Creativity in the School Library
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10 Ways to Feed Your Library Instagram

10 Ways to Feed Your Library Instagram | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

I wanted to share how we use Instagram, and I also am massively jealous of my daughter's blog writing in the BuzzFeed sort of format. I played with several things and finally just made a Google Site so I could upload the photos the way I wanted. 

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I hope you get some good tips here! And remember the advice from Gwyneth Jones about blogging: never apologize if you don't post on a regular basis! We're all doing the best we can in our libraries:)

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GwynethJones's curator insight, November 17, 2016 2:32 PM

This is the BEST Post!

I'm stealing & trying ALL these great ideas!

~G

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Repeat after me: Academic Databases are the Netflix for Nerds! 

Repeat after me: Academic Databases are the Netflix for Nerds!  | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Kristen Mattson writes: "As a high school librarian, I know how important it is for my students to navigate and utilize academic databases. Ninety five percent of our students graduate with plans to continue their education, and will be expected to conduct research through their college or university library subscriptions.

 

Teaching students to navigate the databases is not the hardest part of my job, though. The most difficult part is convincing students that they are worth exploring." 

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

This is such a great idea! Now that every school district in California has access to Proquest databases via the Department of Education, I've been struggling with how to convince my 8th graders to use them. Kristen has come up with a wonderful way to get students to understand and to use databases! I can't wait to try this!

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Back-to-School Checklist for a Learner-Ready School Library 

Back-to-School Checklist for a Learner-Ready School Library  | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Kathryn Roots Lewis writes: "What’s on your school library back-to-school checklist? Do you have a learner-ready school library?

I’m kind of like a second-grader when it comes to a new school year. I love new school supplies and the excitement of seeing all the people I’ve missed over the summer. My feelings about a new school year may resonate with you, but sadly they do not resonate with all of our learners.

As I thought about posting a blog at this time of year, I contemplated what I share with new teachers, principals, and administrators about school libraries in my district. I began to rethink what it is that they all need to know. What do our learners need to know? What do you want them to feel when they come to the school library?"

 

Photo via Cathryn Lavery, Unsplash.com

 

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Wow, I'm feeling overwhelmed just reading this list! I love how Kathryn covers all the areas that librarians need to address at the beginning of the year. I do most of these things but it's always great to see them from a fresh perspective. 

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Is Your School Library Climate Controlled? | Knowledge Quest

Is Your School Library Climate Controlled? | Knowledge Quest | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Michelle Easley writes: "Your physical space influences the climate in your school library. In an effort to support diverse student populations critically observe your space."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Some good reminders for all of us as we head into a new school year. 

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#LibFive: Five Key Foundations for Building Inclusive Libraries

#LibFive: Five Key Foundations for Building Inclusive Libraries | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Julie Stivers writes: "Is there anyone more equipped to meaningfully speak on the concept of inclusive libraries than our students or patrons? Of course not. Of course not. To leverage students’ experience, perspective, and wisdom—and to create student-driven PD—I worked with three of our amazing 8th grade students at Mount Vernon Middle School to develop student-led training for librarians."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

What a GREAT article! I'm so inspired by Julie and the students who created the LibFive. This should be required reading for everyone who works in a school library! And great timing, as I'll be going back to school next week, and looking at my library and my practice with a new perspective. 

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Visual and Data Literacy Resources - Michelle Luhtula

Visual and Data Literacy Resources - Michelle Luhtula | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Resources from Michelle's 89th Edweb.net webinar.

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Another great webinar from Michelle Luhtula, this time on visual and data literacy. All the resources mentioned in the webinar are here in Michelle's Pearltree. You can watch the recorded webinar here

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Engaging Teachers with a Teacher Leadership Book Study 

Engaging Teachers with a Teacher Leadership Book Study  | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

"One thing we (Amy Illingworth & Mari Venturino) have in common is our love of books! We both read a good mix of education, fiction, young adult, and nonfiction books. What better way to bring together teachers than with a Teacher Leadership Book Study? Our district did just that! Read on, for how we did it and what we learned, from the perspective of a teacher participant and an administrator facilitator."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Wouldn't this be a great way to engage with staff at your school district? All of the teachers at my school received a copy of The Innovator's Mindset after George Couros did a presentation for us, but as far as I know, there was never any follow up, no discussions, no action.  

