Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Internet Safety Glogs

We have come to the end of our collaborative Internet Safety unit with students from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada.  Our final project was to create a glog using the website Glogster.  Glogs are multimedia posters that allow for the inclusion of text, video, sound, and animations.  Students were partnered either with a student in Canada or with another student in a separate section of Integrated Technology.  They had to use their 21st century communication skills to create one final product.  View some of their finished work below to see what they learned about Internet safety and to learn a few new things from them as well.

Zooburst Pop-up Books

Mrs. Dachelet's READ 180 students created their own pop-up books using the website Zooburst to illustrate the personal narratives that they wrote in class. What fun they had! View their work below.

Famous Person Scrapbook

After reading a biography of a famous person, students in Mrs. Dachelet's class created a scrapbook for that person using a tool called Beeclip.  Students included information about the famous person's childhood, family, and accomplishments.  Check out their work below:

Friday, December 14, 2012

Where in the World? Our First Mystery Skype

Today Mr. Wegner's class practiced their map location and deduction skills by participating in a "Mystery Skype."  The task: we needed to figure out where in the world this other class was located by playing a game of 20 questions.

We started with some very broad questions such as "Are you in the United States?" and "Are you one of the original 13 colonies?"  Our questions continued to narrow throughout the Skype based on the mystery school's answers.  Our student "interviewers" were responsible for asking the questions and answering the questions asked by students in the other school (who were also trying to guess our location).

Once a question was answered, our "scribes" carefully kept track of the information that we knew.

Finally, our "Google mappers" used the iPads to zoom in on the location and develop new questions for our interviewers to ask.

What did we conclude?  Our Mystery Skype was with another fifth grade class from Hays, Kansas!  After guessing the correct location, students had some time to ask one another questions about their respective cities, including population, climate, size of its schools, and football teams.

This experience was a great opportunity for our students to practice their geography skills as well as meet some new kids from another part of the country.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Imagine...Texting your Favorite Author!

Mrs. Dachelet's class had a great time wrapping up on their unit on Dear Mr. Henshaw.  She wanted to find a fun project that would engage the kids right before Thanksgiving break while also relating to the style of Dear Mr. Henshaw.  We had our old stand-by tools, but Mrs. Dachelet is always willing to try something new.  What would be the right new tool for this experiment?

Days prior to my conversation with Mrs. Dachelet, I came across this cool website: ifaketext.  This website lets users create imaginary text message conversations.  The finished product is a screenshot of the fake text message.  This can be saved, linked, or embedded into a website.

To put a 21st century spin on writing to an author in the spirit of Dear Mr. Henshaw, we decided to have the kids do a bit of research about one of their favorite authors.  After learning a bit about this person and imagining the author's real voice, the students created their own fake text conversations using ifaketext

The students were eager to work!  The results were creative and impressive.  View our example below.

Internet Safety Discussions with Canada

Last week Thursday, fifth graders in my Integrated Technology class met in small groups over Skype with their Tech Teams partners in Canada to engage in their first Internet Safety discussion.  The library had three Skype stations set-up.  Each group discussed a list of Internet safety questions with another small group in Canada.  The conversations allowed the students to not only discuss the topics we are simultaneously learning in our individual classrooms, but also gave the students a chance to share any personal stories that they may have experienced online.  We continue to converse daily through our common Edmodo classroom space.  We look forward to our next Skype discussion with them!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Talking Life with Taiwan

We are ready to share part two of the connection between Mrs. Winton's seventh graders and students from Taiwan.  After Skyping to talk weather a few weeks ago, they continued their conversation via VoiceThread.  Daylight Savings Time made it impossible to find another common time to talk live, and with so many unanswered questions, we felt it important to find another creative method of carrying on the conversation.  VoiceThread to the rescue!  We began a VoiceThread with our students asking a specific question.  The students in Taiwan answered our questions by inserting their own comments on each slide and also added new slides with their own questions.  See our results below and check back to see the conversation continue!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Death Penalty Debate with Honduras

Today students in Mrs. Koshollek's eighth grade Language Arts class engaged in a formal debate on the death penalty with students in Honduras.  Each school chose a side and their key speakers; New London was for the death penalty and Honduras students were against.  To prepare, each student researched a side and wrote a persuasive essay.  As a class, they brought their arguments together and agreed on their main points.  They also prepared possible counter-arguments and an opening statement.  While our main speakers were the debate's focus, the rest of the class assisted to prepare counter-arguments and rebuttal comments while the debate was occurring.  Despite technical difficulties, the students involved did an amazing job and had a chance to see the perspective of students from another country.

