Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Technology Tuesday: Kodable

I decided to make sure that I did Hour of Code this year with kindergarten but to use an iPad app instead.  We are using Kodable and it is too fun!  The kids love trying to solve the puzzles and get really excited when they get it right.  The teachers were amazed at how the app just walked them through and they even grabbed an iPad and started working the puzzles as well.  I love that now they can add that app to their iPads in the classroom and use it as a station.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday "Wrap Up"

2nd grade had their turn in the makerspace this week.  I think I am going to need to change or simplify the activities that I have for them to choose from.

- 4 days of 2nd grade makerspace
- 3 Second Grade Map Key lessons
- 3 First Grade water research lessons
- 5 Kinder lessons with the Crayola  Coloring app
- 6 Third Grade mini lesson for research: questions and key words
- 3 eBook sessions for parents at STAARy Night Literacy Night
- coding club
- newspaper club
- hosted Storyteller Sue Kuentz (@Door2LoreSue)

And my wraps this week Fame and Serene 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Technology Tuesday: Google Maps

Last week, Lisa Johnson (@TechChef4U) presented to our librarians at a district inservice.  She talked about Augmented Reality and gave some great ideas.  One being using the Flyover in Apple Map Tours to give students a virtual look at different cities.

While I was exploring that I had the idea for 2nd graders to appsmash the maps with Doodle Buddy while they are learning about map keys this week.  

In the map app, we typed in the address of our school.  We looked at the satellite view so that we could see different things like trees, the track, the playground, houses and cars. Students took a screen shot of the map and then opened it in Doodle Buddy and used the brush and text feature to create a key for their map.  


Friday, November 6, 2015

Friday "Wrap Up"

It was early dismissal this week for parent-teacher conferences.  I typically don't schedule my regular 1st and 2nd grade lessons this week because the schedules are so screwy and it gives me a chance to do some special lessons or work on projects if I need to.  One of those projects was to rearrange the space where I was holding makerspace.  My original space was not big enough and did not flow right for me.  When our director came we talked about shifting my fiction section and using that space.  So I did.  


This was originally where I was going to have my makerspace.  It just wasn't working right. 
So I rearranged my fiction area so that the makerspace was near the tables in my teaching area and there is lots of floor space for those that like to spread out.
This was my fiction section before.

I put three genres on the shelves on the wall so have a clear space so I could see into the area.  I tuned two of the now empty shelves on the side to put the materials on.  This is much more functional now.  



- 5 Kinder Storytimes
- worked on makerspace activities
- rearranged makerspace area
- planned STAARy Night Parent eBook Session

And my nails from last week are still going strong so here are some Thanksgiving Wraps.  Gobble Gobble

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Technology Tuesday: eNewspaper

My school has it's first eNewspaper written by students.  The idea started last year, when four 4th grade students asked the principal if they could start a school newspaper.  She told them if they could find a teacher that would sponsor the club, she was all for it.

The girls got one of the 4th grade teachers to agree to sponsor it and myself and another 5th grade teacher hopped on board too.  We met with the girls last year to discuss what they were thinking and to formulate a plan for the club.  

The sponsors met with our technology specialist and decided that the best format to use was edublogs.  We set up shared google folders and decided what types of stories/sections we would publish.  

Our first meeting with the students was September 17th.  
We talked about the process, brainstormed ideas for stories and assigned trios of kids (reporter, photographer and writer) to work on certain subjects.  At our next meeting 2 weeks later, the students brought the results of their interviews and set to work writing their stories.  And then finally last week, we got the students together again and edited the stories on the screen together and published our first edition.  


There are some things we want to change for next time, but overall we are pretty pleased with the effort.  There was a lot of behind the scenes work done by the sponsors in between the meetings with the students, but I'm sure that will become more integrated as the students become more familiar with edublogs and how to actually publish.  

We plan to publish at the end of each 9 weeks, so our next issue will hopefully be before the winter break.  

Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday "Wrap Up"

We are having a massive rainstorm in San Antonio today, so besides almost having to swim to work today, we have had a lot going on this week.  Our library has been filled with storybook characters for our literacy pumpkin patch.
Elephant from Elephant and Piggie
Katniss
Pout-Pot Fish
Other things going on
- pipe cleaner challenge for 2nd grade makerspace (more difficult for them than the other grades)
- 3 Second Grade nonfiction neighborhood lessons
- 5 Kinder It's a Tiger storytimes
- Halloween Magnetic Poetry with one 2nd grade class
- attended a library pull-out day (great edcamp sessions and augmented reality session with @TechChef4u
- Coding Club
- Newspaper Club - check out our 1st publication of Woodstone eNews

And my wraps this week... Disoriented and Dem Bones



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Technology Tuesday: Halloween Magnetic Poetry

Yesterday got away from me, so this is Technology Tuesday on Wednesday.