 

To me, teacher leadership isn't just about leading in the classroom, but in thinking about how to help students develop skills to lead in the future. And all the staff at school can provide those lessons, not only teachers! So, how about a book club that was open to all district staff? And perhaps books that aren't specifically classroom-focused? (Although I would lobby hard for the inclusion of Disrupting Thinking by Kylene Beers and Robert Probst!) This year I've read Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe and Algorithms of Oppression by Safiya Umoja Noble. Both of these titles could lead to fascinating discussions on how we interact and share information with students, and on the importance of understanding how we all seek and consume information.

 

And who else but library staff should be involved in starting a leadership book study? Do you have an administrator you can approach to start one? 

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Are You a Curator or a Dumper?

Are You a Curator or a Dumper? | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Jennifer Gonzalez writes: "Whether you’re a teacher, an administrator, a librarian, a researcher—whatever you do, chances are you have information to share with other people, and developing your curation skills—both in terms of how much you offer and how you deliver it—is going make that sharing a lot more effective."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Jennifer shares so many great tips here I almost suffered from the information overload she describes! As librarians, we are used to sharing information. Jennifer gives some ideas on how to thoughtfully curate, instead of overwhelming people with resources!

 

I use elink.io and tiny letter to share information with teachers, because I love their clean design interface. Tinyletter is best for newsletters or for sharing several resources on the same topic. (I mostly send these to our history teachers, with links I've gathered over a few weeks. I can be a bit chattier in that format and explain why I'm sharing the particular resources.)

 

I have encouraged teachers to require their students to create elink.io for annotated works cited pages. Instead of copying and pasting citations, students have to defend the resources they chose to use for their research projects. This requires them to put some thought into their choices instead of grabbing the first five results from Google!

 

This article gets at the heart of our profession in the digital age. Since almost anyone can find information on almost any topic online, we need to use and teach ways to thoughtfully weed through that information to find and share the best resources. As Jennifer says in her conclusion, "...developing our curation skills is just another way to elevate our craft."

 

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Digital Breakout - Search Strategies 

Digital Breakout - Search Strategies  | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

An easy-to-adapt digital breakout. I used it mainly to see how my 6th grade students constructed a search. Watching them work and analyzing the results on the Google Form gave me some insight into how I can help them become better researchers. 

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Earlier in the school year I taught 6th graders a short lesson about search strategies. I never like these stand alone lessons, as I don't think much sticks with a student if they're not immediately using it for a project. For their following library visit, I wanted to see what they remembered and how they'd use it. I created a digital breakout on Sites with a Form to collect their answers. Some things I learned after doing this with about 600 students:

  1. Never assume what students know. I had some students who didn't know the omnibox on Chrome was a Google search box. They'd type in www.google.com, then type their search query. 
  2. Students will search before digesting the question. (This we all knew, right?) They grab strings of words and type without ever thinking of what the results would look like. This is a point I really emphasized during my presentation: if you want to know what states were in the Cotton Belt, what would that look like on a page? (A map was the usual answer.) Then we might have better results searching [Cotton Belt map] instead of just [cotton belt]. Unless, of course, we were shopping for new belts!
  3. Students will type the entire question you give them into the search box. Even if the question is meaningless to Google! [Will you get there before your dad's bedtime?] doesn't give Google anything related to how long it takes to get to the Grand Canyon from San Diego!
  4. Related to 3 above, students got so caught up in immediately searching for answers that they failed to recognize some questions didn't even require a search! For example, the question "Will you get there before your dad's bedtime?" could only have a two letter answer on the Breakout Form. So...no. Yet many students went to Google Maps, asked if they were leaving from their house or from school, etc. It was a light bulb moment for some when I showed them how many questions could have been quickly answered in the Knowledge Panels on the right side of the search page without clicking on a single web page.
  5. The teachers who tried this didn't fare much better. Honestly, some made it too hard (converting Australian to US dollars!?!) but others were just not thinking through the questions. It was helpful when they admitted their struggles when we went over the answers. Hey, we're all learning in school!

