Library Update & Technology Corner

Town Center Elementary : A CISD STEM School

Have you tried MackinVia?

If you or your students need great database information, look no further! The Mackinvia app on an iPad or the website will become your favorite resource! Access all our databases and don't bother with remembering or looking up the usernames and passwords. One stop shopping! If you'd like to watch a demo, or share with students for a flipped experience or in a station, check out the video! It shows how to use Mackinvia and also a little overview of the Britannica database.
MackinVia Practice

Don't Forget about Brytewave!

Students aren't the only ones who can enjoy should too! Remember to use the Follett Brytewave K-12 app and log in using your CISD network username and password. The first time you log in, you'll need to choose "Texas" as your location and "Town Center Elementary" as your school. Check the "stay signed in" checkbox so you only have to do it once.

Make a Pretty Display with Canva

Want to make a creative, fancy poster or invitation, but aren't super creative (that's me!)? You may want to give Canva a try. It's a drag 'n drop, easy-to-use site that allows you to make colorful, pretty "posters" that you can print or put online. Lots of free backgrounds, stickers, fun fonts, and a direct link to share on Twitter, Facebook, or download the picture and add it to your blog if you like! Would be a great way to display student work and achievements with parents in an eye-catching way. I made the example below with Canva in just a few minutes. Follow @Canva on Twitter to see great examples, ideas, and tricks.
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The Beauty of Independent Reading

If you haven't read this blog post by Donalynn Miller, you must. "I've Got Research. Yes, I Do. I've Got Research. How About You?" In it, she cites many examples of why students need independent reading time. It is vital to their growth as readers. And as the title suggests, she has the research to back it all up. I encourage you to have a look.

I love the quote from Nancie Atwell she uses to conclude her post. "A child sitting in a quiet room with a good book isn't flashy or marketable teaching method. It just happens to be the only way anyone became a reader." I sure love seeing all the independent reading happening all the time in our building!

New Professional Reading Available

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"These are the tried and true lessons I return to year after year. The lessons that students said made a difference in their writing and that will bring power and beauty to your students' writing and to your writing classroom." -Leslie Blauman, author of The Inside Guide to the Reading-Writing Classroom

"What's wrong with a little mentorship?" Leslie Blauman asks. Reap the benefits of her years as a Public Education and Business Coalition (PEBC) teacher with 31 of her best kid-tested and approved lessons that lead to great student writing. Not only are these research-based writing lessons kids' self-proclaimed favorites, they incorporate mentor texts, support the Common Core State Standards, and are research-based. Four lesson clusters reflect Leslie's core beliefs for teaching: writing narratives, informative texts, and opinion pieces/arguments a love of language, word play, vocabulary, and poetry writing fictional narratives writing research-based nonfiction. Use these generative lessons as a springboard-giving them your personal stamp-and watch as they lead to great writing for authentic purposes and in testing situations.

Taken from

Brad's Tech Corner

Got Global?

Third grade has done an AMAZING job Skyping with community members! They reached out to their students' parents and have had great success. Fifth grade is going global with Epals, Mystery Skype, and KidBlog!

NEWS: KidBlog has gone paid!

The amazing resource for classroom communication, KidBlog, has gone to a PAID application. If you have a current KidBlog account, check your account settings to see how much longer you can access your free version. I am actively looking for something else we can use that is FREE. I will let you know as soon as I find something.

Upcoming Technology PL Opportunities

The Coppell DLC team is hosting the following AMAZING PL opportunities:

Tuesday, November 10th - 3:30-5:30PM (but you only have to stay for one hour) - Globally-Connected Classrooms - @Brock

Saturday, November 14th - 8:15-11:15AM - Digital Communication for Educators - @ West

Saturday, November 14th - 12:15-3:15PM - Digital Communication in the Classroom - @West

Saturday, November 14th - 10AM - 11AM - DLC Twitter Chat

Tuesday, December 3rd - 7:00-8:00PM - Webinar: Tools for Communication and Collaboration

All of these awesome courses are in Eduphoria. We would love to see some Town Center friends there!!!!

DLC PL - Globally Connected Classrooms

Tuesday, Nov. 10th, 3:30-5:30pm

Brock Center 268 Southwestern Blvd., Coppell, Texas 75019

For the next DLC PL, I was given the opportunity to learn more about Global Read Aloud. As I knew very little about this amazing learning opportunity, I went directly to the source of awesomeness (Town Center 5th Grade) for some information about GRA.

Jennifer and Kristan are currently participating in the 6-week GRA with their classes. I interviewed both of them, and this information is being incorporated into the next DLC PL. Through GRA, their classes have been able to enjoy a great piece of literature, as well as the opportunity to make global connections with other learners enjoying the same book.

Great Resource for Learner Digital Portfolios - SeeSaw

A HUGE THANKS to Katy McKinney and Katie Tonemah for sharing their experiences with SeeSaw with me. I had seen and heard about SeeSaw, a tool being used for digital portfolio development for learners. Until I saw the amazing features of the app Katy and Katie were using with their classes, I didn't realize how beneficial (and easy) this tool really is to use!

Thank you BOTH for the amazing share! Your learners are definitely benefitting from this opportunity to easily share their work with you!