A Few of My Favorite Things – October 2014

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This month has been flying by! The CCHS Library has been bustling with activity and sometimes it’s hard for me to remember what I did in the morning as I’m leaving school in the afternoon. But, the best thing about being busy is that I know students and teachers are using the library and claiming it as their space.

Here are some of my favorite things that I’ve come across this month!

  • The Infinite SeaΒ by Rick Yancey – I loved the first book in this series, The 5th Wave. It was action packed and thought provoking. I am a huge fan of post apocolyptic YA Lit! After finishing the first book, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the second one. The Infinite SeaΒ has the hallmarks of the first book; it’s broken into sections from varying perspectives, tons of action, plot twists, and a little mystery. I am almost done with it and there’s already a hold list in the library for the additional copy!
  • GoSoapBoxΒ – There are numerous polling and quizzing tools available online, but this new one, featured in a recent post on Free Technology for Teachers, seems very promising. It has great features for teachers to use and makes it possible to incorporate multiple types of feedback into one event or lesson. I’ve already had one teacher sign up and begin using it in her classroom!
  • Remind (Remind 101) Chrome App – Numerous teachers, coaches and club sponsors are using Remind to quickly and efficiently get information to students and parents. Since we are a 1:1 Chromebook school, I was super excited to read about the Remind Chrome app. This app allows teachers to send and receive messages, attachments and stamps from the Chromebook or Chrome browser. They can also see their message freed and which students and parents have viewed attachments and stamped messages. I LOVE apps and extensions for Chrome, so this was just another one to make life a little bit easier.
  • eduCanon – eduCanon is an online learning environment where teachers can create and share interactive video lessons. With the popularity of using a flipped classroom approach, eduCanon is a great tool. You begin with a video and transform what is traditionally passive content (sit and get) into an active experience for students. Students are engaged as the video progresses through time linked activities. This gives teachers a chance to segment videos into different components for students.
  • “6 Considerations When Launching a Class Twitter Account” – Twitter is probably my favorite social media platform. Not only has it helped me to grow my PLN and network and connect with hundreds of people, it keeps me abreast of awesome ideas, activities and programming that other people are doing. I can’t even tell you how many things I’ve learned and how many ideas I’ve garnered just by scrolling through my Twitter feed. It will come as no surprise to you that my love of Twitter makes me a firm believer in its ability to transform the classroom and connect students to their teacher and peers. This article offers some great, practical advice and thoughts for people who are interested in using Twitter in the classroom through a classroom account. The things mentioned can help to ensure that you begin using your classroom Twitter account in a very intentional way.
  • How to Add Color Filters to Images in Google Slides – This video from Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers, is a quick, succient tutorial for creating cool pictures in Google Slides. I am a big advocate for presentation zen and using more images, less words in presentations, which makes this addition to Slides very valuable.
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