 

These questions were not true research questions, yet were still difficult for students to answer. My emphasis for the rest of the year, including some things that resonated from  a great search webinar by Michelle Luhtala and Tasha Bergson-Michelson will include the following:

 

  1. THINK FIRST! Reflect on what the answer might look like (charts, polls, maps, a video, a .pdf, etc.) Take the time to choose only the keywords. Don't clutter your search with every word from your assignment.
  2. You might not find the answer on the first try. Or the fifteenth try. Keep refining, show some perseverance, ask for help. 
  3. You can't break Google. Don't wait for help if you're in class--attempt some kind of search. Remember, when really stumped, that Wikipedia article just might give you some great keywords to add to your search, or some amazing primary sources or other information in the external links. Anything is better than staring into space when you have a computer in front of you.
  4. Operators can save you time. Just be aware of exactly what they're leaving out. Last week 6th graders did research on diseases. Yes, site:gov was great for giving us numbers: how many people in the US had the disease, the causes, treatments, etc. But we would not find information on treatments from other countries, whether the disease was as prevalent outside the US, etc. Ask yourself if that's important for your particular project. 
  5. And always think critically about those sources. I harp ad nauseam on the Martin Luther King site that a white supremacy group runs. No, being a .org doesn't make it a good source! Neither does being on the first page of Google search results. So, searching laterally, determining who published and wrote the information, when it was published, etc., are all important, all the time. 

 

I always tell students Google features can be like speed dates--here for a bit, then gone. Use all the features you can find to improve your search, but don't think they'll always be around. The things  I want them to remember--especially thinking critically and persevering in a search-- are probably safe for a long-term commitment! Marry the strategies; date the tools!

 

 

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Using TallTweets to Create Gifs 

Using TallTweets to Create Gifs  | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Polly-Alida Farrington writes: "Amit Agarwal of Digital Inspiration has created many handy tools and shares great tips on his blog.  His TallTweets tool was originally created to create very long twitter posts. Enter your text and TallTweets parses it out into a bunch of connected tweets and posts them for you. Now that Twitter has added that feature, TallTweets has been repurposed to create gifs from Google slide decks."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I love this! And Polly's ideas for uses have sparked some of my own. What about creating a gif of book covers to display on your whiteboard while students are coming into the library for class? Or as she suggests, sharing introductory information or keywords from the presentation you'll be doing? (This would be great if you were  presenting about the impact of libraries to your school board! Think of all the images you could include!) Have students make one for a 10 second book talk!

 

I'm sure you can come up with a variety of ways to use TallTweets immediately!

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Elizabeth Hutchinson's curator insight, January 19, 1:22 AM
Loved this idea so much, just had to try it out straight away. It is great! 
Martha Bongiorno's curator insight, January 19, 12:07 PM
Interesting ideas! I can see tying this into a literature circle or exit ticket of some sort.
GwynethJones's curator insight, January 20, 8:15 AM

Interesting! Reminds me of the lesson I did years ago Tweeting a book review or Story in 140 -- guess I'll have to change that title, huh? LOL

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Four Things Students Need to Create Book Trailer Videos | Free Tech for Teachers

Four Things Students Need to Create Book Trailer Videos | Free Tech for Teachers | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Richard Byrne writes: "Creating book trailer videos is a great alternative to a traditional written book report assignment. In a book trailer video students highlight their favorite elements of a story and try to entice viewers to read the book themselves." 

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

A few days before we went on winter break, I was brainstorming ideas for January library visits. I decided to broach the idea of a book trailer contest with the 6th grade teachers, and immediately heard back from over half of them that they were in! I'm hopeful that we can tie this in to our annual March Madness contest, too.

 

The idea (at the moment) is to have students create individual book trailers on one platform, with a maximum length of... 60 seconds? 90? I'll have to play with this. (I am leaning toward using Adobe Spark as the platform, which Richard demonstrates in his blog post.) Each class will then vote for their top three. Those finalists will be shown on our daily TV news, and voting will be open to all students. I think I'll also post the finalists on the library webpage for students who may miss a day of school (or whose teachers still aren't showing TV news each morning!) 

 

I'm also planning on an awards show for the finalists, with a red carpet, paparazzi (our yearbook students) and popcorn! 650 sixth grade students--I hope I didn't create a monster!  For the third year in a row I will be out the last day before spring break, so I will leave my part-time library tech with the job of tallying and posting the winners. We will have to have the awards ceremony after break. There's a lot still to plan, but Richard's post, along with my presentation--with bonus cheesy trailers--will get us started in January.

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Elizabeth Hutchinson's curator insight, January 4, 1:19 AM
Book trailers is one thing I would love to work with this year. 
Ashley Hodson-Phy's curator insight, January 7, 9:26 AM
Book trailers
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Makerspace Challenges

Makerspace Challenges | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

I love seeing a good challenge in a makerspace! Can you build a rocketship with three toothpicks and a whistle? Can you design a city that uses bicycles to provide power? How about some real world challenges, ones that our students really need to learn? Here are a few tongue in cheek challenges that I'd love my students to tackle! Our ASB students volunteered to make these videos with no script and lots of improvisation. 

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I think Miss Z, our model in each video of the correct way to do all things, should win an Oscar for her eye rolls!

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Reprioritizing to Make Room for More Reading by Laura Gardner

Reprioritizing to Make Room for More Reading by Laura Gardner | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Laura Gardner writes: "School librarians wear many hats. In my school library, I teach information literacy; collaborate with teachers on technology-rich projects; offer book buffets and book talks on a regular basis; purchase, weed and manage a large collection; promote our library, books and reading on social media; and am in charge of a bustling Makerspace. I also try to find time to read widely from our collection, as well as new books I may wish to add to our collection. In the past, this reading has taken a back seat to other priorities, but in the last six months I have reprioritized to make more time for reading."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I love Laura's suggestions for squeezing in reading. I find it very hard to book talk books I haven't read, so I try to read as much of my collection as I can. Pair this article with Jennifer LaGarde's excellent post about getting teachers to read (with shareable infographics and other resources), and JUST DO IT! I have become much more comfortable reading during passing periods or other times when I'm at my desk because my middle schoolers seem desperate for recommendations. 

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Elizabeth Hutchinson's curator insight, December 6, 2017 1:42 AM
The importance of reading and the difference it can make to students seeing their teachers reading. Let us all try to read more. 
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The Adventures of Library Girl: Genrefying Your Collection Without Changing Call Numbers

The Adventures of Library Girl: Genrefying Your Collection Without Changing Call Numbers | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Jennifer LaGarde writes: "This image perfectly sums up why I am a fan of genrefying library collections and why I have gone through the process in two libraries."

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Mary Reilley Clark's curator insight, October 23, 1:31 PM

I never thought I'd say this, but Jennifer's instructions for genrefying have almost convinced me to do it! We're in the middle of our speed dating by genre lesson, which I base off the resource lists I've made in Destiny. I am going to do an informal poll with students the rest of the week about genrefying. Based on today's circulation, when they see a genre they like, they're more likely to check books out. If we start labeling soon, we can move everything during testing when the library is mostly closed anyway. #LibraryGoals

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� MyBib – A New FREE Bibliography Generator

� MyBib – A New FREE Bibliography Generator | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Automatically create bibliographies, references, and citations in APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, and over 8,000 more styles with our totally free and no-ads citation generator.

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I got an email from the creator of MyBib this morning and spent some time trying it out. I am so impressed! Here's what I wrote him about the features I love:

 

  • "Add notes & quotes" to citations is brilliant! I can see students who have limited time doing some research, saving citations and adding notes to remind themselves why they want to use that source.
  • "Go to webpage" is also brilliant during the research phase! An easy way to check you're citing sources you actually used. (I'm sure everyone has had that one teacher/professor who goes through your citations and asks you to show where you used each one.)
  • The extensive types of sources. Our 6th graders do a project in which they need to cite songs and art work. Citation builders other than EasyBib rarely had the depth of sources we needed.
  • Being able to create an account without receiving a confirmation email. Our students cannot receive emails from outside our school district with their student emails. 
  • Saving to Google Drive. A must for our Google Suites school!
  • Being able to manage multiple bibliographies simultaneously. Not a big issue in middle school, but I know in high school and beyond this will be helpful.

 

Check it out for yourself: I think you'll find it's a great tool to share with students!

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Spark Your Conversations, Connections and Collaboration With A Cube!

Spark Your Conversations, Connections and Collaboration With A Cube! | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Shannon Miller writes: "We can't share enough from our libraries, classrooms and school communities.

We need to share the stories, creativity and learning of our students. We need to share what we do and what our libraries, classrooms and communities have to offer.  We need to share and champion our skills, our specialties and awesome ideas....especially those of our students!"

