Text Size Default Text SizeDefault Text Size Large Text SizeLarge Text Size Largest Text SizeLargest Text Size Print Print this Page

Archive 2012-2013

Meredith Grady, English, with Dr. Kristen Welch

Meredith Grady, English, with Dr. Kristen Welch

International Writing Centers Association Conference: Lines in the Sand How Writing Centers Draw and Redraw Boundaries
San Diego, California      October, 2012  

Meredith and Dr. Welch presented "Two Perspectives: Discovering Shifting Praxis. Dr. Welch presented her approach to teaching composition pedagogy in association with writing center practice and Meredith discussed how she applied the newly learned pedagogical concepts to her work as a tutor in Longwood’s writing center.

"The experience was amazing.  One thing that I found extremely interesting from the experience was my surprise when I realized that all three groups that were presenting, Longwood, Texas A&M University and University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, had a shared message in the presentations.  Although Dr. Welch and I did not know the other presenters prior to the session, the common theme found in all three presentations was the importance of conversation between the tutor and student in the writing center."  

 

Jeffery Everhart, English

98th Annual Conference of Virginia Association of Teachers of English
Richmond, V.A.              October 26-27, 2012

Jeff gave one presentation on his own entitled "Tech Talk or Talkin' Tech: Using Open Digital Resources and the Qualities of Digital Communication to Promote Engagement in the Physical Classroom".  He also presented with Dr. Robin Smith and Dr. Gena Southall on their experiences with SOLstice this past summer through "Writing Pedagogy: Using Place as Text".

"This conference was a great experience. It is something that I look forward to every year (this is my third year attending). I was able to do some valuable networking with people from the Virginia Museum of the Fine Arts and the Library of Congress regarding their growing collections of digital research. I spoke with the representative from the VMFA about including some of the artwork in my thesis project, a digital resource and content site for students and teachers of the American Romantic period. I was also able to augment my understanding of classroom technology by attending a few sessions that focused on Media Literacy."

 

Graduate Students Attend Conference Together

Graduate Students at HARK Conference

Jennifer Marshall, Health and Physical Education
Virginia Association for Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance (VAHPERD)
Roanoke, V.A.                         November 9-11, 2012

Jennifer made good use of the conference to network with past connections made during her Newport News student teaching experience and inquire about job opportunities there.  She also worked with her graduate student colleagues (Cheryl, Brandy and Dustin) at their Graduate Program table promoting Longwood’s newest option for a Master’s degree.  Jennifer also brought back ideas to share from the conference, one session in particular:

The presenter showed us several ways to integrate physical movement and brain cognition. I learned that simple problems such as math or science are much harder and much more fun when they are combined with movement activities. I already brought some back and taught them to my class of elementary school teachers. They were excited to learn new and exciting ways to get their students engaged.

Cheryl Crews, Health and Physical Education
Virginia Association for Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance (VAHPERD)
Roanoke, V.A.                         November 9-11, 2012

Cheryl Crews receives award at HARK conferenceCheryl worked with her graduate student colleagues (Jennifer, Brandy and Dustin) at their Graduate Program table promoting Longwood’s newest option for a Master’s degree.  She also attended sessions (her favorite was one on cup stacking in which she received her own set of cups) and spent time networking with others in her profession.  Cheryl also received the VAHPERD Graduate Scholarship Award complete with an award plaque and monetary prize! Congratulations Cheryl.  About her award experience, Cheryl wrote: I got a fancy plaque in which I hope to hang up in my office one day. I couldn't believe how big of an award this was until I received it at the conference. It was awesome to have so many people coming up to me and congratulating me. It's nice to see that all my hard work pays off!

VAHPERD makes me realize that I am in the right field and I look forward to what the future holds for me!

Brandy Garganta, Health and Physical Education
Virginia Association for Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance (VAHPERD)
Roanoke, V.A.                         November 9-11, 2012

Brandy worked with her graduate student colleagues (Jennifer, Cheryl and Dustin) at their Graduate Program table giving out information for their program to recruit new students. Brandy was also the group photographer and, like Jennifer, made good use of her time at the conference to explore job opportunities in the Newport News area.  One of Brandy’s favorite sessions involved music:

I attended a fun "mix-tape" session.  The teacher who led this activity was great!  He is an elementary teacher in Albemarle County who works with different mixes of music to teach his students different dance moves.  We learned a half-time routine that he taught his fifth graders, which was a lot of fun!  I left that session sweating, and full of excitement to receive his emails of music and dance moves.

