Sunday, September 28, 2014

Saddle Up & Rope ‘Em In!

Codes to Teach Like a Cowboy / Cowgirl

I am SO very excited to announce that two educators whom I greatly respect and admire are going to guest speak on our #TLChat Virtual Cafe webinar series:

Shelly Terrell & Jake Duncan
"Teaching can feel like trying to conquer the Wild West. We need inspiration and advice from trailblazers used to rough terrains. Two Texas educators invite you to join this campfire conversation in which they will share some practical ideas and tips for handling anything from fundraising to teaching with little technology. Giddy up! Get your boots on and join us for this adventurous ride that’ll get you fired up and equipped for the school year."

October 6th, 2014
8pm Eastern USA time

Session Wikipage

Did you miss it? It was AWESOME! 
A huge thanks to the ever amazing & generous Shelly & Jake! 

Watch, listen, & enjoy by clicking on the
Blackboard Session Archive Link
(Please give it a min to download & play) 

Follow Shelly Terrell---> @ShellTerrell
Follow Jake Duncan ---> @jkdncn

Click for Shelly's Pearl Trees List of Resources

Photos gleefully stolen from Shelly & Jake
Title photo design inspired by a Flickr Creative Commons
photo by Eric Leslie & graphic design by yours truly and PicMonkey!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

10 Things to Think About Before You Post

Over the last six years we've made some great friends with the cool people at the website Flocabulary and we love what they've been creating lately with super engaging rap songs & videos tied in with the CCSS! (Common Core State Standards) We've been using their Week in Rap news feature in our MHTV school TV studio since they landed on the hip hop education scene in 2008! Murray Hill even earned a video shout out last year! W00t! (We were SO proud!) So, when I heard that they were teaming up with the awesome Common Sense Media people, to put out a music video about Digital Citizenship, - I was SO excited! Talk about wonder twin powers!
This video is good to use with both students and teachers about making good choices across all social media outets.
I've been on Twitter professionally now for 6 years, and I have an AMAZING & generous personal learning network of followers - so being careful, upbeat, positive and mindful of what I Tweet is important to me.  I don't use Facebook - we just never got along.  At school, we have been loving us some Vine Videos, since we experimented and created video book trailers last year (see previous post) and we've even just achieved 100,000 loops across all posts, too! This Flocabulary digital citizenship video (and the supplemental lessons and teacher resources) explores not about what kind of social media you use, but HOW you use it! The choices you make - what you share and how much you share. Brilliant!
I think you'll like the video - let me know in the comments!
Flocabulary also has amazing resources for teachers in an easy to navigate format! I really like Flocabulary - month by month for teaching ideas.
They are also very, very, responsive to teacher needs. I've called the office in NYC, talked with real people, and they're super nice!

Give it a chance, there's a whole school free trial where "teachers and administrators can take an extended test-drive with no obligation to purchase." You'll get:
  • Hundreds of educational hip-hop videos to engage, inspire and teach
  • A Common Core guide to help you meet your objectives
  • Research-based activities for enrichment, test prep and more
  • Unlimited access for all teachers and students, grades K-12
You can also get a single teacher account account with teacher access to all the goodies to use with your kids in the classroom, school library, or TV studio!  That's what I have!

Maybe someday I will win a whole school account - I've given them away at conferences but don't have one myself! LOL

Monday, September 1, 2014

Back to School Special: Open Mic Edition

For the last five years at the #TLChat Virtual Cafe we've offered a FREE webinar to help librarians and teachers of all subjects and levels get ready for the next school year. This casual discussion generates ideas on how to build school allies, support new teachers, & become indispensable to administration & staff at the beginning of EVERY school year. I'm joined in this conversation by amazing, librarians, friends, and moderators Tiffany Whitehead and Jennifer LaGarde......and hopefully YOU! W00t!

Join in! Sept 8th, 2014 - 8pm EST
Participant Link
Back to School Special Wikipage
I Want YOU to Grab the Mic!
This year we've flipped the script and are inviting YOU to step up to the mic and share your ideas, tips, tricks, and cool ways to get excited, energized, and to supercharge the library program or classroom throughout the school year.

How to do it? 
Easy! Just add a slide! Visit our shared and open to edit Google presentation - check out the directions, our example slides, and go to the end of the preso and find or add a blank slide and add your ideas!

What to share? 
Decorating hints, tech tips, new ways to use old standby's, reading promotions, words of advice, PLN building strategies, lesson ideas, how you help new teachers, and ways you connect with your parents and the community. Anything that you think could help someone else make the year go easier!

Be a Sharing Super Hero!
I know it's sorta scary to put yourself out there and share an idea! We all feel that way from time to
time! But let me try and convince you that this year should be your year of shameless sharing!

So many times we are reluctant to share what we create because we're afraid of either looking like a show off, we think what we created may not be "good enough," or we're afraid of critique.

Consider shameless sharing as not shining a spotlight on you, but sharing the cool things going on with your kiddos with their parents and your community! Also consider that there are lots of new teachers and teacher librarians out there who are hungrily looking for ideas & examples!  I get emails all the time asking advice on how to get by that first year of teaching. One of the things I suggest is going back to check out the archives of this BTSN series.

So make this year the year that you GIVE and then GIVE some more! Embrace Creative Commons, Flickr, Slideshare, Wikis, & Twitter - build your PLN and share your AWEsome stuff!

My Gift to You!
Never one to give advice that I wouldn't follow...I created a simple PPT presentation template for my teachers (& FREE to you!) to use on back to school night which you can DOWNLOAD for FREE from either Slideshare or on my wikipage. Download it, modify for your school, and give it to your teachers as a template to modify & personalize to mix up their presos for back to school night.  Save them time & aggravation AND be a superhero!  Go NOW and SHARE Your Great ideas with us!  Please? Pretty, pretty, please? Like, after 5 years of doing this, we need you!  Thanks dear reader!

It goes without saying, that any spam slides or slides from vendors & not real teachers or teacher librarians will be removed forthwith.


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