Sunday, April 13, 2014

Creating, Sharing, and Saving Poetry Using Fun Websites and SoundCloud During Poetry Month....and All Throughout The Year!

With this month being National Poetry Month, we are doing all kind of wonderful activities in the library.  
We are using so many awesome websites to create different types of poetry.  They can be found on the Poetry. Poetry. Poetry. Symbaloo that I created.  

Whenever I find a new one that I think the kids would use to create poetry themselves.....or listen and read poetry.....I add it to this Symbaloo.  You can read more it at this post

Last week we talked about all of the different places they can go to create poetry.  They can create magnet poems, shape poems, Haiku's, name poems, and many more.  They love it when I show them all they can do from these websites....It is a lot of fun for them to be creative and have fun with words. 
That is awesome but then what.....They create a poem on one of the online websites and then their poem is gone forever.  So a few years ago, I thought about using SoundCloud, an online tool and app that records, stores, and gives you the chance to share with others.  

By using the digital tool SoundCloud they will be able to capture their creativity and voice during Poetry Month.
                         
So with all of these poems they are creating.....

                            
we have now saved them forever with SoundCloud.  
 
It is really easy for any age to use.....They just take my iPhone or iPad, find the SoundCloud app, and record their poem by reading it from the computer they are creating with.

If they make a mistake and want to record it again, it is easy to delete and start over.
Once they have recorded their poem, I teach them how to give it a title and tag it.  
                           
Within SoundCloud online, I can then add their poems to the "Poetry Month 2014" playlist that I started.  
It is easy to share the playlists or embed them like I have done above.  

They loved this day and can't wait to continue to create poetry all through the month and throughout the year.

Hope your students create and share their wonderful poetry too.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Thank You Texas.....What A Wonderful Time I Had At The Texas Library Association Conference!

This week I had the honor of attending the Texas Library Association Conference in San Antonio.

I have fallen in love with this beautiful state and the amazing teacher librarians and educators, who have become my dear friends and colleagues.  When I was asked to come be part of TLA, I was just so excited.  I love sharing my story and to do this in Texas was the best.
My first presentation was Connected Libraries with my friend and teaching partner, Andy Plemmons
We had a great time together....What fun to share our story with so many.  
I also shared my "Be The Change" presentation.  I am very passionate about sharing the voices of our students, teachers, and myself.  This is one that I always love bringing to any conference.  
                 
One more thing I did while at TLA was share my MackinVIA journey and lots of creative and collaborative ways to use these resources.  
It was great fun presenting in the Mackin booth and seeing all of you.  I love being to able to talk and work together on something after a presentation.....Thank you.
And of course....hanging with my awesome friends for a few days to recharge, reflect, and collaborate with one another was great too. 

There is so much to bring back to my library, teachers, and students.  Thank you for bringing me that Texas.....You are just all the best!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I Had One Of Those Days That I Just Want To Capture Their Passion For Learning In A Bottle Forever

There are always those moments in a teachers day that you wish you could just bottle up and experience over and over again.  Those moments that you feel their passion for learning, for wanting to learn. Those moments where the students are so excited to just "get it" and understand a new concept or idea. 

Those moments that they teach us something about ourselves as teachers and learners.  

Today was one of those days for me.  

I introduced the Safety PBL project to our first graders by sharing the topic and showing them the Safety. Safety. Safety. Smore that I created to be used while researching, learning, and creating during this project.....or anytime.  

I wrote about pulling this together on my blog a few days ago....you can read about it here

As we walked through the Smore, we also visited the shelves in the library where these topics are contained and the online resources and websites about Safety.  

We then had a conversation about keywords or words that help us with our research.  They immediately made the connection and started using their past knowledge to build on what they already knew about safety.  Especially as we went to the search box on each site and thought of all the different keywords we could look under.  It was like a game to them....shouting out the words, waiting to see what popped up, and stating proudly....

"We are great researchers!  Just like solving a mystery when you don't know if something will be there or not."  
They were so excited to see eBooks and databases in MackinVIA, their go-to place online.  They love logging into their MackinVIA Backpack and were happy they would be adding to it during their safety research.  

As you can see from the note at the top,  they came up with lots of ways and topics to research.  

At the very end of class, I had them all close their eyes and think about that "driving question" they wanted to know more than anything else.  It made me smile to hear them whisper those questions in my ear.....like they were holding a huge secret within them that only they would answer.  

We dug deep.....We had fun.....and they took and felt the excitement that true researching brings to you. 

I love this so much because one of my main goals for the children is to embrace, enjoy and love learning in any way.....Research being one of the best!   If we can hook them when they are 5 and 6 years old, just think what that will bring to their lives and those around them.  

We need to encourage, foster, and help them develop passion for learning, for sharing, being creative, and relationships they have with these experiences.  

And when we have moments like I had today......Take it all in, capture it, and bottle it up.  It is the sweetest thing there is about being a teacher.  We get to help grow creators, learners, and people.  How lucky are we.