Kristen Billings

Kristen Billings

Upper Primary Teacher Librarian, Keystone Academy

With 10 years of experience as a teacher librarian and 27 years in education, including working with the IBPYP and the IB Diploma programs, I bring extensive knowledge and a strong expertise in literacy and inquiry-based learning. I hold a School Library Professional Endorsement Certificate from the Information School at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. Additionally, I have a B.S. in Elementary Education and a B.A. in English with a K-8 TESOL endorsement.

At Keystone Academy, I collaborate with teachers and students to design and deliver engaging and meaningful learning experiences that foster curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking. I also promote reading engagement and information literacy across the school community, using a variety of resources and technologies. My mission is to transform the library into a dynamic and inclusive space that supports the development of lifelong learners who are confident in multiple literacies.

In terms of leadership, I have the necessary skills, attitudes, and experience to establish and manage a modern library, information, and technology program aligned with the school’s mission, goals, and objectives. I am well-versed in library management, including the selection, acquisition, evaluation, and organization of information resources and technologies. I am familiar with library systems such as Follett Destiny.

As an Information and Technology Integration Specialist and Instructional Partner, I am dedicated to empowering students to become critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillful researchers, and ethical users of information. I collaborate with classroom teachers to integrate student information and research needs with curricular content. I provide information literacy skills instruction through regular library lessons.

Promoting reading engagement is one of my passions. I possess extensive knowledge of current and diverse children’s and young adult literature. I have developed successful reading promotion programs and facilitated book clubs, reading tournaments, and author visits. I assist students in finding books matching their interests and provide instruction on effective library catalog and online search tool use. I have also conducted workshops on reading-related topics for parents and teachers.

Teaching with Sophisticated Picture Books: Engaging Older Students in Literary Exploration

Join us and be inspired to unlock the potential of sophisticated picture books as a powerful tool for teaching and learning with older students. In this presentation, we will explore the exciting possibilities of integrating sophisticated picture books into teaching practices for older students. While picture books are often associated with younger children, they hold tremendous value as a literary tool for engaging and inspiring older students.

We will delve into how these books can foster critical thinking, promote visual literacy, and ignite meaningful discussions among older students. Discover how the multilayered storytelling, advanced vocabulary, and artistic illustrations of sophisticated picture books can captivate and challenge learners of all ages.

Through examples, we will showcase how sophisticated picture books can be effectively integrated across various subject areas, including English language arts, social studies, and even STEM fields. Explore how these books can be used to explore complex themes, develop empathy, and deepen understanding of diverse perspectives.

Whether you are an English language arts teacher, a librarian, or an educator passionate about embracing the power of literature, this presentation will provide you with valuable insights and resources to enrich your teaching practice. Discover a new world of literary exploration and engage older students in a captivating learning journey through the use of sophisticated picture books.