March 28, 2014

School Librarian

I saw this on the School Librarian Workshop's Facebook page and had to share.
What do you think?

March 23, 2014


The CPS REVITAL program is managed by Chicago Public Schools:  Libraries.  Visit the program website at ReVITAL Grant.  Fifteen elementary and five high schools participate in this two-year program (2013-2015) that will demonstrate best uses of iPads and Chromebooks in the library.  The program is funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The grant has a really cool blog that highlights the work that the ReVITAL grant librarians are currently doing.  Check out our work at:

Funny Stories

I often share funny stories about my students and events that take place in my Library Media Center with my family.  Here's two doozies for you.

Teens are always eating/snacking on something.  Normally I have to deal with my students eating chips  and sunflower seeds.  I caught one of my favorite students making a bee-line to the lab with her class with a box of Trix under her arm.  She swore she wasn't going to eat it while she was in the lab.  I guess I was born yesterday.  You can see the look of surprise on her face when I took the cereal and informed her she could get it after dismissal.  

Pure comedy!

This one took the cake.  

This year I began making really elaborate book displays.  I have a 'DIVA' book display by the front door of the LMC where I showcase books that appeal to teen girls.  'Wendy' as I call her is super chic, glasses, boa and all.  She even sports one of my old lace front human hair wigs.   The girls enjoy playing with the hair while checking out the books on the display.

During a week's visit in the LMC, a all male leadership class used the wig to shoot a public service announcement on the iPads.  After three class periods, the wig disappeared and no one knew what happened to the wig.  Fingers were pointing and no one was talking...typical right.  Wendy had to sport a stylish headscarf for about a week.  Finally a teacher on the other side of the building remembered that I had the display and informed me that he found the wig.  One of the school's jokesters was caught wearing the wig in his class as a joke.    When I got the wig back, it was matted and tangled.  Well, Wendy's wig is back, she's looking chic and the wig is glued to her head.

Teenage Boys!!!!

I Stand Corrected...

One of my students saw my previous post, Another Installment of e-Cards and informed me that e-Cards are called Meme's.  So I stand corrected.  Here's another installment of my favorite Meme's.  Enjoy!

For those who understand my pain living in Chicago!
That was me!
Too cute!
Repeat post...I just love this one!
So true!
Love this one!

March 21, 2014

Character Mock Interviews

This was a really nice project.

My co-worker Ms Henderson recently completed an interesting projects where the students conducted character mock interviews.  During the three day class period, students took on the persona of a biographical character in history.  They composed questions and answers based on what they read in their biographies and for recording a mock interview as if they were the character.

Here are two excellent projects that I would like to share.  Using iPads in the Library Media Center, the  students used the iMovie 11 app to complete their assignments.   In post production one of my students Cameron, provided the voice over at the beginning of the video introducing the projects.  I think we have a new James Earl Jones!

The WP2 Collaboration Writing Project - Nelson Mandela from WPAHS Video Page on Vimeo.
Nelson Mandela -

The WP2 Collaboration Writing Project - Chris Gardner from WPAHS Video Page on Vimeo.
Chris Gardner -

March 18, 2014


It's time to delete.

As I perform the IOS 7 update all of my Library Media Center iPads, I find it's a perfect time to delete apps.  Deleting has taken me down memory lane.  Many of these apps haven't been used in over a year I'm ashamed to say.  I've learned a valuable lesson and will now be more selective in my app selection.

March 16, 2014

Phillips Students Visit Spain!

Yesterday students from Mrs. Carter-Richardson's honors Spanish class left O'Hare/JFK airports to travel to  Madrid, Spain.  This is a WONDERFUL experience for our students, some of which who have never left the city of the Chicago.  Throughout the trip (wifi permitting!!!) the students will be sending me pictures from their travels.   As I receive pictures from the students, I will upload them to the Phillips Pinterest account.  
WPAHS Honors Spanish Class Visits Spain -

Here's a iPhone exchange between John 'the photographer' and I before they departed from JFK.

Sneak Peek: Phillips Virtual Tour

Here's a sneak peek of the Phillips High School's 'Virtual Tour'.  Though in it's rough stages, the students still have some work to complete before they can properly use it as part of their upcoming tours.

Women's History Month on Pinterest!

Check out the Phillips High School's 'growing' Women's History Month Pinterest page!

Chatting With Dr. Joyce Valenza

Just sharing some great news.  I was recently interviewed by Dr. Joyce Valenza of School Library Journal about the use of Pinterest at my school.  

This is the first time any of my work has been recognized by School Library Journal and it is indeed an honor! 

Here's the article that Dr. Valenza wrote:   
K.C. Boyd: Archiving academic culture and building community presence on Pinterest

Here's the accompanying Google Hangout:

March 4, 2014

The Breathing Zone

This app really works!

The Breathing Zone
Lately I've been in 'discovery' mode with the new iPads. Sometimes I'm successful, but more often I fail miserably. Frustration levels can get high and sometimes I feel like I didn't accomplish anything.  I really like The Breathing Zone app because it helps you return back to a 'normal' state of mind and just calm down.

This app works for me and I discovered that it works well with my students too.   My student *Stacy came into the Library Media Center, fired up about the typical 'girl' drama.  I immediately grabbed my iPhone, instructed her to sit down, close her eyes and listen to the breathing instructions.  After three minutes, Stacy came back from the edge of teenage drama.

I was really fortunate to catch this app when it was posted free for 24 hours in the app store.   For those who are considering purchasing this app, it is well worth the $3.99 price.  You can set the time, music and male/female voice in the settings.  In addition, there is a nice log that can track your progress over a period of time.  The breathing analyzer provides a deeper monitoring of breathing activity and encourages the user to meet goals for optimal breathing patterns.

Just try it!

*For privacy purposes, the student's name has been changed.

March 3, 2014

Garage Band Anyone?

My co-worker Mr. Simpson has mastered the use of the Garage Band app.  Last month, when he approached me about team teaching a lesson, using the app I jumped at it.  I looked at it as an opportunity to learn something new with a tutor sitting by my side.    The only glitch I had was, my inability to load all of the iPads with the app due to a CPS tech issue.  Otherwise the some classes had to share the devices and it worked out pretty well.

The students had to create a 8 measure 'back beat'.  These beats would be used as a background beat for the class song.  Some classes used the acoustic guitar while others used the smart guitar.  Was it noisy in the Library Media Center, yes but I didn't mind.  The kids enjoyed themselves thoroughly.  The final project was uploaded to for grading.  Some of the students really created some interesting beats and in some cases Mr. Simpson and I were pleasantly surprised with the level of genius on the part of the students.

Within the first five minutes of the lesson, Mr. Simpson had the students hooked in.  The students were interested, smiling, laughing and eager to be creative.   There were students who seemed to 'come to life' before my eyes because they could creative their own song and share it with others.

Below is a video highlighting a couple of periods where students used the apps and spoke very candidly on camera about the lesson.  Mr. Simpson and I plan on working with the students again this week.  Stay tuned for more music from these classes.

March 1, 2014

CPS Developing Use of Innovative Classroom Technology

Back in January, I was a presenter at the Chicago Public Schools 'Tech Talk  2014 Conference." This conference was created by the district to celebrate the very best of the use of digital technologies by educators across the city.  Two of my students, Myiah and Jordan provided a hands on demonstration on the use of iMovie.  Below is a video highlighting the the conference where Myiah and Jordan are featured.  View more about the 'Behind the Paws Student News Program' on my Library Media Center website - Behind the Paws