Sunday, December 31, 2017

Website Evaluation Skype Game

Another media specialist in my district recently discovered the Fake News Skype Challenge lesson on the Microsoft Educator Community and suggested playing with our fifth graders.  We met a few days before the lessons were scheduled to plan and decided to adapt the lesson to better meet our students' needs.

Before the lesson, I created two graphics and we asked our fifth grade teachers to upload them to Canvas, our district's learning management system.  When students arrived in the media center, they quickly logged into Canvas on our laptops to access the graphics.

We started by introducing ourselves and our students.  Some of our students already knew each other from sports and were excited to connect.  Then we explained that we were going to play a game called "Two Truths and a Lie."  Most of our students expressed that they had played this game before.  We told them that unlike in the traditional game, students would be allowed to use technology to help determine which statement was the lie.

Then we discussed how difficult it is sometimes to decide if a website contains reliable information.  Several students shared examples of sites they had visited previously that looked like authentic websites but turned out to have inaccurate information.  We directed students to open the graphic called "Seven Tests of Reliability."  We read each of the seven tests and discussed how they can be used to determine whether a website contains reliable information.  We also told students that we expected them to use these seven tests during the game to determine which statement was the lie.

Then we directed students to open the other graphic.  This file contained the three statements for students to evaluate.  After we read through all of the statements, we asked students to vote on which one they thought was the lie by standing up after we read it again. 

Then it was research time!  We directed students to  They used Bing to locate websites about teach topic.  Students were reminded to use the Seven Tests of Reliability for each website they visited to decide whether the information was likely to be accurate or not.

After students had adequate time to research (about fifteen minutes), we asked them to vote again.  We read each statement and asked students to stand when we read the statement they believed to be a lie.  

Then we revealed the lie.  I thought before we played the game that the lie would be obvious to students, especially after having time to research.  However, this was not true!  So we spent some time at the end of each lesson discussing which websites students used to gather information and why they were or were not reliable.  During this part of the lesson, students who wanted to share spoke directly to the camera so that students in the other school could hear their comments.  

We will definitely plan this lesson again next year.  Our students were fully engaged in the game and loved interacting with students from another school!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Using Destiny Collections as a Collaboration Tool

Check out the post I wrote for the Follett Community blog!  It's all about my current obsession with Destiny Collections and how Collections has fostered collaboration in my school.

Here is the link.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Wild West Book Fair

We recently ended our fall book fair.  Scholastic's fall theme is Wild West Book Fair: Saddle Up and Read!  We transformed the outside of the media center into a town from the old west. 

The inside of the media center had a covered wagon, which displayed books.  Also a bandana print banner, bales of hay, boots, and a saddle!

After my volunteers and I set up the book fair, I held a teacher preview.  We served chili with all the fixins and lemonade.  And for dessert, cow patties (Little Debbie chocolate snacks)!  Teachers browsed the new titles and created their wish lists during the preview.

Our students (and staff) enjoyed the photo booth set up in the book fair!  This was especially popular during our grandparent events.

During this book fair, school was cancelled for two days due to Hurricane Irma.  However, attendance at our grandparent events was still high.  We also had many parents visit with their kids during our evening event.  The most popular titles at this book fair were Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties by Dav Pilkey and Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Top Twenty-Five Books of 2016-2017

Here are the top twenty-five circulated titles during the 2016-2017 school year at my K-5 elementary school.

25. Amulet: The Last Council by Kazu Kibuishi

24. The Lego Ideas Book: Unlock Your Imagination

23. Bad Kitty for President by Nick Bruel

22. Bad Kitty Gets a Bath by Nick Bruel

21. Amulet: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi

20. Amulet: The Stonekeeper's Curse by Kazu Kibuishi

19. Happy Birthday Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel

18. Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

17. Tales from a Not-So-Glam TV Star by Rachel Renee Russell

16. Bad Kitty Vs. Uncle Murray by Nick Bruel

15. Bad Kitty: Puppy's Big Day by Nick Bruel

14. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down by Jeff Kinney

13. Bad Kitty Meets the Baby by Nick Bruel

12. Masterminds by Gordon Korman

11. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney

10. Bad Kitty School Daze by Nick Bruel

9. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney

8. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney

7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney

6. The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

5. Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney

3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney

2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney

1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Happy Camper Book Fair

We just ended our spring book fair.  Scholastic's spring book fair theme is Happy Camper Book Fair: S'more fun with books!  Our decorations included a tree and tent inside the media center.  And a waterfall, RV, and several critters on the outside. 

After my volunteers and I set up the fair, I held a teacher preview.  We served hot dogs, chips, and soft drinks.  We also served bear claws.  Teachers browsed the new titles and created their wish lists during the preview.  Our Scholastic representative came to the teacher preview and gave us five $5 certificates for door prizes.

This fair, my students and teachers are most excited about Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio in paperback and Making Bombs for Hitler by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch.  We are looking forward to adding s'more books to our collection with our profits!