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! 

Join Me For The All-New Supporting Literacy With Buncee Webinar....Register Here, Friends

I am so excited for an all-new webinar with my amazing friends at Buncee and we would love to have you join us. 

On July 8 at 10:00am EST, I will be presenting Supporting Literacy With Buncee.  In this webinar, you will discover how you can support literacy with Buncee. We will explore use cases and examples of how you can use Buncee in your classroom or library to encourage your students, and help them develop integral literacy skills in a fun, creative way too. 

You can register for this free Buncee webinar here.  It will be recorded and shared after, along with all of the resources I will be sharing too. 

Hope to see you there, friends!  There will be something for everyone in this one, including lots of remote learning ideas too. 

Introducing Our Capstone eBook Library For ALL Campers At Virtual Camp Adventure!

I am super excited to share a very special new part of our Virtual Camp Adventure. 
On the choice board for each week of our Virtual Camp Adventure, I create and include a...
...Buncee that is filled with eBooks from...
...Capstone Interactive.  

The eBooks are focused around the theme of the week as shown in the Week 6 of Virtual Camp Adventure...Camping and Picnics

This week Capstone created a very special collection of 120 eBooks for our campers and families to use throughout the 12 weeks of our virtual camp. 
You will find all 120 Capstone Interactive eBooks we will use throughout the 12 weeks of Virtual Camp Adventure here at this link or by visiting mycapstonelibrary.com using the username: capstonecamp and password: capstone

I went through each weeks Choice Board that we have shared so far and changed the links and login information so they are all set to share and use. 

And I added the login information to each Buncee as you will find here....
...and remember, these are also included on each weeks choice board. 
On the Virtual Camp Adventure site found here, I made a new spot for this information that our campers can click on to take them to the special Capstone eBook Library too. 

Thank you Capstone for being part of our virtual adventures this summer!  We appreciate everything you bring to all students, families and communities. 

Monday, June 29, 2020

Let's Talk: A Conversation Starter For Future Ready Librarians® Building Collaborative Relationships

Future Ready Librarians® lead beyond the library, collaborating not only with teacher colleagues but also with building and district leaders to prepare future ready learners. Creating exciting and dynamic opportunities for future ready learners requires shared leadership among school leaders, including librarians, instructional coaches, principals, IT leaders, and district administration. 

This is one of the most important pieces of our work as Future Ready Librarians and one that can truly make a difference for our role and the entire school community through our leadership, advocacy and valuable work and support.  
We are excited to announce a new tool we developed to help you as you start conversations and build these essential and important collaborative relationships.  
It's called Let's Talk: A Conversation Starter for Future Ready Librarians Building Collaborative Relationships. 
Whether you are just getting started or trying to take the next step in your strategic collaborations, this step-by-step guide provides simple processes and curated resources that can help you examine your current situation, inspire creative thinking, build new partnerships, and then collectively develop a collaborative plan for your students and teachers as you work through 7 steps throughout the Conversation Starter.
Each of the 7 steps identifies the goals and includes the key competencies, process checklists and reviews, valuable resources,
and wonderful challenges to put this knowledge and inspiration into practice along the way. 
As we worked on getting this published during this time, we also included a place for Current Conversations: Librarians as Leaders During The Pandemic to help guide our conversations and practice in the situations we are currently dealing with across the country and around the world. 

I have used lots of these suggestions myself as we work on our return to learn goals and plan for the fall.  
You will find the Conversation Guide on the Future Ready Librarian page and can download....
...the Conversation Guide below the 7 steps, as shown in the image above. 

We hope everyone uses this to guide conversations and important work, as you continue to do amazing things in your Future Ready Librarian journey and beyond.  Together, we will all make a difference as we lead beyond the library and be the best we can be! 

Sunday, June 28, 2020

It's Time For Week 6 Of The Virtual Camp Adventure...Camping and Picnics!

It's time for Week 6 of Our Virtual Camp Adventure!  

This week, we are focusing on the topic of Camping and Picnics, perfect for the 4th of July!  When you go to the special websiteyou will find the choice board for Week 6.  You can also find it here.  

