Today’s Contributor: Lorelei Scanlan
Lorelei is the Librarian at Martin Middle School. This is her second year at Martin and she has also taught at Sanchez Elementary, Galindo Elementary, and in South Korea.
Every year, the Texas Library Association (TLA) hosts a week to celebrate innovations going on in libraries across Texas. This year Power Up at Your Library was held October 1-7. TLA highlights various types of innovation among all kinds of libraries, from academic to public to school libraries. Each day of the week focuses on different types of innovation such as advocacy, tinkering, web widgets, powerful partnerships, innovative impacts, and even offline innovations.
Austin ISD had quite a few libraries that participated this year. Austin ISD libraries partners with the Austin Public Library for the Buford Bus, which is a bookmobile that distributes free books to children all across our city. The Perez Elementary Library partnered with the Thinkery to make animated videos using Hue Animation kits. Galindo Elementary students made shelf talkers for their library. The T.A.Brown Library hosted a monster reads event. The Professional Library at the LMC launched makerspace kits that can be checked out to teachers across the district. (For more information on what kits are available and how to check them out, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.)
At the Martin Middle School library, I wanted to do something for Power Up at Your Library Week that incorporated some of the online resources that I have been highlighting in my library lessons this year: BLEND, MackinVIA, and myON. To do this, I created a webquest for my students to complete through BLEND. Students were challenged to access books from both MackinVIA and myON that were aligned with science and social studies TEKS and respond to them through online discussions with classmates, ELA teachers, and me. Students were able to access all of these programs in a low-anxiety, high-interest situation. It helped for the students and teachers to become more comfortable and familiar with using these online resources. The only “problem” I encountered was that one of the books,The Ghosts of the Alamo & Other Hauntings to the South (available on myON), was so engaging that most of the seventh and eighth graders read the entire book and ran out of time for the discussion post! (Which is not really a problem in my eyes…) Overall, the webquest was a great success and the students really enjoyed this flipped learning.
For more information on Power Up at Your Library Week, you can check out the website (http://www.poweredlibraries.org) or search for the #poweredlibraries on Twitter.