Pirates, comics, poems and more
Like many teacher librarians, Nicole Guldager found that reading programs that are based on extrinsic motivation and restrict book choice diminish interest in pleasure reading. To help teacher librarians build excitement around reading, Guldager compiled a list of 31 reading promotion events for elementary schools including Talk Like a Pirate Day, World Kindness Day and Comic Book Day. Although many reading promotional ideas are shared informally through emails and blogs, a clear and annotated calendar of pleasure reading promotion events did not exist prior to Guldager’s master’s research project. An article explaining the need for reading promotion efforts and summarizing the calendar of events was co-authored by Guldager, Dr. Karla Krueger and Dr. Joan Bessman Taylor and published this month in Teacher Librarian. Guldager graduated with her MA in School Library Studies in 2015 and is currently the K-12 Media Specialist for the GMG Community School District in Garwin, Iowa.
Eleven elementary educators from the Howard-Winneshiek Community School District, including School Library Studies alumna Denise Shekleton, shared their approach to 1:1 technology with College of Education faculty on February 12. “What I found most remarkable about these teachers is how natural technology integration seemed to them. They weren’t focused on individual tools or on technology for its own sake. Instead, technology was seamlessly ingrained in how they think and what they do,” said Dr. Joan Bessman Taylor, an associate professor of School Library Studies. The Howard-Winneshiek presentation which also included Superintendent John Carver via Skype, was part of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction’s year-long Transformative Learning Initiative on technology integration.
Finding your voice
Alumna Shannon McClintock Miller also shared her technology expertise with UNI faculty and students this spring as part of the Transformative Learning Initiative. In presentations to pre-service teachers, she explained how she has used new technologies to help students develop their passions and connect to the outside world. “It is all about giving kids a voice,” said Miller, the former K-12 teacher librarian in Van Meter Community Schools. In her presentation to Curriculum and Instruction faculty, Miller shared tools students and teachers can use to connect, create and collaborate. Miller (MA 2010) was a teacher librarian for eight years. She is now an educational consultant and speaker who promotes libraries and technology integration in schools around the world. Miller’s visit was sponsored by the UNI Foundation’s Pallischeck endowment and the UNI Faculty Senate.
A portal to the 1930s
To share the drama and innovation of the 1930s, Tyllie Corbin created an interactive bibliography for her students. The resource is designed to be used at the beginning stages of research and fulfills the need for collaborative social studies instruction. Her website connects students to photos, videos and book summaries about the 1930s, giving them access to information she gathered for her master’s research project, “The 1930s: The Great Depression and Beyond--An Annotated Bibliography.” Corbin explained, “Originally, I planned to make an annotated bibliography of picture books to go along with a unit on the 1930s. After I had compiled the list, I thought it was a little boring, so I created a ThingLink for students to use.” Corbin is a 2015 School Library Studies graduate and teacher librarian for the Denver Community School District in Iowa.
Calling for collaboration
Do you need a quick way to encourage classroom teachers to ask for your help? Give them a School Library Studies bookmark that proclaims teacher librarians are “Your link to technology and literacy” and prompts them to ask for your help. The first ten readers to email firstname.lastname@example.org and provide an address will receive 30 bookmarks. Readers can also request copies of our advocacy flyers, “What can teacher librarians do for you?” and “Research shows teacher librarians impact Iowa students,” which are designed to start conversations with administrators about the roles and value of teacher librarians.
In the December issue, the name of the Rigmor Madsen scholarship was misspelled. We want to make note of the correct name and spelling: the Rigmor Madsen Scholarship Endowment Fund. The fund honors Rigmor “Rigs” Madsen, a 1965 Library Science alumna. We are grateful to her family for their generous support of this scholarship and sincerely regret the error.