Reach your upper elementary or teen audience with creative ways that promote reading and Children’s / Young Adult literature using free or open-source technology tools
April is National Poetry Month and our school is having several events to celebrate. Students are encouraged to submit their original poems to the “Poet Tree” in the Library all month. We plan on sharing poems for “Poem in your pocket” day on Thursday, the 26th. I am thinking of coordinating a semi-field trip to Verselandia - a poetry slam sponsored by Portland Public Schools on the 25th.
On Monday, April 30th we will host our all-day poetry celebration in the Library. The morning session will be for community members as the creative writing and guitar students share their original poems and poems put to music. Throughout the day various classes will visit the Library for an open mic poetry reading. Anyone is welcome to attend and share either an original poem or read a previously published poem. Selected classes from other schools will Skype into our reading and share their poems with us. If your class would like to Skype with us – contact me at colette (dot) cassinelli (at) gmail (dot) com.
Smart Search ideas shared at #edcampPDX on 2/4/12
Content Curation tools
Yesterday we hosted our first annual edcampPDX at my school near Portland, Oregon. After attending conferences and hearing about edcamp unconferences around the country I thought to myself, “We need to do this in Portland because we have a lot of talent here but not a very strong network”.
I approached a few local Twitter friends and pitched the idea and the edcampPDX wiki was established. 35 educators attended with 10 of them volunteering to facilitate sessions. We self-organized ourselves in the morning and divided the workshops into three sessions. The variety of sessions was awesome with everything from Design thinking, Google Apps, iPads in the elementary school, Reflective thinking, BYOD, and more. Read more on the blog of Peter Pappas.
All participants were actively engaged in conversations, sharing, and networking. A sure sign that the day went well is that everyone agreed the networking was valuable so we decided to set up a Google Group for conversations, encourage folks to participate in Twitter and MACEP … but the best part is that they want to meet quarterly instead of annually!!! Our next edcampPDX meet-up will be on Friday, 11/11/11 at Catlin Gabel school.
Thanks Peter, Melissa, Mike, Richard and LuAnn for your encouragement and assistance. I think we are off to a great start.
I love talking to people who are passionate about what they do. You know the type, you get them talking and they make YOU excited about THEIR topic. Angela Maiers is one of those people. I first met Angela through Twitter connections several years ago but when I finally met her face-to-face it was like seeing an old high school friend. Angela is brimming with enthusiasm about literacy and the passion driven learning. I saw Twitter posts about Angela’s TEXx Des Moines talk recently and knew I had to watch it.
You Matter. These simple two words can make a difference in your classroom, in your school and in your community. People everywhere want to FEEL like they matter and when you take the time to let people know they DO matter, it can make all of the difference. Watch Angela’s talk and ask yourself, “Do the students, parents, teachers in my community know they matter to me?”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FHdHUzRnms (Btw, ignore the freeze frame on the video and keep listening.)
Embedding book trailers on your library web page is a great way to pique interest in your collection. There are various software programs you could use to make your book trailer: iMovie, Photostory, MovieMaker, Google Presentations, Prezi, and VoiceThread to name a few.
You don’t need any fancy photo editing software to make creative images for your presentation either. I use all the creative features of PowerPoint to make slides with collages of images and then save the PowerPoint presentation as *.jpg. It’s very easy to do and most people are already comfortable with the PowerPoint interface. Make sure you use copyfriendly images by using a Creative Commons search .
I also write out a script for my book trailer and then record the audio using Audacity. You can easily edit the recording then export it as a *.wav or *.mp3 file.
For this book trailer of 13 Little Blue Envelopes I assembled the PowerPoint jpgs and Audacity *.wav file in Windows MovieMaker. I added a few titles, transitions and video effects. I exported the movie to my computer or you can export it directly to YouTube.
Book Trailers are easy to make for both teacher librarians and students. Try making 1 or 2 a month and put together a YouTube playlist and have the book trailers loop on a projector during the school day. More ideas at: https://sites.google.com/a/lshigh.org/gotbooks/book-trailers
Thanks to all my teacher librarian friends who submitted ideas for my ISTE11 poster session – it went great and everyone was impressed with all of YOUR ideas. First of all I had an excellent location (thanks ISTE) right across from the Blogger’s Cafe. For two hours straight I shared your fabulous ideas. I handed out over 175 newsletters with your ideas and made QR codes for the “green” folks who just wanted access to the website at https://sites.google.com/a/lshigh.org/gotbooks/
Download the PDF handout here and view the presentation used to share your fabulous ideas. Thanks Again!!!
Last week I attended a two-day Primary Source workshop from the Library of Congress sponsored by NCCE. During the course of the workshop we looked through all the fabulous resources gathered by the Library of Congress. There is so much information its a bit overwhelming at first – but once you dive into it you begin to understand the search features.
