Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Video Exchange with Sweden

Integrated Technology students have been working hard these last few weeks to create videos using iMovie for our partner school in Sweden. Each school made videos explaining each country's popular holidays. Our students had a fantastic time showing off their creativity and exploring the power of iMovie all while helping our new friends in Sweden meet their English listening goals. View some of our student examples below.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

App Smashing Fun!

Fifth grade students had the chance to be creative through app smashing!  What's app smashing?  App smashing combines multiple apps together to create one end product.  After completing a writing assignment explaining something that a book character holds dear, students created a video in the voice of the character using the app Tellagami.  Tellagami is a fun app that allows users to create their own talking avatars. While recording in Tellagami, students took on the book character's persona and explained an object that each character would argue is a favorite.  Once the recording was completed, students searched for an image that would accurately represent the character's favorite object. 

To also abide by copyright laws, students located images from a rights-cleared image database, ImageQuest. Our students know that in order to legally use images from ImageQuest, they must also cite the image.  To combine the citation with the found image, students used the app Pic Collage.  The final Pic Collage image was saved to the iPad camera roll and then added to the background in Tellagami

Below you will see some of our fifth graders' final creations.  When asked to rate this project, it was a unanimous five out of five stars!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Skype with Author Dori Hillestad Butler

Fifth graders participating in our school book club, Lit Masters, had the special opportunity to Skype with Dori Hillestad Butler, the author of the book that they recently read, The Truth About Truman SchoolThe Truth About Truman School tells the story of a school that has a problem with cyberbullying.  The book is told through different points of view and ultimately shows how cyberbullying affects multiple characters.  During our Skype visit with Butler, students were able to ask all of their unanswered questions including why she chose to end the story the way that she did and where she got her inspiration for the characters.  Students also were curious about Butler's background, how she felt about writing as a child, and what advice she had for aspiring writers.  It was a special opportunity indeed as these students were able to get inside the mind of the writer of a book that they enjoyed.  View some pictures from our experience below.

A very special thank you goes to Dori Hillestad Butler for taking the time to talk with us and share her passion for writing.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Anti-Bullying Google Hangout with Singer Z LaLa

Yesterday our 5th graders had a surprise visit from World Pop Singer Z LaLa.  Using Google Hangouts, students were able to listen to her anti-bullying message and hear her personal account of how difficult it was to watch her friends being bullied while she was a child.  She urged students to stand up for others if they see bullying occur while also expressing the importance of telling a trusted adult about the bullying.

At the end, students had an opportunity to ask her questions.  Most of them were curious about her singing career and where she lived.  It was an exciting thing to be able to talk one-on-one with a celebrity!

A special thank you to Z LaLa for taking time from her schedule to share her experiences.  Bullying impacts all of us regardless of geographic location, gender, or race.

Take a Google Maps tour of New London!

Students in Mrs. Young's Integrated Technology classes are partnering with schools in Saskatchewan, Canada, Sweden, and California to discuss technology related issues and collaborate together on various projects.  To help our new friends get to know us and New London better, Integrated Technology students created a Google Map tour of New London using Google Maps Engine Lite.  Classes brainstormed and researched historic places, fun things to do, and New London parks, and they added each point of interest to our class map with a short description.

Go on a virtual tour of New London by visiting our customized Google Map.  Click on the locations listed to the left of the map to tour the New London places highlighted by our students. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Let the Battle Begin!

NLMSIS get ready to battle...about books, that is!  All students are invited to participate in the state Battle of the Books competition, organized by the Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association.  Students participating in the battle are required to form a team of 2-4 students, and then as a team read all of the books from one of the lists below.  Fifth and sixth graders may choose to join either the elementary division or the middle division.  From now until February, the team's job is to read, read, read!  Then, in February all teams will meet to compete in a school-wide battle.  The winning team from each division will represent our school at the state competition. 

If you are interested in learning more about Battle of the Books, plan on attending an introductory meeting in the library on Monday, November 4 during Bulldog Time.  See Mrs. Young in the library with any questions.

Here are the lists for each division:

Elementary Division

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
The Battle of Gettysburg, 1863 (I Survived series #7) by Lauren Tarshis
Big Mean Mike by Michelle Knudsen
Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard
City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney
Escape!: The Story of the Great Houdini / Sid Fleischman
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O’Brien
No Talking by Andrew Clements
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Press Here by Herve Tullet
Stick Dog by Tom Watson
This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Middle Division

The Battle of Gettysburg, 1863 by Lauren Tarshis - I Survived Series #7 (GA Int)
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
Chomp by Carl Hiaasen
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata
Dark Life by Kat Falls
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
Deep Zone by Tim Green (GA MS)
Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
Ice Story: Shackleton’s Lost Expedition by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
Ida B--: And Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World by Katherine Hannigan
Legend by Marie Lu (GA MS)
Middle School: Get Me Out of Here by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts (GA MS)
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (GA Int)
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
Smile by Raina Telgemeier (GA Int)
Stick Dog by Tom Watson (GA Int)
Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

NLMSIS Students Care about Literacy!

Wow!  We are amazed at your generous spirit.  Not only did our school have its most successful Scholastic Book Fair ever, but you also donated an astounding extra $563.28 to Scholastic's All for Books program!  With your donations, we were able to buy extra books for the library, and Scholastic matches what we collected and donates that amount to schools in need.  How awesome is that?!  Here is just a snapshot of the All for Books money collected and the books that your donations purchased for the library.  Do you see any of your favorites?

A special thank you goes out to the following DEAR groups who exceeded our expectations.  
Mrs. Keach's class  who donated $121.77
Mr. Wegner's class who donated $91.67
Mrs. Krause's class who donated $77.38
Mrs. Zaddack's class who donated $67.26
Mrs. Dachelet's class who donated $65.59
Mr. Weldzius's class who donated $38.93
and Ms. Carrillo's class who donated $33.51

Thanks to all of you for your generosity.  You have shown that you truly care about literacy and helping others!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thinglink Booktalks

Mr. Wegner's 5th graders shared some of their favorite books by creating their own interactive images in Thinglink. Thinglink brings images to life by letting users connect uploaded images to video, music, and text links. Users can also search for and comment on creations made by others.  Check out our examples below to find out more about what Mr. Wegner's students love.  Click on the icons embedded in the images to be connected to some awesome resources that tell you more about these books.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pollution PSAs

Seventh grade students have been learning about different types of pollution in their Science class.  To share what they know, they created PSAs using iMovie.  View the videos below to see a few examples and learn more about how pollution affects our environment.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Book Blind Date

These lucky students took a big risk, but what a great chance it was! They have decided to risk it all and go on a blind date...with a book! In celebration of this year's Teen Read Week, "seek the unknown @your library," we have a cart of wrapped books waiting to be checked out to some brave readers.

Once students get to the circulation desk, they unwrap their books and learn what they will be reading. Every student who actually reads his or her book and completes the book review form wrapped with the book will receive a prize. Check out these happy readers and their "book blind dates."

 Watch for our bulletin book next month to read the student reviews. Happy Teen Read Week!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Scary Stories using GoAnimate

In honor of Halloween, we have a special treat for you- some scary stories written and produced by our eighth grade students using GoAnimate for Schools.  After learning about the elements of horror story writing, they wrote their own and produced them into the videos below.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Math Problem Solving Challenge

We have many math wizards at work at NLMSIS.  We have partnered with a school in Omaha, NE, to test our math skills.  Using the iPad app Explain Everything, participating fifth and sixth grade students at each school are writing their own real-world math problems and sharing them with our partners.  After the exchange, students will attempt to solve each others' problems.  Students will also use Explain Everything to record a solution and "talk through" the problem-solving process.  At the end of the month, we will be meeting our partners via Skype to challenge one another live.

