Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Reconstruction Era - Videos & Lessons from Facing History

History teachers that have not checked out the site "Facing History and Ourselves" really should spend a few minutes exploring it.  There are great resources which range from full unit plans, to videos and primary source materials that may be pulled out and used to support existing lessons.

Their stated mission - "Our mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry."  Their work began with the holocaust, but has expanded to include a wide range of topics/events designed to make a "connection between history and the moral choices [students] confront in their own lives."

Below is information about their materials that are about the Reconstruction Era after the American Civil war.

From Big House Media:
"Facing History and Ourselves has produced a series of free videos and accompanyinglessons that introduce a rigorous study of the Reconstruction era into American history classrooms. The video series presents interviews with scholars who offer insight into this complex history and address questions of freedom, justice, equality, and citizenship that are at the heart of the Reconstruction era. 

Facing History has also developed a complete unit with 16 lessons and many primary source documents from the era. The unit, available in printebook, and downloadable PDF, guides students through a deep exploration of the Reconstruction era while enhancing their ethical decision making and capacity for emotional growth. The writing strategies that supplement the unit will help teachers to guide students through the process of organizing their ideas and crafting a thesis in response to the writing prompts; writing and editing drafts; sharing their essays; and reflecting on the writing process."

Monday, January 16, 2017

Michigan Reads! Guide for Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum now online

From the Library of Michigan Michigan Reads! program - a great resource for use with preK-2 students.  Check out the Michigan Reads! link at the bottom for connection to past One Book, One Community resources.

The Michigan Reads! Programming and Resource Guide 2017 for Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum is now online!  The guide contains information on early literacy, activities directly related to the 2017 book, templates, coloring, and more!  Written by Meagan K. Shedd, PhD, with contributions by Catherine Lancaster and additional activities by Kris Remenar and Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum author Lisa Wheeler.  
Access the Michigan Reads! Programming and Resource Guide 2017 Full Page Spreads here.  Or you may choose to open & print single pages of the Michigan Reads! Programming and Resource Guide 2017.

Inside the Programming & Resource Guide for Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum you will find: 
  • MI Reads! Introduction
  • Literacy Development
  • Resources…More Great Books to Share with Children
  • Digital Resources: Websites and Cell Phone and Tablet Applications
  • Notes for Educators When Thinking about Standards
  • Activities for Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum
  • Templates and Activity Sheets
  • References 

Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum Kits will begin being mailed out on Monday, January 16th for public libraries and Monday, January 23rd to public schools and select early childhood locations. Be sure to check with your administration to see if they received the kit for your location.  Public library kits will include the book, a poster, plus bookmarks; all other locations will be receiving a free book and poster.  Stay tuned for details the March 2017 Author Tour, possibly coming to an area near you.  For further information, please visit our website at www.michigan.gov/michiganreads

Friday, January 13, 2017

Google Classroom - Ability to Assign Items to Individual Students

Google just made a BIG jump in personalizing work for students in Classroom!  You can now assign a Question, Assignment or Announcement to as many or as few of your students as you want.  The first time you login and this feature is available to you, you will see the following message:

When you create a new item, you will now see a dropdown that says All students -

The first item is All Students.  This gives a quick way to either select OR deselect all your students -
So, you can either uncheck the students you do not want to get the item, OR you can deselect all students and then check the students you want to get the item -
Once you have the correct students with checks by their names, the dropdown will change to show how many students are going to get the item -

That's it!  It works for all the items you can add in Classroom, too.

Ironically, I just told a teacher yesterday that Classroom would not be the best tool to use in tracking student work for a subset of students.  Today I had to email her and retract that statement.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Creating Accessible Documents Help Sheet

We have been spending time combing our website to ensure that it is ADA compliant lately.  One of the biggest issues we have run into is that many of us creating documents for the website did not know that you have to make the document ADA compliant prior to downloading it (in whatever format) and posting it on the website.  Additionally, any pdfs created must not be images - i.e. scans of a document - since screen readers are unable to read those.

Here is a 1-page "cheatsheet" I made to help people create accessible documents.  My encouragement is that all documents should be accessible not just documents for the web, so create documents this way should just become habit.