On the main LOC website you will see the main collections divided into 9 sections. I especially found the Prints & Photographs, American Memory, Manuscripts and Veteran’s History sections to be helpful. Make sure you check out the Teacher’s section because the LOC has already curated their collections into Primary Source sets and Themed Resources.
We use the analysis worksheets to help us review the primary sources – there is also a helpful Teacher’s Guide to assist you in using Primary Sources.
Each workshop attendee create a lesson plan using Primary Sources. The focus of my lesson was using primary source photographs as a discussion around the theme of childhood poverty. Our school’s theme next year is childhood poverty and this summer every student is choosing to read The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls or The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore. My lesson is to look at primary source photographs and compare them to the characters in the novels and then create a VoiceThread narrative project emphasizing how economic, cultural and geographic condition factor into poverty.
Click here to download the Childhood Poverty Lesson plan
|Activity Name||Childhood Poverty|
|Big Understanding: Poverty affects both children and adults|
|Standards (State or National)||Oregon Grade 9 – Social Studies 3.6.1
Analyze and evaluate the impact of economic, cultural or environmental factors that result in changes to population of cities, countries, or regions.
Oregon Grade 9 – Language Arts 2.5
Listen to and Read Informational and Narrative Text: Skill To Support the Standard: (For the purpose of noting key skills that support classroom instruction of the standards) Understand and draw upon a variety of comprehension strategies as needed–re-reading, self-correcting, summarizing, class and group discussions, generating and responding to essential questions, making predictions, and comparing information from several sources.
Oregon Grade 9 – Technology 3.A
Students select and apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, validate, and use information.
|Time Required||3-5 class periods|
|Objectives||Students will analyze primary documents to identify signs of childhood poverty.
Students will propose scenarios of how the child in the images was affected by poverty in terms of economic, culture or geography.
Students will reflect how their life would have been different if they had been affected by extreme poverty.
|Preparation||Background lesson: Students have chosen to read one of the novels: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls or The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore for their summer reading selection.
Copy analyzing photographs and print worksheet
Copy VoiceThread graphic organizer
Set up VoiceThread accounts.
Gathering microphones for recording
|Procedure||Engage prior knowledge: Discuss themes from novels. What struck you about the experiences of the characters? How did poverty affect their lives?
Analyzing Prints from Library of Congress
Access the When They Were Young collection of prints from the Library of Congress. Locate images that show children in poverty. http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/young/young-home.html
Use the Analyzing photographs worksheet to make observations, reflections and questions about the images.
Describe what you see.
What do you notice first about the children?
What is the physical setting? What, if any, words do you see?
What other details can you see?
Why do you think this image was made?
What’s happening in the image?
How does this represent poverty? How do you know?
When do you think it was made? Who do you think was the audience for this image?
What can you learn from examining this image?
What’s missing from this image? If someone made this today, what would be different? What would be the same?
What do you wonder about… who? what? when? where? why? how?
Compare the primary source images to the images you created in your mind to the novel you read for Summer Reading: The Glass Castle or The Other Wes Moore.
Discuss: How are they the same? How are they different?
In pairs, students will choose an image related to poverty from the Library of Congress website to save.
Students will write up a scenario of how the child in the image was affected by poverty in terms of economic, culture or geography. Each pair of students will record a short 1 minute story about their chosen primary source using Audacity.
Students will upload their image and audio recording into one slide of the class VoiceThread project.
Classmates will be required to visit one slide of the class VoiceThread project and make a comment on the story by either asking a question about their story or adding their own comment. Students could also add comments about the novels they read and relate it to the scenarios.
Hint: Use the following sentence starters to shape your thoughts and comments while viewing or participating in the VoiceThread presentations. Comments based on these kinds of statements make VoiceThread project interactive and engaging.
|Assessment/Reflection||Use graphic organizer to respond to the class VoiceThread project.
The organizer includes questions such as:
A few Portland area educators one evening were discussing on Twitter that we should get together face-to-face and meet each other and share ideas .. and bring a friend. Next thing you know we start brainstorming ideas for an unconference workshop day. What is an unconference? An unconference is a day where teachers / admins/ tech coordinators / Principals / IT folks self-organize their own day of professional development.
edcampPDX was born out of that discussion. Our first annual edcampPDX will be held at La Salle Catholic College Preparatory on Thursday, August 18th from 8:30-3pm. Information can be found at: http://edcamppdx.wikispaces.com/
The edcamp format expects everyone to come ready to learn and share. Sessions are suggested by participants and lead by participants. Its good old fashion do-it-yourself professional development. You learn what you want to learn.