Dustin Cockram, Health and Physical Education
Virginia Association for Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance (VAHPERD)
Roanoke, V.A.                         November 9-11, 2012

Dustin worked with his graduate student colleagues (Cheryl, Brandy and Jennifer) at their Graduate Program table promoting Longwood’s newest option for a Master’s degree.  While working the exhibit, he was able to speak to alumni and veteran physical educators from all over Virginia.  Dustin said, "Many people were impressed with our graduate program and I was proud to be a part of it."

Dustin also had a favorite session called "Playing with your Brain."  In this program the instructor taught us a lot of fun activities for physical education that work on problem solving, cooperation, and decision making.  I will definitely be looking for ways to add some of these activities to my lessons

 

 

CSDS Graduate Student Jessica Popp Presents at State Conference

Speech-Language Hearing Association of Virginia’s Annual Conference

Richmond, Virginia:  March 20-23, 2013

CSDS conference with Jessica Popp 2013

Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate student Jessica Popp presented her masters’ thesis research at the Speech-Language-Hearing Association of Virginia’s annual conference.  She reflected that "as a first time presenter at a professional conference I was a bit intimidated.  However, as a Longwood graduate student, I was fortunate to have the encouragement of two of my professors, Dr. Power-deFur and Dr. Keith, who were present at the conference." While at the conference, Jessica also had the opportunity to listen to several other speakers, connect with other speech-language pathologist, and network with several school recruiters.

 

CSDS Graduate Student Rebecca Davis Presents with Longwood Faculty Dr. Peggy Agee

Speech-Language Hearing Association of Virginia’s Annual Conference

Richmond, Virginia:  March 20-23, 2013

Rebecca Davis presentation 3.23.2013—1 of 2

Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate student Rebecca Davis shared her experiences at the Speech-Language Hearing Association of Virginia’s annual conference:  "With a room full of area speech-language pathologists and fellow students, I co-presented with one of my professors, Dr. Peggy Agee, on the topic of phonological awareness. Our presentation explained the rationale for the inclusion of phonological awareness instruction at the preschool level. 

Rebecca Davis presentation 3.23.2013

This experience has helped develop my professional and public speaking skills.  It also provided me with an opportunity to network with other professionals and students. I especially enjoyed attending other workshops and presentations to learn more about what is new and developing in the field of speech-language pathology.  This is an experience that I will keep with me as I go into my second year in graduate school and beyond."

 

Longwood Criminal Justice Students Present at National Conference

Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences National Conference

Dallas, Texas: March 21-24, 2013

Criminal Justice Conference 2013

Two Longwood students presented at the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences National Conference in Dallas, Texas held from March 21-24, 2013.  Katherine Buffy and Sarah Works participated on a panel and shared their research on homeland security and emergency management programs with conference participants.  While attending the conference, they also participated in poster discussions, other panels, and round table discussions focused on various topics in criminal justice.  Katherine reflected, "I thought it was a great experience for me in public speaking and it gave me an opportunity to engage in discussions on subjects that interest me with students my own age [as well as] professionals."  Sarah shared that "attending the conference allowed me to make connections and network with other people in my field who may be able to help me with future research or serve as a reference."

 

Literacy & Culture Graduate Students Deliver Six Presentations at State Conference

Virginia State Reading Association: "Literacy Lights the Way"

Virginia Beach, VA: April 18-20, 2013

Eighteen graduate students from the Literacy & Culture graduate program teamed up to prepare and deliver six different presentations under the direction of their professor, Dr. Gretchen Braun, at the Virginia State Reading Association Conference in Virginia Beach.  Each one describes a highlight from her experience below:

Presentation: Working with Words: Making Your Words Jump off the Wall
Graduate Student Presenters: Courtney Shumaker, Melody Dockett, Desiree Gregory

2013 VSRA Conference Photo: Shumaker, Dockett, and Gregory

Courtney R. Shumaker:  I was overjoyed with the response that our session received and that I was able to present to over sixty of my peers!   At the conclusion of our presentation, we chose to incorporate an "idea swap" into our session.  This was a wonderful opportunity in which we gave our peers time to express their own ideas and experiences with word study; not only did our peers learn from us, but we were able to learn from them as well.  It was a wonderful experience that I will never forget.  