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

SO.MANY.CUBES! We can't be everywhere at once within our schools, but these cubes can help move us outside our library walls. I especially see using them with teachers. I am working on one now for the beginning of the year to place on the lunch tables in the staff lounge. I would also like to make them for department meetings with more subject-specific info. 

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School Library Journal: Advocate This, Not That!

School Library Journal: Advocate This, Not That! | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Jonathan Hunt writes: "If your school is not a group of buildings gathered around a library, at least metaphorically, then I have made my best argument for why it should be. If we are going to change the status quo—if the school library is to ever fulfill its promise—then it must be transformed from the top down as much as from the bottom up. It can’t only be a grassroots movement. If budgets really are statements of values and strategic vision, and if schools and districts time and again spend large sums of money on lower-impact priorities with lackluster results, especially for our most vulnerable students, then it’s high time for a change—we are the ones to demand it."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

These four priorities are a great way to frame the purpose of school libraries, especially in discussions with administrators or district level staff. We need to help them see how crucial school libraries are in ensuring all of our students receive the best education.

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Why Do You Need a Collection Development Plan? 

Why Do You Need a Collection Development Plan?  | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

(Image via Tobias Fischer, Unsplash)

 

Sedley Abercrombie writes: "A collection development plan sounds like a lot of work. It may seem as hopeless as squeezing water out of a rock. But a well-written collection development plan can be a very helpful advocacy tool that can help you garner more support than you might think.

 

What keeps your administrator up at night? Is it test scores? Is it teacher retention? Is it supporting instruction? If you can answer that question, figure out how you can position the school library program to best support your school’s needs and you will be more likely to garner support for your program."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Sedley generously shared a template to make it as painless as possible to develop your own collection development plan. It's now on my list for my non-student work days at the end of June!

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The 7 Interesting Ways That Reading Makes You Healthier

The 7 Interesting Ways That Reading Makes You Healthier | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Lee Watanabe-Crockett writes: "Reading is more than just a pastime for your downtime. In fact, regular reading makes you healthier, and science proves it. According to the infographic below from GE Editing, there are 7 science-backed ways reading makes you healthier.

The truth is, if you’re a regular reader, then both your brain and your body enjoy the benefits. It kind of makes you wonder why people don’t read more than they do. For instance, studies from organizations like Pew Research and Statistic Brain indicate that reading is on the decline, but this is in the U.S. alone. The chart below indicates how much reading is done globally in each country."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

It's time to start thinking about summer reading promotion! How about approaching your PE teachers for a collaboration? Last year, I made a summer reading bingo card, but I'd like to combine some physical activity with reading this summer. (And not just for the students! My exercise bike has spider webs:/)  I am working on a post now with some ideas for a well-balanced summer of reading, computer time and physical activity. 

 

Oh, for an unlimited budget! Wouldn't it be great to give students a book and a jump rope for summer break? I'm thinking of asking students to tag our Instagram account with photos of them reading AND moving! (Prizes involved as an incentive.) Living in sunny southern California, we have no excuses for not exercising! 

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Elink--My New Favorite Curation Tool!

Elink--My New Favorite Curation Tool! | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

I seem to spend a lot of time curating resources for students and teachers, and I'll bet you do, too! I've used Diigo, Scoop.it and Symbaloo, but am growing very fond of elink. Some of the advantages I love:

  • It's visually appealing. Elink pulls an image from the website you're sharing, and if it doesn't, it's easy to quickly upload one.
  • Unlike Symbaloo, Elink will pull a snippet of text from the website. You can edit, delete, add explanatory text, etc. I can guide students to specific parts of a website after they've explore the home page.
  • It's FAST! Choose your template (there are a few free ones and several pro options,) start adding your links, rearrange the order, give your elink a name, and publish!
  • I just heard from Raj at elink, and learned you can share Google Sheets, Forms, Docs, and YouTube videos without ads (they open on a black background and look beautiful, so I'll use it, even though some people like my daughter make their travel income from YouTube ads!)

 

I've used it in a variety of ways:

 

The downsides:

  • Elink is a 13 and up site.
  • There's currently no way to sign up with Google, which would be great for our students. Right now, they have to use another Gmail account, since our school accounts do not allow them to receive email from outside the district.
  • They're touting their new product with a banner ad at the bottom of the elink page. It's large enough to be a distraction--at least to me, if not to students!

 

 

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Have you tried elink? What are your thoughts? 

