Friday, May 29, 2015

Dewey Decimal System

Organization is important in all aspects of life, but no place more important than the library! How would we ever find the book we needed without organization?!?

The Dewey Decimal System is the system most school libraries use for collection organization. Students need to learn how it works and there are tons of resources online to help teach it:

1. Videos on YouTube - Below is a cool one for elementary student using puppets:



2. Shelver - Mrs. Lodge has a great little game on her site that lets students practice organization books using the Dewey Decimal System. The game is called Shelver and works on PCs and tablets.

3. SmartBoard games - If you have a SmartBoard in your library, use games that have been shared through Smart Exchange

4. And don't forget Pinterest!

Google "Dewey Decimal System" and see what else you find.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Kindness Matters


Fakebook Biography Projects with some A-has!

About five years ago I started using Classtools.net for their Random Namepicker template. I have used it for picking names, topics, characters, really anything that needs random selection. My students (even secondary) love to use the interactive board and "spin the wheel" for their topics. Much better than the teacher assigning it or drawing from a bag.

This six weeks, I decided to use the Fakebook template for their book project. They had to  read a biography and create a Fakebook profile for their person. I created a rubric for assessing the project and gave it to them ahead of time. I used Google Classroom for the assignment and link turn-in location.

The goal was for the students to really think about their people and imagine being them. Who would their friends be? How would they interact?

Here are a couple of the finished projects:

Nikolai Romanov

Nelson Mandela

Some project surprises;

1. Save often - Since we are a GAFE district, the students are spoiled to the autosave. I remember many times as a student when I lost work from lack of saving or a brief power blip. I too have become less of a saver since I started using Google. With the Fakebook template, you have to save and remember the link and password to edit it later. Many students were frustrated by lost work.

2. Old School Facebook - Many of my students did not know how Facebook worked. They use Twitter, Instagram and SnapChat stories as Social Media. Facebook is for old people, like their parents.

Will I do this project again? Probably. I like the "outside of the box" thinking that is required more than just read and regurgitate information on a poster or slide show. I may rethink my rubric and teach a bit more about expectations. Always room for tweaking!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Plickers with Pics!

I love using Plickers in my classroom! It is a quick way to get the pulse of the group without having them get out any technology. I just use the app from my iPhone to scan their cards and the results are viewable on the screen.

Here is a link to a blog post of how it works:

http://baycityedtech.blogspot.com/2014/11/plickers-student-response-app.html

Now Plickers has added the ability to upload images as part of the question. Great addition for Math, Social Studies, Art, Science, etc.

We are currently reading The Diary of Anne Frank in my ELAR classes. Since it is a true story, I can use images of the actual people for my questions. Like this:


Great additional feature with possibilities for any grade level and subject.