Thursday, April 6, 2017

THE THURSDAY 3 for April 6, 2017

Favorite finds from around the web. 


Many of you are interested in BreakoutEDU. Here's how to do it on a budget!

Friday, March 24, 2017

MISD librarians on YouTube

If you are reading this post on email, click through to see a new video featuring some of our fabulous MISD librarians and their baby book clubs. Thanks to Ted Madden and the MISD Electronic Media Services department for the shout out.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

PD in Your PJs - March 2017

Title:  Literacy = Language Production: Going Beyond the Text & Embracing the Talk
  • Organization:
  • Date: Monday, March 13, 2017 @ 03:00 pm – 04:00 pm EDT
  • Description: Too many use the term “literacy” interchangeably with “reading,” but the reality is that literacy is more encompassing: it is reading, writing, and speaking. Ensuring all students have mastered these capacities is perhaps the greatest challenge facing schools today – and it touches all disciplines, from language arts to social studies to science. How can we overcome this challenge and ensure our students are mastering all aspects of literacy? The answer is simple, although not easy: the production of language. It’s time to get students talking! Join Kevin Baird, Chairman of the Board at the nonprofit Center for College and Career Readiness, for an interactive webinar about the critical role of discussion and debate in building strong literacy skills. Kevin will delve into the latest research to outline priority steps and pragmatic strategies for leveraging the power of student talk in accelerating literacy growth. Topics he will cover include:
    • Using real-world topics to jump-start discussions and debates in the classroom
    • Encouraging students to incorporate text-based evidence in their oral arguments
    • Learning and mastering academic vocabulary through first-person use
    • Empowering students of all ability levels to participate in grade-level discussions
  • Link: 
Title:  Panel Discussion: New Graphic Novels for Your Library
  • Organization: Booklist
  • Date: Tuesday, March 07, 2017 @ 01:00 pm – 02:00 pm CST
  • Description: Get the scoop on the latest youth and adult graphic novels and comics in this free, hour-long webinar. Representatives from DC, Macmillan, and IPG share upcoming titles from their catalogs, perfect for refreshing this high-circulating section. Moderated by Graphic Novels Editor, Sarah Hunter. 
  • Link:
Title:  WE Are One: Accessibility – It’s Up To Us
  • Organization: Simple K12
  • Date: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 @ 02:00 pm – 02:30 pm EDT
  • Description: When it comes to people, there’s no such thing as “normal.” All humans grow and adapt to the world around them. We want our schools and communities to reflect that diversity and make everyone feel welcome. In this webinar, you will learn about the experiences of people with disabilities, and then discover technology to help you imagine and plan how you can make your school or community more inclusive. Join Jackie Novak as she explores a wonderful “It’s Up To All of Us Together” classroom resource for inclusion and diversity. In addition to providing links to U.S. Common Core expectations, it also includes a series of engaging lessons applicable to English Language Arts programs, as well as strategies for assessment and evaluation – all using Microsoft technology that brings it to life.
  • Link:
Title:  10 Free Microsoft Tools to Energize Your Classroom!
  • Organization: Simple K12
  • Date: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 @ 03:00 pm – 03:30 pm EDT
  • Description: Who doesn’t love free tools – especially teachers? Come join Robyn Hrivnatz as she takes a look at some of Microsoft’s top free tools for energizing your classroom and empowering both teachers and students. She will share how these tools can be used across the curriculum to increase productivity and student engagement.
  • Link: 
Title:  Motivating the Gifted but Reluctant Learner
  • Organization:
  • Date: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 @ 03:00 pm – 04:00 pm EDT
