Sunday, July 5, 2020

Our Virtual Makerspace Is Open!

Welcome to Our Virtual Makerspace where you can create, imagine, read, learn, discover and more.  And one of the best parts...It's open all day long!  Have fun, friends.

Our students love all of the special things Makerspaces bring to them within libraries, classrooms and school communities.  With the summer here, I wanted to create a virtual Makerspace where they could experience art, building, coding, designing, engineering, music, reading and more.

I put the virtual Makerspace together in a choice board format where kids and families can make choices what they want to do by clicking on the image within 24 different boxes.  It can be shared as the embedded slide above or through the link to Our Virtual Makerspace here
All of the sites and resources are open and free for everyone to use, including the three Capstone eBooks under Read.  In fact, these are three of books from the Adventures in Makerspace series I wrote with Blake Hoena and Capstone.  I included the username and password on the choice board.
I also created a new Collection by Destiny filled with all of the resources from the choice board. 

As I find more wonderful Makerspace sites and resources, I will add another page to Our Virtual Makerspace choice board and Collection by Destiny.  Please let me know if you have some that I should include...I would love to know about them. 

I am excited to share this with my students and families at Van Meter and can't wait to see what they create, learn and share.  I hope you have fun sharing it with your students too. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Check out our Virtual Camp Adventure Collection by Destiny! 

With so many wonderful resources being created and shared for our Virtual Camp Adventure this summer, I have created a special Collection by Destiny to share with all of you, and our students and families.  

This Collection, along with our Virtual Camp Adventure site, can be a one-stop shop for everything they need for all 12-weeks of the camp. 
You can find Our Virtual Camp Adventure Collection by Destiny here.  It is a public Collection, so anyone can view, use and share it.  
Inside of the Collection, you will find the weekly choice boards to start.  These will take learners into each where they can choose what activity they'd like to do throughout the week.
 On each choice board, there is a Buncee filled with....
 ...eBooks from Capstone Interactive.
There is a link to all 120 eBooks that you will find in the Collection.
I have also included the Buncee Board I use to keep the eBook Buncee's each week. 
The Virtual Camp Adventure Collection, will pop up in our schools Destiny and I shared on the site too.  

I want to make it as easy as possible for students and families to connect to these wonderful reading and learning experiences all summer long. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

NEW! The Read Aloud Feature In Newsela Is Here!

One of our favorite sites, Newsela,  just got even better with a very exciting announcement they made this week.

As shared on their site,

At Newsela, we are committed to ensuring our content is accessible for all students.

That’s why we’re excited to announce that teachers and students alike can now listen to any Newsela article with a new Read Aloud feature.

Whether online or in the app, students can select the Read Aloud icon and follow along with highlighted text as each word is read. With audio versions available on both English and Spanish texts, our aim is to provide additional support for all learners with accessible features that continue to help differentiate and support your instruction.
In each Newsela article, you will see a little black button that says Read Aloud. When you click on it,  the article is read aloud with the words being highlighted as it is read. 
At the top of the page, there are two additional Read Aloud buttons that allow the reader to go back to the beginning and pause.
As readers choose their reading level, the Read Aloud feature adapts and reads that text too. 
In the Newsela Educator Center, you will find a super helpful article about the Read Aloud Feature here including...
...simple directions on How to use Read Aloud that will be helpful to share with teachers and others as they learn about this new feature.  

I am very thankful for this new feature as it will give all of our students accessibility to the amazing content in Newsela and will give us, as teachers, additional ways to differentiate and support our instruction. 

I can't wait to show my students....I know they will love it too!