Voice of the Library with Shannon
Summer break will be here for me in just five days. Even though there are a couple of months that we are not in school with our students, there are so many ways now that we can stay connected with them during the summertime. We can use Twitter, Facebook, email, blogs, our library or classroom websites, and one that I am especially excited about , Edmodo.
My friend and teaching partner John Schu and I have big plans for our students at Van Meter Community School, in Van Meter, Iowa, and Brook Forest Elementary , in Oak Brook, Illinois, this summer. On our blog, Two Libraries One Voice , we posted Where Will Van Meter and Brook Forest Read and Write This Summer to explain how John and I are coming together to celebrate where we read and write. Through our Silly Summerstakes, the students will be sharing photographs of crazy and silly places they are reading and writing and communicating in our summer reading Edmodo groups. We will definitely make this a summer to remember.
In collaboration with our students, we created an Animoto promotional video, which explains the summer reading program . This video was emailed to teachers and shared on our websites, blogs, and wikis. I posted it on the Van Meter Voice Facebook page and we used Twitter to make it available to others around the world. John and I wanted not only to spread the word within our school communities, but also to share globally.
And of course…we shared it with our students . Throughout the project, we will be using Edmodo to connect the participants and update resources.
John and I bring our students together virtually several times each week, so showing the Edmodo video and wiki was a perfect way for us to promote the summer reading program and connect one more time. Through Skype we shared information , answered questions, and caused a little excitement for our kids.
We created two Edmodo groups for 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade. A letter and permission slip was sent home with the students. During our scheduled library and technology time, the students signed up for the two groups, Summer Club and Discussion Board. We also discussed the guidelines and expectations of our Edmodo groups. The students brainstormed amazing ideas for the groups.
I just know that these school Edmodo groups are going to be fun and powerful places for the students to connect and collaborate. I cannot wait to read, write, share, and comment to John ‘s and my students throughout the summer.
As this project began to take shape, I started thinking about how my own child could use Edmodo during the summer.
Over the weekend my six-year -old son Hagan (@haganemiller) started a new blog called Hagan’s Summer of Awesome where he will be blogging about “playing, reading, drawing, writing, and traveling” this summer.
After we posted on Hagan’s Summer of Awesome a few days ago, five of my friends on Twitter and Facebook told me that their children would also like to connect with Hagan. I decided to start an Edmodo group for them called “Our Summer of Awesome.” Hagan and his friends will have a place to talk about what they are reading, share what they are creating, and have fun telling stories about places they are visiting.
And the fun thing….more little people can join! Please let me know if you have someone who is interested in joining Hagan’s Summer of Awesome Edmodo group (Send me an Edmodo connect request, tweet me at @shannonmmiller or email at firstname.lastname@example.org).
On June 6th at 7:00pm CST, you can hear more about John’s and my plans on the TL Virtual Cafe. Our webinar, entitled DIY Summer Reading List , will feature ideas, planning tips, and other exciting stories of how we created the program and inspired our students to read and write throughout the summer.
We hope you will be able to join us live; the session will also be archived for later viewing.
You can read more about our project on the Where Van Meter and Brook Forest Read and Wrote This Summer wiki. Please feel free to share the Weblist we created , entitled Summer Resources for Brook Forest and Van Meter School ,with your students, parents, and others.
Happy Reading and Writing To You and Your Students This Summer!
Shannon McClintock Miller is the district teacher librarian and technology specialist at Van Meter School in Iowa. You can find her on Twitter at @shannonmmiller and blogging at Van Meter Library Voice http://vanmeterlibraryvoice.blogspot.com/