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

A post shared by Barrow Media Center (@barrowmediacenter) on

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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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!

 

2nd Grade’s Black History Flipgrid Project is Ready for Your Votes!

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Our Barrow 2nd graders have been hard at work creating this year’s Black History research project.  We built upon our momentum from last year, but added many new layers.

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During the project students

Over the past 2 weeks, students have been coming to the library in groups of 4 during blocks of 10-minute segments.  During each session, I put a sign on the library door to encourage people to enter quietly.

The teachers scheduled their students on a shared Google doc, so I knew who was coming at each 10-minute interval.  This was really helpful for me to know if students really had some extra time or if they needed to finish and hurry back to class.  recording sessions

I put out a helpful list of instructions by 4 iPad stations in the library with all of the codes that students would need to get to their questions.

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Students were focused and productive as they got their work ready for the world.

Now, the students are finished with their recording and they need your help.

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They would like for you to visit their Google site and view videos about each of the 6 people.  Then, help us decide who should win the first Barrow Peace Prize.  Students decided that the person who wins should be someone who represents the following character traits:

  • Dependability
  • Kindness
  • Peaceful
  • Determined
  • Modest
  • Fairness
  • Bravery
  • Loyal
  • Honest
  • Perseverance
  • Respectful
  • Helpful

In a couple of weeks, voting will close and we will announce the winner of this year’s Barrow Peace Prize.  Thank you for taking time to view the students’ work.  If you have any comments about specific videos feel free to leave a comment or a Tweet for me to share with the students.  Also, you are welcome to share this project with other educators you know and encourage them to view and vote, too!

Visit our Google site to view our videos and vote on the Barrow Peace Prize.

Visit our Google site to view our videos and vote on the Barrow Peace Prize.

Click here to visit our Google Site and Vote! 

Collaborating Globally with Perspectives on Explorers: The Results are In!

Barrow Explorers

Two big library goals for this year are to give students time to dream, tinker, create, and share as well as collaborate globally.  Our fourth grade is wrapping up their explorers perspective project.  They considered six explorers and whether these explorers were in fact heroes or villains.  This project has spanned a few weeks and has involved research on six explorers in the social studies standards, persuasive writing, thinking from alternative perspectives, and creating persuasive Flipgrid videos.

You can read about how the project started here.

You can read about our videos and voting procedure here.

Students recorded their persuasive videos using Flipgrid.  We put all of those videos onto a Google site along with forms for voting whether or not each explorer was a villain or a hero.  Over the past few weeks, I have invited people around the world to interact with the project and vote.  I’ve shared through this blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus communities.  It has been amazing to see how many classrooms have viewed the projects and sent us positive tweets and messages about our students’ work.

After sharing their work with the world, the results are in.

Is Christopher Columbus a hero or a villain?

Christopher Columbus   Google Forms


Is John Cabot a hero or a villain?

John Cabot   Google Forms

Is Vasco Nunez de Balboa a hero or a villain?

Vasco Nunez de Balboa   Google Forms

Is Juan Ponce de Leon a hero or a villain?

Juan Ponce de Leon   Google Forms

 

Is Henry Hudson a hero or a villain?

Henry Hudson   Google Forms

 

Is Jacques Cartier a hero or a villain?

Jacques Cartier   Google Forms

It looks like most of us look to the explorers as heroes with a big exception for Christopher Columbus.

In addition, our Flipgrid had some very interesting data.  As of this posting:

  • The Christopher Columbus question was viewed 530 times and had 186 likes
  • The Jacques Cartier question was viewed 148 times and had 65 likes
  • The Henry Hudson question was viewed 99 times and had 52 likes
  • The Juan Ponce de Leon question was viewed 139 times and had 68 likes
  • The Vasco Nunez de Balboa question was viewed 94 times and had 47 likes
  • The John Cabot question was viewed 120 times and had 45 likes

This has been such a special project.  I hope that we can do more work like this where classes are viewing one another’s projects, offering feedback, and considering different views.  We will end this project with a connection with the Flipgrid team very soon.

