Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Cheating is Sometimes Okay: This Cheat Sheet is Awesome!

Here's a big shout-out to Kasey Bell, whose blog Shake Up Learning has some of the best technology tutorials on the web! I am currently teaching our new 9th graders how to use Google Docs and Drive, and found this cheat-sheet which Kasey created. It is easy to follow and I love the design! (What is that handwriting font? Love it!)

Friday, July 31, 2015

Guest Post: On Digital Citizenship

Our 21st Century libraries are the perfect place to explore, and what better way to practice digital citizenship than by connecting with others around the world!

Dot Day 2014 035.JPGCommon Sense Media’s vast website is chock-full of resources related to kids, tweens, teens, parents, and media. Their Digital Literacy and Citizenship educational resources and curriculum are well written, aligned with the Common Core State Standards, and they are kid, tween, and teen friendly.  Their Power of Words, Pause and Think Online are great videos to share with elementary school students, and Oversharing: Think Before You Post is perfect for tweens and teens.

One way to incorporate the Digital Citizenship curriculum and to honor the Digital Citizenship pledge is to connect with other schools via Google Hangout or Skype, and practice what they have learned in a fun way.   By celebrating various literature-inspired holidays with other schools within your district, the United States, or worldwide, elementary students can  hone their 21st Century communication skills.

Dot Day 2014 003.JPGIn September, we celebrate courage, creativity, and collaboration with International Dot Day, We read books about art and taking risks, and share dot-inspired art with other schools.

In October, we celebrate Read for the Record and collaborate with other schools to share the book of the year.  Also in October is Digital Citizenship Week - the perfect time to teach this topic, and practice new skills like communicating kindly with someone else online.

In March we celebrate  World Read Aloud Day where my students connect with other classrooms around the United States to share information about each other’s state and read aloud to one another. Mo Willem’s Elephant and Piggie books are perfect books for Gerald, and the other, Piggie, Older students can the younger grades - one school can read the part of read two-part poems such as Joyful Noise by Paul Fleischman  or read a Readers’ Theater version of a book, such as Judy Schachner’s  Skippyjon Jones- Lost in Spice, dividing the parts between the two schools.   

Another favorite holiday I celebrate with my students Poem in Your Pocket Day.  This year, after reading a few examples of list poems, we collaboratively created list poems, using Google Hangout, and typing together on Google Drive as our students created and dictated the lines of the poems.

As students go farther and farther into their exploration of cyberspace, powerful digital citizenship lessons such as these will serve them well.

My collection of Digital Citizenship resources can be found here, or check out Julie’s blog!

Melissa McDonald is the School Library Media Specialist at Flower Hill Elementary School in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and is the author of the blog, The Creative Librarian - Adventures in School Librarianship.

Where I Have Been the Last Few Months....

My apologies for not posting in quite a while.  I have had some health issues which ended with a hospital stay this past weekend. It's been a tough road back but I am glad to be feeling better!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

UPDATED: 50 Links to Summer PD

There are so many educational opportunities for teachers during the summer months. Some can be offered for free, and other charge fees. I'm going to mix it up a bit, because I know there are school districts which will reimburse their teachers if there is a fee. In my case, I'm on my own if I decide to pay for any workshops or classes this summer. The free ones that I know about are marked with an *.
NOTE: Some events could not be listed because the date to apply has already passed.


ALA Las Vegas- American Association of School Librarians schedule HERE

*EasyBib Professional Development- on demand and free

English Language Learners and the School Library- July 20-22; Cambridge, MA

*Gale Geek Webinars- play or download

*Junior Library Guild On-Site or Online Training for Librarians

Picture Book Conference- at the Mazza Museum, University of Findlay, Ohio

*Professional Development/Webinars- currently about 28 on the list with updates all the time

*School Librarian Twitter Chats as Professional Development

*Summer Teen- School Library Journal's online event covering teen issues and their affect on your teen collection.


