Sunday, May 31, 2015

Last post from Keren

Dear Rebecca and Missy
Thank you very much for the fun PDU
I enjoyed all the fun assessments,
specially the 10 items in a bag, 5 photo story and creativity with Hieroglyphics
I wanted to share with you that at the last week of school I used the fun idea of the 5 photo story with my 3rd grade class that implement that idea about their favorite story from their Hebrew study book called"Chaverim B'Ivrit . I would   
definitely  will use those fun creative assessment in the future
Todda Rabba,
Have a relaxing and joyful summer

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Dear Missy and Rebecca,

Throughout all my years as a teacher, I always tried to come up with exciting new activities and lesson plans to share with my classes. Kids love doing new things and so do I. The assignments we've done this year have challenged me and helped me to think out if the box more easily. Thank you so much for the wonderful experience! I've learned many things that I will definitely implement in my classes in the future.

Have a great summer,


Monday, May 18, 2015


This has been one of the most useful and fun PD experiences I've had. I feel like I often "didn't get it," when it came to our assignments, but the exercises gave me permission to take the time to try different approaches and, frankly, be willing to fail -- then try something else. The freedom to spend the time to look for inspiration was liberating. Before this PD, I was usually looking for solutions that would work and would be the most economical in time and money. Now, I feel freer to explore new techniques and apps. I still have to remind myself to look for inspirations; Pinterest has become my first go-to source. (Shout out to Becca G. for the cute pins she has sent me; I know I'll make use of them somehow.) I'm glad I work in an environment that is willing to let me take the time to explore creativity. Maybe it helps that Stacy is doing the same PD.

Take Away by Stacy

I have quite a few take away's from this PD strand but two specifically stand out. The first is the bonding time. I have to say I enjoyed getting together to share our "creations" and I also enjoyed the brainstorming that took place with my teammate, Lisa, as we chatted about our posts. I guess this falls into the professional category but the professional was made personal through the bonding. The other take away is that it reinforced the thought that everyone has creativity within them. This really is true and I loved being reminded of this. Specifically, I've incorporated SCAMPER into my class lessons and I have also used some of the creative activities we did during our first meeting when planning some baby showers this year. Thanks for stretching our minds and sharing your knowledge with us all!

Friday, May 15, 2015

YESSS!!! (with obligatory fist pump)

Thank you all for trusting us with this month's most unusual request. There are many ways to force your brain to think differently. All the exercises we have completed are for that purpose. But...interpreting hieroglyphs and applying them is another realm altogether. Fortunately, no one balked, and each of you used the opportunity to see where it would lead. The responses are fabulous as we knew they would be and give you a taste of the possibilities. Thank you for sharing the struggles AND the successes. This is how our students feel every day.  We are looking forward to reading your final submissions.

Creativity with Hieroglyphics

My problem was with creating labels to seal the boxes containing our library volunteer appreciation gifts. I wanted something cute, but practical. Something that wouldn't require a lot of work with a glue stick to affix the label to the box.

That required me to use adhesive labels that I already had. I tried to work with my standard Avery labels, but felt constrained by the sizes. I actually fiddled around with this for a couple of days.

Then, I watched Missy's video -- again. Honestly, I just didn't get it the first time I watched. Missy actually had to explain it to me again in a phone conversation.

I followed the technique of reading the characters to myself. My mind did wander; I actually started thinking about the Ancient Egyptians. I thought about how complicated their hieroglyphic characters were, how they were willing to spend that time and use large spaces to communicate.

Then I thought big -- big label, that is.

Why not use the labels for the bookplates in library book donations? They are considerably larger, with an adhesive back.

I found a cute cartoon in Creative Commons, added a few lines of text and voila! Problem solved.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Solving Problems with Creativity by Stacy

One area that we have been struggling with this year (which is not technology related) is to create eye-catching, kid friendly displays within the media center but that don't "junk it up", upset the aesthetics of the room when it is used for events that are not library-related, and yet are practical for the space. This has been a challenge. One reason we are interested in this is because at the beginning of the year, we had a skype session with a lady who does amazing, inspiring library displays that are just fabulous. Her  name is Toni Vahlsing.  Anyway, Lisa P. has worked hard this year to create some library displays that are eye-catching but not necessarily disruptive to the space. She has found much of her inspiration on Pinterest. Regardless, I have decided to make this my issue for this particular assignment to see where it takes me. Here's what I discovered:

I was drawn to a series of different words, such as spoon, flying, birds, owl, sifting, leg, ants, boat ride, flight, faucet, and praying based on my interpretation of the symbols. In choosing to interpret these words based on my library display conundrum, here is the "story" that I have come up with:

A strong library display is something that takes flight or literally reaches above the furniture to stand out and not overwhelm what is already in place. Bringing in props that tie into the books that we would like to highlight is a creative way to catch a potential readers attention and would encourage conversation about the books. An example of this would be to bring in a giant spoon from Hobby Lobby to highlight the book Spoon by Amy Krause Rosenthal. Showcase an ant farm to highlight the book Are You an Ant? by Judy Allen. A stuffed bear would be cute to show off Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman. Sifting through the shelves is  a good way to identify lesser known books that are hidden gems. I actually just replaced my kitchen faucet so I could bring in the old to go with Faucet Fish by Fay Robinson. Wouldn't that be an eye catching display? The symbol of a leg made me think of the sneaker exhibit that will be debuting at the High Museum next summer. Wouldn't it be cool to do our own sneaker exhibit here in the library to coincide with the High exhibit? Last but not least, I saw the word "praying" within the symbols. To me, I think of judaics and how hard we have worked this year to connect with the judaics department to ensure our resources are being taken advantage of because we do have such strong judaic resources! Creating a judaics-centered library exhibit with articles that represent praying would be so unique.

I am pleased with the way that this exercise has forced me to think creatively in ways I definitely would not have otherwise. It was not until I set down to type this that I realized the value. Thank you for stretching my mind!