Creativity in the School Library
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6th Grade Speed Dating Genres

6th Grade Speed Dating Genres | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

We're speed dating this week. Several 6th grade teachers want their students to explore different fiction genres. I decided to make some personal ads (pictured above) for different genres or subgenres. I already had resources lists in Destiny for these genres, so it made it easy. We have eleven tables, which we'll load with books and an ad. Students will have to rotate through at least 4 tables. They'll be discussing genres in class, but I made an exit ticket so I can track which are the most popular (I still have one more book order to place.) If you're interested, here's a link to the ads, and a link to the exit ticket. The ads document has the titles listed separately at the end, to make it easier for my aides to cut them out! :)

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Feel free to use or modify!

Sarah Scholl's curator insight, March 29, 2016 3:54 PM

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Margareta's curator insight, April 1, 2016 9:55 AM

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Margareta's curator insight, April 1, 2016 9:56 AM

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Sharing the awesomeness of school librarians and library staff
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Discovering Children's Books-The British Library

Discovering Children's Books-The British Library | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

"Explore centuries of stories, poems and illustrations with Discovering Children’s Books, a free online resource for children, teachers and book-lovers of all ages. The site explores the history and rich variety of children’s literature, drawing on inspiring material from medieval fables to contemporary picture books.

Over 100 treasures are waiting to be found, from one-of-a-kind manuscripts to original illustrations. Collection highlights include original manuscripts, artworks, poems, drafts and notebooks by authors and illustrators such as Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, Kenneth Grahame, Judith Kerr, John Agard, Quentin Blake, Axel Scheffler, Lauren Child, Zanib Mian and Liz Pichon. The website also provides access to some of the earliest printed works created for a young readership and an array of movable, miniature, noisy and toy books, propaganda stories, comics, poems and fairy tales."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

A wonderful new site from The British Library to explore! There's so much here:

  • excerpts of books, manuscripts, artwork and more to digitally explore (from 2000 years ago to last year.)
  • Activities to use with students, with great writing prompts.
  • Videos with authors and illustrators.
  • Book lists on a variety of themes

 

I already started a miniature book station for students to make their own books. Easy, cheap and fun!

 

Thanks to Gary Price at Infodocket for sharing this site!

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Jason Reynolds New National Ambassador for Young Peoples Literature

Jason Reynolds New National Ambassador for Young Peoples Literature | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Christina Barron writes: "Jason Reynolds wants kids to love his stories, but he wants them to love their own stories more. The award-winning author, whom the Library of Congress announced Monday will be the seventh National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, plans to use his two-year appointment to listen as kids and teens — especially those in small towns — share those stories."

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Evaluating and Improving the School Library User Experience

Evaluating and Improving the School Library User Experience | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Hannah Byrd Little writes: "Seven recognized factors impact or influence the user experience. Though some of the factors seem similar, I hope to explain the nuanced differences.  Since school librarians are the librarians who “do it all” in their libraries, they need to be concerned with the user experience."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

This article is so timely! I'm back at work, revising my orientation presentations, setting up book displays and doing all the other beginning of the school year tasks. This is my ninth year in this library, and it's fascinating to look back on all the changes we've made. Even with our recent renovations, it's important to assess how our library works for our students and staff. Hannah's framework provides a way to evaluate your library from the user viewpoint. (It's also prompted me to work on a survey for returning students on their user experience in our library!)

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Celebrate National Poetry Month – Mighty Little Librarian

Celebrate National Poetry Month – Mighty Little Librarian | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Tiffany Whitehead writes: "We cut out a ton of words from magazines and pages from discarded books so students could create their own found poems and black out poetry. I also printed out some poems for students to take from the Poem in Your Pocket Day collection."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Such fun ideas! We usually do spine label and blackout poetry, but I am definitely adding this to my list for next year! 

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Stop literacy shaming! Engaging the so-called "non-readers" 

Stop literacy shaming! Engaging the so-called "non-readers"  | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Steve Tetreault writes: "It’s taken me years, but recently, I’ve become very aware that many folks–educators, administrators, students, and parents–have a mental image of what it means to be a “reader.” Anything that falls outside that image is labelled as “not real reading.” That “not real reading” label is often applied vociferously. That, my friends, is literacy shaming."

 

Imagine: Gift Habeshaw/Unsplash

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Thankfully I see fewer and fewer teachers doing this. But I clearly remember my second grade boys who avidly read every dinosaur, shark, or snake book in the library, suddenly labeled non-readers because it was time for chapter books--and only those at your Lexile level, please! I also remember one of those boys, now in middle school, who discovered Steve Sheinkin and a teacher who appreciated narrative nonfiction. The permission to read what he enjoyed freed him to explore everything in the library, including a few novels. 

 

In my middle school library, I often share with students that I tend to read fiction when I want to relax, but I read nonfiction to learn about the world. My husband only reads nonfiction and biographies--and 95% of that is through audiobooks! There's no one way to enjoy reading. (And I also tell them that it's highly unlikely any of them will grow up and get a job that requires them to read novels 8 hours a day!)

 

Let's end literary shaming once and for all! 

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5 Ways to Spread Book Love | Knowledge Quest

5 Ways to Spread Book Love | Knowledge Quest | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Kelly Hincks writes: "...book love is a combination of having a choice in what you read, access to books, and a positive reading attitude. My ideas are not about changing mindset, but about how to share resources with the school community."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I just put a light up marquee on my wish list! What a quick and easy way to highlight books that might otherwise languish on the shelves. Kelly's ideas show how a little imagination can overcome most obstacles we face in getting books into students and staff's hands!

