Tag Archives: Independent Reading Site

Lots of great offerings at @Teach21c workshops in NY/SF this June


The School at Columbia University in New York City is hosting another week of workshops at Teach21 from June 16-19. The following week, Teach21 heads west to co-host a week of workshops at Teach21West from June 23-26 at The Hamlin School in San Francisco, CA.

Here are the courses I’m offering at Teach21 in NYC:
Monday, June 16, 2014
3D Designing and Printing (Grades 2-8)
Let’s talk about the basics of a variety of design thinking protocols and explore how to create 3D designs using Tinkercad, Sketchup, and other tools. These 3D files can be exported to a Makerbot Replicator 2 printer while discussing possible integrated project ideas in Math, Science, Art, Social Studies across Upper Elementary and Middle School grades. You’ll leave the workshop with more confidence about the 3D design landscape and how to build a network of teachers interested in designing and making.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014
DIY Learning and Professional Development Opportunities
Discover and experience a variety of models to actively take control of your professional development. Twitter chats, unconferences, webinars, PLNs, digital spaces, and Google Hangouts are just a few of the ways to propel and sustain your (and your faculty’s) personal growth and develop a participatory culture of learners. We invite teachers, curriculum developers, and administrators to come and personalize their learning at this workshop.
This is a half-day workshop from 9:00 – 11:30. Please stay and join us for lunch.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Our Portfolios, Ourselves: Crafting a Digital Portfolio of Your Work as an Educator
Curation is a 21st Century skill, so let’s show how to gather archival evidence of your professional endeavors and classroom projects in a digital portfolio. You’ll learn tips to get started: What to gather? Where to put it? How much will this cost? How to organize it? What settings to use? How to link or embed artifacts? How to connect with others?
This is a half-day workshop offered from 9:00 – 11:30. Please stay and join us for lunch.

There are lots of other great workshops being led by my colleagues about world languages, empathy, numeracy, literacy, blogging, wellness, iPads, lesson planning, maker spaces, and more. There’s even a session on how a 5th grade teacher is using our in-house Independent Reading Site — Marisa Guastaferro Mendez and I won an award for the original IRS which we co-created using Google Sites in 2007 and used for many years. Then, Cristina Martinez retooled the site with Drupal in 2013 to be more visually arresting and appealing. It’s awesome to know that this tool is still being actively used to build community and offer a space for collaborating and social networking about literacy.

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Our new and improved Independent Reading Site is up and running at @The_School thanks to @finlaycm.

Cristina Martinez-Finlay is the Network Manager (and ever so much more) at The School at Columbia University. Last year, she decided to embark on a personal journey to revamp our beloved but kinda ugly Independent Reading Site which had been a labor-of-love Google Site that Marisa Guastaferro Mendez and I launched in 2007. We even won an award for it back in the day.

Marisa wanted an internal space for kids to keep track of their independent reading, post book reviews, and social network about literacy. We examined GoodReads, Shelfari, and other sites before deciding to just have an internal Google Site that anyone in our school community could access and edit. The site was alive and kicking and heavily used for 6 years. Then last year, Cristina showed me her pet project. She used Drupal to build the site (because, lordy, that woman knows Drupal), and she built up a site that is internal, robust, and legitimately way more attractive to use. The kids love it.

Today, Eve Becker (8th grade English) and I reminded the kids how to navigate the site, add books, join groups, post reviews, and comment on other people’s reviews. Cristina was there to answer questions too, and I’m glad the kids had a chance to appreciate her to her face.

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