They are all in good taste. =D and, yes, the above image is one of them and was my favorite. =P
After a very cold, intense winter, speaking for myself, I needed something light and carefree to blog about this month. I came across these HILARIOUS "teacher jokes" from the folks at We Are Teachers that perhaps only those in the profession can truly appreciate. The post originally went out last summer; however, I filed them away for a future time. As April is the month for Fools and Fooling, I figure why not now.
They are all in good taste. =D and, yes, the above image is one of them and was my favorite. =P
For the month of March I have been exploring the concept of Makerspaces and how libraries may be the perfect location for such a concept. There are a slew of definition for what a Makerspace is. This past month I have been exploring the website and blog: Renovated Learning. It's creator, Diana Rendina, is a school librarian in Florida and passionate about the concept of Makerspaces.
Viewing her Twitterfeed, I found this great definition of a Makerspace by Laura Fleming: "A Makerspace is A Metaphor For a Unique Learning Environment That Encourages Tinkering, Play, and Open Exploration For All." The Library being a repository of knowledge for centuries can clearly add, as an ancillary, the appropriate space where that knowledge can be PUT TO USE!
I believe Bill Kurtz is thinking along these lines and I hope to talk with about it. I would love--especially with the building changes coming to the district--to be able to make sure that some space be left adjacent to the LMC-- the Lab for example--and turned into a Maker-area. With the increased importance of STEM in our curriculums, I can see the LMC as being the place where traditional knowledge and 21st century skills combine for the student.
The book below is going to be something I read over the summer; the YouTube video, I found a good place to start understanding the Makerspace concept.
Again, don't forget to check out the link to Renovated Learning!!!
Following directly off of my last post on book awards, here is what my next Strong Scoop submission (posted a week in advance here) focuses on--specifically, the the respective winners of National, Newbery, and Michael L. Printz Award winners!!! Check out my article for quick synopses and reviews! And, yes, allh have been ordered for the Strong LMC =P
YALSA is a division of the ALA (American Library Association) with its mission to promote reading to, as it's name would indicate, young adults. Not a small few of these are, indeed, reluctant to read. For those of us who love reading, can't wait to read, and enjoy just getting lost in the pages, it is hard for us to comprehend let alone figure out how to get kids to WANT to read.
This time of year is awards time for the book industry. And YALSA has come out with their "Quick Picks" for 2015 aimed at the reluctant reader. As they state, "The Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list identifies titles aimed at encouraging reading among teens who dislike to read for any reason." The list is extensive...some 67 titles and a series. The link below will take you their "Top Ten."
I always peruse this list when working on book orders. I need to look at which ones are suitable for the Middle School Level; then I do my best to get as many of these books for Strong's LMC so that we can turn those who are reluctant into eager readers! =D
The way to become a better writing is, not surprisingly, to write more. Yet how in the digital age are we to get our kids interested and excited to write! Try as we might, we cannot or should not try to enforce inspiration! The steps above can be taught step-by-step; however, the real challenge is to get kids interested to write about something in the first place. This recent article from learningonlineinfo.org offers up five apps : Oflow, Ninja Essays, iA Writer Pro, The Brainstormer, and Hemingway that might be able to help students find their own inspiration--in the end, those who do write, write what they know and what they love. These apps might very well be ways to help focus students on what their interests are, how to brainstorm, and begin the process.
Another set of tools for the toolbox!!!
Check out the full article with links to those respective apps below:
Just came across a post for a "tool" for helping students get the required information for online citations...I must confess I am envious of the ease in which students can quickly (and digitally) enter such bibliographic information and have it turned into the correct MLA format. It remains the STUDENT'S RESPONSIBILITY to record the information accurately; however, thanks to the tools out there students no longer need to worry about the periods, the commas, the underlining, etc. As such, they can and SHOULD SPEND THE TIME MAKING SURE THEIR RECORDING OF SOURCE INFO. IS ACCURATE.
The folks at Read-Write-Think have a great resource to help students do this. It can be done digitally or printed out. All in all, a great resource for the teacher's tool box! Grab it below.
As the calendar year comes to a close and the various holidays are upon us, i thought a fitting "gift" would be this infographic courtesy of Edmodo (https://blog.edmodo.com/2012/04/30/free-download-digital-citizenship-poster/) Although the posting on Edmodo is from 2012, I came across it on Educational Technology and Mobile Learning's page. ETML is a site created by Canadian teachers aimed at providing students and teachers with a clearinghouse of educational web tools and mobile apps.