  • Description:  In this webinar Dr. Diane Heacox, Ed.D. will explore well-documented research on underlying causes of low performance and create distinctions between non-producers, selective producers, and underachievers among the gifted populations. Teachers often struggle to reach students who actively or passively resist engagement in learning. This session will identify behaviors that distinguish students who are having motivational issues. Dr. Heacox will consider which behaviors are necessary for success in the classroom and how to remove barriers to learning, giving students more opportunities for autonomy. Participants will be guided through a process for diagnosing specific performance issues and Dr. Heacox will suggest specific and targeted courses of action.
  • Link: 
Title:  Make Magic with Mix
  • Organization: TeachersFirst
  • Date: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 @ 06:00 pm – 07:30 pm CDT
  • Description: Learn to create powerful, engaging, and interactive presentations using Office Mix, the latest Microsoft Office add-in for PowerPoint. Create powerful, engaging, and interactive presentations using the latest Microsoft Office add-in for PowerPoint — Office Mix. Learn to use Office Mix for recording video, screen capturing, adding annotations, making interactive questions and assessments, sharing online and data analytics. You can easily Flip your classroom with Mix while tracking students’ understanding. This session is for teachers at INTERMEDIATE technology comfort levels. You must attend this session on a laptop or desktop computer that has a full version of Microsoft PowerPoint installed. Additionally, participants MUST download and install the free Office Mix add-in before the session. You will not be able to CREATE Office Mix learning objects on an Android or Apple tablet or via Office 365. You can access and use them on those devices, but not create them. TeachersFirst are hands-on exploratory workshops, not sit & gets. We highly recommend that you attend using a computer with an updated browser (Chrome or Edge). Those attending on mobile devices may not be able to fully participate and therefore may not receive a certificate. You are welcome to join on a mobile device, but this may jeopardize your ability to receive CEUs.
  • Link:
Title:  Teaching Young Gifted Children: The Whats, Whys, and How-Tos for Supporting Their Needs
  • Organization: Early Childhood Investigations
  • Date: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 01:00 pm – 02:30 pm CDT
  • Description: Whether you work in a preschool program, childcare center, kindergarten, or primary-grade classroom, you have gifted children in your group right along with children who have a broad range of abilities. Why is it important to recognize and support the needs of young gifted children? What are the best ways to identify these children? How do you ensure that the learning environment meets their needs developmentally, socially, emotionally, and educationally? What are the best practices for fostering an environment where learning is interactive, process oriented, and nurturing to all children, including those who are gifted?
  • Link: 
Title:  Create a Culture of Acceptance and Kindness in a Challenging World: It all starts in Your Early Childhood Program
  • Organization: Early Childhood Investigations
  • Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 @ 01:00 pm – 02:30 pm CDT
  • Description: In a time where there seems to be many negative messages in the media and beyond, we in early childhood programs experience the effects on young children. This webinar will share a variety of ideas and strategies to use in your programs that embrace a culture of acceptance and kindness.
  • Link: 
Title:  Teaching Digital Literacy
  • Organization:
  • Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 @ 05:00 pm – 06:00 pm EDT
  • Description: This webinar will focus on instructional strategies that help students increase their digital literacy. Michelle Luhtala, Library Department Chair, New Canaan High School, CT will outline distinctions between media literacy and digital literacy, and highlight how each can be addressed in the classroom and through the library program. The program will also focus on digital collection development and how using library resources can promote critical thinking, improve reading skills, and help learners better understand the research process. This webinar will benefit librarians, and is a follow-up to Emerging Tech’s session, Media Literacy: A Crash Course in 60 Minutes.
  • Link: 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Thoughts on Reading Aloud

