Monday, August 24, 2015

Digital Footprint and Online Safety/Privacy

I couldn't attend this summer's TASL programming, but I found lots of great ideas on the TASL e-list [listerv] about Digital Citizenship education.
This bulletin board looked really cool, so I tried to use some of the ideas.  I also found the materials from Queensland Government to have really eye-catching graphics with memorable statistics and tips about Digital footprint.
This program asked important questions like
How well do you know your friends online?  Do you 'friend' strangers?  Do you upload pictures of yourself?  Do you 'Google' yourself?

With younger teens we have to address privacy and safety as well as online reputation. With online reputation I place emphasis on THINK before you post.
Is it
  • True
  • Helpful
  • Inspiring
  • Necessary
  • Kind

With privacy and safety, I briefly explain CIPA and COPA.  The kids appreciate knowing the why behind the age restrictions and fine print.  Common Sense Media has a great Digital Citizenship curriculum.

Finally, here are a couple of videos that might help.

Do you really have a private life online? (social network privacy loss due to friends)
Digital footprints | Michelle Clark | TEDxHollywood

This video is a little scary, but might get kid's attention about online safety [if nothing else, they will be worried their crazy parents might be on the other end ]
The Dangers Of Social Media (Child Predator Social Experiment)

Our Digital Footprint Bulletin board

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Reader's Theatre

Trying Something New

News Anchors -- Ruby Red and Pete Charming 

This year our Middle School Head, Tabetha Sullens, asked me to help with an after lunch program.  I work the most with our Seniors at Webb, but the past couple of years I have been working more and more with our Middle School program.  Tabetha asked if I could conduct a "Reader's Theatre" to help with both reading skills and as a secondary benefit, feed our Theatre program.  So, I said sure, I am up for that.  Guess what, the kids had fun, and some of them want to come back!

Reader's Theatre for Middle School

Food Reporter - Gore May
Today we read a  Fractured Fairy Tale script.
This was a Live news report from "Fairy Tale News."

Sports Reporter - Katie Lean

Here are some resources that I found with curriculum tie-ins:

  • Greek Myth Plays: 10 Readers Theater Scripts Based on Favorite Greek Myths That Students Can Read and Reread to Develop Their Fluency  -- Pugliano-Martin, Carol
  • Cinderella Outgrows the Glass Slipper and Other Zany Fractured Fairy Tale Plays: 5 Funny Plays with Related Writing Activities and Graphic Organizers  -- Wolf, Joan M.
  • Reader's Theater Scripts: Improve Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension: Grades 6-8 -- Gail Skroback Hennessey
  • World History Readers' Theater, Grades 5-8  -- Smith, Robert W.
  • US History Readers' Theater Grd 5 & up  -- Smith, Robert W.
David Dashing
Reporter - Hasket Hansen

Tips from Scholastic
Benefits of Using Readers Theater in the Classroom or Library?
Readers Theater helps to….
  • develop fluency through repeated exposure to text.
  • increase comprehension.
  • integrate reading, writing, speaking, listening in an authentic context.
  • engage students.
  • increase reading motivation.
  • create confidence and improve the self-image of students.
  • provide a real purpose for reading.
  • provide opportunities for cooperative learning.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Evolution of Reading

Rosetta stone 196 BC 
Egypt, Ptolemaic Period
Timeline of Reading / Writing

Stone or Clay Tablets  4000-3000 BC
Scroll and Papyrus 3000 BC
Bound Book 1500 BC
Printing Press Around 1439 AD

Dead Sea Scrolls are early Jewish texts
 written or copied from
about 250 B.C. to A.D. 50.

Whether we like it or not Electronic Books are inevitable

The oldest Jewish prayer book, 
dating back to 840 AD [Bound]

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

The high school / college transition

According to a recent survey "Neither university faculty nor employers believe that American public high schools are preparing students for the expectations they'll face in college and career. " 

This Summer I attended a conference for school librarians in Kentucky.  One of the sessions that was especially helpful  was a session about the difference between AASL standards and ACRL standards. The session was conducted by Jeff Henry - Research and Instruction Librarian and Assistant Professor at Murray State University in Kentucky . His frame of reference was from his perspective as a college librarian working with incoming freshmen. Much of the presentation was his observations about the gap between high school seniors and college freshmen . And then he showed a comparison of the two sets of standards (School standards and Academic standards) and what exactly we are missing in college preparation .

 Here are the summary headlines of the standards :
AASL   -

  1. Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge;
  2. Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge;
  3. Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society;
  4. Pursue personal and aesthetic growth.


  1. Authority Is Constructed and Contextual
  2. Information Creation as a Process
  3. Information Has Value
  4. Research as Inquiry
  5. Scholarship as Conversation
  6. Searching as Strategic Exploration 

 My biggest take away as far as preparation of my students for college and university is that they need to have an open mind . Once they learn the basic skills to evaluate information, then they can move forward to thinking critically about information.  They must understand that information is no longer static, but is constructed and contextual.  (Wikipedia is not always the devil -- I will get back to you on Buzz Feed)