View the video below to see a peak of today's debate.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Talking Weather with North Carolina

Mrs. Winton's seventh graders had another opportunity to talk weather with another school.  This time they Skyped with fifth graders in Clinton, North Carolina who also recently learned about weather.  Our students were especially curious about how the Clinton students were affected by Hurricane Sandy.  Although they were surprisingly not affected at all, they shared some personal stories of enduring other hurricanes.  They also shared information about their weather during the different seasons as well as the different weather patterns that occur simultaneously throughout their entire state.  What else surprised us? They close school when they have one inch of snow!!!  They were equally shocked at how much snow we usually see in an average winter.

View the pictures below to see a bit of today's experience.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Fifth Grade Internet Safety Partnership with Canada

My fifth grade Integrated Technology students are so excited to be learning about Internet safety!  While this is a topic that I have been teaching for many years, I have decided to try something new with it and sought out a partner school with whom I can team teach.  Luckily I found a fantastic partner in Alan Stange from Sunningdale Elementary in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada!  Throughout the course of this month, Mr. Stange and I will be teaching the same Internet Safety lessons.  Our students will be discussing related issues daily within our common Edmodo group.  We will also be Skyping with them in small groups to carry on discussions and team-teach some lessons.  The final project will involve students at our school partnering with a fourth-grade student from Sunningdale to complete one final web-based project.  I think that you can understand why they are so excited!

Our Edmodo discussions have taken off with some meaningful commentary.  Students also introduced themselves to one another earlier this week via a Skype meeting.  What did we learn?  In reality, the students from Canada have the same likes and dislikes as us and participate in similar activities.  I'll keep you posted on our future connections and conversations.

Monday, November 5, 2012

READ 180 Character Trading Cards

Mrs. Dachelet's READ 180 fifth graders used the website Big Huge Labs to create character trading cards related to one of the books that they finished reading in class.  What a fun way to share what they learned from their reading and advertise their books to others.

To create your own trading card, go to www.bighugelabs.com.  Click on the trading card option.  Upload a picture that represents your character, add a title and subtitle, and then fill in something about your character in the description.  You can decide on the card's color and placement of the picture.  You can even add up to seven symbols on your card, if you choose.

Once you are finished, you can save your card.  See my example below.  You can also try using some of the other creative options at Big Huge Labs.

Talking Weather with Taiwan

After learning about weather in Mrs. Winton's science class, Mrs. Winton and I decided that it would be a fun learning experience to have our seventh graders talk about weather with students from different parts of the world.  We found two interested classrooms: one in Taiwan and one in North Carolina.  We will be skyping with fifth graders in North Carolina next week (and especially looking forward to hearing how Hurricane Sandy affected them), but last Thursday, Mrs. Winton's first hour had the opportunity to talk with a group of Taiwanese students.

We only had 20 minutes of overlapping schedule time.  (At 8:10 am our time, it was actually 9:10 pm their time.  Yes, they were still in school until 9:30 pm!)  We utilized our 20 minutes by beginning with each school sharing some facts about weather in that part of the world and then followed with a question-and-answer session.  Questions ranged from weather to favorite foods to our pets.  What an amazing experience to talk live with students in a completely different part of the world.  Mrs. Winton and I were extremely proud of all students and the respect and professionalism that they displayed.

Twenty minutes just wasn't enough time to ask every question on each end.  Due to daylight savings time, we no longer have that short common time available.  With a little creativity and use of the great digital tools available, we are able to carry on our conversation through the free website VoiceThread.  We created a slideshow with our questions attached to each slide for the other students to answer.  The Taiwanese students will add their own answers and questions and share the VoiceThread again with us.  Check out what we started below:

New London Middle School students represented us well, and we look forward to talking more with our new friends in Taiwan.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

More iPad Fun!

