Monday, July 30, 2012

We Got It! iPad Apps That Support Literacy Within The Library & Throughout The School

This morning I presented during SimpleK12's "A Day of Learning: iPads".  All throughout the day SimpleK12 has gathered together presentations about using iPads in education.

I presented about using iPad apps to support literacy.  As I prepared for the webinar, I had so much fun really digging into all of the new apps that are available.  I am constantly reading about, using, and bookmarking new apps but over the last week I gave myself the chance to really get into these apps and see what they have to offer our young people.

With so many apps, I organized them into different groups that fit the literacy strand.  I love how APPitic has their website organized so I looked at what groups they put their literacy apps into and went from there.
I uploaded my presentation iPad Apps To Support Literacy Within the Library and Throughout the School into SlideSnack so everyone can see the wonderful apps that I spoke about.
During my presentation I also asked the participants to get involved in creating a collaborative Google Doc of their favorite apps to use to support literacy.  It would be great if we could all add even just a few of our favorite apps....just think what a valuable resource this would be.

Over the summer, I have had time to find new apps with my little one, Hagan.  I have learned about so many during conferences and workshops that I have attended.  I cannot wait to share these with my students, teachers and parents this fall.

And just to give you a little glimpse at a couple, I want to share my "Top 5 Summer Apps".  I fell in love with the little owl in Poetry Creator first and then when I saw how great it will be for the students I was hooked.  It is an app that mimics the "fridge magnet" concept but offers so much more including a change for the students to share their works in a variety of way.
My students will love Instant Poetry, as it lets them move words around on top of images to create poetry of their own.  

One of the apps that I am most excited about is one that my friend Lisa Thumann showed in one of her presentations at BLC in Boston two weeks ago.  

The Flat Stanley app is amazing!  As the app states, "Make Stanley or Stella, explore new places, take fun photos, and choose where you will go!"  I love how you can mark on a map where your Flat person will travel and how your own photographs can be used.  It is also fun to see all of the Flat Stanley's that are traveling around the world and who has them.  This will be such a terrific addition to the Flat Stanley unit that they do in 3rd grade at Van Meter.  
I love finding new book apps and there are more and more each week.  This summer there are two that I just adore.  The first one is Pete the Cat: School Jam from HarperCollins Publishing.
Remember how wonderful it was when Eric Litwin and James Dean brought Pete the Cat books to the library and to our little people...
and now all of that fun is found in the app too!  Hagan loved "rocking out" to the music and song with Pete and his friends.  I know this will bring lots of laughs and energy to the library.  
HarperCollins Children's also has a little feature for Pete the Cat right now.  You can download a song, story and lots of activities to enrich these books even more.  
The last apps that I would like to share are those from NosyCrow.  My friend Kathy Cassidy who is a first grade teacher in Canada told me about NosyCrow and how her students love The Three Little Pigs and Cinderella apps.  NosyCrow also has several apps about Bizzy Bear, which the little ones will love too.  You can also find NosyCrow on Twitter at @NosyCrow. 
As you can see, there are exciting additions and changes to the world of apps each day.  

By using apps with our young people, we are connecting them to learning, creating, and discovering in a new, innovative, and exciting way.  

We are giving them tools that make learning interactive and fun.  Apps bring individualization to our students and gives them choices.  

One more reason I love being a teacher and librarian.  And one more way they can be heard.  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Zoo Visits The Van Meter Public Library and Our Mackin VIA!

This week we invited the Blank Park Zoo to visit the Van Meter Public Library.  Our friend Mallory brought five animals to show over 60 little people at Van Meter.  
 She had a lot of interesting and fun facts about turtles....
 baby alligators....
 tarantulas, ferrets, and cockroaches.
The kids had a wonderful time learning new things about these animals and even had a chance to touch them.
And remember there are 10 new eBooks in Van Meter's Mackin VIA about the zoo and all of the animals that we saw.  
 Hagan had fun reading all about ferrets and how to take care of them.
He also listened to Max Goes To The Zoo.
Remember to keep on reading through July and August.

You can read for the Summer Reading Program at the Van Meter Public Library and for the eBook Summer Reading Program at our school.

And as always....please let me know if there is something you would LOVE to read.  I will get it for our library in the fall.