Welcome Back, Sharks!

Library and Tech Updates for Teachers

The Shimek Library

I am very excited for another great school year - I love Shimek! My name is Linda Johnson, and this is my 4th year as your Shimek teacher librarian. Peggy Fitzgerald is your library secretary, and this is her 5th year in the library.

Our library is pretty awesome. We try to make sure students always feel welcome. We want the library to be a place where kids can find books they love,learn new exciting things, ask interesting questions, and share what they know. In class, we read great stories, learn about finding and using information ethically, and learn how to use technology to help us learn.

We also want to work with you to make sure our kids get the best experience they can! If you have a great idea for a unit or lesson, I'm happy to chat with you about it. Collaboration can be as simple a a 5-minute discussion, getting you a pile of great books or links, or teaching a lesson together. I'm always happy to try new things or to do old things in a new way!

Bookmark these links!

Library Schedules

I am at Shimek on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 - 4:00 and on Wednesdays from 8:00 - noon.

Peggy will be in the library 5 hours a day, and do some supervision for 90 minutes a day. Peggy's schedule has yet to be finalized, but she will be at school approximately 8:00 - 3:00 each day, just not always in the library.

Students are welcome to return and check out books ANY DAY of the week. With permission from you, students may come to the library to quietly and independently check out books anytime they like.

Computer Lab Schedule

The computer lab schedule will always be posted on the door by the lab. We will pick lab times before the start of school. If you would like occasional extra lab time, check the schedule and then check with Peggy. Just put a post-it up on the paper schedule to show when you will be using the lab.

There are 30 student-use computers in the lab. There are also a few laptops available for check out in my office.

Computer Updates - Turn 'em on, leave 'em on!

Please power up all classroom tech and login at least once before school starts to make sure everything is working. This includes checking out the Smartboard! Leave the power on, plug them in, and leave lids up overnight so they can catch up on some updating before students need to use them. During the school year, leave computers on all of the time.

Save some Green! Only print if it is essential.

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Printing Changes

Once again, printers have changed. You will need to remove any "old" printers from your printer list (srv01 & srv02) and add the printers you would like to use. You will have to do this on each computer you use.

If you type \\srv-print in the Search box, it will also bring up available printers to add.

Please see the email from the Help Desk (sent 8/11/15) for detailed instructions.

Student Logins

Student logins have changed again this year.

Grades PreK-2 will be using the same generic login (shimsh) to start the year, but will probably change to a new system later on this year. These shared accounts are insecure, so our tech people are experimenting with new ways to handle young ones logging in.

Grades 3-6 will all be expected to login with their own username and password. I plan to teach them how to do this in library class around week 3, but if you want to get started sooner, let me know, and I can help you get started.

Logins this year will be shorter and easier for the students. They will be created with the first 2 letters of their first name, first 3 letters of their last name, and their graduation year, followed by @icstudents.org

For example:

There is a slightly different pattern to follow if:

  • the combination of names spells a naughty word
  • there are two students in the district with the same combo in the same grade

I will receive a list of usernames when school starts and let you know. I would like each student to have the same password for as many uses as possible, so I would appreciate a list of the main password for each of your students. (Most teachers use sharks1, sharks2, etc.)

Google Drive

Don't forget - all teachers and students in grades 3-6 have Google Accounts! For you, that means you can use the same login and password you use for your computer/email to access the many tools Google has available.

Google Drive - a place to store ANY file and access from ANY device with internet!

Google Docs - an online way to create a Word-like document. Multiple people can access at one time to view or edit.

Google Slides - an online way to create PowerPoint-like presentations. Great when multiple people need to edit/add contents to a slideshow!

Google Sheets - an online spreadsheet tool like Excel. Great for class lists and collecting data - again, shareable with multiple people for less paper clutter.

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or email helpdesk@iowacityschools.org

Need Troubleshooting help?

The district tech team continues to enhance their services for teachers and staff. If you have a classroom tech issue, try some basic troubleshooting first (is it plugged in, wiggle the cords, try restarting), then please call x4357 ('HELP' on the phone) or email Kelly and Chris from the Help Desk at helpdesk@iowacityschools.org

Of course, Peggy and I are also available to help when possible!

Thanks for supporting your students and their library program!