Our seventh grade students are finishing up a Science project creating videos on weather safety.  This was a perfect opportunity to have a group test the iPads by creating videos using iMovie.  Wow!  They created some really cool videos.  Check out the examples below to view how the iPads and iMovie gave them the tools to be very creative.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Teen Read Week is in Full Swing!

Have you been in the library and wondered what those students with the iPads were doing?  These kids are completing our library QR Code Scavenger Hunt as part of Teen Read Week.  Students are using the free QR Code Reader App to scan some fancy codes placed around the library.  When scanned, these codes take students to various websites where they will answer questions as part of our scavenger hunt activity.  The best part is that these students are the first to try out our new iPads!  Each student who completes the scavenger hunt will get a prize.  Check out these pictures to see the fun that you can have when you join in.

How else can you participate in Teen Read Week?

  • Enter our scary story contest.  The top three stories will earn a Scholastic Book Fair gift certificate.
  • Participate in our Bulldog Time All for Books competition. The classroom that raises the most money will earn a class pizza party.
  • Add an appropriate comment to this blog.  (Make sure to leave your name).  All students who leave a comment will be entered into a raffle for prizes.  
Thanks you to all of our Teen Read Week participants!  We look forward to a fun week ahead.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Teen Read Week: October 15-19

Get ready for Teen Read Week, coming to your library October 15-19.  In celebration we have a variety of activities planned including:

  • A QR Code Scavenger Hunt in the library.  Use one of our new iPads to scan some fun QR codes scattered throughout the library.  Complete the scavenger hunt questions and automatically win a prize!
  • Participate in our Bulldog Time All for Books competition.  Bring in your loose change through Friday, October 19.  The Bulldog Time classroom that brings in the most money will earn a pizza party and $50 in Scholastic Book Fair classroom cash.
  • Write a scary story.  Bring your scary story to the library by Friday, October 19 to be entered into our contest.  The top three entries will earn a Scholastic Book Fair gift certificate.  
  • Leave a comment on this blog.  Every comment left earns an entry into our raffle.
  • Shop the Scholastic Book Fair from Thursday, October 11-Wednesday, October 24.  
Visit the library or see the flyers in your classroom for more information.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Coming Soon: The Scholastic Book Fair!

The Scholastic Book fair will soon be setting up its store in our library!  Shop the book fair from Thursday, October 11-Wednesday, October 24 to help buy new books for our library.  The book fair will be open daily from 7:50 am-3:30 pm and during Parent-Teacher Conferences.

We will also be trying something fun this year to help raise more money for not only our school library but also for other schools in need.  Each Bulldog time class will be competing in a friendly All for Books competition.
Participating students will bring in loose change to their Bulldog time teacher.  The classroom that collects the most money during the competition period, October 8-19 will earn a pizza party AND $50 in classroom cash to spend at the Scholastic Book Fair.  Watch for flyers that will be sent home this week.

Want to find out more about our book fair and discover how you can shop the book fair online?  Click here to learn more.

See you at the fair!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Welcome Back!

Welcome to another great school year!  We hope that you will visit the library frequently to not only check-out books, but also to read magazines, complete homework using our computers, listen to a Playaway, browse leisurely, or try a Nook or Kindle.

What?  Kindles and Nooks?

Yes, you read that correctly.  We circulate Kindles and Nooks.  To check one out, you need to have a form on file signed by both you and your parents.  Pick one up in the library.  Click on this link to see a list of titles currently downloaded to the Kindles and Nooks.

In addition to Nooks and Kindles, we also have many ebooks for you to read on your computers or devices.  Imagine reading your favorite titles online at any time from anywhere!  Click here to access links to our current ebook selection.

