Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Technology Tuesday: Kahoot

I changed up my 3rd grade orientation a bit this year after learning about an interactive website called Kahoot.  But let me back up a bit... a learned about Kahoot last year, but never tried it out.  I thought my teachers would love it, but needed a good way to introduce it to them.  So before we left for summer vacay, I asked them for a fun fact that people might not know about them.  When we came back for our week of inservice, we played.

Kahoot is a classroom response system for learning in a game based atmosphere. Create a free account and then let your gaming begin.  You type in questions(and/or upload a picture) and then multiple choice answers.  You can choose the number of seconds plays have to respond to the question and whether or not they get points for the correct answer and the speed of their answer.  Once it is saved you are ready to play.  Launch the game and project it on a screen.  Players go to www.kahoot.it to login in on a computer, mobile device, iPad etc.  They type in the game pin assigned to the game that is projected on the screen and then enter a nickname.  When the game starts, the question is posted for a few seconds and the answers are revealed with a color and shape assigned to them.  The same colors and shapes appear on the players devices.  Players choose the matching one to enter their answer and after the timer goes off, the answer is revealed.  

Ok so back to how I used it.  On the Friday of our inservice week, teachers brought a device to one of our meetings, I launched the game and they had a blast learning interesting things about each other.  Like our principal could do back flips on a balance beam in high school and one of our third grade teachers was an ordained minister.  Fun times, and they all were talking about how they could go back and use it in their classrooms.

For my orientation with 3rd grade, I put a question and a picture about the library.  The kids worked in pairs to answer the question within 30 sec and then I was able to elaborate a little more on the rule, program or area of the library.  

Based on the amount of cheering and high-fiving between the questions, I would say this was a success.  How do you present library orientation to your students?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

3 for Thursday: Goals

(I know I am posting this on Saturday, but I had every intention of posting it Thursday until real life got in the way.)

Every year, the librarians in my district have to submit 3 goals that we have for our library programs that year.  And I must admit, that maybe once or twice I didn't put a whole lot of thought into them.  But going into my 11th year as a librarian, I figured it was time to take my librarianship up a notch, so here are 3 of my goals.  

Goal #1:  Professional Development
As I grew to have more years in the library under my belt, I became comfortable with what I was doing in the library and didn't not feel the need to seek out a lot of "extra" professional development (and unfortunately Pinterest doesn't count as PD).  This year, I am going hunting for some new opportunities to take me out of my comfort zone as well as opportunities for presenting to my staff.   

Goal #2: Technology
The teachers at my campus all received 3 iPads per class last year and a SMART board this year.  Last year, I did a lot of modeling of iPad lessons, apps and integration and this year I want to continue to utilize the iPads as much as possible but also model advanced uses and integration for the SMART board.  

Goal #3: Networking and Professional Learning Communities
Last spring, I let my poor blog slide.  I am recommitting to blogging multiple times every week as well as networking with other librarians and teachers through other forms of social media.  

What goals have you set for yourself this year?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Goodbye Summer... See you in 42 Fridays

This is kind of how I felt this summer except my lazy time was spent reading.  I could spend all day in my PJs reading a book or two.  Unfortunately, my 14 and 11 year old have other plans.  Due to baseball, football and strength and conditioning schedules, this was my first summer not to go to my "happy place" in Wisconsin.  
My 14 year old is going to be a freshman in high school and at the Parent sports meeting in the spring, the head football coached "highly recommended" that if you were in town that your athlete attend the strength and conditioning program that was offered at the high school every day.  My husband heard the "highly recommended" part as "you absolutely, positively unless you are on your death bed will attend" and so my days were spent driving back and forth to one practice after another.  

I did manage to cram in as much reading as I could.  For my "grown-up" reading, I am hooked on the Jack Reacher series by Lee Childs and read about 6 of those this summer.  I don't know what it is about those books that has me intrigued but I am and can not get enough.  My "kids" reading included all 20 Texas Bluebonnet Award Nominees.  Of which Dead City by James Ponti was at the top of my list.  I can not wait to introduce this book to my students at school.  Zombies!!  They are going to go crazy!  

What did you read this summer?