Tag Archives: 1:1

4th Grade and World Book Online Timelines

Last week I asked the 4th grade chair what skills that they might want me to cover over the next couple of weeks.  She mentioned that she needed the students to complete a timeline of events leading up to the Revolutionary War.  In the back of my mind I remembered something about timelines on World Book Online and when I checked there is a very easy to use timeline generator.

First Create Student Accounts in World Book Online

First I had to have each student create an individual account in World Book Online, which was easy but time consuming for 4th grade students.  This took about 15-20 minutes by the time everyone gets their tablets up and running, logged on, connected to the internet, keyboards plugged in, blah, blah, blah!  For 2 classes I went into the classroom and used the interactive board to demonstrate how to fill in the blanks and the students followed along.  I did it in the library for the other 2 classes and think it worked better in the classroom, partly because it is a smaller space and I could get around to help the students more easily.


Searching for events in World Book.  Students used their Dell ProVenue tablets, with keyboards and mouses.



student using tablet to create timeline in World Book Online.

Searching and saving images to add to an event on the timeline.

Creating a Timeline Is Fun and Easy

After they had their accounts, I demonstrated how to use the World Book Timeline.  It is easy to search the encyclopedia’s content for events and add them to a timeline, but it also very easy to create your own event.  I showed them how to add images and edit any event.  They really enjoyed it and I think the previous experience they have gained throughout the year making PowerPoints and Prezis in the library (saving images, finding out how to ascertain the owner of the image’s rights, etc) paid off by increasing their skill in navigating this digital tool.

World Book Online Timeline is Versatile

This timeline generator is so versatile in that you can take advantage of the massive amount of data in the encyclopedia, but you can also use your own content to create timelines.  I showed them how to print the timelines, but I guess I’m a little disappointed that there is no way to share the timelines (sharing links, emailing links, etc.).  But, I understand as this tool is only available to subscribers and they need to protect their product.  I will definitely being sharing this to other grade levels (probably just 3rd and 5th grades).


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3rd Grades: Perspective and Padlet

By this time of the school year I am in need of inspiration.  Standardized state tests are coming up and spring break is still weeks away.  So I asked the 3rd grade chair what skills I should be covering with the students the following week.  I had read Brendan Wenzel’s book, They All Saw a Cat, to them the week before so the idea of “perspective” was on my mind.  I wanted to introduce the students to another digital tool, so after brainstorming we decided we would do something about perspective and have the students use Padlet to record their response.

Photograph and Padlet

I found an intriguing photograph that I thought might inspire some interesting thoughts and could provide different storylines of what is going on. I googled, “What’s going on in this picture?” and found the New York Times’ website, “What’s Going on in this Picture?” https://goo.gl/G21vdd.  I choose the photo by Danielle Zalcman, which shows some Native Americans on horseback facing a line of law enforcement officers.  We don’t really know what is going on; you have to wait until a week after the photo is posted to find out the details.

I created a Padlet and arranged for the students to bring their tablets to the library.  I projected this classic image to grab the students attention and explained perspective:


Wikipedia: Brocken Inaglory

“Perspective: What are the points of view?” is one of the International Baccalaureate’s Key Concepts.  Then I projected this photograph:

Credit: Danielle Zalcman

We asked the students to describe what they thought was going on.  We reminded them to provide text evidence of their opinions and statements. This was also a good opportunity for the students to practice writing using their tablets, which is a component of the upcoming Georgia Milestones test.

Check out one classes’ responses to the photograph: https://goo.gl/dHrvxx

Screen shot of Padlet

What Is On the Minds of Our Children (Real World Comes into the Library)

You can see what is on the mind of one our Latino’s students:


This post is also from a Latino student but she focuses on the caring/protective aspect of police work:


The students really enjoyed reading each others’ posts, too.  Very successful use of technology, a IB/PYP concept and writing practice!

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Filed under Social media, Students using technology, Uncategorized

Second Grade and Library Catalog

Today I introduced the 2nd grade classes to the library’s Destiny catalog.  I did a quick overview and modeled looking up a picture book.  Then we proceeded to use their tablets (we are a 1:1 school) to look up the catalog and bookmark the website.

I have to have the students use their tablets as earlier this school year our technology department eliminated the generic student login (too dangerous to the system or something!?!?), which has meant a huge headache for the library media center.  Now when a  student wants to look up a book, they have to use their individual login to log onto one of my 8 computers.  If this is the first time they have logged onto that particular computer it will take about 2-3 minutes to complete that cycle.  That’s a long time to just look up one book!  Our technology department did create a catalog kiosk at one of my computers, but now you can only access the catalog or take an Accelerated Reader quiz on it, effectively eliminating it as a second circulation computer or any other use!  Well, that’s enough of that rant.

Sooooo, in order to teach a whole class and eliminate the time consuming task of having 2nd graders logging onto the library computers, I am having them bring their tablets each week while we do this instruction.  Of course this took up a lot of time initially, but now that the catalog is bookmarked we should be ready to go for the rest of the weeks instruction. One teacher, who is particularly on the ball, had already added the link to the catalog to her Portaportal site which students can easily access.  Wish they were all that well organized!

