Friday, May 29, 2015

Bringing Us Authors, Songwriters, Art, and Their Stories Through The buncee "Author's Corner"

Our friends at buncee announced something really special this week.....The new Author's Corner on edu.buncee.com!
The Author's Corner will feature a collection of buncees from authors, songwriters, and their works.

This will be a wonderful way to get our young people excited about reading and writing by engaging them in literacy and fun learning experiences.
Within each buncee, the authors will share the story of how they became a writer and what inspired them to do so.  They may also share one of their stories within a buncee.

This will be such a great way to really get our students excited about creating digital stories too.
The first two buncees featured are from Michael Paraskevas and Brady Rymer.  You can see their buncees by clicking on their names.
Just look at all that the buncee from Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could contains!  Kids will love this and become super excited as they work through the pages of the buncee individually or with their class.
I especially love the Classroom Questions towards the back of the buncee.  .
This will be an easy way to take the learning one step further and truly engage students in the learning throughout a buncee.  The sky is the limit with what can be included, played, shared, learned, and read. 

Thank you buncee for bringing us so much fun and fantastic stories with your new Author's Corner. We can't wait to see who you will bring to us next. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Elissa and I Have a New BAM Radio Podcast Series.....Beyond Books, Transforming Teaching & Learning!

My wonderful friend Elissa Malespina and I have some very exciting news!

Today our new podcast series from BAM!Radio became public.  It is called Beyond Books, Transforming Teaching & Learning.  We are looking forward to highlighting all of the amazing things happening within libraries, teaching, and learning.
To kick off our podcast show, we invited our friend Diana Rendina to share the Makerspace movement with all of us.

We have also invited Joyce Valenza to speak about the hot trends in teacher librarianship and our friends from Buncee to discuss the power of using digital tools and resources with our young people.
I just love how you can subscribe to Beyond Books within iTunes.   To subscribe, just click here to follow.

In the weeks and months to follow Elissa and I will be inviting several different educators and librarians to the show.  We hope you subscribe to the podcast series....we don't want you to miss any of our special guests and the topics we will be discussing.

What We Can Learn From A Special Gift My Grandma, Hazel Hagan, Left Me In A Geography Book From 1921

One of my favorite things is a watercolor painting of the United States that my Grandma, Hazel Hagan, drew and painted when she was 10 years old in 1921. 
When my Grandma was still alive, she had all of us pick out special things that we wanted to keep. As we were going through a box of things in her guest bedroom, we came across papers all rolled up with yarn tied around them.  I unrolled them to find these beautiful paintings she had created as a young girl.  There were several of the United States and the other countries around the world. 
It was fun finding these treasures.  To think that Grandma created these when she was only 10 years old was just amazing.
My family and I picked the ones that we wanted.  Brianna and I framed two of them, so we both could think about Grandma when we saw them hanging in our homes.  
Yesterday when we were going through some boxes of books in the garage, I found several old textbooks of Grandma's.

One was called New Geography and had Hazel written on the front cover in pencil and Hazel Hagan, age 10 on the first page.

As I sat out on the driveway looking through the book, I thought about how education and books have changed.  The pages were filled with lots of information with black and white maps sprinkled throughout the book.
Within the pages I saw something sticking out that was purple and green.  I opened it up further to find a crumbled up piece of tracing paper with the world drawn on it, an old postcard used as a watercolor blotter, and a little hand made book about South America.

I couldn't believe the treasures that I just found.  This was the book that Grandma had used to create all of the cherished paintings my family have hanging on our walls.  I could picture her as a little girl drawing the maps, dabbing her paint brush on the old postcard, and tracing everything so carefully.
And on this sunny day in the driveway, I could feel my Grandma smiling down on Hagan and I as we held the assignments she created within a textbook she obviously loved.

It made me think that she must have loved working on these little country books so much that she took the assignment one step further by creating the larger maps filled with color and detail.

As a teacher, one of my favorite things about working with young people is when they take learning opportunities in the direction that their passions and interests lead them.  I love it when we see this kind of learning take place within our schools and homes.

Just like my Grandma did in 1921.....and just like all of us need to embrace with our own children and students too.

Thank you Grandma for continuing to share your wisdom, love, and passions with us.  We miss you always.