How else can we assist you this year?  Your library is not just a great resource for books.  Here is how else we can help:

  • Provide assistance with technology
  • Recommend great websites and databases for your research
  • Assist with organizing your research
  • Help you cite your sources correctly
  • Show you how to podcast, create videos, or complete a project using really cool websites
We look forward to working with you this year!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thanks for another great year! It was an exciting year filled with great books and fabulous projects. For the Integrated Technology students' last project, they made vokis for next year's fifth grade students. They shared their tips for success and advice for easing into a new school year in a new building. Listen to some examples below. Have a great summer!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Skype 2 with Ty Allan Jackson

On World Read Aloud Day (March 7), students in Mrs. Young's Day 2 sixth hour Integrated Technology class met author Ty Allan Jackson over Skype to listen to him read from his book When I Close My Eyes. The students enjoyed the Skype so much and were so interested in reading his book Danny Dollar Millionaire Extraordinaire: The Lemonade Escapade that they decided as a class to read the book together and Skype back with Ty after their reading. On May 23, the students had the chance to talk to Ty about Danny Dollar and hear more about his new books and life as a writer.  The students had a wonderful time (despite some minor technical issues) talking with Ty and are now so excited to read his new book (due out in July): The Superdupa Kid.  They would like to give Ty a special thank you for so graciously taking his time to talk to them.  The students at New London Intermediate School are now big fans!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Meeting our Tech Pals in Maryland

The fifth graders in Mrs. Young's Integrated Technology classes connected with other fifth graders in Baltimore, Maryland this semester and worked together as Tech Pals.  They used Edmodo to discuss various topics, wrote letters introducing themselves, and exchanged videos about each others' schools.  Today they met one another through Skype.  They took turns asking questions about their favorite things and what life is like in each school and state.  It was amazing how much they had in common!  View pictures of our Skype event in the below slideshow.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's the end of the year!

Can you believe that the end of the year is here!  What a fun, exciting year we had!  I enjoyed working on many different projects and research activities with all of you.  Now begins our collection of library materials.  Here are some important dates to remember:

May 18- last day to check out books
May 25- all library materials due

We appreciate your help in returning everything to the library as soon as possible.  It takes a lot of time to get everything shelved and ready for the summer.  You can also take care of replacement costs for missing materials in the library before the end of the year as well.

Thanks for another great year!  Keep reading this summer!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Animoto Booktrailers

All 6th grade students used Animoto to create booktrailers in their Language Arts classes.  Check out some of their productions below.  Additional booktrailers will be posted on our library website: http://www.newlondon.k12.wi.us/midint/booktalks.cfm

Cyberbullying Comics

The students in Mrs. Young's Integrated Technology classes are working on comics featuring cyberbullying using Bitstrips for Schools. Their creativity is truly amazing! See their gallery of work below.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Early Humans Timelines using Capzles

The seventh grade students in Mrs. Winton's science classes just completed interactive timelines about early humans using the website Capzles.  Once they added their pictures, they included information about the different stages of human evolution and added background music.  View an example of this project below. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Creating Fake Facebook Pages using Google Docs

Mrs. Winton's Science students just completed a fun project.  They created fake Facebook pages on either Cro-magnon or Neanderthal using a previously created Google Docs template by Derrick Waddell.  They supplied a picture and all of the other information that they learned from Mrs. Winton.  See student examples by clicking on the links below.

Student example for Neanderthal
Student example for Cro-magnon
Link to a blank template

Here's a snapshot of the blank template:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

You Can't Just Google It!

You can't just Google it! Why? How do I find information then? Those of you who have had the wonderful opportunity of hearing me talk about how best to research know that I cringe when I hear that kids go right to Google when completing research for a school assignment. Why is that bad? Google's results most often do not lead to academic resources. Another problem is the huge list of results that you need to sift through, most of which are unrelated to what you actually need.

Where then should you go to find information? Here are my top sources:
1. Our library databases. Find them by going to the "Library and Resources" link on our website.
2. Print library resources.
3. A search engine created just for students with all of the results checked by information professionals, www.sweetsearch.com.

Why are these resources so much better than a Google search? The information found in these resources have been written and edited by professionals. Google searches do not provide quality control, meaning that incorrect and incomplete information can appear in your results. In addition, the information in the resources listed above is limited to only the high quality stuff, so you will not have to sift through long lists of results to find what you need.

