Useful sites (weekly)

  • Dvolver Moviemaker. Make digital movies online. Formerly Dfilm. Home a tool to create your mini animations by pointing and clicking. You can choose the setting, characters, music at the background and how the chosen characters interact in your animation. You write what you want your characters to say and it shows up in bubbles in your animation. Children can watch a video and write an ending for it or they can summarize a story.   

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


What do TL’s teach?

After a week where I read about the trials of the school librarians in the US and then some of the articles following the recommendations of the Parliamentary Inquiry it was timely to remember the positive things. The SLAV submission to The Inquiry and read some of the great things that have been written by some of our great advocates.

This is an excellent visual supporting the work of teacher librarians by Joyce Valenza. It is also great that she has made it available for us to use by attaching a cc license. It is linked to a great post that offers other links. Another one I like is ” 100 things kids will miss if they don’t have a School Librarian in their School” by AASL President Nancy Everhart.

There are many great things going on in school libraries (and libraries in general). The Bright Ideas Blog is just one way of publicising these ideas and programmes/projects. This grew out of a  The PLN  programme, called “Learning through sharing” this year, has recently started and a lot more teacher librarians will be exploring the opportunities the digital world offers us in our never-ending search to give our students the best opportunities to learn.

And a video (link found thanks to Joyce Valenza) to finish on an upbeat note.

Student views on e-books

A lot of schools and libraries have purchased e-books (and e-book readers) or are in the process of purchasing them. Everyone assumes that the students will like them/prefer them but until now very few seem to have been asked for their opinions. We now have more student’s experiencing e-books so I am interested in finding out what it is they like and what they may not like or would like to see improved. I was pleased to find these videos made as part of Net Gen Ed Project ( A Flat Classroom Project). 

  • E-Books: Innovation In Education was one student’s view of e-books. She looked at a few of the benefits of e-books as opposed to the traditional text books.
  • Another one was titled “E-books This or That? “. The student said this about her video ” This is my video comparing the good effects of the e-book to some of the negative ways of learning we use now.”
  • Simply entitled “Ebooks”  yet another student gave a her video summary of e-book use and touched on the ability to collaborate with some e-books.

 It is clear that these students see a number of advantages in using ebooks. I also liked the project they were involved in and using many technology tools to create and reflect on their projects as well as to give and receive comments from others

Future libraries

What will libraries be like in the future?

I stumbled upon the  The Mosman Library of the future blog yesterday. It is a “collaborative blog by Mosman Library users, staff, residents & visitors”. The theme for may was about the future of libraries. On this site they have gathered a lot of ideas/visions about where libraries are headed. They have some great quotes, links and  I particularly liked the videos below.

The first video (2nd May) records interviews with some of the younger users of the library. The questions were: Will we have books? Will we have a library?

A second video with older users answering the same questions:

Have a look and try to answer the same questions? What do you think about the future of libraries? Will they be run by robots?

Useful sites (weekly)

The difference between school and life by ecastro, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  ecastro 

Using Picture Books in Lit circles

One of my colleagues and I decided to use picture books as the genre for our first literature circle book for a year 7 English class.
We used picture books to encourage the students to look beyond what was written in their text. They were encouraged to think critically about all the graphic components and reflect on how they add to the text. The tasks were also developed to encourage the boys to develop their inference skills and respond to the works they were reading on a level that they had not been required to do with their earlier texts.

The boys were asked to choose one of 6 picture books.  Their choice was the basis for the formation of the group they would work with for three weeks. 
The boys read the picture books and were given a number of short tasks to complete; some on an individual basis but then sharing their thoughts/ideas with the rest of their group. All these short tasks were then used to create the basis of a glog for each group.

Today they put their ideas together and prepared to create their glog. The will include text, images and multimedia components. They have also been given a rubric to indicate how their glogs will be assessed. I have put the rubric and details into my Reading wiki.

The work that the groups have done so far has on the whole been excellent and I am hoping to have some great glogs that I can use in the library. I also used part of a lesson to explain the basics of Creative Commons to the class as they began a search for appropriate images and explained that sound and music is available under CC licenses too. The students took this information on baord and I was pleased to see that they were busy finding CC images for their glogs.

I have included a list of the short tasks that were undertaken by the students below.

  • Analysis of the cover: Comment on the picture on the cover – what it tells the reader about the book; the colours used; the style and colour of the lettering used; what questions the cover raises in the mind of the reader; what other information is given on the cover
  •  ‍Scanning skills: Spend 5 minutes browsing through the book and then spend 5 minutes writing what you think the book will be about based on what you see and read.
  •  ‍The introduction: In 50 words outline how the author introduces the book and catches the attention of the reader.
  •  ‍Sharing ideas with the group: Come to an agreement about what works best on the cover. (and anything you don’t think works). As a group create an alternative cover and “Blurb” for your book
  •  ‍Summarising Skills: Make a 100 word summary of the pages which you read for today in your own words. Remember that a summary needs to include the main ideas/information of the text in a logical order. Share your ideas with your group. Do they agree or do they have alternative points?
  •  ‍Creating Questions: Write 5 questions which could be used to test the reader’s comprehension of the text which you read for today. Remember that questions need to include the main information in the text and they need to test whether the reader has understood the text. All questions need to be open-ended to allow for discussion. Share these questions with your group and take note of their answers.
  •  ‍Illustrating skills: Draw a picture which illustrates the section of the book which you read for today. The drawing must show what is in the text and how well you have understood the meaning of the text.
  •  ‍Character description: Pick a character from your book and write either a “missing person” or “wanted” poster for this person. Include in your poster information that you have discovered from the book.

Useful sites (weekly)

  • 30+ Places To Find Creative Commons Media » SitePoint  Some good resources online for audio, video, images and more for finding just the right Creative Commons licensed item for use in a school project   

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.