We Need Your Votes for the 2017 Barrow Peace Prize!

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It is time once again for the annual voting on the Barrow Peace Prize.  This award was established 3 years ago by our 2nd grade.  Each year students select up to 6 nominees from history.

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We hold a Google Hangout with the entire 2nd grade to decide what criteria someone must exemplify in order to win the prize.  This year, we read the book Peace is an Offering by Annettee LeBox before brainstorming our list on a Google doc.

Each student in 2nd grade selects one of the nominees to research.

Students research these people using PebbleGo, Britannica School, Destiny Quest web resources, and books.

Barrow Peace Prize research continues in 2nd grade using Destiny Quest websites. #research #informationliteracy #2ndgrade #peaceprize

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Using Google Classroom and a Google doc graphic organizer, students gather facts about their person and use those facts to write a persuasive essay during writer’s workshop.

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In art, students create a watercolor image to represent their person.

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Back in the library, students use Flipgrid to record persuasive essays and showcase their art.

Now those videos are ready for you to view.  We need you to view, vote, and share!

Instructions:

  • Visit this Smore
  • View videos for each of the nominees.  This can be done as a class, individually, and can be shared with anyone you know.
  • Feel free to click the heart on any video to “like” it because the kids love that!
  • To vote on the Peace Prize, use the Google form here or on the Smore to select one of the 6 people who you were convinced deserves the prize

Voting will end on February 24th where we will announce the 2017 Barrow Peace Prize in a Skype with Flipgrid.  Two 2nd grade students designed a 3D peace prize that was printed on our 3D printer and every student who researched the winner will receive one of the medals along with each 2nd grade classroom.

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Thank you for participating in our project, and we can’t wait to see who you pick!

Who will win the 2017 Barrow Peace Prize? Voting details coming soon. #studentvoice #librariesofinstagram

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2016 Picture Book Smackdown

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Picture Book Month came to a close and we once again hosted a Picture Book Smackdown with schools around the country.  All month long, students have been celebrating Picture Book Month by reading picture books from every genre section of our library. As they read a book from a section, they earned a stamp on a challenge sheet. Once students collected all 12 stamps, they turned their sheet in for a bookmark, certificate, and to be entered into a drawing to win a new picture book.

Another piece of Picture Book Month was preparing for the Picture Book Smackdown.  Since 2013, I’ve been hosting and organizing a Google Hangout to bring together students from multiple states along with authors & illustrators to celebrate the power of the picture book.  For one hour, students and authors take turns stepping up to the microphone, book talking a favorite picture book, and saying why picture books matter in the world.

We advertised our event using Smore.

This year, we were joined by author Dianne de Las Casas, the founder of Picture Book Month.  We had students from 4 states: Maine, Vermont, Texas, and Georgia.

 

We broadcasted through Youtube Live and had a full hour of sharing favorite picture books.  Dianne de Las Casas opened and closed our event.

 

I loved that at the end she reflected on what had been shared.  There was such a mix of classic picture books with current picture books.  There were books about Star Wars and books about difficult topics like hurricanes.  There were new twists on fairy tales like Little Red and books in made up languages like Du Iz Tak?

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As students shared, I had a wonderful parent volunteer who kept a list of the books that were shared during the hangout. We need to go back now and clean up the doc, but you can view its progress here.  I also had a volunteer who helped get students up to the microphone while I made sure our technology was all running smoothly.

We had multiple viewers from around the country during the event and it was fun to see tweets from different perspectives.

 

It was also fun to look at the Smore analytics to see where people were from who at least visited our page about the event.

I think one of the things I enjoy most is seeing students and authors share with the world with one voice.  They come together around a love of picture books and each take time to speak about why picture books matter to them.  Each student had a different take on the importance of picture books and they all brought something for us to consider.

You can view our entire Picture Book Smackdown here:

As you view, I hope you’ll consider tweeting about your own favorite picture books using the hashtag #pbsmkdwn

Another incredible thing that happened this year is that I heard from a group of librarians in Alabama led by Bonnie Howard who wanted to host their own picture book smackdown gaining inspiration from the smackdown we started in 2013.  I of course encouraged them to go for it.  Their smackdown gained a lot of community attention and because of that, we get a chance to see the smackdown in action as well as hear some students talk about what they loved about the event.  One of the things I love about the video is how a principal and librarians got excited about the future of connections beyond their state and even country.  When you start connecting with other schools, you see the miraculous things that happen as students and adults collaborate with one another. I can’t wait to see how the work of Bonnie Howard, Kris Gray, Lisa D, and Dixie Paschal continues to grow.

If you are interested in starting your own picture book smackdown, I encourage you to go for it too.  Whether it’s within your own school, with other schools in your district, or reaching beyond state boundaries, you and your students will be rewarded by sharing your work with one another.

2016 Poem In Your Pocket Day 2

Today we wrapped up our 2016 Poem In Your Pocket poetry cafe with 13 more classes reading poetry into our open microphone. It was another day of many special moments.