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After this initial foray into the catalog, some students just couldn’t wait for additional instruction and had to jump in and try it! They needed some assistance as I had only covered finding books in the E Fiction section, not the non-fiction or chapter book areas. It was rewarding to see them so excited and problem solving.


Emerson couldn’t wait for further instruction so he enlisted the help of his teacher to locate a title.

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5th Grade- Civil Wars and PowerPoint

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After surveying the fifth grade students at the beginning of the school year, I realized that most of the students had minimal experience with creating PowerPoints.  So I decided that one of the first digital tools we would work on would be PowerPoint.  Since they would be studying the U.S. Civil War in the fall, I chose that topic.  The Syrian Civil War was in the news at that time (we completed these projects in late October & November, but I’m just getting around to finishing up this blog post!). As an IB-PYP school, I also wanted them to realize that the U.S. Civil War was NOT the only civil war that had occured and that there were civil wars happening right now.

Graphic Organizer and Curating Web Resources

I used Livebinders to curate websites and online encyclopedias for the students to use.  My emphasis in this project was more on the technical aspect (PowerPoint) rather than in-depth research.  Livebinders was used to curate websites and online encyclopedias for the students to use.


Livebinder is very useful for students as it visually organizes the topics.

Livebinder is very useful for students as it visually organizes the topics.

They only had to have 5 slides and at least 2 images. I also emphasized the citing of resources and giving credit when using images.





Student Tablets

Our school is a 1:1 technology set up, so all students have a Dell ProVenue 11 tablet.  One catch was that Office 365 had to be downloaded before we could do this project and that takes awhile!  But after that, the students caught on pretty quickly and were usually anxious to help each other problem solve.  I think they have a basic understanding of creating a PowerPoint, inserting images, text boxes and are aware of the different slide types (ie. they had to use the Comparison slide for the body of their PowerPoint).

So far this year I have taught the 5th grade classes how to use Chatterpix and PowerPoint.  We are getting ready to start on Prezis in the next week.  My goal is for these students to have several digital storytelling tools in their technonlogy toolbelts by the end of the year.  No more just relying on PowerPoint when they get to middle school!

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Filed under Information Literacy Instruction, Students using technology

2nd Grade Use Atlas & Tablet

Reference tool introduction continued when 2nd grade students got to utilize not just an atlas but also their Dell ProVenue tablets (we are a 1:1 school).  They love to use their tablets!


2nd grade students documenting their find in the atlas.

Social Studies Curriculum Tie-In

Again, I chose a topic the students have some background knowledge of. They have been learning about James Oglethorpe, so I chose 2 locations related to this historical figure.  I asked the students to find Georgia and London, England in an atlas.

Model the Process First

I modeled the activity first, showing them how to use the index to find a location.I used a tablet to photograph a student pointing at the words in the index.  We then went to the correct page in the atlas, used the map reference and located the city.  Again, we used the tablet’s camera to show the student pointing to the correct location.


The students were able to use the atlas’ index to find the 2 locations and photograph the process.  Documenting the process with the tablet added a different flavor to our usual practice of paper and pencil to show their activity.  When they said they were finished, I just swiped through the photographs on their tablets.

In addition to learning and applying information literacy skills, using the tablet gave the students opportunity to handle their tablets and practice using the camera.  When we started the lesson several of the students didn’t know where the camera was (indicating a lack of use of the tablet in the classroom), but their fellow classmates helped out here.

I’ll definitely try to figure out ways to incorporate the tablets in more library instructional activities

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We Get Into Dot Day!

This is our second year celebrating Dot Day and the students really enjoy it.  I read The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds to every class in the school, starting last week. After each reading we discuss what the book was about, sometimes we emphasize the International Baccalaureate Learner Profiles and Attitudes that we see in the story.  Sometimes we just talk about how the story makes us feel.  With kindergarten and first grade we might make predictions about what we think will happen next (after the book has ended, “What do you think the little boy will do?”).

Opportunities for Creativity

After each class reads the book in the library, they are given the chance to be creative in some project that involves dots.  Some of the activities I just thought up, some were listed in the The Educator’s Handbook for International Dot Day (by Peter H. Reynolds and FableVision Learning), or others I found on Pinterest.

Here’s a grade by grade breakdown:


Kindergarten students were given a white dot (circle about 4″ in diameter, cut out using our Accucut die cut).  Crayons spread on the table and they could color their dot however they wanted.  I then glued them all onto a large sheet of orange butcher paper.  They are quite impressive when grouped together.  I think it’s also the bright orange background that really brings the dots to life.


First Grade

First grade students read the book then we talked about words they would use to describe the book.  I asked them to choose one word, write it on the colored circle (also 4″ die cut), decorate around it with markers, and then of course, “sign it.” They really like using the markers!


I glued these dots to green butcher paper, one sheet for each class.

Second Grade

I asked the second grades to make a mark (large crayon dot) on an index card.  I took up the colored crayons and then gave each student a black crayon or colored pencil to use to make their dot into something.  Using black helps keep the focus on the original dot.


