Destiny Discover

Destiny Discover is new to my students and I wanted to teach them how to log in, search books, add holds, review checkouts, create a favorites list, collections, and more. What I have realized very quickly in this job is to scale back. I have been a high school teacher the majority of my career, add in some middle school, and this is my first elementary experience. I had no idea 15 minutes to get logged in to their Chromebook would be a reasonable amount of time. Needless to say many of the lessons I have created are waaaaayyyy too long. I don’t even seem to get through half of it and I end up scheduling the second half on another day. Also, to try and cram all that Destiny Discover has to offer in one day was too overwhelming…who knew???! ūüôā

Students do like all of the features that they have control over now (and I’m hoping my LMA and I will agree with that too). I’ve managed to cover some of Destiny Discover with 2nd grade and the majority with 4th. 3rd grade I decided with the teacher to do the lessons in small group and it definitely would have been easier to do the entire class at once. Definitely learned a lesson there. 5th grade has asked me to introduce Collections and we can go over Discover features at a later date.

To be continued…makerspace reflection next.


Library Orientation – Week 1 and 2

I started the year out having students in Grades 3 – 5 do a Breakout for their library orientation. As much as they love Breakout and so do I, I don’t think I would do orientation like this again. There’s so much I needed to teach them with the new Destiny Discover and there just doesn’t seem to be enough time to fit it all in.

I think to adjust I would do a Breakout for a topic related to the classroom and keep my orientation some type of scavenger hunt or instruction and then student choice activity.

With 2nd graders I created QR codes from pictures with information created using Toon Doo. I posted the QR codes around the library, paired students up, and they used iPads to read the QR codes. They also had clipboards to record their findings. The kids really liked the activity. After they finished they checkout out their first books.

All in all orientation was fun for everyone. Definitely a little noisy with both activities but to me a noisy library means an active one.



Library Media Specialist – First Year

I am a new Library Media Specialist and want to get better at reflecting on my practice. It’s been a month since I started and this is my first post. My goal is to do this more often so I don’t forget the necessary details.

I started the year out as a safari guide because we decorated the library with a jungle theme. I survived the first week and used the Do Ink App to add the lion with my green screen picture. We painted one wall in the library green last year when I was the Library Media Assistant (LMA).

The second week I talked to K and 1 students about taking care of books and had them guess what was in my book doctor kit. It was a super fun day and I will definitely continue with this idea! With 1 I also read and discussed the 5 finger rule when it comes to choosing books.

The third week with K and 1 I had completely different lessons. In K we chatted and read about library rules and with 1 I talked about choosing the right books again.

The fourth week was all about Tigers. K was a tiger story and I introduced centers. 1st grade was fiction and nonfiction. We discussed the differences and students shared what types of books they liked to read (or choose).

Dressing the part has certainly made my Tuesday’s more fun and I’m hoping to continue with the idea. The kids really get a kick out of trying to guess why I’m dressed the way I am. It definitely adds excitement when they come in.

I really want to work on trying to make story time more interactive. I want to incorporate hand motions, songs, and maybe even dance…so next up for me is to research ideas!

Keeping Current

Our assignment this week is to select 3 of the many amazing websites from AASL’s 2015 Best List. I must say that I love how they have them broken down into categories: Media Sharing, Digital Storytelling, Manage & Organize, Social Networking & Communication, Content Resources, and Curriculum Collaboration.

Apps Bar РAppsbar is a free mobile app builder. All you have to do is create an account. The app builder is free to use, user friendly, includes video tutorials, and tech support. When you initially create your account it then takes you to a page that includes a variety of categories starting your app. The next step included a create with Facebook option and I chose create manually. You can customize your settings with an app name, picture, and options for pages. You can customize the information included in your app and publish it for others to view.

This is a technology that you don’t often hear about in school so it immediately sparked my interest. I can see kids coming up with amazing ideas for apps that they would like to create. You could certainly use this tool in the library or within the classroom. In the library you could have students create apps that relate to particular books or genres.

Bookopolis – This immediately caught my attention because it is like GoodReads but for younger children. Bookopolis is a fun and safe online community where kids can explore new books, create a bookshelf, share with friends, and earn points.

I could definitely see this being used in an elementary school library. Students love to see what their classmates and peers are reading and this is a great way to get and offer suggestions. Another incentive is that students can earn points for every book they put on their shelf they earn 5 points. Kids can also earn points for rating, reviewing, and book reporting.


