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New Page for Elementary Library Makerspace Resources! November 17, 2015

Posted by Mrs. J in the Library in Makerspace!.
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As the maker movement gains momentum and becomes more mainstream in education, there are more and more teacher-librarians who ask me where to find the best resources, and where to start.

So Colleen Graves and I have been collaborating on a page of Awesome Elementary Library Makerspace Resources, which is cross-posted on Colleen’s blog as well.  (If you’re not following her, you should be!)  It’s a work in progress, so expect some updates in the future as we add new resources and recommended materials.

Elementary Makerspace Resources | Mrs. J in the Library @ A Wrinkle in Tech

Check it out, and feel free to offer suggestions in the comments!

TL Blogging Challenge #18 – PD Resources July 1, 2014

Posted by Mrs. J in the Library in How to Be Brave, PSLA, Reflections.
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TL Blogging Challenge #18 – What is your favorite professional development resource?  Webinars?  In person?  Social media?

My favorite way to participate in professional development is still face-to-face.  I enjoy going to the PA School Librarians Association annual conference and hearing from a real-life librarian what works in his or her library in PA.  It’s very specific and personalized, and I feel more PSLA_logocomfortable asking questions or making comments in person than I do online among a hundred or so participants.  Same with our state-wide trainings.  Each year, HSLC offers in-person training on Access PA inter-library loan system updates and the POWER Library databases (Pennsylvania’s digital resources available to every PA library for a nominal fee).  Besides the free lunch (sweet!), I enjoy the face-to-face interactions with our state library organizers and other local librarians.  I get more out of networking with them than I did when the same course was offered as an online webinar only.

Since I’ve started using Twitter, however, I’ve discovered a plethora of expert educators who are happy to share their expertise. It still doesn’t feel like I get the same amount of learning from conversations with them, but I’m also so new to Twitter that I’m still stumbling over the hashtags and etiquette.  I feel very inept sometimes when I read the profoundly wise tweets of my colleagues, and it’s hard not to compare.

Anyway, that’s about it for my own self-directed PD.  My district offers some through contracted PD days, of course, but more often than not, it’s about Common Core (something I’m already pretty well-versed in) or I’m doing the teaching.  Either way, I turn to social media and professional organizations like PSLA to help develop my own talents and skills professionally.

The blogging challenge is from Cybrarian Jen at Where Books and Technology Meet.  I’m going to try it out, but instead of daily posts, I’m going to try for 1-2 posts a week.  Follow and learn with us!  The participating blogs are listed in the comments of her post.

TL Blogging Challenge #16 – Text Wrapping Matters June 18, 2014

Posted by Mrs. J in the Library in Fun Stuff, Tech Tips.
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TL Blogging Challenge #16 – Share a tech tip for your fellow teachers or librarians.  How do you use this tech tip?  How does it simplify your life?

I’m a huge fan of Microsoft Word when making my TpT products and teaching resources.  Don’t get me wrong, I love cloud-based tools like Google Drive, but if I’m going to share my work with others, then I want it to work for any teacher or librarian, regardless of how tech savvy he or she is.  And I don’t think it’s too big of an assumption to say that every teacher knows how to use Microsoft Word (or Pages or Open Office Writer or some kind of word-processing program).

The problem with Microsoft Word is that making images and graphics look nice and *stay put* is a pain.  So I discovered a simple trick to make any image stay where you want it.  Just set the “text wrapping” to “In Front of Text” OR if it’s a digital paper, background, or border, set it to “Behind Text.”

TextWrappingScreenshot

Using “In Front of Text” and “Behind Text” text wrapping makes it easier to add graphics to Word documents.

You can even set the Microsoft Word program to automatically use “in front” or “behind” wrapping when you add an image, but that’s really up to you.  To set up the default text wrapping, go to:
File –> Options –> Advanced –> Scroll down to the Copy-Paste defaults.

The only caveat for using this trick is that by placing images in front of text, you may have to adjust your margins for a specific part of your text.  Just highlight the text you want to pull from under the image, then move the page margins on the ruler at the top.  For me, however, this is easier than adjusting a clipart graphic one pixel at a time, then cursing the computer when the movement shoves all of my text across the page.

Do you have a go-to program or tool that you are most comfortable with when you make teaching resources?  Share it in the comments!

The blogging challenge is from Cybrarian Jen at Where Books and Technology Meet.  I’m going to try it out, but instead of daily posts, I’m going to try for 1-2 posts a week.  Follow and learn with us!  The participating blogs are listed in the comments of her post.

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