Melody Dockett:  When given the honor to present I was very nervous and excited at the same time. Dr. Braun assisted me and provided me with the confidence to give it everything I had. My presentation group offered me the opportunity to collaborate on a professional level to create an amazing presentation for teachers and educators throughout the Virginia and surrounding areas.

Desiree Gregory:  I attended the 2013 VSRA this year and had a wonderful time. During this conference I had the opportunity to go to several sessions, meet vendors, collaborate with colleges and present a workshop on word walls. I enjoyed this year’s conference and hope to be able to attend in years to come.

————————————

Presentation: Take 5 for the Daily 5
Graduate Student Presenters: Allison DeLand, Annemarie Myers, Traci McKinney, Alyson Burke

2013 VSRA Conference Photo: Deland and others


Allison DeLand:   I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to attend the VSRA Conference! It was a wonderful experience, and having the opportunity to present was an honor. The conference was an amazing contributor to my professional development, and aided in building my confidence as an educator. I was able to gain knowledge that will be beneficial in my professional life as both a teacher and a student. I loved getting to meet with other educators and share ideas that will benefit our students!

Annemarie Myers: The Friday of the conference, my group and I presented, "Take 5 to Learn Daily 5." Our presentation lasted about 50 minutes and we talked about the different components of the literacy technique. There were over 70 people present at our session. It was one of the most nerve-racking yet exhilarating feelings. People actually came to see ME present; they wanted to hear MY ideas!

Traci McKinney:  I am used to being the person in an audience listening to others, taking notes, and asking questions--this time it was a role reversal. I was the professional that others were actually listening to and they were interested in what I was saying. Afterwards I couldn’t help but feel very proud of myself for my presentation. I felt like my entire group did a great job. We had a great power point, wonderful handout packets, bookmarks made, door prizes, and resource notes! Our crowd left with lots of material! We have had 76 emails from people in our audience inquiring on more information!

Alyson Burke:  Attending the VSRA conference was an unbelievable experience; one I will never forget.  The thrill of speaking in front of so many people was unnerving, but also very exciting.  I also got to attend many other sessions during my time at the VSRA conference, and learn a lot about reading and reading instruction.  I am so glad that Dr. Braun asked us to submit a proposal to speak about a literacy topic at VSRA.  I never would have done it on my own, and it forced me to step out of my comfort zone, learn about something new, and work on my public speaking skills. 

————————————

Presentation: Let’s Tweet About It: Twitter in the Classroom
Graduate Student Presenters
: Courtenay Kelly, Nicole Strickland, Daria Kelly

2013 VSRA Conference Photo: Strickland, Kelly and Kelly

Courtenay Kelly:    I learned a lot from this presentation, from the preparation to the delivery. As a future reading specialist or literacy coach, I will be asked to hold professional development sessions with the school’s teachers and staff. Giving this presentation was the best practice I could have received. We learned that time, effort, and practice all make perfect, and all were necessary to give an effective presentation.

Nicole Strickland:  Presenting and being able to go see other presentations during that weekend really opened my eyes to different technology and materials that can be used in the classroom.  The conference also allowed me to see different reading programs and books that would benefit someone as a reading specialist.  Overall the conference helped me to grow as an educator and become more prepared to go into the classroom to teach and to become a reading specialist. 

Daria Kelly:   After doing this presentation, I look back and it really wasn’t as terrifying as I thought it would be.  Now that I’ve had this experience, I would be a lot more comfortable doing another presentation like this.

————————————

Presentation: Creating Daily Connections
Graduate Student Presenters: Shelby Flanagan, Mia Hamilton Raynes, Sarah Peirce

2013 VSRA Conference Photo: Flanagan, Raynes, and Peirce

Shelby Flanagan: The first day at the conference was a big eye-opener! The Virginia Beach Conference Center was a massive building that was jam-packed with teachers, administrators, and very influential people in the reading community. When we walked into the main room where the vendors were set up, I was blown away by the amount of people and the amount of freebies! We walked around for about an hour and received many, many free items that will eventually help me out when I am in my own classroom.


