Skip to main content

Earth Pals...for the WIN!

Today you'll hear two voices in this blogpost...

Mine is in pink and Matthew Winner's is in black.  We're having a bit of a celebration!
This post may also be found today at The Busy Librarian.

photo from

I opened my ipad Friday afternoon and saw this message on skype...

To be fair, the message came to me through means no less random or vexing.

Unfortunately, it was after 4:00 when I saw this message & Matthew was long gone from his school computer & skype account.  I wondered what in the world he could be talking about. THE news?!?!  

I was walking my 1st grade class back to their homeroom when Albert Yoo, a 3rd grade teacher at my school, approached me. Laptop in hand and struggling to contain a smile, he asked if I had received the email about Earth Pals. 

Surely he couldn't be referring to what I've called our "long shot" application...for the ISTE-SIGMS award.  
I wondered if Sherry had emailed about our collaborative project. Our TED Talk-inspired Earth Pals project was finally nearing its conclusion, and so Sherry and I were writing back and forth regularly to determine when our classes could present their findings to one another. But then again, it was mid April. Was it possible that ISTE's Special Interest Group for Media Specialists (SIGMS) had selected their Technology Innovation Award winners? No way. That was such a long shot. It had to be something else.

Later that evening (after Matthew did not respond to an email or a tweet -- How dare he have a LIFE!), his wife, Aimee, hit me up on Facebook with a hearty "Congratulations!!!"  She explained that Matthew was off being his usual Busy Librarian self but that our project had indeed WON the award...THE award!

Friday was a really busy day. We celebrated Poem in Your Pocket Day throughout our school. That was a ton of fun. Following the end-of-day bell, I also presented a gamification webinar at the SCRLC Emerging Tech IV digital conference. Topping it all off, I then rushed over to a local high school to volunteer for our county's 6th annual Battle of the Books competition. By the time I got home and was filling Aimee in on my day, I realized that our school's email system was down and I couldn't even access the email Albert was trying to show me. The email that I hadn't actually even read myself yet.

I was truly speechless.  It's a good thing we were messaging back and forth so Aimee probably just thought I was a slow texter.  :)  

Finding out about Sherry from Aimee after the fact was almost worth it. My now clearly cryptic Skype message to Sherry was evidence enough for my exhaustion. But how could I possibly expect to sleep without being able to access that email?






Overwhelming joy.

All are the emotions I've experienced over and over again. 

And, if being honest with myself, I'm still feeling a bit just thinking about it right now.

Later that night Matthew emailed me the news and details.  

And when I could finally access my work account again the next morning, I made sure to properly forward the announcement to Sherry and Gretchen, her collaborative partner at Rossville.

Now I'm overwhelmed with a different feeling: gratitude. 

So completely thankful.

Thank you ISTE and our SIGMS! 

Thank you for recognizing our hard work.

Thank you for acknowledging our vision for an ambitious student-centered project.

Thank you for affirming the countless hours of planning and coordination between Longfellow Elementary and Rossville Schools, as well as between teacher librarians and classroom teachers: Sherry and Gretchen, Albert and me.

Thank you for valuing not only librarian to teacher collaboration but also librarian to librarian collaboration!  

"We are stronger together than we are alone."--Walter Payton

 In an organization built on the foundations of collaboration, innovative ideas, and taking big risks in the name of epic adventures, we are so very thankful for the opportunity to be recognized by ISTE and our SIGMS. 


Popular posts from this blog

Review: Attachments

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm not sure why I waited to read this book. I had heard others mention they loved ALL of Rainbow Rowell's books, even her "adult" one, Attachments. (Side note: Why does mentioning it's an adult book sound so dirty?! It's not at all. It's just not a YA book. It's actually cleaner than many of the YA books I've read...) Anyway, I requested this title from my library and was pleased to pick it up a few days ago. I immediately began reading it. It was a breath of fresh air for me. Perhaps because the characters WERE adults, and not angst-ridden teens or supernatural beings, or any of the other stereotypes it seems like I've been reading too much of lately...

Rainbow Rowell has a way of writing characters that you wish you knew in real life. They're interesting, sincere, and realistic. I especially enjoyed the format of this book with the many emails between Jennifer and Beth. Lin…

1-2-3 Wonder

Collaborating is one of the aspects of teaching that I most enjoy.  As a school librarian, I have the unique opportunity to collaborate, teach, and work with many different teachers and students in my school building, grades K-12.  This school year, one of my professional goals is to collaborate outside of my school and even outside of Indiana. 

When David Etkin mentioned on Twitter that he had an idea for a Wonder extension lesson, I immediately said "I'm in!"  We talked it out a bit and decided to recruit a few more people to the collaborating party from the #WONDERschools initiative.  Davidforced  persuaded Reilly into participating in this project with her 5th grade students.  

We worked together in Google Docs on the lesson idea, questions, and discussed how to best implement this in our classrooms.   Then we decided how to combine and showcase what was done in each of our classes. The cool part of this collaboration was that we used several methods of communication: …

Totoro #PostItNoteArt

Our post-it note art for the fourth 9 weeks this school year is from the movie My Neighbor Totoro.  It seemed to be a bigger undertaking than usual.  I think the main reason for this was because we had to alter the patterns quite a bit to fit our windows.  This always presents a challenge to keep the scale the same and make sure the finished art is still recognizable.  Connolly does a great job with this and usually eyeballs the changes.  I, on the other hand, prefer to be able to follow the pattern row by row.

Time wise, the three forest spirits were created in about six total hours.

Finished windows:

Daughter finished the #Totoro #PostitNoteArt on our library windows. Like every one we've created, it's now my favorite. 💙 (Top: view from hallway; bottom: view inside library) #myneighbortotoro #myfriendtotoro #TotoroSocietyART #TotoroisHere #RMHSLibrary @postit
A photo posted by Sherry Gick (@sngick) on Apr 21, 2016 at 1:14pm PDT
A few videos of the process:  (It's always…