A Few of My Favorite Things – September 2014


This summer, I saw a post on Amanda Michelle’s Blog on her July favorites and I was totally inspired to do this same format on my own blog, but with tools, resources, videos, blog posts, etc. that are related to education. This is not to say that something not related to me being a librarian might sneak its way in, but for the most part, I will feature things that are a part of what I do everyday.

I recently sent out an email to my colleagues with a list of six of my favorite things (Sept. 2014 edition). I used Blendspace to feature the six things I wanted to share with them. I didn’t receive any feedback (or not yet), but I know that many have visited the link. So now, onto a few of my favorite things…

1. EdGeekCast – This is a podcast by, for and about geeks who teach. It’s a great way to learn and connect with educators from around the country. While you listen, you can tweet questions and comments to the geek-casters. Check out their site for upcoming and archived podcasts.

2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – I LOVE this book! I had recently read Eleanor & Park and fell in love with Rainbow Rowell’s writing, so naturally I had to pick up Fangirl. It’s a great coming of age story about Cath, a college freshman, who is learning to define her own identity. I know I’m old and my college days are long behind me, but I found myself connecting with this character again and again. I love this quote from the book…

3. 27 Ways to Make This the Best Year Ever by Library Girl (Jennifer LaGarde) – This is an awesome post to read, reflect on and put into practice…by one of my library she-roes and favorite people!

4. Tab Scissors and Tab Glue (Chrome Extensions) – I love having dual monitors to look at when I’m working, but I’m not fortunate enough to have two monitors at work. A great work around (if you use Google Chrome) for splitting your screen are Tab Scissors and Tab Glue. I first heard about these extensions at ISTE 2014 over the summer. I’ve been using them ever since. Both extensions can be added to your Chrome account by accessing the Chrome Webstore and downloading them. Tab Scissors will split the screen between two adjacent tabs, while Tab Glue will put both screens back together.

5. Exit Ticket by Barbara Gruener (@BarbaraGruener) – I came across this exit ticket idea during the #nctlchat on Twitter one Sunday night. I loved the way she featured words around the edges of the ticket to help spark her students’ thinking and reflection. I believe she gives her students print copies, but this could easily be formatted for a paperless environment. I am a huge advocate for giving students a voice and allowing them to reflect. There is so much power in formative assessment!

6. How To Use Flubaroo Video Tutorial – After a conversation with a colleague about his desire to make his classroom increasingly paperless, I came up with a solution for his desire to test and quiz his students online. We are a 1:1 Chromebook school, so using Google Drive is a daily thing for us. He was making quizzes in Google Forms, but wanted a quick, easy way to grade these and get feedback. I suggested Flubaroo, the Google Drive add-on. Knowing how busy teachers are and how hard it is to meet face to face, I decided to create a quick video tutorial on how to install and use this add-on with a Google Form. I posted the video to my school YouTube channel and then sent it out to all of the staff at my school. Video tutorials are a great way to help people learn when its convenient for them! I’ve posted the video below for you.



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