5th graders wrote many original and powerful poems.

 

Students read poems written by other students.

It's always special when students share poems by other students. #barrowpoems

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Memorized Sylvia Plath

Memorized Sylvia Plath poetry. Impressive! #barrowpoems

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Awesome costumes were worn.

So many awesome props and costumes in Ms Tesler's class. #barrowpoems #pocketpoem

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Teachers and families helped us document the day.

 

Take a moment to watch today’s archives.  You can still Tweet about our poems using the hashtag #barrowpoems

 

Here’s a collection of scenes from today:

Until next year…

Poem in Your Pocket 2016 Day 1

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Day 1 of Poem In Your Pocket Day is a wrap. Fourteen classes came to the library for 20-30 minute sessions of poetry reading. Each student had an opportunity to step up to our open microphone and read an original or favorite poem. It is truly amazing to see some students step out of their comfort zone to speak in front of their peers for a very short amount of time. Poetry is so accessible to so many people. It opens opportunities for students that sometimes other kinds of writing can’t. As always, there were magical moments during the day.

A student folded his poem into a piece of origami.

An origami poem in a pocket. #pocketpoem #barrowpoems

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A student who wouldn’t read his poem on camera shared it with me instead, and it was a poem about me.

Honored to be the subject of a poem in a pocket. #barrowpoems #poetry #pocketpoem #writing #librariesofinstagram #studentwork

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Ms. Kelly’s class created asemic writing and truly showed us what it means to perform and interpret poetry.

Amazing asemic poetry from Ms Kelly's class. #barrowpoems #studentwork #writing #art #studentvoice #stretchourthinking

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Take a look at some of the magical moments from today.

Also, take a look at Instagram and Twitter and search the hashtag #barrowpoems to see even more. We had several special posts and messages from people all over.

Finally, take some time to listen back to some of these amazing poets.

The 2016 Barrow Peace Prize is Ready for Your Votes!

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Our Barrow 2nd graders have been hard at work researching 6 people from history to nominate for the Barrow Peace Prize. As part of this process, the students developed a list of criteria for what character traits should be represented by the winner of the peace prize. They wrote persuasive essays and created pieces of art work with Ms. Foretich, our art teacher.  You can read more about what the students have done in the post, Beginning the Barrow Peace Prize.

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This week, students have been coming in to the library in groups of 4 for 15 minutes to record their persuasive essays. When they come, I give them a quick overview of Flipgrid and remind them that there work will be seen by lots of people. Then, they split up around the library and we make sure that the space is relatively quiet for recording. I setup a question for each person from history so that all of the Ruby Bridges videos are together, all the Langston Hughes videos, etc. During the process, students take a picture of their artwork for the Flipgrid and then record themselves reading. Some chose to show their artwork while recording, and other chose to have their face on the video.

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One of the things I love the most about Flipgrid is that the videos are instantly uploaded in one central place. I don’t have to spend hours uploading and naming 100 videos after students have recorded.

Now that the videos are recorded, we need you and everyone you know to watch the videos and help us decide which person from history should be the 2016 Barrow Peace Prize winner.  I’ve created a Smore page to pull everything together.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Visit https://www.smore.com/dfmsd-2016-barrow-peace-prize 
  • Click on the link to each grid an watch as many videos as you can.
  • Click the heart icon on any video that you “like”.
  • At the bottom of the Smore, you will find a link to the Google form to vote on the person you think should win.  Or…you can click here.
  • Finally, please share our project with your students and networks so that we can have a record-breaking number of votes this year!

On February 18th, we have big plans for how we will announce the winner.  We can’t reveal exactly what is going to happen just yet, but we promise it’s big!  Happy voting!

 

A Flipgrid Celebration with 2nd Grade and the Flipgrid Team

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Our 2nd graders just wrapped up a huge research project.  During the project, they chose a leader from black history, researched that person, wrote a short persuasive piece about their person, designed a US postage stamp, and recorded a video using Flipgrid.  Their videos were pulled together on a Smore which included a Google Form for people to vote on their favorite leader from black history to be featured on a postage stamp.   Read more about our project:

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Along the way, the students had several connections to an authentic audience.  They started the voting portion of the project by sharing at our schoolwide assembly.  Students stood in front of the entire school and told about the project as well as shared a video from each question of the grid.  The Smore was emailed to every teacher and student in the school.

I also shared the Smore on Twitter and our library Facebook page.

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Shawna Ford, librarian in Weatherford Texas, saw my tweet and had her 2nd grade students view the project.

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As the project continued, my posts and tweets were shared and retweeted until our Smore had 480 views and counting.

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Our project was viewed in 161 locations and counting.

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Throughout the project, Charles Miller and Bradford Hosack, our friends at Flipgrid, were following along and sharing our work as well.  It has been an incredible experience for students to use a tool, encounter success and frustrations, and be able to offer feedback to developers that respond to that feedback.  The Flipgrid team has been so responsive to all of the feedback we have provided to them, and they consistently work on Flipgrid to make it better.

