December 2015

December15December Edition at a Glance

  • Enjoy a guest post on AASL from New Town Elementary School’s principal and library media specialist
  • There’s a lot happening Inside BCPS including Night of Innovation, Hour of Code, and more!
  • Consider some more Food for Thought on P21 Skills
  • Check out Google’s cool tool, the Cultural Institute


Inside BCPS

Nights of Innovation

Ever wonder what the transformation of teaching and learning looks like in our elementary and middle Lighthouse Schools? Join us for a true Night of Innovation on Thursday, December 3, 2015 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.  All BCPS students, parents, staff, and other stakeholders are invited to attend any one of the four Night of Innovation events being held around the county:

  • Church Lane Elementary Technology School
  • Edmondson Heights Elementary School
  • Pikesville Middle School
  • Windsor Mill Middle School

The Night of Innovation will run in an open house format with opportunities to visit several stations including hands-on, interactive stations with Discovery Education, a Student Digital Showcase, model classrooms that exemplify learner-centered environments, and more. Please see the attached flyer for additional information. We hope you can join us for this engaging and informative event!

Hour of Codehour-of-code-logo

The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics. Anyone, anywhere can organize an Hour of Code event anytime, but the grassroots campaign goal is for tens of millions of students to try an Hour of Code during December 7-13, in celebration of Computer Science Education Week. Is it one specific hour? No. You can do the Hour of Code anytime during this week. You’re welcome to split up the Hour of Code into multiple sessions so long as your students finish the Hour of Code tutorial. Just do whatever works best for you and your students. (And if you can’t do it during that week, do it the week before or after).  One-hour tutorials are available in over 40 languages. There is no experience needed and activities are appropriate for students of all ages.”

TV Studio Edmodo Group

An Edmodo group for TV Studio Coordinators is now forming!  Please encourage the person in your school responsible for the TV studio to join this group.  This will be a great resource for sharing ideas, asking questions, and improving your studio. Please use the link to request access.

What’s Tweeting?

Check out what’s been happening with @BCPSODL, #bcpsstat, and #bcpslms in our December Storify!  You don’t need to have a Twitter account to view these tweets.  If you do use Twitter, make sure you tag your tweets and you might be featured next month!

Other Highlights:

Food for Thought

The P21 skills are the foundation of the Teaching and Learning Framework that’s guiding our instructional transformation. Last month we featured articles about collaboration and communication. This month we’ll share articles about some of the other P21 skills.  Please feel free to share your insights in the comment section at the bottom of this newsletter.

27 Ways to Inspire Students to Innovate (Infographic)Innovation

Mia MacMeekin’s infographic shows ways students can think or things they can do to foster innovation. Is there a practical use for an infographic like this?

Global Digital Citizen · Foundation · October 24, 2015

“Educator Mia MacMeekin made this infographic about ways to inspire students to think more deeply about how innovation applies to them. It’s a helpful way to begin a conversation about what it means to innovate, a word that sometimes seems to belong in the adult domain of business and is estranged from how students think about living their lives.”  Read more…

4 Essential Rules of 21st Century Learning

Jennifer Rita Nichols would be on board with BCPS’s transformation. She identifies four “rules” based on P21 skills. BCPS is actively engaged with three of them. What is the fourth rule and why aren’t we pursuing it?

teachthought · Jennifer Rita Nichols · October 19, 2015

“Society has changed. We cannot adequately prepare students for the society that exists today or will exist tomorrow, if we continue to prepare them for the society that existed yesterday. In order to prepare students to play their role in the 21st century society we are a part of, a few things need to be considered when deciding how education will look in our schools and classrooms.”  Read more…

Why Do Students Pick Teacher A or Teacher B? Who Would You Pick?

Alan November’s article is thought-provoking. Teacher B has students using P21 skills. Some students prefer teacher A. Find out why and what (if anything) should be done about it.

