Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Crayons Are Coming Home....And You Can Create Your Very Own Too!

One of my all time favorite books is The Day The Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt.  It is the cutest little story about a box of Crayons....and the illustrations by Drew Daywalt make them all come to life. 
Two years ago, we Skyped with Drew from our library in Van Meter.  It was so much fun....and such a special visit for all of us.  You can read all about our Skype here

On August 18, Drew has a new picture book coming out.  In fact, it is the companion to The Day The Crayons Quit!  It is called....The Day The Crayons Came Home.   I can't tell you how excited Hagan and I are to read this book.

And today on my friend Terry Shay's Facebook I was excited to find something super fun to go along with Drew's books.  
It is called Every Crayon Counts and can be found on Drew's website.

On this page, you can create a little postcard to show your support for the Crayons.
 First, you choose the Crayon you would like.
 Next, you add a message.  You can choose from several from a drop down menu or....
write your own.

I made this one for Hagan by clicking on the yellow crayon and Writing my own... message.
When you are finished, it will give you several ways to share the postcard that you created.
It also downloads the postcard onto your computer so you can save, share and use it too.
Once you have your image created, share it using the hashtag #EveryCrayonCounts.
As you can see, there is a fun conversation happening that you won't want to miss.

There are so many fun ways you could use this website with your students this year....

Creative writing projects; as a back-to-school poster to make each student shine in their own; as a fun art lesson about color; retelling the story in their own words; having their favorite Crayon tell why they came back and where they have been....the list goes on and on.
And don't forget to check out all of the AWESOME Lesson Plans and Activities on the website too.

I can't wait to see how everyone uses the books and website with your students this year.

Thank you Drew for bringing us another wonderful story about our favorite Crayons.  And for letting us create our very own.  

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

An Inspiring Day in Indiana for the e3Technology Conference!

Yesterday I had the honor of being part of the e3Technology Conference in Warsaw, Indiana.  It was an amazing event and filled with great connecting, learning, and new ideas.
And as the logo says..... It was definitely a day to Equip, Engage and Excel. 

I started my day by giving the keynote, Transforming Learning, One Voice At A Time. 
In the afternoon, I shared Amazing Digital Tools and Apps That Will Engage Your Students and Promote Creativity. 
I created a Symbaloo webmix that contains all of the digital tools and apps that I shared during the presentation.  You can get to it here.  
As I walked into the Warsaw High School that morning I noticed that their district work vans were decorated with the school moto.  

Inspiring.  Equipping.  Applying.  Dreaming.  Enriching. 

How cool is that!  Everyone in the community sees this and it is a statement that can bring change to education, the community, and especially to the young people that they reach everyday.  

You are a special place Warsaw, Indiana.  Thank you for inviting me to be part of it!  

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Join Me On August 26 For My SimpleK12 Webinar.....AASL Best Websites For Teaching and Learning: 25 That Rock!

The webinars that SimpleK12 offer throughout the week are a wonderful day to continue and extend your learning, ideas, and creativity in teaching.

On August 26, I am going to lead another SimpleK12 webinar at 2:00pm EST.  It is called The AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning: 25 That Rock! 
Being part of the AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning committee, I love sharing all of the amazing websites that have been honored by this special group.  And with 25 websites that were just named the 2015 Best Websites, there are lots of new ones to share.

I hope to see everyone there on the 26th.  You can register for the webinar here.

Friday, July 24, 2015

"Let's Bring Excitement and Fun To Digital Learning All Year Long!".... My Free Mackin & edWeb Webinar Next Week!

I am excited to share another webinar event that I will be doing for and Mackin Educational Resources.  And this time it is all about bringing excitement and fun to digital learning all year long!
As you can see, everyone will have come away from this webinar with lots of information, ideas, and resources to kick off the new school year.

In fact, you can make it one of the best for your students, community, and yourself by infusing the new ideas, technology, resources, and activities into their lives all year long.
To sign up for the webinar on July 30, 2015, please fill out the form at this link. 
And don't forget to check out the other webinars that are sponsored by Mackin in the Exploring eBooks for K-12 Community on edWeb

I hope to see you all there next week.  