Mia Hamilton Raynes:   Friday was the most successful day by far because I went to three concurrent sessions. The first one was "The Next Step for Struggling Writers, Grades 2-6" by Jan Richardson. The second session was " Catch’em Before They Fall" by Jacquie McTaggert. This session was geared toward primary grades and focused on great children’s literature selections. She also taught us how to make fabric chair pockets! The last session that I attended was "Teaching Word Study Integrating 21st Century Technologies" by James Madison University students. After the sessions, we were able to go look around the vendors’ tables. We got to discuss various programs, texts, authors, and more at each vendor. Once they heard we were graduate students that will be certified reading specialists, they were eager to give us materials and resources. I ended up walking out of the vendor area with my tote bag full of teacher goodies!


Sarah Peirce:  As scary as it seemed at first to present in front of a large group of experienced teachers, I believe this was one of the best experiences I have had this year. As a future reading specialist, it will be my job to hold professional development workshops, work with teachers, and present new ideas to improve instruction; therefore, it is essential that I am confident in speaking and presenting in front of large groups of teachers and other educators. I am so thankful that Dr. Braun encouraged us to take this challenge. This was a wonderful opportunity that taught me a lot about myself, made me realize my credibility as an educator, and helped me find confidence in my presentation skills

————————————

Presentation: Google, Gadgets and Gaps 
Graduate Student Presenters: Heather Perris and Amanda
Gibson

2013 VSRA Conference Photo: Perris and Gibson

Heather Perris:   We focused on using Google and other gadgets in the classroom to help bridge the learning gaps commonly found in reading.  My students use my iPad frequently and I have seen the amazing strides many of them have made since using the iPad.  We were excited to see that we had a group that was willing to interact, ask questions and even help answer some that we weren’t 100 percent sure about. 

Amanda Gibson:   My school does not offer very many beneficial opportunities for professional development.  By going to the conference, I was able to get a little more in-depth detail about the various programs and ideas, see how others are currently implementing them, and have a chance to see if it would be a good fit for my class or my school.  I learned not only from the presenters but also from the people participating in the sessions.  Everyone was willing to add what they do or to ask questions that helped to shed light on some things.  Being able to visit multiple vendors all in one place was also very helpful. 

————————————

Presentation: Serial Readers: Using a Book Series to Instill a Love for Reading
Graduate Student Presenters
Blake Divers, Brandi Clay, Meredith Bennett

2013 VSRA Conference Photo: Clay, Bennett, and Divers

Blake Divers:  Since our group presented Saturday morning, we had plenty of time to attend other sessions, meet with vendors, and attend the large group presentations.  This put me more at ease. I loved attending the group sessions and hearing what everyone had planned to teach us.  Since the whole weekend I was in presenter mode, I looked at this conference a little differently.  I paid more attention to what the presenters had to say and watched their presentations more closely than I normally would.  I guess this is because I would want someone to do the same for my presentation.  I learned so much about myself that weekend.  I became more confident in what I know and my ability to explain it and teach it to someone else.  It is a great thing when you can teach children and they understand but it is a totally different feeling when you are teaching your peers and they are grateful and actually take something away from what you presented.  

Meredith Bennett:   When presenting, we had a lot of fun.  We were able to stand up in front of everyone, share our knowledge and facts about Book Series, and answer many questions the audience had.  There ended up being about 25-30 people who attended our session, with a few who stayed after to ask specific questions about particular student they had or books they wanted.  I was very happy and relieved to see that our presentation and the weekend as a whole had been a huge success!! 

 

The Great Eight attend National Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina

American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Conference

Charlotte, NC from April 24-25, 2013

AAPHERD Conference 2013--1 of 2

All eight members of Longwood’s very first cohort for the Health and Physical Education master’s concentration attended AAHPERD, the national conference in their field. Graduate students (in photo above from left to right) Missy Woodie, Cheryl Crews, Brandy Garganta, Jon Gagnon, Jen Marshall, Dustin Cockram, Carina Chavez (not shown), and Meg Van Trees (not shown) share one of their favorite parts of the conference below.

