October 12 – 30 at the Library

Library Lessons

We had lots of classes in the library the last three weeks. Here are some of the lessons I taught during visits:

  • Ms. Cabrera’s Senior English Philosophy Seminar students, who started blogging a few weeks ago, came for a lesson on writing good comments for their blogs. Students who blog build skills in all aspects of digital citizenship, and the commenting part of blogging allows them to learn about and practice good online etiquette.
  • Mr. Westerberg’s Freshman English classes began a Mythology project, and learned about finding good sources, and citing sources and note taking using our Easybib subscription tool.
  • Ms. Sieker’s Senior English Literature of the 1980’s class also learned about good sources, citations, and note taking for their 1980’s research project.
  • Ms. Vaughan’s English/Social Studies block class visited for two days to work on a research project analyzing art related to the French Revolution period they are studying in Social Studies. She and I collaborated on lessons on good sources, citations, and note taking using Easybib and Google Classroom. I also visited her class one day to teach a lesson on how to incorporate quotations into papers.
  • Ms. Clarke’s Freshman English classes were in the library for five days this last week working on a mythology research project. She and I collaborated on lessons introducing the students to using Google Classroom, finding good sources, taking notes and citing sources with Easybib, finding copyright-friendly images for their Google Slides, and using Twitter as a vehicle for having their gods and heroes converse. You can read about the assignment on this webquest site.

Library Maker Fair

Halloween Maker Fair

On October 29, we had our first-ever maker fair in the library after school, sponsored by the Geeks Club with help from the Library Club. Everyone had a great time! Attendees got to: 

  Halloween 2015

Google for Education

On Saturday and Sunday, October 17 and 18, I traveled to San Diego to participate as a presenter at the EdTechTeam Google for Education Summit. I presented sessions on “Google Forms: You Can’t Live Without Them” and “Become a Google Images Ninja.” I learn so much while preparing such presentations and interacting with the attendees. I also was able to attend lots of inspiring sessions I can take advantage of at our library and share with our teachers and students.

Staff Collaboration and Professional Development

During our recent office hours/staff collaboration Wednesdays, I have been able to lead several workshops with our staff, including sessions on our new Learn360 streaming video, which is available to both staff and students; Google Classroom; and Google Forms.

Oct. 20 – 31 at the Mira Costa Library

Here are some highlights of the last two weeks at the Mira Costa Library:

Lessons Taught

Webquest

Laura Clarke’s 9th Grade English classes visited for a research project supporting their study of Mythology. We based the unit on a webquest I had developed a while ago and customized for her class. Each student researched a different god and prepared a slideshow to share with class members. As they did so, I provided lessons which included plagiarism avoidance, respect for copyright, using databases, evaluating websites, using EasyBib to create bibliographic citations and take good notes, and using the Google Slides Research Tool to find and credit copyright-friendly images. In addition, we had the students practice using Google Classroom.

And, probably the most fun portion of the unit, we had the students each create Twitter accounts for their gods and practice using this social media tool in the role of their gods dealing with today’s world. You will start to see their tweets over the next week at these Twitter hashtags: #ccmyths2, #ccmyths3, and #ccmyths4. (If you don’t have a Twitter account, just go to search.twitter.com, and enter a search for each of those hashtags in turn.) I am a strong supporter of the educational value of Twitter and tweet frequently, both on behalf of the library and, very actively with my own account. This Twitter activity proved a learning experience for Ms. Clarke and me. For example, we found that tweets from new accounts can take several days to become searchable; so if you search for those hashtags, the tweets won’t show up right away. We found that some of the students had challenges establishing their accounts if they didn’t have a cell phone to receive an activation text. The good news is that I believe it is valuable for students to see that teachers are learners also, and don’t always get everything right. And, Ms. Clarke and I have valuable experience for tweaking this activity in the future.

Adam Geczi’s World History classes visited for another research lesson and work session. This time we focused on learning to use our EBSCO eBook Academic Collection and Academic Search Premier to find both ebooks and academic journals. They also learned how to use EasyBib to record bibliographic citations and take notes.

Shawn Chen’s 9th Grade English students visited for lessons and research time for their project researching topics related to their study of Oedipus. I helped them learn to find quality sources, record their sources and notes in EasyBib, and how to find and credit images using the Research Tools feature in Google Slides.

Glen Marx’s 12th Grade Government students visited for a lesson research skills, plagiarism avoidance, finding and evaluating quality sources, recording citations and notes in EasyBib, parenthetical citations, and more. You can see the slideshow I used here.

Anita Rossell’s AP Spanish Literature class visited for another session to work on their blogging project. This time, Sra. Rossell and I had them post about domestic violence. Here is the assignment we crafted for them, along with links to their postings.

In addition to these class visits for lessons, a number of other classes visited to continue research projects, take advantage of the computers, and select books.

SLJ Summit

While the library was taken over on Friday, October 24 for district hearing tests, I headed to St. Paul, Minnesota for School Library Journal’s fabulous Leadership Summit. Please read about it in this posting I devoted to that event.

Committee Work

As the new chair of the school Curriculum Committee, I attended a meeting of Ed Council on October 21, and participated in that body’s work setting goals and priorities for the Curriculum Committee, as well as the other two new standing committees for Calendar and for School Safety and Culture.

On October 28, I attended a meeting of the interdisciplinary group led by William Brown planning complimentary units related to water. I have volunteered to post group work on the library website, and began a resource list here.

I am delighted to be serving on the District Technology Committee again this year, and enjoyed attending the committee’s first meeting on October 22. I look forward to contributing to this group’s work.

Chess Table

I am thrilled with the library’s new chess table, made for us by Vaughn Rossi and Shane Taugner. See information and photos here.

Halloween

Halloween is one of my favorite days in the library. I love seeing students both work and hang out in their costumes. This year, we also had a Halloween story contest leading up to Halloween, an idea developed by our Library Club. The club members wrote the starting sentences for four different scary stories. Then, students had the opportunity to contribute the next sentence to the story of their choice. We ended up with four entertaining narratives! One participant will be selected by random drawing for a gift certificate prize. Participants had a lot of fun writing their contributions. Here are some photos from Halloween and the story writing contest:


Created with flickr slideshow.

Hear Some Free Halloween Horror


As a Halloween special, Audible.com is inviting us to download Neil Gaiman’s latest exclusive Halloween short story, “Click-Clack the Rattlebag” for free. The story is both written and narrated by Neil Gaiman. And, for each download, Audible.com will donate $1 to DonorsChoose.org!” Do participate, both to enjoy a free audio story by Neil Gaiman, an extraordinary storyteller and narrator, and to build donations for DonorsChoice.org. This offer from Audible.com lasts just until Halloween, so don’t delay. Visit this link to get it.

And, here are some great, free horror audiobook choices available from Learnoutloud.com:

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Dracula by Bram Stoker

The Works of Edgar Allan Poe

The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

I learned about these because I subscribe to the Learnoutloud.com newsletter. If you enjoy audiobooks, I encourage you to subscribe also. Visit Learnoutloud and enter your email in the “Free Resource Email” box in the left sidebar.

Happy Halloween and Happy Listening!