Sunday, November 10, 2019

A Skype Tip! Add Multiple People In Skype To Include Even More Kids & Communities In These Connections!

We use Skype every week at Van Meter.  

We connect with wonderful people and groups through Skype in the Classroom, social media and other ways to bring lots of special experiences to our students, teachers and community. 

Every single connection is amazing! 
When we have a Skype, we always want to include as many students as possible and at times, the spaces can get a little packed and hard for everyone to have a good spot to listen and participate. 

After a few of these this year, I had an idea!  

Why not host the Skype's in multiple rooms by using the feature in the platform that lets you connect multiple people in one Skype event? 
So, we tested it out! 

When we Skyped with Ruth Spiro for Global Maker Day, she shared Made by Maxine with the all of the TK and kindergarteners in two classrooms.  It worked out so great! 

We even took turns asking questions back and forth, muting the other room to allow for Ruth to hear that student and classroom. 
When our friend, Miss Science, Skyped with our 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders for a little scary science, we put each grade level into two classrooms.  

It was a helpful way to be able to do a science experience with our Skype guest and be able to give our students room to collaborate and connect with Miss Science.  You can read all about this Skype here

Let me show you how we did this!  
When you are in the Skype platform, you can add people with the little icon the arrow is pointing to in the photo above. 
This will allow you to Add others to the Group. 

You can also get the Share link to join group from this window too.  You can email, text or share this in the Skype chat with the others that you want to add.  

By doing our big Skype's this way, we have made them more meaningful and management.  A win-win for all! 

Give it a try for your next big Skype.....or use this tip to add other classrooms from another school or community...or even other places around the world!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

A Sweet Skype With Our Friends In The Capstone Art Studio As We Learn More About Cupcakes & Cookbooks!

On Friday, our first graders had a very special Skype with our friends in the Capstone Art Studio. 
They have been reading and discussing books with cupcake and baking themes, including lots of cookbooks from Capstone. Our students love their cookbook series such as Sweet Eats with a Side of Science 4DSassy SweetsKids Can CookEasy and Delicious Dairy-Free Recipes for Kids With Allergies and one of their favorites is the....
...Dessert Designer series, which includes What's Up Cupcake that we have as Capstone Interactive eBooks too. 
And the baking and cooking focused books don't just include nonfiction, they include books such as Michael Dahl's Really Scary Stories: Zombie Cupcakes and other Scary Tales, 
which they loved listening to before our Skype visit with Capstone yesterday, 
and Katy Hudson's upcoming book, The Perfect Birthday Recipe, 
which we shared with our first graders after a wonderful Skype from her home in London last week.  
Sarah and Marcy...
... started our Skype by talking about their jobs and...
 ...showing them all kinds of cookbooks...
...they have created...
...in their studio at Capstone.
They loved learning how...
...some of the food they use is plastic like....
...this pizza but most of it they create...
 ...in their studio.  We loved watching Sarah take the cupcakes she baked and decorate them...
...in all kinds of different ways.
After they were done sharing and showing us around, our first graders had lots of questions.
They asked such thoughtful questions to learn even more about what they do.
 With every question asked between the first grade classrooms,
 Sarah shared lots of...
...special details about her passion for baking and how this....
 ..turned into the job she has creating cookbooks for Capstone.
 When this friend asked what the hardest thing she ever baked was,
Sarah told the story about creating this cupcake with the heart inside for...
He thinks we definitely need this one in the library now.
And when this friend asked who took the pictures,
Sarah and Marcy took all of us on a tour of the rest of the studio where we met the photographer, 

Karon...
...and heard all about her job too! 
 It was really fun for them to see how they create all different types of books in their studio and...
...how they bring their ideas to life.

It was the best Skype!  We learned so much from this time with Sarah, Marcy and Karon...and just think of what our students learned through this entire lesson with their teachers and all of these amazing connections throughout.
The students and teachers agree, this team has super sweet jobs and they sure are sweet for Skyping with our first graders!  

Thank you, friends.  We can't wait to connect again. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Going Beyond STEM To Create The Next Generation Of Leaders! Don't Miss This NEW Follett Webinar!

