Sunday, November 29, 2015

Join Us For The Annual TLChat Virtual Cafe Smackdown On December 7th!

In just one week on Monday, December 7 at 8:00pm EST we will be coming together for the annual Open Mic Night EdTech Smackdown for #TLChat Virtual Cafe!

We hope you join Joyce Valenza and myself, along with our hostess Tiffany Whitehead, for a hour packed full of awesome karaoke-style sharing.
This is one of my favorite TL Virtual Cafe episodes of the year as we all become stars and present our favorite edtech finds, integration tips and shares, marketing opportunities and whatever else we want to share with the teacher librarian and educational world.  

To share something wonderful, please add your slides to our collaborative Google Slide presentation here
Please make sure you add wonderful images, the website link, your name and any tips, information and integration highlights you want to share.  I created this one for all of the wonderful books and songs from Cantata Learning....You can use it as an example.

Be ready on December 7 to grab the mic and share these during our virtual cafe.  And is okay to join us and watch on this night too.

You will join us at this link at 8:00pm EST and to learn more about TLChat Virtual Cafe please visit our wiki.

We cannot wait to see and hear what all of you have to share!  It is going to be a great hour of fun.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Winter Is Here.....Find Lots To Do With Your Kids On The Winter Symbaloo & Winter Around The World Project!

Winter is here....With snow on the ground in a lot of places and the holidays upon us, we are all looking for winter activities, resources and places to engage our young people in learning throughout the season and all year long.

I have created a Winter Symbaloo that contains lots of different places to find wonderful winter resources and activities.  You can find it here.

One of my favorite things on this Symbaloo is the Winter Around the World project that is children, librarians, teachers and families are participating in all over the world.
In our Winter Around the World Tackk, you can find everything you will need for this project including the Cantata Learning eBook Winter...The Coldest Season of All to kick off the inspiration for this project and lots of amazing learning, creating and collaborating.
With all Symbaloo webmixes you can not only use this free social bookmarking tool, you can also Stop Updates and take the webmix as your own, making changes and adding your own awesome winter resources too.
And search for additional Winter Webmixes in the right hand corner of the drop down menu.  I always find great treasures here.

Over the next few days I will adding more winter resources to the Winter Symbaloo. I hope you and your students check it out....and please join us for the Winter Around the World Project too. 

Hagan Gives The New "Voice Typing" Feature In Google Docs Two Thumbs Up!

Yesterday as Hagan was working on something in a Google Doc, I showed him a new feature that I just knew he would love.  

It is called Voice Typing and it is just what it says it is....You can type in documents with your voice. 
 This can be found under the Tools tab.  You just click on Voice Typing and it brings up...
the icon that asks you to Click to speak.  
When you click on it and start speaking the microphone icon will turn red and the typing will begin on your Google Doc.  You will be able to watch it and check for any mistakes.  This is really helpful to do as you go. 
As you are speaking, it will give you little hints to get started such as this one above.  It reminded Hagan that he could say "Period" and "New Line" to add punctuation with his voice too.
There is also this handy Doc Editors Help that will will give you lots of information to use the Type With Your Voice feature.

You can find it here.
The part about using punctuation with voice typing was especially helpful to Hagan.  

This is a powerful feature that Google has added to Google Docs.  It will be helpful not only to our students but also to teachers, librarians, and professionals as we keep up with the writing that we do everyday.  

Monday, November 23, 2015

Look At The Weather In Iowa With These Ms. Walker's 2nd Graders & Their Song "We Win In Winter"

This afternoon my friend Lynn Kleinmeyer who is the teacher librarian at Titan Hill Intermediate in Council Bluffs, Iowa sent me a very special message on Twitter.

She has been working on a winter song with the 2nd graders in Nancy Walker's classroom for the Winter Around The World project.  They used the Cantata Learning Winter...The Coldest Season of All book as their inspiration to write their very own winter song called We Win In Winter with Nancy.
Today they brought in our amazing friend Josh Allen to help them with the green screen recording so they could put a snowy scene in the background as they sang.
It sure looks like these three teachers had a wonderful time collaborating and working together on this project.

Way to go Ms. Walker and all of your amazing 2nd graders!  This is one of the best winter songs and it will be so fun for other children around the world to see what winter it is like in Iowa.
I love how the 2nd graders were dressed in their winter gear to make us feel like we were part of the snowy scene as they sang.

And just wait until you hear We Win In Winter from these 2nd graders in Iowa.  I hope they will inspire you to be part of our Winter Around The World project too.
This will be part of the Winter Around The World collaborative eBook that we are putting together for this project.  You can see it here

Thankful For All Of The Thanksgiving Activities That Can Be Created With Storyboard That!

One of the digital tools that I am most thankful for is Storyboard That.                    
And this Thanksgiving they have given us several wonderful activities that you will be thankful for too.  

