Blog Archives

Infographics

By now you’ve probably seen an infographic or two – they are popping up everywhere. Infographics are an interesting way to display statistics for the media center, whether to administrators or to teachers and students. I also think this has tremendous potential in the classroom as a meaningful way for students to represent information. However, they are not easy to create for those of us who are not graphic designers. That’s where Piktochartcomes in handy!

I’ve played around with and it’s easy enough to use that I’ve recommended it to one of my teachers that is willing to try new web tools with her students. After creating an account, Piktochart provides 5 templates to choose from. (Think making a brochure with Publisher.) Our plan is to have kids use piktochart to represent each time period in American Lit. Last year she said her students had trouble connecting one time period to the next, so we’ll be sure to include that as a requirement in the infographic (i.e. What were the people in this time period reacting to from the previous time period?)  We’ll print them and use them in the classroom as a refresher before tests.

I’ll try to remember to update this post after we complete the project. In the meantime, I wish everyone the best for a happy and productive school year!

~Holly Frilot, CHHS Media Center

Navigating the Information Tsunami: Engaging Research Projects that Meet the Common Core Standards, K-5

Cherry Lake Publishing has a new and exciting book coming out called, Navigating the Information Tsunami:  Engaging Research Projects that Meet the Common Core Standards, K-5.  This text offers 18 projects, three from each grade level K-5, that go well-beyond fact recall.  These lessons are all grounded in the new Common Core Standards and focus on quality student research from our earliest learners to our older elementary students.  Each lesson is written by an educator who is an expert on the many literacies involved in research projects, the school teacher-librarian.  While the  lessons are written for classroom teachers, they all incorporate collaboration with the school librarian at some point during the project.  Also within the pages of the book, there are many graphic organizers and tips on topics such as citing sources in a multimedia world, creative commons images, what to do when Youtube is blocked, and more.  I encourage every elementary library in Georgia to own at least one copy of this book.  There are even featured lessons from Georgia librarians, Andy Plemmons & Linda Martin.  Check out the attached flyer and order your copy today!

Andy Plemmons

School Librarian

David C. Barrow Elementary

Athens, GA

http://barrowmediacenter.wordpress.com

http://www.clarke.k12.ga.us/webpages/aplemmons

First Grade Apple Lesson

A first grade teacher and I teamed up for a lesson about apples.  The 2-day lesson included several read a louds about the life cycle of the apple tree and what wonderful things we get from apples, an apple tasting, making a class pictograph of your favorite kind of apple, how applesauce is made, and a homemade apple sauce tasting.

The first thing we did when the students came to the library is fill out a graphic organizer on the white board as a class—anything and everything the students could tell me about apples.  Then I read several books about apples and the apple harvest.  We revisited the graphic organizer to see if there was anything students wanted to add based on the information from the books we just read.

Next, we had an apple tasting.  Every student ate a piece of green apple, yellow apple, and red apple.  We discussed words like “sour” and “tart.”  Once each student decided on his/her favorite apple, they got a die-cut of their favorite apple and put it on the pictograph.  We then talked about the graph: what apple do students like the most?  What apple do students like the least?  How many more students like one kind of apple over another kind.

After the pictograph discussion, we talked about the steps involved in making applesauce.  All the ingredients were shown to the students. They got to smell the different spices, see how a peeler works, and see how a slow cooker works.  (When they smelled the spices, they made comments like: “That smells like my oatmeal.”  Cute!)

Rounding out the first day of the 2-day lesson, the students completed an apple book printed from Enchanted Learning.   Before leaving the library, they were told they would come back tomorrow to finish the lesson.  Several students cheered: “YAY!  We are coming back to the library tomorrow.”  You gotta love hearing that as a librarian!

At home that evening I peeled about 16 apples and put everything in the slow cooker to make the apple sauce.  The next morning, everything was ready!

When the students came in for the second day of everything apples, they were so excited!  We first reviewed things from the day before—we revisited the pictograph, we talked about the steps (in the correct order) of making applesauce, and we talked about all the facts they learned about apples and the life cycle of the apple tree.  Then everyone got a bowl of homemade applesauce.  Comments from the students: “Ms. Tigges, you are genius.”  “Ms.Tigges, you are a rock star.”  I was feeling the love!

The students enjoyed the lesson.  The students felt comfortable in the library. The students read non-fiction books.   Mission accomplished!

Now I hope to take this lesson and turn it into a Media Festival project with a few of the students.

