Thursday, July 19, 2018

Promotion Playaways/ Audio Books

    In my library , we have a small collection of audio book playaways. ( Books are read on tape and students  can put in ear plugs to listen). I am trying to figure out how to promote the use of them for the upcoming school year.  In the past years, these have seen a lot of use.  It is one area that I think Middle school students might really get excited about.

   We have a parent letter to be sent home before the student is allowed to check out the playaway for the first time, In the form,it details why the parent signature is required. ( Playaways are not cheap to replace).

     I am also thinking of having a recess playaway club where once a week ,, students could come to the library to listen to a specific book. By the end of the month, students would have listened to a complete boo and maybe get the reading bug ( or want to listen to another type of story)

     Does anyone have playaway in their libraries. How to you promote and encourage your students to use them? Please leave your answers or any other comments below. Thanks!
    

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Save time on your email

    Reading and replying to email messages can waste tons of time each day.  There are several tips that I have found work well for me.  I have specific times each day that I check  and respond to emails ( even on Slummer Vacation!!) 

    Once I have looked at an email I figure our first-should I read it? If is is important enough to be read  then  I figure out  the next 6 items.

1) Do- I reply if I can do so in 3 minutes or less.

2) Delay- move to a folder on my email to follow up later.

3) Delegate- I forward it to someone who can  act on it or who really needs to see it.( I do this for staff when I find info that staff might use)

4)Place in folder- this is for items that I need to keep to refer to- something from the District Office , or administration , or my Dept Chair.

5&6) My favorite s: delete it right away, or unsubscribe from the email . This gets rid of the stuff you do not want or need.

  As I have slowly adopted these  strategies, I am not a slave to my emails and not overwhelmed by having to many in my mailbox.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Flipgrid is now free for educators!!!

Already planning for the fall??? Note that Flipgrid (which I know many of you used the limited free version of this year) is now offering their “paid” version COMPLETELY FREE for all to use.
Put it on your “to do list” of a cool way to engage your kids next year and see me if you have questions!
 See my earlier post about using Flipgrid- I will probably be doing several more posts as I want to encourage my staff to use it!

Read about it here:

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Benefits of Breakout Boxes

  The Breakoutboxes edu have many benefits. Firstly, the games /puzzles are highly adaptive  and can be customized to grade  levels and students  capabilities . At teachers / librarians we can develop games to git in with a novel, unit of study, or standard skills.. We can also use the breakout boxes to introduce , review, or reinforce skills that the students need.

  The games are collaborative so students work in groups They can read the clues or search out the clues hidden in texts, illustrations, poems, ect. There is a group dynamic between the members of each group.This helps build class relationships between classmate they may not be familiar with.  The group work builds confidence, skills,  and the ability to try out new ideas.

   Some students will emerge as leaders, others will be working on clues, some will be  timekeepers or some may be taking notes. All will be encouraged to contribute ideas for solutions. Each will fall into their talents that they may not know they have.  There will be sharing of ideas and talking out of possible ways to open the boxes to gain access to further clues.
   Breakout boxes help students build the skills to tackle problems and work together as a unit.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Padlet

   Padlet is a computer based program that looks like a whiteboard with bubbles and shapes in which to put facts and information.  Padlet can be used to share information  such as websites, sheets and pdf's, videos, photos. and comments and observations.
  
   Students can complete a research project and put it in Padlet form. Teachers can have a class exhibition of student work. Padlet can be used as a storyboard or for idea mapping.
   
   Students can add information and discuss ideas, or create  fact sheets about topics. Examples on the site  provide endless ideas.Check it out!

Padlet.com

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Flipgrid



    Flipgrid is an online tool that helps students share ideas and learn together. Flipgrid has students make short authentic videos to add their voices to a discussion or question.
   Teachers create a grid for their classroom or school community. They add a topic or question. Student share a short video response to join in the discussion
   Students can view the videos and engage with each other. The teacher moderates the video, provides feedback, and set privacy rules.
    What can you use Fligrid for? Reflect on experiences, share a book talk, discuss projects  , and events, or collaborate with a classmate are just a few ideas,


Flipgrid.com

Friday, June 15, 2018

Digital Citizenship




     Digital citizenship teaches students how to navigate online spaces in critical, healthy, and ethical ways. The lessons should be done in context with subject area teachers throughout the year.  It should not be done in isolation as the students will have no connection to the learning.
     Learning Digital Citizenship this way will be mostly incorporated, learned and remembered, and applied to the topic at hand.  This avoids disconnect of how students behave at school and then at home  do something differently.

