Thursday, January 31, 2019

A Perfect Match...NEW Webinar For Future Ready Instructional Coaches & Future Ready Librarians!

I am so excited to share the upcoming Future Ready Librarian webinar!  

This one is extra special as it is the first one we are doing in collaboration with another Future Ready Program, Future Ready Instructional Coaches, and one of their advisors and my dear friend, Brianna Hodges.  

In this webinar, Brianna and I will discuss the powerful impact that results from a partnership between instructional coaches and librarians when focus is places not on tool or device, but instead on the learning community.  We will share the examples of this partnership from the field highlighting stories, swapping tips and inspiring all of you to go back and do the same within your schools and districts. 

And that's not all!  

We will also share how to...
  • Move from those awkward ‘first-date’ conversations to developing a true and powerful partnership;
  • ‘Make the move’ by setting the mood through culture and connection;
  • Say those THREE important words (‘LEARNING IN ACTION’) and tell the world;
  • ‘Seal the deal’ with student-centered strategies.
You can register for this free webinar and submit question for Brianna and I here.  
Please direct questions concerning the webinar to If you are unable to watch the webinar live, please register to receive the video archive directly in your inbox.
See you there, friends! 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

A Place For Us To Keep & Share Our Future Ready Librarian Resources From FETC!

As we get ready for the 2019 Library Media Specialist Orientation at FETC Monday afternoon, I wanted to share the Collection by Destiny that I created for this event for everyone to use throughout the conference. We can share resources, presentations, new finds from the vendor floor and so much more. 

This will be awesome for not only all of us at FETC, but for all of you to learn right along with us. 

You will find the FETC 2019 Library Media Specialist Collection here.  It is public and open for anyone to share resources to, so let's make this a special take away for all of us. 

12 Ways To Use Google Keep In The Library & Classroom In 2019!

Google Keep is note-taking service from Google and one of our favorite ways to create, keep and share notes that can contain text, lists, images and audio. It is available as a mobile app and on the web.

One of the best parts....Brianna and I can even collaborate on notes together anywhere we go.
We are able to jump into Google Keep on our cell phone, laptops and even when we are in our gmail, which is super handy and helpful.
We love the little Google Keep Chrome extension you can now add to your browser too!

There are tons of ways we can use Google Keep in the library and classroom.  For the new year, we have 12 of our favorite ways to share with all of you!

1. Use Google Keep to share new books, book trailers and book talks with your students, teachers and community. By adding links, voice recordings and little notes, this can become something they look forward to everyday.

2. Share new digital tools and apps with your students, teachers and community. You can include links and online resources with each note.

3. Use Google Keep for students to collaborate on reading lists. They can share recommendations through text, voice and drawings with one another.

4. Google Keep is an awesome place for collaboration with teachers! With the little extension in gmail and with the app, Google Keep is always right at your fingertips and so easy to use.

5. Google Keep is a wonderful place to keep library plans. By sharing them with others, you can let everyone know what is happening in the library and through co-teaching within the classrooms.

6. Use Google Keep for library and professional goals! These can be shared with your teaching partners and administrators too.

7. Keep book and Makerspace wish lists organized and collaborative within Google Keep.

8. Using the Keep extension, you can save and organize website bookmarks. This will help curate online resources as librarians and teachers, but is an important tip for our students too.

9. Use Google Keep to connect and share with families.

10. Organize various resources, such as links to Collections by Destiny, blog posts and links to digital tools used, with different Google Keep notes. These can be shared when projects pop up throughout the year.

11. Use Google Keep as a place to keep pictures and videos from the library and classrooms throughout the year.

12. Set time and location reminders within Google Keep. This will help with your busy schedule in 2019.

Thank you for joining Brianna and I for our first post on our new blog, Our Voice in Learning!  

Saturday, January 26, 2019

FETC Is Here....I Have Lots Of Exciting Things To Share (Including New Books To Signs & 18 MERGE Cube/Goggle Sets To Giveaway!)

I am on my way from the BETT Conference in London to the FETC Conference in Florida and couldn't be more excited about being with so many wonderful teacher librarians, educators and others this week as we learn, collaborate and create together. 
You will find my official FETC presentations here
In all of my FETC presentations, I will be giving all attendees the chance to win 1 of 3 MERGE Cube and Goggle Class Starter Packs, a $45 value!  

