Thursday, April 30, 2020

Iowa Teacher Librarians...Join Us For The Virtual Spring TL Meeting, May 1!

Tomorrow, on May 1, the Iowa AEA's are holding the Spring Teacher Librarian Meeting virtually so librarians and others around the state of Iowa can join us for a wonderful day of learning together. 

You will find the schedule for the day on the Smore for the event

At 9:00am, I will be presenting...
 It's Our Time to Shine! Find the Help You Need For Your School and Yourself. 

Throughout the day, others will be presenting and there will be a lot of time for all of us to share and contribute to the day and our own learning and growth too.

And the best part, it gives all of us a chance to be together for the day.

I hope to see you there, Iowa friends. 

You can register at this link too. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Buncee Ideas Lab...Over 500 Amazing Ideas To Inspire Creativity and Learning

One of my favorite places to go for finding ideas for my students and teachers at school, and now during remote learning, is the Buncee Ideas Lab.  This is an amazing place to go to find a huge variety of wonderful and ideas and to be inspired by what other educators and students are creating within Buncee around the world. 

As shared on the Buncee blog, 

Buncee’s blank creation canvas gives classrooms the freedom to let their creativity run wild… but sometimes, they might need a little spark to light their creative fire. Buncee Ideas Lab helps classrooms achieve just that. This will be your ever-growing hub of creative and inspiring ideas for everyone from teachers to students to administrators. Featuring a variety of tips, tutorials, and templates, Ideas Lab has been created to help you and your students discover endless possibilities for innovating learning at your school, every day.
Ideas are searchable across 20 topic areas, and currently, feature 500+ (and counting!) descriptive ways to use Buncee in and beyond the classroom...
...and across all grade levels. 
The sky is the limit when creating with Buncee and finding inspiration in the Ideas Lab.  No matter what you are using it for.....supporting project-based learning, creating your library or school brand, sending invites to families for a virtual field trip and so much more. 
Let me show you how I use the Buncee Ideas Lab every single day! 
This week is Poem in Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 30.  My friend and colleague, Tracy Ferguson, and I are going to have a virtual poem in your pocket celebration on Zoom using Buncee so I went to the Ideas Lab today to find ideas and templates to share with the kids.

I found three right away and they are all so fun!
We will give our students a choice what they want to create by sharing these three ideas and also...
 ...the cute little pocket stickers and...
...even Buncee man with a blank poem in his pocket we could fill out. How fun is that! 
If you have an idea, you can submit it with this form.
I am so excited that three of my projects are part of the Ideas Lab. You will find them in the Library topic area. 
They are Create a PebbleGo Research Journal To Use At Home, 
Share Reading Recommendations With Capstone Interactive You've Been Book'd and...
Create a HyperDoc Newsletter with a Video Tutorial that you can use with your students and share with your teachers too. 
All you have to do is click on Create This to open it up in Buncee and you can even bookmark them to save and go back to as you work in the Ideas Lab. 

You will find the Buncee Ideas Lab here. Have fun exploring and being inspired in the Buncee Ideas Lab, friends.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Join Me For The New Webinar....PebbleGo Remote Learning Ideas For K-3!

PebbleGo is a big part of remote learning within our community and others around the world.  There are so many ways we can use it for a learning tool with our students and families. PebbleGo's range of topics, activities, and reader supports make PebbleGo your go-to resource for fun, stress-free learning for kids and their families at home and a cornerstone of in-class instruction as well.

On Thursday, April 30 at 3:30pm CST, I will be sharing how we use PebbleGo to promote learning, creativity, engagement and a whole lot of fun throughout remote learning. 

You will learn new simple, but effective, ways to keep your K-3 learners engaged in a remote learning setting and ideas for establishing plans for future at-home needs. 

Register for the FREE webinar here

I hope to see everyone there and can't wait to share lots of ideas with all of you! 

Collaboration Can Be An Educator's Greatest Superpower....Join Us Today To Find Out How!

Collaboration can be an educator’s greatest superpower! 

Working with the local community, authors and engaging presenters from around the world, and your own school community, teachers can bring dynamic lessons and wide-reaching expertise into their classrooms to support curriculum and encourage engagement and increase joy in learning. 
Our webinar, When Teacher Collaborate...Bringing Extended Expertise To Your Teaching and Students, will highlight how my colleague and friend, Tracy Ferguson and I, make collaboration work within our elementary school and the many ways we use it to enhance learning, creativity, student voice, develop empathy and kindness, and have a lot of fun along the way. As experienced educators, we will share the many different types of collaboration we use and ways you can bring these ideas back to their communities and professional networks.

