Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Web 2.0...Can I have a Substituiton Please?




By this time, you have settled back into your classroom.

As you go through the seven layers of the candy cane forest



you wonder...

Why are some really cool, Web 2.0 tools, blocked in my school?




Why is antipasto so expensive?



While I can't help you with the antipasto...here is an alternative option for some of your Web 2.0 discomfort!

Specifically the...

Creating a Painless or (Less Painful)Web 2.0 Classroom by Josh Flores

This LiveBinder is the answer to your dreams...

Here is the

Table of Contents, as listed under Tab 1:

Tab 1: Because Classroom Management Isn't Enough
Start-up advice and help for transitioning into a Web 2.0 classroom. Wiggio, Moodle, EDU Blogs, Google DOCS, Poll Everywhere and Online-Stopwatch will help keep things organized.


Tab 2: Because YouTube is blocked
Free programs to help get some great educational material to your classroom. YouTube, Any Video Converter and Zamzar.


Tab 3: Because PowerPoints are Boring
Are you as bored of PowerPoint slides and endless bullet points as I am? Try something new for presenting directions or concepts in the classroom or let your students unleash their creativity. Prezi, Voice Thread, Glogster, GoAnimate!, EDU blogs and Photo Story.


Tab 4: Because Students Need Study Skills
Here are my favorite sites I promote to get students studying outside the class. Quizlet, Twitter, Lino Pad, Easy Bib, Google Reader and Diigo.


Tab 5: Because we all do Research
The research essay is something all subject areas look forward to each year. Here's some tools to help make it even more engaging. Google Alerts, Fact Check.org and EasyBib.


Tab 6: Because Computers Break!
Technology is great... when it works. When it doesn't work, use CCleaner and ensure your hard work isn't lost with Drop Box.



Please check it out!!!

Until Next Time,
Lit Maven Out!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Building a LiveBinder...Include Tagxedo

What... tuxedo?



No Tagxedo


Another awesome tool to inspire even the most cranky learner:



And that's cranky!

I was going through the feature shelves at LiveBinder again... and guess what I found?

My new favorite LiveBinder...Writing Resources to Inspire Students

Clicked on the tab Tagxedo and my world changed.

Tired of Wordle...try Tagxedo!

This one is easy-peasy to try. Now I will show you the magic...

1) Start by loading words or
2)Just type in any
*URL
*Twitter Id
*De.licio.us Id
*news
*Search
*RSS (look-up)
3)Choose, color, theme, layout, shape..etc and voila...

Here is what my blog url looks like:


Educational Applications101 Ways to Use Tagexdo

Current Events
1)Visit the Daily Tuxedo
2)Scroll to the Daily tagxedo that appeals to you.
3)Click on the INTERACTIVE link below the image.
4)Use your cursor to select a word within the tagxedo cloud and it goes right to an information source.
LOVE THIS!!!

Ice Breakers
Break the Ice At the beginning of the school year,
ask each student to make a Tagxedo about himself/herself
Show a sample (e.g. one about you, or previous class)
What you like, what's unique about you
Normalize Frequency make the exercise much easier (just give an ordered list of words or phrases)
classic cloud: >40 words/phrases shape: >100
Each student gets a few minutes to talk about themselves
Easiest - each makes a list, teacher makes Tagxedoes
Hardest - each makes own Tagxedo (with shape)
From slide 33

Summarize Chapters of a Book
Use text from the chapter
Highlight selected words to summarize the chapter or lead to the next
Use related shape
Example: Tom Sawyer, steamboat (silhouettes
From slide 50


Try any of these, and I can guarantee that your students will feel like this:


Other posts on this topic:
Digital Textbooks...Like Putting Lipstick on a Pig
Digital Textbooks...It's a Matter of Definition
Building a Textbook From Scratch...5 Reasons to Try LiveBinder
5 Tips for Starting Your Own LiveBinder
Need Videos for Your LiveBinder...Top 5 Sources
Need Images for Your LiveBinder...Top 5 Sources
Building a LiveBinder...Brick by Brick
Building a LiveBinder...Let it Bloom With These Tools

Let me know how it works out for you!

Until Next Time,
Lit Maven Out!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Building a LiveBinder...Let it Bloom With These Tools




And she Blooms, she Blooms, Oh baby! Then she moves, she moves...(Major liberties taken, as per usual.)

My obsession with LiveBinder continues to grow. It has become my new Google. I guess it's because I know each binder was created by someone who used their blood, sweat and tears to create it. (Their body not the band.)

I have this recurring dream though...that Bloom's Taxonomy keeps coming back!

"Bloom's came back...the very next day...Bloom's came back, I thought it was a goner...but."

Wow! Lit Maven...too much sun!

Ya think?


LIVEBINDERS THAT ROCKED MY WORLD...TODAY

Anyway, I am keen to share these new LiveBinder resources under the theme of Bloom's Taxonomy. I absolutely think they offer anyone a crash course in understanding Bloom's as well as incredibly helpful resources. (SO helpful that I continue to have them swirl in my mind.)




TEACHER AS THE AUDIENCE

1) Bloom's Digital Taxonomy by Colleen Young
Check out the second tab, "Quick Sheets". Here you will find definitions, key verbs and possible activities. The last tab, "Posters" has the most amazing Taxonomy wheel. I loved this! I would marry it, if I wasn't already. Please explore...OK one more thing...Under the visual tab, are APPS that relate to the different Bloom's levels...seriously exciting.


STUDENT AS THE AUDIENCE


2) Digital Bloom's Taxonomy by Kelly Tenkely
This LiveBinder is neatly divided into the Taxonomy levels. This one is intended for the students and would be great to share with parents.

So as you create your brand spankin' new resources...consider your Bloom's Taxonomy...you can't ignore it...


Other Posts on this Topic

Digital Textbooks...Like Putting Lipstick on a Pig
Digital Textbooks...It's a Matter of Definition
Building a Textbook From Scratch...5 Reasons to Try LiveBinder
5 Tips for Starting Your Own LiveBinder
Need Videos for Your LiveBinder...Top 5 Sources
Need Images for Your LiveBinder...Top 5 Sources
Building a LiveBinder...Brick by Brick


"What's that scratching at the door?"
"Oh...hey Bloom's...I thought you were a goner..."

And in case you missed it the first time...

Until Next Time,
Lit Maven Out!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Building a LiveBinder... Brick by Brick



Do you remember last year when you borrowed "stuff" from another teacher. Usually it involved the digging out of a teacher closet, sifting through an entire filing cabinet and then waiting for everyone to go home so you could photocopy without glares.....

Well...No More!!!

Is it a bird, a plane...no it's LiveBinders

So in a sense... instead of stalking the teachers at your school and feeling all sheepish and needy, you can peruse what already exists and build your own "monster" resource without the guilt, constant photocopying and the smell of mildew. (That was all in one sentence. Is that even legal?)

My first year of teaching, I borrowed "grade one" boxes from my friend. So it is a given that just like making bread there is always a starter loaf.

So when I decided to create a LiveBinder, I looked for my "starter loaves"...places to collect information and to "Make it my own"...something that Paula Abdul might say. Whoa Lit Maven! How do you come up with this stuff?

In my current role, I have a recurring request to talk about Guided Reading. Personally, I don't think it is difficult but for some reason it strikes the fear in the hearts of many teachers...

What I Found
I looked up Guided Reading in the general search and found 11 binders. LiveBinders' searches, return binders from the most viewed to the least. Some binders came back from the search and were not complete. But the best part, I searched from home and did not have to politely turn down anyone's "stuff".

LiveBinders that Provided Some "Bricks"

As I looked through each binder I thought:

*What do I notice?
*How does this relate to the criteria I have set?


1. Mrs. Lash's Leveled Library and Resources by Audrey Lash
Tabs Organized by reading levels A to Z.
When you click on a tab, leveled book lists are revealed, AND the sub tabs reveal resources on the Internet that can be used my teachers or students to support their learning.
Amazing amount of work! Great for students and use in the computer lab or shared with parents at home.

2. HHES Fifth Grade Reading
Tabs are labeled Teacher Resources and then books organized by Lexile.
The teacher resources have sub tabs for supporting teachers, students and parents.
The book levels have lesson plans provided for each book.
Besides the templates, I appreciated the parent information.
These resources are more like a collection of paper documents.

3. Communication Arts Resources by Klista Reynolds
Specifically I looked at the tabs are labeled, Guided Reading Resources. However the other tabs provided me with interesting ideas to use in the future. This binder was also geared for higher grades.

4. Guided Reading/Reading Recovery Resources
This LiveBinder was organized by components surrounding guided reading as well as the actual instruction. Definitely a great spot to collect ideas.

5. Balanced Literacy
Incomplete but I liked where it was heading. It complimented what I was thinking.

So what is your topic?
Have you found your starter loaves?

Let me know how it is going!

Other Posts on this Topic

Digital Textbooks...Like Putting Lipstick on a Pig
Digital Textbooks...It's a Matter of Definition
Building a Textbook From Scratch...5 Reasons to Try LiveBinder
5 Tips for Starting Your Own LiveBinder
Need Videos for Your LiveBinder...Top 5 Sources
Need Images for Your LiveBinder...Top 5 Sources

Hey did you know Keanu Reeves was in a Paula Abdul video? No?...Well now you do!
Enjoy!



Until Next Time,
Lit Maven Out!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Need Images for Your LiveBinder?...Top 5 Sources


(Photo Credit: JDurham)


Images are a necessity for message making and message taking...Here is what I gathered for you:

Blog Posts on Image Sources

1) Five Great Sources for Free Images

2)32 Places to Find Images to Use Online


LiveBinder Examples

1) Copy of Free Stock Images

2)Free Images

3)Image and Image Tools

4) Kid-Friendly Image Search

5) Project One: Digital Images

There is plenty here to get you started. Let me know if you have another great source for pictures...

Other Posts on this Topic

Digital Textbooks...Like Putting Lipstick on a Pig
Digital Textbooks...It's a Matter of Definition
Building a Textbook From Scratch...5 Reasons to Try LiveBinder
5 Tips for Starting Your Own LiveBinder
Need Videos for Your LiveBinder...Top 5 Sources

Until Next Time,
Lit Maven Out!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Building a LiveBinder...Brick by Brick



Do you remember last year when you borrowed "stuff" from another teacher. Usually it involved the digging out of a teacher closet, sifting through an entire filing cabinet and then waiting for everyone to go home so you could photocopy without glares.....

Well...No More!!!

Is it a bird, a plane...no it's LiveBinders

So in a sense... instead of stalking the teachers at your school and feeling all sheepish and needy, you can peruse what already exists and build your own "monster" resource without the guilt, constant photocopying and the smell of mildew. (That was all in one sentence. Is that even legal?)

My first year of teaching, I borrowed "grade one" boxes from my friend. So it is a given that just like making bread there is always a starter loaf.

So when I decided to create a LiveBinder, I looked for my "starter loaves"...places to collect information and to "Make it my own"...something that Paula Abdul might say. Whoa Lit Maven! How do you come up with this stuff?

In my current role, I have a recurring request to talk about Guided Reading. Personally, I don't think it is difficult but for some reason it strikes the fear in the hearts of many teachers...

What I Found
I looked up Guided Reading in the general search and found 11 binders. LiveBinders' searches, return binders from the most viewed to the least. Some binders came back from the search and were not complete. But the best part, I searched from home and did not have to politely turn down anyone's "stuff".

LiveBinders that Provided Some "Bricks"

As I looked through each binder I thought:

*What do I notice?
*How does this relate to the criteria I have set?


1. Mrs. Lash's Leveled Library and Resources by Audrey Lash
Tabs Organized by reading levels A to Z.
When you click on a tab, leveled book lists are revealed, AND the sub tabs reveal resources on the Internet that can be used my teachers or students to support their learning.
Amazing amount of work! Great for students and use in the computer lab or shared with parents at home.

2. HHES Fifth Grade Reading
Tabs are labeled Teacher Resources and then books organized by Lexile.
The teacher resources have sub tabs for supporting teachers, students and parents.
The book levels have lesson plans provided for each book.
Besides the templates, I appreciated the parent information.
These resources are more like a collection of paper documents.

3. Communication Arts Resources by Klista Reynolds
Specifically I looked at the tabs are labeled, Guided Reading Resources. However the other tabs provided me with interesting ideas to use in the future. This binder was also geared for higher grades.

4. Guided Reading/Reading Recovery Resources
This LiveBinder was organized by components surrounding guided reading as well as the actual instruction. Definitely a great spot to collect ideas.

5. Balanced Literacy
Incomplete but I liked where it was heading. It complimented what I was thinking.

So what is your topic?
Have you found your starter loaves?

Let me know how it is going!

Other Posts on this Topic

Digital Textbooks...Like Putting Lipstick on a Pig
Digital Textbooks...It's a Matter of Definition
Building a Textbook From Scratch...5 Reasons to Try LiveBinder
5 Tips for Starting Your Own LiveBinder
Need Videos for Your LiveBinder...Top 5 Sources
Need Images for Your LiveBinder...Top 5 Sources

Hey did you know Keanu Reeves was in a Paula Abdul Movie? No?...Well now you do!
Enjoy!



Until Next Time,
Lit Maven Out!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Using LiveBinder to Create a PLN


I picked up this Tweet yesterday.

Using LiveBinder to Create a PLN by Matthew Brewer

Which of course, excited me... because it was about using LiveBinder...my new favorite thing.


I think this serves as an important addition to the conversation on creating and/or organizing content for your classroom.

This is what I think this LiveBinder can be used for:

* Inspire teachers to use Twitter
* Inspire teachers to create their PLN using Twitter
* Inspire teachers to share this with their staffs
* Inspire teachers to share this with their students....
OR
* Inspire teachers to create their own LiveBinder!

Is it just me...or is content creation just...better than sliced bread! Just some FOOD for thought...(How do you think these things up...Lit Maven?)

Here are some Summer Songs...for those of you wishing you still had summer or those that are hanging on to summer for dear life...


Other Posts on this Topic

Digital Textbooks...Like Putting Lipstick on a Pig
Digital Textbooks...It's a Matter of Definition
Building a Textbook From Scratch...5 Reasons to Try LiveBinder
5 Tips for Starting Your Own LiveBinder




Until Next Time,
Lit Maven Out!

Further Posts on this topic

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Don't Fast Forward....Start the Movie Where You Want To


Here is the bonus post for today. Yesterday I shared video sources on the net. Sometimes...it is just a part of the video you want. So here is a link to a tool that let's you choose where to start your video and save that link instead.

The link is called, "YouTube Time




Enjoy!
Until Next Time,
Lit Maven Out!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Need Videos for Your LiveBinder?...TOP 5 Places to Find Them!


Cartoon credit: anneelicious.wordpress.com


So, you have decided to create your own LiveBinder. After going through all the "dead" binders in my home office I can see the value of a "virtual" shelf...
But where do you get videos for your students.

Have no fear...The Lit Maven is here!

1. WatchKnow
Sliding filter, feature to find age appropriate videos (3 to 18+) and a broad directory as seen here:


2. EduTube
A vast array of educational videos. You can search by:
*Category
*Video Type
*Video Length
*Educational Level

3. YouTube
Videos that might not be on Edutube. The biggest directory of videos, that I know, out there.

4. Khan Academy
Math and Science focus...all ages. Check out the TED talk on the home page...very inspiring!

5. Brightstorm
Math and Science focus...middle to high school. Thanks to Brandon for letting me know about that one!
"They have a textbook browsing feature in which they have mapped popular school textbooks to the videos on their site, so essentially as the teacher is going through the book, there are videos that directly correlate with whatever lesson he or she is teaching. also in beta testing right now, they have a 'maps' feature in which both teachers and students can create playlists of however videos they want in any order they want, so they can have their own personalized lesson plan. it's like flipping the classroom... students can watch the videos at home and then teachers can run experiments, show other videos, have discussions in class. and it's all up to the teacher's discretion because she can customize her lesson plan. pretty neat, i think, and she can also share her map with other teachers across the country." -Brandon


WATCH FOR THE BONUS POST TOMORROW

Other Posts on this Topic

Digital Textbooks...Like Putting Lipstick on a Pig
Digital Textbooks...It's a Matter of Definition
Building a Textbook From Scratch...5 Reasons to Try LiveBinder
5 Tips for Starting Your Own LiveBinder


But until then...Here is the video that helped the LitMaven learn her numbers:



Until Next Time,
Lit Maven Out!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

5 Tips to Starting Your Own LiveBinder



I am in the midst of starting my own LiveBinder and of course... it is never easy to make a decision...so here are some tips to get you started.

1) Who is your audience?
*Students
*Teachers
*Parents
*Administrators
*A Mixture
Here is great example of a teacher audience:
Cape Fear Handbook

Note: The School not the Movie


2. What will the user access be?

*Public
*Private

3. What is the time frame for utilizing the LiveBinder?
*one day
*one week
*one month
*one semester
*one year

4. What are you going to include?
*PDFs
*Audio
*Video
*Images
*Links

5. What type of online access will you have?
*Computer Lab
*Wireless
*Classroom Connections

Love this Grade One example!
Access at school and at home.

So this should at least get you thinking...

Here is a BONUS TIP: Look through the other binders, this is a collaborative exercise after all.

Perhaps even...Whistle While You Work


Other Posts on this Topic

Digital Textbooks...Like Putting Lipstick on a Pig
Digital Textbooks...It's a Matter of Definition
Building a Textbook From Scratch...5 Reasons to Try LiveBinder

As always let me know what you are thinking in the comment boxes below.


Until Next Time,
Lit Maven Out!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Building a Textbook From Scratch?...5 Reasons to Try LiveBinder




I have been stumbling across LiveBinders over the last while. The thought of a "Live" binder snapping at me with its rings, was disconcerting...see the above image.

But like all things, I don't understand. I investigated.

LiveBinder seems to be an ideal platform for creating a textbook from scratch.

Thankfully, there are amazing people out there such as Cybraryman, who have collected many LiveBinder tips in one location.

I like that! Thanks Cybraryman.

5 Reasons to Use LiveBinder

1. You can go PAPERLESS! Imagine all your resources in one location. First, there was one ring to rule them all...now there is one binder!

2. There are "Ready-Made" binders.

10 Online Tools to Kickstart the Year

Great for those who prefer to just "dip their toes" when trying out new "web" stuff.

3. Timely Educational Uses

LiveBinder suggests these uses:

School Computer Labs
Class Presentations
Class Assignments
Learning at Home
School Team Sports
Class Projects and Research

4. Easy Access

"Teachers place LiveBinders on desktops so kids don’t have to type addresses or get lost searching on the web. And they don't have to add a bookmark to every computer every time they have a new link to share - they can just update the livebinder.-LiveBinder"


5. It's Free!
Nuf...said!


Let me know how LiveBinder has worked for you. I plan to make one soon. Perhaps, it will change my life!

Other Posts on this Topic

Digital Textbooks...Like Putting Lipstick on a Pig
Digital Textbooks...It's a Matter of Definition

Until Next Time
Lit Maven Out!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Digital Textbooks...It's a Matter of Defintion (Part 2 in a series on Digital Textbooks)



Last post, I went to the extreme of comparing digital textbooks to putting
"Lipstick on a Pig". So I promise that I will lead you away from the make-up aisle and towards something that will change your teacher...Forever.

Way to raise the bar Lit Maven!

Anyway, I have been thinking about this post in my sleep. Which, I know is fairly sad...but it is all for the educational good.

Anyway...it begins with this... it's a matter of definition.

(not the Canadian TV Show)

and definitely not the show's Theme Song or Austin Powers

What it isn't
For me, I am not talking about a "Digital" Textbook as simply a digital version of a regular textbook.

Some schools use the term E-book or "digital equivalent", as suggested in this article.

My Definition

So what is your definition, Lit Maven?

I envision or define a digital textbook, like writers' notebooks. An all encompassing catchment for a subject area or subjects combined. Pulling in audio, video and other resources into a home base for students. Combining all the features of a digital textbook except...it is created by the teacher (perhaps also from students).

This would be a huge undertaking. But wouldn't it be worth it?

I must digress..once a teacher asked me for help with her struggling reader. I suggested some resources or things that she could create.

She said, "I don't have time."
I thought, "So it's easier to do nothing. It's easier to ignore a student who is struggling?" (Please note the sarcasm)

So yes...it requires work, but so do all things, that are worthwhile.

What Do We Call it?

So what name can we use to replace the digital textbook?

I am thinking CLN(Classroom Learning Network ). But I also what the name to suggest a unifying element, a central hub of info. I will continue to ponder it. Please let me know what you think.

Also,check out this #Edchat summary. It helps to get the discussion started.

Next Post: Baking a "textbook" from scratch.

Until Next Time,
Lit Maven Out!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Digital Textbooks...Like Putting Lipstick on a Pig





No More Paper, No More Books…No More Problems…

I find the topic of digital textbooks to be fascinating. It sounds appealing…heck it sounds romantic…. Really?...Lit Maven.

Let me explain....
The current situation is that most students are using "regular" textbooks.

I remember the excitement of opening a textbook at the beginning of the year and seeing who had their name in it last year.

If it was a boy, there was sure to be bad words somewhere…or Rock Band logos…Sometimes there were speech bubbles with inappropriate comments.

The textbook was a rite of passage. A unifying force so to speak. Walk down the hall and you knew who was in which grade or at least, taking which classes. But how old school is that notion...

But the question cannot be about textbooks vs. digital textbooks. It has to be this:

Can we move away from digital textbooks (textbooks) towards a blend of other internet resources?


You see...it is a matter of intention. If it is to save money, by having a digital textbook then essentially you are putting lipstick on a pig.

Are we enlightening he child...or lightening the backpack?






Oh I know..you are thinking.."there is so much you can do with a digital textbook, Lit Maven."

Perhaps you can change the font size or search more efficiently...but really is this a breakthrough?

NO.

So what can we do instead?

This week I would like to investigate the possibilities of teacher created textbooks. That is... textbooks (resources) that are a blend of materials such as audio,video, images etc.

I will be answering questions like:

Where can you find the information to include?

How can you store and distribute the information?

Of course I may come up with more questions along the way.

But...
Until Next Time,
Lit Maven Out!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner: How Dirty Dancing Can Inspire Educational Change

So...I was thinking a lot about context. The fact that we behave differently in different contexts.

You might be more chatty at home, less so at work.
You might think more creatively outside, less inside.
You might be a morning person, not a night owl.
You might prefer to walk and think, rather than sit and think.

Baby Houseman was the perfect daughter...until she helped carry watermelon (fast forward to 6:30 mins in)...more about that later.

I guess we all have our ideal conditions, where we do our great work. The thing is students are learning and being assessed in one context with usually one set of conditions.
Is it possible that grades reflect the context not the person?
If so...what are we doing?
How is this even useful?

This insight first came to me a couple of years ago when my daughter brought her art home from school. School art time was usually about 20 minutes max and her art reflected that. At home, she would take 2 hours at a time to complete amazing works of art.

All of a sudden, I thought back to my past students.
What I saw in my classroom was only a glimpse of what those students could do!? It could have been a good reflection or a bad reflection but no where near a complete reflection.

Baby Houseman learned to dance in another context. (Fast Forward to 4:10 mins)

Think about it this way...What if Baby had never been exposed to other contexts?

Well, personally, I think she would have stayed in the corner...a very long time...

Until Next Time!
Lit Maven Out!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Blogging From Brokeback Mountain: When Quitting Isn't an Option

I need your help. I am nearing the 100th blog post and I need to know a bit more about your interests. This blog was created on January 2010 for a graduate course. Those "Post #1", "Post #2" etc., were created for weekly assignments.

When the course ended, I wasn't sure of the direction I wanted to go, so it was a mixture of classroom reflections, pop culture connections to education, social media chatter etc... and so I am curious what keeps you coming back to the Lit Maven?

I have created 2 Polls on the left side.You can choose as many selections as you wish. NOTE: POLL HAS CLOSED, PLEASE COMMENT BELOW INSTEAD. I appreciate the extra effort...cause,

"I just can't quit you!"
(Note: Not the original movie quote...I took Lit Maven liberties...as usual!)




If you would like to be more specific than the polls allow, please comment below.

Until Next Time,
Lit Maven Out!