Saturday, 29 September 2012

Edmodo in the School Library

During a recent Professional Development day, our staff was introduced to Edmodo. Edmodo is a safe and easy social learning network for teachers, students, and parents. With Edmodo you can connect and collaborate while sharing ideas and content. You can also access homework, grades and important school notices. 

At this point, myself and my teacher-librarian partner have decided to start using Edmodo in the school library. We have set-up a student group, a parent group, and a teacher group. Our student group will be updated on a regular basis with library happenings. There is also an area where students can complete a book wish list. Our parent group will be where parents can go to find out more information on  becoming a parent volunteer. Finally, our teacher group is all about collaboration. 

Since the students enjoy being members of different groups we hope that once we have more student members we can create a book review group. What groups have your created so far for your students to join? 

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Halloween Book Display

Today I created a spooky display around Halloween. I have displayed a selection of scary fiction and non-fiction books. I used creepy blood fonts and props to make the display stand out. The cobwebs, skull heads, and do not enter banner can all be found at Dollarama. 

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Fall Bulletin Board Display

One of the most creative things I get to go as a teacher-librarian is create bulletin boards each month based on different themes or seasons. I absolutely love preparing something new to put up! Since Fall is finally here, I wanted to create a bulletin board with warm autumn colours and falling leaves. I found this brilliant bright idea from Bess Gonglewski, and adopted it to the bulletin board outside the library. I hope that the colours and design draw more readers into the library. 

What does your bulletin board look like? 

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Online Library/Teacher Collaboration Form with Google Docs

The role of teacher-librarians are to collaborate with teachers to assist with accessing resources, teach research skills and to promote a love of reading. Teacher-librarians are also to work with teachers to plan, teach and assess learning. As teacher-librarians and teachers work together, they can develop a new understanding of how effective collaboration is in the school. As 21st century schools are focusing on learning collaboratively in order to build learning partnerships, I decided to create an library/teacher collaboration form to encourage teachers to work with the teacher-librarian to plan, teach, and assess learning. 

Technology in learning is also another focus for 21st century schools. To embrace in new technologies I thought it would be great to integrate the collaboration and technology components and create an online collaboration form using Google Docs.
Google Docs is a free online word processer that allows you to create documents, presentations, spreadsheets, forms and more. Whatever you create can then be shared online to collaborate with others. To make my online collaboration form I first created a spreadsheet document with all of the components that I wanted my teachers to fill in. Once the spreadsheet was complete I was able to save and share the document online. When you share your document you are able to fill in the form, edit your questions, change the template, and email it directly to whoever you'd like to fill it in. Once someone fills in your form all of the data collected will be available to view as a spreadsheet within your Google Docs account. You can also enable email notifications to receive instant emails as soon as someone fills in your online form. Your forms can also be added to your blog to collect information from your visitors. Below you will see my embedded library/teacher collaboration form. 

Conte, J. (n.d.). Collaborative Teaching Inquiry and the School Learning Commons. Retrieved from

Ontario School Library Association with the support of the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat of the Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Education. (2010). Together for Learning: school libraries and the emergence of the learning commons a    vision for the 21st century.  Ontario, Canada: O.S.L.A.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Virtual Literature Circles

After talking to some colleagues about integrating technology into their reading program, I decided to explore blogs, wikis and literature circles. First I explored the idea of using Weebly; however, I didn't like the idea that students could make up fake names and emails to comment on our blog. I then explored PBworks which my school has used in the past. PBworks is a free easy to use wikispace. 

After exploring PBworks, I finally decided to create a sample Virtual Literature Circles wiki to learn more about how I could collaborate with classroom teachers and implement them into classrooms' reading program. To help me create my sample wiki, I wiki hopped and read through the book called Teaching with Wikis, Blogs, Podcasts & More: Dozens of Easy Ideas for Using Technology to Get Kids Excited About Learning by Kathleen Fitzgibbon and the book Literature Circles The Way to Go and How to Get There by Teacher Created Resources. Click on the screenshot to visit my sample Virtual Literature Circles wiki.

I feel that this is a great Web 2.0 tool to utilize in the classroom. I look forward to introducing this tool to the teachers at my school. I would love to hear about how you are using a wiki in your classroom. 

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Two Truths and a Lie Revised

I have been looking for a great way to introduce myself to my students at my new school. I thought that using an icebreaker activity would be a fun way to help my students get acquainted with me.  A classic ice-breaker activity is Two Truths and a Lie. 
Two Truths and a Lie is the a popular icebreaker game, in which someone shares two truths about themselves and a lie to the group. The group then tries to guess which one is a lie. 

Since I enjoy this game I decided that I will use it on the first day of library visits with my classes. Instead of playing the classic version, I created an interesting variation to the game using Popplet (Thanks to my partner teacher-librarian for introducing this tool to me). I like the idea of using a variation to the game since I don't want to use the same old icebreaker as every other teacher. 

A Popplet "is a big pinboard that you can put popples onto". In other words, a Popplet is a mind mapping application that allows you to collect documents, pictures, videos, and text in an organized manner. Here is the Popplet that I created to share with my middle school students:

As you can see, my Popplet is full of truths about me. However, one is a lie. When my library classes come visit me for orientation, I will show them my Popplet to introduce myself to them. I will then have the class guess which one isn't true. The student who guesses correct will win a small prize. 

Can you guess my lie? 

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Library Decor with Social Networking

This week has been all about moving into my new library. I have spent many days on Twitter and Pinterest this summer and love how many people are sharing ideas on library decorating. I am very proud of how all of the ideas look in the library. The library is officially ready for the first day of school!

Back to School Book Display 

I found this great idea on Pinterest which then lead me over to Carolyn's blog. She created a book display that actually "talks" to her students. I loved the idea and decided to use the speech bubbles with back to school related books as part of my display. To make the signs I just downloaded the already created PDF from Carolyn, cut them out and glued them onto construction paper, laminated them, attached them to a bookmark, and them simply tucked them into the books. I decided to just add one of my own speech bubbles, a QR code of course! 

Library Scavenger Hunt Contest

"Ready for kids to come in to enter for the chance for First Check-out!! #babymouse@jenniholm @mattholm #lovemyjob!". This tweet caught my attention and I am glad it did. I love their contest display and think that the kids would love it to. Since my library is having a scavenger hunt contest I decided to create a similar display. For those of you that know me you know I didn't wrap that box. Isn't my husband a great wrapper?

Library Bulletin Board

I love love love my Pac-Man bulletin board display! I have gotten so much great feedback from my colleagues too! Click HERE to see the Pinterest picture that inspired me. 

Dewey Decimal System Signs 

And now, last but not least, an idea of my own. I used Microsoft word to create these signs and used images from Flickr under a Creative Commons licenses.