Following is my schedule...

January 28, 10:30-12:30pm Lead From The Library With Creative Branding and Marketing in Room NORTH 220D

January 28, 1:30-2:30pm Future of EdTech Library Media Specialist Orientation in Room SOUTH 320BC

January 29, 10:00-11:00am Leading From The Library In The Digital World

January 29, 1:00-1:40pm 25 Best Websites That Rock in Room NORTH 330CD

January 30, 10:00-11:00am Giving Students a Voice Through Social Media, Technology and Opportunities in Room NORTH 322 

January 30, 2:00-2:40pm Let's Bring Literacy to Life Through Making and Technology in Room NORTH 220D

I will share how to enter during my presentations.  I am super excited to give away 18 of these amazing sets from MERGE! 

If you are a teacher librarian, don't miss our FETC Track Orientation on Monday at 1:30-2:30pm. 
I will also be signing my new Capstone Adventures in Makerspace series in the Capstone booth on Tuesday, January 29, at 2:00pm.  You can read more about the four new books here. I hope you come by and pick up a signed copy. 
And I am super excited to be presenting in the Buncee booth #1249 on Tuesday at 3:00pm, right after my author signing in the Capstone booth. 

You can find the entire list of Buncee Booth presentations here

This is going to be the BEST FETC yet!  I can't wait for all of the learning, teaching and connecting with new and old friends this year.  And I can't wait to see you all there! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

World Read Aloud Day Celebration Flipgrid....Let's See How Many Read Alouds We Can Gather From Around The World!

World Read Aloud Day with LitWorld is right around the corner on February 1, 2019.  
To celebrate with others around the world, we created the World Read Aloud 2019 Celebration Flipgrid for students, librarians, teachers and families to share a special read aloud with all of us. 

You will find the World Read Aloud 2019 Celebration Flipgrid here

Please feel free to share this with your students and community...and with lots of others too.  

Let's see how many read alouds we can add to this Flipgrid and make it part of our wonderful celebration on February 1 and all year long! 

Our Voice In Learning...A New Blog From Brianna and I!

How is your 2019 so far? Are you like me and have lots of new, fun ideas for the new year? Today, one of my 2019 goals is taking form!

Welcome to Our Voice in Learning, a biweekly blog post that comes to you from my daughter, Brianna Cua, and I.
We have always wanted to do a blog together. When we were visiting Brianna and her husband, Jaden, in Belgium over the holiday, we decided to make this one of our big goals for 2019. That is how Welcome to Our Voice in Learning started.

Over the weekend, we will share our first post, 12 Ways To Use Google Keep In The Library & Classroom In 2019. So, get ready for that too! Be sure to stay tuned every other week for a new post from us that will help you gain inspiration, learn new things, and stay informed. We can't wait to share our voice with all of you.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Sign Up Today To Join Cressida Cowell On March 6th For A Free Classroom Broadcast & Live Q & A Event!

Our friends from Microsoft and Little Brown, have announced a very special event for World Book Day on March 6, 2019!  
On this day, children, librarians, teachers and families around the world can sign up this free classroom broadcast and live Q & A event as we learn how to bring stories to life with the How To Train Your Dragon, author and illustrator, Cressida Cowell. 

As the registration page states, 

Go behind the scenes to learn how stories come alive in this free 30-minute classroom broadcast with the author & illustrator of How to Train Your Dragon. Cressida will inspire students to tap into their boundless imagination and will show how using character development and details in stories make them more believable and fun.
The broadcast is 30 minutes, followed by an optional 1 hour live chat so students can ask questions. If your class is not in session at these times, don't worry! Register anyways and we'll send you the on-demand version when it's available and instructions for submitting questions for Cressida.
Simply register here for one of these times above. 

We can't wait to join from Van Meter, Iowa on that day! 