      Librarians can work with teachers to help pose the right questions and teach skills to using social media, , the internet,( including video sharing, blogs, podcasts, & related media). Students can learn to use these products in creative and ethical ways.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Multi-tasking- not always the best choice


     Many teachers and workers boast about doing two or more things at once. But sometimes multi-tasking is really inefficient. It destroys the focus needed to complete tasks quickly and completely. Multi- tasking may cause us to not the task as well as we could. (or ask quickly)
     When your focus is on one job, then you can zero in on the task and get it done in an effective time period. The job/ task will be done with more competence. Then you can move on to the next task at hand.

      So it is good to know what types of tasks should not be done with others. Most important tasks require concentration, and focus.  Routine items are okay to be multi-tasked.  Determine for yourself what jobs  are to be single focus items.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Graphic Organizer for Primary Sources      Name  __________________________________________


1.       What kind of document it is ( letter, photograph, newspaper)















2.       Read through document. Make a list of unusual words or phrases.

3.       Is there a date on it?

If so, write it down.













4.        If there is not a date, what clues might indicate when it was written?

5.       Is there a location indicted?











6.       Who wrote or created the source?

7.        What is the purpose of the document?













8.        What did you observe?

9.        What did you observe?













10.    What did you observe?

11.   Reflections?

















12.   Questions?




Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Teaching with Primary Sources


     Primary sources offer direct insight to show case history as it was happening. Original photographs, newspaper articles, journals, diaries, speeches and artifacts give details to the time and place of the event.,
      Lesson: 1. Selecta primary source to share with the class (check out The Library of congress American Memory.
  2. Make copies of the document and also a graphic organizer and distribute them to students
 3.  Provide the historical context of the primary source document. Help student fill in the Organizer. Students can work on their own or in groups of 2 to 3 to do this.
4. Students study the document to help them describe what they observe. They can record observations on their organizer. Have students ask questions about elements of the source that seem important. See if students can determine the purpose f the document.
Other questions to ask: 1) how dependable do you think this source is?
2) Would you recommend this source for others to use.

5. Have students rank the document from 1 to 10. 10 being the most dependable. Have them support reasons for their ranking.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Breakout boxes

Breakout boxes – in libraries

     Breakout boxes are an active and immersive problem solving experience where groups of students work together to solve problems and get answers.
   The problem / task can be customized and coordinated to ane content / lesson area. The activity can have students practicing a skill, introduces new concepts, or review material at the end of the unit.
  The breakout boxes come with a large box, a small box, several locks, an invisible ink pen and a UV flashlight.  You can also use a timer if you want to limit time of activity.  
    Breakout edu has many educational activities on their site, created by the company or by educators who put their units on the site. Envelopes hidden in books, under tables, puzzles purchased cheaply, games made on the computer are other ways to create engaging activities. You can also use scavenger hunts. Virtual reality headsets, and other digital resources to create clues and activities for students.
   Creating different kinds of clues require students to work together to figure out answers.
Coming soon- benefits of breakout boxes.





Thursday, May 17, 2018

Historical Fiction- Graphic organizer


Name _________________________________________________     Date _________________________________________
 Analyzing Historical Fiction




 Chapter/ Pages __ to __





Historical

Characters:


Events:
Fictional

Characters:


Events:



Chapter/ Pages __ to __



Historical

Characters:


Events:
Fictional

Characters:


Events:

Chapter/ Pages __ to __



Historical

Characters:


Events:

Fictional

Characters:


Events:


Chapter/ Pages __ to __




Historical

Characters:


Events:
Fictional

Characters:


Events:





 Chapter/ Pages __ to __





Historical

Characters:


Events:
Fictional

Characters:


Events:



Chapter/ Pages __ to __



Historical

Characters:


Events:
Fictional

Characters:


Events:

Chapter/ Pages __ to __



Historical

Characters:


Events:

Fictional

Characters:


Events:


Chapter/ Pages __ to __




Historical

Characters:


Events:
Fictional

Characters:


Events:




Historical Fiction Lesson


   When reading Historical fiction many students have trouble sorting fact from fiction. A graphic organizer can give students a way to organize the elements of a historical fiction book. Students can also analyze how the book presented the true elements of a given time period.
    The process: Describe the elements of a historical fiction book. Remind students that historical fiction is based on a historical event or person and may include fictional events and people to complete the story.  Fictional characters may also drive the plot and give perspective to the event.

     Have students read a historical fiction book that is related to your unit of study. While reading, students can work on completing the organizer. For each chapter, students can note character, events, and compare fact and fiction.  Have students focus on only a few elements, key events and character or plot. Students can keep track of historical accuracy by sorting events and characters into the historical and fictional section.

 They may also use author’s notes, textbooks, online search or other sources to check for accuracy.