Some age-appropriate apple books:

The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons

Apples Grow on a Tree by Mari Schuh

Picking Apples by Gail Saunders-Smith

Apples by Gail Gibbons

Apples by Ken Robbins

Apples by Elaine Landau

How Do Apples Grow? By Betsy Maestro

Seed, Sprout, Fruit: An Apple Tree Life Cycle by Shannon Knudsen

Apples, Apples, Apples by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace

Apples, Apples Everywhere!  Learning about Apple Harvests by Robin Koontz

 

Slow cooker apple sauce recipe:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Spiced-Slow-Cooker-Applesauce/detail.aspx

Happy Harvesting!

Anja Tigges, Ed.S.

Librarian

William J. Scott Elementary School, Atlanta Public Schools

1752 Hollywood Road

Atlanta, GA 30318

404. 802. 7000

atigges@atlanta.k12.ga.us

Jump-starting Teacher Technology Use

Over the past 3 years, I’ve built some incredible collaborative relationships with teachers at my school incorporating technology, information literacy, and great literature.  However, when I look at the school as a whole, there are still many teachers who are hesitant or unsure of how to dip their feet into the waters of using technology for student product creation.  I wanted to support the teachers by offering them a whirlwind tour of what I felt were the most likely technologies that they might explore with students during the year:  Photo Story, Glogster, Animoto, Wordle, Tagxedo, and Audacity.  I invited some of the teachers who I have collaborated with to be the leaders of 4 different sessions that all teachers rotated through.

Before the professional learning session, the lead teachers and I sat down to plan.  We each voiced our preferences about which technology we would share and what format we would use.  In the end, we decided that at each of our sessions we would show a final product so that teachers saw one possibility upfront before being bogged down by how the technology worked.  Then, we would walk through some of the basics of the technology and give teachers time to explore.  Finally, we wanted teachers to have a chance to brainstorm how the technology might be used in their units of instruction during the year.  I created a simple handout that was emailed to all teachers in advance of the professional learning session so that they could easily access the links we would use as well as have electronic notes that they could refer back to after the session or add-to during the session.

My principal allotted a 90-minute afterschool professional learning block, and we held the sessions in adjacent teacher classrooms for minimal transitions.  Each session was a fast and furious 20-minute block.  We grouped teachers by grade levels:  k-1st, 2nd-3rd, 4th-5th, and resource teachers.  All teachers brought their own laptops and we provided any other technology needed such as digital microphones and webcams for the exploration phase.

As usual, some surprising things happened:

  • Most teachers were unfamiliar with the technologies that we explored
  • Teachers voiced their worries about clicking on the wrong thing or not knowing how to answer a student’s question, which surfaced a great conversation about how we don’t need to have all the answers.  We need to provide the space and tools for students to create and then we work as a community of collaborators to support one another.  I’ve had other students answer many questions for other students rather than all of the answers coming from me.
  • Even though teachers were overwhelmed with the beginning of school, they were buzzing with ideas and energy during the sessions
  • Several teachers approached me as soon as the sessions were over to talk about collaborating on projects
  • People found ways to use the technologies in their everyday tasks.  For example, my own paraprofessional has to do our daily email announcements.  She is going to highlight all of the announcements and paste them into either Wordle or Tagxedo and use that as an image at the top of the announcement to serve as a preview of some of the words people will see in the announcements.

I am so thankful to the supportive group of teacher leaders who helped me jump-start technology this year.  I feel like this session was a starting point for thinking about how technology can and should become a part of each grade level’s instruction.  Now as I talk with teachers about projects they will have a base of information to think about final products that students might create.  How have you been proactive in jump-starting technology use and collaboration in your school?

Andy Plemmons

School Librarian

David C. Barrow Elementary

Athens, GA

http://barrowmediacenter.wordpress.com

http://www.clarke.k12.ga.us/webpages/aplemmons

Submit a Proposal to the Georgia Conference on Information Literacy

October in Savannah is a great time to share the great things you’re doing to build information literate students!

The Georgia International Conference on Information Literacy invites proposals for the September 23-24, 2011 Conference in Savannah, Georgia.

Deadline: April 15, 2011
Location: Coastal Georgia Center in the historic District of Savannah
Please submit your proposal via the website.  The online submission link of the website will provide all of the information you need to create and submit a proposal.

Judi Repman and Stephanie Jones

Georgia Southern University