I am super excited about a new webinar coming up next week on November 13, 2019 from Follett!

And, to make it even better....it is with Miss Science as the host as she talks about Going Beyond STEM to Create the Next Generation of Leaders at 3:00pm CST on the 13th.

As Follett Community shares,

Join this fast-paced hour of learning and discovery as Miss Science (Sherri Smith-Dodgson) provides a hands-on approach to making STEEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, ENTREPRENEURSHIP, Math) education fun and relevant in the classroom. With the understanding that not all of students want to embark on a traditional STEM career, Smith-Dodgson will share strategies, ideas, and best practices designed to help educators gain a true understanding of the importance of STEM in every student’s world, and ways to incorporate STEEM into daily teaching and learning.


Attendees will learn how STEM subjects infused with project-based learning and entrepreneurship (at any grade) can nurture student talents and encourage independent, critical thinking. Your presenter, Miss Science (Sherri Smith-Dodgson), will share ways to convey the wonder and opportunities STEM topics lend to almost any topic, to help all students reach their full potential and become tomorrow’s leaders.
Throughout the presentation, Smith-Dodgson will use the acronym STEEM (with two Es) to reflect the integration of entrepreneurship into STEM.

During this presentation, you’ll learn:
  • Best practices for project-based learning (at any grade) and how it can be naturally embedded into all curriculum
  • Ways to support social emotional learning through project-based learning as well as gaining a deeper understanding of core subjects
  • How entrepreneurship can be used to broaden the experience of PBL while going beyond self to support community, and ways STEEM is needed to develop Future Ready Learners
  • The highlights of Smith-Dodgson’s popular science curriculum, including plant development and what happens to crops after they leave the farm (how do they make it to the market?)
  • Using interactive online tools to support STEEM teaching and learning and promote literacy
  • The impact of science and entrepreneurship on our everyday living
  • FREE Teacher Resources in Titlewave® and how an entire STEEM lesson can be tied together using Collections by Destiny®
Don’t miss this fascinating presentation during which Miss Science’s enthusiasm for learning and discovery will blow you away!
Don't miss this webinar, friends.  You can register here.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Join Us As We Dish Up Some Digital Citizenship On The Next Future Ready Librarian Webinar on November 12!

On November 12, we are going to be dishing up some digital citizenship for the next Future Ready Librarian webinar. 

Digital citizenship is so much more than internet safety. Tune in to this webinar to hear how librarians and students are “turning the page” on the old digital citizenship conversation. The NEW digital citizenship requires us to be informed, active members of digital communities who can thoughtfully reflect on our relationship with technology (and with one another!) in an increasingly connected world. 

In this webinar, join me with my two special special guests, Kristin Mattson @DrKMattson and Liv Van Ledtje @thelivibits, for this informative, exciting and fun conversation around digital citizenship.
  1. What skills do digital citizens need to be successful?
  2. How can librarians be champions of this work?
  3. What digital citizenship successes can you celebrate?
  4. What does an empowered digital citizen look like?
We hope to see you there, friends!  

Monday, November 4, 2019

The "Blast Off To Reading Challenge" From EPIC! Starts Today!

This is the start of a very special week from our friends at EPIC and we can't wait to share it with all of you!
It's time for the Blast Off To Reading Challenge! It takes place from November 4-10, 2019. 

This can take place at school, and during the Challenge, EPIC! is giving kids access at home for FREE too! 
As their site shares, Once your students get started... 
 ...you can track their reading progress and see which books are trending in your classroom on your personalized class page. 

It will be so much fun to set a Class Reading Goal together, so your students can watch the total books and total minutes being read to meet that goal.
 And on the Blast Off To Reading Challenge site, you can all track the Total Books Leaderboard!
There is still time to join, now until November 10, 2019.  
On the site, you will find a place to Invite Families too....
At the bottom of this page, you will find a little Space Gear including a...
Galaxy Passport, 
Discovery Journal and...
Classroom Props. 

Brianna and I can't wait to follow the Leaderboard and see all of the amazing reading that takes place during the Blast Off To Reading Challenge from EPIC! 

Sign up here today, friends.