I taught grade 5 students how to use Follettshelf and Overdrive, but know that many students didn’t have enough practice to comprehend all the steps. I had students get in groups of 3 and they could choose any iPad App they wanted and make a “how to video” choosing either Follettshelf or Overdrive. I’ll use the best videos as tutorials for others in the library. The objective is for students to practice and hone skills. Most used a laptop while the other person videotaped using the iPad Camera feature and the third pointed on the screen. One group used two iPads and showed how to get eBooks on the iPad using the Overdrive App. The results showed that many students didn’t understand how to return books on both programs. This scaffolded lesson allowed me to give one-on-one with them, while the students that understood getting eBooks tried to be creative with their videos. One group tried using the iMovie App but it took too long taking the pictures. Another group tried Videoliscious but didn’t like it and just switched to the video feature that comes standard on the iPad. I did this lesson with grade 5 students and it worked well for reviewing. Plus students had fun. Not everyone finished their videos and that was okay. My goal was to review the process and if they came up with a product great. If not, at least they should know how to get ebooks at home.
On the side… is it eBooks? ebooks? Ebooks? or e-Books?
Grade 4 students worked in pairs and made-up a story for a wordless book. I pulled about 40 wordless books and tried to find 20 of my favorites. I did up an example using “Chalk” by Bill Thompson to show students. Students chose from the stack of 20 and took pictures of each page using the Camera on the iPad. Next they used the Shadow Puppet App and created the picture. The first time I did this, the room was too noisy so I borrowed 12 iRig microphones for better audio. I compiled the stories using a video editing program and played them on an LCD screen. I finished the lesson in a 45 minute time period.
Gadzooks! How do you spell ebooks? …Ebook? …eBook? ….ebook? or …e-book? No matter how you spell it there are many different ways to get them. We have Overdrive at our school and now just added Follettshelf that works with Destiny Quest. I like that I can use Follettshelf on the Kindle Fire browser and it works okay. Overdrive still does not work with the Kindle reader internationally. Sigh…
I showed grade 5 students how to use Follettshelf on the iPads. Now matter what program I use it is confusing for them. Follettshelf is easy to use when reading on the browser but when I use the Enlight App we had problems with students logging on. The URL they have to type in confused them and we had to reset passwords. That had more to do with Batch file updates than the program and I am not going to go into that.
A few problems students had was figuring out how to return a book. You have to click on the books at the top left to get back to the Follettshelf page after downloading a book. The Enlight App allows the book to be read without a Wi-Fi whereas reading in the browser on Follettshelf requires a connection. Many of the books have U.S. restrictions like Overdrive so don’t expect to have the same selection as you can if you live or lived in the U.S.
The High School Librarian and I hosted a Webinar on Kindle Management. The HS Librarian is on a Silcasia listserv and people were asking about how Kindles were managed. Our elementary library has 20 Kindles, middles school has 50, and high school has 100. There are quite a few details on management of them. It was a great conversation with others from Singapore, Japan, Cambodia, and Hong Kong. We paid to use a dedicated line using Cisco Webex. While most could hear us, some said the audio cut in and out. We used the chat feature to fill in the blanks or were asked to repeat answers. The feature that allows everyone to talk didn’t work as well as the chat so we shut it off and just had our side be audio. We used the phone and set it on the table. The camera feature allowed us to show the Kindles to people so they could see the barcode, cover, and carrying cases. It was really fun and has me thinking about what it would be like to host a library conference at our school. Hmmm…
We were in Mumbia, India and our hotel was across from the American School of Bombay. We know Eric Nelson who is a science teacher there and he asked if we wanted to go on a service learning project with his 8th graders to a slum school. My husband had his iPad with and I snapped a video of him working with some of the 30 plus kids from grades 3-8 learning on the floor of a small room. What an experience!
