Thursday, October 1, 2015

Our Readers Can Rate Books In MackinVIA Now...and See What Others Thought Too!

There have been some interactive features updates in MackinVIA lately that make it even better than ever!  

One that I really love is that our readers can now rate books they have read.  They can see what others have rated books too. 

All they have to do is be logged into their Backpack.  
Then they can give one to five being the lowest and five being the highest rating.  
It's easy to see how other users have rated the resource.  Just click on the yellow stars to see a breakdown. 
You will want to make sure that ratings is turned on in your MackinVIA Administrator Settings.
Just make sure Rating is marked Active. 

This will be one more way that MackinVIA can help you engage and excite your students and school community to get even more excited about reading.  

Quick Rubric....An Awesome New Tool From Our Friends At Storyboard That!

Our friends at Storyboard That have created an awesome new tool that help us make rubrics simple, fast, clean and modern.  

It is called Quick Rubric!  
 And you can Create a Rubric with one simple click!
As you create a rubric, details like title, description, instructions, criteria and topics can be added.

It is simple to adjust the scores within each section.
 They have given us a few great resources to help us understand rubrics....
and tips for creating rubrics too.

The rubrics that you create can be saved and used again, which will make this digital tool even more helpful.

Susan Reagan and Her Little Penguin Friends Slipper and Flipper Visit Amana Elementary!

A couple of years ago I sent a tweet to an author and illustrator that would lead to a very special Skype with my 2nd graders.  
It was with my dear friend Susan Reagan and she shared her adorable book Tweet Hearts. You can read all about this first visit here
Susan's work is beautiful.  She worked for American Greetings creating illustrations for cards and other products.  She then left there to pursue her dream of illustrating and writing children's books.   

Earlier this year, she shared some exciting news with me.  
She had a new book coming out from Disney Hyperion called Slipper and Flipper in the Quest for the Golden Sun.  
I loved the book from the moment I saw it.  These two sweet little penguins are the cutest as they go on an adventure around the world after hearing their...
Papa tell tales of the great penguin explorer, Don Pinguino, who left the way-far-south in search of the Land of the Golden Sun.   
This week my sister Heather and her students at Amana Elementary were lucky to have Susan read Slipper and Flipper to us over Skype. 

The way Susan integrated maps and photographs into her illustrations is so neat and makes the story come to life. 
The children asked lots of questions....we all learned a lot about the penguins and her work. 
Susan created this wonderful Slipper and Flipper Freezle Franzzle Fun Activities pack for us to use with our little ones.  
As I read through my new School Library Journal yesterday, I was happy to see Slipper and Flipper pop up from an page with new picture books this fall.   This is definitely one you will not want to miss.....your kids will love it!  

Thank you Susan for sharing Slipper and Flipper with all of us.  We loved it....and just love you and your books!