Finally! I finally have a reason to use Google Cultural Institute! This was something I learned about at CUE last year, and I've just been waiting for a teacher to approach me with a project it fit into. When I came back from CUE I whipped up this quick overview of what Google Cultural Institute is:
Now FINALLY a teacher has come to me with a project where we can use it. Our Art teacher has an Art 2 class where she wants them to create a composition of a larger painting. Basically, she would like her students to find a piece of classical work where they can take a small portion of it and blow it up to make it a larger piece. But how to they find that piece of classical art that intrigues them? She could just have them look at certain paintings she selects and pick one, but she wants them to explore. She wants them to find something on their own. She wants to encourage them to be independent and self-directed learners.
So I directed her to the Art Project on Google Cultural Institute. In a nutshell, the Art Project has gone to multiple museums and collected images of a variety of paintings, sculptures, installations, etc. and grouped them together by museum. They also used their streetview technology to give anyone a virtual tour of a museum.
You can check out the many museums they have on the Art ProjectHERE. What her students will do is go to the Art Project link I have above and then click the button that says "Museum View Only." This will then bring back only the museums that have virtual streetview tours. What is nice about using this as well is that there is a small preview next to each museum giving you an idea of what is located in that museum.
For this project, they need a painting, so they can look through the list and find a museum where they can see good classical paintings they need for this project. Because the list is so long, the art teacher is going to look through the site and recommend 10 or so museums she feels they could best use. When the student is searching, they will see these kinds of results:
The museum name is on the left, the items they have detailed pictures of are in the center, and the number on the right is the number of items they have a detailed picture of. For this project, students are going to want to get up close, so they will need to pay attention to the number of items on the right hand site. They don't want to go to a museum with just 13 datiled pictures. They want to aim for ones that have more, like the 1,249 listed above at the Amon Cater Museum of American Art.
Lets go there!
When we select that museum, it has a description of the museum on the left. If you scroll down it also has a Google map of where it's located. Then it has any special exhibits they museum has had. The "Mueum View" is next where we can take a virtual tour, and then all the items they have detailed pictures of are listed next.
Lets take the virtual tour!
Anyone who has ever used streetview will be able to work the Museum View. On the left, we have a map of the museum including a drop down box of all the different levels of the museum. Typically, they have covered most if not all of the museum. In the middle is, of course, the museum. Where the black dot are located are pieces where they have a detailed picture. You can click on those black dots and it leads you to the picture. Down on the bottom are all the detailed pictures they have in that museum. Therefore, you can either stroll virtually through the museum or jump from room to room by click on the images at the bottom.
What happens if we click on one of those black boxes and look at the piece in detail?
When you look at a piece in detail, you can click the "details" button on the left hand side to get a description of the piece. Also, on the painting itself, it has the ability to zoom into the piece, which is PERFECT for the project this art teacher is doing!
I'm THRILLED and excited to do this project with her class when we return from break. I hope through the use of this technology, students will begin to wonder and explore all the great art there is out there in the world.
Before I start, I must say that I cannot take credit for this source rubric, but I think it's a great idea!
So. You assign a research paper to your class, and you tell them that you want them to use good resources in their paper. You tell them that you want to see in their bibliography no Wikipedia, vetted sources, and you push them to use the databases your library provides.
But lets get real. Do you really look at each bibliography in great detail? Or do you just glance at it quickly? Or maybe you have a TA look through them. Point being. . . . .how can you have a better system to make sure that each student is using good resource and doing good research?
Bring in this source rubric.
Again, I cannot take credit for creating this rubric. That must go to the lovely librarian down at Oak Ridge High School, Donna Martin. However, I have edited it to fit in with what we do at Ponderosa. And so can you!
Basically, the idea is that instead of just telling students "You need to use good websites!" instead you tell them they need to get a certain amount of points for their sources. For example, perhaps a short research project required 25 source points. The students are allowed to get those points however they would like. But if you were a student, what would you do? Gather just 5 articles from databases or print resources? Or get 25 Wikipedia pages?
Teachers can even have students fill in the types of resources they used on this rubric as they hand in their project. Or perhaps they can write in the point value of each resource on their bibliography. Then a teacher only has to double check their work.
High school students take to this idea very well! They want to get those big point resource points!
You can get your own copy HERE of the source rubric. Adapt it to what your library or classroom does. Make it your own and watch the students start to think more about the sources they are using.
One of my favorite teachers to work with is the French teacher because she's a big library user and always willing to try something new. She was recently in the library to work on French 1's "Country Newsletter Project." In the past, she has used Microsoft Publisher to create a newsletter.
One of my biggest frustrations with Google (aside from the fact that Google Slides does not support voice narration!) is that there is no equivalent of Publisher in Google tools. I wish there was. I've found I could use Google Slides in a variety of ways to imitate Publisher, but this project baffled me at first.
(By the way, did you know that you can make flyers with Google Slides? I use it for a TON of flyers that I make, and I love how easy it is to manipulate text and pictures within it. See "Technology" and my Google Slide tutorial there for more info!)
