Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Twitter Love

More and more, I find myself loving the connections that Twitter provides me. Whether it's a link to a tool that is perfect for a librarian or a book recommendation to add to my order, I'm starting to "know" some of the people out there and am so grateful for what they add to my professional life.

And then there is just the "How cool is that?" connections like what happened to me yesterday. I tweeted out a book trailer for the newest in the Pinkalicious series because our little ones are nuts over these books.

This is what came back to me a few hours later. It made me smile for hours.

New to Twitter? Ready to take the leap? The best way that I find to keep up with it is to install a Tweetdeck where the tweets pop up in a window rather than always logging in to Twitter.

Looking for librarians to follow? Check out this list.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Keith Baker, author/illustrator

Last week, we had the extreme pleasure of inviting author and illustrator Keith Baker to ISB. It was such a fun week of drawing and sketching and feeling inspired, and I had more than one parent tell me that their dinner conversation was all about the visit. Other parents told me that their child immediately wanted his or her own sketchbook so they could always jot down ideas in that moment. One of my favorite pieces of feedback was this picture sent from the Pre-K teacher. This little cutie spent her choice time drawing all the expressive faces that Keith showed us. Keith hides tiny things in all of his books, and it doesn't matter how old you are, the concept of finding something on each page appeals to us all. These 4th graders were clamoring to find the green worm on the pages of Little Green.
My personal favorites of Keith's books are the Mr. and Mrs. Green series. As a teacher, you know a book is magic when the exact same story can make the first graders guffaw as loudly as the fifth graders. Most unfortunately, this amazing series is going out of print, so if your library doesn't have them, I would highly recommend the series. I use it as a mentor text to show the use of the 'power of 3' in writing and also for character.
If you are looking for a visiting author, I'd recommend Keith Baker!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Embedding in the Destiny Home Page

I use my Destiny home page a lot. Once I figured out that I can embed anything or I can simply write a message on it, I knew it was the best place for me to communicate with lots of students at one time. Typically I use it to share book trailers, and it seems like there are more and more great book trailers out there every time I search.

Here's how to embed a book trailer on your home page in four easy steps:

Step 1: Log in to Destiny. Your home page will be blank, while mine already has the trailer on it. Click 'edit page.'

Step 2: Click the edit button on this page (one with the piece of paper icon)

Step 3: Copy the embed code from Youtube or whatever program you are using (this can be found directly under the Youtube video with the word 'embed') and paste it in the box. I unclick the 'add related videos' button. Don't forget the title on the top. Then save.

Step 4: Click on the 'close' button. Your video will show up now on the home page.

That's it!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Cool Tools

Every Monday and Wednesday after school, Chrissy and I run after-school tech sessions. And while we generally focus on any and all tech questions, we have been thinking of ways to expand our offerings and share some fun tools to try in the classroom. Today was our first "Cool Tools" session, and I made this quick speech bubble photo of us using Big Huge Labs (LOVE this site--use the 'captioner' selection when you scroll down).

I sent the photo out as the body of the email letting teachers know about the session, and we had such a lovely response. Such a fun way to make your message stand out in this age of email overload.

Monday, 7 March 2011


Nothing like a morning meeting with our fabulous tech lady to get the ideas flowing. Chrissy showed me Fotobabble, a tool that allows you to add voice to a single picture. Quick and easy, I made one to add to our Destiny homepage as a way of advertising our upcoming Celebrating Characters We Love event. Just upload the photo and record your voice.