SlidesCarnival

So, I wanted to do a quick review of my favorite slides template site, slidescarnival.com. Fun out about this site during a GAFE camp, if I’m not mistaken (all these PDs start to blend together after a while…lol).

I am very grateful to the person who showed me SlidesCarnival.  Full disclosure – I stink at creativity.  Seriously. But that’s a fight for another post.  Anyhow, I really like that SlidesCarnival takes the creativity aspect out of trying to get the best looking slides for presentations, as they have already created a bunch! They are really fun, easy to copy and use, and heck, the word free really helps!  (They license their stuff Creative Commons License Attribution 4.0 .  You can share and adapt, but have to give credit, and you can’t sell it as your own). Definitely recommend these to those of us who are not creative enough (or simply just don’t have the time) to make a pretty presentation slide!  Thank you SlidesCarnival for being out there!!!

Examples of presentations I’ve created using SlidesCarnival.

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Level 2 Certification Obtained

imageI don’t know how this slipped by me, but I forgot to announce that I am a Level 2 Certified Google Edicator!!! I’m quite excited. I really had to work hard for this level, but I’m so excited that I was successful!  I have been sharing this with my colleagues, trying to get them to look into this as well, at least the Level.  With so many schools now being GAFE schools, it just makes sense that they should go out and work on ways to increase their usage of GAFE at school.  I know that many don’t utilize it as best as they could, so I’m trying to be the role model for my building.

Ive been using more GAFE in my library lessons, as well as using Slides specifically in combination with Nearpod.  But, I’ll leave my quest for that certification for another post.  Until later…

Personal Announcement / Accomplishments

So, to end 2016, I’d like to share some exciting things that have just occurred.

gce_badges_01First off, I passed my Google Certified Educator Level 1 Certification.  I’m really excited about that.  And I get to use this nifty badge!  It has been a long time coming.  I meant to work on it this summer, but life got ahead of me, but I decided this winter break I would accomplish it.  I’m currently studying for my Level 2 Certification, which I have heard is more difficult, and so I hope sometime this week or next I will be able to take that test and hopefully be certified in that as well.

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Image from ala.org

The second is that I was awarded a Student Bridge Scholarship from the American Association of School Librarians (AASL)/American Library Association (ALA)!  This scholarship will help me with the increased dues for the next 3 years as I start my career fully.  I’m really proud and excited that I received this!   With it comes the expectation that I serve on a committee with the chair of that committee as my mentor.  I have been assigned to the Best Apps for Teaching & Learning Committee this year!  I am really really excited about being a part of a national committee!  I was a co-chair for a committee for Kappa Delta Pi back in 2012-2013, and so it has been a while since I have done anything on a national level that hasn’t involved Sigma Alpha Iota (the music fraternity that I am a member of and a Province Officer (national officer) of).  So, this is really exciting for me.  I cannot wait to work and learn from those on the committee!

2017 is looking great so far with these two things starting off my year!

 

An extension to the Google Drawing lesson

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E. B. (6th grader), Santa Claus, 2016

So, during the last week before break, I gave my students a couple of choices.  They could work on coding, on typing practice, or create something (school appropriate) on Google Drawing.  My one student, E.B., completely blew me away.  He is not a student who is usually focused.  But, this time, he was.  I was so amazed and shocked at what he came up with!  I did not help him one bit – he took his time, worked hard, and created this amazing image!  I printed it out for him in color to give to his mom for Christmas.  I mean, how could I not!  This was truly a success from my Google Drawing lesson.

 

Google Drawing

So I came upon a lesson from teacherspayteachers.com for Google drawing.  I really liked this lesson because it incorporated the winter theme without specifically stating that students must create something Christmas-y (I avoid that as much as I can).  I came across Computer Elementary Activities , which I really liked as they had a nice snowman, and directions on how to have students draw it.  For my students, because I know their listening levels (basically 0), I instead put the important directions on the board and allowed students a bit of creativity with it.  I was actually surprised by how many of my students enjoyed it!  I did this with 6th grade to start.  Several of my students, who are normally not the best in my class, did exceptionally well!  I asked that if they wouldn’t mind if I could have a link to them to keep them, as I was just that impressed.  Here are some examples.  I highly recommend this lesson, especially as it gets closer to winter break and kids get antsy!

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Week of Coding

At the beginning of December, my 3rd-6th graders participated in Hour of Code week.

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Student explaining how she is solving the problem.

Each class was given an hour to work on several options from the code.org website.  There were many things that went well, and several that didn’t.

The first was buy-in.  Getting buy-in from my students can be difficult.  That’s another story for another post, though.  My 3rd and 4th graders absolutely loved it.  They loved working on Frozen, Moana, Star Wars, among others.  The favorite was Tynker’s Dragon Dash.  A lot of students really loved that one.  My 5th and 6th, however, were more difficult.  Many from those grades enjoyed it, but others were just not interested.  I have a difficult time doing many things with the 5th and 6th, though, so I don’t look at it as a fail.

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Working together to solve a problem.

Opening students minds.  My students don’t always tend to be challenged, well, as much as we would like at least.  I know teachers in my school work hard to try.  But, some of my students, they just don’t want to use their minds.  However, I was pleasantly surprised in how many were actually trying, especially after an initial difficulty.  Students also worked together too, which was a plus.

I am not sure what I would do differently.  With my students, I’m really just giving introductions to different aspects of computers, the internet, and its capabilities.  Someday I’d like to have a computer club or coding club, for students who would be very interested in it overall.  But for now, I’ll continue to use it as another option for computer free time.img_8879

 

Importing Old Posts

Yesterday I spent a little bit of my day importing posts from my old blog on my website to this blog.  Why, though?  Why does it matter?

I think it matters because I have been writing a blog for a while.  It was just hosted on my webpage, which serves more as a portfolio than a true blogging medium.  It was not the centerpiece, but buried in a link.  A prominent link, but a link all the same.  I have all of these ideas that I have been sitting on, almost hiding, for some time now, and now they are finally out in the world for more to see.  They are no longer kind of hidden thoughts, but prominently out there.  I even changed over my twitter webpage link to this one!

I think once I’m truly in a place I want to be professionally, I will combine the two, make the blog the more prominent.  The portfolio information will be there, but not play as important of a role.  I won’t need to highlight things like my education and projects so much as show off what I have been doing in my library through my blog, which I am starting to do now.

What do you think?  Am I being a bit redundant?  Should I combine things now and forget it?  Or is it smart to focus more on the blogging and leave the portfolio be?