I have teachers who want picture books as mentor texts. While I can usually grab them off the shelf, sometimes I get stumped or my go-to books are checked out. This is a good book list to help trigger my brain when I need a jump-start: http://best-book-lists.wikispaces.com/COMPREHENSION+%26+LITERARY+DEVICES
I’ve been released from the tennis whirlpool of coaching and can get back to blogging. An interesting discussion on a blog talked about how writers can wreck an illusion or out-date a book with too many anachronisms. They were specifically looking at phrases such as gr8, OMG, etc. and their usage in novels.
One comment mentioned the Google Ngram Viewer which is a phrase-usage graphing tool that looks at language patterns in 5.2 million digitized Google books. This blogger put in the words “Internet,the Internet,internet,the internet,Web,the Web” to look at the frequency of word use over time. A limitation is that the tool only goes to 2008. Below shows that the phrase “Internet” is used more often than “internet” and that the usage peaked in 2002. I typed in “OMG” and it peaked in 2002 as well.
If you are trying to figure out language patterns it is an interesting tool. I might use it for book reviews. Once in a while I come across a book loaded with anachronisms. If you are looking for a clever parody of Instant Messaging or Internet slang then read “The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle (The League of Princes #2) by Christopher Healy.” One of the princes likes to holler, “Jimmy John Digglesford Garbenflarben!” Then writes JJDG in his journal.
I have taken three classes from the Positive Coaching Alliance that stress a 5:1 ratio of giving students 5 positive comments to every criticism. Last year I had small sheets of paper all over the place and wanted to be more organized with not only these positive comment notes, but my lessons, schedule, etc. I decided to use Evernote on the iPad by bringing it to tennis. It has worked well jotting down notes on things students are doing well, taking videos and photos, getting information from students such as schedule conflicts, and storing student evaluations and lessons. I’ve downloaded some tennis apps where I can make up drills and copy and put them in Evernote. The multimedia feature of using audio, video, photos, and Skitch make the tool more powerful than I expected. Give it a try. You might like it with your coaching or teaching.
I’m going all iPads next year and no laptops.
Kindergarten-grade 2: We read new books. Next rotation grade 2 will use Destiny Quest on the iPad and be introduced to searching. One unique feature with the iPads is students can carry it to the shelf when looking for books. So far they’ve been careful and I’ve had no one leave them on the floor. I’m going to also have grade 1 use them. This summer I think I’ll create a video that shows how to walk to the shelf and look for the book based on the call number. I want it customized to my library.
Grade 3 and 4: I need to create a curriculum that is better with grade 3 and drop the Photostory book trailer. I feel like I’m trying to shove an elephant through a donut hole. The quality just isn’t there. Grade 4 I need to start pulling books for students based on interests.
Grade 5: I really liked how I focused on reading strategies and getting students excited in grade 5. I did a survey to see what students liked and if my strategies helped sustain reading throughout the year. I found that 75% of the low readers sustained or increased their reading while 100% of the middle and high readers sustained or increased their reading over the course of the school year. My goal was actually reversed with 75% sustained reading of middle to high readers and 100% sustained reading for low readers throughout the entire school year. I was noticing a drop off in grad 5 reading in the spring and was trying to address that issue.
The strategies and lessons were: 1) pulling books individually, 2) showing professional book trailers, 3) writing reviews on Goodreads and getting a virtual badge, 4) using iMovie to make book trailers, 5)using the Kindle, and 6) using eBooks.
Low readers liked using the Kindle because of the notetaking feature and writing reviews on Goodreads in order to get a badge. High readers liked the iMovie. All of the students liked it when I pulled “just right” books for them and quickly told them what the book was about. Honestly, I was surprised that they all liked this. I thought I had spread myself too thin (pulling books for 160 students) and wasn’t giving them enough attention, but I guess not.
I liked having a skeleton of reading strategies for grade 5 that were separate from the curriculum. That way I could slip them in when I wasn’t doing an author study or integrated lesson. It gave me a thread to work in my library skills and get kids excited about reading. The last rotation I have grade 5 go to the middle school and meet the librarian. They can check out books for the summer.