Tuesday, December 23, 2014

It's Time For Our Gingerbread Hunt With Help From Jan Brett, Red Laser & Tellagami Apps!!

This week, Oak Hills Kindergarten and 1st Graders have been reading our beloved Jan Brett books! She recently completed her latest book Animal Santa!  Students were so excited to hear her latest tale of the season!!  I created a Tellagami video for Animal Santa and several of her wonderful books!

To acquaint students to a variety of Jan's books, I placed gingerbread friends with QR codes around the library.  For each QR code, I recorded a Tellagami video about one of Jan's books! Students used the iPad app Red Laser to scan each QR code and then watch the Tellagami video about a different book!  

As students searched for the gingerbread spread around the library, I took lots of photos to share with everyone!  I shared the photos in a Slidely from Slidely.com!  Enjoy!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Sharing Family Traditions And Learning A New Digital Tool - Prezi!

This is the perfect time of year for students to learn a new digital tool for sharing their family traditions!

To view on some mobile devices, you may have to download the app!

 I am always looking for opportunities for students to create with new digital tools!  As they learn new tools, they can be creative when they are given the the opportunity to pick how they want to demonstrate their learning or share ideas with the world!  Though Prezi has been around for a while, my students have never had an opportunity to create a non linear presentation or use Prezi.  It seemed like the perfect time for them to try it out! I let them use my PreziEDU account to give it a try!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

New Books - Gifts of the Season or Anytime!!

No matter what time of year, Oak Hills students love it when we display our new books!  Each year, after our October Scholastic Book Fair, we set to work preparing the books for our students.  There are so many steps to get these books ready for the shelves!!  Our wonderful clerk, Mrs. Eklund, dutifully barcodes and covers them, and generally works hard until finally they are ready!

This week we put the books on display so that all of our students could see them before we begin checking them out.  They swarm around the books with enthusiasm, waiting for their turn to read their newest adventure!!

Just a little video of our students checking out all of their wonderful choices!

Digital Holiday Letters - Using Digital Templates To Help Jumpstart Student Writing

This week students are finishing up letters that we started several weeks ago.  

Third graders added their own writing to a holiday letter that I shared with them in Google Drive.  It was a great opportunity to teach them how to make a copy of an original and then edit using the word processing tools in Google Drive!  Some students wrote Santa, while others wrote their parents, grandparents and other extended family members.  Students who did not want a holiday letter wrote letters to reflect their family traditions.  In the end, they all had beautiful letters that they were proud of!  We rarely print the projects from media class, but students were excited to take home these letters in hard copy!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

New Edutopia Article Published - Personalized Learning and Query Books!

Today I had the honor of having a second blog post published by Edutopia!  I was really excited to share this blog post because I had such a great time writing it!  It was the result of my journey to personalized learning and I was happy to share it with educators, parents and most especially my students!  Hopefully the Edutopia audience will find it to be relevant and inspiring!

Click below to read and find out more!
Personalized Learning and Query Books

Hour of Code Week - So Many Great Choices For Learning Code!!

It is so fun to see how excited students are to learn coding!  We even had a coding rockstar who brought in his "coding" sunglasses to celebrate Hour of Code week!  

It's Hour of Code week and students are learning with a variety of fun holiday tools designed to give students experience with coding!  Since last year, there are so many more choices for students interested in computer programming!  The White House, Google, and even a little Disney from Code.org are all jumping into coding education with some fantastic tools!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

TIES Conference 2014! - Make It Happen!

I just returned from this year's TIES (Technology and Information Education Services) Conference, and I am filled to the brim with enthusiasm and new ideas for our Oak Hills students and teachers!  I can't wait to share what I have learned! I attended sessions on makerspaces, gamification and creativity.  I was inspired by many innovative educators, many of whom I follow on Twitter, read their books, and follow their blogs!  It was great hearing them in person!  Yong Zhao, Jane McGonigal, Leslie Fisher, Shannon Miller along with local Minnesota rockstars Mark Garrison, Molly Schroeder, and Lakeville's own Kathryne Nguyen, just to name a few.  I also had a chance to meet a few Twitter colleagues that I have never met! All in all, a wonderful educational opportunity for this educator!!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

So Honored To Be An Edublog Finalist! Voting Has Begun!

This week, I was so honored to be a finalist for three of the 2014 Edublog Awards.  Thanks so much to my friends and colleagues who generously took the time to nominate me.  I am really grateful. 

A special shout out to my family.  They have given up some of my time and attention for my Technology Is Loose In The Library blog.  They know that this blog has been a labor of love.  I am forever sitting on the sofa with my head buried in my laptop or iPad. I am typically researching and developing ideas for lessons, testing apps, or writing about my fantastic students who constantly amaze me! 

I am grateful for the Edublog Awards because it gives me a chance to "pay it forward" to those who have inspired me over the years.  It is also a great way to find and follow new bloggers and tweeters who I have yet to discover! 

For those of you who would like to vote, or "like" any of the nominated blogs, visit
edublogawards.com   You can vote for more than one!  You will need to sign into List.ly using Facebook/Twitter/Linkedin/Google+.      Voting is open until December 15th.

5th Grade Student Bloggers Publish Their Reading Reviews!!

This week, 5th graders are finishing a blog post with their most recent book reviews! I wrote about the value of student blogs back in October when the 5th graders first began creating their blogs! To read about our blog beginnings, check out my original blog post, Student's Create New Blogs To Share Their Voices & Their Reading Reviews!

I was thrilled as I read their thoughts about the books they have been reading! It is so fun to see how attentive and engaged students are because they are writing for a larger audience!  These student writers are just a few of the great book reviewers in our 5th grade!

1st Graders Share Their Family Rules After Reading It's Christmas, David!

1st Graders love David Shannon books!  He just seems to understand kids! 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Kindergarteners Love The Christmas Hat!

Kindergarteners love the 2004 book, The Christmas Hat by A.J. Wood!  This is one of those books that makes students feel like they have been wrapped in a warm blanket! The pages are embossed with snowy texture.  In the story, Little Owl keeps getting lost in the snow because he blends in with the white snow.  Little Owl's adoptive parents give him a red hat so they won't loose him in the snow. The red helps his parents find him, but also helps the scary red fox to find him too! So Little Owl finds another use for the red hat!