Thursday, August 29, 2013

NEW SCHOOL YEAR: FREE Posters For Your Classroom!

Are you ready for the new school year? I return to work on Tuesday, but I know a lot of you have already begun the 2013-2014 school year. Those of you who are new teachers will benefit from that tab at the top, so take a look and let me know what you would like to see here. Here are a few more posts to make your year great:
10 Places to Find Back to School Templates

15 Sites for Classroom Management Templates and Forms

20 Places to Find Award and Certificate Templates

22 Resources to Teach About September 11

24 Places to Find Bulletin Board Display Ideas

40 Ways to Obtain Information on Grants and Grant Writing

136 Interactive Educational Games By Subject Area

Holiday Resources From September to June

Icebreakers for the Start of the School Year

This particular post will be added to the FREE page listed at the top of the blog. Links with a * indicate those I found from Joyce Valenza's super post here.

9 Steps to Create a Classroom Poster Using Google Docs

40 Retro Library Posters- my post from last year

*288 FREE Classroom Posters- from the Busy Teachers; contains infographics, posters for all grade levels

*Big 6 Posters- from Franklin/Chow

Brainy Betty's Free Posters- includes posters for orchestra, band, track

*Common Sense Media- digital literacy posters

Free Classroom Posters- from Teach With Me, covers math, science, alphabet, much more

Free Mini Posters- from Scholastic; 4 posters

Google Image Search- millions of results for large images; different worded search here

*Jan Brett's (author) Classroom Signs- animals on the posters; for younger grades; about 20 posters

Make Your Own Classroom Poster- use any photo-editing program
Motivator- create your own motivational poster

Peanut Free Classroom Posters- from Allergy Free Table

Poster My Wall- choose from their poster designs and modify them or start from one of their templates. Downloads are free, but the better quality downloads cost $$

Printable Classroom Signs- from Freeology; about 4 pages includes quotes from famous people

Poster Street- 12 posters for younger grade teachers

Science Method Printables

Southern Poverty Law Center- provided by a partnership of Teaching Tolerance, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and Facing History and Ourselves.

TeacherVision Posters- 233 pages of posters cover grades K-12 (they tell you the grade)

*Turn a Quote into a Masterpiece

Monday, August 26, 2013

Thank You to My Fellow Media Specialists

Now that the summer has come to an end, I wanted to take a moment to personally thank the media specialists who contributed guest posts the past two months. Hope you all have a wonderful, successful school year!

  • Mary Alice Anderson  (who was my teacher for two online courses I took)
  • Debbie Alvarez
  • Arlen Kimmelman (incoming President of the NJ Association of School Librarians)
  • Tammy Langenberg
  • Linda Lindsay
  • Natalie Lorenzi
  • Julie Spang
  • Valerie Stein

Last Guest Post of the Summer: You Already ARE Your School's Technology Coach

It’s not a new discussion (see “For Further reading” below). It’s certainly not a discussion with an easy resolution. Just think of all the titles you, your school, your district, and the public struggle to figure out what to call you: school librarian, school library media specialist, teacher-librarian, technology “tech” coach, instructional technology coach (or just instructional coach), peer coach, classroom tech coach, 21st Century technology literacy coach, technology integration coach, or facilitator or coordinator or resource or support or leader or...

Without a doubt our own identity crisis only adds to the confusion. Earlier this year I created an infographic illustrating the overlap of a school librarian’s role with that of a classroom teacher.

So I decided to try my hand at creating an infographic to attempt to decipher the roles of school librarian and technology coach.  

Before I did a search for icons to use from, I thought I might use photos. I did a search on focusing on Google Images and typed in “cool librarian.” Most of the resulting pictures included books. Then I used the same site to do a search for “tech coach” -Texas. (Try the search; you’ll see why I omitted ‘Texas.’) Most of these picture results included computers.

Herein lies the predicament #1. As my photo search reminded me with a metaphorical slap to the head, school librarians are historically, traditionally, perpetually perceived as the keeper-of-the-books. Nevertheless, school librarians are equally, if not differently, qualified to be technology coaches.

