Category Archives: Inspiration

Welcome to TeachingBooks

TeachingBooks is an ever-expanding database of resources provided by WCS libraries to enrich teaching and student learning experiences with books. Students can gain insight from authors and illustrators directly with videos and interviews. There are lesson plans, novel guides, author name pronunciations, author performances, and so much more. There are so many multimedia resources that I can’t begin to list them all. There are over 1500 complete book readings that are searchable and sharable, and they are all multiuser which means your entire class can listen to the same book reading. There are many options for sharing as illustrated here for Kwame Alexander’s author page. Imagine labels placed right inside the covers of the books!

Listen to the humorous story about his name and explore lots of resources for his books.

You can access Teaching books right from Schoology. While in any of your Schoology courses you can click directly on on the lower left side. Make sure your pop-up blocker is off or you allow TeachingBooks. You should get a window as illustrated below where you can log in with Clever right under “Sign in”. You will then be asked to sign up for your educator account that can be used to share resources, customize lists and explore in depth how TeachingBooks can boost your literacy instruction.

There are video tutorials and a training slide deck to reveal additional resource items. In addition, you can request a webinar and TeachingBooks will be more than happy to customize one to your specific needs. They can be as brief as you need them to be and you only need a couple of participants to request a webinar. They are wonderful to work with as you explore the value of this multimedia resource for you and your students.

Apple Clips App Update

Apple has updated their Clips app. The update includes many new features including more options for screen dimensions. At Innovate, we love Clips! It is a simple tool that allows for creative and imaginative content creation for students. It is already available to all student iPads. Educators can download the app in the App Store.

“Clips, Apple’s video creation app for iOS, receives its biggest update yet with highly requested features that make it easier than ever for anyone to pick up an iPhone or iPad and start creating fun, multiclip videos — no editing experience needed. Clips 3.0, available today in the App Store, features a streamlined interface and full-screen browsers on iPhone that make it even simpler to record and add effects. On iPad, Clips supports landscape orientation, Scribble with Apple Pencil, and the use of a Bluetooth mouse or trackpad. The new version also lets users make videos in multiple aspect ratios, including horizontal and vertical, ideal for creating eye-catching content for Instagram Stories, Snapchat, YouTube, and more. And Clips 3.0 is optimized to record and share content in HDR using the rear-facing cameras on all iPhone 12 models, resulting in videos with more vibrant colors and contrast.” ~ Apple Newsroom

“Since its introduction, Clips has become one of the most popular iOS video creation apps, and millions of projects are made every day with it. Users love how easy it is to create fun, expressive videos for sharing with friends, family, and classmates with just a few taps on their iPhone or iPad screens,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Apps Product Marketing. “Today’s update, with a streamlined interface, support for vertical and horizontal video, HDR video capture using the new iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro, and fun new effects, will help users create Clips videos with more personality and polish than ever before.” ~ Apple Newsroom

Download the app today!

Digital Rewards

Stephanie Agee

As a library media specialist, during this time of quarantine, I have found my role as a support system for the teachers in my school with technology implementation. Several of the teachers have reached out asking about doing some type of digital reward system with their students online. As I searched for resources to share, I couldn’t find anything that was free or that didn’t require you to download or implement the use of another app—because as a working parent I don’t think I can handle keeping up with another app. So I came up this idea using Keynote. For non-apple users, Keynote is a lot like Powerpoint, but in my opinion it is much more user friendly. If you don’t have access to an Apple product, then use Powerpoint to do it. First of all, create a title slide in the same presentation for each of your students. One student name per slide. 

Click on the + sign on the tool bar. Then pick an “image” that represents certain things like completed i-Ready minutes, completed book log, participation in an online meeting, participation in music class online, etc. Then every time the student accomplishes that, give them a “sticker.” 

You can change the color of the “sticker” by making sure it is selected, click on the paint brush, style, and then select the color you want to make the “sticker.” 

Continue to add “stickers” for each accomplishment. At the end of the week, hit the play button on the tool bar to make each slide full screen, click through your Keynote and take a screen shot of each slide, so that you can send the picture to the student. Keep adding to the students’ slide each week and at the end, send one final picture or print it off and give it to your student.

Stephanie Agee is a regular contributor to Innovate.

Inspire Girls with Herstory

Recently, we celebrated Black History Month. In much the same way that history was often not recorded, and certainly not published, women’s history in the United States was often overlooked and omitted from our collective history. Although women’s contributions were as important and influential, the history of these were often left on the cutting room floor.

Each time a girl opens a book and reads a womanless history, she learns she is worth less.

Myra Pollack Sadker

History helps up learn who we are. When we don’t see ourselves in history, it’s difficult to see the path forward. Fortunately, it is 2020 and the important contributions by women are getting their due. The recognition of these accomplishments remind us, not just girls and women, but all of us, that a society is the sum of all of its parts. Together, we are writing history that brings equality and recognition for the accomplishments of all.

Katherine Johnson, 1918 – 2020

With the recent death of Katherine Johnson, a brilliant NASA mathematician, and a native of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, it’s important to continue to inspire new generations of girls. One way to do that is through STEM/STEAM education. Wood County Schools offers many STEAM opportunities for students to learn and explore.

Find ideas for apps, podcasts, and more below for celebrating Women’s History Month throughout March.

Lessons in Herstory

Lessons in Herstory App uses AR to bring to life forgotten stories of women, right on the pages of your history textbook. Scan any portrait of a man in your textbook and unlock a related story about an important woman. Currently, Lessons In Herstory works with “A History of US: Liberty for All? 1820-1860, Book Five, 2005”. The app will soon expand to work with more textbooks. But don’t worry if you don’t have a textbook, you can still use the app with the photos available on By putting a new lens on history, this app has the power to inspire the next generation through stories of powerful women.


The EngineerGirl website is designed to bring national attention to the exciting opportunities that engineering represents for girls and women.  Why girls and women?  Because despite an increase in female participation in many traditionally male-dominated professions such as medicine and law, women remain grossly under-represented in engineering.   Engineering and engineers are central to the process of innovation, and innovation drives economic growth.  Diversity of thought is crucial to creativity, and by leaving women out of the process of innovation we lose a key component of diversity and stifle innovation.  We want the creative problem-solvers of tomorrow to fully represent the world’s population, because they will be the ones to ensure our health, happiness, and safety in years to come.

Shirley Chisholm: Portrait of a Pioneer

Shirley Chisholm, an American educator, author, and politician, became the first African American woman elected to the United States Congress in 1968. She was also the first African American and woman to run for the Democratic Party’s nomination in 1972. She was a trailblazer.

Listen to a remembrance of Ms. Chisholm produced by NPR.

Listen to Ms. Chisholm in her own words.

Women’s History Shared In Podcasts

Find inspiring stories and lessons from our past with Women’s History themed podcasts from every angle. Please note that each podcast has not been vetted. Review before including in a lesson plan.

Notable Women AR

Notable Women is an augmented reality app that lets anyone see 100 historic American women where they’ve historically been left out: U.S. currency. Discover the accomplishments of activists, artists, scientists, business leaders, writers, civic leaders and more—right on the money in your wallet. Share a woman who inspires you with #NotableWomen and learn more at Notable Women is a project by former Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios, made with some friends from Google.