Do you need further proof? Watch this fun video created using the website xtranormal. See Mrs. Young with any questions or for help in locating high quality information for your research.

You Can't Just Google It!
by: SweetSearch

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Talking photos with Blabberize

After learning about the Industrial Revolution, the fifth graders used the website Blabberize to create talking photos of the inventors who they researched. They wrote from the perspective of the inventor and recorded their voices using Audacity. Check out their work below. It was fun!!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

PhotoStory 3 Video Project

Using Microsoft's PhotoStory 3, the 8th grade students in Mrs. Koshollek's Language Arts classes have worked this week to create videos that highlight important details from their research papers. View an example of their finished work below.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What is your Favorite...VoiceThread Project

The fifth grade students in Mrs. Young's Day 2 6th hour Integrated Technology class created a VoiceThread about their favorite things.  They are sharing this with their "Tech Pals" at a school in California, who will add  their comments.  You can view our VoiceThread below.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

World Read Aloud Day Pics

Today fifth graders in Mrs. Young's 6th hour Integrated Technology class Skyped with author Ty Allan Jackson to celebrate World Read Aloud Day.  Ty read us his book When I Close My Eyes and answered the students' questions about reading, writing, and life.  Ty even offered to chat with us again after we read his book Danny Dollar Millionaire: The Lemonade Escapade.  The students really enjoyed the experience and are very excited to read his book. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

World Read Aloud Day News

Wednesday, March 7 has been declared World Read Aloud Day by Lit World, an organization dedicated to ending world illiteracy.  Our school was lucky to be matched with a guest reader for the day as an opportunity to participate in this world event!  Fifth-grade sixth-hour Integrated Technology students will be Skyping with author Ty Allan Jackson during their class time.  He will be reading aloud to them and allowing them time to ask him questions about his writing and his life. 

Ty Allan Jackson is the author of the books Danny Dollar Millionaire:  The Lemonade Escapade and When I Close My Eyes.  He lives in Pittsfield, Massachuttes. 

We are very excited about being a part of World Read Aloud Day!  Pictures from the event will be posted Wednesday afternoon.  In addition, check out Sunday's Appleton Post-Crescent for an article featuring our participation!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fifth Grade Projects with Students in MD and CA

The fifth-grade Integrated Technology students are currently participating in an exciting project.  They have become "Tech Pals" with students from Hampton Elementary in Baltimore, MD and Mendez Fundamental Intermediate School in Santa Ana, CA.  The students are using the website Edmodo to share introductory letters and participate in discussions.  They will also be using Google Docs to create a presentation about their cities/states and VoiceThread to debate topics and talk about their favorite things.  The students are having a great time and learning a lot about people living in other parts of the country. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Read Across America: Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

On Friday, March 2, we will celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday and Read Across America day.  We have many activities planned in the library which include the following.  We hope that you will join in the celebration!

  • Share your reading with the world!  Email Mrs. Young or bring to the library a picture of yourself reading in your favorite spot or dressed up as your favorite book character and you could win a Scholastic Book Fair gift certificate (beginning March 21) or a goody bag filled with prizes.  Send pictures to dyoung@newlondon.k12.wi.us.  Mrs. Young will post pictures on our library blog. All photo entries are due by Sunday, March 4.
  • Guess how many eggs are in our Horton Hatches an Egg guessing jar.  The jar will be out all week beginning Monday, February 27.  The winner will be announced Friday, March 2 at the end of the day.
  • All day check-out contest on Friday, March 2.  Every 5th person who checks out a library material will receive a prize.
  • Get caught reading.  Mrs. Young will be walking around the school throughout the day on Friday, March 2.  If she catches you reading, you will receive a prize.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Skype with Afghanistan

One of our 5th grade students introduced her mom to her class today.  This introduction was not in person, however.  It was through Skype.  Her mom is in the army stationed in Afghanistan.  Students had the chance to ask her questions about being in the military and her experiences.  See pictures below from today's event.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Scholastic Book Fair soon to Arrive

We are excited that the Scholastic Book Fair will once again be making its way to our library.  Our fair will take place beginning Wednesday, March 21 and continue through Tuesday, March 27.  Your purchases go toward providing new materials for the library.  The book fair will be open during parent-teacher conferences on March 22 and 23. 

