Friday, January 20, 2017

Bring Music, Projects and Movement To Your Library & Classroom With These New Resources!

A very special box arrived at our house this week.

When I open it up, I was so excited to find the brand new Spring 2017 Cantata Learning books and songs.  I can't wait until you see them all too.  When I get home from the ALA Midwinter Conference I will do another post to show you all of these.
For now, you will find the new Spring 2017 titles on the Cantata Learning website.

And guess what?

The Cantata Learning website has been updated with lots of new things too!
Let's start with the music for each Cantata Learning title.

It is all free online to stream and download.  You can even find the instrumental version of the song and sheet music free online too.
Also, take notice of the Search Menu on the left hand side.  This has been enhanced to serve all of the needs of the teacher librarians and teachers when bringing these wonderful materials into every part of the curriculum.

It is terrific to be able to search even the Music Genre categories that these books fall in, which will be helpful in finding the perfect match.  Music teachers will find this search feature especially helpful.
Another one of my favorite updates to the Cantata Learning site are all of the additions to Lesson and Project Ideas

We have added seven different lesson plans for the new Spring 2017 series.  If you click on the images,
it will take you to that lesson plan.

For example, I clicked on the Fairy Tale Tunes Lesson Plan and it brought me to the page with this lesson for the new series of four Fairy Tale Tunes including Little Red Riding Hood and Beauty and the Beast.  I can't wait to use these with children!
You will also find the new search capabilities on the Lesson Plan page.

Teachers are now able to search these amazing lesson plans by Subject, Reading Level and Interest Level making it such a helpful place to find exactly what you need to enhance the curriculum with music and movement.
Lastly, I want to share a special place to submit your very own lesson ideas for using Cantata Learning.
If you have a lesson using Cantata, please send it our way by clicking here and using this form.
As the new Cantata Learning titles pop up on our shelves and into the hands of our little ones, use the website and all of these terrific updates to bring music, singing, movement and fun to your library and classroom too!  

3 Ways Music Brings Libraries To Life!

I want you to picture this: 
The first graders are learning all about seeds during the plant unit in the fall. To help them understand and remember the information, the teacher introduces Little Seeds from Cantata Learning by reading and singing with the students.  
Give seeds warmth. Give them water. A plant could grow from everyone. Not only does the song help them remember the facts about seeds, the music gets them moving and interacting with others.
As Heather Wolpert-Gawron states in 8 Ways To Use Music In The Language Arts Classroom, “Music opens up neurons, opens doors in your brain that create a kind of loft space receptive to learning.” 
This is exactly what is happening in this classroom as the science concepts come to life with music. Bringing music to the classroom is something everyone can do, and read this brand new post on the Cantata Learning blog to find three easy ways music can bring your classroom to life too!  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Digital Learning Day Is On February 23, 2017....Please Join Us!

Join thousands of educators and students to celebrate Digital Learning Day 2017 on February 23, 2017

Across the country classrooms, schools, libraries, districts, and states will highlight great teaching and demonstrate how technology can improve student outcomes.

If you're planning to participate, add your event to the interactive map. Interested, but not sure what to do? 

Visit the Digital Learning Day interactive lesson plans page for ideas and inspiration.

Thank you, 

The Future Ready and Digital Learning Day Teams
Alliance for Excellent Education

Subscribe To The FutureReadyLibs List On Twitter Today!

With all of us connecting on Twitter using the #FutureReadyLibs hashtag, there are more and more Future Ready Librarians coming together in this community.

Our friend and teacher librarian Shannon Steimel has created a public list on Twitter for our FutureReadyLibs community.

You can subscribe to it at this link.  Also, send a tweet including #FutureReadyLibs or reach out to Shannon at @ShannonSteimel to let her know you'd love to be part of the list.

Thank you Shannon.....This will be another terrific place for Future Ready Librarians and supporters to connect.  
For more information, please check out the Future Ready Librarians page.

Gum and Candy Wrappers In Your Makerspace? Sounds Like A Fun Idea To Me!

My friend Sandi shared this post on creating gum wrapper chains today on her Facebook.  

I loved making these and it is always fun to find things people have created with gum and candy wrappers.

It made me think....Wouldn't it be fun to add gum and candy wrappers to your Makerspace with a bunch of ideas for your students to make their own creations too?  

It ties in recycling, repurposing, creativity and fun all into one!  Just make sure the candy is peanut free please. 

Here is a Pinterest wall that I just started to collect ideas for Making With Gum and Candy Wrappers.
This is one of my favorites with easy to follow directions and even a video.

Do you have any ideas?  How have your students created with gum and candy wrappers? 

We'd love to hear them!  

