Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Let's All Share What We Do As Future Ready Librarians In Each One Of The FRL Wedges!

This week was Future Ready Illinois in Naperville at North Central College. 
I had such a wonderful time with our team as we worked with administrators, technology directors, principals, coaches and of course, lots of very special Future Ready Librarians. 
On the second day, as we examined, dissected and shared ways Future Ready Librarians lead, teach and serve within our libraries, schools and communities,  one of my new friends, Becky Ackermann, came up to me with an idea from the collaborating they were doing at their table. 
Even though we took the FRL Framework apart on the first day together by breaking into 10 groups and...
 ...providing more meaning and examples to each wedge,
Becky and her table thought it would be super helpful to now come up with very specific examples, ideas, resources and more to help us be successful and creative within each. 
We started to do this with the sticky notes we were adding on Day 1, but it would be nice to have an online place where these ideas are captured and stored for everyone to use and share. 
As Becky and I talked through it, I created a new Padlet to collect the ideas from all of us at the Future Ready Institute, and other Future Ready Librarians around the country, and around the world.

Now, where the fun part begins!  

Please share what you do specifically to lead, teach and serve in each one of the wedges by adding to the Padlet.  
Thank you Becky and your team members for sharing your idea!  You made a difference today, friend. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Join Us For The #IAmMore Webinar On September 19!

Our 6th graders participated in a very special event called #IAmMore last week. 
The #IAmMore program, from our friends at Voyager Sopris, 
 is an opportunity for our students and ourselves to have a voice and share untapped potential.  
They want us to help celebrate by getting involved and sharing a photo or video. There are even really great prizes involved.  

You will find this information online, but guess what?  I am doing a webinar with Voyager Sopris about the #IAmMore event and other ways to embrace and celebrate literacy.  
All you have to do is click here to register for the webinar, What Does I AM MORE Mean To You?  It is on September 19 at 4:30pm CST.  

We hope to see you there to learn more and get involved today! 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

A Collection by Destiny Set Of Special Yearly Events For Our Community!

Even with just three weeks of school behind us, Jessica and I have researched, collected and curated resources for several special events coming up.  This is a big request from teachers and one that we love to provide for them through the resources we have in our library, through the state and local AEA (Area Education Agency) and things we find online.  
We have shared International Dot Day, 
9/11 Remembrance Day, 
and lots of wonderful resources for Constitution Day coming up on September 17. 
With all of these Collections we are creating, we decided to bring them together in a new Collection Set this week.  This is a new feature in Collections and one of my favorite things! 

With a Collection Set, we can bring together as many Collections as we want in one place.  You can read more about this and how to make your own in this post I wrote
We shared this right away in our Library Google Classroom and also....
 ...created a new page on our Van Meter School Library Website under the Teachers tab. 

The Collection Se of Special Yearly Events will be such an important place for all of us as we celebrate these special days, plan and collaborate with one another, and share these with our students, families and community. 

Let's see what we can plan to celebrate and learn about next!  

Friday, September 14, 2018

Library Pop-Up PD With Jessica and Shannon!

We are really excited to be kicking off a year of new PD in our library and school this fall. 

Jessica, my teacher librarian partner, and I are kicking off our Library Pop-Up PD program at Van Meter next week and we couldn't be more excited. 

Today, our colleague and 5th grade teacher Megan Algreen kicked off these wonderful Pop-Up PD sessions at Van Meter, with one all about Twitter Basics. This was a program that was started last year at our school.  They were a hit! 

We are excited to jump into these Pop-Up PD sessions too because they will give us a chance to meet with the teachers and share valuable resources as we create, and connect with of all of them throughout the year.  It will also give us time to collaborate and brainstorm lots of ways these resources and tools can be used within their classrooms and with our students.  
Next week, we will kick off our Library Pop-Up PD's after school on Friday.  We will be teaching them all about Collections in Destiny, which will help everyone gather, organize and share library and online resources all year long.  
We will be posting updates for our Library Pop-Up PD's and include all of the resources that we use here on our library website, Van Meter School Library. 

This year, I hope you think about how you can get creative with how you connect and tie in professional development opportunities with your staff too.  

Let us know what you are doing...We would love to hear your ideas and events.  

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Use Google Classroom To Share News & Resources With Your Teachers

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, I was lucky to teach, share and learn alongside almost 40 Future Ready Librarians at the Future Ready Institute in Ohio.

As we discussed the different wedges of the Future Ready Librarian Framework and roles we have, I gathered ideas on a piece of paper that really stuck out to me and ones I wanted to put into place in our library.

One of my favorite ideas came up as we talked about curating resources and sharing them with teachers.
I spoke about how awesome Collections by Destiny are to curate resources and share with teachers and students. We also brainstormed and shared ideas on the best ways to get the word out about all of the things we do as we gather, curate and share them too.
One new teacher librarian friend from Ohio gave me the BEST idea!  As I was sharing how we created Google Classrooms for each elementary class this week, she said,

I created a Google Classroom for my teachers too.  This is how I share resources and news with them.  
Brilliant!  I love this idea!  In fact, during our next break at the Institute, I created the new Elementary Library Shared News & Resources For Teachers Google Classroom.

This will be a place for us to share news from the library and around the school such as author Skype's, new books, special projects, events, and more.  We will also be sharing lots of resources such as book talks and trailers, Collections by Destiny, blog post links, AEA Resources, and much, much more!  The possibilities are endless!

