Dear New Teachers,
The other day I learned about this awesome web tool TweetBeam during a Buncee chat. TweetBeam populates a wall of tweets based on a hashtag or topic. You can also sign in your twitter account for a personalized show. TweetBeam's interactivity is an elegant streamlined way to capture an experience such as a conference, conference, festival, or museum display. On a personal note, a TweetBeam twitter wall can make an event such as a wedding or a graduation even more memorable. Check TweetBeam out for yourself at https://www.tweetbeam.com/.
Do you need to record video tutorials? Inevitably, you're all alone and you need to take close up shots. Take videos hands-free with the flexible cell phone mount. You can bend it into a table stand or even wear it around your neck. The mount is adjustable and fits most phones.
Lazy Cell Phone Holder - Universal Phone Holder to Wear Around neck Lazy Bracket Free Rotating Smart Mobile Phone Mount Stand
lazy bracket phone holder, Universal Mobile Phone Stand, Hanging on Neck Lazy Bracket, DIY Free Rotating Smart Phone Mount with Multiple Functions Features: -- Universal smart cell phone stand, compatible for all size of phones from 4 to 7.3 inches -- The newest cell phone holder, universal mobi...
Photo booth frames are so much fun, but they're bulky and don't fit in suitcases. That's why I love the inflatable photo frame! And to hack it for social media, attach a clear sheet protector so you can add any message quickly and neatly.
Have more fun in the sun and in the sea with this Inflatable Photo Frame! Gold with ornate frame detailing, it's the perfect photo prop for pool parties, ...
Thinking about starting your own YouTube channel? You will definitely need this green screen chair backdrop and lavalier cell phone mic to make your videos look fun and professional. The Webaround provides a nice solid background for your students' Flipgrid videos even if they don't use the green screen effect. Order a lavalier mic (wired with a clip is fine) that is compatible with your cell phone. Throw it into your bag and you will be able to record awesome sound wherever you are.
The Webaround is an affordable, portable webcam background solution that is perfect for tech support, call centers, online learning or video calling from home.
You love your students, but you don't love their germs! Give them fist pumps instead of high fives with this giant fist drink cooler. ***Do not add a beer can!
For that giant, monster-sized thirst. Transform into a party monster with The Beast. Available in 4 colors, this giant fist drink kooler keeps your drink cold and your hand dry-any standard size can or bottle fits. GREAT for parties.
Promote communication, collaboration, and critical thinking through the design thinking process. These dry erase mats are large enough for groups, and thin enough to carry in your suitcase. Turn them over for blank canvases for creation. Don't add more waste to our landfills and use these mats over and over again.
I believe that libraries are worlds of possibilities for our children. They should be places of "yes, and" not "no, but." We really need balance, as do all aspects of education.
What's "new" can be just flashy gadgets and toys unless there is sound pedagogy and skilled educators. Sometimes "old school" techniques can transform classrooms and libraries. But making is nothing new. Our public librarians have run hands-on programs for decades and, before the age of testing and data-driven decisions, we used to have fun reading and making with crayons, glue, scissors, paper, and clay.
We need balance. We need something so EVERYONE has a reason to visit the library. We need a place where ALL students can explore and experiment. Libraries are places of equity and opportunity. It may be only place where our students will have access to materials that they can't afford at home. It can be the place where English language learners and special education students interact through collaboration, rather than being hindered by language and abilities.
Making isn't new.
Making is what makes us human.
If you've never seen art teacher Cassie Stephens' clothing creations, you are missing out! Inspired by famous artists, Cassie is the Ms. Frizzle of the art classroom. You can check out her cool creations on her blog here:
An elementary art teacher blog with art projects and lessons, DIY projects and outfit photos as well as clothing I have made myself.
Well, I'm no seamstress and certainly no artist. In fact, I'm more at home with a hot glue gun and some Velcro. But I do enjoy fun clothes and accessories. So what are some of my favorite things?
I wore these space-themed Mary Jane flats by Hot Chocolate Design to the National Week of Making in Washington, D.C. in June 2016. This composition notebook inspired tote was the perfect way to carry my belongings while touring the national monuments. They made everyone I met smile!
I have to admit that I'm a bit of a hack. How did I make this pair of fancy footwear for Flipgrid Live in 2018? By gluing stickers and adding green shoelaces. There's no place like Flipgrid!
I've just discovered a new online clothing line called Svaha, that is based in Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. With an upcoming presentation at the Beth Yeshurn Day School Young Authors Celebration in Houston, Texas and a full day workshop with librarians through the Alberta School Learning Commons I was searching for library-themed clothes that were fun, comfortable, and easy to pack. This book print skirt and typewriter key skirt fit the bill. And for a bonus, both included deep pockets...perfect for carrying a pair of scissors and a roll of duct tape for my maker activities! Use my referral link to receive 20% off an order of $50 or more:
How could I attend the National Week of Making Kickoff Celebration at the White House without making my own pocketBOOK?