Cheryl Crews: I was able to attend 5 sessions on various topics dealing with physical education. I learned so many new things and met some cool people as well. I look forward to attending more in the future when I get into my own school. However, I’m definitely going to need some money when I go next time to buy some cool equipment!

Brandy Garganta: I was also able to walk around the exhibits, try out some equipment, and talk to people about teaching. I got three free pedometers, and entered to win some really cool equipment. One [session I attended] was about running for elementary children. They focused on teaching pace and form, to help students learn the proper way to run. This presentation had a former Gold Medal Distance Running Olympian helping which was really cool! The second session was given by two 2011 Teachers of the Year. They played a bunch of different activities and games for elementary students that were so fun! We danced, got our heart rate up, and worked our brains during this session. It was one of my favorites!

AAPHERD Conference 2013

Missy Woodie: I had the pleasure of meeting George Graham and Mark Manross, the founders PEcentral. This is a popular organization known by most physical educators and is utilized to discover new ideas for lessons. I was able to speak to them about my masters in Adapted Physical Education at Longwood University. They introduced me to Tim Davis, the founder of APENS, which are national standards for an Adapted Physical Educator. Having the opportunity to speak with these three men who have made such a huge impact in the PE world opened up many more resources I can use in the near future.

Meg Van Trees: About the exhibit hall Meg wrote, "I had to force myself to maintain composure, but I couldn’t help myself! I was like a kid in a candy store. There were so many things that I wanted to learn about and ask questions that I had to force myself to start at one end and walk up and down each aisle until I reached the end. One of the neatest booths I went to was the APENS booth, where I met Tim Davis. Not only did I meet Tim Davis, but he also gave me a free study guide for my C.A.P.E exam."

Jennifer Marshall: I went to a session on literacy integration where several teachers from North Carolina "showed us many games that work on fitness, fun, and literacy. I was surprised that even I didn’t know some of the answers to the questions such as what a preposition is. I also enjoyed seeing how the equipment used was cheap and easy to construct."

Carina Chavez: I met a teacher from Canada and found out that she had moved to South Korea to teach for three years. Then she decided to take a teaching position in Panama. This teacher explained how you could find international teaching jobs that offered "the works": airfare, housing, limited language barriers, and a stipend. Carina said, after talking with her, I became very curious about teaching overseas. The opportunity would be great and the chance of teaching in a different country is near impossible to turn down."

Jonathan Gagnon: This was my first time attending the national convention. I walked around and talked to a lot of people [in the exhibit hall] about the new equipment and games that can be done in PE. I collected as many handouts and free equipment that was offered. My goal was to collect the information so that when I have my own program I know what kind of activities that I want to incorporate into the curriculum and know where I can buy the required equipment.

Dustin Cockram: The first session I went to was instructional design in a standards-based physical education program. This session was great because they talked about how to appropriately set up your class and how to assess learning. The part of the presentation that I liked the most was setting a criteria level for all of your students with a mindset that all students can be competent. I really liked this because many teachers go into a unit knowing that some students will not be able to become competent in a certain sport.

 

28 Graduate Students Attend State Conference

VAASL 2012 Conference Group Photo
Click on the above image for a larger photo!

Twenty-eight graduate students from the School Library Media program attended the Virginia Association of School Librarians (VAASL) Conference in Hampton, Virginia on November 10, 2012.  The conference theme was "Librarians as Leaders".  They were joined by their Longwood faculty, Dr. Audrey Church, Ms. Frances Reeve, and Mrs. Karla Collins.

Christine Allen
Attending these sessions gives librarians ideas from other librarians from all over the state. It is a place where we can come together and share successes and ideas that are working in our own libraries.

Ashley Barker
I had the privilege of listening and learning from some of the best and brightest librarians, authors, and leaders in my future professional field. I attended 15 different sessions that provided me with a wealth of information that I cannot wait to share with my fellow associates and students.

Melissa Bledsoe
I really cannot express the importance of being involved in such a meaningful, professional organization such as this.  I have been attending the conferences since 2000, and each one just gets better and better.  I always leave the conference feeling inspired with wonderful new ideas and willing to learn and adapt to the challenges my students will face as they become the best critical thinkers of the 21st Century.

