Here it is! The da VInci 3Dprinter that just arrived as a part of the GAIT Innovation grant! To get this project off the ground , the students will be encouraged to design something that would have been been found in a book they recently read. They will use a free shared TinkerCad Account to design their creations. See the great YouTube tutorial below and wish us luck!
I am honored to be the recipient of the GAIT Technology Innovation Mini Grant! My project is:
Building K"nexions: a Building and Design Collaboration project between the Teacher-Librarian and the Discovery (gifted) teacher. The students will create models using K'Nex and then conceptualize their product and recreate it on 3D Auto-cad design software, printing it on a 3D printer, evaluating, modifying, re-designing, re-reprinting etc until the student is satisfied with the final product. This project is intended to demonstrate the iterative nature of design and how we must evaluate our work on a continuous basis and modify accordingly. Students should be reminded to not say "I'm done" but rather, to reflect deeply on their work to improve it.
My new colleague Elizabeth Rich, our Discovery teacher has a ton of energy! I am thankful to her for covering this old bookcase that I rescued from the hall last year with the red contact paper she instructed me to buy. She covered the shelves and also created the text banner and top portion of the box for the finishing touch! We recommend you use red paint for your bookshelves since this stuff does not stick very well but I am THRILLED with it! The Readbox currently houses the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl books and serves as a happy and inviting display. Thanks very much for your help, Ms. Rich!
Applying this quote: "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can" Arthur Ashe, Ms Dennis, our awesome art teacher set out to create a screencast (video) illustrating all the steps students would have to follow in order to complete the this seemingly complex task. We used the document camera to shoot the images of each step and Photostory, a free program found on Windows computers, to put all the pieces together. This was a first attempt at this type of project for Ms Dennis and I think it was a great learning experience! Great job Ms Dennis! Let's spread the word about rewindable learning!
The other day, Lee Green @InstTechGuy and Cat Flippen @CatFlippen posted a message on the G+ GEG (Google Educators Group) about the "What is Computer Science?" event being hosted by the Black Googlers Network (BGN) at the Google Atlanta Office. I was lucky enough to snag a spot! It was so great!! Parents and educators were treated to inside information about various technology careers within Google along with tips on ways to help students become informed and prepared for a computing career in general. Students were given design challenges by Google staff to expose them to solving complex problems, creating new things, and understanding how the user experience and ultimately usability is influenced by the choices a product designer makes. During lunch, the adults had to figure out how to operate the things that were created by the students who used spare parts and recycled materials. The kids did an awesome job and learned a lot!
The big takeaway message to educators was given by one of the guys on the Google panel (Mr Marshall): "Don't give up on the knuckle heads! Don't write off any students, ever!" And, as a reminder to us all, we must remember that the key to success is PERSEVERANCE--- One special Googler, Nancy Douyon, (pictured on the right) reported multiple severe social factors putting the odds against her success but she found a way to survive, thrive, succeed, and exceed all expectations. Her accomplishments are too numerous to name but they are extreme and extensive. While she is intentional in her service to young women of color, she also serves as a role model to ALL girls and young women everywhere by showing what it looks like to be a strong, determined woman!! For students: http://www.google.com/edu/programs/index.html#!students
FUN at Google!!!
This was our second meetup! EdTech Women Atlanta attracts the most fascinating women in the field of educational technology! This is an awesome meet up and the fun part was seeing some new faces and make new friends! This is my new friend Lesley McClendon. She is a very smart person and I have already learned a lot from her! @lesleymcclendon
DEN GURU, Dr. Cindy Moss came to the Forsyth County School District in Cumming Ga today to lead us at the GA STEM Leadership Summit. Cindy did not lose my attention one time! Her pacing, along with the interesting information she shared made her presentation simply irresistible! I never knew that hearing about statistics, salaries, school programs, and corporate partnerships could keep me taking notes! I rarely write anything down but today I found myself hanging onto her every word. I am eager to share what I learned with my colleagues and also with the school community at large. It was also a delight to see Kelly Hines present Discovery Board Builder with a twist for anyone who was already familiar with it. Kelly has an awesome presentation demeanor; I love listening to pretty much anything she has to say! Thank you to Brian Nido of Discovery Education for letting me know about this very timely PD opportunity a few minutes after meeting me in Nashville at DENSI 2014. Discovery Education is the resource that just keeps on giving!
5th grade German born Ethiopian student shared how she learned English a few years ago. She has very insightful reflections that would make a great NPR story or book chapter.
Inspired by @stroudlibrary and other guests on March TLNewsNIght, 5th graders start book review video project toay: "Have You Read this?"
Kids Learn about Eloise Greenfield for Poetry month and listen to some of her poems from "Hip Hop Speaks to Children"
It's been fantastic to see how excited the kids have gotten over making rainbow loom bracelets for the Banding Together Project initiated by Shannon Miller. #Unbelievable
Career day was awesome! The bomb squad and good citizen dog were the highlights!
I was surprised to find out that my very "serious" 5th grader is writing fan fiction romance. She is loving the peer collaboration on the Ms Literati writing website for girls.
