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

Ch-ch-ch-ch- changes...

This space looks a little different.  The url has changed (no more & the title is yet to be determined... (If you have any great suggestions, please let me know!)
I've found myself singing this Bowie song quite a bit: "Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes  Ch-ch-Changes (Turn and face the strange)..."

While I didn't go back in time to make it happen, there has been a BIG change in my life.

I recently accepted a new job with Five Star Technology Solutions as an Associate Director of Innovative Learning for Northwest Indiana.   With a mission of "creating awesome learning experiences for kids", how could I NOT want to be a part of this fabulous company?

Monday marked the beginning of my fourth week in this new position.  It also marked the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year for my children.  Taking them to school and even going into my former building where I had worked and practically lived the previous eight years was the true test.  Would I be sad …

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: …

The Curse of the Were-Hyena

Book mail is (obviously) some of my most favorite mail to receive.  When this book arrived, I immediately opened the package to find this super fun book.  I put it on my TBR shelf, promising myself I'd get to it soon but I needed to continue to concentrate on finishing up my YA reads for the Eliot Rosewater committee (our state YA list).  
A few days later my son and I realized we needed a book to read together.  We'd just finished one and had neglected to pick out a new one.  Mom to the rescue!  I grabbed The Curse of the Were-Hyena and began reading it to him as our nighttime story.  After only a couple of pages, we were both hooked.  Many giggles and gasps as we fell head first into the engaging story.  The next morning he asked if he could take it to school to read.  That's when I knew he was REALLY hooked!  That afternoon/evening, I had to read to catch up with what he'd already read so we could continue to read together at bedtime.  This proved to be a lot of fun …