VAASL 2012 Conference photo

Cindy Bush
I especially enjoyed the session on "self-censorship"  which addressed the inadvertent censorship of materials in some school libraries.  Examples include using a restricted shelf for questionable material, not buying books of controversy, or limiting student choices to a range of reading levels.  Students have a constitutional right to full access of materials within the library, and it is our duty to uphold this intellectual freedom.  After attending this session I am more aware of student right and librarian responsibility, and I will do my best to promote these values in my own library.

Carrie Ellen Campbell
The highlight of this year's conference for me though was the opportunity to present a concurrent session on self-censorship by school librarians. I presented at two sessions and spoke to approximately 30 of my peers. I am incredibly passionate about advocating for and protecting freedom of expression and intellectual freedom. The reception was overwhelming! Not only did these people want to hear what I had to say, they also shared my feelings and passion, and, they asked me for advice! The most overwhelming outcome, though, was that several people actually requested that I present again on the same topic next year! I happily agreed that I would submit a proposal for next year's conference in Williamsburg....so in the meantime, I'm collecting data, evidence, and stories to share.

Judy Deichman
I found the keynote address an inspiration in both my professional and personal life. To be a leader takes many forms and dispositions and the three speakers gave candid, varied accounts of their paths to leadership.

Sheila Dunn
The conference provides us with fresh ideas, new technologies, and opportunities to collaborate and share with peers over that course of a few days.  I attended a fabulous session presented by Nancy Hally (Longwood 2008 School Library Media program graduate) from Henrico County. She showed us how her students created book reviews using a flip camera.  She converted the reviews them to QR codes  and put the QR codes on a name plate in the front of the book that the student reviewed...this is a fabulous idea that I will definitely implement in an elementary school setting!  

Leigh Francis
This was my first professional conference and I felt it was of great value to me for my future career as a school librarian.   The network of supports and resources there are most valuable.

VAASL 2012 Conference Pic

Cheryl Gamble
The theme of this year’s conference was "Librarians as Leaders" and, it provided a wealth of opportunities for networking and professional development.  I attended workshops that provided many ideas to enhance my instruction this year.  I met authors, learned more about their writing process, and expanded my knowledge of their works, so that I may better assist students in their reading choices.  I participated in sessions that addressed new standards regarding teacher evaluation…This was an incredible opportunity for me to share ideas with many librarians from around the state.

Jessica Graves
The conference was a phenomenal experience! My only regret is that I merely attended one day. That will NOT be the case next year. I have already marked my calendar for next year’s conference, which will be held in Williamsburg from November 7-9, 2013, and am looking forward to it!

Barbara Haas
Last year I attended the conference as part of a class I was taking at the time.  It was like Disneyland for librarians.  I had never been in the same room with so many other people who were all so passionate about the same things that I was!  I learned so much and met so many interesting people.
This year, I was at the tail end of my student teaching when I attended the conference.  Although I didn’t have a job, I did have months of teaching experience under my belt.  Whereas last year I reveled in the experience of being at the conference, this year I was able to glean practical information from the sessions that I attended.  (And I admit, I still reveled in the experience of being with hundreds of other school librarians!)

Krista Hartenbach
It was an extremely informative and invigorating experience! I enjoyed being able to connect with fellow educators from across the commonwealth as we discussed important issues relating to learning and literacy….Listening to author Gordon Korman was a truly a highlight of the conference!  Several of our fifth graders are enjoying his chapter books and I know they are eagerly awaiting my report back.

Bettina Hinckle
The conference offered many opportunities to expand the scope of our knowledge and to make excellent network connections with other librarians from across the state.  At the conference, there were national speakers, that included leaders from our profession and authors that we and our students admire.

Sarah Honaker
"Top 10 Topics and Trends" was a very valuable session presented by Dr. Audrey Church, former VEMA president and coordinator of the School Library Media program at Longwood University.  Dr. Church focused her report on one very important topic in Virginia school libraries: performance-based teacher evaluation.  We were given numerous sources of information for the seven Virginia standards and evaluation criteria including documentation and rubrics for formative assessment, SMART goals, student growth impact studies, and VDOE teacher training. 

