With so many Learning Management Systems (LMS) out there, it’s hard to pick which one suits your needs. Now, more so than ever, it’s important to ensure your school has a solid online learning platform such as Schoology. Hard to pronounce, Easy to Use Even if you struggle with how to pronounce it, Schoology is one of the premier virtual platforms! By the way, according to their website, it is pronounced /skoo.luh.jee/. When Schoology was first developed over 10 years ago, it had a similar interface to Facebook and other social media platforms. This was ingenious because it was appealing to students who were familiar with social media and the parallels made the site easy to navigate since most students were about that Facebook life. Why Schoology?  What makes Schoology unique is in October 2019, the almighty student information system (SIS) PowerSchool bought Schoology. Powerschool is a powerhouse (pun
Asking students to sit still for too long can leave you feeling like you want to pull your hair out! Even as adults, we can struggle to focus on one thing for too long. That’s why it is important to add some variation into your lessons and implement some strategies to help your students get rid of some of their extra energy to be able to focus. One way to do this is utilizing story time videos and brain breaks. Research shows that scheduling breaks into your lessons helps students learn better. Taking a break helps students to refocus and stay engaged. Breaks increase productivity and add a little fun into your day! Whenever you see students starting to get antsy, use one of these breaks to help keep your class on track. It is so important to offer opportunities for physical activity and movement within your lessons, doing so
Summer is always a chance for educators to relax and re-charge after a long school year. It also is a time to attend professional development conferences and trainings. However most of these have been canceled due to coronavirus (just like everything else in our lives.) So, how do we grow our skills during this summer? Virtual professional development. Just because we can’t have these trainings in-person doesn’t mean you have to miss out. There are so many opportunities you can take advantage of not only this summer but all year long. I know many librarians are worried about losing their positions due to budget cuts and the false perception that we are not needed during distance learning. Attending workshops and learning how to use different educational apps is one way to show your administration how valuable you are. And when we go back to school you may be asked
During a normal year, packing up and getting the library ready for summer can be stressful and chaotic. And we all know, this 2020 is not a normal year. Instead of having a couple weeks to clean, round up overdue books, pack away materials and makerspace items and complete the thousands of other items on my checklist, I am limited to less than a day. I am not allowed to have anyone come in and help me. No assistant or bored students who are looking for something to do instead of watching yet another movie in their classroom. It is definitely overwhelming. And not knowing what the next school year will bring makes it worse. Everyone’s situation is different, so while I can’t give you specific advice about what you need to do, I hope I have some helpful tips you can use for ending the school year during
As the coronavirus continues to spread it seems like more and more schools are closing for an extended period of time. This is leading to schools frantically trying to come up with a plan to keep students learning and engaged during this time. When you go online to search for information or to find resources to use with your students it can be very overwhelming. There is so much information out there that it can be hard to know where to start looking. You go onto Facebook and there are hundreds of posts on the topic. And we all know that once you start down that rabbit hole you can be lost for hours. In this blog post I am sharing some different lesson ideas that you can possibly implement if you find yourself in this situation. On this page you can find links to various websites that you
One of my biggest struggles as a librarian has always been trying to create lesson plans that are engaging to my upper elementary students (keeping my 5th graders on task is no easy feat)! This becomes more of a problem after Christmas break. I have created a list of different ideas and activities that you can try to encourage learning and keep your students excited about reading and coming to the library. Some of the ideas are my own and others I gathered from my Staying Cool in the Library private Facebook group.  A book talk is a commercial for a book. It is one of the best tools I know of to engage your students in reading and to encourage them to check out books they would not normally choose on their own. A book talk does not have to be an elaborate presentation. Ideally, you should prepare