Thing 17 -DIY


I just spent WAAYY too much time in Google Cultural Institute! I will definitely use the Civil Rights gallery next year for either MLK or Black History month. Great resource. For my project, I created a gallery to align with Lightning Thief.

Google Cultural Institute Lightning Thief Gallery

I envision referencing the statues, analyzing the symbolism and comparing to text. Obviously this could have been done with Google images and PPT but using Cultural Institute saves time in curating copyright free images and finding appropriate text to match the image. Additionally, viewing other galleries can inspire another project or simply be a joy to look at.

And now I will add my gallery to my 6th grade Libguide…

Thing 16 digital Tatoo


I reviewed Common Sense curriculum for k-2. Although I could use the initial video “going Places Online” with k-2 students,  the 15 question assessment is more appropriate for my 1st and 2nd graders and would have to be done on the smartboard as a group with my 1st graders since the language skills required is pretty high. Although I would love to review the second lesson using alphabetical order with kindergarteners, I don’t have a printer in the library so it would make the activity difficult to complete. Loved the Keep it Private lesson mainly because it introduces them to new/safe online game sites Scholastic and Lego especially. It’s somewhat confusing that Common Sense specifically includes parent’s address as something private and NOT to be shared and then Lego site requests this same information. A little confusing. Probably the teacher should clarify that parents should be asked before email information is provided. I’ve already decided to include unit 1 K-2 in my upcoming lessons.

I think digital citizenship is more easily taught in primary and intermediate grades. By the time my students have reached 6th grade, they’ve already been exposed to a myriad of inappropriate material and most of the teaching material is too “cheesy” (their word not mine) and easily ridiculed. They don’t even see their own gossiping behavior as bullying. I have been keeping an eye on “Internet ruined my Life” TV show as a possible teaching tool. Many of my students know Catfish the TV show and comment on how incredible it is that these individuals lie to such a great extent and that profiles cannot be believed. Although I don’t condone 11 year olds watching Catfish, it does allow for a lively discussion about healthy skepticism and how people choose to present themselves.

I’ve been collecting articles wherein there are actual consequences for inappropriate behavior. Students suspended for a year for posting bullying video Most of the time, felony charges are dropped, but extended school suspensions and death threats to families of cyberbullies is commonly reported. I am trying to build a “reality check” lesson for my 6th graders but still remain mindful of sensitive subject matter. It’s still a work in progress.

I have used the cyberbullying questionnaire from and had my students complete it anonymously. Most of my 4th and 5th graders will score well but there is always a handful of students who fall in the cyberbully realm and not so ironically admit it freely and even boastfully. Again, the questionnaire provides a lively and very animated discussion about online behavior and how to respond to it. Conclusion: this is an ongoing discussion. The laws are not definitive and the pushback is on the school systems to institute policies to safeguard against cyberbullying. I am currently taking DASA training but even that fall short of definitive guidelines. It’s imperative that teachers keep abreast of new cases and legal outcomes.

Thing 14


Uncanny timing. I received a grant a few months ago and purchased a fair amount of ebooks. Although I had emailed directions on how to access, teachers kept asking me how to get to library catalog. I hope screen shots are the  answer. On my keyboard, the process was not press PRNT SCRN or ALT + PRNT SCRN. After more attempts than I care to admit, I realized the similarly colored FN key + PRNT SCRN achieved my goal. Voila. My new directions for teachers on how to access ebooks  while simultaneously promoting my library.  Thing 14

Wanted to do Wordle as a class assignment on building vocabulary. Often when I ask students to describe a character, they come up with the same adjectives: happy, sad, brave. I thought it would be fun to do a thesaurus lesson and use wordle as final presentation. My java is outdated and I was blocked from updating. Called helpdesk but was advised that updating is impossible as it would conflict with other district -wide software. Ugh.

My school recently received Chromebooks and we use google docs and slides more and more. I thought Lightshot would be handy to learn but once again was blocked.

Tried Pablo, liked the gazillion image options, and text flexibility but Pinterest was blocked and I couldn’t download image. Nothing in my download file. Wanted to use for quotations for Black History Month using book Giant Steps to Change the World by Spike and Tonya Lee. Emailed help desk but have not heard back.

