DB Learning Commons News to Use

October 2013

Six Flags Read to Succeed!!!!!

It's time to Read to Succeed with 6 Flags! Our school is registered for this reading incentive program, and so are classroom teachers. I'll put a copy of the parent letter and the reading log in your mailbox. DON'T FORGET TO WRITE YOUR DUE DATE ON BOTH BEFORE COPYING AND SENDING HOME. Give yourself plenty of time to register students by the deadline of 5pm Central Standard Time on March 3, 2014. Once you have collected the completed reading logs, you will need to go to the following website and enter student names. You will also distribute tickets to students when they arrive in late spring. Tickets will be printed with student names this year. Each participating teacher will also receive one free ticket. They have an excellent FAQ on the website, as well as some fun promotional reproducibles featuring Nick Bruel's Bad Kitty. Let me know if you need anything else!

Take a look at our VLC (Virtual Learning Commons)

Take a minute or two to see what's new on our Learning Commons website. My goal is to create a virtual learning commons that is accessible 24/7 and beneficial to faculty, staff, students and parents. I'm just getting started! Did you know Mark Twain book trailers can be found on the main page? I've redesigned the Contact Us page and updated it with contact info for both of our new para educators, Brittany Niedringhaus and Cathy Selleck. I've added Big 6 and Super 3 information on a Tech Time Resources page under the Find a Project tab. I've created a Mark Twain Blog and students are starting to participate! The fourth graders are rocking the Mark Twain nominees this year. I've created resource pages for 3rd and 4th grade. Let me know what I can add to make those pages more useful. And if you haven't already, please take a look at the Teacher Resource Symbaloo. Future goals include adding a "Cool Tools" page for student and teacher use, categorized by use ( i.e. tools for presentations, writing and publishing, communication and collaboration, etc.) I also want to add tutorials to help learn how to use those cool tools. What do you think? What would you like to see added to our virtual space?

Two of my latest favorite free apps!

Take a look at this Shadow Puppet demo. It's so easy and fun to create one. Could our students use this tool to increase critical thinking skills? Collaborate? Create? Communicate? Brittany and/or I are available to collaboratively plan, teach, and evaluate. We're also happy to simply assist.

Also check out Word Mover. I was tempted to hoard this one until National Poetry Month in April, but it could be SO helpful for those students that freeze up when faced with writing on that empty white page! Poetry is embedded in the curriculum at every grade level. This is also available as an interactive on Read Write Think. A huge benefit to using the app is that it doesn't require Internet access. Take a screen shot of completed poem, save it in SkyDrive, and print from your computer. Request installation on our iPads before use with a class.

By the way...

Like this digital newsletter? Check out how easy it is to create one by clicking the Smore title above. Smore makes it difficult to produce anything that isn't attractive and well-designed. What ideas do you have for our students to use this web tool to increase digital literacy skills?


* Watch this quick video tutorial to see how to create dynamic instruction using our FollettShelf eBooks on your SMART Board. http://www.aboutfollettebooks.com/page.cfm?page_id=30

*While you're at it, check out our new eBook collection at Mackin VIA. Get there from the Teacher Resources on the VLC anytime, or go now with this link: www.mackinvia.com

User name is danielboone, password is danielboone.

* New Professional Resources: The Continuum of Literacy Learning Grades PreK-8: A Guide to Teaching by Fountas and Pinnell and The Survival Guide for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (And Their Parents) by Verdick and Reeve.

* New write on/wipe off instructional big books: Graphic Organizers That Build Early Reading Skills and Literary Elements. (We also have Introduction to Nonfiction - text features). All three are written by Liza Charlesworth.

* Don’t forget to check out zinio (magazine downloads) and freegal (music downloads) at www.youranswerplace.com These are amazing free resources for St. Charles and St. Louis County residents.

* To schedule a checkout time or read aloud, use the Library Calendar or contact Cathy. To schedule me (collaboration, instruction, or assistance), contact me. To schedule tech integration, 21C collaboration, or assistance, contact Brittany or me. Hope to hear from you soon.

For Fun and Safety - Scaredy Squirrel Halloween Safety Video

Scaredy Squirrel's Halloween Safety Public Service Announcement

Welcome to the Club

A hearty cheer for our newest faculty members of the Mark Twain Club! Ms. Heslin, Mr. Poling, Mr. Armour, Ms. Loesch and Ms. Utt! Love how Cathy's bulletin board is growing!