This year's summer reading contest was different than any other summer reading program Jefferson County Public Library has ever created. The program was completed 100% virtually and expanded to include activity tracks for writing, thinking, doing and playing. The theme was Imagine Your Story which allowed participants to choose their own quests to follow all summer long. In the past, most of the record keeping was done by paper, however this year tracking was done through a digital platform which allowed JCPL a safer way track participation.
The virtual format provided many different types of activities that allowed students to participate easily from their homes. There were storytimes, coding camps, crafternoons and mental fitness programs to name a few. The JCPL staff also created lists of books they recommend. One of those lists encouraged spending time outside by pairing local trails with related books. One could pop in some headphones and learn about bears while hiking on a local trail. Overall, there were over 318,998 different literacy based activities to chose from to complete your quest.
Another favorite part of the contest was earning funds for Foothills Animal Shelter. Just by signing up participants were working towards helping care for animals at the Shelter. By the end of the contest they had earned over $300 for the shelter.
And now for The winners...
The JCPL Summer Reading Contest was extended an extra month to coincide with the start of school and officially concluded on August 31st. The first place schools were: Kyffin Elementary - Preschool, Devinny Elementary, Oberon Middle School, Wheat Ridge High School and Excel Academy. Each school will be receiving a trophy and each of their libraries will be receiving a check for $800. Just like everything else this year the actual award ceremony will also be different. JCPL will be creating and sharing pre-recorded celebrations for the winners. If you participated in Summer Reading, be sure to connect with your local library to pick up your prizes and complete the wrap up survey, if you have not already done so.
Like past years, this year was a big success for JCPL and all the Jeffco Schools participants. Thanks JCPL for giving our students an opportunity to imagine their own story in a world of uncertainty. As summer ends and we move into winter we can only dream about what next summer has in store for us.
Many teachers are asking "How can I engage students when they don't have access to robots?" While your students are remote, in person, or both, they may struggle to have access to robots, but they can still participate in coding them. In our hybird learning world, many developers are helping us conquer this!
Check out micro:Bit, Circuit Playground Express, Lego Mindstorms, and Arcade using these simulators on Microsoft MakeCode:
Vex has a new program that lets students learn computer science without a robot. VEXcode VR lets you code a virtual robot using a block based coding environment (powered by Scratch), blocks +text, or text-based coding with Python. VEX has prebuilt activities in editable Google Doc format to get you started. It does not require a download and can be run in any browser. Go to vr.vex.com.
Machine Learning from Raspberry Pi.org
In this Alien Language project from Raspberry Pi's Digital Making at Home, students can train the computer to understand an alien language. They will use that to control an alien character so that it can understand what they tell it to do. All students need for this project is a computer with a microphone and internet access. It utilizes Scratch.
Need Something a Little Different?
Here's some digital breakouts to try (think escape rooms):
Do you have some exciting ways you are using virtual robots or integrating computer science that you would like to share? Consider becoming a guest blogger by contacting Ed Tech!
Seesaw Blogs are a simple way to showcase the amazing work students are doing in the classroom with the broader community. Blogging gives students an authentic audience of their classmates, parents and other students around the globe, encouraging better work and providing opportunities for real feedback.
Setting up the Blog
Students will see the blog icon when the blog is enabled and can click on Publish to the blog. The teacher will need to approve the post, but it's that easy. Using the seesaw blog saves the teacher time as it is quick and easy to post to the blog. The pictures, videos, and work has already been created by the student.
Blogs can be public on the internet (not recommended) or password protected. Students' last names are always hidden. Teachers can moderate student posts before they go live. They can enable or disable comments. Using the Seesaw blog also allows students to see each other's work while working in a remote or in person environment.
Jeffco Generation skills
Using the Seesaw blog allows students to develop various generation skills.
Students are involved in Civic and Global Engagement: Students take active roles in their communities, are prepared to be participatory citizens in our constitutional republic, and are engaged with issues of local, national, and global concern. By using the blog, students can engage locally with their class but teachers can also connect with other seesaw blogs across the world.
