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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

DOS Hispanic Heritage Month

Florida Department of State Honors Hispanic Heritage Month

TALLAHASSEE— Secretary of State Ken Detzner joins Governor Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott to honor National Hispanic Heritage Month September 15 through October 15.  The Department of State encourages citizens to learn about Florida’s rich Hispanic history and cultural heritage during this time.

“Florida’s strength is found in our diversity,” said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. “As we celebrate and honor Hispanic Heritage Month, I hope all Floridians take the opportunity to learn more about the many cultures that make the Sunshine Sate such an incredible place to live the American Dream.”

This year, Governor Scott and the First Lady are celebrating Hispanic Heritage with the theme "Hispanic Culture: Living the American Dream in Florida." Maria Elena Elvira "Manena" was selected as the featured artist for Governor Rick Scott’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. Manena was born in Medellín, Colombia and was recognized for her drawing skills at a young age. In 2002 she moved to Bogota, and eventually to Miami. In Florida, Manena has studied art at Miami Dade College and continues to create works of art. She has had numerous national and international exhibitions from the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris to New York's ArtExpo, from Houston to Miami, from Colombia to Belgium. Her artwork is on display in the R.A. Gray Building lobby in Tallahassee through October 15.

The Department of State will be adding to the national #HispanicHeritageMonth conversation on social media with historical and event information specific to Florida.

Find out more about Hispanic Heritage Month here.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Stages in Writing

Stages in Writing
Writing, Rewriting & Mechanics
Tips for you and to share with your student….

There are four stages in the writing process.

Step 1: Planning

ü  Before you start writing you have to think about what you want to say. Why are you writing and who is your audience? Create an outline, make a list, or write notes as you plan what to write.

Step 2: Drafting

ü  As you write your first draft, put all ideas into sentences, and then organize sentences in paragraph form.
ü   Concentrate on explaining and supporting your ideas fully.
ü  Begin to connect your ideas and supporting points.
ü   Don’t pay too much attention to grammar, punctuation, and spelling at this stage.

Step 3: Revising

ü  After writing your draft, revise your writing. Eighty per cent of writing is revising. Revising focuses on the meaning of your writing, not on grammar, spelling, and punctuation—they come later. At this stage, make sure your writing says what you intend to say. You are continuing to focus on content, what you want to say.
ü  Have a system to mark the draft as you read it for the purpose of revising your writing. Here are examples:

Friday, September 5, 2014

Hispanice Heritage Month -- September 15 - November 15

 Public Library Celebrations in Florida
Programming Librarian: Resources for libraries to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach! Enjoy a live salsa performance, on September 30, 2:00 pm, with the international and versatile Florida Latin Beat band!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Deep Reading on Digital Devices

Those of us who enjoy reading and who grew up with books printed on paper, may not see reading online as real reading.  But, that doesn't have to be true.  We know that reading levels have dropped, even for those in college, but once you understand why that does not have to the case.

Kids and adults learning to read and comprehend today don't know how to read deeply, but studies show they can learn.

Quotes from Being A Better Online Reader, July 16, 2014 The New Yorker 

The shift from print to digital reading may lead to more than changes in speed and physical processing. It may come at a cost to understanding, analyzing, and evaluating a text. Much of Mangen’s research focusses on how the format of reading material may affect not just eye movement or reading strategy but broader processing abilities. One of her main hypotheses is that the physical presence of a book—its heft, its feel, the weight and order of its pages—may have more than a purely emotional or nostalgic significance.

Deep reading defined: It’s the “sophisticated comprehension processes,” as Wolf calls it,......
“Reading is a bridge to thought,” she says. “And it’s that process that I think is the real endangered aspect of reading.

In a new study, the introduction of an interactive annotation component helped improve comprehension and reading strategy use in a group of fifth graders. It turns out that they could read deeply. They just had to be taught how.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Looking for a Free Team Management Tool --up to 15 people can use this one for free

Tech-Talk: WEB TOOL - For Project Management

Do you ever want to collaborate on projects with colleagues and need a way to keep track of who's working on what... and the progress each person is making?

project managementGroup efforts can involve whole teams of people, both inside your organization and outside. 

Even if you have a defined goal and know who is responsible for each part, it can turn into a mess of back-and-forth email communications, not knowing the progress other members are making.

Project management software can be expensive, have steep learning curves and people have different preferences in the tools they use. So how do you manage these tasks?

We discovered a web-based option that we'll call a "lite" project management (PM) tool that includes the must-have options -- AND has a free level for up to 15 team members so that you can stay organized and get your work done at no additional cost.
Asana is a web-based tool that gives you one place to create projects with tasks, assign work to team members, and share ideas and updates. 

While it may not be filled with some of the bells and whistles that other PM tools offer, it has all the functionality you need to stay connected to your team and is simple and easy to use.
Asana's tag line is "teamwork without email" -- so that you don't have to rely on reading, writing, sorting messages related to each group task.

Interestingly enough, Asana was founded by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and ex-engineer Justin Rosenstein, both of whom worked on improving the productivity of employees at Facebook.

The creators of this tool like to refer to it as more of a "teamwork communications manager," rather than a traditional project management tool. All communication in Asana is actionable and tied to the work that needs to be done. In one place you'll see the critical information of: 
·  Project list
·  Tasks within each individual project that can be broken down into subsections
·  Who is responsible for each task
·  The due date of a task and if has been done
·  Notes and comments from team members
·  Links to corresponding documents (in GoogleDocs or Dropbox)

Asana Lets You:
·  Assign team members to be part of a project or just be designated to "follow" it (and receive periodic updates).
·  Create templates for recurring projects to save time in the future.
·  Archive completed projects so that you can save the history if needed.
·  Work on-the-go from anywhere ... because it is web-based.
·  Connect via iPhone and Android smart phones with an app.
·  Receive email updates to give you a heads-up when task due dates are approaching or a team member has completed a phase of the project.
·  Invite guests and give them special permissions to be assigned tasks or just view projects.
Sometimes with free tools, you "get what you pay for." But even though we consider Asana to be a lite-weight tool, it is robust enough for project planning and working together as a team.  

AsanaHowever, there are benefits to upgrading to a paid version. When you upgrade, you'll be able to use it if your organization has 15 or more members who you want to create projects, work within teams and have unlimited guests (not officially part of your group).  

To stay productive, you can even use Asana by yourself to get a handle on your own projects and to-do list items. Take a look at