November Learning · Alan November · March 11, 2015

“What if we asked our students about the type of work they would prefer to do while in class? It may reveal a lot about what choices they would make for assignments and activities and why they make these choices.”  Read more…

Tips, Tricks, and Tools

Google Cultural InstituteExplore

Ever wanted to visit the Acropolis?  Versailles?  The Uffizi?  Interested in the history of Japan, Korea, or Taiwan?  Perhaps your students have never visited a museum or need a little more information to help them understand the characters or events in their novel.  Google’s Cultural Institute aims to make world cultures searchable and accessible to everyone.  The three projects that are currently available are Art Project, Historic Moments, and World Wonders.   Not only are these sites searchable by keyword, but visitors can browse the collection using filters such as place, date, and medium.

Art Project gives you access to museums, collections, and fine art from all over the world.  Choose “Collections” to view artwork by museum or collection and use the “Museum view only” filter to find museums that have interactive “street view” tours available.  Users can even use a Google account to curate resources into custom collections publicly available via a simple hyperlink.

Historic Moments uses digital exhibitions of primary source material to tell stories of historic significance or interest.  Topics are varied and include, among others, war heroes, civil rights, technology, food, music, and even dentistry!

World Wonders aims to bring to life the wonders of the modern and ancient world.  World heritage sites like the Taj Mahal, the Giza Necropolis, Stonehenge, and Angkor Wat come to life through “street view” tours, animations, and artifacts.

Guest Post- AASL 2015

by Sharonda Gregory and John Redmond-Palmer, New Town Elementary School

Empowering Evolution, Experience, Education and Evidence were the guiding principles at the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) 17th National Conference & Exhibition. This collaborative forum held November 5 – 8 addressed strategies in meeting rigorous standards, raising achievement, and preparing students for college, careers, and citizenship.  What an amazing experience for both the library media specialist and administrator to partner and engage in discourse related to our system-wide perspective on student-centered school improvement. More specifically, having an opportunity to attend as a library media specialist and principal team provided us a chance to hear various presentations and to begin planning how we can expand the library program in our school.

AASLThe conference started off with an amazing presentation by Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs, educational consultant and curriculum specialist for 21st century approaches to teaching and learning.  Dr. Jacobs tasked us with returning to our school and advancing at least one unit by taking the classical content and incorporating modern learning into that content.   Her presentation jump-started the opportunity for our team to begin the conversations that lasted throughout the conference.

We have returned with a few initiatives that we are excited to implement. APP Studies, instead of book studies, will provide an opportunity for teachers at our school to become proficient with technology applications and feel confident in implementing them into instruction.  We will promote collaborative projects that focus on developing research modules aligned with P21 skills. Additionally, we will encourage shared lesson planning and lesson implementation between classroom teachers and the library media specialist.

The opportunity to attend the AASL conference as a team provided exceptional professional development.  We were able to speak the same language and realize how the library program can be instrumental in promoting student achievement school wide.  Our immediate objective is to ensure that teachers realize the amazing resources available in our school library and how using the librarian media specialist as a resource can positively impact the instructional program.

Upcoming Events:

(check the Online Registration System for registration information and availability)

  • December 1:
    • Office Mix Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @White Oak School
    • Elementary Liaison Meeting, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @online
  • December 2: Secondary Liaison Meeting, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. @online
  • December 3:
    • Classflow Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m., @Glenmar Elementary
    • Developing Flipped Learning Experiences Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @online
    • AASL eCollab Webinar: Reinventing the Library, 7:00 p.m. @online
    • Night of Innovation, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.  @Church Lane Elementary Technology School, Edmondson Heights Elementary School, Pikesville Middle School, and Windsor Mill Middle School
  • December 7Using eBooks, Databases, and Digital Tools to Keep Students Engaged During the Holidays ( Webinar), 4:00 p.m. @online
  • December 7 – 13: Worldwide Hour of Code
  • December 8:
    • Liaison Hangout, 3:00 – 5:30 p.m. @online
    • Infographics in the Classroom Workshop, 4:15 – 6:15 p.m. @Cromwell Valley Elementary
    • Screenshots and Screencasts Workshop, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. @online
  • December 9:
  • December 17: From Library and Learning Space to Learning Commons ( Webinar), 5:00 p.m. @online
  • December 23: New Librarian’s Academy: Deadline for submission of Sign In Sheets and Agendas for new LMS/Mentor meetings

Please feel free to share your comments!

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