(If you prefer to view in a separate window or tab, here is a direct link to the document.)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Website & Event - Money Smart Week

Money Smart Week started up in Chicago in 2002, and is now a nationwide event that provides free resources, speakers, and activities.  This year's event is from April 22-29. 

For youth, Michigan libraries can request free copies of the book "A Dollar for Penny" by January 27 to use for activities in their school.  Additional resources are found on the Money Smart Week website.  You can also contact local financial institutions as many are supporting the event in a variety of ways. 

From the Michigan Money Smart Week Chairperson:

Money Smart Week® (MSW) is just around the corner and we have a fabulous opportunity for you to obtain, read and give away free books to children attending a story time at your library! MSW is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. This is achieved through the collaboration and coordinated effort of hundreds of organizations across the country including financial institutions and other businesses, schools, libraries, not-for-profits, places of worship, government agencies and the media. National MSW Partners include the American Library Association and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, among others.

These groups work together once a year to stress the importance of financial education, inform consumers about where they can get help and provide free educational seminars and activities throughout the week. Programming is offered to all demographics, ages and income levels, and covers all facets of personal finance from savings basics and establishing a budget, to first-time home buying and retirement planning. The effort was created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2002. Money Smart Week partners will be hosting public events April 22-29, 2017.

Between April 22-29, 2017, libraries and communities across the country will be hosting financial education events for people of all ages, including youth! Michigan libraries have a unique opportunity to obtain free copies of the Step Into Reading book, A Dollar For Penny, to give away to children – if your library agrees to host a money-themed story time event during Money Smart Week, April 22-29, 2017. http://www.randomhousekids.com/books/detail/60655-a-dollar-for-penny?isbn=9780679889731

The Michigan Credit Union League & Affiliates has once again generously offered to purchase copies of this book for you to hand out at a story time. More than 200 Michigan libraries successfully participated in “Money Smart Kids Read” last year!

What does it mean to "participate" you ask? 
  1. Register as a Money Smart Week Partner today at http://www.MoneySmartWeek.org/.  (Note: if you registered as a MSW partner last year, your login username and password should still be valid. Please test this before you attempt to enter your story time details, just in case you need to reset your password or re-register.)
  2. Plan a story time event about money to be held between April 22-29, 2017. Recommended age for A Dollar For Penny is 4 - 6 years old.
  3. Request to participate in this initiative, and the number of books you think you’ll need, by completing this SurveyMonkey questionnaire before January 27.  
  4. Between January 15th and March 31st, login and register your story time event(s) details at http://www.MoneySmartWeek.org/.
  5. Proactively promote your Money Smart Kids Read program through all your channels of communication.
  6. Consider ways in which volunteers from your local community credit union can participate (help checking families in, passing out the books, helping with crafts, serving refreshments, etc. Whatever would be helpful to you!) If someone from your local credit union reaches out to you, please be sure to engage them.
  7. Take delivery of your books mid-March, and store them until the time of your event.
  8. At your event, announce that your story time is part of the national Money Smart Week initiative, read the A Dollar For Penny book (and other relevant, age-appropriate books from your collection), perhaps do a craft activity (decorate piggy banks, color pictures that feature money, sing money songs, do finger plays, etc.), and then hand out the free books to families who attend!
  9. After your event takes place, enter your attendance numbers into the Money Smart Week Partners website.
Yep. It can be that easy. (Although, if you want to plan more money-related events for youth or adults, we can help you with that too! Email the Chair and she can share a children’s librarian list of ideas with you.)
There must be a catch, right? Here it is: By January 27th, the Michigan Money Smart Week Chairwoman needs to know how many free copies of the book you can use! There is a limited quantity, so it's first come, first served. The books will be shipped to the Novi Public Library (thank you Julie Farkas!), sorted, packaged, and distributed through the state-wide RIDES/TLN delivery service. Your order should arrive at your library around March 23.

Please complete the Survey Monkey questionnaire to request participation in Michigan’s Money Smart Kids Read initiative, and obtain free books for families in your community.   https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MSW2017
Questions about this initiative or Money Smart Week in general?  Feel free to contact Michigan Money Smart Week Chairwoman, Kelly Masters, directly at 248.761.1762 or MoneySmartMichigan@gmail.com