Thursday, January 29, 2015

Technology Tuesday: A Giant Step for Me

At the beginning of the year, I posted 3 goals that I had for myself this year, professionally.  One of those goals was to network more and develop a PLN.  I am happy to say that I have been doing that through the use of Twitter.

Twitter is an amazing tool for professional learning.  I have gotten so many great ideas in the few short months that I have become a tweeter.  I have participated in many chats, some as a "lurker" not saying much and some as a participant sharing ideas.  

Last night, however, I took a giant step and MODERATED a chat for the first time!

At one of our district mini-sessions on twitter, we talked about chatting and how we, as a district, should chat more since our elementary and secondary librarians never meet together.  Well, that was all that needed to be said to get my little wheels spinning.  I sent out an email to the librarians saying that I would like to have a chat about the management and check out of Nexus tablets that a lot of us had gotten from a bond.  I set a date, time and hashtag and hoped people would "show up".  Last night about 10 of us chatted for about 45 min.  Sharing concerns, ideas and brainstorming management of these eReaders that we were going to be checking out to students.  

What I loved most about the chat was that there were some new chatters that had never even posted on Twitter before.  They saw how easy it was to become involved, even when their intention was only to lurk.  I am hoping that we will have many more opportunities to do this within our district as all librarians know that while this is the best job in the school, it is also the loneliest in the sense that you are the only one on your campus.  

Now on to learn about Tweetdeck...

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday "Wrap" Up

This week was a little calmer without 3rd grade research days taking up my week.  I did get back to seeing my K-2 classes this week.

1st grade Bark George/ 30 hands sequencing lessons
Introduced 2nd grade Fairy Tale Battle
Met with a middle school librarian to plan a genre-fying PD
Helped student council with the New Year's Neon Dance
Went to dinner with Author/Illustrator duo Kate and Sarah Klise and networked with other librarians
Exercized 4 times!

And my Jamberry wrap of the week... Love Spell.  Perfect for Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Technology Tuesday: 30 Hands

Have you heard of the 30 Hands App?

 I hadn't until last Monday at our Elementary Library meeting and boy have I been missing out.  It is an app similar to Educreations or ShowMe in the fact that you can upload pictures and then record. You can also write or add shapes to the pictures (haven't played with that very much).  But what I love about it is that each slide is its own recoding.  If you mess up, you don't have to start back at the beginning like some of the others.  That feature alone makes it a great tool for the younger kids but even better than that it is really easy to use.

Today, I used it with 1st graders for seqencing the story Bark George by Jules Feiffer
If you haven't read this book, you must!  It is a great story for sequencing, but is so silly. Kids of all ages love it (I sometimes even catch the teachers giggling).  Anyway, normally I have them sequence the story on paper, but after hearing about this app I knew I must try it.

I started off ahead of time by taking some pictures from the book with my iPad and then had to figure out how to get the pictures to all my student ipads.  I was going back and forth between Chirp and Dropbox and since I hadn't used Chirp before decided to go with Dropbox (probably a little more time consuming, but at least I knew what I was doing).  So I uploaded the pictures into Dropbox and then had to download them into the camera roll of the 11 ipads I was going to use.  (I decided to have the students work with partners)  I am sure there is an easier way to do this and would love to hear any suggestions in the comments below.  

Then when the class came in, I read them the story and we talked about the meaning of sequencing. They got their iPads and I walked them through getting the pictures into 30 Hands.  I made sure that the pictures were not in order on the camera roll so they were also out of order when dropped into 30 Hands.  

I showed them how to rearrange the pictures and record and then off they went...  They had to talk to their partner about the order of the pictures, move them and then record their retelling of the story.  

Here are 2 examples from our class today.  I love how one is short and to the point and the other is a little more wordy.  We have not spent much time recording in first grade, so there are some pauses, hesitations and talking between the partners, but over all I was pleased with all of the kids' work.  

Have you used 30 Hands before?  What apps do you like for retelling?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday "Wrap" Up

I have been turning in a monthly newsletter to my administration and attaching a monthly Smore newsletter to my school webpage for parents.  I decided to better keep track of what all I am doing I would post a Friday "Wrap" Up here that I could go back and look at (also gives me a chance to highlight some of my favorite Jamberry "wraps"... get it?).

This week I...
 hosted 4 all day research days for 3rd grade - Forces of Nature Graphic Novels
Introduced the Battle of the Books to 4th Grade
Attended a library Professional Development Meeting
Held the 1st Coding Club Meeting
Exercised 5 times - T25!

And my wraps...

Boysenberry and Stitched Away - LOVE this combo.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Coding Club

We did it!  We started a coding club after school!

After having so much fun with the Hour of Code in December, two 4th grade teachers and I decided to take the plunge.  I made a quick video to tell the kids about the opportunity and had applications in the library for those who were intersted.  24 kids brough back the applications and met with us on Tuesday.

We started off by watching this video

It is about 5 minutes and has lots of different people talking about coding and how they became interested in it and what they have done with it.

Then we asked the kids to get into groups of 3 or 4 and talk about the following questions:

What do you think computer science and coding are about?
Why did you want to be in this club?
How could this help you in the future?

We asked them to share out when they were done. We typed their answers into a Word document as they were sharing out and then used Tagxedo to make a Word Cloud as sort of a logo for our club.

We will be meeting every other Tuesday for 45 minutes after school.  At the next meeting we will get started coding.  We are thinking of using the coding tutorials at or the resources for the Scratch app .  Will let you know what we decide and how it goes.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


Yesterday, in the Friday newsletter from our District Librarian, there was mention of Todd Nesloney's new Educator Learning Series Challenge.  Todd Nesloney has become one of my twitter heroes, so of course, I immediately clicked on the link and as usual was totally inspired to jump on board.

The first challenge is to come up with #onelittleword to guide us through the year ahead.  I pondered this and have come up with my #onelittleword.

This year, I am reaching.  Reaching new goals. Reaching for new experiences.  Reaching for new connections.  Reaching for new learning.  Reaching out to my teachers to join me.  

What is your #onelittle word going to be?

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