The Centered School Library

If you are a librarian, or know a librarian who needs a Christmas gift, you should definitely “check this out!” This book, written by our very own school librarian at Fox Run, Cari Young, is a great resource for anyone who is interested in creating a library that is truly an inviting place to learn.  The Centered School Library includes ideas for twelve learning centers that incorporate library skills and are guaranteed to engage your K-5 students!

Mrs. Sunda’s Literature Links

If you are trying to allow some of your students who are reading at a higher level to work independently, you might find these literature units helpful.  There are only 6, but they include discussion guides written with Bloom’s Taxonomy in mind.  Another great thing about these materials is that they were created by students.  Not only could some of your students work through the units, but they could use them as examples for developing some of their own.  While you are visiting Mrs. Sunda’s site, check out some of her other links.  Many resources are given for teachers, including a link to a detailed article explaining the process behind the literature units.

Music in the Classroom

photo credit to kvanhorn on Flickr

This great post on Byrdseed Gifted, a fabulous resource for higher level thinking ideas, inspired me to come up with more ways to get music into my own classroom.  To extend one of Ian’s ideas even further, I would like to use music to communicate some of my expectations.  Students seem to forget, sometimes, what they should do when they finish their work.  What if the background music answered this question?  If I am playing Bach, for example, could this be the signal that they are supposed to check over their work, and then read a book?  Or, could Beethoven mean that they can find another partner who is finished and do a center activity?  Of course, this would mean the students would also have to be able to identify the pieces of music – an added bonus!  Now that our school district subscribes to Soundzabound, I should have plenty of resources for creating a more harmonic classroom environment.

QR Codes and Art

I like patterns.  This week, I started by sharing some QR Code Countdown Calendars.  Yesterday, I chose to share a link to Countdown Calendars.  So, today, I will focus once again on QR Codes.

I found an article on the Langwitches blog that gave a wonderful idea for using QR codes with art.  You should read the article here, because it gives great details.  To summarize, it explains a project in which the students created magnificent artwork.  They then made individual recordings about their artwork.  These recordings were uploaded to the web, and QR codes were generated for each link.  The QR codes were then adhered to the artwork.  Therefore, anyone who passes the artwork that is being displayed can use a “smart” device to scan the code, allowing them to listen to the student’s narrative about the art as the surveyor looks upon the masterpiece.

This generated so many extension ideas for me when I read it that I could not even begin to list them.  Think about the power of attaching another media to a bulletin board display of any type of work.  It could be an audio narrative or music.  It could even be a video!  Imagine the electronic portfolios your students could create that would co-exist in the both the “real” and “virtual” worlds!  I can’t wait to try it myself!

Countdown Calendars Continued

The past few days have included posts of various different QR Countdowns that I’ve created.  One of my favorite bloggers has collected probably the largest amount of technology-related Advent links that I have ever seen at iLearnTechnology.  They include his own Web 2.0 calendar as well as an Appvent Calendar.  The one linked to the image above will take you to the National Museum of Liverpool calendar, which will reveal a piece of art from the museum each day.  I recommend that you check out his links if you plan to do any kind of counting down in December!  I will be eager to see what his Web 2.0 calendar reveals…

QR Code Countdown – Reward Coupons for Home

Two days ago, I posted a couple of documents with QR codes, which lead to ideas for Random Acts of Kindness.  These codes could be used as a Christmas countdown, Winter Break countdown, or a way to count the days to any other type of celebration.  Yesterday, I posted QR codes to Classroom Coupons.  These coupons do not have to be used in any particular order, and there may be some you don’t wish to use at all.  Again, they could be used for the above purposes.  Or, you could cut them apart and put them on cards in a classroom Treasure Chest, or distribute them as student gifts before the Winter Break.  Another way to use them would be to print out the pages to post on a wall, and cross out each code as it gets used.

For yesterday’s QR codes, I used a site called http://www.tagmydoc.com.  I highly recommend it, as it will host your document and provide you with a QR code for it (for free).  You can even download the document with the QR code stamped on it.  HOWEVER, I realized, somewhat late, that my district has blocked this site at the moment – at least through our iDevice network.  So, if you encountered the same problem, I apologize.  I am busy revising that set of docs so that it will lead to a Weebly site, and will try to post the revision later this week.

Today’s QR codes are for parents to use at home.  Personally, I will be using these, along with the Random Acts of Kindness ones, in my daughter’s Christmas countdown calendar.  But, you can pass this along to anyone who might want to use it for their own creative ideas.  There is a Winter theme, but it is secular.  To download, just click on the links below:

qrcodeshomecoupons

homecouponanswers

QR Code Countdown – Classroom Coupons

I would like to apologize to anyone who has recently downloaded these QR codes.  Apparently, tagmydoc only keeps your files for 14 days, unbeknownst to me, if you are using its free service.  So, these QR codes will not work.  I have posted a new batch at this link:  QR Code Classroom Coupons (Revised)

Yesterday, I posted a couple of documents with QR codes, which lead to ideas for Random Acts of Kindness.  These codes could be used as a Christmas countdown, Winter Break countdown, or a way to count the days to any other type of celebration.  Today, I am posting QR codes to Classroom Coupons.  These coupons do not have to be used in any particular order, and there may be some you don’t wish to use at all.  Again, they could be used for the above purposes.  Or, you could cut them apart and put them on cards in a classroom Treasure Chest, or distribute them as student gifts before the Winter Break.  Another way to use them would be to print out the pages to post on a wall, and cross out each code as it gets used.  Tomorrow’s codes will be for parents to use at home!

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