I've had the glorious opportunity to read aloud to several classes over the last few weeks and it's given me cause to reflect on how powerful this very simple thing can be for our students.

When reading to primary students, I am a fan of the old-fashioned way of doing a read aloud. I know that technology allows us to display the pictures on the screen for everyone to see, but there is just something nice about having little ones grouped on the floor close to me while I'm reading.  I try to choose a large book with great illustrations, so that even if students are at the back of the group, they can see the pictures. I also take my time, putting the book down closer to their eye level and slowly moving it from right to left so that everyone gets a chance to see the pictures.  I love watching the expressions on their faces as they study the illustrations that go along with the words that I just read to them. Depending on the book, I see delight, concern, surprise and often, sheer joy.

Sometimes, however, I see puzzlement or confusion, which lets me know I need to explain vocabulary, an unfamiliar concept or allow some time for kids to ask questions about the story. This is something I might not notice if students are sitting in their desks or at library tables and I am reading from a screen.

All of us who were read to at home as children have a love for books and reading because we associate reading with the warmth and safety of a parent's lap. Being close to the students you are reading to can recreate this warm feeling and help them also associate reading with good things.

Kids get enough screen time. Read aloud time should be the time to help kids make a personal connection with us and a book. It's good for the soul!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Chipotle Reader Rewards Program for K-5 schools

Chipotle Reading Rewards are FREE kid’s meal cards attached to a bookmark (example below). We have Buy One Get One Free rewards for Middle and High School students too. Simply apply using your school district email and shipping address and provide a detailed explanation for how you will use the cards, and that’s it! Only one order per school so check with your fellow teachers. If you have multiple teachers interested, make sure just one person applies so that the application represents everyone. In fact, the best applications show school-wide collaboration.

Bonus: We are happy to also provide reading logs for your teachers to use should they need some help establishing a reading program at your school. Logs will be emailed to all applicants approved for the rewards.

You’ll hear back within two weeks from your application date if it was approved. Cards will be shipped for arrival late March with 5/31 expiration dates. These rewards are going fast and quantities are limited, so please apply now if you’re interested!

Please apply here:

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

And the winner is...

The winner of the 2017 Texas Bluebonnet Award was posted this morning! Watch the announcement below...

Monday, January 30, 2017

Week Four: Twitter Slow Chat

Don't forget to participate in the Twitter slow chat for DFW school librarians. Here's the question for Week 4:

Go to Twitter and compose your answer, including #dfwlibrarianslochat somewhere in your tweet.

Click here to see everyone's tweets about last week's question: How do you strive for equitable digital access on your campus?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Future Ready Twitter chat

Earlier this year we discussed our WHY and talked about ways to make our libraries NextGen and Future Ready. 

In order for you to keep thinking about that, I'd love for us all to participate in a Twitter "slow chat" that will be hosted by Richardson ISD Library Services (@LIBRARIESinRISD) over the next 12 weeks.

Usually a Twitter chat takes place on a specific date for a set amount of time. Everyone gathers on Twitter at that time and posts their answers to the chat questions as the questions are posted. They use a chat hashtag to see everyone's responses. (Here's a 6 minute video about how to join a traditional Twitter chat.) 

A "slow chat" takes place at your convenience. Questions are posted and participants can post their answers and ideas at any time during the week that is convenient for them. Participants can see the chat by searching for tweets with the chat hashtag. 

The question for Week 1 is:

How do you/will you build instructional partnerships with stakeholders on your campus?

You all have great ideas and lots of experience to share with other librarians around the metroplex, so tweet it out with hashtag #dfwlibrarianslochat

#dfwlibrarianslochat is embedded below so you can see what people are posting. 

I hope you'll join in!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Region 10 Technology Conference

Region 10 Annual Technology Conference


Region 10’s Annual Technology Conference will be held Monday, May 15, 2017. For over 22 years, passionate educators have gathered at Region 10 to share the latest trends and best practices in instructional technology. Join us as we “Connect” in 2017!

The event is free for educators and brings together inspiring teachers, campus and district leaders to share practical digital learning tools and strategies to create engaging classrooms and life-long learners. Be prepared to enjoy connecting and learning from some of the best teachers in Texas in over 50 engaging sessions throughout the day! This event is a can't-miss for educators in the Region 10 area!  We will NOT be using the Region 10 Calendar of Events for registration this year. Please click the link below to officially register for the event.

Call for Proposals:

Do you have an inspiring idea to share with your fellow educators this year? Please submit a presentation proposal by February 24. Please follow this link to see the list of questions on the proposal form to help you prepare prior to submitting your official proposal below.

Visit our 2017 Technology Conference website for more details. We look forward to seeing you in May!