As the website states, 

Sometimes we use the seasons and holidays around us to engage our students.  Whether you want to use these activities just for fun, or if you have lesson plans around Thanksgiving, Storyboard That is an excellent resource.  Check out some of the great things your students can do!      

By the end of this lesson your students will create amazing storyboards like the ones above! 

There are five different Thanksgiving activities including...
The Story of Thanksgiving....
(within each activity, students can create a new Storyboard or make a copy; print, embed; download images;
 make a folding card;
and download as a Powerpoint)
What Thanksgiving Means to Me....
I Am Thankful For....
Symbols of Thanksgiving...
and Thanksgiving Cards
There is something for everyone within Storyboard and our young people can individualize each Thanksgiving activity to fit their interests and needs.

Not only are these wonderful Thanksgiving activities to share at school with your students, Storyboard can also be shared with families to create while home and on holiday break too.

Have fun with all of the Thanksgiving activities....We cannot wait to see the Storyboards that your students create too.

GoNoodle Will Get You & Your Students Moving Through This Holiday Season!

This morning I visited one of my favorite teachers and classroom full of kids.  It is Tracy Ferguson's and her 25 amazing 2nd graders at Van Meter!
Being one of the GoNoodle Ambassadors I am always excited to share fun things they send my way.....especially when I find something fun and new of the GoNoodle website!  

With Thanksgiving coming up this week, I found something perfect to share with my 2nd grade friends.  
When Exploring on the GoNoodle website looking for a few ones to share with the kids, I was super excited to see the heading Happy Thanksgiving...Do the moves with thanks and gratitude!  

How awesome are these and just in time to share before we celebrate the holiday with family and friends. 
There are four that you can find from the Explore page including a Guided Dancing one called We're Thankful For You! 
To start the second graders out on GoNoodle, I showed Maraca Turkey from Awesome Sauce.  I knew they would think this was super fun to dance, wiggle and shake just like the turkey.  

And look what they thought....
As you can, I was right!  
Just like all of the GoNoodle videos....
they get our young people so excited....
and bring tons of happiness, energy and fun to any classroom, library or home.  
And sending a few special treats home with my friends will bring GoNoodle to their homes and families too.  
To make it very easy to share during this busy week at school, Tracy can go to the GoNoodle Dashboard...
click on Invite Parents to find this....
Parent GoNoodle PDF to email, print or even attach to different social network messages.  

Happy Thanksgiving and have fun moving through this holiday season!  

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Working Through The Winter PBL Projects and Having Students Publish "Celebrating Winter In Iowa"

This is the story of my little friends at Van Meter and the PBL project we are doing together for the Winter Around the World Project with Cantata Learning. 
They have been working on this project with their classroom teachers Tracy and Staci for the last two weeks.  During this time, they read the book, learned the winter song and had wonderful conversations about winter in their community of Van Meter, Iowa.  
Tracy and Staci worked with the students to brainstorm different topics of interest.  They would all work with a group to research and create part of a collaborative digital winter story within their schools, which would then become part of a global digital winter story.

After they had a list of Winter Project-Based Learning Student Options, the students were able to select the groups they would work in for the winter project.  With all of these different focus areas all of the teachers that work with the 2nd graders came together including...
 Marsha Fries, the music teacher....
Cathy Robey, the art teacher, and Kim James, the teacher librarian.
The students composed, sang and produced three amazing winter songs with Marsha.  You can read all about this part of the PBL here
Everyone of the 2nd graders created their very own art work to be part of their digital story.
They focused on the topics that they picked for the project including Iowa Winter Traditions, 
Iowa Winter Sports,
 and so many more.
Another part of their PBL was working on researching and writing about their topics.
They used Winter...The Coldest Season Of All from Cantata Learning as the springboard for their conversation and research about winter.

As they sang along to the book, the students thought of all of the things they could share about winter in Van Meter too.  The music made it extra fun to learn, brainstorm and create new ideas for their book too.
They also used Capstone's PebbleGo Science and looked up Seasons.
They were also able to find eBooks within Capstone Interactive that focused on their winter topics such as...
skiing, and so much more.
I loved watching them work on the winter topics within their groups.  This group was focusing on places in Iowa that you can ski.
They marked all of the places on the map and were telling me personal connections to each.
 They then researched the ski resorts to find information that could be included in their book.
I also loved the writing that I saw from the 2nd graders.  Through the resources and personal connections, they had amazing stories to tell.
On Friday, Tracy and Staci published the story that their students created in eduBuncee.  It contains illustrations by each one, songs being sung, and stories that shows what they know and learned about winter in Iowa.

You can view it at the top of the post where it is embedded or here at this link.

Just look at a few of the topic slides....
and just see what each group put into their Buncee as part of the global winter story.
And look at how the Van Meter winter story has become part of the global winter story too.  You can view and add to it at this link.

It is very special looking through our story and seeing children from schools around the world contributing their winter stories, songs, illustrations, personal narratives, and more.

We cannot wait to see what you and your children add to the winter story too.