I’m hoping some folks will lead discussions about:
HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE! http://edcamppdx.wikispaces.com/
Hello Librarians and Tech-loving teachers. I would love to include your ideas and examples during my poster session at ISTE 2011. Please fill out this form with your ideas for how you use technology to promote reading and YA literature. I will combine all of our ideas and put them into a brochure that I will hand out during my poster session. This is crowd-sourcing at its best! THANK YOU!!!
Google is hosting a Google Teacher Academy on July 28 in Seattle, Washington – yeah for NW Educators!!! Attending GTA has been one of the best professional development groups I have ever been involved in. Google Certified Teachers are passionate about networked learning, are willing to share ideas and are a heck of a lot of fun!
Applications are now being accepted for the Google Teacher Academy to be held on July 28 in Seattle, Washington. 50 applicants will be selected. To apply you will need to complete the form found here and submit an original 60 second video about “motivation and learning” or “classroom innovation.” Applications are due June 16th. Good luck!
Our high school is hosting an open mic poetry day in the Library on Friday, April 29th 8-2:30pm PDT. We would love to have various classrooms Skype in for 5-10 minutes and have students (ages 10+) read a poem – original or published. Contact me to get on the schedule — still plenty of open slots! colette [dot] cassinelli [at] gmail [dot] com
This is our culiminating activity for National Poetry Month http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/41
Have you seen Skype in Education? http://education.skype.com/projects/505
I have always been a fan of Joyce Valenza’s new tool workshop wiki. She does a great job of organizing resources in one place that I often send students to her site to find sites for “copy friendly” images and audio or spend some time browsing through her eBook pathfinder.
Today on Twitter, I saw an announcement that she is moving all of the information on her new tool workshop wiki to LibGuides http://sdst.libguides.com/newtools. The new tool LibGuide looks great – my only suggestion is to have the tabs in alphabetical order – or group by theme somehow.
I have been previewing LibGuides this past month and trying to determine what additional values I would receive if I went with this site compared to the cost of the yearly service. Our school currently does not have an effective repository of information literacy and technology resources for students or staff – except our old Library website – which I have been asked to either remove or integrate with our new school website.
My tech director and I have discussed several times about creating a school tech resources guide either through Moodle or Google Sites. So, my dilemma now is to rely on others who do a wonderful job of cataloging resources on the web or do I create my own pathfinder.
For now I am happy to use the resources of a lot of smart people like Joyce or Richard Byrne … but I’m kinda itching to do my own … stay tuned!
Ship Breaker By Paolo Bacigalupi
Published by: Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2010
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
The Literature Circle unit is geared towards eighth grade students who are reading Ship Breaker (2010) by Paolo Bacigalupi. This dystopian novel takes place in the future when global warming and climatic disasters have altered the physical landscape on earth. Communities have forever been altered. This is a story of a young boy who dreams of a better life and whose adventures with a young girl might change his life forever.
The goal of the three literature circle meetings is to set the stage for reading the novel, analyze the characters and their motives, predict outcomes of the ending, and analyze themes and literary devices.
Book Genre: Dystopian novels often shows a futuristic society that has degraded into a repressive and controlled state. Dystopian literature usually has underlying cautionary tones, warning society that if we continue to live how we do, this will be the consequence. This is true in the novel, Ship Breaker. The story takes place in a post-oil future when climate change has altered the earth and major cities are underwater. Large conglomerate companies are fighting for control of recycled resources. Massive iron ships are left to rust away on the shores while poor, uneducated communities break them apart and sell the materials to the companies. Global warming has caused continuous hurricanes that further rip apart and destroy the cites. Communities have abandoned what used to be major cities and relocated further inland.
Ship Breaker is about a poor boy, Nailer Lopez, who makes his living crawling through abandoned ducts of rusty old ships pulling copper wire for his crew. He dreams of what life would be like on the fast, updated clipper ships he sees far off in the horizon. Luck comes his way when he and a friend find a broken clipper ship after a Category 6 hurricane. While looking through the wreckage, they discover a young girl, barely alive. The two friends rescue the girl who promises that her wealthy shipping magnate family will reward them richly. Unfortunately, Nailer’s drunken father discovers the wreckage first, captures the girl, and plans to salvage the material to make some quick money. Nailer and company escape to the port of Orleans in search of allies of the girl’s father. Along the way they learn how to survive on their own, who to trust and the true meaning of family.
Read Chapters 1- 13 (pages 1-164). Assign roles for next literature circle:
This is the point in the novel when Nailer’s drunken father finds the wreckage and holds his friend, Prim, hostage. Nailer is sick with a fever and things are looking very bad for all of them. Nailer convinces his father that the girl, Nita, is more valuable alive than dead. Nailer falls sick but is nursed back to health by Prim. Nailer and his friends are trying to make plans to escape but first they must deal with his father’s hoodlum friends and a strange half-man half-dog creature named Tool.
Read Chapters 14- 25 (pages 165-326). Assign roles for final literature circle:
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