August Almanac

News and Resources from the CMS/CIA MediaPlex

One month down already?

We have had all students/classes in the media center for their first check out, and are ready to move on to more collaboration. Please let us know of ways that we can assist you. You may already know that the three intermediate/middle school media specialists are working on creating documents with resources to help with student performance tasks in ELA, as well as items in the other disciplines. Feel free to have your department meeting in the media center in one of the labs; I would like to plan at least one meeting per quarter to meet with each department, partly to discuss what the different labs might have to offer your current or future units of study.


During middle school check out weeks (such as this week), the whiteboard table/wall area is available all day on Monday for classes. You can check the google calendars for available times for any of the labs, or ask us to help you schedule.

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Collaborative Document of Back to School Ideas

There is quite an online community around the book Teach Like a Pirate, now also including other books such as Ditch That Textbook and Learn Like a Pirate . A principal started this collaborative google doc to collect ideas for making the beginning of school more pirate-like. Although we're already a month in, there might be ideas here you could use.

Fun Tech Tools: Educators Continue to Discover New Uses

Voxer

Voxer is a free walkie-talkie type app that many educators are using. It extends twitter by letting you share ideas that are hard to express in 140 characters, and it's often easier to talk than type! You can find a list of educational Voxer groups here Like just about everything else in education, Cybraryman has a page for it as well. There are even schools using it as announcements for teachers. I catch up on most of my voxes during my drive to and from school. Although it's free, it's one of the few apps where I've paid for the premium version.

Periscope

There are many debates about the use of Periscope in schools, but it's definitely a fun, easy tool to use. It's an instant video broadcast tool (owned by twitter) The best periscopes I've seen are several by Ron Clark during surprise visits to schools, and one from Katmai National Park in Alaska done by a ranger with 8 brown bears in the steam behind her. There are various privacy settings available, as well as tools to keep videos past the usual 24-hour limit, upload to youtube, etc. While there are people using it for less than stellar reasons, there can be some worthwhile classroom applications. Companies such as Discovery Education, National Geographic, and BrainPop have launched Periscope accounts. This post by Tony Vincent does a good job of explaining some of the basics.

It's a Quiz!

All students were asked to name the "Best Book Ever" that they have read. (6-7-8 used a google form, 5th did it on paper) I then downloaded their responses and created a wordle for each grade. 1st staff member to correctly match the wordle to the grade wins a prize! Never fear- the next newsletter will feature what book they want to read now! (Bonus question: what do these responses tell us?)
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