If you want to view the student projects, you can still visit their site.

 

Edublog Awards 2014: A Great Source for New Professional Learning

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Since 2004, the Edublog Awards have been a source of community support and recognition within the education world.  It’s a time when educators nominate other educators and tools for their outstanding work and contributions throughout the year.  Being nominated by your peers means the world to each nominee because it validates the contributions and sacrifices of each person as well as all of the times that nominees have second guessed themselves.

The Edublog Awards, or Eddies, are also a wealth of resources to push your thinking as an educator.  Each year, I see familiar faces and tools in the nominees, but I also find someone or a resource that is new to me.  I invite you to take time to visit the nominees.  Learn from these amazing educators and tools.  If you have a moment, show some love and appreciation by voting.  Voting is simple.  Once you login with your facebook, Twitter, Google, or listly account, you can vote for as many nominees as you want by clicking on the thumbs up.

If you enjoy reading this blog, it is nominated in 2 categories.

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Vote for best library/librarian blog

edublog_awards_use_of_media-tztb4e

Vote for best educational use of media

 

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.
historical figure smore

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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Black History Month Research and Persuasive Commercials in 2nd Grade

IMG_1815Second grade has been working on a big research project.  Each student selected one of five African Americans to research.  Rather than write a traditional informational paper on their person, the 2nd grade teachers and I decided to weave persuasive writing into the project.  Students would think about which historical figure should be on a next US postage stamp and would create a persuasive commercial to convince an authentic audience to vote for their historical figure.

We actually began our project with persuasion.  Students spent time talking with one another about what it means to persuade.  They mentioned things like:

  • convince someone to do something
  • get someone to get something for you
  • make someone change their mind

Anytime I teach persuasive writing, I want kids to leave with an understanding that persuasive writing isn’t just about getting someone to get something for you.  It’s one of the most powerful kinds of writing that can bring about change.  However, many kids connect with the idea of commercials and convincing their families to buy something for them, so we often start there and expand.

We watched a commercial of one of this year’s hot holiday toys, the Flutterbye Fairy.

IMG_1814We used this commercial to think about a structure for persuasion.  Students first noticed what we called a hook at the beginning.  “Can you keep a secret?” was a phrase that hooked our attention to want to watch the rest of the commercial.  We noticed that the rest of the commercial showed us just how easy it is to use the fairy, so this was like giving the facts about what you are writing about.  Finally, we noticed the closing line “the magic is in your hands”.  This was a phrase that would stick with us long after we watched the commercial.  In fact, I told the students that my own daughter uttered this phrase the first time she flew her own Flutterbye fairy, so I knew it was a phrase that stuck in your head.

To continue our exploration of persuasion, we read Melanie Watt’s Have I Got a Book For You.  This book uses just about every persuasive technique that you can think of.  We noticed these techniques along the way and folded them in to our noticings from the fairy commercial.

After this initial exploration of persuasion, students worked some in their classrooms.  They selected the African American they would research and got a graphic organizer to located some basic facts about their person.  We referenced the fairy video and how important facts are when you are persuading.

IMG_1813Students spent time in class and in the library using several tools to research.  I did a quick mini-lesson on using PebbleGo, Galileo’s SIRS Discoverer, and Galileo’s Britannica.  All of these tools had text to speech features to support learners of all reading levels.  During this mini-lesson, I also stressed how research is never really “done”.   You just reach a point where you feel like you have enough to tell your story.  Adults circulated and conferenced with students on their progress as they researched.  I loved that not many said “I’m done”, but when they did, we gently reminded them that research is never really done.

IMG_1812Now students are pulling their facts together, creating hooks, and coming up with a great closing like “the magic is in your hands”.  Once they have these scripts written, we will move forward with the next part of this project which will involve recording commercials in Flipgrid and creating a Google form for voting on which commercials are the most persuasive.  I’m compiling all of this onto a Smore which will populate with information in the coming days.

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