I stumbled upon a tweet this week and knew immediately I had to try it.  
How fun is that? And on Google Drawing! What brilliant mind thought of that? Kasey Bell @ShakeUpLearning is the mastermind behind it. 

I took a 2nd grade class to the lab and let them go at it! Some decided to just try to make sentences while others wanted to write a story.  

The teacher loved it because they had just been talking about adjectives and so as she walked around, she read out loud any time she saw an adjective.

The hardest part was getting them logged into their google drive which they had never done before.  

Here is Kasey's original blog post about it http://www.shakeuplearning.com/blog/halloween-magnetic-poetry-with-google-drawings.  I am already thinking about a Thanksgiving one. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday "Wrap Up"

This week we had two opportunities connect with authors via google hangout.  First with Kate Messner (read about that here) and then with Kelly Bennett, author of the Read for the Record book, Not Norman.

I also 
- had makerspace for 3rd grade
- 4 Second Grade Nonfiction Neighborhood lessons
- 6 First Grade Hallo-wiener lessons 
- 5 Kinder Storytimes with Halloween books
- met with my director about our library transformation

And my nails this week are Dem Bones and Glowing Ghouls


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Time for Change

Today the library director for our distrct stopped by to talk with me about the transformation plan for my library. See, she has a vision of what libraries should look like and offer students,  It is a vision of makerspaces, collaboration areas and really knowing what the students want and need from the library.  Last year, she told us about this "transformation" plan.  We were supposed to think about how we could change our libraries to be more innovative and relevant to today's students.  So I set to work genrefying my fiction collection and creating a teaching space by my smartboard by removing shelves and moving computers from the middle of the floor to against the wall.
Whew!  Done!  Check transformation off the list! Or so I thought...

Last month at our library meeting, she made a comment about phase 2 of the transformation process. Alarms started going off in my head. Phase 2? I transformed already.  I thought I was done.  What more could I do?

She says...Start with a blank template of your library, no shelves, no furniture and think about how you could make the space innovative and functional.  What would you do?  What would you change? Ask the students. What do they want to be able to do in the library?

I am not a very visual person.  I cannot imagine things in spaces or visualize how things might look in a different arrangement.  So panic started to set in for me.  Blank space? Not possible.  I have been living in this library for 12 years.  I love my space just the way it is.  I love the flow.  I love the arrangement.  I don't like change...

But I pretended like I was cool with this and I even asked her to come out and take a look at my space and give me some ideas about how I could redesign. And so she did... and now I am hyperventialting!

What if you moved your chapterbooks to the other side of the library and your Everybody collection over here?  Then you could remove these shelves and this would be a great place for your makerspace.  You could get tables that lend themselves to collaboration and have some comfy collaborative reading areas here and here...  I smile and nod and try not to pass out.

Then I get on twitter tonight for a #ce15 chat about innovation.  And this happens...





They are speaking to me.  My PLN knows what I need to hear tonight.  Another example of how being connected is so valuable for growth.

And so I'll go to sleep tonight.  Return my breathing to normal.  Bring my assistant some donuts in the morning.  And together we will make a plan to transform our library...one step at a time.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Technology Tues: Kate Messner Google Hangout

Writing, Writing, Writing... It is definitely an area that our school is concentrating on every year. Especially our 4th grade students that have to take a state writing assessment.  

Today, some of my 4th grade classes participated in Kate Messner's Google Hangout sponsored by We Are Teachers.  

She was specifically discussing the writing process of her Ranger In Time series.  This series is about Ranger, a search and rescue dog, who travels back in time to help people.  

Kate was so open about showing different parts of her work.  She held up her writer's notebook with her brief phrases about ideas.  She showed a long piece of paper where she collects all her ideas about a story in one place before she starts.  

The students were shocked to hear that it took almost 2 years to write and publish a book!  They were also glad to hear that even professional writer's have their papers marked up by editors.  


Our students were also surprised to hear one of the guest classes ask a question about what kind of "leads" Kate like to use in her books.  That class was in a totally different state and they called the beginning of their stories "leads" too!  

It sure does make more of an impact on kids when they hear that students in other states and professional authors go through the same writing process that they do... another example of the power of being connected.  








Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday "Wrap Up"

Besides the very fun Kate diCamillo webinar we participated in yesterday, here are the other things that happened in the library.

-  3 Second Grade finding books in the everybody section lessons
-  2 1st grade Pebble Go/Popplet lesson about Objects in the Sky
-  5 kinder storytimes Not a Box
-  4 days of 4th grade makerspace
-  newspaper club


And my glow in the dark wraps from last week are still going strong so here is a picture of another fun fall manicure Apple Cider and Faux Fox

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Being Connected: Another Virtual Author Visit

Thanks again to twitter, the students at my school were involved in another virtual author visit.  This time with Kate DiCamillo.  Last year, Jarret Krosoczka tweeted about a live event he was going to be doing.  I sent the information out to the teachers and almost my whole school watched as he talked abot writing, illustrating and Platapus Police Squad.  You can read about that here.

