Thursday, November 4, 2010

November Already??

I really can't believe that it is already November! This year has really flown by. I think the years go faster as I get older. :)

School is off and running. I even have all my responsibilities and programs in place. The Knightly News is off to a great start, the Bluebonnet Reading Program has been kicked off for third and fourth grade, AND Kinder kids are already checking out books!

I am proud to announce that we had an amazing Book Fair! Thank you first of all to all of the wonderful volunteers who showed up to help me. I am CERTAIN that I would not have made it without each of you! Thanks also to all of the students and parents who came and shopped at the Book Fair. Thanks to you, our school will be able to afford a wonderful author visit this year (more details coming).

Well, I guess everyone needs to hang on tight because it looks like Christmas is right around the corner! I better start saving money!

Monday, September 20, 2010

School is in session!

Well, it has gotten off to a great start! This year I am sad to say that I will be running the library on my own. My fearless assistant Book Diva, Donna Allen, has decided to retire. I have been busy recruiting volunteers to help me in the library. So far I have had a great turn out! I think I have someone signed up for every day. If you would like to volunteer or know someone who would, please email me!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Week 9: Final thoughts

1.I like completing this professional development on a self-paced schedule (even though I procrastinated until the bitter end :) ). I really like the web resources that I learned about.
2.My least favorite thing was learning about PhotoStory. I like the program, but I was already familiar with it.
3.This journey has caused me to rethink how I will incorporate technology into the library curriculum. I've always used technology in the library, but I enjoyed learning some fresh ideas to use.
4.THe biggest surprise was the wealth of information on Read-Write-Think.
5.I will most likely use the Google Lit Trip site.
6.This was one of the most useful professional development classes I have attended!
7.The only suggestion would be to keep adding new and improved Web 2.0 tools.

Week 8: Atomic Learning

I searched for projects that would be fitting for the younger kids (PreK-2). I found one on creating a PowerPoint on the life cycle of a frog. I think this would be a good one to try next year. I know first grade does life cycles. I could also use the idea of creating a PowerPoint, but maybe on a different topic (like, their favorite book that they have read so far).

One problem would be getting access to the lab during the times that I have the specific class I am working with. I would also have trouble finding the time to do this since I only see each class thirty minutes a week and part of that time has to be for check out.

To make it successful I would first have to use the mobile lab. i would also need "buy-in" from the teacher so that she woud allow me extra time with her kids. I would also need the teacher to work with me in implementing the lesson. We all know that two adults in a room full of kids with computers is much more effective than just one adult.

Week Seven- Classroom Projects

1. Read-Write-Think: Wow! This site has so much to offer! I am surprised that I have never heard of it! I plan on using this one to find some lessons that I could use to collaborate with some of our teachers on my campus. I think I could find some great library/classroom connection lessons.

2. Kid Pix Delux: I love that Atomic Learning has suggested lessons for using Kid Pix. The kids at our school love this program! It would be so cool to find lessons that teach the TEKS while utilizing this program that kids are already familiar with and enjoy using.

3.Wordle: I explained in my previous post how I have used this in the past and how I would like to use this next year.

4.TerraClues is so interesting! I love how it incorporates technology/social studies/literature! I know the kids would love this site! I am thinking it would be best for the older kids, though.

At our school the teachers are responsible for coming up with the computer lab lessons and teaching them. This year I plan on creating a "pilot program" with Kinder to cover the technology TEKS. I was planning on using Learning.com as well as some lessons found on the Temple ISD site. I definitely plan on utilizing some of these sites to add information to what I already have planned. These will be especially helpful when I start moving abover Kinder to some of the older grades.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Week Six- Classroom Aids

I really think I could use all of these sites in some way! These were all amazing sites!
1. The math manipulatives site is one of those "Man-I-Wish-I-Had-That-When-I-Taught-First-Grade sites! What an AWESOME way for any math teacher to incorporate technology into their math lesson. I plan on using this site by sharing it with my math teachers on campus.

2.Kid Zone- I would like to use this site for my video broadcasting. I am always looking for interesting little tidbits of information to share for the morning broadcast to keep things fresh. I especially like the mind bender section!

3.Google Lit Trips- OK,this one is pretty obvious! I love this site! How awesome it would be to use this when we cover some of the literature posted on this site. I also think it would be so fun to create one with the kids at my school!

4.Scribble maps-This year I did the Flat Stanley project with my second graders. This would be an awesome site to have them visit and place markers down on each place that Stanley has visited. Then, we could print these maps out and the kids would have something tangible to look at and take home to show their parents! So awesome!

5.Word Sift-I can't wait to share this one with our fourth grade teachers. I think they will love this one! I think it would be wonderful to use in the curriculum when they teach Word Choice.

A site that I have used personally and would like to use in the library is: www.wordle.net . I think this site would be great to use after reading a novel together with some of the older kids. It would be great to create a wordle on the character traits of a main character in a story.
These wordles also make AMAZING parent gifts. I made one for my husband for Father's Day last year and he loved it!