Every time we post in our Library Google Classroom, the teachers will get an alert in their email.  If they use the Google Classroom app on their device, they will get these updates pushed out to them too. This will not only mainstream the things we are sharing, it will also be nice to go back and look year and year at what was shared.  I find this one of the most helpful pieces of Google Classroom.

As we get our Elementary Library Shared News and Resources For Teachers Google Classroom all set up and running, we will share even more from this wonderful project.  

Connecting The Dots Between Iowa and Georgia For Dot Day!

Today, we celebrated Dot Day with our Van Meter, Iowa first graders in Mindy Doggett's class and our new 2nd grade friends in Andy Plemmons library in Athens, Georgia.
We celebrate Dot Day....
...by reading another one of our favorites by Peter Reynolds, Ish!  Andy and I read it back and forth between Georgia and Iowa.
After we read, the students shared how they have been making their mark this week.

Our first graders have been busy creating beautiful coffee filter dots, while....
...Andy's students all made their amazing dots on pieces of yellow paper.
The students took turns...
...sharing how they...
...make their mark...
...on the world!

Thank you to Mr. Plemmons and the 2nd graders in Georgia.  We loved connecting the dots for Dot Day! We can't wait to connect with all of you again.

New Release From Future Ready! 4 Newly Updated Future Ready Frameworks Now Available!

Along with the first Future Ready Institute of 2018, the Alliance of Excellent Education released four new Future Ready Frameworks this week.  These include District Leaders, Principals, Instructional Coaches and Tech Leaders.  
These join the newly updated Future Ready Librarian Framework that was released in June right before ISTE. 

Similar to the Future Ready Librarian framework, these four updated frameworks have been created by practitioners leading schools today. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Outdoor Piano Community Project....A Special New DonorsChoose At Van Meter School!

I love learning about wonderful DonorsChoose projects that will touch entire communities in unique and creative ways.  My colleague and friend Rebecca Comer, the secondary art teacher at Van Meter School, has a new DonorsChoose project that I just love! 

It is the Outdoor Piano Community Project!  

Rebecca shares on the projects DonorsChoose page, 

Last year, my high school students collaborated with elementary students during their art classes to create Peace Poles to put outside our garden spaces around our school. They had a blast with that project and wanted to do something bigger this year. 

Just recently they have chosen the outdoor piano project. They have seen some artistic pianos around the Des Moines are and are excited to be able to bring this artistic and functional project to our area for the whole community to enjoy.
Please consider donating to this special community art project.  It is one that will make a difference not only for the students involved in the project, but for the entire community and even people who come to visit our town.  

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

A Constitution Day Collection of Special Resources

September 17, 2018 Constitution Day and with all of the amazing resources being shared, I decided to pull them into a special Collection.

You will find the Constitution Day Collection here. Please feel free to use and share it too.

A few of my favorite Constitution resources are....
 Constitution Day article in PebbleGo, 
 Constitution article in PebbleGo, 
the US Constitution Movie in BrainPop, 
and The Interactive Constitution Site from The Constitution Center.

You will find links to all of these resources and more in the Collection itself.

And remember, with any Collection you can make a copy and add your own library resources too.
I did this with our Van Meter Constitution Day Collection and added books and eBooks we have in our library collection so teachers and students will be able to see what we have for this special day too. 

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Books That Make A Positive Difference....By My Friend & Author, Julia Cook

Earlier this year, a teacher librarian friend from Portland introduced me to her wonderful friend and author Julia Cook.  A couple weeks later, I received a whole stack of Julia's books. As I sat and read her books, I thought about the impact these books will have on children and all the ways teachers and families can use them.  

On a flyer sticking out from the books, I saw the words....

Books That Make A Positive Difference! Bibliotherapy in Action, and I couldn't agree more!  
Julia, a former teacher and school counselor with a Master’s Degree in Elementary School
Counseling, now writes children's books and visits schools, to make a positive difference in the lives of all who read them.  

As I spoke to Julia on the phone this week, she shared, 

In order to teach children, you must enter their view of the world. When you read a good book to a children, it goes right into their heads.  If that book is full of life-skills, the life skills will spill off and when you pull the book away, the life skills stay inside their heads and allow them to solve their problems from the inside out…as opposed to you helping them solve them from the outside in.  

This carries through in her books as they are presented through the world-view of a child and are geared toward making a positive difference in the lives of all who read them. 
Julia has written dozens of books over the topics of...
...health, mental health, friends, communication, parents, behavior, and life skills.  You will find this list here on her site

She continues to think of new topics that are important to the development of children and has several being published in the upcoming months. 
We are so lucky at Van Meter, because Julia is coming to our school to work with the students and teachers on October 24, 2018.  She will also speak and meet our families at a special literacy night.
It is fun to walk by this display in our elementary, as our guidance counselor, Sara, and teachers have been sharing, reading and discussing Julia's books. 
In the library, Jessica and I will be sharing The Technology Tail, A Digital Footprint Story and tying it into our second library rotation focusing on digital citizenship.  

As we talked and laughed on the phone, sharing stories of children, I became even more excited about Julia's books and her visit.  She is truly making a difference with the books she writes, the words she shares and the visits she makes to schools and communities throughout the year. 
We are very lucky to share Julia's stories in our library and can't wait to have her visit our community too. 
You will find Julia's website here, along with links to her Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more.