On this special choice board, you will find places for your students and families to explore as they read, draw, play, cook, create music, exercise, focus on social emotional learning and more.
This week, Daelynn, one of our seniors at Van Meter School, created a craft that can be found above and in the choice board. It is so much fun!
On the website, I also created a Collection by Destiny for the Virtual Camp Adventure that you will find....
 ...here.  I will add each weeks choice board and other resources including the Google Site, bookmark, flyer and more. 
Students and families will find another special Collection by Destiny for additional...
...Summer Reading and Learning Programs here and on the Week 6 Choice Board as circled in the picture above.
In the Week 6 choice board, they will find the Week 6 of Virtual Camp Adventure...Camping and Picnics Buncee filled with Capstone Interactive eBooks that everyone has free access to at home.
I shared this with my students and families in a variety of places including email, our library Facebook and other social media, the library website and I even changed the header on our Destiny Discover.  I will do that each week.

I hope you share this with your students and families for a fun sixth week of Virtual Camp Adventure. Let's see what happens when they learn with dinosaurs! 

And if you'd like to make changes to the choice board, you will find an editable copy here.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Leading From The Library Webinar....Join Us On July 15, Friends

On July 15, 2020 at 4:00pm, Bill Bass and I will be presenting a new Follett Community webinar, Leading from the Library...Help Your School Community Thrive in the Digital Age. 

As shared on the Follett Community site, 

Librarians play an essential role in education as leaders who work collaboratively to build relationships, mold culture and climate, and advocate for the needs of students and the community. In this session, a librarian and an administrator join forces to reflect on the librarian’s ability and expertise to build these connections within the local community and throughout the world. Ideas, strategies and best practices will be shared. Librarians play an essential role in education as leaders who work collaboratively to build relationships, mold culture and climate, and advocate for the needs of students and the community. 

In this webinar, a librarian and an administrator join forces to reflect on the librarian’s ability and expertise to build these connections within the local community and throughout the world. Ideas, strategies and best practices will be shared.

Participants will discover the influence they can have on the school community as the library becomes the heart of the school, a place where problems are solved, content is explored, connections are made, and discovery happens.

You can register here. And don't worry if you can't come during that time.  The recording will be sent out afterwards to everyone too. 

We hope you can join us for this important and interesting conversation, friends.  

20 Ways Students Can Use Bitmoji Scenes For Learning!

With all of the fun we, as librarians and educators, are having creating Bitmoji scenes, I started to think about all the ways our students can use them to share and demonstrate their learning in creative, fun and interesting ways too. 
I first got the bug this spring as I started seeing lots of ideas pop up on our Future Ready Librarian Facebook Page

I started creating Bitmoji scenes for my Library and Technology News Google Classroom, the library Google Site to eBooks and digital resources like PebbleGo, and I even created a cute little Bitmoji I Spy scene I turned into a bookmark to send all of my students. It is the one pictured above. 

You can read how I did this here in the post, Creating Bitmoji Bookmarks To Send A Message To Your Students

After talking to some students and the young people in our family, that's when I started to think about how students can use and create Bitmoji scenes for learning. 
For this post, I asked my student, Meridan Boyd, to help me by brainstorming ideas and creating Bitmoji scenes for each one.  This is what she had to share, 

I had a ton of fun doing these! This is something that I will continue doing throughout school as a fun, new, and creative way to present information. For example, I would definitely use this for a choir reflection. It would make the process of creating it a lot more enjoyable, while also making reading it more entertaining for Ms Lindell, VM's Choir Director. 

On that note, let's get started! 
1. Composer Research, as Meridan shared for a choir reflection.

2. Virtual book shelves of what they are reading. They could even create book reviews with Flipgrid and attach them to each book to make it interactive.

3. Create a scene of the wood shop and show how they made something step-by-step

4. Interactive art portfolio showcasing art work done throughout a unit or all year long.  It can even be a multiple page Bitmoji scene that can be added to year after year. 
5. Physics Lab Questions

6. Writing journal or diary

7. Have students create library marketing pieces....bookmarks, choice boards, virtual book displays, special event Bitmoji scenes, etc...

