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Mid-Year Review (2017-2018)
The beginning of the school year, there were numerous plans to continue project based learning (PBL) in the school library.  I had visions of increased collaborations with teachers in the building and reached out to several people within our community, as well as my district.  Unfortunately, many of those plans were not able to be fully realized.  Whether there were teacher concerns for curricular demands (which is understandable) or fiscal constraints to visit a historian to assist students with a video montage of the history of the school, it was disheartening (to say the least) to see numerous ideas and plans become dismantled. Fortunately, things began to turn around once I spoke to a few trusted colleagues and received their input.


The first colleague to assist me was one of the school counselors in my school, Mrs. Thomas-Aulu.  Once I shared the vision for the library as a hub for learning she suggested we team up on a series of bullying lessons.  These…

Using PBL to Create a Space for the Arts in the School Library (Part 1)

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During the summer, I had a chance to share information regarding the project based learning (PBL) activities I worked on with students last year.  One of the PBLs I worked on involved an artist and an organization called Young Audiences of Maryland.
Young Audiences of Maryland (YAMD) is an organization that offers schools the chance to request various artists and performers for school assemblies, workshops, and residencies, the organization reached out to me to share an opportunity.  Each year, they offer schools in Maryland a chance to apply for a residency program.  Last year, I applied and our school was selected.  

First, were a series of meetings which allowed me a chance to meet the artist with whom I was paired. My partner was McKinley Wallace, a painter.  During the meetings, we shared our visions, meshed our ideas, and planned a series of lessons. YAMD did a wonderful job of preparing the artist with the expectations of sound lesson planning, as well as preparing me with knowle…

What can we do?: The Power of Educators

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The past week has been a sea of emotions.  Last Thursday, I was reveling in my role as a school librarian.  As an first-time attendee of the National Conference of African American Librarians (NCAAL) in Atlanta, Georgia, I had the chance to meet authors that my students and I had talked about on numerous occasions.  Not only did I have a chance to meet Sharon Draper, Nikki Grimes, Susan G. Flake, Carole Boston-Weatherford, and Jason Reynolds, I was able to talk to them and ask questions.  
The conference was also a chance for me to meet with librarians in college libraries and public libraries. I was in heaven as we discussed ways to build communities within our library programs. I was entranced whenever someone shared new initiatives in their library spaces, and I was ecstatic when we could just sit down and talk about the various challenges we faced as librarians. In each encounter, there was honest conversation and a desire to make a positive difference in the lives of others. I fel…

Reading for Empathy: #CharlottesvilleCurriculum

Check out @tlovesbooks's Tweet: https://twitter.com/tlovesbooks/status/898260143099588608?s=09
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My excitement and nervousness for ISTE17 is increasing each and every day.  Why?

I'm excited to attend the conference. I'm always excited to attend ISTE.  The chance to be among other educators who are enthusiastic about teaching and technology makes me smile.  I also look forward to reconnecting with people I met last year. By chatting and catching up with members of my virtual tribe, we have a chance to share and engage with others. This year, I will have the chance to learn about new resources and share some of my own teaching experiences with others.  This leads to why I am nervous..

I will present a session this year. My session is titled, How LMSs can Increase Engagement with PBLs.  Proposed as a poster session, I was ecstatic when I received a request to do a snapshot.  Once the excitement wore off (it really never did) I became nervous. How would I fit the three PBL experiences in thirty minutes?  Would people attend?  Would others be excited about this topic?

I welco…

Building a Foundation for Project Based Learning in the Library

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For many public school librarians the quest to collaborate with teachers is full of questions.  When do you find time to collaborate?  How can library media specialists connect the varied standards to the lesson?  How do we maintain a balance of teaching, guiding, and assessing during a lesson?  What are the expectations of the library media specialist once the lesson is complete?  How do you promote the work you do inside and outside of the library’s walls?  For this library media specialist, finding the answers to these questions was ongoing.  It was once I learned about project based learning (PBL) that I was able to gain some insight. 
Last year, the idea of project based learning was introduced to me from my coursework.  It was once I was introduced to the philosophy of John Dewey (there’s more to him than just the Dewey Decimal system) I was intrigued by the idea of giving students a chance to work on tasks related to their interest, engage the community, and provide opportunit…

#EduMatch Tweet & Talk 84: Student Choice and Engagement

Great discussion tonight regarding Student Choice and Student Engagement.  This was a great way to share techniques that educators use with their students, as well as a way to learn from others.  I discovered a few new techniques and will work to incorporate them in my lessons, before the school year ends.  Check out the link to the talk on YouTube.  Thank you @Edu_Match for facilitating this dialogue and for bringing educators together.