In all of the schools where I have taught, I have had a number of colleagues tell me that they have a "Kristina" folder. They actually took the time to create a folder so they could save the emails that I sent to them personally, to their departments, or to the entire school. They knew that I took great care to sift through the plethora of information that I would receive, in order to pass on what they would find useful. Even though they might not have had the time to read about a new web tool or strategy at the moment, they valued what I shared with them, and planned to eventually revisit it.
"If you build it, they will come." - Field of Dreams
You've designed a nurturing learning environment, and have developed a dynamic library program, but you still haven't been able to connect with some of your colleagues. Most likely you've been told that these teachers don't have the time, but it could be that they aren't ready to leave their comfort zone. When I was a middle school librarian, I was fortunate that our school had study hall periods, and most 6th graders had study halls built into their schedules. This gave me the opportunity to work with students who wanted to visit the library on their own time. With a flexible middle school schedule, library visitations were with by student choice or scheduled by classroom teachers.
Each kit included a Flipgrid QR code so the students could record their reflections while using the hands-on activity and/or reading the book. In this way, many more students and their teachers learned about the library program and the other activities we had to offer. Here are some suggestions for creating your own interactive mobile STEAM and literacy kits:
Remember...if you build it, they might not come. So, go out to them!
As a child I hated reading logs. It was a nuisance to interrupt the "flow" of reading by writing down answers to prescribed questions. Did my teachers even know if I finished reading these books? Ever couple of weeks we submitted another index card with basic information including title, author, main characters, setting, conflict, resolution, climax, theme, plot, and opinion of the book. Back then we didn't have the internet to copy from, but we did have our friends who could give us the Cliff Notes versions of books. A few favorite books and authors stand out in my mind, but the index cards couldn't capture my true feelings about what I had read (or didn't read).
PURCHASE QR CODE MEDICAL ALERTS AND MISSING PEOPLE IDENTIFICATIONS.
From Artsonia you can purchase...
Print Avery iron-on labels for clothing...
At Zazzle you can design...
Purchase tyvek wristbands in bulk through Wristbands.com...
Purchase silicon wristbands in bulk through Silicon-Wristband.com...
Flipgrid QR Code jewelry also makes wonderful birthday, anniversary, retirement, and graduation gifts.
I have a confession. Over my 25 years of teaching I've developed focusing problems ("Squirrel!). I find myself reading the first few lines of an article, jumping to the end, and then going back to the middle if I'm still interested. I am a victim of information overload, a product of our increasingly technologically dependent society.
I've tried everything to keep myself organized and focused, from apps to web tools, I always find myself becoming even more unfocused throughout the school day. One day in the library a student saw all of the sticky notes that I had posted around the circulation desk to remind me of my daily tasks. He went over to the shelf where I stored personal dry erase boards for my students and handed one to me. Yes, this is what I needed. I needed something that was in my face, gave me the physical satisfaction of crossing a task off of my to-do list, and could be modified when needed.
Here are 8 unique whiteboards to boost YOUR creativity and productivity:
Mc Squares Stickies are repositionable and stick on anything.
Carry your notes with you in a Nu Board dry erase notepad.
Keep your hands free while teaching or making by wearing this dry erase board on your wrist.
Use the Noteboard in meetings and workshops, and then fold it up to put into your backpack for travel.
This 3 sided dry erase board by OnTask stores your markers while also providing for lots of space to write your lists.
I was able to order 10 of these standards through the Scholastic Bonus Rewards catalog. They are wonderful for group discussions and maker stations.
Many of us get our best ideas when we are relaxed and alone. Now I can write my thoughts in the shower!
Make those boring professional development workshops and faculty meetings interactive with foldable dry erase tables.
Here are some awesome products that you can use to increase student engagement WITHOUT using mobile devices, tablets, or computers.
I never shared my 20th anniversary present with you from last year, so here are some photos.
Last year, like every good husband, Mike asked me if I would like a new piece of jewelry to celebrate our anniversary. I told him no. I wear the same pieces every day...my engagement ring that he designed, my wedding ring, the Maleficent watch he ordered from Disney World, the very first ring he ever bought me (my birthstone), the silver ring that also my sister Jen wears and my sister Laryssa used to wear, and two pendants (one that says mother in Korean and one that says mother in Chinese). I don't need anything else.
What I did ask for was this Little Free Library that Mike installed, with help from our kids, at the end of our driveway. We stock "Laryssa's Library" with books that our children are willing to discard from their bedroom libraries. Each book carries a message in it for the new owner to post a photo or video of a rubber duck in Laryssa's memory. This has been the best anniversary present ever, and a happy reminder of Laryssa.
Update: Thank you to Linda Prout who inspired me to register Laryssa's Little Free Library, and even took it upon herself to send send me the information I needed. I value your friendship.
Use this link to receive 20% you first order over $50:
Memes are a creative way of promoting literacy with visuals and text. You can create them digitally with Canva, Buncee, and Google Slides. Or you can go "old school" with pictures cut from magazines and writing. There are many ways to do this:
* You provide the content, and your students find an image.
* Your students apply the content to your image.
* Your students choose the content and the image.
* Your students choose the content and create the image.
* Your students create the content and the image.
* You provide the content and a variety of images, and your students match them.
Create video memes with Flipgrid by adding text and images while recording.
Sites for Royalty-Free Images:
*Please use your discretion when recommending sites to your students.
A trip to my local Target Bullseye's Playground Bargain Spot inspired this license plate game Fliphunt! It's perfect for family road trips & field trips. You can play too at https://flipgrid.com/4334b927 before a Mystery Skype session. Your students can also design license plates about themselves, famous people throughout history, and fictional characters/settings.
As a matter of fact, yes. Yes, I'm going to wear that apron in the library and here's why...
1. Making is messy.
2. Here's to the end of calling myself from the library phone to find my cell phone.
3. Who needs to see the sauce spot on my shirt from my lunch?
4. A granola bar is just what a teacher needs to wolf down on between classes.
5. It's always handy to have a pen and post-it notes to jot more things down on the endless "To Do" list.
6. Librarians are always "cooking up" something, especially during book tastings.
7. Pockets are perfect for holding change for kids who forgot their lunch money.
8. Students can scan the QR code on my apron to access their Flipgrid of book recommendations.
9. If students are already late to their next class, don't waste time by finding a hall pass.
10. Book fairs can be busy, and an apron can help you be organized.
Here's a cool hack:
Use Wakelet, Buncee, or Flipgrid create a digital cookbook. Then print the generated QR code on an apron. You will have access to a wonderful collection of recipes whenever you scan a QR code. What a wonderful gift for a teacher if each child submitted a recipe from their culture.
Kristina A. Holzweiss
Ed Tech School Librarian
Digital Book Bentos
English Language Learners
First Day Of School
Kids Deserve It
Little Free Library
Make A Difference
School Librarian Of The Year
School Library Journal
Stripling Model Of Inquiry
Teen Tech Week
Think It Up
Virtual Field Trips
Wireless Door Chime