One of my favorite hacks is inspired by a librarian I saw at a conference years ago. She had the brilliant idea of collecting author signatures on a tote bag that resembled a library card. This library card scarf by Out of Print has been traveling with me for about a year and a half and is embellished by the signatures of authors I meet. It's lightweight, easy to pack, and always sparks a conversation
What do you collect when you are on vacation? Do you bring home postcards, ornaments, Starbucks mugs, magnets, or t-shirts? I collect pressed pennies that you make from those crank or automated machines. The problem is that there really wasn't a way for me to display my collection until I realized that I could make jewelry with them. If you are really talented and have patience you can create your own jewelry from scratch using copper wire and findings. I cheated and purchased a few copper-colored necklaces, hole-punched my pennies, and attached them with jump rings. You can do it too, with these hole punch pliers:
Over Easter break, I had the privilege of working with a phenomenal group of Alberta librarians who braved the snowy spring weather (even as far as 2.5 hours away) to "hack" all things advocacy, reading, and making. After a few days experiencing the natural beauty of western Canada, the Alberta Learning Commons Council "Hacking School Libraries" mini-conference was my last stop before returning to New York.
I was excited and I was anxious.
I had been planning and organizing, and then RE-planning and RE-organizing for this professional development session for months. You see, my co-author Stony Evans wasn't able to join me on this journey, and it would be my responsibility to design a full day of professional development for a group of librarians whom I had only met through twitter.
I was determined to inspire them with big ideas, but also hacks that they could begin using on Monday. So how can you create a full day workshop that offers something for everyone, follows a good pace, and engages the audience? Here are 5 hacks to help you design successful professional development sessions:
1. Know Your Audience
I can't stress this enough. I will always remember the comment that a participant had submitted in the follow up survey about one of my presentations. There it was, in black and white: "She didn't know her audience." I didn't know my audience? How could that be? I am a librarian, and I am speaking to a room full of librarians. How could I NOT know my audience?
Something had happened that day for someone to leave that type of feedback. I will never forget the day that I had read that, the feeling of dejection, the feeling that I had let someone else down. That librarian didn't know how I had crafted each of my slides with such care, the countless days I had spent rehearsing my anecdotes, and how two days previous I had received a standing ovation for the very same presentation. I can't fix the past, but I can certainly change my future.
Ask the organization how many people will be attending and their role. Give a survey, if possible, and ask questions related to your presentation.
HELPING HANDS AND HEALING HEARTS FOR HEALTHY MINDS: HOW LADY GAGA, DONORSCHOOSE, FLIPGRID, 100 STUDENTS, AND A FRIEND MADE A DIFFERENCE
Some years ago, my friend and colleague Claudia Leon and I brought our NYS Liberty Partnerships students on a field trip to the Ronald McDonald House in New Hyde Park, Long Island. We brought with us:
- wooden toys donated by adviser Steve Kaplan and the students of his Toy Making Club
- pantry items donated by adviser Mary Lapid and the students of the National Honor Society
- True Hope cancer dolls that our students had purchasing through fundraising
- and hats that I had knitted for babies
This year I had been speaking to a group of students about the Ronald McDonald House and what an impact that field trip made. At the same time, a new program was being promoted by DonorsChoose.org and the Born This Way Foundation, led by Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta, to support mental and emotional wellness. As an advocate for student voice to empower children to become agents of change, I had used the Flipgrid video recording tool for our SLIME event's Make a Difference Charity Pitch Fest. With all of these in mind, tt was time to write a new project with my students:
"Many of us visit the library because it is a place where we can relax and meet with our friends during free time. Our library has a classroom area, a reading lounge, and a makerspace. We even have exercise bikes that we ride on when we read. Our "Kids Kindness Kart" that has supplies so we can make things for others. During a day of working so hard, it's nice to visit the library and make things with our friends like toys for shelter dogs, cards for sick kids, and kindness rocks. Mrs. Holzweiss told us about the Ronald McDonald House, a place where families stay when their children are in the hospital. We want to help these families to cheer them up, and to know that people are thinking about them. We know that it's hard when people you love are sick, so we can take turn our pain into something positive.
If this project is funded we will have the supplies that we need to create beautiful works of art, and enjoy the wonderful smells and sounds of the library. After we paint our pictures, we are going to record video messages of hope with the Flipgrid app. Then we will print the QR code and attach it to the back of the artwork before we give them to the families at the Ronald McDonald House. They will have the artwork and a video to remind them when they need cheering up. If they want, they can even respond to our videos. We can do some awesome things together! This can make our school and the whole world a better place."
A few students participated by creating works of art in the library during their free periods, but I soon realized that it would take quite some time to paint 100 pieces of artwork to donate to the Ronald McDonald House. And so how it usually happens in the library, one thing leads to another...
My colleague Amy Scognamillo, a 6th grade ELA teacher, explained how she had been reading the picture books We're All Wonders by R.J. Palacio and Malala's Magic Pencil by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai with her students so that they could develop not only literacy skills, but also empathy. Listening to Amy speak was magical!
I explained my idea of this Ronald McDonald House art project to complement her lessons, and Amy immediately agreed to join me. For three days, my library was transformed into an art studio. With paints, crayons, markers, canvases, and brushes Amy's students created heartwarming messages of hope and inspiration. They not only learned ABOUT empathy, but they were given the opportunity to make a difference with their hands, hearts, and minds.
This project is particularly special for both Amy and me. Today is the 19th anniversary of her mother Marie's passing, and the 13th anniversary of my sister Laryssa's passing. I thank Amy not only for collaborating with me as a colleague, but the gift of making a difference with her and her students.
Click here to view the student messages: https://flipgrid.com/6af621
Kristina A. Holzweiss
Ed Tech School Librarian
Digital Book Bentos
English Language Learners
First Day Of School
Kids Deserve It
Make A Difference
School Librarian Of The Year
School Library Journal
Stripling Model Of Inquiry
Teen Tech Week
Think It Up
Virtual Field Trips