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Linda Dougherty's curator insight, March 23, 6:59 PM

Looks like an interesting new way to curate websites plus Google Docs and YouTube videos.

GwynethJones's curator insight, March 24, 8:33 AM

I'm always happy to learn about new Curation Tools! Thanks, Linda! PS. @ljdougherty: She's a great follow!

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24 Social Media Shortcuts

24 Social Media Shortcuts | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Gwyneth Jones writes: "Sometimes, when you're sharing the benefits of a professional Social Media presence, it can become a bit bewildering and overwhelming."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I am printing this out for teachers. While several of them joined Twitter this year and have found benefits to it, there are many who are afraid to approach it. Gwyneth's steps take all the fear out of social media for educators!

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Elizabeth Hutchinson's curator insight, February 13, 1:46 AM
Some great advice for beginners! 
 
Pogohelp's curator insight, February 13, 6:58 AM

facebook help center number , technical support provider Customer Support Number@ +1-888-600-8505 

Website http://www.facebook-helpline.net/

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100+ Ideas And Prompts For Student Blogging

100+ Ideas And Prompts For Student Blogging | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Ronnie Burt, Sue Waters and Kathleen Morris write: "Want your students to write more in your class? Looking for prompts or ideas for student blog posts? You are in luck! This post aims to get your creative juices flowing with over 100 ideas and examples..."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Ah, the power of blogging! I read over 100 blogs thanks to the Feedly app. Right after I read this article, a teacher emailed me to ask if I could help her students create blogs--and figure out a reason for them to use them! Didn't I look like a genius when I suggested we use the types of blog posts from Ronnie, Sue and Kathleen's article and write blogs about the novel her students were reading? 

 

This project has since morphed into a grade-level one. All 7th graders are reading the novel Tangerine as part of our new language arts curriculum. Each blog post students write has to relate to something in the novel. (There's something for everyone in this book--bullying, environmental issues, inequity in education, prejudice, sports, etc.) So, everyone is blogging and everyone is  reading and commenting on other students' blogs. Most students are used to sharing work with their classmates, but now they will share with all students in their grade!

 

I used this presentation to introduce the types of posts they'd be writing. I encouraged teachers to customize: give students a choice of 6-8 types of posts, limit post length, etc. I was able to get them brainstorming by asking for examples from Hatchet, a novel most of them had read in 6th grade. They were very enthusiastic! A journal post from the perspective of the moose Brian encounters? Or a sales post for a plane, slightly used and maybe moldy? A curation post on how to determine which foods in the wilderness are safe to eat? We also looked at blogs on topics that might interest them and talked about how to find and follow them.

 

After the presentation all students signed up for Blogger and created their blogs. We wanted a standard format for the blog addresses, so one student demonstrated on our interactive board as everyone followed along. Next up, they write, they customize their theme, they find images that are free to use and share, etc. I can't wait to see the results! And I am happy to say that several students immediately thought of ideas for personal blogs. And all this happened because I read blogs:)

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Elizabeth Hutchinson's curator insight, January 20, 2:15 AM
Love this post. All you would ever need to help your students get the most from blogging! 
GwynethJones's curator insight, January 20, 8:12 AM

What Mary says.

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Behind the Books: The Nonfiction Family Tree

Behind the Books: The Nonfiction Family Tree | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Melissa Stewart writes: "If you’re a longtime reader of Celebrate Science, you may remember that back in 2012 and 2013, I spent a lot of time trying to develop a Nonfiction Family Tree. This effort to categorize and understand the various kinds of nonfiction and the interplay among them was heavily influenced by the ideas of such nonfiction thought leaders as Marc Aronson, Myra Zarnowski, Sue Bartle, and Mary Ann Cappiello.

Eventually, I gave up on the family tree and started to think about other ways to classify nonfiction, but recently I decided to take a fresh look at the tree analogy, and I came up with something that I think is worth sharing..."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Melissa's post and her follow-up here made me think about my ongoing frustrations with our nonfiction section. ****NB: Melissa just shared this wonderful article she wrote for SLJ. It gets at so much of what bothered me as an elementary librarian, when students are steered away from non-fiction to chapter books.**** We have so many incredible books that just don't circulate. I do a lesson with 6th graders similar to speed dating in which they browse tables full of books, but even though they enthusiastically check those out, they rarely wander through the nonfiction shelves on subsequent visits.