You will also have an opportunity to win a Scholastic Book Fair gift certificate.  We are running a Read Across America photo contest during the week of February 26-March 2.  Students can submit photos of themselves reading in their favorite places or dressed up as their favorite book character.  Up to five winners will be drawn for gift certificates.  Photos can be emailed to Mrs. Young at dyoung@newlondon.k12.wi.us or dropped off in the library.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Protect your Accounts with Strong Passwords

It is very important in today's world to use strong passwords to protect our online accounts.  How many of you have strong passwords that include letters, numbers, capital, and lowercase letters?  Password Bird is here to help you create passwords that you will remember but no one else will guess.  Here's how it works: go to www.passwordbird.com and fill in the three boxes with your information.  Password Bird will create a unique password based on your responses.  If you do not like the password created, you can have them make a new one for you based on the same information.  Give it a try and find a unique, secure password waiting for you.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ebooks now available!

Our library now owns ebooks, books that can be read on any computer with Internet access without ever having to step foot in the library!  These books are all from a publisher called Bearport.  How do you access these books?  You can access them right from Destiny.  Once you find an ebook in Destiny (see the list below for specific titles or search "ebooks" in the catalog), double click on the book's pictures.  You will see a link in the library record that says, "Available via Bearport Publishing.  Click here to access."  Clicking on this link will take you to the full text of the book for you to read right on your computer.  (See the picture below).  Think of all of the great books that you can read at home when you have nothing to do.  See Mrs. Young for more information or with any questions.

Bearport ebook titles available in Destiny:
Animals with Super Powers: Color-Changing Animals, Electric Animals, Glow-in-the-Dark Animals, See-Through Animals

 Built for Cold: Caribou and Wolverine

Dog Heroes: Baghdad Pups, Eco Dogs, Prison Puppies

Cat-ograhies: Abyssinians, American Shorthairs, Maine Coons, Persians, Ragdolls, and Siamese

Fast Rides: Dynamic Racers, Electrifying Eco-Race Cars, Hot Hot Rods, Jet-Powered Speed

Rescuing Animals from Disasters: Saving Animals after Earthquakes, Saving Animals after Floods, Saving Animals from Fires, Saving Animals from Hurricanes, Saving Animals from Oil Spills, Saving Animals from Volcanoes

Scary Places: Cursed Grounds, Monstrous Morgues, Horror Hospitals

So Big Compared to What: Amazing Amusement Park Rides, Freaky Strange Buildings, Spectacular Skyscrapers, Stupendous Sports Stadiums

Super Bowl Superstars: Aaron Rodgers

Up Close & Gross: Creepy Backyard Invaders, Disgusting Food Invaders, Gross Body Invaders, Icky House Invaders

Yummy Tummy Recipes: Artful Snacks, Cool Cookies, Super 'Wiches, Way Cool Drinks

Big Dogs Rule: Great Dane, Rottweiler, St. Bernard

Lit Masters and Michigan Book Club

Our Lit Masters book club has been involved in a very exciting project.  We have connected with a group of fifth grade boys at University Ligget School in Grosse Pointe, Michigan (a suburb of Detroit), and together we are reading the book Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt.  Today we Skyped with the Michigan students to discuss our thoughts on the first half of the book.  Students also asked each other questions about life in their respective cities and what they do in their free time.

In addition to Skype, our groups are connecting through Moodle, an online classroom space.  We use Moodle to discuss the book when we are not meeting through Skype.

We will meet again for one more Skype chat on Tuesday, February 7.  See a few pictures below from today's chat.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Integrated Technology Vokis

The fifth grade students in Mrs. Young's Integrated Technology class finished the semester by creating a voki sharing their advice for next semester's students.  They highlighted their favorite units and projects and shared some important tips for success with the new students.  See a few examples below.