Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Enthusiasm Overflowing!

From kindergarten to fifth grade, there is a palpable sense of enthusiasm when the students enter the PES Media Center.  It is rare to see a student arrive without a smile or a look of anticipation.  From the moment the students enter the learning space, I believe they sense that their presence is not only welcomed but valued.  They are thriving.  Experiencing a variety of learning opportunities is a weekly occurance.  

The success of our media center program requires a whole school commitment.  I must acknowledge our wonderful volunteers and our outstanding library paraprofessional, Mrs. Connie Yacavone.  Together, we have created a team that is student-centered.  Our success also requires teacher support and buy-in.  Our flexible schedule demands collaboration which is essential for meaningful integration of information literacy skills and technology integration.  PES teachers embrace this partnership and it is resulting in student success.  The next ingredient for a successful media center is parent support.  As you read through today's post, you will see how parents are enthusiastically participating by embracing media center-home connections.  Of course, it takes administrators at the building and district level who value information literacy skills, creativity, innovation, and desire to foster lifelong readers and learners.  It's a great time to be the media specialist at PES!

An overview of the week in review (November 17-November 21).

The following video demonstrates how families embraced a challenge to extend learning during International Picture Book Month.  K-2 students enjoyed analyzing the illustrations in Randy Riley's Really Big Hit by Chris Van Dusen.  Like Randy, they too could create a robot out of recyclable materials.  Take a peak:

I especially appreciate my time with fifth graders--probably because this is my only year with the students since they will be moving on to middle school next year and I just arrived to PES this year.  The past few weeks, the students delved into research for their science unit by utilizing print and digital resources.  It was exciting to utilize Edmodo with the students for the first time.  This platform includes launching various apps.  For research, the InstaGrok app is incredible.  We met in the computer lab for our intro lesson to these tools.  The students continued research during their science block, utilizing both print and digital resources to gather enough information to answer essential questions created with Mr. Battaglia.  It was great to see how seamless our initial work in September with questioning strategies transferred to this inquiry project. In addition, I love meeting with the teachers and discussing how to update presentation skills and products.  Mr. Battaglia was eager to embrace change--so an essay underwent a makeover and became a greenscreen video product.  Having students demonstrate new understandings in ways that require problem solving, creativity, and speaking with authority is essential.

Take a look at a session with the students once research was completed and storyboarding finalized.  It was time for product creation.

The following video is an example of a draft of the final product.  
The last piece the students need to add is a "Works Cited" list.

What I love about using the iPads for creation is the ability to smash apps.  We used Tellagami, Doink Green Screen, and iMovie.  The power of the iPad is in creating.  Utilizing any app that saves creations in the camera roll is the key to app smashing.  Students also used web-based tools such as Discovery Education and InstaGrok.  The students are proficient in searching for images through google by filtering for usage rights.  

App smashing forces students to push their thinking and problem solve to figure out how they can merge various apps to create the product they need to deliver/transmit their message/learning.  It is teaching students to not be satisfied with using only one app, since there are often limitations in the functionality of each app.  It really provokes the "what if" kind of thinking that is a prerequisite to innovation.   

What's to come in December?  Teachers in grades 3 and 4 start their second rotation of collaboration in the media center.  Look for more examples of student learning in the next blog post!  

And... you will read more about how a grade 4 collaboration grant was approved by CSDE!

1 comment:

  1. Enthusiasm is over flowing for the success of the young and for the stable men and women. It is entirely done and advanced with the best dissertation service and efficiency. The motivation and confidence of the zeal and spirit are needed and central with the integral and significant sources of the satisfaction