Back in August, John Schu @MrSchuReads, tweeted about a video conference opportunity in October with Kate DiCamillo.
 I immediately emailed my teachers about this awesome opportunity (even though we were not yet back in school from summer vacation)!  

When school did start, one of my kinder teachers asked if I had any recommendations for a read aloud to do with her class.  I mentioned the Mercy Watson books and reminded her about the upcomming video conference with Kate.  She jumped on the idea and started reading her kids book one and they were hooked!  She would tell me that her kids LOVED the books and couldn't wait for the end of the day when she would read.  They sat mesmerized, still and quiet while she read. They loved how Mercy loved buttery toast and asked questions about why Eugenia didn't like Mercy.  She said in all her years of teaching kinder, she had never had kids respond to a book like that.  So of course when she finished book 1, they wanted to read book 2. So they did.  And another kinder class started book 1. 

Today, they came back from lunch and were so excited to see "Mercy's writer" on the screen and the books that they had read displayed behind her.  Everytime Kate mentioned Mercy, they would gasp and giggle.  They "oohed" and "ahhed" when she mentioned the "buttery toast".  It was really something to be able to connect them with an author of a story they had just adored.

Meanwhile, in 5th grade, more amazing things were happening.  One teacher told her kids about the video conference and that they would only be able to watch the beginning of it since their lunch happened to fall right in the middle of it.  Tonight on her blog, this teacher wrote "After I saw the expressions on their faces, I offered to have them get lunch from the cafeteria and come back to the room during lunch.  They all had smiles on their faces!"  She emailed me after school and said that her kids loved it.  They had watched the whole thing and told me that they had eaten lunch in the room, and that it was the first time ever in her teaching career (21 years) that she had eaten in her room.  Wow!  The power of being connected!  

I love being able to find these opportunites for my students and it is only because I stepped out of my comfort zone and started tweeting that I became connected and in turn can connect my students and teachers.  

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Technology Tuesday: Coding Club


Last year after the excitement of Hour of Code, two teachers and I decided to start a coding club for 4th graders. (Read about that here). 

It seems like the first week of school the new 4th graders were asking when it was going to start this year. Well, we finally got it going and had our first meeting today. 

We thought we were going to start with the kids that were in it last year right now and then open it up to 4th grade in the spring again. Out if the 20 kids that were in it last year, 10 signed up to do it again (others had conflicting schedules with other clubs). So we decided to go ahead and open it to 4th grade now. We took two kids from each of the seven classes for a total of 24 kids, fourth and fifth grade. 

In the code.org teacher dashboard, we were able to set up two different sections. The 5th graders were able to start making games today and the 4th graders started back at the beginning. 

I think it will be fun to have the two combined. The 5th grade will be able to mentor the 4th graders and the 4th graders will be as to see where they are headed. A win-win for all. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Friday "Wrap Up"

On Monday I started my makerspace.  You can read about that here .
I am really pleased with how it went this week.  It was fascinating to see the kids thought processes as they tried to build.  I pleasantly surprised to see that each day, girl teams were the ones that were able to make the tallest tower out of pipe cleaners.  

More things that happened...
- 3 Second Grade lessons about how the everybody section is organized
- 4 First Grade lessons about objects in the sky using PebbleGo and Popplet
- 5 Kinder Little Elliot, Big City story times

And my nails... GLOW IN THE DARK!! How cool is that.  At our Jamberry Summit last weekend, they announced the glow in the dark wraps and gave us each a sheet.  I couldn't wait to get home and try them.  On that same day, my Tru Shine Gel Kit came so of course I had to try that to. So here is my Glowing Ghouls Wraps with a Black Cherry Gel accent nail (don't judge the painting of the nail, just look at the pretty color and smooth, shiny finish ;)) 



And here are my wraps at night.  They totally freaked me out the first night I had them on because I forgot about them.  I turned off my bedside light and went to scratch my nose and almost had a heart attack.  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Technology Tuesday: Popplet

First grade is learning about things in the sky.  We used Pebble Go and Popplet to make a web of 2 things they can find in the sky.

Popplet was a little challenging since anytime you touch a new popple comes up but the students enjoyed it and hopefully the teachers will start to use it more in the classroom.  

Monday, October 5, 2015

Makerspace Day!

Today I started my makerspace!

I am meeting with one grade level each week and 4-6 kids from each class each day.  I decided to have 4 days that I meet with the kids instead of 5 in case there is a holiday or school event that interrupts a day.  That way those kids that missed can come of the 5th day.  

