Visually Cool Tech Tools

Screen Shot 2019-03-17 at 6.18.38 PMTomorrow in the library I’ll be presenting a session called “Visually Cool Tech Tools” during flex time. I’ll be focusing on three main apps:  Pinterest, Prisma, and Voki. It’s been a while since I’ve used Voki, so to brush up my skills I quickly made a speaking avatar and then uploaded it to my YouTube channel.  I’m not completely satisfied with it because the audio sounds tinny, but it will have to do since I don’t have a headset with me at the moment. As for Prisma: see the banner image for this site at the top of this page?  It was created by taking a photo of a discarded computer mother board and applying a Prisma painting app.

I am looking forward to sharing these apps with students tomorrow, and to learn what  visually cool apps they are using, as well.


Creativity & Collaboration in Grade 5

Teacher-librarians aren’t always found in the library. As a matter of fact, they are oftentimes out and about, working with classroom img_5297teachers. DEMS grade five students in Mr. Coleman’s class have been making classroom connections with storytelling by writing personal narratives that reveal creative tension and develop an emotional impact.  Mr. Coleman and I developed the storytelling unit during shared planning  time.

IMG_5281.jpgDesigned to challenge students to compare and contrast memorable stories and to find their own compelling stories to tell, the lessons have offered a way for students to dig deep to find the stories that IMG_5292.jpgoffer meaning and important lessons to share. Based on Bernajean Porter’s Digitales storytelling structure, students are examining the Six Elements of Good Storytelling and using the process to guide their creative work.

After working together as a class to create a story arc using The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch as a model, they are designing story arcs for their own personal narratives.

Sitting down to plan as a team takes commitment, hard work and time. As ideas are shared and put on the table, collaboration requires a certain sense of humility, a desire to listen to the other and a willingness to adapt.  Teachers working solo make good lessons, but teachers  working together make mind-boggling, juicy, super-duper lessons.



Creative Gatherings, Shared Space

It all began with the DEMS middle school students. They cracked open the puzzle box and formed the geometric outline. Later, when DBGS students came in during their break, they added their own contribution. img_2614

By the next morning, the DHS high school students had added even more pieces to the puzzle, forming the central image: a blue jay.

Three schools. Dozens of students. One simple, fun artifact evolving over time. These types of shared activities give students a chance to relax, socialize, and take a break from the academic rigor of school life.

Stop by the LRC before or after school, during break, or during lunchtime  to see students participating in creative game-playing, coloring in giant coloring books, or perhaps adding the final piece to a blue jay puzzle.

As the go-to meeting place for students from all three campus schools, the LRC will continue to add interactive games to our collection and offer shared activities that allow students to connect and collaborate in our open-access space.

LRC Library’s Annual Book Fair January 24th-28th.

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The LRC Library is pleased to announce that the annual Book Fair will be held January 24th – 28th. Over 1,400 high-quality books from UK and USA publishers will be on display. Every student will have the opportunity to attend with their teacher or during break for the older students. Parents are also welcome to attend on Tuesday, January 26th from 2:30 – 4:00.

Facebook Book Cover Photo Contest

2130 (1) copyThanks to everyone who participated and voted in our Facebook Book Cover Photo Contest!  DEMS and DBGS students in Grades 4/5 and Years 5/6 participated in a book scavenger hunt and were photographed with their books. Here are the winners!

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Matthew, 4R (Mr. Rider) “Ripley’s Believe It or Not”

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Most Realistic

Thayviana  5D (Ms. Duncan) “Faith: Five Religions and What They Share”



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Best Cover Drawing

Faisal  4J (Ms. Johnson) “Boy 21”

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Best Non-Human Face

David Y5 (Ms. Liptrot) “Sloths”





Best Symmetry: a tie!



Best Symmetry #1 :

Yasmin, 6R (Mr. McMahon) “Shabanu”

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Best Symmetry #2:

Muhammad Ali, 5H (Ms. Haas)” Muhammad Ali: The King of the Ring”




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Honorable Mention

Ahmed and Ahmed, Year 6R (Mr. McMahon)  “Face Relations”



New eBooks: Recommended by GAFE Presenters

Remember thogoogleappslogose exciting titles that presenters recommended at ISG’s GAFE Google Summit? You know: the ones that challenge us to expand our vision and thinking to what could be? The LRC has purchased seven of them in ebook form. They make great winter break reading and can be accessed anywhere, anytime, 24/7.

Look below for an overview of each title recommended by GAFE Google presenters. You can also read about other inspiring  ebooks available from the LRC here and here.  To access the ebook library, go to this link, and enter your user name and password. Forgotten how to access ebooks? No problem. Further information on how to download an ebook is found here.

Happy Winter Reading!

Here is a list of the new ebooks and their summaries.

The Courage to Teach: Audio Version By Parker J. Palmer

{4AAB12E5-5341-40C4-8201-EE9065DB646C}Img400This book builds on a simple premise: good teaching cannot be reduced to technique but is rooted in the identity and integrity of the teacher. Good teaching takes myriad forms, but good teachers share one trait: they are authentically present in the classroom, in community with their students and their subject, weaving connections that help their students weave a world for themselves. The connections made by good teachers are held not in their methods but in their hearts—the place where intellect, emotion, spirit, and will converge in the human self—supported by the community that emerges among us when we choose to live authentic lives.