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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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Genrefication Motivation - Julia Torres

Genrefication Motivation - Julia Torres | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Julia Torres writes: "Our students are some of the most curious and passionate readers I’ve ever met when provided with the right support, conditions, time, and encouragement.  I have said it before and will say again that no child loves reading like one who has been denied access to great books, time to enjoy them and reading role models in the form of connections to authors and readers who look like them and share their lived experiences. 

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

A powerful post on why genrefication helps bring students labeled "reluctant readers" back to the library and back to reading! Julia describes the process of analyzing her collection, getting input from students, and the moving and labeling books. 

 

As we approach the end of our first year of genrefied fiction, I know it's worth all the work! Our students feel more confident that they can find books on their own, they've identified themselves as readers of specific genres, and they are recommending more books to other students.

 

Julia had the same question I did about LGBTQIA books: do we as she says, "ghettoize" them in their own section, or put them in romance, etc? I decided to label each book that has any LGBTQIA characters with that label in the catalog, but shelved them in whatever genre fit. That way students who might be leery of approaching a shelf with a label can search the catalog and find them. I saw firsthand this year the relief on one student's face when he didn't have to advertise his reading to others (especially his family). I also saw perhaps a glimmer of understanding on another student's face when he sneered, "Where are all the gay romance books?" and I pointed to realistic fiction and said, "Over there with all the romance books, because...it's romance." 

 

And thanks to Julia for all the links she provided! I found a new to me resource, Yes! magazine, that has some great articles  for our social justice book club.

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‘Keep the story going:’ How community volunteers nudge elementary students to take on racism

‘Keep the story going:’ How community volunteers nudge elementary students to take on racism | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it
A Boulder County program uses storytelling in schools to raise awareness about racism and discrimination, and encourage students to do something about it.
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I love this idea! 

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Building beautiful book bentos — Joyce Valenza | NeverEndingSearch

Building beautiful book bentos — Joyce Valenza | NeverEndingSearch | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Joyce Valenza writes: "My friend Jennifer LaGarde (@jenniferlagarde) recently introduced me, and our Young Adults Reading and Literacy students at Rutgers, to the idea of Book Bentos.

 

Highly visual, creative and interactive the book bento strategy invites book lovers to create, hyperlink and share book titles in an artfully arranged interactive collage."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Before I even get to the fabulousness of this post, let's acknowledge this perfect example of the school library world: Joyce sharing an idea from Jennifer that built on a HyperDoc from Lisa and Rachel...and we can all use it with our students next week! School library people are the best people when it comes to sharing, giving credit, remixing ideas, etc.

 

This essentially is the digital version of book report boxes (which I always thought were student versions of Joseph Cornell's boxes.) I loved displaying those in the library, and we'd often host a gallery walk, in which students stood by their box and explained why each item was included. But book bento boxes can explain themselves! Making them interactive expands their audience and allows students to link to their own reflections on the book as well as book trailers, author interviews, and more. 

 

In order to make this equitable, I will suggest to teachers that students brainstorm what items they'd like to include in their book bento, then create a class list of needed items. Make it more like a scavenger hunt, so no students are left out, and no parents are buying items for these photos! Then the design, photographing and editing of the boxes can be done in class, too.

 

I can't wait to share this next week with ELA teachers!

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Beyond the Collection Diversity Audit

Beyond the Collection Diversity Audit | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Karen Jensen writes: "When I first began doing collection diversity audits, I had no idea that was what they were called. It was actually SLJ editor Kathy Ishizuka who gave me a name for what I was doing. I had Tweeted out pictures of me trying to figure out how inclusive my collection was and she said, “Oh, you’re doing a diversity audit”. And I thought, “Yes! That’s what I’m doing.” Doing diversity audits has radically changed how I approach and think about library services."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I recently had a conversation with a parent whose transgender child was told her library had no LGBTQAI+ books because "that doesn't happen in elementary school." The parent offered to donate a few middle grade novels, but the librarian told her she wasn't sure where they would go. IN YOUR COLLECTION, WITH YOUR OTHER BOOKS! I believe every school district should have a policy about collection diversity, and a procedure for diversity audits, so an individual's blind spots/personal beliefs don't negatively affect the library's collection. 

 

The parent mentioned above accepted that she'd make no progress with that librarian. She was able to take her child to the public library and bookstores. So many of our students cannot get to the public library or buy books. Others use the school library as a place to explore without a parent around. (I've had many students read the entire Harry Potter series in the library, without ever checking the books out, because their parents wouldn't approve. Imagine that child bringing home a book about gender identity?) 

 

Karen gives great ideas for applying your diversity audit to all the offerings in your library: displays, programming, reading lists, etc. (I'd add accessibility, since many of us have made our libraries comfortable but not necessarily for all students.) This is easily applied--and equally important--in your school library. Look at your past displays, your book lists, your lit circle books and be honest. Can you do better? As Maya Angelou stated, "I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better." Let's all commit to that!

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Thinking About Becoming a Blogger? It's Never Too Late to Start.

Thinking About Becoming a Blogger? It's Never Too Late to Start. | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it
It’s crowded in the blogosphere to be sure, but there is always room for new voices if you're passionate about education.

Via GwynethJones
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Great ideas from Gwyneth! 

GwynethJones's curator insight, February 26, 2019 3:22 PM

Honored to be interviewed for @NEAToday Magazine. On pages 48-49 in the hard copy!

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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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� 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? 

Linda Dougherty's curator insight, March 23, 2018 6:59 PM

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

GwynethJones's curator insight, March 24, 2018 8:33 AM

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