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Sunday, April 6, 2014


Discover. Play. Build.

It's been a while since I posted. However, this morning after reading a tweet by one of my favorite school librarians from MA, Jennifer Reed (@libraryreeder), I decided to join the "Celebrate This Week" movement. 

Yesterday, our state association of school librarians (CASL) partnered with CLC and Scholastic Library Publishing in order to offer an un-conference event for our members.  SHARE 2 LEARN resulted in a day of generously sharing expertise as well as challenges faced in the day to day struggles of being a school librarian.  Bill Derry from The Westport Library, kicked off our day with an awe-inspiring presentation on MAKERSPACES.  He set the stage for our event in such a way, I knew we were in for a successful day of "making" our PD sessions work for our own unique needs.

To follow some of the discussions, search our hashtags: #ctcasl or #ctcasl14.

Friday, August 9, 2013

More Free Apps


After scanning my twitter feed, listserves, 
and various blogs, 
I am highlighting the following apps or ebooks.

One of my students' all-time favorite characters is Scaredy Squirrel.   I must admit, he is one of my favorites as well! If you are not aware of Melanie Watts, take a look at her work.  This week, iTunes offered Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach for FREE. It's not too late. Download it today on your iPhone, iPad, iTouch, and computer!  Normally $5.99.  Thanks to @marianslibrary & @classicsixbooks for their tweet.


Kid in Story Book Maker makes it easy and fun to create visual stories to support learning, social modeling, and early literacy with your child as the star character. FREE today (usually $6.99). Download today.  Thanks to @mattBgomez for his twitter announcement.

Grammar Wonderland-Primary

Bug's Math Quest

FREE KINDLE BOOKS (Remember you can download  the free kindle app on your devices. You can download Kindle books to iPhones, select Blackberrys, Droids, iPads, Macs, and PCs.  Thanks to TCEA for their research on free books.

 What gaps do you need filling in your ebook or app inventory? Leave a comment and I will do my best to fill your gaps.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Give Students the Freedom To Be Creative

Do you wonder how to revitalize your class?  

Do your students seem disengaged and lack creativity?

We need to change.

After reading DRIVE by Daniel Pink, I am more convinced than ever, that we need to break down the time restraints we have in our public schools. Students (all ages) need time to wonder, explore, play, create, and share.

Creativity is like a muscle--it needs exercise to build and strengthen.  If you have not read DRIVE, read it this summer.

Take a look at this video about Creativity.

Get inspired by Kelvin who learns by making!

What other books do you recommend?  
Are you exploring Maker Spaces or Genius Hour?
Any twitter chats you are participating in on these topics?

Share in the comment section any resources or thoughts you have regarding fostering creative classrooms.

Monday, July 22, 2013



I am a recent twitter convert.  I signed up for an account probably a year or more ago and really did not use it.  A couple of weeks ago, I attended my first ever edcamp #edcamprsd6 and requested a session on the effective use of twitter for educators.  I am a believer in its power for growing your PLN.

Today, I received a tweet that had a link to this video.  Well worth watching and learning from this Ignite speech by Jeremy McDonald.

What  is your"do the unexpected" story? 
Share it in the comment section.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Free Apps Today

This is the list I sent to our preschool -2 grade teachers today.

Alternative to imovie

Phonics Studio -- Speech therapists rated this one high

Jessica and Dr. Math-  limited reviews so you can judge it for yourself.

Bugsy's Math Quest

Octopus Planet, 1,2,3 :  looks interesting

Instant Photo Collage Maker

Publish Me:  Worth trying out


Puzzle ABC- very good reviews

Color Carnival

Montessori Blocks

Shiny Party- Excellent reviews

Gem from ISTE

I attended my first ISTE conference a few weeks ago.  It is a bit overwhelming the first time. So many attendees, and I was traveling alone so I had to navigate on my own.  The gem I discovered was TCEA.  The Texas Computer Educators Association.  Incredible resource.

The following ebook is written by one of their members.  He is addressing what I spoke about in a previous post--about choosing apps that can be mashed into other apps.

Message from Miguel Guhlin

" For fun, I decided to create a short free ebook (e.g. ePub, iBook) that summarizes some of the main points of app smashing workshop and blends in an example of digital poetry as I once taught it.
Get a copy of The Definitive App Smasher's Guide...
  • ePub version (best viewed on an iPad in iBooks since it includes audio/video)
  • PDF version (ok, this one has the pictures but not the audio/video, so...)
Have fun and drop a note in the comments!!"

NOTE:  If you do download Miguel's book, do drop him a note.  We are so blessed to be in a profession in which people share their knowledge so generously.