Week Five- Wikis

1. I can think of a few different ways to use Wikis in my library. The best example I can give is when working on any sort of collaborative project with my fellow teachers. There have been many times when I have a document that I will email to several teachers (maybe an entire grade level) for them to look over and make changes. The hardest thing is to go back and forth between all the emails that start coming back in to me. Many of the teachers will suggest the same changes or add other items that then need to be discussed amongst the other members. What usually happens is a paper trail nightmare. I end up forgetting who has seen what portion of the project and who has suggested changes that have not already been made.

2. Wikis and blogs are quite different in my opinion. A blog is a place for you to express yourself publicly and allow others to comment on your posts. The original content of the blog can't be altered by others. A Wiki on the other hand is a collaborative document that is created as a means of collaboration within a group. A Wiki (if it is unrestricted) is a working document that is "in progress". Other members are allowed to read, edit, add, and delete information in order to participate in the discussion. I think Wikis are best in a collaborative situation while blogs work best for communication without the NEED for collaboration.

3. I would like to use Wikis this year to avoid having so many unnecessary meetings with the teachers on my campus. At the beginning of the year I am planning on "tweaking" our campus AR plan. Rather than trying to convince the AR committee to find a time that works for all of us to meet and discuss my proposed changes, I will create a Wiki to accomplish this task. I would like to import the current plan into a document in my Wiki. Then, I would send it out to the AR committee and have them read through the changes I have made, and add their own ideas and/or comments. I really think this will save so much time!

Week Four- Discovery Streaming

I did not know that Discovery Education offered so many other things for teachers. I have always been aware of the videos that this site has to offer. I recently found the teacher section and played around on it. I love the writing prompt tool. We used it recently in Tech Rep Boot Camp. I can't wait to share it with our fourth grade teachers. I really think they will like it and find it as a useful way to integrate technology into their writing curriculum. I know the fourth grade kids really get tired of writing. I believe that using the computer to accomplish this task would freshen things up for the kids and make them feel as if it is not just another pen and paper task that we are asking them to do.

Week Four- YouTube Web 2.0 video

I found this video on YouTube. I really like it a lot. I think it would be good to show our faculty to "kick start" the school year and build motivation for integrating technology into the classroom.

Week Four: Photostory

Here is a Photostory project that I created for use in my library. It is a book review done by my daughter:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Week Three-Google

Last year was the first time I had really studied Google. I was amazed at all the features it has to offer. My two favorites are Google Reader and Google Earth.

Google Reader is something I use to keep up with all of the blogs I try to follow. It saves me so much time. Rather than going to each blog and opening up each one everyday to check for new postings, now I can have all of that information in one place on Google Reader. I love this feature! I have divided all of my blogs into specific folders: library blogs, just for fun,friends, and news.

Google Earth is another tool that I have recently used in the library. I went to the Technology conference this past year and went to a session on how to use Google Earth in your lessons. I incorporated it last year with my second grade library kids. We started by reading Flat Stanley. Then, I had each student create a Flat Stanley and I asked them to mail it to someone they know that does not live in Lake Jackson. As the Flat Stanleys came back to us, I would mark where they had been in a Google Earth file that I had created. As the second graders came to library we would show the Flat Stanley pictures and then find on the Google Earth map where each Stanley had visited. The kids loved it so much! In fact, they wanted to show it to their parents, so I had to learn how to create a kmz file (not hard at all) and post that on my library website. By doing so, the kids could access the Stanley map from home! This was especially cool because many of the places were historical landmarks (like our state capital)and Google Earth had actual pictures of the places that the kids could see! So fun! It was like we went on a field trip each library day!

I will try to copy that kmz file into this blog for you to see! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Week Two-Setting up my blog

Thank goodness I can use my blog from last year. I remember the process of setting it up to be a little long. I am so glad to hear that our district is going to allow us to use these blogs in the classroom next year. It was very frustrating to set this up last summer only to be told we were blocked from using this site at school. I hope to find ways to incorporate my blog into what I do in the library next year. I would also like to use it for teachers. I hope all of my Ney friends are learning lots on this adventure and enjoying what they learn! I was so thrilled to actually receive a facebook message from one of my self-proclaimed, "Non-techno teacher". There is hope out there! If this friend of mine is on Facebook, the world just may be coming to an end! Love you, Billie!

Week One-Setting Sail

I am officially behind everyone. I totally forgot about the first face to face session, so now I am registered to attend tomorrow. This morning I am without my children, so I decided to start this journey in the peace and quiet of my home. I am glad that these first two weeks seem to be a repeat of what I did last year that way I am not quite as behind as I first thought. I appreciate Michelle for setting this up for us. It is nice to get my professional development hours while lying in bed in my zebra print pj's.