 

It's still in development, but I am going to use Melissa's post about teaching the different types of nonfiction in a new lesson. We talk during the genre speed dating lesson about how you can drill down into subgenres: "I like the mystery genre, but I focus on the forensic subgenre myself," or "Yes, I read historical fiction, if you consider alternative history a subgenre of that." (We use our best pretentious voices while stating our preferences.) Now it's time for a lesson on the kinds of nonfiction!

 

I still remember my neighbor and current 8th grade student discovering narrative nonfiction last year. He was one of many students who considered himself a non-reader because he doesn't like reading fiction. (Or rather, he doesn't like reading teacher-assigned whole class novels.) After he read Unbroken, he came back for The Boys Who Challenged Hitler, The Nazi Hunters, The Port Chicago 50, and many more. He told his teacher, "I didn't know narrative nonfiction was a thing, but now I know what I want to read."

 

First up, I will make more specific resource lists for students to highlight narrative nonfiction, etc. Next, we'll get busy on some displays, and perhaps make it a goal to have a nonfiction display every month. 

 

I'm grateful to Melissa for getting the wheels turning on this!

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Children's Book Art: Techniques and Media

Children's Book Art: Techniques and Media | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Lisa Von Drasek writes: "The Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota Archives and Special Collections is one of the leading repositories of rare books, process art, and manuscripts of children’s literature. The collections range from rare volumes of Mother Goose from the 1800s to contemporary creators like Jane Yolen, Sharon Creech, Christopher Paul Curtis, and Melissa Sweet.

 

The University of Minnesota Libraries’ mission is to share these riches with teachers of children, youth services librarians,  teachers of teachers, and students of creative writing and art, and anyone who is interested in the craft of making children’s books.

 

I believe in the value of integrated art. Art observing and art making across the disciplines. This exhibit is a jumping off place, just the beginning of our explorations. 

 

Our team of volunteers, interns, and staff has created a resource describing children’s book art and how it is made with examples from over sixty artists that are held in the Kerlan Collection. 

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

This resource makes me want to run back to my elementary library and teach my Caldecott unit again! Lisa Von Drasek and the staff at The Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota have curated an incredible collection of book art by technique. Double clicking on the images gives you larger images that don't pixelate, so you can share on a big screen. 

 

I used to spend 4 to 6 weeks exploring art techniques in Caldecott books with second graders, and had plenty of supplies on hand for students to explore. I had a document camera so we could examine the books more closely, but this resource will definitely increase the "Wow!" factor with students! I'm sharing this with our art teacher, but seriously need to brainstorm a way to use this in my middle school library. 

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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, December 30, 2017 6:08 AM

This resource makes me want to run back to my elementary library and teach my Caldecott unit again! Lisa Von Drasek and the staff at The Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota have curated an incredible collection of book art by technique. Double clicking on the images gives you larger images that don't pixelate, so you can share on a big screen. 

 

I used to spend 4 to 6 weeks exploring art techniques in Caldecott books with second graders, and had plenty of supplies on hand for students to explore. I had a document camera so we could examine the books more closely, but this resource will definitely increase the "Wow!" factor with students! I'm sharing this with our art teacher, but seriously need to brainstorm a way to use this in my middle school library. 

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'Tis the Season: Ten Ways to Make the Library a Teacher's Gift

'Tis the Season: Ten Ways to Make the Library a Teacher's Gift | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Angie Miller writes: "This is a busy time of year in schools–one that puts a great deal of pressure on our teachers. But let’s remember that as librarians, our very career is to serve others. We are the ultimate givers. And we can make this strained season in schools easier by offering up our services to the educators in our building. 

 

So how can you make the library a gift for our teachers? Here are some ideas..."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I love (and really try to do) them all! But honestly, I am now secretly craving an enamel "academic bartender" pin! 

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Elizabeth Hutchinson's curator insight, December 16, 2017 3:05 AM
Give teachers the gift of time this Christmas. Help them understand that this is what we do all year round. 
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Then and Now in the Library

Then and Now in the Library | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

I had just taken these then and now photos when I read Sedley Abercrombie's article in Knowledge Quest. I was thrilled to look back at the changes we've made in our library over the past seven years. I wonder what it will look like seven years from now?

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I'm so grateful that Google Photos sent me the reminder of my work anniversary! And that it serendipitously coincided with Sedley's article.  

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