Michelle McBride
Prior to the conference, I had seen postings on LM_NET about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), so I was thrilled to see NaNoWriMo as the subject of a concurrent session at VAASL.  I work with a fourth grade student who struggles in many subject areas, but has an incredible imagination.  Each week, she creates a story to go with a leveled reader wordless picture book.  Sometimes I cannot write fast enough to capture all of her ideas.  With the student version of NaNoWriMo, she could set her own goal for how many words to write.  At the end of the program, students can receive three paperback copies of their novel for the cost of shipping (approximately six dollars).   I would love to see the look on her face when her published book arrives!

Katherine Rakes
I learned about other technology resources and tools to use in my future library classroom.  These tools include internet sites and programs to assist in finding and evaluating resources; software programs to enhance our social and educational aspect of our book clubs and reading groups, and free audio books from publishers to assist in reading and learning differentiation.

Tim Reger
I was excited to have the opportunity to attend the Virginia Association of School Librarians Conference for a second time. After spending my first year as a librarian, I knew there was much I could learn.  All the sessions I attended proved to be informative, helpful, and/or enlightening as I move forward in bringing my library into the 21st century and serving our 21st century learners.
One of the highlights of the conference is always the Longwood school library media program alumni gathering. I so appreciate the energy and love these folks have for libraries and education. They do a wonderful job of making everyone feel welcome and the door prizes are great, too!

Elizabeth Shelton
The last session which I think is most valuable to our school was about bullying.  I was given lessons to use when teaching about bullying.  It allows the students to really see from all perspectives whether they are the bully, the one being bullied, or a bystander.  There are some great children’s books out there that will work well for our students.  I plan to start implementing these lessons at the beginning of each school year when we really focus on bullying.

VAASL 2012 Conference photo

Mary Sonifrank
I really enjoyed this conference and came back to my school so refreshed. The energy at this conference was wonderful and uplifting. I attended several different types of sessions, but getting new ideas is always my favorite part. I can't wait to get back and share things with my colleagues.  I believe it is important to be a member of an organization to stay connected and I gain so much from each one that I attend.

Suzanne Stockman
One thing that I have already shared with teachers at my school is Live Binders.  Livebinders.com is exactly what it claims to be, basically a three ring binder on the web.  It allows anyone to take all of the resources they have accumulated such as websites, PDF's and other things and organize them by topic.  I have created several binders already and shared them with my coworkers, and have scheduled a session to show others in the building how to create their own. 

Jennifer Szoch
…We have the resources and knowledge [we need as librarians] because of the conferences we attend and the information we receive from them. The VAASL conference was one of the most beneficial resource conferences I have and will definitely be a priority in the coming years.

Kim Tate
I have a list of new book blogs that I am adding to the library wiki I created this past summer for reading promotion and self-selection.  I will also use these blogs to model "blogging"and digital citizenship for my own classroom as my ninth grade students begin our own "Blogging About Books" site

Shannon Taylor
I listened to two authors presentations.  The first, Kelley Starling Lyons, talked about how to bring black history alive to our students.  And the second was Gordon Korman, who talked about how to reach more boys and get them to be lifelong readers.  Both sessions were invaluable.

Meredith Trotter
One of the resources mentioned [at a session] that I will use both as a current classroom teacher and as a future librarian is Virginia Career VIEW. This is a free website that would give students a fun and informative way to explore possible careers. 

Caroline Vick
The first general session of the VAASL Conference made an impact on me because the speakers discussed how they became involved with VAASL. Their stories made me realize how important it is for me as a future librarian to be involved with a professional organization.

Kim Watkins
I am excited to share the new ideas I learned at the conference with the teachers and to use them in the library. I am especially excited to put the techniques of using social networking to create better access for the students. In class, we discussed the sessions we attended so I was able to benefit from the other students going, also.

Stephanie Willis
My favorite session would have to be hands down "The Best $20 I Ever Spent". The presenter,  Kim McCallister (Longwood 2011 School Library Media program graduate) is a new librarian who uses QR codes and a webcam for students to check out what's new in the library.  Students love using this resource to watch book trailers [and] her check out numbers are skyrocketing!