While Digital Citizenship is simply "knowing the norms of appropriate, responsible technology use," we as edcuators know that this not an easy concept to instill in our students and it requires constant diligence and reinforcement.
The new year is a time for making resolutions and this should be a professional one! I think this might be a great poster to place in the Labs and on the chromebook carts; it could also be used to foster discussion, too! Maybe in a future SSP Advisory?
Full article here:
In a recent NY Times article, Alexandra Alter examined how adult non-fiction authors are redacting their works so as to make it appropriate for younger readers--with the hope that it will foster a love for non-fiction literature, a genre not frequented as often by the YA audience.
While the article does weigh the merits of whether it is a good idea to "waterdown" the reality in which the true nature of events is distorted or stretched to a breaking point actually serves kids well, I look at from the perspective: how can I get a kid who may be interested in such an exciting topic from our human past--especially if it's a 600 page book?
As Bomb author Steve Sheinken said, “Not everybody wants to read about vampires and dystopia,” “Some kids want to read about World War II or spies, and that was an underserved area for young readers.”
Case in point: a student interested in WWII saw that Unbroken is going to be released in the theaters this coming December. When I told him I had ordered the Laura Hillenbrand's Young Adult version he scooped it off the shelf so he could read it before seeing the film with his dad. That way he said he could understand the movie better and compare that version to what he read!
ISN'T THAT WHAT WE WANT THE BOOKS KIDS READ TO DO? TO FOSTER INCREASED CURIOSITY & UNDERSTANDING ABOUT OUR WORLD?
Hillenbrand spent 18 months rewriting her adult novel for the YA audience she remarked,
“The biggest question I had was: How do you deal with really tough material like someone getting beaten up in a P.O.W. camp?” she said. “They (librarians) all said, leave it in, the kids are ready for this.”
See the full article here:
Firstly, I am not at all suggesting that lesson here at Strong are boring--from what I have seen, they are far from it. However, as professionals we all want to extend ourselves and constantly evolve our craft! Second, in the 21st century digital technology is truly ubiquitous --it is a part of the fabric of our daily lives. As such we need to be aware that "there has to (or can) be another way." While expository instruction or the art that is the lecture can always be a way to deliver instruction, we are fortunate to have such a vast array of tools at out fingertips that the educators of generations part could only dream about!
As such, this article by Kelly Walsh at emergingedtech.com offers suggestions, each with links to other sites to assist in creating dynamic, worthwhile lesson, that foster learning. Among here ideas...giving students the opportunity to create, increased student collaboration, and project-based learning---ALL of which are in evidence here at Strong--are just a few!
Examine the full article here:
Emergingedtech.com is the creation of Kelly Walsh. His site/blog is designed to foster the conversation that is occurring in education: how is technology capable of being used in education to make it fulfill its mission: to provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to not only survive, but also to thrive and be engaged in the 21st century,
The other day I had a conversation with a student that made me laugh for two reasons. First, we were discussing the highly popular (not to mention literary-acclaimed) John Green novel, The Fault In Our Stars. Reinforcing the overwhelming consensus--she LOVED it--she asked for another of that type of novel--one's that make you cry?! When I asked why she wanted books that would make her cry, she replied that sometimes you just need a good cry and a book that will help you do so makes it that much easier.
The second reason I laughed is I had just read a blog in which the author listed ten books written for the middle school level that were of a similar vein to Green. Some we had so I quickly pulled them and let her pick. She chose See You At Harry's by Jo Knowles not only a 2015 Nutmeg nominee, but also, for my money, a bigger tear-jerker than TFIOS. I'll need to check back to see if her cry was sufficient enough to make her happy!
YA literature is a tough emerging genre...it's range is 12-18 and as anyone knows what some 18 year olds can handle, some 12 year olds are far too naive and not ready for. Yet YA literature is so rich and deep when it comes to feeling the emotional roller coaster that being adolescent is! And unlike the "YA" of a generation or two ago, the novels now pull no punches which is why they are great reads in the first place.
The Nerdy Book Club, by the way, is a great site for all who L-O-V-E books! And as to the rest of list from the article that we don't have: I'll be ordering them! Maybe I'll make a section and hand out little tissue packs when a book goes out! =P
Here's Angie Manfredi's full length article:
Mr. Klimas is Strong's Library Media Specialist. IN THE STACKS is his first-attempt at blogging about what's "out there" in terms of reading, knowledge, and information-literacy skills.