I am starting with 5th grade, so this morning I had about 32 students in the library.  I read them the book The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires.
This is a great book to introduce the concept of makerspaces because the little girl has a plan to build the most magnificent thing.  After many attempts of having it turn out wrong, she gets mad and decides to quit.  Her assistant (the dog) suggests they take a walk and as she walks she notices that in all the wrong things she did, there was something a little right in each one.  So she goes back and finally comes up with the most magnificent thing.  After I read, I explained about the makerspace and the schedule and then I went over my expectations for their time.

I did want them to be able to have a challenge the first time, so I gave them the pipe cleaner challenge.   I didn't do it exactly like that because we had only about 10 minutes.  As I walked around talking to the groups I heard things like
"we need a good foundation"
"it needs a floor"
"it won't stand because there is no support"
Every student was engaged with their partner for the 10 minutes.  They were talking to each other and reworking their idea when it fell over. 

The hard part came when it was time to clean up.  They didn't want to stop!  I will have to find a better system of using a countdown timer or something so they can see how long they have to work.  After they put the materials away, I asked the students if anyone wanted to comment.  One student commented that no one had the same idea and that the structures all looked different.  So I took that moment to say that there were going to be no right or wrong answers during their time at the makerspace as long as they were thinking and working it was all good.  

Here are some pictures.  

Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday "Wrap Up"

Can you believe it is already October and 6 weeks of school have gone by?  We are supposed to be having a "cold front" in San Antonio this weekend (meaning our temperatures will be in the 80s during the day instead of the mid 90s, but I'll take it!).

This week in the library...
- 5 Kinder Storytimes (My Teacher is a Monster, No I am Not) - such a funny book for this time of the year as the honeymoon is over and some of the "monsterness" is coming out ;)
- 4 Second Grade Digital Citizenship Copyright lessons
- I met with 3rd - 5th grade teachers to explain how our makerspace will be working since that is starting Monday - Eekk!
- Attended a library Professional Development
- Attended a library transformation planning meeting
- Held our 2nd newspaper club meeting
- More planning for the makerspace

And my wraps... Spellbound -I just couldn't wait any longer - Love them!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Technology Tuesday: Flubaroo

Have you heard of Flubaroo? 

 It is a game changer for teachers!  Flubaroo can grade multiple choice or fill in the blank assignments in under a minute.  I have been using it as a Google add-on to my Google form quizzes for the Bluebonnet books.  It is super easy to use and literally takes less than a minute to grade my 10 question quizzes.  Check out the step-by-step directions here.

I love it for grading my quizzes for 3rd-5th graders each week, but I can totally see teachers who are flipping their classrooms using it as a quick assessment of the night's videos.  How might you use Flubaroo?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday "Wrap Up"


It was digital citizenship week in the library this week.  I had to tech the district copyright lesson to Kinder, 1st and 2nd (see post here)

- 3 Second Grade digital citizenship lessons
- 5 First Grade Digital Citizenship lessons
-5 Kinder Digital Citizenship lessons and story/journal time
- met with one book jobber
- spent lots of time working on my makerspace that I will be starting Oct 5.

And my wraps... Renaissance, retired Orchid Glimmer and Retired Galaxy.  Renaissance is one of the new "Satin" wraps.  It is so shimmery and applies really nicely.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Technology Tuesday: Chatterkids Digital Citizenship

Every year, teachers in my district have to teach 4 district provided lessons in September about Digital Citizenship.  The 4th lesson is about copyright and so it makes sense that the librarian teaches that one.  Copyright is an especially hard concept to teach to the younger grades out of the blue.  I think they understand it more when we revisit it with our research units in the spring.

Anyway, this week we are doing the district provided videos, but I decided to kick it up a notch and add a fun app called ChatterPix Kid to the mix.  
This is a fun app that makes anything talk.  All you have to do is take a picture, draw a mouth and record.  After watching the district copyright video and discussing why it is not ok to take someone's work without giving them credit, I had the students get iPads and create a video explaining it in their own word.  The took a picture of a book cover or a computer, recorded their explanation and then I allowed them to add stickers to their video.  What fun!

video


video



Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday "Wrap Up"

Besides Dot Day activities, this week in the library
- 4 2nd Grade "Just Right" lessons
- 5 kinder Storytimes
- 5 3rd grade Amelia Bedelua/Educreation homophobe lessons
- interviewed 25 5th graders for anchors on morning announcements
- held 1st eNewspaper Club meeting
- attended Region XX Resource Roundup
- presented Twitter: #dontbescared at Resource Roundup

And I am still wearing my Dessert Mirage wraps from last week so I thought I would highlight our new TRUSHINE Gel Manicures. This is Gilded Leopard(wrap) with Party Dress Gel