Third Grade

Third grade students were given a large dot (the largest circle I could trace on 8 1/2 x 11 copy paper).  I folded one in half and then half again.  I asked them how they would describe the parts of the circle now and since they have studied fractions already, they said fourths.  They folded their dots and marked off the fold lines with a crayon.  They then decorated it any way they wanted.  Some did symmetrical designs while others drew different things in each section.  This took their whole library time.  I cut the circles apart later, paper clipping all 4 sections together.   At our second library visit, they choose which 1/4 of their art they wanted to keep and I collected the rest.  I mixed them all up and randomly handed each student 3 sections, ensuring they didn’t get any of their own.  They then figured out how they wanted to put them back together and glued them on construction paper.img_9552img_9648img_9659

Fourth Grade

I have made a commitment to teach more digital storytelling skills to all of our students this year.  Fourth grade students have already made a Chatterpix and I was ready to start PowerPoint.  Only about one third of the students have made a PowerPoint previously, so for most it is a new skill and for the others a skill not highly developed.  After reading the book, I asked them to reflect on the story and to keep in mind the IB Learner Profile and Attitude.  I used our projector and large screen to demonstrate creating a PowerPoint.  We are a 1:1 school, so each student has a tablet (of course I had to make sure that they had it downloaded onto their tablet).  The first library visit I demonstrated creating new slides, choosing the design, typing in information, and inserting a picture.  Next time we’ll work on transitions.

We had previously covered the concept of plagiarism and we said for this project we wouldn’t have to cite our sources as everything we would write would be our own ideas or opinions.  I had  laminated copies of the IB PYP Learner Profiles and Attitudes spread out on the tables, so they could draw inspiration from those in their writing.

If their tablet wasn’t working, they looked on and worked with a neighbor. I was impressed with how much collaboration and encouragement I saw happening (in light of the theme of the book!).


Fifth Grade

After reading the book I had the fifth grade students use chalk to create sidewalk art inspired by dots. Sign it, too!  It’s interesting to see with this group (and to some extent all grades) that some students when confronted with no structure (just do something with a dot, or start with a circle and see where it takes you) say “I don’t know what to draw.”  Yes, that is the point of all of the activities; be free, be a risk-taker, think outside the box, express yourself, you can do it!img_9565img_9566img_9569

Discovery Education’s International Dot Day dLivestream from Iowa

Second grade students participated in Discovery Education’s International Dot Day Livestream today at 1:00.  The students were excited and looking forward to hearing Peter Reynolds read his book.  We would have enjoyed it more if Mr. Reynold’s microphone had worked when he was reading the book.  Apparently no one noticed it until after he finished the book, then he shared the microphone with the host.  The students enjoyed listing to Mr. Reynolds and they got excited when he announced he had a new book coming out today, Water Princess.  I told them I would order it for the library.

They were interested in the process and wondered if we could ask questions, was it really happening live, could they see us, etc.  I told them we would Skype with another school so that there was more interaction. We took a selfie with our new library selfie stick before the livestream began and that might have been one of the highlights!


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Reference Tools: Third Grade Digs into Dictionaries

One of my third grade teachers said in passing the other day, that she was assuming that I was going to be teaching the students about reference tools.  I was planning on it, but was waiting for inspiration for a new approach or activity.  Thought a bit and then realized that with our school system’s 1:1 initiative on the way (tablets coming our students’ way), I should also instruct students about the online equivalent to the traditional format.

New Hook-Using Real Tools

Borrowing an idea from one of my Florida State classes (online program for my Specialist Degree), I brought in real tools and the students talked about how the tools were used. We talked about needing the correct tool for the job and when you need information you also need just the right tool.


Used real tools to help the students relate that reference tools also have unique purposes

We started off with the dictionary.

Printed vs Online

I checked with the third grade teachers to see if they had been using dictionaries in their class so far this year.  Two had and the other two had not.  I skipped the hands on dictionary time with those classes that had some experience with dictionaries this school year.  We did look up a word in the paper dictionary for those who needed practice.  We then looked up the same word in the online dictionary.  I created a graphic organizer so that the students could compare the different formats to discover the similarities and differences.

Form and Function: IB Key Concepts

As we are an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme school, I focused on two IB key concepts at this stage, form (what is it like) and function (how does it work) while comparing the paper and online dictionaries.

Dictionary: form and function. This is what the students figured out about this reference tool.

Dictionary: form and function. This is what the students figured out about this reference tool.

I had the students use http://www.dictionary.com and working in small groups, they used a graphic organizer to list similarities and differences.  The students figured out that although the form was different, the dictionaries, whether paper or online, have the same functions: providing definitions, showing syllables, listing parts of speech.  They also figured out that the printed dictionary was arranged in alphabetical order and you used guide words to find the word.  They noticed that the online dictionary did not list the words in abc order, but they had to type in the word they were looking up.  A couple of students also discovered that if you aren’t careful and misspell the word or make a typo, you will not find your word!

I will continue to have the students compare the print and online version of each reference tool.


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