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Showing posts from May, 2016

I Feel Like I am Late to the Party

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I consider myself on top of things when it comes to technology and education.Though there are many tools and tricks that I choose not to use, I try to be aware of what is new and hold it on the back burner to share with teachers in my building or eventually use it myself. Like Kahoot, I had heard about it and knew teachers that used it, but I thought that I didn't need it. Then we got a set of iPads that I could use with students in the library, and I thought that I would ditch the Activotes that came with the Promothean Board and try Kahoot. I am so glad I did because it has become a new favorite tool. I love the way that it ranks the students' answers on speed and accuracy and that the leaderboard can change from question to question so that the competition aspect of Kahoot completely engages even the most reluctant of students. 


Then there is BreakoutEDU. I first heard the word many months ago, but I had no clue what it was and didn't know if it was something that coul…

Find our Finch on the Finch Robot Website

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A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted and asked if Bird Brain Technologies could use a picture that I took of my students' Finch robot running through a maze. The company were building a new website and wanted the picture for that site. I was flattered. My school has purchased two Finches, but I won a grant from Bird Brain Tech for the loan of twenty finches for three months. With this grant, I am able to keep one of the Finches for the library. 
The Finches are a robot with a very, very, very long cable that connects via USB to a computer. The students can use various coding languages to make the Finch do what they want. My students used Snap from UC Berkeley. You can see our Finch in action on their website here.

Ahhhh, the End of the School Year is in Sight

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We only have a week and a half left of the school year. How did this year fly by? This end marks my 35th year in the teaching profession and 25th as a school librarian. Really, how did that happen? Many, many moons ago when my confidence was way lower, I had not a clue if I could make it one more day much less all these years. The people who I have met, all that I have learned and all that I have given to my students over these many, many years, I would not trade with anyone. I am proud to call myself a teacher and a librarian and feel lucky to have a job that I love so much. 
Every year when April draws to a close, I find myself in stress mode with difficulty seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It is not the library that does it to me, but some of the extra hats that I wear at my school. My school only has 550 students, and unfortunately, I am needed to do some jobs that don't usually fall under the librarian's umbrella. For one, I am the school's AP coordinator. …

Middle School Book Group Ends 2016 on a High Note

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Even though it was standardized testing week, I held our last regularly scheduled monthly BRiMS (Books Rule in Middle School) meeting on Wednesday during lunch. It seemed silly to cancel it since the students' lunch period was actually longer than usual last week. I liked the fact that I didn't have to cancel just because testing was being held in the morning--in some schools I would have to do so. We did have a lower turnout than usual, but I had been reminding kids about the meeting in emails, the daily school memo, and signage in the library. I do believe that the students need to learn how to take responsibility and keep track of meeting dates and times. Some forgot, some didn't read the book, and others just chose to go to the cafeteria for lunch.



This year, I finally found a rhythm with the way that I organize what we read for each monthly meeting. For half the meetings, there was an assigned book and the other meetings were set by some sort of theme be it genre or …