Thursday, September 16, 2021

Bringing Together Print and eBooks In A Very Special New Way For Our 2nd Grade Readers!

One of my favorite things about being a teacher librarian is dreaming up new ways to engage and inspire our readers as they connect to books, characters and series they love.  It's the best when our readers develop special connections to characters, series and publishers of the books we have in our library and classrooms. 
This happened last year in our 2nd grade classrooms when our teachers Staci Braun, Tracy Ferguson, Amanda Hetland and Megan Warwick started checking out several books in different early reader book series from our friends at Capstone. One day when I was in Amanda's room for a technology activity, her students told me how much they loved the Yasmin books and wondered if I had more. I was excited to see how the teachers and students were embracing the stories, characters and series. 

At the end of the school year, they asked to get together so we could brainstorm how we could take this concept and grow it into a new book club idea for this school year.  We thought it would be great to start with several of the kids favorites series like Yasmin, Sadiq, DC Super Heroes, Katie Woo, Pedro and more. 
So, over the summer, I took that list and picked four titles from each series.  I ordered five books of each of these titles from Capstone. You will find the New Capstone Book Sets for 2nd Grade Google Doc here

All of the book sets came in and we cataloged them as Capstone Book Sets in our Destiny Discover. 
Right now, these books are housed in the library as we wait for our brand new shelf that will go in the hallway down by the 2nd grade rooms. 
It will be called Our 2nd Grade Capstone Book Club Pop-Up Library!  It will be a place where our teachers can get sets of books from the different Capstone series to bring into their classroom to read in book clubs and for free reading. 
To start the school year, the teachers have been sharing the different series and books to get their students familiar with the characters. They will start the actual Capstone Book Clubs soon. 
To go along with the book clubs and to give our readers another place to connect to these characters and books, we also had the idea of using the Capstone Interactive eBooks we have to create Our Virtual Capstone Book Club Library! 
I created a Google Slide for six different characters to start.  Even though there were a lot more eBooks of some series like Katie Woo, I added 16 to this first round of choice boards and will make more as needed. 

For creating the choice board, I took a screen shot of each book cover and hyperlinked the link for the eBook to the cover as shown in the image above. 
The teachers have been sharing the choice boards in their Google Classrooms and also...
...displaying the print copies in their classrooms. I love how they are using them together. 
To make it easy for our students to access the eBooks with an iPad, 
I put together a poster for each choice board too.  I used QR Code Monkey to make the QR code. With this free site, you can include a tiny screen shot which makes it easy to know what each QR code is for. 
I laminated colored copies of the first 6 posters for each teacher to hang up in their classrooms. 
And now for one of my favorite parts!  

The teachers have also been making a black and white copy of each choice board.  The students use these as a way to keep track of every book they are reading within the Capstone series. 

As you can see, they are very proud of their reading achievements...
...and when I come into their classrooms, they can't wait to show me all of the books they have read. 
I love how the teachers have given them choice within this reading program.  
This means the world to our readers. It truly shows. 

Here are the choice boards that I have created so far.  You can make a copy and add links to the eBooks you have too. 
And a special choice board that includes all six of these choice boards.  You will find this here to make a copy and changes of your own.  

As the year goes on, I will continue to create choice boards around the Capstone characters that our 2nd graders are reading like Camila, Sofia Martinez, Katie Woo's Neighborhood, The Amazing Adventures of DC Super Pets, The Amazing Adventures of Batman and Superman, Emma Every Day, Astrid and Apollo, My Furry Foster Family, Far Out Fairy Tales, Mr. Kazarian, Alien Librarian and more. 
In fact,  this page on the Capstone site for Early Reader Books is the perfect place to start when taking on a project around your early reader program.  
It outlines What Makes A Good Early Reader Book?, 
How Can Early Readers Build Lifelong Readers? and so much more.  You will find it here

This is just the beginning of something that will make a special and important impact on our readers.  It will bring a reading experience to every one of our students that they will never forget. 

And my hope is that this will be the start of something wonderful that will spread to the other grade levels too.  I can't wait to see what we do next with our Capstone Book Clubs! 
In the next blog post, I will share how we are going to be using Biblionasium with this program so our students can make virtual book shelves, write reviews, recommend books and more.  

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

5 Ways To Get Creative On International Dot Day!

 

For Dot Day, I wrote an article for ISTE sharing 5 Ways To Get Creative On International Dot Day.  

You will find the post here, friends. 



Celebrate #BeWhoYouAreDay On September 30 With Todd Parr, Lots Of Awesome Activities & This FUN Interactive Choice Board!

Friends, I have a very special day to share with all of you. It's called #BeWhoYouAreDay and will be celebrated on September 30. It is inspired by one of our favorite authors, Todd Parr.

Todd inspires and empowers children around the world with fun, positive messages. 
With his amazing book, Be Who You Are, Todd wants every kid to feel just how special they truly are, and that’s why we’re celebrating #BeWhoYouAreDay on September 30. 
To make this day even more special, our friends at Flipgrid are hosting a special Flipgrid LIVE Event with Todd on this day.  You can read all about it and register for this free event here
As you get ready for Be Who You Are Day, there are so many awesome resources on Todd's site.
You will find this fun sheet to share how you are celebrating; 
drawing and....
...learning activities, 
coloring sheets to print off, 
stickers to make for the day and more! You will find everything here
My sister, Heather Fox, who is the teacher librarian at Amana Elementary in Amana, Iowa, made this adorable and fun...
...#BeWhoYouAreDay Choice Board to share with her learners at school and at home. 

And guess what? She wants to share it with all of us so we can use it with our students, teachers and school community too.  You will find it here, friends. 

If you want to make changes within the choice board, you can make a copy of it here

Thank you, Heather, for creating such a wonderful and special place for all of us to go as we celebrate #BeWhoYouAreDay with our community and others around the world. 

And thank you Todd and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for bringing us such a special day.  We can't wait to celebrate our kids on @BeWhoYouAreDay too.
I added the Be Who You Are Choice Board to the September Choice Board here.