Thursday, July 16, 2015

What A Wonderful Time At BLC in Boston.....A Week of Connecting, Making, Learning, and Amazing Friends!

One of my favorite events each year is the November Learning BLC Conference in Boston.  
This is my sixth year attending this wonderful conference that Alan November hosts at the Boston Park Plaza.  It is a beautiful location, filled with amazing conversations, learning, and especially....
incredible friends that meet up each year. 

This year was one of the best....bringing us together to celebrate education, educators, families, and the impact our children and students have on all of us.  

I had the honor of working with the attendees throughout the week.  
On Tuesday, I conducted a workshop about Makerspaces called Create, Learn, and Share In Our BLC Makerspace.  
We kicked off our day together doing a straw tower challenge.  I picked out two leaders and they put themselves into groups to create a tower that would support a roll of tape.  
It was very inspiring to watch everyone work together.  It was a great activity to kick off the day.  
Everyone had a lot of fun.  It made all of us think about how we can engage our students in similar maker activities.
I love opening my Makerspace presentations and workshops with one of my favorite Maker books Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts.
This time I thought it would be special to have Andrea Skype into our workshop and read her book to all of us.  What fun!
We loved hearing how Rosie would be taking a trip to the International Space Shuttle this fall.   You can read all about her trip on the School Library Journal website.
It will be part of the Story Time From Space program, which fosters literacy and STEM.  I can't think of a better book to make this journey and inspire children everywhere.
As I spoke about Makerspaces and gave examples of teacher librarians and educators creating spaces within their schools, I asked a few rock star to visit over Skype too.  

First, we Skyped with my friend Diana Rendina who has created a wonderful Makerspace in her middle school library.  You can read all about her journey on her blog, Renovated Learning
Second, my Iowa friends Christine Sturgeon and Julie Graber Skyped with us.  Christine is a K-12 teacher librarian and Julie works for the AEA in Iowa.  Together, along with Christine's administrators and staff, have created a maker movement within her district.

I hope their stories and others that I shared with them will inspire everyone....and give them lots and lots of ideas.
 At the end of our time together, I broke out several maker activities.
Some that they could do in small groups of individually with a few tips and guidance.  And one that was completely open ended.  I wanted everyone to have several different experiences.  It gives all of us an idea on how these activities can be used within our spaces.
The day went fast....and we all learned a lot about making, tinkering, creating, learning, and teaching within these spaces. 
The first night I had the honor of going to dinner with my friends and fellow presenters at a dinner hosted by November Learning.  It was great fun catching up with lots of friends like Phil and Colin from Verso.
The next day I presented in the afternoon.  I love sharing all of the websites that have been picked to be part of the AASL Best Websites.  I am part of this AASL committee so hold a special connection to this list that we announce each year. 

My friend Erin Klein came to my session and used Periscope to broadcast from the room.  She shared this on Twitter so others around the world could be part of the conversation too.  

Thank you Erin for doing this.  
On Wednesday night after another day at BLC, we all headed to FableVision Studios for their annual bash.
 Erin, Mike, Caitlyn, (my awesome friends and fellow educators) and I went together.
 It was so special to see Jose, Peter, and Paul at their studio.
It is always nice to listen to Peter and Paul speak at the bash.  They always inspire me.
 After the party we went to the North End of Boston for a delicious Italian meal....
coffee at my favorite after dinner place....
and a cannoli to go at Mike's Pastry.  
 We ended the night laughing with our friend Amy.
This morning I presented Digital Tools and Projects for Your Library and Classroom.  

This is one that I update and add to each year.  There were many new digital tools to share today. 
I had so much fun sharing these digital tools and ideas with this great group.  I can't wait to see how they use them with their students and teachers too.
To end my time in Boston and at BLC, I went to lunch with one of my favorite people Steve....
and went for a walk in Boston's Public Garden.

Thank you to Alan, November Learning, and all of BLC family and friends for making this week special.  I am already looking forward to next year with all of you.