A Primary Source Birthday Present to Celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Teacher Librarian Days (#TLD2014)

Geek 2 is an organization nut and sometimes a bookmark list is just too hard to handle and manipulate when looking for resources. So I have looked for alternate options for students and myself!

I have found @Symbaloo to be a great visual reminder and bookmarking tool  to share with fellow colleagues AND with students. The design features and layout are easy to make your own, and can give visual clues to students when accessing preselected sites for research and online discovery.

As part of the Teaching With Primary Sources Teacher Librarian Days 2014, @TwoGeekyTeachers would like to share a primary source Symbaloo created in the last year to assist students with accessing quality primary sources and exemplary research materials and websites with our fellow learners young and more wise. Enjoy!

Primary Source Symbaloo

And PS.... Happy 10th Birthday #TLD2014!


Google Search Strategies

I've been working with my 21st Century Learning students on search strategies.  We started with a hoax site and learned that we can't trust everything on the web.  We decided that we should have some background knowledge using a book or a subscription database because we know how those are created before we head out to the world wide web.  Once we have some background knowledge from a trusted resource, we choose a search engine and work to find the information we want for our research.  We use some of these search strategies:

GFC.Learnfree.org is a great resource that I just learned about.  They have cheat sheets and other kid friendly resources like this on their site: 
Screenshot of cheat sheet
I was thrilled to learn about searching for images and sorting them based on their copyright and permissions.  This screen shot shows you how to search for images that you have permission to use.  

You can also search and sort by reading level to differentiate for your students using these search tools:

Use some of these simple tools and strategies to help your students become savvy internet users!  


You Might Be a Geeky Teacher If You Like to Use Hoax Sites to Teach Website Evaluation.

website_evaluation.8-10.custom_structured_siteIn this day and age when anyone with access to the internet can create a website, it is critical that we as educators teach our students how to evaluate web content. There are some great resources available for educating students on this matter, such as RADCAB, CRAP (and CRAP Rubric) Kathy Schrock’s Five W’s of Website Evaluation, Joyce Valenza's CARRDS or the University of Southern Maine’s Checklist for Evaluating Websites.
Along with checklists and articles, you will also find wonderfully funny hoax websites, aimed at testing readers on their ability to evaluate websites. These hoax sites are a great way to bring humor and hands-on evaluation into your classroom, and test your students’ web resource evaluation IQ!
Check out these 11 example hoax sites for use in your own classrooms:

  1. All About Explorers
  1. Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division
  1. California’s Velcro Crop Under Challenge
  1. Feline Reactions to Bearded Men
  1. Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus
  1. Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie
  1. British Stick Insect Foundation
  1. The Jackalope Conspiracy
  1. Buy Dehydrated Water
  1. Republic of Molossia
  1. Dog Island

One of my favorites is always the Dihydrogen Monoxide website, which aims to ban dihydrogen monoxide and talks in detail about its dangers. Only after a few minutes did I catch that dihydrogen monoxide, is after all, H2O!

I am starting the Explorer Unit with my 4th and 5th Graders.  We are launching in edmodo and here is a tutorial for start the unit.  I actually have a substitute and love to use a screencast when I have a sub.  This time I used Screencastomatic.  I also like Screenr.  All About Explorers has lessons, lesson plans and websites with incorrect information.  The students completely fell for using the sites for researching their explorers.  They then have to learn to search the right way and evaluate websites and information sources that they can trust.  In the end, they email the webmaster and ask them to correct the incorrect information based on their research.  It is such an important conversation to have with students.  

Happy Hoax Hunting!


Olympics Teaching Resources!

The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games are here, and students likely are getting excited to watch Team USA compete. Here are some of our favorite resources that incorporate the Winter Olympics.

NBC Learn, in partnership with the National Science Foundation has produced these 10 extremely interesting videos that explain the science behind different winter sports. For instance, students might find Shaun White The Engineering of the Half Pipe particularly engaging, plus thereare videos covering the science of ice and snow, bobsledding, and much more.

This link will take you to a a huge PInterest Board with resources to study the Olympics with primary grades! 
 Let the Games Begin!!

Time For Kids has great resources, articles and even some printables about the Sochi Olympics!

This resource from Montana State University was produced in 1998 for the Nagano games -- but the science lessons are still relevant for teachers and students. In fact, this package was an inspiration for NBC Learn¹s Winter Olympics learning resources. Here teachers will find interactive courses covering the physics of ice skating and the luge, as well as activities for learning about sports nutrition and physiology. Printable worksheets are available, making this a great old school (in Internet time) learning resource.

The New York Times Learning Network produced these multimedia-rich lessons for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games -- but they¹re great for the 2014 Sochi Games. Here you¹ll find two tailored lessons covering a couple of the laws of physics, with links to relevant Times content and other resources.

This resource from Scholastic features six unique math games for students in grades 1-5. They¹re easy to use in class and don¹t require much in terms of materials. In addition, each game features a ³Tech Twist² for fun, engaging ways to incorporate technology.

