Tuesday, September 18, 2012

No more dull annual report!

I took away so many good ideas from last nights first ever Teacher/Libraraian chat on Twitter (#tlchat). The theme was collaboration and how librarians reach their target audiences, teachers, students, parents, and administrators.  Some suggested e-mailing teachers good links to topics they are teaching at the moment, been there, tried that. Others suggested a monthly newsletter, been there tried that. Some others suggested going to PTO/PTA (Home and School) meetings to talk with parents, already do that when I can and volunteer at many events. It is the least I can do for a Home and School that helps me with my semi-annual book fairs. I have no library aides and my parent book fair helpers are like gold to me. They help me tame the book fair and keep me informed on not only their students but on the pulse of the community. My favorite time of the year is my evening book fair event when I can chat with students and their parents at school but away from school pressure knowing the book fair is in the capable hands of a Home and School volunteer.

And then Jennifer LaGarde, aka librarygirl, shared her annual report. An annual report is something I have been toying with for many years but is becoming more of an imperative now that hard times have fallen on school librarians. I have never figured out what or to whom I should be reporting since this is not a requirement, and then came Jennifer! She posted a link to her school blog post of her very visual annual report and I loved it! Not a dull, lifeless document, but an in your face graphic display of instruction and student impact that every student, parent, teacher, and administrator can understand. A copy of her report is embedded below but not only that, she shares her goals, audience, and tools in her blog post making the reader see that an annual report does not have to be dull all the way down to the bottom line! Enjoy the graphics!

Easel.ly is a new online tool for me but I am so looking forward to trying it. Thanks for influencing my practice this year and every year @librarygirl.

Sunday, September 09, 2012


I know I have said this on twitter recently but I have not written a blog post lately or maybe ever about how much my students and I love our IPEVO document cameras. About 2 years ago I purchased my own IPEVO P2V document camera to use with students in the traditional way. The document camera I was using was an old Elmo that I purchased from eBay the year after I started teaching. The overhead projector I was assigned was so old we could not longer get bulbs for it.  So, I purchased the Elmo on my own (better than having nothing) and the students loved it! They responded and completed more of their assignments when they were able to see the information in front of them. When we work together they can following along and they love working with apps on my personal iPad (iPad 1) while the rest of the class watches. I now focus the iPad under the IPEVO P2V and it shows either on the TV or the SMART Board. Then last year Alex Yang from iPevo contacted me and asked if I would be interested in an IPEVO Ziggy. I checked with my principal first but of course I said yes! At first I thought I was being greedy since I had the original IPEVO Point 2 View but I am able to do so much more with the Ziggy because it prevents glare on items with a special slide in plastic disc. And then I had this brilliant idea (at least to me) to get the document cameras in the hands of the students. The additional document camera gave me the flexibility to allow students to take their own pictures and do their own presentations. Giving them use of the both the IPEVO P2V and Ziggy allowed them to practice presentation and take their own pictures in the library. They began using the document cameras on their own in a new way. And let me tell you do they ever love it! I keep both IPEVOs attached to student computers and students may use them at any time in the library to take pictures or fine-tune presentations. The 4th grade Behind the name project became so much less of a burden on me. Students take their own pictures now and save them to their network drives saving me hours of downloading pictures from digital cameras and uploading them to their drives. Using 2 document cameras halves the time it takes to photograph the entire class, and the pictures are good quality. How can I ever thank IPEVO and Alex Yang enough? Students constantly use the document cameras to take pictures of themselves, fellow students, and others fun things happening in the library. One group of students took it upon themselves to make a farewell video for a teacher using the document cameras to capture the photos. I am now considering purchasing a magnifying lens & a height extension stand for my IPEVO P2V.  If you use your document cameras in different ways leave a comment so we can share experiences.