Growth Mindset Pocketbook by Barry Hymer

{14032CE9-E681-4F4A-91B2-3CAAC85F50DE}Img400People with fixed mindsets believe that fundamental qualities like intelligence are essentially stable; people with growth mindsets believe that such qualities can be developed and nurtured. As teachers, if we can foster growth mindsets in our students the results will be transformative. Barry Hymer and Mike Gershon begin by explaining how learners with growth mindsets are: more open to challenges and constructively critical feedback; resilient in the face of obstacles and initial failure; convinced that effort makes a difference; able to learn well with and from others; likely to rise to the top – and stay there.

{9D3B5379-B17B-45DB-98AB-F766C6FC70F4}Img400Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners by Ron Ritchhart

Visible Thinking is a research-based approach to teaching thinking, begun at Harvard’s Project Zero, that develops students’ thinking dispositions, while at the same time deepening their understanding of the topics they study. Rather than a set of fixed lessons, Visible Thinking is a varied collection of practices.

  • Helps direct student thinking and structure classroom discussion
  • Can be applied with students at all grade levels and in all content areas
  • Includes easy-to-implement classroom strategies

{4E6894C0-8BA2-4E43-8E3C-2887D91C26F1}Img400Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, in decades of research on achievement and success, has discovered a truly groundbreaking idea–the power of our mindset.

Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success–but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals–personal and professional. Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area.

{6050A358-E681-437A-9B2C-4FB6D9552D88}Img100It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens by danah boyd

What is new about how teenagers communicate through services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Do social media affect the quality of teens’ lives? In this eye-opening book, youth culture and technology expert danah boyd uncovers some of the major myths regarding teens’ use of social media.


{FE5AF618-CA71-4D58-9F2E-64C21A7DA5F5}Img400Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon

In his New York Times bestseller Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon showed readers how to unlock their creativity by “stealing” from the community of other movers and shakers. Now, in an even more forward-thinking and necessary book, he shows how to take that critical next step on a creative journey—getting known.
Show Your Work! is about why generosity trumps genius. It’s about getting findable, about using the network instead of wasting time “networking.” It’s not self-promotion, it’s self-discovery—let others into your process, then let them steal from you. Filled with illustrations, quotes, stories, and examples, Show Your Work! offers ten transformative rules for being open, generous, brave, productive.

{D8AA66C1-D38B-4F22-B306-5CF34ADDC492}Img400Walk out Walk on: A Learning Journey into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now by Margaret J. Wheatley

At a time when most communities’ resources are stretched past the breaking point, how is it possible to deal with the enormous challenges that families, neighborhoods, cities, regions, and nations face today? This inspiring book takes readers to seven communities around the world where the people have walked out of limiting beliefs and practices that precluded solutions to major social problems, and walked on to discover bold new ways to meet their needs. This book is a true learning journey, filled with intimate stories and portraits of the people and places the authors came to know through years of working together to transform their communities. The journey begins in Mexico, then moves to Brazil, South Africa, Zimbabwe, India, Greece and the U.S. The authors’ lives and ways of thinking have been transformed by these experiences and relationships – an experience they hope to recreate for the reader through vivid prose and photos. The reader will experience first hand how a change of beliefs about people results in new capacities and the possibility of a more healthy future.

Forgotten how to access ebooks? No problem. All the information you need on how to download an ebook is found here.


Wednesday Student / Teacher Open Mic Poetry Readings

image Open Mic Poetry Readings in the LRCThe LRC will be hosting Open Mic Poetry Readings for secondary students (Grade 9-12 and KS 4-5) of DHS and DBGS and teachers campus-wide.

Readings will be held in the LRC Conference Room from 2:40 – 3:30 on

Wednesday, November 18 and 25th

Wednesday, December 2 and 9.

Come and read one, or two, of your favorite poems (either original or published) and share your love of poetry with others!

For those who plan to offer a poem, here is the link to the sign-up sheet.

Not feeling brave enough to read? Come on out and show your support to this week’s readers!

Questions? Please contact Ms. Lehman in the LRC or email katrina.lehman[at]

Creative Ebooks for Curious Minds

Become a mad scientist, a coder, an artist,  a photographic scavenger,  a computer programmer, a tinker, a gamer, a candlestick-maker.  Check out these five, inspiring ebooks from the LRC Digital Library.

41pGC8+JCaL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Tinkering: Kids Learn by Making Stuff by Curt Gabrielson

After-school and out-of-school programs—as well as home schooling—have been growing steadily for nearly a decade, but instructors are still searching for high-interest content that ties into science standards without the rigidity of current classroom canon. The author draws on more than 20 years of experience doing hands-on science to facilitate tinkering: learning science while fooling around with real things. In this book, you’ll learn:

  • Tinkering techniques in key science areas
  • How to let kids learn science with hands-on tinkering
  • Engaging techniques for science learning at home, in school, or at a makerspace or library
  • Step-by-step instructions for activities that don’t end with a single project, but that provide many paths for “tinkering forward”.

Continue reading “Creative Ebooks for Curious Minds”