 This blog, from the American Society of Innovation Design inEducation (ASIDE), offers ideas for a mapping activity for students. It's just one of ASIDE¹s creative ideas for teaching about the Olympics
Also check out Designing the 2014 Sochi Brand.

This is another resource from the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, and it¹s packed full of great science projects and activities for students. Most of the lessons are designed for the middle grades 4-8,
and they cover various winter sports, like How Fast Can You Shoot A Hockey Puck?

Other Useful Resources for the 2014 Sochi Games


Librarian's List of Resources!

One of my favorite colleagues, High School Teacher Librarian Tiffany Stephens, created a list of blogs and people to follow after polling the other Teacher Librarians in the Adams 12 School District.  These are amazing resources and I suggest reading them in Flipboard on your iPad!

Recommended Education Technology Sites and Blogs:

Information about mobile devices, web tools, subject specific sites and apps, and articles on assessment and rubri cs

You can follow via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or sign up for a monthly newsletter.

Tech integration ideas by subject.  Lots of technology instructional videos such as “5 Tips and Tricks for a Smartboard”

You can follow via Facebook, Twitter, RSS Feed or sign up for a monthly newsletter.

Integration ideas and resources including resources for Spanish speakers, ELL students, and special needs students.  There are also links to technology grant information.

A “Pinterest” style website specifically for educators

paper.li is a “curration platform” much like scoop.it  Nikki Robertson currates a site with general education and educational tech news.   Robertson is a cofounder of EdcampATL.  

You can follow via email and RSS Feed

Our very own Laura Israelson and her colleague, Michelle Pearson have created a handy blog with a bunch of information about tech integration ideas and stories about successful collaborations at Hulstrom.  

You can follow via RSS Feed

Great links to Project-based learning ideas and resources, applications, and more.  Named one of 11 “edtech bloggers to follow in 2014”

You can follow on Twitter, RSS Feed, and email.

Jen Alevy (former AD12 TL and current TL in Chennai, India) currates this scoop.it site with lots of great articles about information literacy and digital technology.  

You can follow via a scoop.it account

Great site that includes Teacher’s Guides, e.g. Teacher’s Guide to Twitter and Teachers’ Guide to Fliiped Classrooms.  Evaluations of educational hardware and software, as well as very current articles on technology and education.

Can follow on Twitter, Facebook, and RSS Feed.

A dynamic website for all things education brought to you by the George Lucas Foundation.  The site emphasizes Project Based Learning and offers ideas and tools to implement PBL in your schools.

You can follwo edutopia on facebook, Twitter, Pinterest.  You can also follow individual bloggers within the site via email.  

A good list of resources including resource lists for projects, web tools, infographics and ebooks from Julie Greller, a Media Specialist (does someone still use that term????) at Ridgefield Junior/Senior High School

You can follow via Google+, Twitter, or RSS Feed.

Lots of resources about apps, tools, and teacher guides.  

You can follow on Twitter, facebook, Pinterest, Google+, linkedIn, and RSS Feed.

Research, Information Literacy, and Digital Tools recommended by Celebrity Teacher Librarian Joyce Valenza.

.You can follow Joyce on Twitter.


You Might Be A Geeky Teacher if You Attended EdCamp Denver on a Saturday!

EdCamp UnConference!

Michelle, Janis, Kim, Laura and Christina at EdCamp!
You might be a Geeky Teacher if you attended an EdCamp in your area.  We went to our first EdCamp Un-Conference on Saturday!  It was an interesting way to bring together rock star educators who are using technology and 21st Century Learning in their teaching.  You all gather together in one location, put up a subject on the big board that you are willing to teach or want to know more about.  Then, you move from session to session and share what you know or ask questions of people who share their expertise.  It was an amazing experience.  We seldom get time to round table discuss with like minded people from other districts and schools.  We led a session on rolling out a BYOD or 1:1 program in your building.  I was very interested in people who were using maker spaces and Makey Makey.

Here is the google doc with all of our resources and discussions.  When people are in the sessions, they add to their document and the resources are then available to everyone.

 I was really interested in the Minecraft session.  They suggested that we go to Minecraft.edu and purchase a server space for $41.  I plan to have my 4th graders create a Colorado Historical location in their Minecraft sever space.  They did a demonstration with the large land on the bit screen in the front of the room and then everyone in the room can work on their house or small location in the land and see it adding in real time on the big screen.  I really think our kids will love this and will have to spend time with primary sources and research to make sure that they get their structures right!

We even got to try out Google Glasses!  Amazing!  The sides of the glasses are a touch pad and allow you to move from screen to screen and see a computer screen and information inside of the glasses!  I felt like Jordie on Star Trek!  Augmented Reality!

We enjoyed the SLAM Session with new ideas for web 2.0 tools and Apps.  There are some great applications for teaching with these tools!