Annenberg Learner- view videos in these subject areas: arts, foreign language, literature and language arts, math, science, social studies and history

Arkansas STEM Coalition- computer science professional development

ASCD Summer Professional Development Opportunities- all over the U.S.

Center for STEM Education for Girls- locations for professional development all over the U.S.

Coursera-  verified certificates for certain courses ($); others are FREE

DIY Professional Development Resource Roundup- from Edutopia 

*edCamp- list of all edCamp schedules (it's worldwide!)

EdTech Teacher Summer Workshops- Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area and Chicago

*edWeb Webinars

*Free Professional Learning Through ASCD's Professional Development Tools- includes webinars, virtual learning, book study guides

The Art of Education Conference- for art teachers; national online conference

The Conference Calendar- lists conferences for all types of educators

Connecticut Council of Language Teachers- July 9-10

The Education Cooperative- long list of PD opportunities either online or Tec Learning Center in Massachusetts

Education Week Teacher PD Directory- extensive listing of professional development opportunities

Houghton Mifflin Professional Development- for math teachers

ISTE 2015 Philadelphia- June 28- July 1

*The Library of Congress- FREE PD for teachers

*Maker Educator Boot Camp- held in Pittsburgh, PA

Museum Institute for Teaching Science- summer professional development institutes; located in different parts of Massachusetts.

Music-Comp- professional development for music teachers; located in Burlington, VT; begins July13th and 20th.

*National Archives- PD Webinars for Educators

The New Victory Theater- (NYC, August 10-14) "Workshops designed to help classroom teachers and arts specialists (Pre-K to 12th grade) cultivate the skills to incorporate the performing arts into their lesson planning and teaching practice."

NEA Member Benefits: Professional Development

NJEA Professional Learning

NJEA Summer Learning Opportunities

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection- science educators

Professional Development Programs for Teachers- from The Newberry, Chicago's Independent Research Library

Professional Learning at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum- (NYC) August 3-8; some $$

Richard Byrne's Online PD Opportunities-learn from one of the best!

Smithsonian Educator Workshops- includes the Mobile Learning Institute; many wait list only

Solution Tree Institutes- many sold out, so hurry

Stanford Summer Teaching Institute- language arts, technology, science, math

*Summer Rejuvination Guide- from Edutopia

Summer Programs from LRC- for foreign language teachers

Teachers College, Columbia University- conferences on various topics; some are wait-list only

Teq Summer PD- NYC and Long Island

University of British Columbia Online Courses

University of North Dakota Professional Development- in person or online

University of Wisconsin Stout-  34 online professional development courses

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Monday, June 15, 2015

The 12 Most Popular Posts This School Year

I can't believe it is that time of the year already! Some of you have already ended your school year and others are following a totally different schedule with year-round classes. In case you missed them, here are the top 12 posts from September 2014-June 2015. Have a wonderful summer, whatever you do!

23 Chrome Extensions You Must Have

31 Free iPad Apps for Science Teachers

43 Free iPad Apps for Geography, History, Civics & Social Studies Teachers

All About Google Classroom in 22 Clicks!

Amazing! 74 Infographics for Teacher-Librarians (L.A. Teachers Too!)

Cartoons Only a Teacher Would Love

Free Online PD Infographic - from Joyce Valenza

Google Apps Status Dashboard Lets You Know What's Up

Great Video to Show Your Students What a Terrific Resource You Are

Hats Off to Google's Dan Russell!

Kids Love Scavenger Hunts! Here are 57 Sites to Get You Started!

PowerPoint Presentations Need a Boost? Here's Some Great Advice

This is my dream summer vacation!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Calling All Guest Bloggers

With summer right around the corner, it's time for me to once again offer all educators the opportunity to do a guest blog post right here on A Media Specialist's Guide to the Internet. No matter what your discipline is, you are welcome to fill out the form below. If you are chosen, I will email you with all the info needed to share your post. We begin on July 1, 2015!


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