View a peek at some of the problems created by our students.  Can you solve these problems?  Send your answer to Mrs. Young at to see if you are correct.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Seek the Unknown during Teen Read Week

Where can I find the answer to the mysteries of life?  Your library of course!  Seek the unknown @your library from October 14-18 in celebration of Teen Read Week.  Throughout the week we will offer some fun activities such as a treasure guessing jar, the Scholastic Book Fair, and a mystery reader guessing contest where you have to uncover the identities of staff members wrapped up like mummies.  Check out the bulletin board outside of the library for contest details.  Here is a sneak peak of what you will find:

You can even go on a "book blind date."  Check out one of our wrapped books, read it, and write a review of it.  Turn in your review and receive a prize.

Oh, and don't forget about our All for Books Competition.  The DEAR group that brings in the most loose change to help purchase books for our school library and for schools in need will earn a donut party and $50 in Scholastic classroom cash.

You can find out full details about our events by viewing our flyer.  We can't wait for the festivities to begin!

Explore our Reading Oasis!

In a little over a week our library will no longer be the same.  On October 14, when you enter our doors,  you will be taken back in time to an age of mummies and ancient tombs.  Our library will no longer be just a library but instead a "reading oasis."  Stop in the library from October 14-21 to shop for some great book fair deals.  We will be open daily from 7:50-3:30 and during parent-teacher conferences on October 15 and 17 from 4-8.  Can't make it to the book fair?  You can shop online by going to our book fair homepage.  Your book fair purchases help us build our school library and promote a love of reading.  We can't wait to see you enter our "reading oasis"!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Exploring the Web to Learn about Explorers

All fifth graders began working on a research project involving famous explorers.  To get them ready for research, the students came in with their Social Studies teachers to learn a few things about researching from Mrs. Young.

Students completed an online scavenger hunt for an assigned explorer.  Their mission: answer some basic questions about the explorer using two websites.  They needed to be good researchers and check both links for the needed information.

As students began digging into the facts, some discovered something interesting: each site had different information.  Students then worked in teams to discuss the similarities and differences of each site and figure out what to do to resolve the problem of the conflicting information.

At the end of the lesson, students understood the big picture- the Internet is not always a reliable tool for research, and it is important to be familiar with a topic before beginning research online.  We also read a fabricated article about Christopher Columbus in class from the website All About Explorers, and learned that this site was made for the sole purpose of teaching students how important it is not to believe everything that they read online.  Many students had an ah ha moment when we read the article aloud as many admitted to only skimming their articles for answers, not reading them closely.  Therefore, they missed discovering some of the obvious clues that showed this site a fake.

The next day, students returned to the library for part 2 of the lesson: If the Internet is not always trustworthy, where do I find the good stuff?  Mrs. Young defined subscription databases and showed links to the ones that our school has available to them.  She also compared the publication of a book to the publication of a website which exemplified why printed books are excellent, trustworthy research resources.

It was a big lesson for the fifth graders, but one that will hopefully stick with them as they engage in future research projects.

Mystery Skype

Fifth graders in Mrs. Young's Integrated Technology classes practiced their digital communication skills by participating in a Mystery Skype with another classroom located in an unknown place in the world.  Students took turns asking one another "yes" or "no" questions to figure out where the others were located.

Throughout the process, we were hard at work using Google Maps to zoom in on particular areas and formulate new questions based on the previous answers given.

In the end, we learned where are new friends were from; fifth hour students talked with fourth graders from Los Altos, CA, and sixth hour students correctly guessed that our Mystery Skype partners were from Decatur, IL.

We even had time to ask one another questions about our daily lives.  What did we learn?  We are more alike than different (except for the sports teams for which we cheer!)

Thank you to our partner schools for the great experience and for helping us learn more about communication in the 21st century.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Will you accept the challenge?

Okay, NLMSIS, are you ready for a challenge?  I want YOU to read for 100 NIGHTS this year!  Can you do it?  Yes, you can!

