As a matter of fact, yes. Yes, I'm going to wear that apron in the library and here's why...
Here's a video of one of my graduating 8th graders watching a video of himself when he first entered the middle school.
I've always believed that there should be opportunities for students to learn with their heads, their hands, and their hearts. Our students may understand the effects of the Cold War, how to balance equations, the scientific method, the proper format of a persuasive essay, how to speak another language, score a goal, mix watercolors, and play in tune but what will any of that matter if they don't develop a sense of compassion for others and pride in their work.
This year I was fortunate to continue my career in a district where I met an occupational therapist with a focus in assistive technology. She and I were both familiar with the benefits of sensory walks for ALL children. These walks reminded me of the painted footprints that I used to follow from the lobby to the Children's Room in the basement of my public library. If you have never seen a sensory walk before, check out this video.
While brainstorming we began thinking, "Wouldn't this be a wonderful opportunity for kids to do something FOR kids?" My colleague invited two special education elementary classrooms in our district to be part of our pilot program. Then we approached a special education teacher who helps to prepare students for work study opportunities. With her advisement, a graduating special education senior was invited to become the project manager for this endeavor. Applying the skills that she had learned in the program, she created a Google survey for pilot classrooms, assisted with cutting and weeding the designs created by the Cricut Maker, and even created a PowerPoint presentation about proper line up procedures that she shared with the elementary students. This student developed leadership skills that will last a lifetime.
Using the Cricut Maker to design and cut the shapes...
The Cricut Maker in action...
The student project manager teaching the elementary students about proper line up procedures...
Trying out the sensory walk before it is installed...
These first sensory walks are fairly simple designs, and we look forward to working with classrooms in other district elementary schools on more elaborate projects. Although sensory walks are available for purchase, the benefits of this project were more far reaching...
* using technology and resources already available
* ability to customize during the creation process
* making connections among schools in the same district
* involving special education students in the process so that they can apply what they have learned in the classroom
* empowering students and educators
Some of my favorite professional development moments are during Twitter chats. Last night while moderating the monthly #wakeletwave chat (archived under the portfolio tab), I saw Erin Flanagan's post about monthly newsletters that she had created.
Erin's idea was simple, user friendly, and a timesaver...all ingredients for an epic hack! This immediately got my mind going. What about a Wakelet newsletter template that LIBRARIANS could use? So here it is...
Save time and money by using Wakelet to create a library newsletter each month! With Immersive Reader technology by Microsoft, your newsletters will automatically be read aloud and even translated. Embed the newsletters on your website, and share them through email, social media, or Remind. Remember...this is just a template to get you started. Have fun and be creative by adding your own images, videos, links, tweets, PDF files, and Google Docs.
1. Log in to Wakelet.
2. Make a copy of the newsletter at
https://wakelet.com/@lieberrian. Scroll down until you see my logo.
3. Edit it by deleting, adding, and modifying information. 4. Then share it with your students, their families, and your colleagues.
5. Each month you can copy, create, and title a new newsletter.
LIVE VERSION OF THE NEWSLETTER TEMPLATE
IMMERSIVE READER DEMONSTRATION
Sometimes a post pops up into your twitter feed that inspires you to create something. This is what happened with Heather Lister posted about a website called the Breaking News Generator, and suggested to use it to create fake news posts. I immediately thought about the "Two Truths and a Lie" game where participants have to determine which two statements are true and which statement is a lie. It also reminded me of the books by Laurie Ann Thompson and Ammi-Joan Paquette, as well as my Amazing Makerspace True Books.
So I set out to create a Flipgrid topic using these "Breaking News" posts as the prompts. Take a look at the finished product.
There are several ways to transform images into videos, but this is how I did it. Follow the steps to create your own.
1. Decide on a topic to establish prior knowledge or to review content. Research the topic and write three statements that seem plausible, yet only two are actually true.
2. Use http://www.breakyourownnews.com to create three posts with appropriate headlines, tickers, and images.
3. Since Flipgrid only always video submissions in .MOV. .MP4, and .WEBM format you must create a video file. First I take my image and use https://giphy.com to create a GIF. I like doing this because I can add stickers, text, and drawings to my images. This animation really gets students' attention. If you create a free account you, you will be able to save and access your GIF's online.
Here is my finished GIF.
4. Now go to https://ezgif.com/gif-to-mp4 to convert your GIF's to MP4 files so that you can upload them to Flipgrid.
5. Create a grid called "Two Truths and a Lie," and then create separate topics for each activity. Upload your videos to responses to the prompt. You can either provide links to resources and databases, or require that your students locate their own as evidence. Share the link to the topic that you would like your students to focus on. After your students research the statements, they will determine which two of the three statements are true and which is a lie. Then they will record their reply to your response giving their opinion with evidence and citing their sources. Empower your students and encourage them to create their own "Two Truths and a Lie" Flipgrid activities.
BREAKING NEWS - FLIPGRID UPDATE
You'll be excited to learn that soon you can bypass the above hacks and just import your own images as stickers. Check it out!
I remember when each of my sons during separate locations was recuperating from routine outpatient surgery. Ceiling Tiles
Sending Smiles 2 is
What is Immersive Reader?
Immersive Reader is a free tool by Microsoft EDU that helps users to read, track, and even translate. It's a game changer for special education students and English language learners. With its universal design, users can opt in to use Immersive Reader without feeling stigmatized
Immersive Reader Wakelet Demonstration
Put your teachers in the driver's seat. Create a Breakout EDU (physical or digital), create Wakelet collections of apps, web tools, articles, or teaching strategies for them to discover. When they document their learning with Flipgrid they can earn their next clue. Try this at your next faculty meeting or conference day. Check out the "Epic Breakout EDU Appsmash Challenge" that Melissa Bazner and I created for ISTE 2019:
Dear New Teachers,
If you aren't going to create a website, PLEASE use Wakelet to create a digital portfolio for your resume. Potential employers should be able to "Google" you & see a positive digital footprint. Make it easy for them & curate your awesomeness.
Check out mine at https://wakelet.com/@lieberrian
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