They have also put together a few resources that will help you prepare and build excitement around this very special event with Cressida and World Book Day. 
First, there is a video called An Introduction by Cressida Cowell that you will find here on this event page. 
This is truly a wonderful way to build excitement with Cressida before the event on March 6, and one that they will be excited about as she shares her very last book (Book 12) in the How To Train Your Dragon series. 
There is also a Step by Step Activity Plan from Skype in the Classroom that will help you as plan with ideas, scripts and a step by step guide.
You will find this amazing resource here
 Cressida also has a wonderful website where you can read about her work,
and learn how to follow her on social media. 

My students in Iowa can't wait for this awesome opportunity to hear Cressida talk about some of their favorite books and movies, and of course, her new series, The Wizards of Once. 

Our Library Video News Project....The Bulldog Blitz!

We are very excited for a new literacy advocacy project from our library and school at Van Meter!  

As Future Ready Librarians, in the center of all that we do is Literacy.  According to the Future Ready Librarian framework,
Through literacy, Future Ready Librarians inspire and support the reading lives of both students and teachers.  We create inclusive collections that acknowledge and celebrate diverse experiences and provide instructional opportunities to empower learners as effective users and creators of information and ideas. 
We also Cultivate Community Partnerships which ties into literacy by promoting engagement and a community of readers.  

These are two very important and impactful pieces of what we can do within our communities as Future Ready Librarians and what we can do to empower our students to be advocates for creating a community of readers and one which creates a lifelong love of reading too.
We are working on a few community literacy projects at the moment.  One will kick off next week on February 1st during our World Read Aloud Day festivities. I don't want to give too much away, but I just had to share a few photos from our photo shoot with our new bulldog friend, Otto! 
The other will be on February 8th as we kick off our weekly library news channel, The Bulldog Blitz....News From The Van Meter Library!  

We are going to start this video news project with our 5th graders and they will help us work with other grade levels and students as we get all of our students involved in different ways through literacy and library advocacy such as highlighting new books and resources in the library; book promotions such as book reviews, book trailers, interviews and projects; Skype events with authors, illustrators and publishers and more; and so much more!  

The Bulldog Blitz will be shared with all students and classrooms throughout the week and we will also be sharing it with families and our community through the schools weekly newsletter and on social media.  

And of course, we will be sharing The Bulldog Blitz with all of you!  

So stay tune....It is going to be an awesome way for our students and Jessica and I, as Future Ready Librarians, to inspire and support the reading lives of our students, teachers and families in such a special way.  

We know it will inspire you and your community of readers too. 

Monday, January 21, 2019

Vote Today, Friends, for the NEW Follett Challenge Video Entries!

The day is here!  The day that the Follett Challenge voting begins for the 2019 Follett Challenge video entries.
By visiting this site,  you will find all of the official rules for voting from today until 11:59 CST on Friday, January 25, 2018.

It is easy too!
All you have to do is watch the videos and vote for your favorite!  You can vote once per day via either Facebook or email.  

This is the chance for so many amazing communities to win wonderful prizes for their libraries and schools, so please take a few minutes today to vote for the NEW Follett Challenge Winner!  

Two Makerspace Activities To Celebrate MLK Day!

Today, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. As we read, research, listen and talk about all of his special accomplishments and the words he spoke for equality and civil rights. I loved finding a couple of activities that inspire our makers when remembering him too. 
Our students did these two activities last Friday and will for the rest of the month for Friday Fun in the Makerspace. 
The first is this awesome STEM Challenge from Maker Maven, Can You Build A Podium For Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I love all of the STEM Challenges from Maker Maven.  
In this one, they are to build Martin Luther King Jr. a podium with popsicle sticks, play-doh or clay, and other supplies, after listening to his I Have A Dream speech.  
Instead of using these materials, we decided to have them use our new KEVA Planks, which all of the kids have loved using in the library over the last month. 
When we do Makerspace Monday or Friday Fun in the Makerspace,
we always create these little signs and put them into our clear table top holders.  This helps them know what our task is for the day.
As you can see, they built some really awesome podiums for Martin Luther King Jr! 
The second activity was the 
I included this on the MLK Symbaloo we created and shared with everyone last week. 

This is one of the video from Arts for Kids Hub on YouTube. 
They pulled it up in the MLK Symbaloo and....
...drew amazing pictures of Martin Luther King Jr.  
They loved sharing them too. 

It was fun seeing our students be creative as they remembered such an important man on this very special day.