Tuesday, April 22, 2014

School Librarian Rant

Seems that I became a bit impassioned during the April TL News Night broadcast and climbed on my soap box.  I've always had a problem keeping my mouth shut!

Original Google Presentation can be accessed HERE.

Here is the original "rant":

Here is the remade "rant":

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Author Visit with John Mantooth

This Friday Apr 18 Mr. Brad Coltrane will have another guest speaker, John Mantooth, to speak to the IB seniors about his writing.  John is the author of Shoebox Train Wreck, The Year of the Storm, and the upcoming novel Tuskaloosa.  He is generating some real buzz in the field of mystery and horror writing, and is up for a national award in the next month.

To learn more about John Mantooth click the links below:





Watch LIVE at 8:15 am CT:

Watch LIVE at 9:11 am CT:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

This Week in The Library@HHS April 7-11, 2014

HHS Prom:

While not an "official" part of this week in The Library@HHS, we did represent at the HHS Prom this past weekend.  Nikki D Robertson arrived at the beginning of the prom to helped steer arriving students up the stairs to the prom entrance and stayed until the prom was completely taken down and cleaned up.  A big THANK YOU to the amazing Jamey Nowlin for putting together such a beautiful prom!  I made sure to "torture" our student library aides by making them do selfies with me! LOL!


This week in The Library@HHS started with flooding.  Solid, hard rain all weekend resulted in flooding that delayed the start of school by two hours.  Mr. Woodruff provided us with this water level graph:

Ms. Ort, Environmental Science Teacher at Hoover High School, gave directions to interested faculty how to see the effects of the flooding on the river near the school, 

"The best trails start down near the football and baseball fields. Follow the little road between the stadium and the big pond. There is a trail dead ahead. It ends at the river and you then turn left or right to follow the river."

Vietnam Veteran Speaks to IB Students:

Mr. Coltrane's father, a Vietnam Veteran, was scheduled to speak with IB students who had read The Things They Carried about his personal experience in the Vietnam War.  The flooding Monday morning caused a late start but we were still able to spend some time with him.  We broadcast his conversation about the Vietnam War via  Hangouts On Air and I have blogged about it here.

Perhaps the most chilling quote of the day came when Mr. Coltrane told students of his experience when he came under fire and had to hide behind a very low wall not more than a few inches from the ground, 

"I learned you could dig a hole in asphalt with your fingernails"

Hollis & Vann:

Crystal Camp read two books to Ms. Hollis & Ms. Vann's students.  We love our self contained special education classes and want to make sure that they are included in the activities going on in The Library@HHS.  We love seeing them every Monday!

Library Visitor:

Shannon Petty, English Teacher in a nearby school district and Library Media student, came to spend the day at The Library@HHS to observe Crystal Camp and Nikki Robertson in their natural habitat (LOL!). It was bitter sweet to hear Shannon marvel as to the beehive of activity she found in The Library@HHS. Bitter because an active, engaged library should be the case in every school. I hope that we provided her with lots of good information she can take back and share with the other Library Media students in her class and will hopefully be able to implement some of the ideas into her own library in the future.

Teacher and Staff Member of the Quarter:

The Hoover High School PTSO spoils us.  This week in The Library@HHS the HHS PTSO hosted the Teacher and Staff Member of the Quarter Luncheon in our beautiful Community Room.  Our very own library aide, Ronna Michaels, was honored as Staff Member of the Quarter. Ronna has been a miracle worker this year with her organizational skills as The Library@HHS was tasked with spearheading all things iPad in the 1:1 iPad Initiative this school year.

Outdoor Library Classroom:

Thanks again to our fabulous HHS PTSO we now have two more benches and cushions for the chairs in our Outdoor Library Classroom.  Teachers have begun reserving this space now that the weather has turned nice.  When teachers don't have this space reserved it is available for anyone wishing to enjoy this beautiful space.

One to One PD:

Ms. Robertson assisted a few teachers this week with various technology related questions that ranged from setting up a computer for a college class distance learning lesson using Big Blue Button to reviewing Google Hangouts On Air to assisting teachers for the upcoming Google PD on Doctopus and Goobric.  We love it when teachers come into The Library@HHS and say, "I have a great lesson idea! How can we incorporate technology into it?"

Electronic Signage:

We are still loving our electronic signage in The Library@HHS.  With six spaces available for classes to reserve we rely on the electronic signage to direct students to where their classes are meeting and as to what spaces are "free" areas.  The Library@HHS also likes finding great quotes to post along with the class locations.

Here are a few of the quotes form this week:

Monday, April 7, 2014

Vietnam Vet Speaks to Hoover High School IB Students

"I learned you could dig a hole in asphalt with your fingernails"

Mr. Coltrane's (@BradColtrane) IB students welcomed Vietnam Vet (and Mr. Coltrane's father) to Hoover High School today.  He spoke with students about his experience in Vietnam.  Students have just finished reading, The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien.

10:05 am CT Session:
(Speaker only)

12:46 pm CT Session:
(Speaker & Slides)

Slideshow of images from Vietnam:

Friday, April 4, 2014

This Week in The Library@HHS March 31st - April 4th

March Madness Enters Elite Eight

March Madness has flown by and we are now down to the Elite Eight.  Ms. Crystal Camp has been  the driving force behind this exciting reading initiative.  Students and teachers vote by joining the Edmodo group. Ms. Camp posts book descriptions for each book pairing.

Hollis & Vann

To celebrate the arrival of Spring and the 45th anniversary of Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar we planned a lesson around this treasured book.  Ms. Robertson read The Very Hungry Caterpillar to students projecting the pages of the book from her iPad to the big screen TV via Apple TV in our beautiful atrium. Students then transitioned to the library right tables where they made butterflies using a wooden clothes pin, a sandwich bag, beady eyes, pipe cleaner and goldfish crackers.

New Google Calendars

This school year we stopped using the previous calendar system and started using Google Calendars to book shared spaces and resources.  I only knew the basics of Google Calendars so it was rather tedious to view and make calendar reservations.  Teachers have emailed the library staff when a space or resources were needed.  Over Spring Break I started taking the lessons to become a Google Educator (http://www.google.com/edu/training/certifications/).  When I got to the lesson on calendars I was thrilled to learn how to not only share the Google Calendars with teachers but allow them to book their own time.
I created a tutorial video and step by step picture directions for teachers to follow.  So far I have had several teachers try it and they were SUCCESSFUL! Yay!  It makes me want to do the Happy Dance!

New Book Display

Ms. Camp created a new display that went up right before Sprig Break with recommended reads from the library staff.  We had a fun time making the avatars and laughing at each other.  What would your recommended reads be?


The Library@HHS was booked with teaching classes this week, which is one of our favorite things to do.  Ms. Camp taught Mr. Beland's 1st, 3rd, 4th and 6th period classes how to use the Alabama Virtual Libraries databases to find Health Science related materials.

PTSO Outdoor Classroom

Our new Outdoor Classroom got two more benches and custom made cushions to match the decor of the library inside.  The Library@HHS is extremely grateful to our generous PTSO for providing the beautiful space for our teachers and students to enjoy.

Color Guard

Ms. Crawford and the Color Guard booked The Library@HHS (using the new Google Calendar directions) to use this weekend to watch a live competition.  Ms. Camp and I both helped Ms. Crawford this week test her equipment to decide if using an iPad with the Apple TV or a laptop would work best for the event.

Rewindable Learning with Zarzour

Ms. Robertson showed students various sources they could use as they delved into their College and Career research for Ms. Zarzour's English class.  To make the learning rewindable Ms. Robertson utilized Google Hangouts and Doctopus.  Here is the Google Document placed into student Google Drive accounts using Doctopus: https://docs.google.com/document/d/14QHTleVFBUekNYWpH2LeDxY6gcyXZKp1uti76gTnTl0/edit?usp=sharing

117th AirWing Refueling Battalion

The 117th AirWing Refueling Battalion met with the students they are mentoring again this week.  It is so great to see the relationships build and hear the conversations.  You can tell the students are truly happy to have an adult who is willing to take some time with them to just talk.

Rewindable Learning with Young

The week ended with a fast, furious and fun rewindable learning lesson with Ms. Young's students. Ms. Young and Ms. Robertson co planned the big cumulative end of the year Event Planning Project.  Together they decided students would use Google Drive, Canva or some other design template website, and BlendSpace to complete and turn in their projects.

Ms. Robertson recorded the session and the details of the day can be found HERE.

Next Week:

Next week will start of with a great session that will be broadcast LIVE via Google Hangouts On Air. Sponsored by Mr. Coltrane, AP and IB English students will host a guest speaker who will speak about his experiences in the Vietnam War in conclusion of the students having finished reading The Things They Carried.  

Watch for tweets so you can watch and learn too!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Rewindable Learning with Virginia Young

Join me Friday, April 4, 2014 as I teach Ms.Virginia Young's 1st and 7th period classes how to use Canva, BlendSpace, and Google Drive to create and organize their Event Planning Project.

I will use both Google Hangouts On Air and Doctopus to make the lesson rewindable for students.

Here are the details:

Watch LIVE 1st Period (8:15-9:06 am CT)

Watch LIVE 7th Period (2:37-3:26 pm CT):

Important Links:

Create invitations using Canva: https://www.canva.com/

Pull everything for your project into one space using BlendSpace: https://www.blendspace.com/

Instead of Microsoft Word or Microsoft PowerPoint we will use Google Drive 

Google Presentation click HERE

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Practice What You Preach

Each month this year I have had the awesome opportunity to lead PD sessions all about using Google Drive in the classroom.  This month our learning objective is how to use Doctopus and Goobric.

I had the opportunity today to practice what I preach with Ms. Zarzour's classes.  Ms. Zarzour's students are researching colleges and careers as well as working on their resumes.  In preparation for this lesson I created a Google Form to collect student names and email address; the first step toward using Doctopus. Next, I set up a Google Hangout On Air (GHOA) event so that the lesson would be rewindable for students and also available for those students who were absent.  Lastly, I created a Google Document that contained: a link to the YouTube video that would be created using the GHOA, the resources I was recommending for students to use, and my contact information if students have questions.

After my quick session with the class was over I used the Doctopus script to send the Google Document to each student's Google Drive account.  Easy as pie and now every student has quick, convenient access to the information and links presented during class as well as a video they can view/fast forward/rewind if they need a refresher.