Read Across America Day is Wednesday, March 2nd - Dr. Seuss' birthday! It's not just for little ones, it's for kids of all sizes. - middle and high school too! Some schools celebrate in one day, and other make a whole week of it. Celebrating reading doesn't have to cost a lot and it doesn't need to take a lot of preparation. Take a look at this calendar of events by Robin Snider from Churchland Elementary.
Click here to visit Seussville!
Other events around Davidson County Schools:
Tuesday - "Cat in the Hat" (dress as your favorite Dr. Seuss character)
Wednesday - "Wacky Wednesday" (inside out, backwards and mismatched)
Thursday "Crazy Hair Day" (get out the hair gel!)
Friday "Llama Llama Red Pajama" (pajama day)
Middle or High School???
RAA Day/Week doesn't have to be just for elementary students. Middle and high school libraries can get in on the fun (get the full article here: http://www.adlit.org/article/21880/).
In this age of iPods and Game Boys, Webcasts and reality TV, can reading really hold its own among teens? The answer is yes if you have the resources and support for teen literacy. At NEA's Read Across America, helping teens read and enjoy reading is just as important as helping preschoolers and elementary students. With your encouragement, today's middle school and high school readers will discover a treasure trove of ideas and a multitude of great books. Here are some clever ideas to get you going:
Celebrate Read Across America Day with a live streaming event from Discovery Education: #CelebratewithDE! To register, click here.
If you plan to participate next week, share your pics on social media using #readacrossamerica or #DCSreads!
Thanks to library media coordinator, Sheila Allen, for this post about using the SWIVL robot.
SWIVL Robot turns your mobile device into an interactive video recording device.
Ready to Record
You can wear the marker on a lanyard and the SWIVL Robot will rotate to capture your movements around the room. The microphone on the marker will record your voice. To begin, select “Capture” in the SWIVL app. Press the red record button on the marker to begin recording. Press it again to stop. Maximum recording time is is in the upper corner of the screen. That is determined by the quality of your recording and the amount of storage space available on your device. Delete unwanted clips and clips you have uploaded to SWIVL Cloud for more space to record. If you can, delete apps from the device for more space.
To view your recordings, tap the hotdog menu on the top left of the mobile device. Tap “Library.” If you like the result, tap the green cloud to upload your video to the SWIVL Cloud. If you want to delete the recording, tap the clear area beside the recording. Delete is one of the options.
Find your videos on https://cloud.swivl.com
From the SWIVL Cloud, you can view your recordings, do some editing, add slides, and download the video. The video downloads as a MP4 file (Quicktime) which is compatible with Apple devices. It can be placed in Google Drive and will play from there or can be downloaded to a PC. On the PC it can be viewed with Media Player or other PC video players.
More detailed instructions are in the SWIVL Users Guide.
Thanks to library media coordinator, Kenny Foster, for this blog post about two innovative recording methods she introduced to freshman English students.
For Freshman TED ( technology, entertainment, and design) talks, two ninth grade English teachers approached me about something “different”” - instead of the typical requiring them to stand in front of the room for 3 minutes. I suggested to them that they offer two alternatives. First of all, I suggested Jing - a screencast option that allows the presenter to voice over another type of program such as powerpoint or word. The students open up the visual presentation and record the audio through Jing. To give Jing a try, click here.
For the second option, I have always loved paper slides, and I so enjoyed working on the paper slide video at the DEN Ambassadors training a few weeks ago. I think this is a great idea for any group because the drawing is second to the presentation. Therefore, a presenter can do this whether he/she is a great artist or not. On the other hand, if a presenter is creative and artsy, there are no limits to what he/she can create!
Our Freshmen have really enjoyed working with Jing and paper slides. I believe that the greatest success has been that many of them have told me that they love these two presentation tools, and they can’t wait to use them in other classes!
Digital Learning Day is an annual one day media blitz where schools and educators can highlight the awesome things that they are doing with digital learning with others around the world. Organized by the Alliance for Excellent Education (http://all4ed.org), #DLday began in 2012 and participation has grown exponentially each year.
This is the first year that DCS in participating in the #DLday social media event, however we are proud to say in DCS that digital learning happens every day in our district.
Here are some of the activities that were reported yesterday:
Are you looking for new ways to engage students? In Discovery Education, there is a whole section called S.O.S. (Spotlight on Strategies) that shows short videos on how to turn almost any content into an engaging learning activity for students. The strategies are research-based tools that integrate digital content in ways that are meaningful, effective and practical. Each video is just 2-3 minutes long and they are divided into a number of different categories.
To access the SOS strategies, look on your DE homepage under "Professional Development" or visit the link here: Spotlight on Strategies
You probably have already seen Suzanne present Paper Slides. But did you know there are nearly 100 other easy to use strategies that you can use K-12? Most strategies are low tech and can be quickly implemented without a lot of preparation.
Beginning in the March Technology Times, we will be featuring one new strategy each month.
Want to know how to use WBO Timelines? Here are the highlights:
Timelines can be accessed from any device and are iPad and Android device friendly. Timelines is the square on the bottom left of the suite of tools that DCS subscribes to.
There is a rotating selection of featured timelines that changes every time you hit the homepage. To go to the featured timeline, just click on the picture:
There are three ways to use timelines:
The tool bar is located on the left hand side to zoom in or use the arrow keys. You can also us the tool bar to change from timeline view to list view, save or print. .
