Our first Bagels, Books, and Bytes of 2018 was Epic! One of my favorite technology resources out there for elementary students is Epic! ebooks. We've been using Epic! in our library since last year, but this year, I have just fallen in love with the collection component and the ease in which I can share collections of books to our students and staff. I have been modeling how to use this awesome tool by using Epic! for informational literacy skills during our projects (thank you HyperDocs!) and keeping an ebook station open all day, every day. Our students know how to use the app, but I really wanted teachers to learn how they can use it in the classroom as well.
Epic! is so amazing that I could not go into 2018 without our teachers knowing about it, so I made sure this was our first topic of Bagels, Books, and Bytes in the new year. Overall, I got great feedback from teachers stating they want to use Epic! more in their classrooms and I helped several teachers sign up for their own accounts. At the very least, I have had teachers emailing me to ask me to curate collections for their classrooms to push out to students.
Want to know more about Bagels, Books, and Bytes?
I try to offer a professional development session once a month in person for teachers in which I provide nummy goodies like bagels, donuts, fruit, and COFFEE. I try to keep the presentation short and sweet with the ability for teachers to stay around for a bit if they want to ask more in-depth questions or collaborate on a project. I usually gauge what topics to cover from surveys through Google Forms or from listening to teachers needs and wants at meetings, data teams, or in the lunch room. Teachers are no obligated to come, but I do make sure I include times most of our teachers can attend. For example, our teachers are required to be at school by 8am and the students are dismissed to class at 8:20-8:25am so I usually do a BBB from 7:45-8:15am so teachers do not have to arrive too early and they have time to stop by the restroom on the way to class. This works with our schedule because our teachers have such sporadic planning times and lunch times throughout the day and teachers prefer not to stay after school this year since our school day was pushed back. I also advertise, advertise, advertise so teachers know and remember that I am doing a BBB and what the topic is. Instagram, Twitter, Email, and printed invitations in teacher mailboxes. If you have any questions on starting something like this at your school, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'd love to help!