Join Us For The Free, Global Concert With Brady Rymer and Our Friends At Buncee!

I wanted to share with you all information about the free, global concert that we will be live-streaming for classrooms everywhere.

The Peace, Love and Buncee Buddies concert, starring three-time Grammy Nominee Brady Rymer, is a celebration of peace, the universal language of music, and the pen pal project Buncee Buddies.

Currently we have classrooms spread across 4 continents and we are hoping to get as many classrooms as possible to tune in and celebrate together.
Here is a message from Brady about the Global Buncee Buddies Concert and more information can be found here.
There will also be a contest running in conjunction with the concert.

You can enter the #bradyandbuncee Contest to win a Skype chat with Brady for your class a Buncee discount!

Learn more about the contest here.

Thank you Brady for bringing all of us together to celebrate music, Buncee Buddies and friends.  

Ready To Use Lesson Plans Involving Music!

As the new year starts, kick it off by adding new energy and excitement to your classroom! One way to do this is through music. As Chris Boyd Brewer states in Music and Learning: Integrating Music in the Classroom“Music will activate students mentally, physically, and emotionally and create learning states which enhance understanding of learning material.”
The stories, songs, and ready-to-use lesson plans from Cantata Learning will add just what you need to bring your classroom to life with music, while helping your students retain and recall information in a different way.  
You will find the entire post and all of these fantastic lesson plans on the Cantata Learning blog here

It's Time To Invite Our Administrators & Leaders To Join The Future Ready Librarian Conversation Too!

There is such an amazing buzz happening in the school library world! 

Future Ready Librarians has grown into this wonderful group of teacher librarians and advocates.  

It is amazing to see the relationships and conversations that are taking place in the Future Ready Librarians Facebook Group, in the #FutureReadyLibs hashtag on Twitter and at conferences around the country.  

There is one group that we now must invite to the conversation too and that includes all of the amazing administrators and leaders we work with everyday.  They must be a part of this so we can truly make a change within schools and districts for libraries, librarians and especially the children we serve.  

This week invite your administrator.  Reach out and share the Future Ready Librarians page and all of the terrific conversations and advocacy taking place.  

And help them become aware of the importance of Future Ready Librarians. 

Together we will make a difference.  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Future Ready Schools and Follett Invite You To Join Us As We Kick Off The Future Ready Librarians Webinar Series On February 14, 2017!

On February 14, 2017 we will be kicking off the Future Ready Librarians Webinar Series.

The first webinar Future Ready Librarians: What's Not To Love? will be a wonderful way to kick off this series that will focus on all aspects of Future Ready Librarians throughout the year.
You can read all about the webinar and register here.
This webinar is brought to us from Future Ready Schools which is a project of the Alliance for Excellent Education and Follett who supports our Future Ready Librarians program.

Please join us...It will be an awesome way to kick off a brand new year of Future Ready Librarians and the difference we can create in libraries, school, communities and throughout the world.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Flipgrid One...A Very Special Announcement For The Voice Of All Students!

Our friends at Flipgrid have made a very special announcement.

They have announced Flipgrid One which will give all teachers and students access to one of the most digital platforms there is for education.  
In the blog post Introducing Flipgrid One and Flipgrid Classroom, Jim Leslie, CEO and Cofounder of Flipgrid wrote...
Flipgrid One is a free, single-grid version of Flipgrid that allows any teacher to engage her or his class in the Flipgrid experience and empower student voice.  Flipgrid One teachers can have as many topics and students responses in their grid as they like.  

It has password protection, moderation, transcripts, free iOS and Android apps, and more!  

This makes me so happy because Flipgrid can now empower the voice of all students!
You can sign up for Flipgrid One here!

In a few days, I will be sharing Flipgrid Classroom and the awesome new features like students assessments, feedback and responses, and so much more!

Thank you Flipgrid friends.  You have made a huge impact this week on education and world. 

Let's Get The #FutureReadyLibs Conversation Started!

Today we are kicking off a brand new hashtag to start using in our Future Ready Librarians conversations on Twitter, Instagram and in other social media platforms. 

It is #futurereadylibs and we can't wait to get this conversation started!  

This will be an awesome hashtag to include in your tweets, shares, questions and all things about Future Ready Libraries.  This is just the start and we can't wait to see where this conversation takes librarians, libraries and education in 2017!  
Follow our Future Ready Librarians Facebook Group and all of the amazing work that Follett and Project Connect are doing in libraries and schools at @FollettLearning.  

And of course, follow Future Ready Schools at @FutureReady. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Scholastic's Teacher & Principal School Report...Something We All Need To Read

Scholastic has released a new report,Teacher & Principal School Report: Equity in Education

They shared, 

This report features the voices of more than 4,700 public school Pre-K–12 teachers and principals from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, sharing their views and experiences regarding the barriers to equity, educators’ funding priorities and personal spending for students and classrooms, the role of families and communities, and professional development needs. 