It's all in my head! Yep, it's all in my head! I write the most insightful and thought provoking blog posts in my head. I do it in the car, I do it in the shower and I do it on a walk. My thoughts never make it from my head to a blog post!! If we do not share our thoughts, it's possible that our peers might think we don't have any thoughts! I have finally come up with a solution to my problem. Instead of writing blog posts, I will just write headlines and people can simply imagine what the blog post might have said. Or, maybe if I write the headline, I can go back later and write the post, but I doubt it. This is because I don't think I can capture the depth and complexity of my thoughts once they are gone. My thoughts flee and I don't have a way of catching them fast enough but I won't give up trying!
For the January Episode of TL NEWS NIGHT (TL=Teacher Librarian), members of the Georgia Library Media Association joined us to talk about the status of Georgia school libraries. I was honored to be interviewed by School Library Journal and glad to provide my perspective! Below is a snippet of the article; to see the whole thing click here.
I find myself re-tracing part of my path to becoming a Teacher-Librarian as I receive the honor of being selected as the DCSD 2014 LMOSTY. I would like to tell the story of the person who I think informed my practice the most...
When I decided to become a T-L I stopped teaching full time in order to have time to visit lots of different school libraries. Like members of any other profession, T-L’s have a variety of styles and ways of carrying out their library programs. Sadly, I was not able to use my imagination to help me consider what my future library program might look like because I had very little interaction with the T-L’s in four of the five schools I taught in and had very limited experience with any school librarians when I was growing up.
Knowing that I would need help creating a vision, I set out to try and find a T-L who had a style and practice that would resonate with me; I was looking for a role model. Somebody, and I wish I could remember who, gave me the name “Stephanie Gwinn” and told me she was “the best T-L in the Atlanta Public School System.” Following that lead, I contacted this amazing woman who worked solo at Parkisde Elementary, in the historic grant park area of Atlanta.
It’s hard to put into words, but after spending just a short time observing Stephanie, I was able to picture myself carrying out a library program using her proactive,caring, and professional practices. I’d like to share some of my observations of Stephanie Gwinn...I hope she will forgive me if I misinterpreted any of her ideas or intentions.
Stephanie understood the power of creating a busy and productive teaching schedule. I learned that if I was to get a job in a school where I was not put on a fixed schedule, I would work to fill my schedule with classes to teach and take the opportunity to provide service to the teachers and students without being asked or told to do it! I decided to not wait for people to “sign up” because they might not, sign up, and an empty schedule book gives the impression that the T-L has “nothing to do” and with that perception, the T-L might be given a myriad of unrelated tasks and duties by the administration.
Being a former teacher, Stephanie understood that teachers can get very busy and involved in their classrooms and forget to come to the library at their previously scheduled time. When this would happen, Stephanie would call them in their rooms to remind them to come. Other T-L’s might have said “Oh it's good they're not coming because I can get my paperwork done” but Stephanie never thought that way even though she had mounds of paperwork on her desk waiting for her attention, and tons of books stacked up in need of repair. I learned how valuable the simple reminder is. I do not have a phone system, but if a class does not arrive within five minutes of the expected time, I go to the room and remind the teacher, who is always very grateful. It’s wonderful to be able to carry out my teaching plan and to provide students with the instruction that they deserve.
Stephanie knew the value and importance of being a Teacher in the library. As a former classroom teacher, she effectively taught curriculum related lessons using print materials and technology. She also knew the value of rituals and procedures so that the students always knew what to expect. I learned that it can be beneficial to develop rituals and procedures, even though I am no longer a classroom teacher. The library is indeed a classroom and classroom management skills are essential. What helps my library move smoothly is sitting down one at a time, singing our ritual song with hand gestures (gets the kids ready for the lesson, they know it’s time to focus), receiving shelf markers in the order they are sitting in when the lesson is over, and lining up to check out in the same direction each time. That’s it, those are the few rituals and procedures I have in place but things move along so nicely because the students always know what to do.
Now I want to tell you a few things I admire about Stephanie:
Stephanie was special T-L because she acquired a lot of games and made sure the students who were in the building early in the morning before school could play chess, checkers, Connect-Four, and other types of games to keep their active minds occupied.
Stephanie was a role model for environmental conservation. Recycling was a priority for her and she and the students created a recycling program in the library. I would sometimes see her on TV for Earth Day projects she was working on with her students outside! She did much more than I can describe or explain with her conservation programs.
Stephanie was Tech Savvy and had all her high quality websites carefully curated by curriculum skill and displayed on the I -keep-BookMarks site as the library home page. Her district was not lucky enough to have Destiny at that time. At the time, when technology was a pretty new concept, I considered Stephanie cutting- edge and forward thinking.
There is so much more that I have written in my draft but this post is already very long so I will try to come to a close:
Stephanie asked me to me take care of her library for a month when she was on a planned absence and she assured me that I could do anything I wanted and she would not worry! I worked hard to develop information literacy skills based lessons and loved helping out! Thank you for this great opportunity to hone my skills and try to learn to fly in a safe place! I loved every minute of my work at Parkside.
Stephanie was lucky to have a principal who was smart and kind. Best of all, he really respected the role of the T-L because of the excellent service she provided to his school over the years. He treated me, the sub, with same high level as respect as he treated her with. Dr. Phillip Luck, thank you for the wonderful experience, you were an awesome person to work with and congratulations on your promotion!!
Stephanie, as I receive this honor from DCSD, please know that I consider it OURS not MINE, and thank you so much for all that you have given me!
As a side-note, I want to mention that I was lucky to spend time with many talented T-L’s and if any of you are reading this post, please know I am thinking of you right now and appreciating all of the time you gave me.