Teacher Librarian Day 2013 #tld2013

March 1st was my first out of district professional day regarding my new career as a librarian. I was excited. The conversation was documented on twitter using #tld2013 and you can follow @tpscolorado for more info. The day started with carpooling with two other Elementary Librarians from Academy School District 20 and it is always good to have social time with people who do the same thing you do. We chatted about the good and bad things about life as a librarian.

The day was organized as Ted Talks. Each presenter would have approximately five minutes to share their ideas. We arrived to hear Stevan Kalmon from  the Council of 21st Century Learning discussing great ways to have students question. Inquiry based learning is big everywhere but librarians seem to embrace it. The steps he used was to create a question focus, have students produce questions, categorize them as “open” and “closed”, determine the three most important questions, consider next steps and reflect on the process and learning. Resources for the process are available at http://rightquestion.org/. I made a novel revelation that this is similar to the IB/PYP Exhibition process the Woodmen-Roberts 5th graders are participating in right now.

As others were giving their speeches, I realized that Laura Israelsen was presenting. Laura and I worked on “A Week In the Life” (A Flat Classroom Project) together in the fall. Although we never met, we emailed and were in BlackBoard Sessions together. So tweeted that I was excited to meet Laura and when she got up to announce our reflection, she asked where “Toni” was so that we could meet face to face. Working on global projects, this happens a lot. You tend to work virtually with people first and then end up meeting them somewhere, sometime in the future. This was a meaningful connection for me even though it wasn’t a new one. I also got introduced to Mary Johnson, who is a Library of Congress consultant who I hope to work more with in the future.

Mark Makley, a historian of the American West, introduced me to the idea that images are very powerful primary sources and the idea of re-photograpy. He used examples of taking current photos and connecting them with past photos. This would be a nice way to get primary sources in the hands of elementary age students. I will be taking to our Art teacher and classroom teachers about this one.  Chris Jennings discussed the future-tense of primary sources and how we all can contribute to how history is written. Teach students to photograph and journal and document their life. We were also shown an amazing Ted Talk by Ramon Pierson called Learning to Learn. We were left with many questions.

When Laura Israelsen discussed Meograph, I realized I needed to go back to the website that I had previously joined but never learned how to use it. This will be a website that I can use with 4th graders working on a timeline of US and Colorado history. Laura wrote a blog post talking about Meograph also.  Dr. Robert Hazan made a thought-provoking speech in pursuit of civility and decency by talking about the perspectives of different primary sources. If the white man were the ones documenting the native indians, do we really get the true picture of the native indians.

Mary Johnson showed an amazing Interactive Primary Source Analysis Tool and the Search by Standards Tool.  I will be trying these out will students and fellow teachers. Gina Schaarschmidt discussed how to begin showing students primary sources. Start with something personal that they could relate to and grow to showing Zebulon Pike’s primary sources, his journal, maps, etc. She made a track with Pike’s journey to help them understand what he and his fellow travelers were going through. Teri Inloes discussed how Jim Murphy writes non-fiction such as  An American Plague that capture the attention of many middle schoolers. Christine Schein and Michelle Pearson discussed the power of personal story and place and tying what we are familiar with to what is in history.

I am new to library science and this day really inspired me to use the primary sources every day.

  1. March 5, 2013 at 7:10 am

    Toni, Thanks for the great TLD snapshot. It’s so awesome to hear how any of our work can make its way to the ground level. Advocates like yourself are what keep pushing education in the right direction and we are so grateful!

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