Hour of Code CC by 2.0

Code – I feel that it is essential that we offer coding as part of our curriculum. Even if we just integrate the Hour of Code where students have the ability to play around with coding to see if it is something they are interested in. There are interactive videos and lessons included in this website to engage students and educators as well.


This would be a great program to implement in the elementary¬†library where students could practice coding. It could certainly be added to makerspaces or through particular classrooms. The current Hour of Code is Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with Code where students learn to program droids or create their own galaxy. I think this is a super cool theme to get kids excited about coding. If they don’t like Star Wars there are options to also select Minecraft and Frozen. There are options to create your own game, use play lab to create a story or game, and draw cool pictures and designs.

It’s not just for elementary school students though there are also 20 hour courses for Computer Science Fundamentals and JavaScript Tools for High School. There are certainly a variety of lessons to choose from.

Staying Current

I’m choosing to follow – dangerously ! irrelevant blog. I really like the theme of this site – technology, leadership, and the future of schools. The site is very easy to read which I love! The owner of this blog is Scott McLeod who has won numerous awards for his work integrating technology and leadership in schools. He is considered a leading expert in the field and was a co-creator in the popular video series Did You Know? (Shift Happens).


Best Websites for Teaching & Learning 2015. (2015). Retrieved July 24, 2016, from

QR Codes and Augmented Reality

QR Codes



I created a QR Code using QRCode Monkey. I made a Voki and shared it so that I could copy and paste the link and put that in the QRCode generator. I changed the color using the drop down options and then downloaded the .png file. I then added the media here for your viewing pleasure.

We have used QR Codes in the library where I work for quite some time. We do something called Book in a Minute where students record a Photostory which is a picture of them and a voice recording of why the like the book and think others should read it. We then take the saved video, upload it to Dropbox, and share the video link to copy and paste the link into the QR Code generator. Once the code has been created we just copy and paste it to MS Word and adjust the size. We print the QR codes, have them laminated, and place them on the back of the books on the Book in a Minute shelf. The videos are shown on the morning announcements and they are also watched from the back of the book using a device that has a QR reader. This has been an excellent way to get kids to advertise books to their peers and share with others what they are reading. The Book in a Minute shelf is very popular!

Another way to use QR codes in the library is to have a scavenger hunt while students are learned the different locations of books within the library. You could create codes to see if they are on the right path where one clue leads to the next etc…An easy way to do this is to put students in groups and print the codes using colored paper so that each group only looks at codes printed on their paper. You could even hide them within a book to be sure they were able to locate it.

Augmented Reality

The TED Talk was very eye opening. The example with the newspaper being outdated as soon as you get it and being able to use your phone to click a picture and have a video open was something that may just keep newspapers in business. Holding your phone over something and getting video set up directions is amazing too. Already with the You Tube instructional videos we have fixed our washing machine which saved us >$100 on a service call. I can see the implications of this being huge! Aurasma has so many cool features with implications for the library and books in general. Adding video elements to books in your own library would be a benefit for students even when they check it out and take it home as long as they have a device. You could add material that is relevant to the book for additional information.

You could also find an online book review or author interview and create an Aurasma of it and attach that to the book for more interaction. Students would then have more information about a particular book or the author of that book.




3D Printing Model

We were asked to create a 3D Model that could be printed at our ODU Summer Institute next week. I used Tinkercad¬†to create my model. I created an account and went through some of the initial lessons on how to use the program. I began creating my design with little effort until I tried to add what are called holes to my design. These holes allow you to delete space in your initial object. I put them in, used copy and paste, and they remained gray. I Googled how to get the shapes to appear transparent and learned that I just needed to group all of the objects together…seemed simple enough and it worked. Another issue I had was when I tried adding letters and they kept going underneath the shape. I couldn’t figure out how to keep them on top of the object. Once again back to Google. I found my answer right away and moved the shape, decreased the depth, put the letters on top, grouped it, and moved it back to the original location. Tinkercad does take some tinkering that’s for sure but you can get the hang of it as long as you allow yourself plenty of time and patience!

Here is my bookmark design:


It was created so that it would be like a paperclip on the pages of a book. I would love to see how it works if we could really print them. I have seen bracelets and other things created in the past that aren’t as durable as you think they should be especially when handled by kids.