Saturday, October 20, 2018

Traveling Mural Project....Join Us For This Global Art Project, Friends!

As we get ready at Van Meter Community School in Iowa to celebrate Read for the Record on October 25 with the beautiful story Maybe Something Beautiful, we wanted to start something special with others around the world by creating a traveling community mural project.

With the Traveling Mural Project, we will be connecting with other school communities around the world to create murals of peace, friendship, diversity and love. The theme and design of the mural your community create is up to you! That is what will make this project so unique and personal.

Here are the easy steps to get involved and be part of the traveling mural project too.

1. Sign up at where you will connect with a group of 10 other schools, libraries and classrooms.

2. Create a 10 foot mural with your school community on butcher paper.  You can use paints, crayons, markers, pencil, etc.. You can use any color of butcher paper you would like.

It can be as simple as putting up a 10 foot piece of butcher paper and having your students contribute to it over the course of a week or two to having it all drawn out for them to color in too. Anything goes with this mural project....make it personal to your community and students.
3. When the mural is finished, cut the mural into 10, 1 foot long pieces and send them to the 9 other places on your list.  Make sure to include the name and location of your school somewhere on the mural. Keep one of the pieces for your mural. Send the mural pieces by November 15, 2018.

4. Once you have all 10 pieces of the mural, put it together with your students to create your traveling community mural.

5. Make connections throughout this project with the others in your group. This project is about creating global connections and community with others around the world.  We can use Skype, Google Hangout, Kidblog and other forms of communication.

6. Post pictures & videos using #travelingmural on Twitter & Instagram. Let's all post these by the end of 2018.
Here is a Google Slide presentation that our related arts team is using to kick off this project at Van Meter.  You are welcome to use it or make a copy and add your own slides too.
There are lots of wonderful picture and nonfiction books to use when talking about and creating murals.  This is a Padlet with several….please feel free to add more too.

Thank you for being part of the Traveling Mural Project with our students and community.  We hope to connect with all of you as we create our murals and celebrate community with others around the world.  

Halloween Collection by Destiny Filled With Books, Songs, Interactive Sites, Making, Learning and Fun For You and Your Students!

It's October and time to start planning for a month of fun Halloween reading, making, baking, singing, learning, writing and fun.  

And guess what? I have lots of new things to share with you!  

Let me share two new Collections by Destiny that I created.  
You will find the Let's Celebrate Halloween Collection for elementary students here.
Two of my favorite new books for Halloween are the ones at the top of this post....
Halloween and Monster Party...A Song About Drawing With Numbers from Cantata Learning.  These stories are paired with music that you will find online to stream or download.

It is super easy for students to get to the music by scanning the QR codes found throughout each book.
Monster Party...A Song about Drawing and Numbers is from the new Sing and Draw Set by the dynamic team of Blake Hoena, Tim Palin and Emily Arrow.
I remember drawing things from numbers when I was young from Ed Emberley's fantastic books and the six new books in this Cantata Learning series are just as fun!

And they can sing along while drawing and learning about numbers....How cool is that!

I added the Monster Party video to the Let's Celebrate Halloween Collection so it will be super easy for your students to sing and draw monsters too. 
You will find all four of the titles from this series in the Sing and Draw YouTube playlist here.
These two series of Cantata Learning books, along with all Cantata titles, are available on Titlewave from Follett.
In fact, these books and more can be found on the October 31 Happy Halloween Titlewave List that our friends at Follett have put together for us.  

I just love looking through all of the wonderful books available for our readers for Halloween and the fall.  
Also, in the Let's Celebrate Halloween Collection you will find lots of educational and fun websites and activities including ones from PBS Kids,
 several from ABCya!,
 and a link to Buncee, where you and your students can create so many amazing digital stories for...
Halloween too!

Check it out and share this Collection with your students this month too. 
As for the librarians and teachers, I have created the Halloween Collection for Librarians and Teachers that you will find here.
It is filled with amazing learning, teaching, making, reading and sharing Halloween resources. There is definitely something for everyone here.

I will continue to add to both Halloween Collections and please let me know if you'd like to collaborate and share things on them too.  I will make you a collaborator...that would be fun.

Happy October and Halloween, friends....I hope you find lots of ideas in this post and enjoy the month in your library and school too!  

Friday, October 19, 2018

Kathy Kinney (Mrs. P) and I Brought A Little Magic To OASL In Portland!

Last Saturday was a very special day for me.  It was the day my dear friend Kathy Kinney and I finally met in person after all these years. 
You see over the last 10 years, Kathy, or Mrs. P as my students know her, have connected virtually on Skype and Google Hangout dozens of times.  We have celebrated Dot Day, World Read Aloud Day, Poem in Your Pocket, Poetry Month, Children's Book Week, 
for her special Be-A-Famous-Writer' Contest and so much more. 