On May 14, 2020 at 4:00pm CST, attendees will learn:  
  • The importance of collaboration for student success
  •  Tips and Tricks for making collaboration work
  •  Ways librarians can help teachers use technology tools to collaborate, including Titlewave and Collections
  •  What successful collaborative projects looks like
We hope you join us for this free webinar brought to us by Follett Community.  You can register here and please feel free to share the link with others too.  

It is going to be an hour of helpful and inspiring stories, suggestions and projects with lots of practical and exciting ideas you can put into place within your classroom and community too. 

Monday, April 27, 2020

Week 6 of the PebbleGo Home Questions & Adventure Activities Are Here!

It's a NEW week of PebbleGo Adventures and Questions for Family Fun from our friends at Capstone.  I shared these in this post last week too. 
When we visit the Parent Resources page on,
we will find the questions that can be answered within PebbleGo to inspire curiosity in all kids, and the daily PebbleGo Adventures that families can do at home with things around the house.
For Week 6, April 26-May 1 ,
there are 5 new PebbleGo Questions and Adventures, that students will be excited to explore.

You will find this slide to the PebbleGo Adventures Week 6 here too. 
And don't forget how you can share what you have learned, read and loved about each article In the PebbleGo Research Buncee Journals too.
They have included a link for making a Buncee Journal of your own on that page. 
 You will also find the Past Weeks' Questions and Adventures and...
...Additional PebbleGo Resources and Parents

You can share this link with families and have them sign up to receive updates here.
I hope you enjoy sharing all of these ideas and resources with your school community.  Stop back next week for another fun week of PebbleGo Adventures. We can't wait to hear how you use them too. 

Iowa Teacher Librarian Friends...Join The Spring TL Meeting on May 1st!

 I have some exciting news to share, Iowa teacher librarian friends!

On May 1, the Spring Teacher Librarian Meeting will be taking place online and it is a day you won't want to miss.  It is focused around supporting yourself and others in the digital learning environment, which is what we are all thinking about and working within currently with remote and continuous learning.
You will find the schedule and registration for the event here in this Smore.
I am excited to present It's Our Time To Shine...Find The Help You Need For Your School and Yourself at 9:00am that day.  

I hope you can join us, and all of the teacher librarians and others around Iowa, as we come together to support, learn and celebrate one another during this time when librarians and educators are more important than ever.  

Sunday, April 26, 2020

You've Been Virtually Book'd For Week 5, April 26 Is Here!

This weeks You've Been Virtually Book'd is here, friends!  

You can get it here....please feel free to share with everyone in your school community too. 
I added Thorns, Horns and Crescent Moons and...
...Katie Woo...It Doesn't Need To Rhyme, Katie since April is Poetry Month. 
I also added a few new ones to the You've Been Virtually Book'd Buncee's like Curious Pearl Science Girl that include 4D, which anyone can view with the free app and...
...The Guy's Guide To Making Every Day More Awesome for our older readers. 

Here are the details behind this fun new virtual reading program! 

One of our favorite reading celebrations at Van Meter are the...
...You've Been Book'd bags and lists that we have shared throughout the year. 
Our students and teachers love hanging the You've Been Book'd posters in their windows, reading the books, checking the boxes and trading them with other classrooms.  It is so much fun.  You can read all about our You've Been Book'd program here.

With all of us being at home right now, I thought it would be fun and special to take our You've Been Book'd program online and use all of the wonderful eBooks in Capstone Interactive to make this happen. 
With all of the eBooks that our friends at Capstone have made available for us free in Capstone Interactive during this time, it is the perfect spot for us to send our students and families for this special You've Been Virtually Book'd program.

I picked a variety of eBooks...picture books, nonfiction, graphic novels and more.  
Every week, I will make a Buncee with 10 new Capstone eBooks or you can go to this...
...blank template to make a copy and make your own.   Everyone can sign up and use Buncee here for free too. 
You can sign up for the free Capstone Interactive eBooks here.  
And for this first week, April 26, you will find the You've Been Virtually Book'd Buncee here.  All of the covers have that eBook linked from Capstone Interactive so when they click on it and login, it will open up the eBook for students to read and listen to.  
There is a little circle that they can add a... 
...check to after reading the eBook within Buncee or... on Share to... 
...Download the Buncee to make a paper copy.

I will be creating lists focusing on the eBooks in Capstone Interactive, Lightbox eBooks from Follett and even articles from PebbleGo to tie in more nonfiction interests.  And all of the these resources are available free for everyone right now. 