What I’ve learned from attending (many) workshops and reading (even more) testimonials is that what makes a great technology coach is relationships. Period. While it helps to be aware of...
… the differences between information literacy and technology literacy,
… and that technology troubleshooting is part of computer literacy,
and it is invaluable to remember that …
... no matter what, our focus should always be on student learning,
the bottom line is trust. People in the role of technology coach must be perceived as peers and partners not penalties and punishments. School librarians and technology coaches both exist to make the teachers look good and be more effective not to report back to administration that so-and-so is a resistant technophobe or an old dog who won’t learn new tricks.

Herein lies predicament #2: Consider a school librarian’s effect: If we’ve done our jobs well in collaborating with a classroom teacher and planning/supporting a lesson, the classroom teacher shines, and the school librarian is invisible. (Unless we’re co-teaching, naturally.) The very nature of our jobs jeopardized our own opportunities for widespread, school community acknowledgement of our technological talents. Even the job title some librarians prefer - ‘specialist’ - pigeonholes us. Technology coaches don’t use the term ‘specialist;’ they use coach or facilitator or coordinator or resource or support or leader or...

We already are our schools’ technology coaches. In addition to being the keeper-of-the-books and all that entails, is there anything in this list or on the infographic that you do not do? (If there is, you should be doing it!)

provide access to information
align standards
assess online resources
collaborate at all levels
create digital content
develop and implement digital literacy curricula
promote digital ethics
serve multiple grades
provide in-house resources
collaborate on lesson plans
model lifelong learning
apply multiple modes of contact
facilitate eLearning
create rubrics
provide in-context teacher technology training
train staff and students to incorporate technology
teach by standards
participate in strategic planning
implement pre-assessments
implement post-assessments
remediate students
provide teaching staff P.D. training
recommend technology infrastructure
provide support staff’s P.D. training
manage video-conferencing
provide Web access to resources
participate in troubleshooting

What you can do... If you know you do all of these things, or could do all of these things, but your school district is jumping on the trendy technology coach bandwagon...

Show the infographic to your administrators Get your board-approved job description to include the things you really do, not what they think you do Work with the willing: work with the teachers with whom you already have trusting relationships and ask them to help you entice the doubters by touting their own successes with your services Make sure you’re on your district’s technology committee and strategic planning committee Volunteer to present at department meetings and board meetings Stay up-to-date on school technology through journals, blogs, workshops, conferences, etc., and then share what you learn with your colleagues and administration.

At the very least, ask questions:
  1. If staff development has no time to implement technology coaching now, how will this differ or enhance the P.D. staff receives from the current model?
  2. If the library media center (i.e., school librarian) researches, acquires, maintains and trains on digital content, is a redundant but separate system being created or will the educational technology coach(es) and the school librarian(s) be working in tandem? What is the role of the school librarian as we see it vs. how administration sees it?
  3. Is the educational technology coach a district position or a school position?

Don’t be shy. Don’t be passive. We help ourselves to help others when we help others know about how we help. Or as Douglas Adams wrote in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, “Zaphod marched quickly down the passageway, nervous as hell, but trying to hide it by striding purposefully.” Stride purposefully; you already are your school’s technology coach because you are a school librarian.

For further reading:

Beglau, Monica, Jana C. Hare, Les Foltos, et al. International Society for Technology in
Education.Technology, Coaching, and Community. Eugene, OR: ISTE, 2011. Web.

Cofino, Kim. "Libraries & EdTech: Like Peanut Butter and Jelly!." Always Learning.,
Hamilton, Buffy. "Do I Really Have to Leave the Role of School Librarian To Do the Work of a
School Librarian?." The Unquiet Librarian. Wordpress, 12 April 2012. Web. 28 Jul. 2013.

"ISTE | NETS for Coaches NETS Project." ISTE | NETS for Coaches NETS Project. International
Society for Technology in Education, 2011. Web. 29 July 2013.

"New Jersey Study of School Libraries." NJASL. New Jersey Association of School Librarians, n.d.
Web. 2 Aug. 2013.

Pentlin, Floyd. "Who’re you gonna call? The “school librarian”." AASL Blog. American Association of
School Librarians, 17 January 2010. Web. 28 Jul. 2013.

Guest Blogger Info
Arlen Kimmelman, Ed.M., M.A., NBCT
President-Elect, New Jersey Association of School Librarians
School Librarian, Clearview Regional HS (NJ)


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