I hope that you will participate in our new reading challenge: 100 Nights of Reading.  To participate in the challenge, all you have to do is read for 100 nights during the school year for at least 20 minutes per night.  Use your 100 Nights of Reading log to record your minutes.  Once you complete 25 nights of reading, bring in your completed log and choose a prize from the prize box.  All students who successfully read for at least 100 nights during the school year will be invited to an end-of-the-year celebration.

The best part?  You can double-dip your reading minutes with any reading minutes that you are already doing for your Language Arts classes.  There are also no restrictions on your reading.  Read anything that you like: fiction, nonfiction, magazines, graphic novels, cereal boxes!  The research proves that it is not what you read, but instead how much you read, so read what you like and for the fun of it.

See Mrs. Young or Mrs. Goedderz in the library for new reading logs.  We hope that all of you will participate.

Sharing Books with Biblionasium

All seventh graders and students in Mr. Wegner's class are using the awesome website Biblionasium to share their love of reading.  Biblionasium is an online reading community where students can create their own virtual bookshelves, participate in reading competitions, share book reviews and suggestions, and log their reading.  The students have been enthusiastically sharing their recommendations with one another.  Check out the shelf that I have started.

Here are some students at work creating their shelves.  What fun they are having! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Advice to New Students

The end of each year is bittersweet. While it has been an exciting year, and it is awesome to see how much everyone has grown, I will miss the connections that have been made and working with such a great group of kids! Each year I have the current fifth graders end their semester in Integrated Technology by creating a voki sharing advice for next fall's new fifth graders. It's a nice way to reflect on the year, welcome our new students into the building, and learn how to use one more technology tool. Below highlights the advice given by this year's group. These students have some important lessons to share!

Friday, May 31, 2013

5th Grade Creative Writers

The 5th graders in Mrs. Dachelet's classes have taken their writing to a new, creative level by publishing their stories using Storybird.  After learning how children's books are written and structured, and viewing several examples, they wrote stories of their own and used Storybird's publishing tools to share professional-looking projects with the world.  Many of the students used the collaborate feature to write and edit stories together.  View some of our students' highly creative stories below.

Animoto Book Trailers

To culminate their group readings of various novels related to the themes found in Lois Lowry's The Giver, 8th graders in Mrs. Koshollek's Language Arts classes created Animoto book trailers.  Below are some examples of their work.  They certainly make me more interested in reading these titles.

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

 Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

Behind the Bedroom Wall by Laura E. Williams

Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli

Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Indian in the Cupboard Character Scrapbooks

To reinforce their understanding of the characters and events from the the book The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks, 5th graders in Mr. Wegner's class created character scrapbooks using Biteslide.  Their scrapbooks had to portray events that occurred throughout the story from the point-of-view of a chosen character.  View a few of our students' creative examples below.

Greek Mythology Trivia Challenge Skype

Our 7th graders' knowledge of Greek Mythology was put to the test today when they connected with a group of 6th graders in Houston, TX, to challenge one another to a Greek Mythology trivia competition. Students at each school prepared this past quarter by learning about the different Greek gods and goddesses and reading various stories associated with each. Then, each class prepared questions to ask one another to determine who is the ultimate Greek Mythology trivia champion. Before the friendly competition began, students warmed up to one another by introducing themselves. They shared information about their respective cities and asked one another questions about everything from favorite foods to music. (Houston seems to have many One Direction fans as well!)

Next, it was time to get serious.  Each school assigned a team captain to answer all of the questions on behalf of the class.  We did rock, paper, scissors to determine who would go first. 

Students from each school took turns asking questions.  Questions were mostly open-ended, but multiple choice was offered when additional help was needed.