HA! Used Snaggy to print screen and crop  Pablo creation!     Pablo via Snaggy






Thing 23 LibGuides


Have you ever tried a new “tool” and you just couldn’t wrap your pea-brained head around it? Couldn’t make it work? Couldn’t figure out how to use it? That was LibGuides for me. Too many options I guess. I finally get it. I made resource guides for 5th and 6th grade. There were websites and interactive sites I’d found and really liked but usually after the teacher had read the book. By creating these guides, I have them ready for next year and can simply refer my teachers to them. Alternatively, if teachers are too bogged down by a scripted curriculum, I can use the sources in library. I have been putting off using various tools such as Quozia simply because the logistics of students saving, sharing with me, and my having a place to upload and present was too complicated for a 30 minute class. My school uses Google docs, and it is much easier to share and now that I finally understand how LibGuides work, I can have an actual place to present online-created work.

Thing 11 Coding Club update


I have 18 4th to 6th graders in my coding club. I am teaching the Course 2 curriculum and despite that it is very well-designed it took me two days (one hour each) to get through the first lesson, graph paper programming. Students were definitely challenged when trying to draw someone else’s code but they finally got it. I will use the graph paper assessment before moving on. We just had a week off so I will ease into the work week by going straight to the Angry Birds Maze and skipping the paper airplane section.

I strongly recommend teachers offering this curriculum to their students. It teaches students logic, communication, and systemic thinking all while having fun and playing games.

Thing 11 Coding


Since last year when I did Hour of Code as a library center, I’ve been thinking about  forming an after-school club for coding.  After reading the statistic that out of 3.9 million students taking the AP computer science test, less than 3000 were African American or Hispanic, I decided to form the after school club for February 2016.   I have been reviewing the lesson plans for Course 2. Although the lesson plan indicates that course 2 is appropriate for grades 2 to 5, in the Artist sequence, puzzle 3 requires the ability to express a word problem algebraically and puzzles 6 and 7  require a  firm understanding of angles. After needing more than one (okay two) tries to work through puzzles 6 and 7 I decided I would have to limit the club to grades 4 to 6. Since I only have 2o computers available, that isn’t really a problem. Although I want to challenge my students, I do not want to overwhelm or discourage them. Additionally, since it is an after-school club, I would like them to have fun and gain some confidence so that they will  persevere when it becomes more challenging. Since I will have an hour for the club and the lessons are thirty minutes, I am thinking I will allow them to do the Minecraft game. I will be posting on this subject again in late February once the club has started. HourCertificate_12.02.13_v4

Final reflections


A few months ago, I gave up on LibGuides. Initially, I found it difficult to work with. Part of the problem was that I wasn’t sure what my content was going to be. It’s difficult to follow the “how to” directions when you’re not even sure you “what” you want to do. A place for parents to see student work? resource lists for my teachers? A better organized list of resources than the 6000 links on my favorites bar that I forget I even have? This was only my second year as a librarian and I am still learning about what I need to know, let alone how to organize and present it. As I get to know my teachers and what they need from me, first and foremost, I need to stop reinventing the wheel every year. I started some pathfinders for  myself and for my teachers. Some websites are more conducive to library learning but there is plenty of overlap. Sometimes I forget the obvious and only after I’ve read through 15 sites do I remember to check PBS or the publisher’s site. A basic list of the most appropriate sites for each Common Core book would be idea, but that takes a fair amount of time to curate.

Secondly, I would like a place to present student work. Where can I post Quozio memes?  So yes, I learned how to create Canva and Quozia  memes but where do I post? In my district, we discussed Google docs, digital content in Destiny and it’s taken me this long to figure out that for my two main purposes, LibGuides works best. I want to use Libguides for pathfinders and presentation galleries.  At first, I was going to copy a pathfinder that one of my district librarians created but then I realized I had sites she didn’t so I ended up creating my own pathfinder afterall.  didn’t want to go too indepth because apparently there is a version two of LibGuides which will require more review. Now that I have a clearer vision of what I want and need, I will spend my summer learning LibGuides V2 and creating the appropriate content.

Last year and this year I limited myself to five “things.” I personally cannot incorporate 10 new things into my teaching repertoire. As Pooh would say, “I am a bear of very little brain” and can only truly assimilate a few new ideas, especially tech ones. I do like learning this way but it also takes me a while to really internalize how to effectively utilize the tech given the circumstances of my library which I am in fact still learning. For instance, the common sense media lessons are thorough, intensive and wide reaching, but my schedule is so often interrupted by assemblies, field trips, and testing that often too many weeks have passed to pick up the same lesson again. I need to pick and choose the lessons I think my students need. In the same manner, with Cool Tools, I like being able to choose the lesson that is most appropriate for me and my students at that given time.  Also, I personally prefer to learn, try to implement, and evaluate before I move on to another assignment. Even though I like the online method of learning, admittedly, it takes me awhile to realistically incorporate the learning into my lessons.

Lastly, I will be doing library centers during the last couple of weeks of school and definitely plan to include hour of code again.

Below is the link to my revised libguides: