Sunday, October 30, 2011

Eyes Without A Face

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than facts.... We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes.Charles R. Swindoll

My friend, Peggy (pictured above), has Stage 4 Lymphoma.  When Peggy looked in her mirror and witnessed the effects of her caner treatment she didn't mourn the lose of her beautiful hair, rather, she celebrated the emergence of a perfect canvas for her friend Ed Hose.  Thus resulting in the truly amazing, one of a kind, Halloween costume. 

This is why I love Peggy. 

UPDATE: April 2, 2012  Peggy is now in remission! Yay!  Here are a few more pictures of the joy Peggy brought to others during this emotionally and physically draining time in her life.

The best Christmas ornament! How do we clone Peggy to have on our trees?  Ed?

What do you do when you can't be in New York to watch the ball drop?  Have Peggy walk down the stairs as you count in the New Year with all your BFFs!

UPDATE: 2/20/2014

Peggy is doing well and is in remission.  She is doing well enough to now have her stint removed. 

For her bone biopsy this is what she did:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thanks for the Mention: The 50 Best Blogs About Secondary Education

Sending out a big thank you to and writer Michael Keathley for including my blog in his list of The 50 Best Blogs About Secondary Education.

While getting ready for work this morning I was just pondering the fact that it has been a while since I have written a post and was brainstorming ideas. Michael has inspired me to get on it and write a new post!

I also want to send a special thank you to all of my Tweeps. If it weren't for the educators I have been able to learn and grow with I would not be the professional I am today. Thank you for being so open and willing to share, discuss, and collaborate.

Lastly, a special message to those educators who still have not discovered the treasure trove of information and friendship available on Twitter: You will never find a more rewarding opportunity to collaborate and grow professionally for FREE than on Twitter.  Find YOUR people, connect, learn, grow.  You, your students, and your school will all benefit and you will make friendships you never thought possible via the Internet.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

ASLA Twitter Chat Wrap Up October 4, 2011

Often, we are too slow to recognize how much and in what ways we can assist each other through sharing such expertise and knowledge.
~Owen Arthur

The October 4, 2011 ASLA Twitter Chat session provided an overload of information not only useful to librarians in Alabama, but educators around the globe! Here is how the TwtPoll panned out:

The idea for including a Smack Down as a topic of discussion is two-fold.  I attended my first Smack Down at EdCamp Birmingham and loved it and think it is a fun, quick way to learn about new technologies educators are successfully using in their schools.  The idea of a Smack Down via Twitter was brought up during the Back To School PD session via TL Virtual Cafe hosted by Gwyneth Jones & Librarian Tiff (

ASLA was pleased to have some of our favorite Tweeps join in via retweets, comments, and/or mentions. Be sure to follow these contributors:

Some Smack Down sites mentioned by participants included:

Here is a list of other sites/apps mentioned during the ASLA Twitter Chat Smack Down:

 Keep up with all things Twitter with #aslachat #tlchat

Learn to use Comic Life like @gwynethjones #aslachat #tlchat

Check out @librarian_tiff
YouTube PD Channel

Check out @NikkiDRobertson YouTube PD Channel #aslachat #tlchat

Check out gr8 Glogster by @CraigSeasholes #aslachat #tlchat

Only2Clicks shared @ TL Virtual Cafe last night! #tlchat #aslachat

A must follow blog for tech info: #aslachat #tlchat

Photo Peach This is so COOL! #tlchat #aslachat

Must follow blog suggested by @Susan_Eley: #aslachat #tlchat is a great site for collecting ed related articles: #aslachat #tlchat

@kathyschrock-ipad apps #tlchat #aslachat

Wow! Everything libraries! #aslachat #tlchat

Gr8 self-directed PD sessions 4 teachers: #aslachat #tlchat

If u like Wordle you’ll love Word Foto app: #aslachat #tlchat

Storify Create stories using social media feeds #tlchat #aslachat

EdReach Education Media Network -
Razor’s Ed - - Standards-based gradebook #aslachat #tlchat  - similar to prezi but easier #aslachat #tlchat - creating slide shows (free for educators) #aslachat #tlchat - online schedule maker (being used for computer lab scheduling) #aslachat #tlchat  - being used to schedule (conferences, parent volunteers) #aslachat #tlchat -follow @recessduty on twitter for good info with ipads #aslachat #tlchat - most amazing search engine (COOLEST THING EVER) There’s an iPad app, too. #aslachat #tlchat - creating webinars #aslachat #tlchat

word cloud tools - , #aslachat #tlchat - online flip book creator #aslachat #tlchat - enter multiple URLs and get a shortened urls with all them in drop down. #aslachat #tlchat - create 3 ring binder for your students with content/resources #aslachat #tlchat - create a home page with icons (ipad for poor folks) #aslachat #tlchat - cut youtube vids #aslachat #tlchat - pull off youtube vids #aslachat #tlchat - similar to symbaloo #aslachat #tlchat (to create webquests) #aslachat #tlchat - photo editor #aslachat #tlchat - cartoon creator #aslachat #tlchat - or  : cartoon strip creators #aslachat #tlchat - online posters in a multimedia format #aslachat #tlchat - - student created website #aslachat #tlchat - free blogging for kids #aslachat #tlchat - a virtual “collection” box #aslachat #tlchat - popup books (digital storytelling) #aslachat #tlchat - digital story telling #aslachat #tlchat  - music/lyric creation #aslachat #tlchat - create online tests #aslachat #tlchat - create surveys #aslachat #tlchat - google lit trips sort of thing...(Indiana Jones style movement on a map)
#comments4kids to connect with other student blogse #aslachat #tlchat - timelines #aslachat #tlchat - visual timeline #aslachat #tlchat - social networking, free for teachers and students, private #aslachat #tlchat #aslachat #tlchat - like edmodo #aslachat #tlchat

