald Carl “Pops” Burton

It’s all my father’s fault. His PhD is in analytical chemistry. He’s brilliant. I can remember when I was little and being awed when allowed to visit him at work, looking at all the scientific tools, equipment, and supplies he could use every day. I vividly recall sitting on his lap while he let me look through one of his scientific journals while he explained to me, as best he could to a small child, how important it was to keep comprehensive notes, charts, drawings, research for his projects. He showed me his bookshelf full of these journals and shared the value of retaining his old journals so he could refer to them and use past experiences to build upon when solving a new technical problem in order to improve efficiency, address environmental concerns, avoid contamination, or any problems in the factories that involved chemical analysis issues. Pops, as I affectionately call my father, was very patient with a very curious child. Who knew that would be a foundation for processing information that would serve me well as an adult? Continue reading “Lessons from My Father”

The Power of Yes

We’re thrilled to welcome Leslie Preddy as our new Instructional Leadership Topic Center Editor. She brings with her years of experience as a librarian and active involvement in professional organizations as well as a tireless devotion to promoting reading among children everywhere. Please join us in welcoming Leslie to the fold and read on to find out what makes Leslie so successful at what she does.

Everything wonderful to happen to me professionally is because I said yes. Yes to opportunity. Yes to chance. Yes to appropriate change. Yes to developing new skills. Yes to engaging in new experiences. Yes to new additions to my professional learning network. Embracing the role of Instructional Leadership editor for School Library Connection is an exciting event in my life that has already helped to enrich my life both personally and professionally.

Situational Awareness

The U.S. Coast Guard defines situational awareness as “the ability to identify, process, and comprehend the critical elements of information about what is happening to the team with regards to the mission. More simply, it’s knowing what is going on around you.”* Professionally, our team consists of school library educators, school library staff, our building staff, and the youth we serve. The mission is to prepare our youth for a future of learning, reading, and engagement within their community and throughout their lives. To get there, we can’t continue to be who we were and do what we did. We must evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of our communities and profession. Sometimes that means change for the library. A few years ago I realized my students’ reading motivation and abilities were deteriorating. I seized this opportunity to lead some action research within my building where we found a way to successfully engage our students and increase their time spent reading, reading interest, and reading scores on standardized tests. We knew that being situationally aware meant sharing what we had learned with other educators: through articles, resources, a book, and many conference presentations with the school librarian and classroom teachers collaboratively presenting and sharing our successful program and process. When situationally aware, there is recognition for  change, need, or action, whether at the building, local, state, national, or international level, and putting together a team and action plan to do something about it. Continue reading “The Power of Yes”

Planning a Free Book Night

Here’s a great idea from the archives. Subscribers to SLC can read more articles like this by visiting School Library Connection.

giftsMost librarians realize that families are at the heart of providing support for developing lifelong readers. Involving families in reading fun, activities, and training is integral to creating a strong network of readers. Families (along with other significant adults in the reader’s life) can support and promote reading at home by making reading an everyday, even casual, activity. School librarians can play an important role in helping families in the school’s efforts to support and develop readers at home as well as at school. Free Book Night is a great way to offer a special event that focuses on reading.

Communication
School librarians can play a central role in communicating information on reading to families. They can let families know what’s new in reading, how to support and build a reader, and what social reading activities are available in the school or community. School librarians can also lead the effort to host special reading events like a Free Book Night for families. This event helps readers become interested, motivated, and efficient by developing a home support network and home reading habits. It is an opportunity to remind parents of the importance of being reading role models, providing reading time at home, maintaining a home bookshelf of reading materials, participating in reading conversations, and providing moral support for reading. It is also a way for the school to promote opportunities in the community for participation in reading-related activities with connections to the library.

Free Book Night
Pre-planning: Work with administrators to set a date on the school calendar for an evening family reading event. Once the date is set, establish a committee to help and to ensure there are others on the staff with a vested interest in the project. Begin by collaboratively developing a promotion plan in order to get the word out to the community and families. Create a plan for the evening. Consider spaces needed, supplies, donations, training, and entertainment. Plan for the important components, but also think outside the box. For example, would attendees enjoy having a local sports mascot or book character in costume to greet them as they enter? Continue reading “Planning a Free Book Night”

Promoting and Evaluating Your Makerspace

preddyYou’ve set up a great makerspace. Now what?

How about taking four minutes to hear Leslie Preddy talk about how to promote and evaluate your efforts?

“Marketing & Evaluation of Your Makerspace” is a sneak peek of Leslie Preddy’s new professional development workshop, “School Library Makerspaces,” in which she shares her expertise on the how and why of having a makerspace in your school library.

 

Subscribers can access the entire eight-part workshop here.

preddyLeslie Preddy has served as school librarian at Perry Meridian Middle School in Indianapolis since 1992 and as an adjunct professor for Indiana University, Indiana State University, and IUPUI. She has presented webinars and is a frequent speaker and consultant at education conferences and events. She has published many articles in professional journals, co-created online resources for educators, and is the author of SSR with Intervention: A School Library Action Research Project, Social Readers: Promoting Reading in the 21st Century, and School Library Makerspaces. Preddy is a recipient of many awards including  AASL’s Collaborative School Library Media Award and Perry Township Schools Teacher of the Year.  She is Past-President of the American Association of School Librarians and the Association of Indiana School Library Educators. Preddy is a recent recipient of two grants for her school library makerspace from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Indiana State Library.

Sneak Peek: The Power of Makerspaces with Leslie Preddy

 

This month at School Library Connection, we’re exploring the culture of making. A Gallup poll recently found that students say they have very few opportunities to develop their entrepreneurial energy. But nearly half of America’s students say they want to start their own business or invent something that changes the world. So what can we do as educators and school librarians to make a difference?

In this sneak peek from her School Library Makerspaces workshop, Leslie Preddy explores how making can help to foster an emotional connection between students and their learning and nurture the skills self-regulated learners need. Subscribers can access the entire eight-part workshop here, where you’ll also find practical guidance on choosing the right activities, safety, and the marketing and evaluation of your makerspace.

 

 

preddyLeslie Preddy has served as school librarian at Perry Meridian Middle School in Indianapolis since 1992 and as an adjunct professor for Indiana University, Indiana State University, and IUPUI. She has presented webinars and is a frequent speaker and consultant at education conferences and events. She has published many articles in professional journals, co-created online resources for educators, and is the author of SSR with Intervention: A School Library Action Research Project, Social Readers: Promoting Reading in the 21st Century, and School Library Makerspaces. Preddy is a recipient of many awards including  AASL’s Collaborative School Library Media Award and Perry Township Schools Teacher of the Year.  She is Past-President of the American Association of School Librarians and the Association of Indiana School Library Educators. Preddy is a recent recipient of two grants for her school library makerspace from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Indiana State Library.