Community Member of the Week: Sandi Dennis

 

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This week we are checking in with Sandi Dennis, Library Media Specialist, Instructional Technology Specialist & Lead Media Specialist for City Schools of Decatur, GA.  Sandi has been using Discovery Education resources for approximately 12 years.  “It was the first tool I found that made sense to educators and it is still my go-to for digital integration resources!”

Read on to learn more about Sandi!

 

 

 

How do you start your day?

Checking out books to my early visitors.

Why did you become a teacher?

To help others (children and adults) discover new interests and learn new skills.3359275_orig

 

What is one of your favorite ways to use Discovery Education?

I love the full videos of children’s books! Sometimes I search for “Weston Woods” to see books, and my students break up into groups and reenact the books using puppet theaters after watching a video version of the book.

What is a ritual you have in your classroom?
We read to stuffed animals in my media center! It’s part of our culture now.  Our students learn how to take care of my “animal friends”, and it is amazing to watch them read stories together and share new vocabulary words.

How are you involved in education aside from your role as educator?
I help manage the DEN book club for teachers (one book a month & no requirements to join!) https://www.facebook.com/denbrarian

I blog on my personal blog (www.teachertechnotopia.com)

I have a Facebook page with tech tips https://www.facebook.com/TeacherTechnotopia

I guest blog for Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Passion for Learning educational blog http://www.gpb.org/blogs/passion-for-learning

6781468_origWhat advice do you give to a teacher who is hesitant to use digital media in their classroom?

Ask a support teacher (Media Specialist, Instructional Coach) to come work with you the first time you try something new. The students and you will benefit from an extra set of hands.

What advice do you have for first year teachers?

Seek out the most experienced person in the building and befriend them! They have seen so many things, and might even gift you their materials if they decide to retire! (it happened to me!)

 

 

What sites do you visit to assist in your teaching practice?

Discovery Education http://www.discoveryeducation.com/

Great Websites for Kids http://gws.ala.org/

Literacyhead http://literacyhead.com/

Novelist K-8 http://www.ebscohost.com/novelist

CLCD http://www.clcd.com/

We Give Books http://www.wegivebooks.org/

KidsReads http://www.kidsreads.com/

What other organizations/groups are you a part of?denbrarian logo

DE Leadership Council

DEN Guru (class of 2014).

Certified Cybersafety Presenter from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

I also previously worked to create an Apple Distinguished School in a 1:1 iPad environment.

What is your most memorable experience with the DEN?

Meeting new people from all corners of the globe and continuing a friendship with those people to this day.  And winning a prize in the costume contest once at DENSI.
Winning the Belk Service Learning Project for Georgia last year with our home libraries project for refugees.
(View the winning video here: http://www.belkservicelearningchallenge.com/gallery)

When you’re not working, where are we most likely to find you?

The library! (or walking my dog, watching a volleyball match, texting my friends, antique store browsing, swimming, traveling, viewing a movie)

6596474What is your favorite kind of donut?

Vanilla with real caramel icing

How can others connect with you?

@sandidennis

 

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