Thursday, 26 August 2010

Series Organization

Since our Kevin Hennah library design visit last August, we've been trying to pull together our space with common colors and design to make it look professional. One of the last pieces in our design was doing something with our series baskets at the entrance to the Hub. I love that kids can easily find the series they are looking for in baskets rather than hunting on the shelves, but ours were randomly colored and in poor condition. Our locally made bins arrived this week, and I am in organizational heaven. They are gorgeous, and I find myself looking at them the minute I enter the door. Exactly what we wanted!
And this was the picture I had to take this morning before school of the big group of students all huddled around the iPad playing Gravity HD. I love the collaborative nature of the iPad for kids.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Mystery Reader with a Twist of Tech

One of our fabulous kindergarten teachers asked if I would be the Mystery Reader for her class this week. The twist was that she wanted me to Skype from the Hub to her classroom. Last week, I read the book Monkey with a Tool Belt, which was a smashing success with kinders (all those nonsense words cracked them up). Today, I read the sequel to it, Monkey with a Tool Belt has a Noisy Problem.

It was fun seeing the kids from a different angle, so to speak. Since it was my first time reading on Skype, it was tricky to "read" the kids because I wasn't right in front of them seeing their reactions. But they still had fun and they love Chico Bon Bon, the character.

We're thinking this way of reading might be great fun for parents who travel a lot as a way for them to have the opportunity to connect with their child's classroom.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Lovin' the iPad!

Oh, the lovely iPad! It sits on my desk during the school day and kids come up and take it to use during recess time. I've even had kids meet me at the door in the morning just to be the first in line to use it. Sharing one iPad with 670 students will prove to be challenging, but I'm glad it's a huge success already.

Currently, the two most popular apps are I Spy Spooky House (the kids kick my behind in this one!) and Issac Newton's Gravity. At this point, no one has used it as a reader, but I think this is because they have such a limited amount of time.

What still amazes me is how intuitive the iPad is for kids. They just sit down and figure it out. I love watching that because it is truly so different than many of us adults. My daughter is a real pro at the iPad, and I feel like I'm watching the future when she uses it.

Here's a little demo of how simple it is: