SLRI Update

2018 Unconference Recap

Which AASL Common Belief resonates most with you?

1. The school library is a unique and essential part of a learning community.

2. Qualified librarians lead effective school libraries.

3. Learners should be prepared for college, career, and life.

4. Reading is the core of personal and academic competency.

5. Intellectual freedom is every learner's right.

6. Information technologies must be appropriately integrated and equitably available.

National School Library Standards

The new standards framework for learners retains the "Think. Create. Share. Grow" domains, now located under six "shared foundations": Inquire, Include, Collaborate, Curate, Explore, Engage (think ICE, ICE Baby to remember the initials).


At the Unconference, we played a card game that worked kind of like Apples to Apples (or Cards Against Humanity, depending), matching standards with stakeholders and situations. You can download and print the cards for use at a department / staff meeting or PD.


If you would like a copy of the standards book, SLRI members get a $100 discount. Alyssa Taft will be sending out an order form soon.

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Breakout Sessions

Unconference participants broke into groups to discuss topics that had been submitted with their registration forms. They included:


  • Digital and Media Literacy: Thanks to Renee Hobbs for publishing this list of resources for teaching students at all different levels.

  • Standards: If you're posting a lesson online to a blog or Twitter (even if it's just one photo of your students in action or their finished products), consider adding the standard number and tagging it with #AASLStandards.

  • Advocacy and Marketing: Another elementary school in Johnston is losing its physical library space; this is just one of many bad situations we are hearing about. When we send out our annual survey, PLEASE notify us of any reductions in budgets, staffing, or space at your schools. COLA and the Library Board of RI are ready to write letters on behalf of school libraries at our request.

    Sarah H. met with RI reps in DC last week for National Library Legislative Day (NLLD). Rep. David Cicilline’s and Sen. Jack Reed’s staffers wants us to send them information and stories about school libraries, similar to what we featured in our School Library Month press release. Send examples of fun lessons, projects, events, etc., to sarahkhunicke@gmail.com.
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The RI NLLD delegation meeting with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

  • Collection Development / Authors' Visits: Melanie Roy at Hampden Meadows in Barrington is teaming up with the public library to make sure that her students have the books they want to read available during the summer. She created a master list of books culled from sources like the National Science Teachers Association Best STEM Books and the Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year. The public library ordered the titles, and Hampden Meadows students have the opportunity to preview them at school, creating their own summer reading list.

    Alyssa Taft at Portsmouth Middle School put together a day-long "All Day Audible with Authors" event; every student at the school got to interact with an author either in person or via Skype / Google Hangouts. Online Q&A sessions can be much less expensive to host than an in-person presentation, so consider them as a low-cost programming addition to your school year.
  • Technology/STEAM: Thanks to Vanessa Dyer and Patti McChrystal for compiling the following apps and tools:

    - Art Bot - create a drawing robot using simple dollar-store items
    - Blogger - use as a platform for student book reviews
    - Flipsnack - create digital flipbooks or magazines
    - freetech4teachers.com - lots of good ideas from Richard Byrne
    - Merge Cube - "hold a hologram"
    - Pixton - cartoon strip creator
    - Shadow Puppet EDU - slide show creation app
    - Snap Circuits - electronics kits
    - StoryJumper - create books either from scratch or templates. The teacher account option allows you to have classes make a collaborative book.
    - Tinkercad - used in conjunction with a 3D printer
    - Voki - create avatars for book characters or research figures
    - WordArt - create word clouds
    - 3Doodler pens

    The group also discussed the fact that presentation skills should be taught as well as the presentation tools!