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Today, our 2nd graders came together in the library to connect with the Flipgrid team via Skype.  The team shared information about how Flipgrid was developed and talked to the kids about coding.  All of the 2nd graders had background in this concept because they all participated in the Hour of Code back in December.  I loved how the Flipgrid team reiterated what I had told the students many times.  You have to work through the frustration.  You have to be willing to fail and learn from your failures to make things better.  The team said more than one time that they wanted to create a tool that works for users, so they are constantly listening to users of Flipgrid to improve their product.  I hope that the students carry these ideas into all area of their lives to be willing to take risks and work hard at what they are passionate about.

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Charles and the Flipgrid team then gave us some stats about our videos.

  • 1875 people watched the student videos
  • 699 people clicked on the heart to like videos that the students made
  • students created 1 hr 15 minutes of video all together

During this presentation of facts, Charles reminded students that when they make a project like this and share it with the world it really is giving them a global voice.  I loved that he said this because it is something we strive for in our library:  giving students a global voice.

One of my favorite parts of our Skype was the awards.  We wanted to honor several students during this segment.  Because each video was “liked” by viewers of the video, I could easily see which videos had the most likes.  This became an award category.  We also had specific students who received shout-outs on Twitter because people watched the videos and cared enough to specifically name a student video that they loved.  Finally, we had some students who worked really hard to express themselves in their writing and persuade people to vote.  I created a certificate to use.

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After selecting all of the students, I sent a list of the awards to the Flipgrid team and they announced the winners via Skype.  It felt like the Academy Awards as the Flipgrid team cheered for students as I handed out the certificates, and it was amazing to hear the shouts and claps of all of the 2nd graders cheering on their peers.

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Mixed in with our connection the kids had a chance to ask the Flipgrid team questions.  I loved the moments where one student said “sometimes it doesn’t work” and another student said “I think you need to be able to turn up the volume for people who talk soft”.  These weren’t questions, but the Flipgrid team let the students know that because of their videos they were already thinking about volume and that they were working to make sure Flipgrid always worked for users.

During and after our Skype, the Flipgrid team and I shared several pictures from both sides of the Skype: Georgia & Minnesota.

We closed our time together by revealing the results of the overall voting for the favorite leader from black history to be on a postage stamp.  The votes were extremely close, but Rosa Parks came in just 1 vote ahead of Jesse Owens.  By this point, the kids were so excited about all that had happened with their project that the vote didn’t even seem to matter anymore.

Thank you to Charles Miller, Bradford Hosack, and the entire Flipgrid team for helping us celebrate this project today before we move on to our next adventures in the library.  Thank you!

 

It’s Time to Vote for Your Favorite Historical Figure from Black History with Our 2nd Graders!

flipgrid 2nd (7)Second grade has been hard at work.  For the past few weeks, they have explored the art of persuasion, researched 5 historical figures from black history, designed potential US Postage Stamps featuring these historical figures, and writing persuasive scripts to convince an authentic audience that their historical figure is the most deserving of a US Postage Stamp.  You can read more about the beginnings of this project here.  

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Over the past 3 days, students have been coming to the library with their persuasive scripts and stamp designs to record a persuasive commercial using Flipgrid.  This tool, which is web-based or available as an iPad app, allows you to create up to 90 seconds of video in response to a question.  I setup a question for each historical figure that was researched.  To record in Flipgrid, you just need the special code that takes you straight to the question where you will record your message.  I made a sheet of codes and placed them by iPads in the library.  Students entered the library, chose a recording spot, and entered their code.

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Next, they had a few steps to complete in order to create their video.  They had to:

  • Click the +
  • Click “I agree”
  • Take a picture.  Some took a picture of themselves and others took a picture of their stamp
  • Record their video
  • Review the video
  • Submit the video to the grid.  Students had to put their first name, last initial, and an email address.  For speed, I put my own email address in the box, copied it, and then pasted it in each time a student recorded.
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Visit our Smore to watch videos and vote! https://www.smore.com/17bq3

Now, students are collectively trying to persuade you to vote for their historical figure.  We have created a Smore to pull all of the information together.  On this Smore, you can visit each set of videos for a historical figure.  Please take some time to listen to the students’ hard work.  If you love one of their videos, click on the heart on Flipgrid which is similar to “liking” something on Facebook.  This will show the students some appreciation for their efforts.  After watching some videos for each person, we invite you think about which historical figure you were the most persuaded to vote for.  Then, use the Google Form at the bottom of the Smore, cast your vote.

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We’ll be asking all students in our school to vote.  In addition, we’ll be posting our Smore to our Barrow Media Center Facebook page and Mr. Plemmons’s Twitter account.  We want as many votes as possible to show students how far reaching their audience is when they put their work out to the world.

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The students have worked so hard on this project.  I can’t wait to tally the results and analyze the data with them.

Visit Our Smore to participate and feel free to share!

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