The teacher wanted to make a "newsletter" that looked like a newspaper, with a three column look. She wanted pictures to be involved as well. I could have used Google Slides, but I decided to experiment with Canva instead.
Canva is a website that allows you to make virtual magazines, flyers, posters, etc. It has a lot of built in clip art you can use for free or has various elements you can pay for. They have a lot of really beautiful layouts and elements that students will find very visually appealing. One thing that's kind of cool about the elements you pay for is that you don't have to pay for them if you don't download the project. So if you were to just have your students turn a link into you on Google Classroom or otherwise, they could use whatever elements in there they want!
However, for this project I was create a template. I could *quite* do everything that this tool could do, but the teacher was happy with the product we created.
Take a look HERE to see the newsletter template I created for her.
Now, onto how exactly we will hand out this template to students in order to edit.
Then, I will tell the in another tab to go to canva.com. There's an option on the front page to sign in using Google. All they have to do is click that and authorize it since they are already logged into Classroom.
After they are logged into BOTH websites, have the students click on the link in Google Classroom to open the template.
Make sure the students go to "File" in the upper left hand corner and then click "Make a copy." This will give them their own copy to work on in a new tab. Then tell them to close the old copy in the new tab.
This is why I ALWAYS make sure I have a backup copy in my Canva account. One student is bound to not to that step and start editing your original document. You can always undo this by clicking the undo button in the upper right hand corner, but it's just a step I like to avoid!
Now the students should have their own copy of the template they can manipulate and make their own!
Experiment with Canva more and you'll see all kinds of great uses for it. It is just another toy that's nice to have up your sleeve when it comes to graphic projects!
I absolutely love it when a teacher approaches my desk and wants to team teach a unit with me! It absolutely makes my day! Today the art teacher approached my desk during her prep and wanted to take an art analysis poster project and bring it into this century! I love it!
So after listening to what her project involved, I decided Google Slides was the best tool to use for this project. Basically, her big issue was that the students would create this poster and one person would end up doing all of the work. Therefore, we decided to take all of the elements in her handout about how to analyze a piece of artwork: Describe, Analyze, Interpret, and Judgement, and put them all into separate slides with different group members in charge of each element.
One of the best ways to figure out if a project is going to work is to do the project myself. Therefore, I decided to try my hand at art analysis and make an example of an "A" project. As a drama teacher, I used to do this all the time. I found that it helped students see what to aspire too, and it also helped me understand what needed to change in the project.
I had a fun time putting together an example project you can see below:
We just decided to have each group member write their name in the corner somewhere to show what part of the project they worked on. Also, I did mention to her that we could always look at the revision history to really see how often a particular student went onto the google slide presentation. Gotta love holding those kids accountable!
She has decided to assign it on Google Classroom, and we finally experimented with adding a teacher into the classroom. She had her classes all set up, and she added me as an instructor. It was a little bit of a pain because our district does not pre-load e-mail addresses into Google, so we had to add me as a contact FIRST and then invite me into the Classroom.
Overall, I think this will be a great project to get ALL of the group members participating! Excited to help team-teach it with her when we return from Thanksgiving break!
One of my goals for this year is to create a social media presence for our library. Personally, I have participated in Instagram Book Photo Challenges in the past, and I thought it would be a fun activity for our library to put on for the students.
The idea is to create a "theme" for every day of the month. Then, you take pictures of books that coordinate with the day's theme. Post them to Instagram with the day's theme, book title, and a little blurb. I decided on the hastag #pondobookchallenge to go along with the pictures.
If you are unfamiliar with hastags, basically putting a hastag on a photo places all the photos with that hastag on one page together. Therefore, if I look up #pondobookchallenge on Instagram, I can see all of the students that are using the hastag to see what they have posted. You could come up with some great recommended titles for books talks without having to do much legwork!
Since this is my first Instagram Book Photo Challenge, I don't expect a TON of participants, but it could create some buzz for future months.
So how did I create each day's theme? I stole a few from Books and Cupcakes. However, the majority of this month's themes I made up.
I think it will be a fun event to participate in, and a great new way to get students thinking about reading!
I created an 11 X 17 poster below to post in every English teacher's room and asked them to encourage their student's to participate. I'm thinking of requiring my TAs to participate in at least a certain amount of days.
I can't wait to see where I can evolve this. And do you want to follow us on Instagram? I'll be posting my photo challenges as well as upcoming book releases and other fun things!
Check it out on Instagram @ponderosalibrary!
It's a legitimate question. Aren't libraries supposed to be quiet, studious, and serious environments? Our library is exactly that sometimes, but more often than not, you will come in and see a lively bubble of activity.
I plan here to chronicle monthly what our library is doing, asking questions of myself as a professional, and sharing what makes our library work. . . . .or what doesn't work! The field of education is always about experimentation. Throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks.
Come and take the journey with us to making our library lively and fun!
Jennifer Zimny has been a teacher librarian at Ponderosa High School for the past three years and previous to that, she was the drama teacher for 9 years. She holds a BA in Theatre from CSUS, a teaching credential in English, and a teaching credential in Library Media Services from Azusa Pacific University
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