And you might not know this little fact about Kathy, she also played Mimi on the Drew Carey show so she has connected with our older students to talk about improv and public speaking too.  
In fact, next week Kathy is kicking off a new Poetry Slam project with our 8th graders at Van Meter School.  We can't wait! 
When I was asked to come give the keynote at the OASL (Oregon Association of School Librarians) Conference in the fall, I contacted Kathy's amazing Head Elf or assistant, Dana Plautz, to tell her and Kathy I was coming to Portland.  
The three of us knew we just had to make it work so Kathy and I would have a chance to share our story and the power of connecting through storytelling and technology at the conference.
Thanks to Holly Gardner and Stuart Levy, who planned the conference, they made it possible for both of us to be together on this very special day along with our friends at....
Follett. We loved sharing the excitement of the conference with all of them.  
As I gave my keynote Let Them Be Heard....Giving Our Students A Voice, I thought a lot about the connections my students, teachers and community have made over the years and what these have meant to all of us. 
I thought about the connections we have made with Kathy and what these brought to all of us, especially to me as a teacher librarian, professional and especially to me as a person and friend. 
As Kathy and I told our story, she shared what librarians and libraries mean to children and the power that all of us have by being there for them and making these valuable connections within their libraries too.  

By the end of our time together, I don't think there was a dry eye in the room.....including Kathy and I. It was just so special. 
After our keynote, we had a breakout session is a room packed full of librarians.  We had a terrific, heartfelt conversation about the magic of storytelling and again, what these moments and experiences bring to our students.
We all loved when Kathy shared, Because I was a reader, I knew I wanted to travel.  The world is a bigger place. This opened up such a lovely and important conversation that all of us took so much away from on that day.
To make my time in Wilsonville High School even more special,
they also asked me to be part of the OASL Author Panel with....
 authors and illustrators Mitali Perkins, Kathleen Lane, Mike Lawrence and....
...R. Gregory Christie. That was magical too!

I can't thank Holly, Stuart and my friends at Follett enough for bringing me to OASL and giving me a chance to share with so many amazing teacher librarians, authors, illustrators and others.

And especially to give my beautiful friend Kathy and I a chance to be together, to share our story and to make great plans for future collaborations, stories and magic.
Together, we are going to continue to make a difference and transform the lives of children, teachers, librarians and of course, for one another. 

The Workers For Our 2nd Grade PBL #OurHouse Have Been Hired!

Our 2nd graders in Tracy Ferguson's class at Van Meter had a very exciting Friday.  It was the day they were interviewing for their #OurHouse PBL jobs! 
When they kicked off their PBL, Let's Make A House Together last week, our friend and author of What Can You Do With A Toolbox, John Colaneri,
announced the six different jobs they could apply for.  You can read all about the kick off day with John and our 2nd graders here

They were so excited as they saw the...
 help that was wanted to build a house.

Each student in Tracy's class would fill out a #OurHouse Job Application for two positions they were interested in for the project.

After Tracy had all of the job applications, she put them into six groups within the job categories and found special people to interview the students.
Mr. Tibbetts, our elementary principal, interviewed the roofers;
 Mr. Barack, our industrial arts teachers, interviewed the electricians;
Kylie Carey, one of our high school students, interviewed the interior designers; and....
John interviewed the construction workers.  
 They all did such a wonderful job....
 ....filling out the #OurHouse Job Applications.
We loved reading through them as we prepared for the interviews too. 
 John, on Skype, and I went to Mr. Tibbett's office for a quiet place for the interviews.
 The students were all dressed so nicely for their interviews and....
 ....came very prepared... talk about their applications and wanting to be a construction worker.
 We loved the thought and....
 ...passion they put into their answers.
All of them had very special stories to share about building, creating, collaborating with their families and their...
 ...interest in doing a good job on the #OurHouse PBL project. We loved how they listened to one another and were interested in their classmates answers and passion too.
As the interviews wrapped up, John had them gather around the laptop to hear who got the jobs as construction workers for the project.
And guess what?  All eight of the 2nd graders got the construction worker jobs!  And boy, were they happy!

We know that our construction workers will join the others in their class to create, build, decorate, market and sell the best cardboard house they can!

Next week as they dig into their jobs, John and the others will be there supporting these kids along the way. By bringing this opportunity to our students, we are giving them a real life experience they will not forget.  It will tie into reading, writing, math, communication, science, social studies, art, research and so much more.

And the best part, they are in charge of their learning.  They are being given a platform to share their talents, passions, knowledge and most of all, their voice.

Stay tuned for more from #OurHouse in Mrs. Ferguson's 2nd grade class at Van Meter!