TLA 2017 in San Antonio was a great learning and fun experience for Mrs. Johnson. The trip started with Tech Camp, which is a 1 day technology pre-conference within TLA. The keynote speaker was Hadi Partovi, the founder of Code.org! His speech expressed the importance of teaching kids computer science. Mrs Johnson then went on to learn from Sherry Gick, Heather Lister, and Nikki Robertson, 3 of the best school librarians from across the whole country! Mrs. Johnson also presented Google Expeditions at Tech Camp with Ms. Brem, the librarian from Colleyville Heritage High School.
Thursday, Mrs. Johnson went to lots of great sessions, where she learned so much from fellow librarians. She also ran into several authors including Scott Westerfeld, Javaka Steptoe, and Xavier Garza. Thursday night, Mrs. Johnson attended the Candlewick dinner and ate dinner with Caldecott winning illustrator Chris Raschka! What an honor and privilege!
Friday was the Bluebonnet luncheon to honor the 2017 winning author, Victoria Jamieson and her book Roller Girl! The best part of the luncheon was the student presenters, as always! Victoria told all about her life, including that she is an actual roller derby team member on the Rose City Rollers and roller derby teacher! They even had members of the roller derby team from the San Antonio Alamo City Roller Girls there! After Bluebonnet came the favorite author lip sync battle! Aaron Reynolds came back this year as winner from last year to perform one song, which was hilarious! He performed to promote the sequel to Creepy Carrots, Creepy Pair of Underwear! He dressed as Jasper Rabbit and wore the Creepy Underwear! The winner of this year's lip sync battle was Tim Miller, author of Moo Moo in a Tutu!
Saturday morning, Mrs. Johnson went to the Mavericks panel where she got to hear from Nathan Hale of the Hazardous Tales series, Mike Maihack of Cleopatra in Space, and George O'Connor of the Greek mythology graphic novel series Olympians! And to end the conference, Mrs. Johnson got to hear Chelsea Clinton, yes CHELSEA CLINTON, speak about the importance of trying to make a difference and her two books, It's Your World and She Persisted. This was the perfect ending to a great conference.
Mrs. Johnson had an awesome, busy time at the annual TCEA conference in Austin February 6-10. She presented Google Expeditions virtual reality field trips 4 times with fellow lead librarian, Mrs. Brem from Colleyville Heritage High School and Mrs. Stach, Coordinator of Instructional Technology. She also attended several sessions pertaining to the school library including Tinkercad 3D design software and transforming your school library programming. Enjoy the photos below of Mrs. Johnson's journey at TCEA.
Mrs. Johnson is very excited to announce that author Aaron Reynolds will visit the BCE learning commons on Monday, November 28! If you would like to order a book for him to sign, order forms are due on Thursday, November 3. You can print the order form below if you need an extra. Mr. Reynolds has written many children's books including the Caldecott Honor winner Creepy Carrots, Nerdy Birdy, Joey Fly Private Eye graphic novels, and President Squid. His newest graphic novel, Caveboy Dave, will be available November 1! You can get more information about Mr. Reynolds and his books at his website HERE.
International Dot Day was a huge success at Bear Creek this year! Dot Day is an annual celebration that takes place on September 15 all across the world in conjunction with the book The Dot by Peter Reynolds. Students are encouraged to think about how they will make their mark on the world. We connected with other classes in other schools through Skype to share our ideas and our dots that we have made. I saw some amazing dots this year including dots made from coffee filters, paper plates, pointellism artwork, and even dots that work with an app on the iPad to make them 3D! We had the most classes participate this year at Bear Creek than ever before! We connected with classes from all over the DFW region and as far away as El Paso! We also enjoyed singing the Dot Song! Enjoy our Dot Day pictures!
April 19-22 marked the annual TLA Conference for 2016. I always enjoy and learn so much at this conference, and this year was no exception. The crazy flooding in Houston had us all a little concerned at first, but everything turned out just fine.
*April 19 - Tech Camp
Tech Camp is the annual technology preconference geared toward school librarians. This year the keynote speakers were Two Guys and Some iPads Drew Minock and Brad Waid. They were very inspiring and they taught us about lots of apps. I also went to a makerspace session that gave ideas on implementation and resources. I attended a Google app tips and tricks session that was informative and fun! Finally I played around in the makerspace area that was set up for us to tinker with.
*April 20 - I was fortunate enough to hear Caldecott winning author and illustrator Dan Santat talk about his inspiration for his winning book Beekle at the Children's Round Table meeting. He also talked about his newest book, Are We There Yet? Can't wait to get this book!
