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A Different Kind of Webspiration Wednesday

Webspiration Wednesday normally consists of teachers gathering together in the library to watch and discuss an inspirational video or TED talk, followed by discussion about its implications in our classrooms.  Today was a different kind of Webspiration Wednesday. On March 10 I got a late night phone call that one of our second grade teachers had died.  I was convinced that I was hearing wrong, Val was only 53 and I saw her that morning.  She wasn’t feeling well when she got to school, so we called her  a sub.  Being that she is a teacher, she came back to school at 4:00 to write up sub plans and get everything ready for her absense the next day.  Her husband and 7 year old daughter were with her, and gave her 5 minutes to get her plans laid out.  Of course 5 minutes turned into 30 as she set out plans, answered emails, and wrote a morning message for her students at the board.  As she was finializing plans, she collapsed.  Paramedics weren’t able to revive her.   Our school body went into a state of shock and mourning.  The next day we had no school.  Teachers gathered and cried together, and we asked a lot of questions about how best to minister to grieving kids.  We brought in grief counselors and came together with our students the next day to help the students process the loss in any way that we could.  As a school body we felt utterly depleted.  An amazing thing happened, schools from  around the country came together to support us.  My PLN on Twitter immediately sent articles and podcasts for how to help children through the grief process and offered words of hope.  Jason Schmidt (@jasonschmidt123) had his students write notes of hope, encouragement, and prayers for Val’s little girl.  They arrived the day of Val’s funeral.   A neighboring school showed us love and encouragement by providing our staff the opportunity to come together over a catered lunch.  Today we broke bread together.  We talked, and laughed, and reminiced together.  We don’t often get that opportunity with staggered lunches and busy schedules.  We were inspired today not by a video talk, but by the love showed by others.   Thank you all for your inspiration, words of encouragement, and hope.

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International Childrens Digital Library

Posted by admin | Posted in Art, Foreign Language, Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, iPod, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 30-12-2008

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What it is:  The International Childrens Digital Library (also known as ICDL) is an online digital library for children of all ages.  The mission of ICDL is to “ excite and inspire the world’s children to become members of the global community – children who understand the value of tolerance and respect for diverse cultures, languages and ideas — by making the best in children’s literature available online.”  When students visit the ICDL website they are brought to a simple search area where they can choose different options for finding a book.  They can narrow down results by age (3-13), fiction or non-fiction, book length, award winners, language, picture or chapter books, subject matter, and even what colors that cover has in it.  When students choose a book they can read the book in its entirety online.  I learned about this site in the iTunes store, they have a free iPod Touch and iPhone application for downloading books from the ICDL in addition to their online content.  So neat!

 

How to integrate ICDL into the classroom:   The ICDL website reminds me a lot of LookyBook.  The search options are extremely user friendly and allow even the youngest readers to find a book they are sure to love.  Students can register for the library (free) and then leave an online review of the book.  I like the idea of digital libraries for students because it opens up a number of books to them that they may not otherwise have access to.  If a story is started during school, students can finish the story when they get home from any Internet connected computer.  The ICDL is nice for reading groups.  All students can be reading the same book from school and from home without setting aside a large budget for group sets.  The search is a wonderful way for students to discover what types of literature they enjoy.  Many of the books featured are from different cultures and languages, these would be perfect to bring into a foreign language classroom.  ICDL books provide a fun way for students to gain global awareness.  Books in other languages could also be used as a starting point for student created stories.  Students can do picture walks through the online books and then compose their own story to accompany the pictures.  ICDL is a great way to read with the whole class.  Connect your computer with a projector and students can read the story along with you, everyone will be able to see the pictures as you discuss the story!  

 

Tips:  One thing that I really appreciate about ICDL is the ability to view the books full screen and zoom in and out of the pages.  The site is easy to navigate and this feature makes it even more user friendly.  

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using ICDL  in your classroom.

Comments (1)

Thank you for your tireless blogging. I have been more inspired by your website than any other this year, and I visit a great deal of websites. I feel indebted to you and look forward to your new posts. You have contributed a great deal to the lives of my students and other teachers in our district as a result of what you regularly share. Please keep posting and thank you!
David

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