We love our You've Been Book'd program and can't wait to celebrate reading virtually with all of you too!  Please feel free to share all of the You've Been Virtually Book'd Buncee's with your community and families.
You will find each weeks You've Been Virtually Book'd Buncee here on this new Buncee Board. These are the links that you can share with families and students. 
And here is a video tutorial on how to create the You've Been Virtually Book'd Buncee's! 

Using Classroom Ready Collections For Remote Learning!

One of the most important parts of our jobs as librarians and teachers in digital learning is making sure we have curated and shared the best and most meaningful learning and library resources. 
This morning, as I was working on our library and continuous learning site, I thought about all the things we do throughout the year in the wedge of Curates Digital Resources and Tools within our framework as Future Ready Librarians

It's a huge part of our job and one of the most important.  And right now with remote learning taking place around the world, it is more important than ever to lead in the selection, integration, organization and sharing of digital resources and tools to support transformational teaching and learning. 
As I work with all of our teachers on their continuous learning plans, we have been working very hard at curating the best interactive and meaningful learning resources we can find in engaging and intuitive ways. 

One example of this is the collaboration my friend and colleague, Ann Volk, who teaches 3rd grade.  We created the Geography Fun Choice Board to give the kids choice in what they explore and how they learn about geography.  

You will find the post with the Geography Fun Choice Board here
When I was looking for resources I turned to this AWESOME resource from our friends at Follett....the Classroom Ready Collections (CRCs). 

And guess what?  

To help schools with eLearning during the closures, Follett it is waiving the cost for current Destiny customers through June 30 for its Classroom Ready Collections (CRC), which are standards-aligned, educator-curated Open Educational Resources (OER) that include lesson plans, activities, videos and worksheets.  

You will find the press release with this information here
After contacting Follett at,  I was so excited to find the Classroom Ready Collections under the Featured tab in Collections. 
By clicking on this, it brings up the 9 Classroom Ready Collections that focus around...
...Social Studies, Science and English Language Arts for Elementary, Middle School and High School. 
Within each of the 9 main Classroom Collections Sets, 
 you will find dozens of Classroom Collections...
...focused around subject and grade based content.  

I have been using the CRCs for a lot of different projects I am collaborating with our teachers on during this time, but I will show you how Ann and I used them for her Geography Choice Board. 
First, I clicked on the Classroom Ready Social Studies Collection for Elementary School. 
 Within that Collection, I found the one for 3-5 Social Studies: US Regional Geography.
I clicked on that Collection, and it opened up to a Collection with 17 resources. 

And remember, these resources are standards-aligned, educator-curated Open Educational Resources (OER) that include lesson plans, activities, videos and worksheets.  
I love how they have aligned the standards within each Collection.  That is super helpful when collaborating with teachers because you can easily show how the Collection and resources within the Collection are aligned to their curriculum.

You can use the Classroom Ready Collections like they are set up by Follett or you can also pull out resources and copy them to your own Collections. 

For this project, I found resources with that CRC and moved them to....
...a new Collection that I set up for this work with our 3rd graders called 3rd Grade Geography Collection. 
I looked through the resources and found which would be great for our Geography Fun Choice Board and to include in this new Geography Collection.  I found a few I wanted to copy and bring over.
To do this, you click on the three little dots in the corner of that particular resource.  You go to Copy to....
...and choose the Collection you want it to go to. 
After you copy it to that Collection, you can check to see how it looks and arrange them how you would like.
Within this Collection, I also pulled in other resources we have within our Destiny Discover at school.
I added the PebbleGo articles around Maps.
I added the Geography Fun Choice Board...and made sure it was the first thing they see in the Collection. 
 I found a few eBooks and added them by clicking on Collection and...
..choosing the 3rd Grade Geography Collection.  
And I even included a Follett eBook...
...and Lightbox Interactive eBook.  
If you haven't signed up for this special deal for over 1000 interactive eBooks from Follett, you can here!  
I also love how students can find all of our Collections by Destiny in the special Collections ribbon in our Destiny Discover.   That makes it super easy for them to find and even explore on their own. 

I will be sharing more about how we are using Destiny Discover to keep our library open during remote learning this week too
As you can see, there are lots of ways you can use Classroom Ready Collections for remote learning and learning throughout the year.  I love how easy it to find and share amazing OER's and more with our students and families.  And I love the way we can use these as a tool for collaboration and co-teaching as well.  
To learn more about Classroom Ready Collections, you can visit Follett Community here where they have put together a page with not only information for the CRCs but all of the amazing resources and support they are providing us for e-Learning including Lightbox interactive eBooks, AV2 World Languages audio books and more. 

As this page shares, 

Follett is waiving the cost of CRCs for current Destiny customers through June 30, 2020. To get started with CRCs, please contact and we will work with you to get you set up.