Although we kept score throughout the competition, what ultimately mattered was the experience.  Students had the chance to meet a new group of kids from somewhere else in the country and discover that kids from another part of the US are just like them in many different ways.   In addition, we proved that New London students are awesome learners who really understand and know their Greek Mythology. Who was the ultimate victor in this challenge?  I think that we could agree that both schools were winners. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Our Year in Review

It's hard to believe that another year is almost over.  We have worked hard and done some very exciting things!  It has been awesome to watch students learn and grow and create new knowledge using 21st century tools.

Below is a video that highlights a few of the ways in which we have worked with students this year.  This video was originally created as a way to highlight our program to parents and community members who will be visiting our school during our student showcase on May 30, but I thought that it was also a great tool to share with the world to demonstrate how our library serves students and teachers in the 21st century.  We are more than just a place to check-out books.  We teach the essential research and technology skills to ensure student success in today's connected world.

Thanks for another great year!

Monday, May 20, 2013

How does technology affect us: a comparison with our Estonia partners

We have continued our partnership with our Estonia friends to discuss technology and how it affects our lives. We used the website Mindmeister to create individual mindmaps sharing our thoughts on how technology impacts different aspects of our lives.

 New London students

Estonia Students
Click here to view their mindmap.

Next, students compared and contrasted their mindmaps through our collaborative Edmodo group.

What did we learn?  The biggest lesson students learned was that across oceans and countries, we have much in common when it comes to how technology affects our lives!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Look no further for your next vacation inspiration!

Where would you like to go on your next vacation? Let our 5th grade tour guides help you with your decision. Each student selected his or her dream vacation spot. Next, they used what they learned about persuasion to create a video using the free online video editor, We Video, that convinces others to go to their destinations of choice.

Want to get some inspiration for your next vacation?  Watch their videos below.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Learn about Digital Citizenship from our 5th Grade Stars!

Fifth graders in Mrs. Young's Integrated Technology classes want to teach you something about digital citizenship and online safety.  They have produced, directed, and starred in their very own public service announcements to share what they have learned.  Using WeVideo, our first-time video creators were able to easily edit their productions by mixing in text, music, and animations.  Want to learn more about digital citizenship and online safety?  Watch their videos below.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Conversations with Estonia

Students in Mrs. Young's Integrated Technology classes have partnered with students from Tallinn, Estonia to talk technology. Since our timezone differences make it impossible to speak with one another via Skype, we had to be creative about our mode of communication. Enter VoiceThread to the rescue! Using webcams and phones, we are able to record video our comments and share them with one another. Others can watch the created VoiceThread and add new comments to the original slides, allowing students to actually see and hear one another in order to create a more meaningful conversation. See our first VoiceThreads below. Our goal was to give the other school a brief introduction and then start a conversation. We will then respond to one another's VoiceThreads to engage in a deeper discussion.


 Our next VoiceThreads will ask students to reflect on how technology affects education and the pros and cons of technology. We look forward to a meaningful conversation and learning from our new friends in Estonia.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

5th Grade Edmodo Book Project

The fifth graders in Mr. Wegner's class have been busy sharing what they have been reading in class using the classroom social networking site Edmodo. After reading their independent selections, students have been using Edmodo to discuss and share with other members of the class. Students love Edmodo because it reminds them of another popular social networking site. Can you guess which one?

Students were responsible for completing posts sharing the following:
1.  an image that symbolizes something about the book.
2.  a new ending to the story.
3.  a fake tweet using the website Fake Tweet Builder summarizing the book.

Not only did the students enjoy connecting via a social networking platform with which many were very familiar, but these tasks challenged the students to think about their books in very different ways.  Once information was posted, students then had the chance to comment on one another's information and try to meaningful infer what was being shared about each book.

In addition, during some of the writing tasks, Mr. Wegner's students used the Google extension Read & Write, available through the Chrome Webstore, after adding text into a Google Doc.  Read & Write plays the written text out loud so that students may hear exactly how their writing sounds.  This helps students identify when grammatical and spelling mistakes have been made. 

Students were very engaged when they had this opportunity to connect with one another and explore their reading in unique and meaningful ways.