Since time immemorial (or at least since I began teaching a long long time ago!) The first few days of school were meant to establish norms, understand expectations and get to know students. It was easier in a small school where I had a graduating class of 50, not so much when I worked in a school with 2500 kids. But regardless of class size, knowing a student’s name is ESSENTIAL to creating a positive relationship with them.
Here’s a great idea you can create to allow students to know you better, and also be a great example for them to jump into the waters of technological creativity. Write a short story about yourself! There are SO many ways to do this, but here are a few sites you may want to try and get students to try to make it happen:
Book Creator – You create a library, give students a code, and it fills up with their creations. Add audio, video, images, text and hand drawn items to the book in either a traditional storyboard or a comic book. The free version allows one library with up to 40 books in it and is compatible with Google accounts and email. After creating a library, give the code to students to start creating their own. You can even invite other teachers to make a bookshelf for your PLCs or department too.
Storyboard That – Storyboard that is an amazing tool to tell a quick story with a few boards. Add images, text, characters, shapes and create a story with them through simple drag and drop. There’s a lot of customization you can do with this too. It’s easy to log in with Google, Microsoft or social media and the story board can be saved and edited later, shared via slideshow or embedded. Students can create a free account, but there is an option for an educational account as well.
Toondoo – Create a simple comic book strip with easy layouts (compile them into a book for a longer story). All of the features have drag and drop capabilities, which makes creating easy. Once dropped, users can use various tools to adjust size, font, and even have your own gallery space. You can share it with the world or keep it private and it allows users to save their work. The user needs to create a simple account for this without using an email. This site a more wieldy than the others and may require some tutorial, but not rule it out as an option.
Flipsnack – This online digital book creator allows the user to upload pdfs or start from scration and create a streamlined, flippable online magazine. Add text, images, videos to start creating your layout or upload your pdf to make an attractive book. Users can create up to 15 pages for free (more pages will come with a small cost). The outcome is a beautifully flippable online magazine you can share via social media, send as a link or embed. It even has a handy chat with someone from Flipbook if you need help.
AND….if users don’t have access to internet (or connection isn’t as great as it should be…think afternoons at schools) you can always use Old Reliable, Powerpoint. It has the option in transitions for a page curl. But alas! With the newest version, that transition is gone (GRRRRR!!) Just a head’s up on that….
Sharing stories has been around since the beginning of mankind. How to tell stories has changed and morphed throughout the years, but one thing stays constant – people enjoy talking about themselves and seeing others listen. Using digital tools like these not only shares the stories, but also expands their narrative and expertise, both in the telling and the creating.
Happy New School Year!!!
Halloween is nearly upon us and it’s a good time to cuddle up with a scary book on a long night…at least for some of us. If you know a teen who loves great horror, try these books with them. I mixed fiction series with stand-alones; non-fiction titles that reflect horror; and even graphic novels and story collections.
The PDF can be downloaded and made into posters, as a handout or used on a website. There are links for the books with book trailers. The pdf can be found here
And if you’re one to do activities with teens, create a murder mystery party and open the library a little later than usual. School Library Journal also has a great online article that feature Halloween programs for K-12
However your celebrate October, have fun and let readers know all holidays and seasons are a great time to start reading!
When I first started blogging in 2008, I really had no idea of all the changes that would occur online or the creativity users could have. I’ve loved and breathed Blogger for nine years, but decided it was time to try another platform, so nine year later yabooksandmore.com was born!!
I’m not going to delete my first love and it’ll remain as it is. You can find the link in the menu if you’d ever like to go back to it. I am going to post the blogs with the most hits on this new one to start it out. If you’ve followed me, please continue to follow and if you’re new to this site, thanks for coming!
However you get here, I’m going to continue blogging about my passions: YA books, library advocacy, educational technology, and even some quirky and surprising posts related to school libraries.
Let’s get started, shall we?