Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Technology: Friend or Foe?

The title of this posting expresses what my thoughts were one week ago today. I wasn't really sure if I liked technology (at least Blogger). Today, I think that I have decided whether blogger is a friend or a foe. Please read on. :-)

I was very excited about beginning a new adventure in my 6th grade classroom. My students would be composing writing in the form of blog posts instead of the traditional "writer's workshop notebook". I had planned it out to the tinnest of details. My Keynote presentations were ready to go, with plenty of screenshot images to guide my students through the process of setting up their Blogger accounts. I had even created a preplanning graphic organizer so that students could think about a blog title and brainstorm topics for their first post. I was so prepared! Nothing could go wrong, right?

Day 1: It takes 20 minutes to get all 26 of my students logged-in to their email accounts for the first time. A few minor issues, but all the students are now gmail users! Yippy! Next, I begin my beautiful and well organized presentation. The class is doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing: click here, now scroll down, click here, etc. We get to the final step before creating the student blogs. This is going well! I instruct my students, "Click the button that says 'create blog'." Immediately, hands fly into the air as every student gets the same message: Please enter a valid cell phone number to validate your google account. WHAT?? That did not happen to me. It also did not happen when I set up a student blog earlier in the day. I knew that it was supposed to work! Is this really happening to me??
All students log-out, I take a deep breath, and tell them that I will figure it out before tomorrow. After school, I 'google' the issue in search of answers.
To be continued...

Friday, August 12, 2011

What do you know about school librarians?

I saw this great "interactive" image on the "Your Teacher Librarian" Wiki. The times really are changing! Did you know that teacher librarians did all of this? I especially love the last line, "School librarians are ready for this collaborative challenge? Are you?" I know that I am ready for the challenge......So BRING IT ON!

(Roll your mouse over the 'info dots' for links and examples!)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

It's a Reading Ranch at Johnston Elementary

Welcome to the Reading Ranch!

I'm really excited about the Johnston Elementary library theme "Reading Ranch".  The back wall says "Wrangle Up A Good Book" and has WANTED READER posters.  I also have a stand-up cowboy display that students can put their face into!  The first week of school, I want to take a picture of each student as a "cowboy reader" and create a WANTED READER poster for each student.

The 'log' ranch sign has a big impact factor, and it was easy to make!  My mom got three long boxes from her work, a nice lady at Ace helped me pick out paint, my husband constructed the supports, and I had fun using my Cricut to make the sign.  It was a team effort and turned-out nicely.  I can't wait for the students to visit the Reading Ranch!

Photos from my other libraries will be coming in future posts.