Monday, July 30, 2012

So this is it...

I'm done!  Whoo hoo!  I must admit that I feel very much more...current then before I started this class.  I was more scared of this class than of the one I took the week before with Bea Baaden.  I should not have been.  Her's was much more scary! This was!  I really have been resistant to the whole idea of social networking on a personal level and couldn't really see what kind of educational purposes it would have. But I do now.  And I'm excited about it.  Not all perhaps (Twitter, you can still kiss off for now) but a lot (I want to blog with students!)  Throughout the course I have been thinking of a bunch of ways to use most every tool we talked about.  I've already decided on my first few lessons should I get hired for that job I've applied for (hint hint Babylon...)  I want to have each class in each grade generate a word cloud about what the school library means to them.  I'd ask each student for a word to put in their class cloud.  I would then combine all the clouds for each grade, generating one cloud per grade.  I'd then combine all the clouds for the entire school so we'd have one big giant word cloud from every single student!  I'd like to revisit it at the end of the year as well to see how our perceptions have changed.  My other idea is for a Google Form survey to assess where each grade is in their library skills.  As a new teacher it's a great and easy way to see where you students are and where you need to start.  They could fill them out during some of their first library visits and the results are instantaneous and can be shared immediately, and graphically, with the class.  I love this.  I'm totally sharing these ideas with my mom for her job as a teacher/librarian.  (I'm also going to have to help her fix her website!)  I feel that I have really grown in relation to the web.  I'm not as scared of it and I don't feel as lost.  I feel I have a lot to give to a school.  I am raring to get into a building and start doing this work, start using these tools!  Even if that takes some time I plan on keeping up with many of them.  I think I'd like to keep blogging.  I do have 2 children to use as guinea pigs to see how kids can actually do the lessons I'm thinking of.  I can think of lots of fun ways to use things like Animoto, BigHugeLabs, and Spell with Flickr just for fun!  I really feel I have a new understanding and appreciation for "Web 2.0"

Monday, July 23, 2012


Presentation tools:
Glogster.  That sounds like a word I would make up.  But it's actually a fun little tool.  We went over many fun little tools today and my eyes can't even focus anymore.  I think it would also be easier to do some of this stuff with a context.  I have been thinking about that a lot.  It's good to have some points of reference for when we encounter situations to use these things but I also think it would be good to have something in mind to use them.  The class I took just before this one helps in making up some context .  Also, sharing with other teacher friends has given me some of that.  I just hope I get a job and have a reason to use these soon...

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Funfunfunfun!  I was so excited to do this project!  As soon as we learned Photostory I knew exactly what book/music/words I wanted to do!  I don't like the way the quality of the photos or sound turned out, but it's something to work on  I just loooove this tool!  Personally I can think of so many ways to use it and want to have my sons try it out to make a story about something we did this summer.  I'm sure my 5 year old will include the words "pee" and "poo" as much as possible bu that's besides the point.  I think this is the new "book talk".  For a specific book or a specific genre, if you made a movie for the students to watch instead of listening to you while you're holding a book it would be so much more engaging!  It's also something they could use on their own to create a biography or historical timeline, or any number or social studies/ELA projects.  It could be used to make instructional videos for library tasks, using humor, like, this is where I go to find encyclopedias, where can I find magazines. or especially for classroom routines, like, how do I return a book?  When students "forget" these tasks you can pull it out to remind them and they'd like it much better then a lecture on the rules.  I do think this is something that has many uses I haven't even thought of yet (because my tired brain is on summer course overload...)

Friday, July 20, 2012


Well, my head is buzzing from everything we learned today!  There's so much I want to remember!  I feel like I need to be using these tools right now to fully grasp them.  I know that using the tools makes you more familiar and comfortable with them.  But I don't feel like any of these are hard.  I am actually so excited to get my hands dirty and start trying these things out (Google everything, PhotoStory, even Diigo) and am really just concerned that after class I won't have the time to sit at a computer for more then 20 minutes at a time anymore!  (Children make life very fragmented, yes?!)  I have been jotting down lots of ways to use these tools in the classroom (see below).  For myself, I have a very specific place in mind because there's a very specific job that I applied for and would very specifically like to get!  So I think having that context is making it easier to generate these ideas.  I am also thinking of the ways my kids would love using some of this stuff and plan on making them my guinea pigs.  My mother and good friend are also chomping at the bit to have me teach them what I'm learning here; my mom's a teacher librarian in the Jericho district (where they would loove this "fancy" stuff!) and my friend just finished her special education degree.  This is my PLN, right?

Today I come away feeling slightly dizzy and giddy and enthusiastic and ready!  Let's get started indeed!

Some ideas:
Google docs:
--Students can work together in groups on a graphic organizer, i.e., Venn Diagram, each adding their own input at the same time.
--Icebreakers: make a form (survey) for students to fill out with questions about themselves, likes, dislikes, etc, then share results with class.  The oral and visual presentation covers differentiation for different types of learners.  (Hitting a few standards here!)  Also, sharing the results anonymously would make students who don't want to speak up in class feel more comfortable but still be participating.
Also the collaborative story is a fun way to get kids loosened up and feeling familiar with each other.  Can be done in small teams to perhaps make the most sense.
--Loooved the idea of collaborative poetry in a Google doc!
--Use survey form for collection development; ask teachers, administration, students what they would like to see in the library.  Can give them choices (so much flexibility in what format questions can be in!)

Photostory & Voicethread: :
(From class today and some new ideas...)
--Book trailer!  This is the new "book talk" (P)
--Create your own folktales (P)
--Family history (P)
--Can be used with a DBQ as another way to answer questions about an image.  You could actually hear what the student is thinking. (P, V)
--Also can be used to explore point of view, i.e. in a RAFT activity.  Students could answer questions in this way instead of a written presentation.  Or create their own images (letters, drawings, etc.) (V)

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Though I am having some trouble figuring out how to use diigo I do see it's educational applications.  What an easy way to store websites for a lesson, especially a webquest!  And you can easily point out what it is you want to kids to notice.  It's also a GREAT way to teach them to evaluate web resources because it makes their thinking process visual.  You can ask them to skim and highlight (inquiry skills!) and then see if they understand by seeing what they've done.  You can ask them to sticky note a specific number of facts and then review to see that they are choosing the best info.  It also saves on a lot of paper and would be completely engaging to kids!  And they could work on it at home if there's an issue with computers in the library and you could still see their thought process!