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I love the days when the students are working on technology project and don’t realize it’s time to go back to their regular classroom,” says teacher librarian Julie Hembree from Washington.

Julie is an MS Innovative Expert & Master Skype Trainer who shares her passion for teaching and learning with students from grade 1 to grade 5 at Cougar Ridge, Washington. It is a high achieving school with about 600 K-5 students: “We just received the 2016 Washington State Achievement Award which is based on statewide assessment data for the three previous years,” describes Julie.

In June, Julie is finishing her 28th year of teaching but she says she doesn’t really count the years. “I love my job and coming to work is a joy,” she says.

Julie appreciates her role of teacher librarian for the opportunity to introduce new books and technology ideas with all of her students.

“I cherish the moments when students come to me and ask me for a book recommendation. I love the days when the students are working on technology project like Lifeliqe and don’t realize it’s time to go back to their regular classroom. I love seeing them immersed in learning and taking risks with something new.”

She has been using Lifeliqe since October 2016 when she learned about our mobile app at ISTE in Denver.

“I was amazed by the technology and how it could benefit my students. Conversations and Skype chats led to an offer to try it out and see how I could use it in the library.”

Lifeliqe helps teach poetry

Julie is a true inspiration when it comes to putting STEAM into practise. She managed to incorporate poetry into science classes and during April, National Poetry Month in the US she came up with a learning project easy to realize in every class. She asked her student to take a selfie with a Lifeliqe model and then write a short poem about it.

“I wanted to find a way to link using Lifeliqe with poetry and their classroom science curriculum. When I saw how much fun the kids were having with the AR feature , I thought it would be the perfect match.”

Julie describes her Poetry Challenge project:

  • All of my students (500) from grades 1-5 are creating poems using Lifeliqe “selfies”. Each grade level is assigned to a general topic which matches the science curriculum, such as astronomy for grade 4.
  • The students could pick their own subtopic and take a selfie. The photo could be serious or funny. The photos were then uploaded into a powerpoint slide.
  • I taught the older grades how to be creative with formatting text boxes, fonts, color, etc. They taught themselves how to play with artistic effects and shared with others.
  • The younger children are doing a lot by just typing in powerpoint, so we won’t get fancy on their poems. The students have seen lots of models from peers and really made their poem their own. It’s been fun to watch their creativity come alive.

Watching students create is magical

Julie believes that using Lifeliqe helped her to surpass the prejudice students have when thinking of poetry:

“In the past I have often heard groans from students when I said we were going to write poetry. Not this year because they are having too much fun writing and creating with this awesome tool. Watching these students create in Lifeliqe has truly been magical. They love virtual reality and have had the opportunity to experience it in a free and creative manner.”

Also, Tammy Dunbar wrote a beautiful limerick and shared it on Twitter with us:

If you would like to try the projects Julie is describing, get Lifeliqe and start spreading life-long learning passion such as Julie does. And share your story with us and other teachers in our new Facebook group.

By the way, Julie is a passionate teacher and she wants to use the holiday to spread knowledge in Africa. Support her crowdfunding project to make her go to Africa!

For non-US teachers: What a teacher librarian does?

Poem with Julie

Some members of Lifeliqe team joined a poetry challenge started by Julie.

In case you are not from the US, you might be wondering what a teacher librarian do.

“A teacher librarian teaches information literacy skills and supports the school curriculum through project learning. He or she promotes the love of literature and reading with students in order to promote life-long reading,” explains Julie.

Teacher librarians are certified teachers and also have specialized training and/or certifications in library science. According to the American Association of School Librarian standards for the 21st Century Learners (2007), librarians should ensure that students:

  1. Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge.
  2. Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge.
  3. Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our society.
  4. Pursue personal and aesthetic growth.  (American Association of School Librarians, 2007)

The role also encompasses the integration of technology in a variety of formats such as using databases and websites, creating digital movies, podcasts, digital citizenship, and critical thinking.

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