Students and teachers can dig deeper using timelines by customizing an existing timelines or creating their own. however it will be necessary to create an account. This can easily be done by using DCS Gmail usernames and passwords. Users can add video or other media, color code events or flag important information. Students can upload their own images or search the WBO database for more items as well as print, save or share.
When creating or customizing timelines, users can choose from over 12,000 events in the WBO database!
Users can use timelines for introducing a new topic, conducting research, narrating a novel or a biography, or even just for fun...the possibilities are endless!
Timelines are suitable for learners of all ages and especially helpful for visual learners.
To view the tutorial on WBO Timelines or any other features, click on this link:
Do you want to help your students and teachers with inquiry-based 21st century learning?
eWise makes planning easy for school librarians and teachers, and encourages students to work together to facilitate their own learning.
First, use the chart above to plan the project. You do not have to pace each step out weekly. The unit can be much shorter if desired.
During the “W” wonder part of the process, be sure to model what you want the students to do when they begin their research. For example, the fifth grade teachers at our school modeled their explorer project using Christopher Columbus, since that was an explorer the students would not be using. Students then asked “I wonder questions” which were narrowed to 7 or less. Be sure to guide the students into creating a few of the questions based on the standard(s) you are covering.
During the “I” investigate part of the process, students are divided into groups. We found 3 to be a good number of students per group so that all students are actively engaged. Next, students choose between selected topics. During the fifth grade unit, each group chose a different explorer. Then, the student groups came to the school library to conduct their research. I created 3 research stations: Reference Station, Book Station, and Computer Station. I placed appropriate encyclopedias, atlases, and dictionaries in the reference station. I ran this station. I placed nonfiction, grade level text in the book station. The teacher ran this station. I found specific websites and short video clips for the computer station. The ETS/media assistant ran this station in our adjoining computer lab. Teachers scheduled 2 one-hour sessions to come to the library. During the first one-hour session, teams rotated to 2 of the 3 stations. During the second one-hour session, teams rotated to their final station, and then could do a final “free choice” station to complete their research.
During the “S” synthesize portion of the project, students used their research findings to create a product. Some project ideas are a tri-fold, poster, brochure, slideshow, play, or interview. The fifth grade teachers decided to do a choice board where each group could choose how they would present their information.
During the “E” express portion of the project, student groups present their learning. Students definitely want to present their information to each other, since each group had a different topic. Then, students can take their presentation further by presenting to another grade level, parents, skype with another school, or present to members of the community who might be interested in the project topic. When students can teach others their information they have truly learned the materials!
You will use the “e” evaluate part of eWISE throughout the project, as the school librarian, teachers, and students reflect and make needed changes. At the end of an eWISE project, make time to meet with the teachers during one last planning session to reflect on the whole project and make needed changes for the next year.
Last school year, I collaborated with 2nd grade to create one eWISE project. This year, I am continuing my work with 2nd grade, and adding 4th grade reading AIG, as well as, a fall and spring project with 5th grade. My goal is to add at least one grade level per year until the entire school is completing a eWISE project each school year! This is a great way to get involved with both teachers and students to encourage inquiry-based 21st century learning!
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me:
Davis-Townsend School Librarian
Carol Hedrick, media coordinator at Pilot Elementary, supports an independent student-led book club by providing sets of age-appropriate, quality titles from which students choose. I was intrigued by this student-centered "pop-up" book club, so Carol offered to "interview" these students for a blog post:
Q: Who are the members of your club?
A: Danielle, Lucas, Abby, and Allison
Q: How do you choose a book?
A: We read the introduction of a book and discuss it. We decide if we think it is a book we would like to read. We usually look for fiction books that are longer and more challenging than the books we usually read.
Q: Once you choose a book, what happens next?
A: We read a certain section (we choose a stopping point together, usually a chapter). We take notes as we read.
Q: What happens after you read?
A: We discuss what we have read, usually during lunch and sometimes at recess.
Q: What days do you usually meet?
A: Fridays or Mondays because we have had time to read.
Q: How did your book club get started?
A: We were in the Media Center looking for books together, and we said, "Let's start a book club." We all thought it was a good idea.
Q: What are you reading now?
A: We are reading Savvy, and then we plan to read Scumble. We plan to read works by the same author, and possibly series.
Q: What sections of the Media Center are you using to find your books?
A: We have been looking at the sections containing EBOB books from last year and the year before.
We look forward to hearing more from this Book Club in the future! - Carol Hedrick
With technology ever changing, it is difficult to keep up with the cutting edge - especially in education. That being said, there are educators that are doing some pretty amazing things with digital learning. The Alliance for Excellent Education launched Digital Learning Day in February 2012 in order to actively spread innovative practices and ensure that youth have access to high quality digital learning opportunities no matter where they live.
It's key to remember that Digital Learning Day is not about the technology, it's about the impact technology has on student learning. #DLday is an opportunity to try something new, but it's also an opportunity to share the awesome things you are already doing! We encourage you to share pictures or videos of #DLday activites by using the hashtag on your school Facebook or Twitter. Be sure to tag @DCSNC if you do so it can be shared.
Don't have your school Facebook page up yet? Now is a great opportunity to do so to share the great things happening in your school. South Davidson High School activated their Facebook page recently and they had over 200 likes in the first 2 days! If you need the instructions to get started, you can do so here: DCS School Facebook page.
To learn more about Digital Learning Day, find activities or register your school, visit the website here: www.digitallearningday.org.
Welcome to the official blog just for DCS library media programs. Enjoy new posts from one of our many contributors and follow along to see the amazing things happening in Davidson County school libraries.