Tech Tips of the Week

January 6-8, 2016 #proudtobeajet

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World Read Aloud Day 2016

World Read Aloud Day “calls global attention to the importance of reading aloud and sharing stories.” When we connect our students through Skype, Google Hangouts, or other web tools, they experience the power of the read aloud and realize that they are connected with a bigger world that is both the same and different from them.

Reading aloud is not just for elementary school students. Reading aloud has been found to be quite beneficial to secondary students as well. Additionally, finding opportunities like this, to let older students connect and read to younger students provides a unique learning opportunity with real world connections.

Here are a few ideas that might be great for students at JCHS to do for World Read Aloud Day/Week:

  • Have each student find and check out their favorite childhood picture book from he public library. Using Google Hangouts on Air students can record themselves reading the picture book. We can then make their recordings available on the JCHS Library website.

  • Add your name, dates and times that your class could connect with another class during World Read Aloud Day/week to this Google Doc ( When you share your schedule, be sure to include:
    • Your name
    • Your contact info such as social media, Skype, and/or email
    • Your role
    • Your school and grade levels
    • Your location
    • List your time zone when posting your available dates and times

  • Search the Google Doc ( to take a look at the other schedules and sign up on someone’s schedule to connect your students. We’ve found that it doesn’t matter if same grade levels connect with one another. Often times, an older grade can read aloud to a younger grade or younger grades can find parts of a books that they can read aloud to an older grade.

  • Have your class collaboratively (using Google) write their own original picture book (connected to your curriculum) that they can add to the JCHS Library and read aloud to a class found on the Google Doc (
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Making Learning Rewindable for Student Success

Eric Sheninger stressed the importance of the Flipped Classroom to positively impact student learning and success. Many of us have heard of the flipped classroom, attended PD sessions to learn how to flip our classes, intended to flip our classes, but few if any have actually followed through.

I choose to look at the flipped classroom concept in a different way. I like to think of it in terms of making learning REWINDABLE. The student who needs to hear you say something or try something multiple times before the concept is understood or mastered is not STUPID...they just learn differently. Providing the opportunity for students to be able to learn at their own pace with flipped/rewindable lessons not only allows students to take responsibility over their own learning but builds confidence in their own ability to learn and be successful.

The Flipped Classroom (aka: Rewindable Learning) is the ultimate form of differentiation. Flipping your classes has proven time after time in schools to drastically increase student performance, decrease discipline issues, and meets the specific needs of Tier 2 & 3 RTi students.

Ready to take the plunge? The JCHS Library can assist!

Rewindable Learning 2
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Personal Shopping Service from the JCHS Library

School libraries are a hub of activity, offering an endless variety of services. At The JCHS Library we like to refer to the library as the “One Stop Shop”. If we can’t meet your needs we can always connect you with someone who can.

One service that gives us a great deal of joy is Personal Shopping for students and/or teachers. Personal shoppers help others shop by giving advice and making suggestions to customers usually found in department stores or specialty boutiques. We have taken the Personal Shopper concept and revamped it for the school library. Typically when we take on the role of a personal shopper it is at the request of a teacher for the students in their classes.

Matching students to their perfect book is a meticulous process. On average, for a class of 25 students, it can take 2 to 3 days to find at least three book matches for each student.

Here is a basic breakdown of the Personal Shopping process. The teacher contacts the JCHS Library and lets them know that their class will be taking advantage of the Personal Shopping service. Then the teacher directs their students to complete the Personal Shopping Google Form ( found on the JCHS Library website.

Once responses have been gathered we review the information provided and then begin searching our library management system for books that best match each student's interests. This is just the beginning of the Personal Shopping process. Because we want to provide students with quality books, we spend a great deal of time reading book reviews, checking book award lists, and checking sites like Goodreads and Shelfari for ratings. Students at James Clemens High School have a voracious appetite for books which throws a kink in our personal shopping process as it is often a challenge to actually find the books we have chosen on the shelves available for check out, virtually or physically. This is a good yet challenging “problem” when serving as a personal shopper.

Once all students have been matched to at least three book choices we schedule the class to come to the library for the big “unveiling” of the books.

We also offer this service on a one to one basis as well.