Tuesday, January 10, 2017

This is my last day as your District Librarian.  I am retiring.  I want each of you to know how much you have meant to me during my years here at Arp.  Students and staff are special to me.  I will cherish the friendships I have made.  I would like to encourage you students to keep reading, keep growing, and keep learning.  Keep God first in your life, follow your dreams, and don't give up.  I wish all of you the best in your future. 

Je suis prest!
Sandra Chesshir

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Certified Librarians

Certified School Librarians: a District's Biggest Bargain

Monday, August 15, 2016

100 Useful Websites for Students and Teachers

100 Useful Websites for Educators and Students
There are so many websites out there, it's sometimes difficult to run the gauntlet and not get hit with websites you weren't expecting or even dead links.  I know I've blogged and tweeted many websites I liked over the years and it didn't occur to me to make a list until this summer.  So here is my list of what I consider the top 100 sites for educators, students, and of course librarians.  I tried my best to make sure they were free to use, but always keep in mind the appropriate age of use.

If you see one you love and it isn't listed, please share with me and I will add.

Happy new school year!!

1001fonts.com - free downloads to make your projects pop a little more
4shared.com - free 5 GB online storage and file sharing
Adobe Spark - a suite of tools to create presentations, posters,  videos, and websites
Awwapp.com - online interactive whiteboard
Bighugelabs.com - do cool stuff it hour digital photos from posters to magazine covers and more
Bingobaker.com - create and generate hundreds of random cards in PDF
Blockposters.com- take your personal images and create a huge poster through segmentation
Cacoo.com - timeline creator
Canva.com - make beautiful posters, social media graphics and presentations
Cell.ly - send text messages to students, parents and others without sharing your private number
Citationmachine.net - help with citations including APA and MLA
Classbadges.com - award virtual badges to students for their accomplishments
Classtools.net - free games, quizzes and activities for classrooms K-12
Code.org - create classes and teach students to code the easy way
Commoncraft.com - explainer videos for teaching and a library of cutouts
Commoncurriculum.com- online lesson planning where yu can attach files, re-arrange lessons, collaborate with other teachers
Coursera.org - online courses from top universities
Coverr.co- public domain stock videos. Seven new videos a week
Croak.it - record voice messages in three simple steps
Dipity.com - create, share, embed, collaborate on interactive timelines incorporating video, audio, image, text, link, social media and more
Duolingo.com - language learning app
Easel.ly- create infographics from templates or on your own  
Easybib.com -help with citations including APA and MLA
Easypolls.net - create online polls for free.  Save them hen you create an account
Edweb.net - professional online networking via webinars for educators
Edutopia.com - online community dedicated to bringing quality resources to the K12 community of educators
Emaze.com - online presentation creator unlike standard presentation. Create attractive presentations with provided templates
Todoist.com - manage task/projects on and offline. Share tasks in a collaborative environment. Works with many different platforms
Everystockphoto.com- Creative Commons photos
Evernote.com-save, share and work on documents across devices
Flippity.net - use Google spreadsheets to create flash cards
Fotor.com - create collages or seamlessly photo stitch images into one picture
Geogebra.org - dynamic math software for geometry, algebra, calculus, and statistics Getkahoot.com - create interactive games, polls, surveys
Pocket.com- save anything you want to see online for later.  Includes social media apps so you can save from Twitter and other social media sites
Goo.gl - shortens URLs that can be tracked for statistics
Gosoapbox.com - student response system with integrated tools to check for understanding, play quizzes, and generate reports
Grammarbase.com- free grammar checker
Gutenberg.org - Project Gutenberg offers free e-books and audiobooks on works that are copyright free, most of which are classics
Hstry.co - interactive timeline includes quizzes, did you know sections. Add images and videos.  Allows students to interject via comments
Imagechef.com - use photos and texts to create a myriad of different products Imgflip.com/meme generator - use images, add text, create memes
Instapaper.com - save websites for future browsing. Perfect for research
Join.me - screen sharing with anyone on the web
Khanacademy.org -academic videos to learn almost anything
Kizoa.com - create videos with a multitude of options and no time limit
Knowledgehook.com- online game show that targets mathematics for all grade levels
Kwiksurveys.com - create unlimited surveys and polls
Libib.com -cloud based cataloging for beyond the library (think classroom libraries)
List.ly - curate and share lists as well as allow others to add to them
Makerbook.net - creative graphics
Marinaratimer.com - three different types of timers to help with classrooms, presentations et al.  Features pomodoro, custom and kitchen timers
Meez.com - avatar creator
Mentormob.com - online community creating and providing lessons for skills and hobbies
Mindmeister.com - online software with great visualization
Mindomo.com - mind map creator that can be used as a presentation tool as well
Moovly.com - interesting and different approach to presentations based on cartoon images and hand actions
Morguefile.com- free digital photos for projects that doesn't require citations
Online-convert.com - convert most any type of file, videos, documents etc,  into different formats
Openbadges.me - create badges for websites and blogs
Pablobuffer.com- use an image provided or your own, add amazing text, share with the world
Panopen.com -open educational resources which include quizzes, videos, PowerPoint slides
Photosforclass.com- Creative Commons images with attribution
Photopeach.com- video creator with a twist-literally!
Photopin.com- Creative Commons images with easy to find attribution
Piktochart.com - create infographics that can be shared.  Has a presentation mode and are downloadable
Pixteller.com - create online posters
Popplet.com-  create a board to collaborate with others anywhere anytime
Presentation tube.com - record and share quality presentations with free recording and video sharing platform
Purple-planet.com - Creative Commons music for digital projects
Quizzizz.com - create and play multiplayer games
Quozio.com - create beautiful quotes
Readwritethink.org - classroom resources for K12 classrooms created by NCTE
Remind.com - send text reminders of class work to students and parents without sending your cell phone number.  Create chats or send to individuals as well
Ribbet.com - online image editor
Scoop.it - web curation tool to share information
Screencastomatic.com- captures your screen to create and share videos/tutorials
Showbie.com- teacher creates account which allows students to upload their work
Slidedog.com - multimedia tool that allows the user to bring in different types of media from documents to videos and more into one presentation
Slides carnival.com - free templates for Google Slides
Smore.com - create informational posters for organizations, schools, newsletters and more
Snapguide.com - discover and create how-to guides
Spiral.ac - suite of tools to make learning g more engaging.  Includes student response quizzes (quickfire) , interactive presentations (discuss), and group work/collaboration (team up)
Stich.it -  copy and paste web sites into the box, this site will “stitch” or curate them into one web address
Studyblue.com - crowd sourced site with academic flash cards and notes
Sway.com- create and share interactive presentations, personal stories, reports and more
Tackk.com - create pages for anything from online posters to presentations to specific pages you build by inputting information and links
Teachwithmovies.org movie clips with lesson plans
Thenounproject.com - downloadable icons of all types
Timetoast.com- interactive timelines to create and share
Tripline.net - interactive maps you create with images, dates, and descriptions
Twiddla.com - web based, no sign in needed to collaborate online
Tynker.com- programs games, Mindcraft Mods and more
Visibletweets.com - display tweets during a conference or meeting via unique hashtag to see what others are sharing
Voxer.com- text messages with voice, photos and videos to share with groups
Videonot.es -  synchronize videos with your notesto share.  Click on the note to jump to that particular part of the video. Syncs with Google Drive
Visme.co - only site that create infographics, presentations, reports, and web content
Wevideo.com - create quick videos with the free version
Whatshouldireadnext.com - type in a title and it will generate a list of similar titles and subjects Wordpress.com - create a blog with a website look
Zaption.com - turn online videos into interactive learning experience you customize
Ziteboard.com - collaborate, brainstorm, create and plan with a whiteboard

