Book Review – Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

EXCELLENT BOOK! Read it before watching the miniseries!


Why should schools start later in the morning?


Two weeks ago we were asked to spend a couple of hours in one of Astana schools. The bus was already arranged at 8 in the morning to get us to school at 9 a.m. In order to be on time, I had to wake up at 7 o’clock. But you cannot imagine what torment I went through before getting up and was grateful for this program where classes start at 10 a.m. So while sitting in the bus and looking at my sleepy group mates, I was pity about children who had to come to school at 8 o’clock or even earlier every day. What about their parents? Definitely, mothers suffer most of all in this routine; they need to wake up the earliest, cook, dress up their children and themselves simultaneously. It is even harder, if parents are teachers…

All right, this blog is not about difficult time…

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Technology “Disrupting” Teaching (Part 2)

Interesting post…

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

In the previous post, I argued that the onset of digital technologies since the 1990s had “disrupted” the print media beholden to a business model anchored in advertising revenues. Newspapers closed; reporters let go. Digital media spread swiftly and most Americans now get their news from screens, not newsprint.

Organizations that had not existed two decades ago such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter dispense news to their followers. New technologies had surely changed the institutional terrain of the newspaper world. But had these new technologies also irreversibly altered the practice of news gathering, writing, and publishing particularly investigative journalism?

I argued that core practices have remained constant in the midst of institutional meltdown. The practice of investigative journalism (as shown in procedural films, TV shows, and books such as “All the President’s Men,” “Lou Grant,” and “Spotlight”) not only still existed in the now smaller world of…

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1:1 and Math

I have stated before that my math teachers are very leery about using the Chromebooks and our school going 1:1 next year. I am trying to do more research about using them in the math class setting to try to help my teachers and their fears.

Here’s what I have found so far:

  • The use of a Chromebook stops the teacher from having to lecture and allows the student to have a one on one teacher via software and math programs on the internet. This allows them to work through the problems at their own pace.
  • Also, with the computers correcting the work, the teacher can have more time to go from student to student instead of spending their time grading.
  • AND math appears to have the best games! How much fun is it to trick your students into learning!

1:1 How to deal with repairs, theft, insurance…

Going 1:1 is kicking up some important questions. We plan on having parents and students sign a User Agreement, but are we really going to charge the students for repairs? What about theft of the device? What is they lose a charger?

Insurance – since the cost of the Chromebook itself is low, it does not appear that taking out insurance or extra warranty on the devices would make sense.

Repairs – most of the repairs will be completed by our IT department at no cost to the student. If the evaluation shows malicious damage to the device I think the student should be charged.

Theft – any theft of a device will be filed with the schools Resource Officer. Unless it can be proved that the student was negligent, the student will not be charged. This would be handled on a case by case basis.

Wolf by Wolf author Ryan Graudin

The Freshman at my school are very lucky!  We were able to buy each of them their personal copy of the title Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin.  They read the book in their English and Social Studies classes this year. We then were able to get Mrs. Graudin to come to speak to the Freshman class yesterday! What a great experience for all involved. I am attaching some pictures, she signed their books afterwards and 2 students asked her to sign their FOREHEADS!


SnapChat Contest

I have been reading about using SnapChat in the library. I have decided our first jump into using SnapChat is a contest!

During April we plan on having a contest asking the students or staff members to make a 10 second or less video on SnapChat tells us how the library is important to them. I have created a SnapChat for the library with the name cbhlibrary. Contestants are asked to make the video and send it to the library. We will then save it with SnapChat saver and download them to our website. We will then give prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

Any other ideas?

Snapchat in the Library

I am a personal Snapchat user. I love the filters and sending to my friends, but I wonder…can I use it in my workplace…a high school library?

#1 reason to use Snapchat in the Library – Spontaneity! Give others a glimpse of the daily life in your space.  Take a pic of a student reading a book or a class looking for books for check out. When you have something exciting going on, take a snap and send it out.

Some other ideas:
1. doing quick book talks

2. sharing book covers from a certain genre or collection

3. A quick reminder to students about what’s happening

4. before and after pics or videos

5. Using those silly filters on books with faces

6. monthly library “story” update

7. Snapchat school events I attend (to show librarians DO things other than “librarian-ish” things)

8. Quick preview of new library resources

9. testimonials on the importance of libraries from teachers, admin, students

10. take a pic of a tweet you’re going to send to “smash” two social media apps together instead of typing it all over again

11. do a library mystery theater or “escape room” type of program

12. answering the age-old question, “What do librarians do all day??”

Another lesson plan on Digital Citizenship

Students will be assigned to groups of four and assigned one of four roles:
Students will be given a hypothetical student’s profile to evaluate for content that is:
Too revealing of privacy information

Distribute the profiles of hypothetical students and a list of questions. The students will work in their groups and evaluate the content of the profile sheets for information that they feel should be removed or changed. After the students have evaluated the content, conduct a full group discussion about the types of content and reputation that was created.

1. Would they want a trusted adult, employer, sports recruiter, or college admissions officer to see their digital footprints?

2. Have they posted anything that could hurt another person’s feelings or reputation?

3. Do they have music files or movies on their site?  Were they legally obtained? Do they portray you in a positive light?

4. Have they posted information that could help someone find them in real life?

Checklist for a creating a great online reputation: I have pictures that show I would be a good employee/student/team member/citizen. I have posted only nice comments. I have music and video that is not copyrighted on my site. I have included only my name and email address on my site. I participate in online discussions and Interest sites in a positive manner.

Go to this link for some examples of profiles to be evaluated.