The majority of the rest of my day was spent setting up for the annual Bluebonnet luncheon with my fellow GCISD librarians and lots of other awesome librarians from all over the state. It was hard work setting up for 1000 people to attend, but the end result was awesome!
With the remainder of my day I went to the 2nd annual illustrator sketch off! It was so much fun! Each illustrator was given a topic and a time limit to draw their interpretation of each topic. Then they signed their drawings and gave them all away! I didn't win, but Ms. Harms, the librarian at Timberline Elementary won!
*April 21 - Thursday was a very full day! I began the day at a session with authors talking about their newest science fiction books for middle grade readers (3rd-6th grades). I was most excited to hear picture book author and illustrator Peter Brown talk about his newest book Wild Robot. I'm a huge fan of his picture books and his first novel sounds amazing! Can't wait to read it! I was also fascinated by the authors' discussion of "genrefying" the fiction section of the library. Meaning, the books would be organized by genre, rather than author's last name. They were all in favor of genrefying in order to help kids find what they like to read. One issue was raised, however, that some books can be categorized as 2 or more genres. I agree with this, but this discussion helped me in my debate of whether to genrefy, or not.
Afterwards, I went to the exhibit hall where I met up with Jarrett Krosoczka again. What a treat each time I see him! He is just amazing! I got his newest book signed for our library! I also got to meet Nathan Hale, author of the Hazardous Tales graphic novels. I got his newest Alamo Hazardous Tales book signed for our library too!
I was then off to help take tickets at the annual Bluebonnet Luncheon that honored Laban Carrick Hill and Theodore Taylor for their biography of DJ Kool Herc titled When the Beat was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop. As always, a great time was had by all. Author Laban Hill gave his acceptance speech in poem format to honor poem in your pocket day. Illustrator Theodore Taylor talked about his various inspirations for his illustrations.
After the luncheon I headed over to the author lip sync battle! What a fun event! Authors came and told us about heir newest books and then lip synced to a song that represented each book! It was so hilarious and fun with props and a tiara for the winner! The winning author was Aaron Reynolds, author of Creepy Carrots! Can't wait to get his new book President Squid!
*April 22 - The week wrapped up with the Texas Association of School Librarians annual breakfast with Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney. I loved hearing what he read growing up from Judy Blume novels to comic books. I also loved hearing the story of his awesome book store.
And to close out the conference I helped my fellow librarian at Cannon Elementary, Mrs. Berumen, with her amazing illustrator panel. I got to hear all about the upcoming books of several illustrators including LeUyen Pham, the illustrator if the Princess in Black books and Tad Hills of the Rocket books. It was such a fascinating panel. I had such a great week of listening to authors and illustrators talk about their craft and their upcoming books! My to be read list is definitely exploding. I guess I better get to work reading!
So much awesome activity has been happening in the learning commons! The time has just been flying by!
*February 24 marked World Read Aloud Day. The learning commons was filled with classes reading to each other via Skype. We talked to classes across GCISD, in El Paso, and even talked to a college student in South Africa and read her Pete the Cat!
*Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade continues to read and vote for their favorite 2x2 books! We have finished rounds 1-5 of the left side of our bracket. We are now voting for semifinalists and tackling the right side of the bracket. Can't wait to see which book wins!
*March 2 marked Dr. Seuss's birthday! We had a fun Dr. Seuss photo booth in the learning commons along with Dr. Seuss themed makerspaces including Dr. Seuss bookmarks and Dr. Seuss coloring pages. Lots of kindergartners dressed up for the occasion!
*First grade did animal research about different Texas animals. The rattlesnake group met here in the learning commons for 2 awesome weeks of hard work! I am so proud of the work that the students accomplished.
*Last but not least was our spring book fair! The theme was Peace, Love, and Books! Click HERE to see the photos!
So many awesome things are happening at the library learning commons!
*Last week, 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders who had read 5 or more Bluebonnet nominees voted for their favorite book. I can't wait to hear which book won! I will let you know as soon as the winner is announced. We just got in a shipment of books that includes the NEW Bluebonnet nominees for 2016! The new list is amazing! Come in and check one out!
*The kindergarteners, 1st graders, and 2nd graders are getting in on the voting action too! Every class is coming in to read the 2x2 books and then voting on their favorite in bracket style voting. They are voting using Google Forms linked from a QR code. I'm excited to see which book will win!
*February 4 marked the 100th day of school! Lots of activities were going on that day. In the library we had a 100th day of school photo booth! Lots of awesome pictures were taken to celebrate this milestone day!
*I am also busy creating research folders in MackinVIA "groups" for grade levels who are doing research or need other resources for class. Just let me know what you need, and I can compile it in one place for you!
Mrs. Johnson is the librarian at BCES!