I often use this blog as a place to “think on paper” and reflect on different aspects of my job. As the 2014-2015 school year draws to a close, I’m scratching my head and wondering where the year went! Robert Browning tells us that our reach should exceed our grasp, so I suppose it’s okay that I had more plans than I was able to implement this year. But in looking back over the ideas that did come to fruition, here are some of my favorites:
- Our annual Comic Book Read-In is always a hit with students, and this year I was able to help teachers connect it to the curriculum with my companion workshop Comics in the Classroom. I went on to share those resources at the S.C. Association of School Librarians conference in March of this year.
- This year I celebrated International Dot Day: Make Your Mark with all of our 5th graders. I shared the book The Dot by Peter Reynolds on the Promethean board via Tumblebooks, and we discussed the importance of trying new things and giving yourself permission to experiment with new things. We then used Microsoft Paint to create digital dot art, which I displayed in the library and online.
- Our 2nd graders practiced their research skills and their technology skills with our African American Biography Timelines. They learned how to use Encyclopedia Britannica Elementary (part of the SC DISCUS suite of databases) to gather facts and photos, then synthesized their information into an online timeline using the ReadWriteThink timeline tool.
- We discovered some budding poets through our Found Poetry project with 4th grade. We examined various nonfiction print sources to create word banks of important facts, then used the elements of poetry to communicate the information in more lyrical ways.
- The Quest teacher asked me to lead an Hour of Code with the gifted and talented students at my school and the other elementary school she serves. We used a Scratch project, and the kids astounded themselves with their results! “Wow, I’m really good at this!” (Those types of comments are music to my ears!)
- My LOOK! NEW BOOKS! new book preview for teachers this year included a QR Code twist! Many of the new books on display in the library contained bookmarks with QR codes that teachers could scan to access additional teaching resources for using the books in the classroom. I created the codes with QR Code Monkey, which I really like because it allows you to upload a logo or photo as part of your code.
- I created several technology tutorials for teachers using the free screencasting tool ScreencastOMatic. When I can’t provide assistance in person, a screencast video is the next best thing!
What did you try this year that was a hit with students or teachers? Tell us about it in the comments!