You can get to the report and wonderful resources here on the site
 I especially love the different infographics they have created using the information from the report.  There are five infographics you can download from the site too. 

Please spend time with this report.  It is very important to the library and education profession...and to the children and communities that we serve. 

Knitting for Mrs. Goldman and Dozens of Other Picture, Fiction and Nonfiction Knitting Books!

This year I want to learn how to knit.

I love the culture around knitting.  The care and love that goes into knitting is such a sweet thing.

And I love all of the things that can be created by knitting.  Scarves, mittens, sweaters, dolls...
and even hats, just like in the book A Hat for Mrs. Goldman, one of the newest books in our library. 
Michelle Edwards wrote A Hat for Mrs. Goldman...a Story of Knitting and Love, with beautiful illustrations created by G. Brian Karas.
As this School Library Journal review states,
Mrs. Goldman is a knitter, and users her talents to show love and affection for everyone in her neighborhood my making them hats.  
Sophia notices that Mrs. Goldman's head is bare because she spends all of her time knitting for others.  
When Sophia's hat has a few holes in it, she creates pom-poms to cover the holes...
 making it even more special than ever for Mrs. Goldman.
The back matter includes a easy to follow pattern for the hat and pom-poms that will be easy to follow for beginners and experienced knitters alike.
Michelle's website is terrific and highlights all of her books including A Hat for Mrs. Goldman and a lovely book for knitters called A Knitter's Home Companion.   I can't wait to add this to our library too.
With World Read Aloud Day coming up, I was happy to see that Michelle does Skype with groups of children and knitters.  You can find out about her Skype connections here.

She'd be the perfect Skype to bring to your knitters in the library and Makerspace.
And as a special treat, Brianna and I pulled together dozens of other picture, fiction and nonfiction picture books all about knitting.  These are perfect for storytime, for adding to your Makerspace and to pair up with that student you have who just loves knitting.

You will find the Knitting Books Pinterest Board here.

They are something that will definitely tug at your heart strings and bring you together in the library....just as Sophia did with the hat she knitted for Mrs. Goldman.

Super Heroes To Label Your Library From Capstone!

Everyone loves Super Heroes...and Super Villains too!

Our friends at Capstone have created some very awesome posters of DC Super Heroes to label our libraries!

You can find these posters for each Dewey Range on the Capstone website....
under Capstone Downloadables in the corner on Capstone's home page.

Thank you Capstone!  Our kids are going to love this new super addition to the library!  

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Three Ways To Bring Buncee To Your Makerspace!


Our library Makerspace had something for everyone.  

This was one of the best parts behind the space and philosophy.  I wanted there to be a huge variety of materials and ideas for every single imagination and passion within our school.  

There were LEGO's, robots, 3D printing, knitting supplies, coloring, Sphero's, LittleBits, beads bracelets, fashion design, duct tape and loads of books to inspire and foster creative ideas.  
We even had a Digital Makerspace which was a place for all kinds of things including eBooks for ideas, databases for research, and lots of apps and digital tools for making too!
In our Digital Makerspace we had a Symbaloo that held all of these resources.

And one tile they just loved going to was Buncee!  
As the site says, Buncee is a creation and presentation tool for students and educators to create interactive classroom content, allowing learners of all ages to visualize concepts and communicate creatively.  

And it is perfect to use for so many reasons with our Makerspaces and creative spaces too.

Here are three ways to bring Buncee to your Makerspace: 
1.  Create with Buncee.  

Students can create amazing things with Buncee....interactive posters, greeting cards, digital stories, art portfolios, diaries of their creative Makerspace journey, scrapbooks, knitting journals and so much more!  The sky is the limit on what can be created with Buncee.

And the Buncee app is just as fun and makes your digital Makerspace mobile too!   

2.  Use Buncee to create Maker Buncee's. 

You can use Buncee to create step-by-step instructions on how to create things.  You can even include photographs or videos within your Maker Buncee's too.  

My Buncee friend Meagan created these amazing Maker Buncee's and just look at what kids can create by reading and interacting with them. 

3. You can use Buncee to create invitations for Makerspace activities, signage and special announcements to get more and more of your students excited and engaged.  

I love the Buncee that @MrsJohnsonzps made for their Makerspace club.  Thank you for sharing this @AllysonApsey.  
You can check our this Makerspace Invitation Buncee here

As you can see, Buncee brings your Makerspace to life!  

And brings a little bit of digital creativity, inspiration and fun to your makers too.