Students increase their Communication skills: Students learn to effectively communicate in written, digital, artistic, and oral forms. Students learn to explore and articulate their own points of view, while respectfully understanding the perspectives of others. Seesaw blog users need to make decisions as to how they communicate with their peers and how they express themselves in their posts.
Using Seesaw blogs also allows students to apply digital citizenship skills and learn how to give appropriate feedback to their peers.
Blogging with Seesaw
Check out this webinar from Seesaw if you want to see how teachers are using the blog.
Welcome to the Schoology Source - your source for everything Schoology related. Over the course of time that Schoology has been used as a learning management system (LMS) in Jeffco, it has changed quite a bit and has become an even bigger powerhouse tool that can greatly support students and teachers during the 2020-2021 school year! The aim of this recurring blog segment is to help you understand those changes, so that you can leverage the power of Schoology to support both hybrid and remote learning environments!
new to teaching with Schoology? We've got you covered!
In order to meet the needs of teachers, our Ed Tech team is beginning to offer our face-to-face professional learning sessions in an asynchronous format as well! If you missed attending the Getting Started with Schoology session on August 14th, you can check out this Getting Started with Schoology multimedia text set with loads of bite-sized videos to get you going. You can find videos on our new Schoology model classroom, linking course sections to save you time, embedding Google straight into Schoology, the new Schoology assessments and much more! Also, be sure to check out all of our other Jeffco-specific digital tool YouTube playlists, as well!
Curated Content to Support Online Learning
Courses & Sections: What's the difference?
Important: Course Deletion Concerns
“Change will come our way. We can go through it or we can grow through it. We grow when we seek out solutions rather than let obstacles hinder us.” - George Curous, Innovator's Mindset.
School Libraries in 2020
School libraries are often considered the hub or heart of the school community. Frequently, their goal centers around the ability to provide the essential resources that empower students to become lifelong learners, with an avid love of reading.
When you picture a school library typically it is the stillness and quiet of books and print resources that first come to mind, but in 2020 the school library is so much more. Today’s library continues to embrace and promote reading at its core, but also promotes creativity, communication, collaboration, and innovation through a multitude of ever adapting activities including programming and Computer Science, STEM and Makerspace, Book Clubs, and Geek Squads. Technology integration is a part of the fabric in the libraries of today. In March of 2019 the demand for access to digital resources changed. As we have long anticipated, technology has found it’s space as an essential resource in education next to paper, pencil and textbooks. It is not the only tool but it is an essential tool in the 21st century.
Last school year alone, elementary students checked out over 89,000 ebooks provided through this partnership. Today, the culmination of efforts can be seen, as we are now able to extend this opportunity to the remaining schools that use our Follett Destiny Discover Library system. It is a true collaboration and combination of efforts between Jefferson County Public Library, Jeffco schools, Baker & Taylor (Axis 360 Community Share) and our Follett Destiny Library system colleagues that have made this possible.
Students and staff are able to access the curated collections that align with our library guidelines, seamlessly by logging into their school’s Destiny Discover account with their individual credentials. Students are limited to borrowing ten ebooks or audiobooks at a time and titles are automatically returned to the eshelf, without any worry about due dates or lost books. Because the books are accessed through the Follett Destiny platform there are a variety of digital annotation tools provided. Not only can students highlight text, take notes, and search for keywords or phrases, students may also have the text read to them (depending on publisher permissions). Direct links to titles can be added to any learning management system including Google Classroom, Seesaw, and Schoology.
And Finally, the How...
To learn more about how to access these digital resources, view the presentation and videos linked below and on our Ed Tech Youtube channel under the playlist for Follett Destiny Discover. If you have questions or wonder about how to use this resource in your classroom please reach out to your schools’ Digital Teacher Librarian. Watch for more titles to be added to the collection as the year progresses!
View the informational presentation and videos here.