@cybraryman1 - digital hoarder on all things great on the internet #aslachat #tlchat - digital comic books #aslachat #tlchat - American Idol voting via phones #aslachat #tlchat  - flash game #aslachat #tlchat - fun question/answer search delivered daily #aslachat #tlchat - FREE, fun fonts! #aslachat #tlchat - MORE FREE, fun fonts! #aslachat #tlchat - wallwisher (but more primary) #aslachat #tlchat - publish a story #aslachat #tlchat - FUN! Wonder of the Day #aslachat #tlchat - images for vocab words #aslachat #tlchat - post video up #aslachat #tlchat - great online file storage/sharing #aslachat #tlchat - interactive slideshow/presentation #aslachat #tlchat - #appfriday - weekly free & discounted apps #aslachat #tlchat  Create animated map journeys with this tool @gregkulowiec
#aslachat #tlchat - video reviews of apps appropriate for children with special needs, app party on 6/11 #aslachat #tlchat

EdCeptional podcast - #aslachat #tlchat Easy to follow tutorials about computers #aslachat #tlchat

Big Huge Labs Do cool stuff w/photos #aslachat #tlchat

Grading papers made easy #tlchat #aslachat

StudyJams gr8 site for math & science

Stencyl Make ur own Flash games #aslachat #tlchat

Wiffiti gr8 online postit note feel via cell phone #aslachat #tlchat Online brainstorming tool #aslachat #tlchat

Writing Fun Assists students w/the writing process #aslachat #tlchat Ready made thinking guides #tlchat #aslachat

Word Tamer Story writing site #tlchat #aslachat

Vocaroo voice recording site #tlchat #aslachat

Popplet Brainstorming tool #tlchat #aslachat

SpiderScribe Online mind mapping brain storming tool #tlchat #aslachat

Be sure to share with us at ASLA what you do with these sites in your schools and spread the word!

The next ASLA Twitter Chat Session will be on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 7pm CT/8pmET.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Library Orientation Scavenger Hunt

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
– Benjamin Franklin

Update for 2012-2013 School Year

A new school year brings updates and changes to old ideas.  Over the last school year we have added some new technologies to our school that required changes to be made to the Library Orientation Scavenger Hunt.

The purpose of hosting a Library Orientation Scavenger Hunt is to orient new students to the different areas and services the high school library offers to students.  Each clue card has students actively engaged in using each of the areas of the library instead of simply passively sitting and listening to the librarian tell students about the library or having students do a worksheet about the library.  

To motivate students to work together and do their best I start a stopwatch when the first clue card is given to the first team that follows the "getting started" instructions.  Student teams are informed ahead of time that there will be a prize (provided by their teacher) for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.  Additionally, students will be competing for a GRAND PRIZE (provided by the library) for the team out of the entire 10th grade class (we are a 10-12 school) that solved all the clue cards in the least amount of time.  

Here is a list of each clue card and what my goal with each card is:

Of course some very important aspects associated with all of the clue cards includes reading comprehension, following directions, and reading for detail.  I only give students the smallest of hints during the scavenger hunt and always redirecting them back to the clue card, encouraging to read the card more carefully. (I often use the Hot/Cold game as a hint)

Here is the link to all of my files for the Library Orientation Scavenger Hunt:

If you choose to fashion a scavenger hunt for your own school library, please let me know how it goes and what type of clue cards you created to highlight the cool stuff in your school library : )

Here is a slideshow via Flickr of some of our Book Spine Poems from this year:

Original Post

Each year I like to do a Library Orientation Scavenger Hunt for our incoming 10th graders to familiarize them with the many resources our high school library offers and to get them comfortable using these resources.  This year I was also able to add Moodle to the list of resources learned during orientation.  This allowed me not only the opportunity to teach students how to navigate Moodle, but provide teachers with a working example to follow as they learned Moodle as well.

The Library Orientation Clue Cards get students actively engaged in using the various library resources available.  Even the most jaded teenagers get into the activity and enjoy the competition with other teams.

Below is a slide show of my lesson plan, answer document and clue cards for the Scavenger Hunt. If you would like the actual files please email me and I will send them to you (

I insert the Moodle activity below into each teacher's Moodle page for our Library Orientation Scavenger Hunt.  It presents students with a Word Document, a website from which to get answers to the questions on the Word document, and a place to turn the Word document in for grading. 

I also send an invitation to the teacher to remind them of the Library Orientation. Additionally, I send invitations to school board members and administrators inviting them to join in the fun!