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Promoting Pleasure Reading

How much a student reads does matter.  These statistics are from NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress):
1.  Achievement Percentile Amount of outside reading in Minutes/Day:
Percentile                      Minutes Per Day                  Words Gained Per Year
90%                              40+min/day                          2.3 million
50%                              13 min/day                            6000,000
10%                               2 min/day                                 51,000


2.  Research based on Facts from Stephen Krashen's The Power of Reading 
     a.  Readers are better writers
     b.  Reading as a leisure activity is the best predictor of comprehension, vocabulary, and reading speed.
If you haven't read this book, it is well worth your time!

3.  Jim Trelease statements from The read-Aloud Handbook
     a.  Two factors that produced higher achievements:  frequency of teachers reading aloud to students and the frequency of SSR/pleasure reading in school.
     b.  The research overwhelmingly shows that lifetime readers cut their reading eye-teeth on series books and comic books.  The more they read the better they do at reading and graduate to more sophisticated books later.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

What Can the Library Do For You

       What can the library do for you?

     Sandra Chesshir, District Librarian

See me when you:

Have a seed of an idea

Need library orientation for your classes

Need instruction using TexQuest

Need curriculum support materials

Need to sign up for library time to check out books

Need to sign up for library time to do research

Need help teaching how to use primary sources

Need to know how to do a “mini” research project

Have a recommendation for purchases

Need a different outlook on a subject

Need clarification of copyright laws

Need help explaining plagiarism

Need help finding UIL Prose and Poetry selections

Need book talks tailored to your unit of study

Need to find personal and/or professional materials

Need a great book

Need to talk about books

Need to share an infectious enthusiasm for learning!!!


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Amazon's Top 20 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books

Amazon's best 100 sci-fi/fantasy books








Story highlights

  • Amazon's list of top science fiction and fantasy includes classics and new books
  • Classics by George Orwell, Ursula K. LeGuin, Anne McCaffrey on the list
  • Modern best-sellers by J.K. Rowling and George R.R. Martin also make the list


(CNN)Before "A Game of Thrones," "The Magicians" and "The Hunger Games," there were classics by Isaac Asimov, Margaret Atwood, George Orwell and more.
It's true we're living in a golden age of science fiction and fantasy, where new creatures, technology and entire worlds exist beyond our "reality." Science fiction/fantasy books and the movies, costumes and conventions inspired by those great works seem to be everywhere, but one reason for their popularity is the classics that came before.
    As Amazon releases its 100 Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books list on Wednesday, CNN asked Amazon's book editors to pick their 20 "must-haves" for any serious science fiction/fantasy reader's bookshelf.
    "We wanted to choose books that had been life-changers to readers," Amazon editor Adrian Liang said. "The best books realign your thinking about your world, yourself and the world."
    "A lot of themes stay the same because they're timeless," Liang said. "Generally in fantasy, the themes are coming of age, personal strengths, how to deal with power you have and making the right choices. In science fiction, it's how you interact with society and tear it down or build it up again. Apocalyptic fiction is also seeping into the genre."