8. Create a virtual band sharing Bitmoji's playing instruments, along with actual videos of instruments being played
9. Character Analysis (or even a book report)

10. Physical Education journal or diary

11. Foreign Language journal or story

12. Use Bitmoji scenes for special events at school such as sporting events, music concerts, back-to-school night, etc... Students would have so much fun creating these with the teachers Bitmoji's.
13. Retelling historical events...and sharing current events

14. Sharing a recipe or documenting a food lab through step-by-step Bitmoji instructions

15. When created in Google Slides, students can collaborate with one another to create Bitmoji scenes.  This could be done within the classroom or school....even virtually with other schools and communities too.

16. Create a vision board
17. Life Cycle of a Star and other scientific topics 

18. Math explanations

19. Write a children's book for younger students

20. Create Bitmoji scenes to keep track of volunteer work through high school

And so much more!  

The sky is the limit in how Bitmoji scenes can be used for learning.  I cannot wait to use these ideas and see what other ideas our students come up with too! 

I would love to hear your ideas too,  friends.  

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Sparking Amazing Engagement With Buncee During Remote Learning & Throughout The Year

One of our goals during remote learning and learning together throughout the school year are finding ways to engage our students in meaningful, creative and fun educational projects and experiences to share what they know and love. 

I loved watching our teachers at Van Meter come up with special ways to engage and include our students and families in learning experiences during our time with remote learning this spring.  It was inspiration to see how they continued to learn and use that knowledge for projects, conversations and to share with others. 
Buncee was one of the best ways we sparked amazing engagement and learning experiences for our students during remote learning and throughout the year. 

I am excited to share one of my favorite projects where we saw this happen with our students. 
Our first graders read Owl At Home during their guided reading time one week.  The teachers then shared...
...the Let's Learn About Owls Choice Board and a video they created to show the students and families how to use this in their Continuous Learning Plans. 
By using the Owl Facts Buncee Template, one of the first grade teachers Kelly Hagen created, the students used what they learned in the choice board to create awesome Buncee's to share with...
pictures and... 
..things they loved about owls. 
You will find their Buncee's on the 1st Grade Owl Facts Buncee Board here.  I know you will love learning from our 1st graders too. 

After the project, Kelly wrote me and was so excited to share, 

Buncee has been the best addition to the 1st grade remote learning lesson plans. They have been so easy to use and the students have really enjoyed doing them! 

We spent two weeks completing a more project based approach to our reading curriculum. The students used choice boards that helped them access sites for research on different ocean animals one week and owls the next. They were then able to put their research into pre-made Buncee templates for them to add their information. Each student was able to add their own unique touches to make their project their own, and their learning really came alive

It was so fun to be able to see the student work and Buncee made it so easy for them to display their learning. 

Buncee is something that we will continue to use inside and outside of the classroom from now on!

I was thrilled to know that Buncee made an impact and difference for learners and for our teachers and families too.  

In fact, this week when I saw the Community Feedback Buncee they created from surveying the community of educators, technology coaches and administrators, I couldn't agree more with what they found. 

Take a look....

at the Community Feedback Buncee here where.... 
...91% of Buncee users find Buncee very helpful in their Remote Learning initiatives,  
96% of Buncee users are highly likely to recommend Buncee to a friend or colleague,  
81% of educators find Buncee easy to use, 78% of educators find Buncee to be a fun and engaging tool for their students and so much more!  

So, as you can see from the story Kelly shared about her first graders, the Community Feedback Buncee, and my own experiences, Buncee is the one stop shop for sparking all kinds of amazing engagement, learning, collaboration, excitement and fun that we all want our students to experience through remote learning and within any learning environment throughout the year. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

A Special Collection by Destiny for Dot Day!

With Dot Day just around the corner, I created a Dot Day Collection in Destiny Discover today.

And one of the great things about Collections....We can make it a Public Collection for everyone to see!

You will find the Let's Celebrate Dot Day and Making Our Mark On The World Collection here.

What else should I add to this Collection?  Let me know in the comments below. 

Celebrate Dot Day 2020 By Connecting Here and Making Our Mark On The World!

International Dot Day is always one of my favorite days (weeks) of the year.  It is a special time to celebrate all of us making our unique mark on the world.
As we look forward to Dot Day which is always celebrated on September 15ish, we start thinking about and planning lots of special connections and celebrations with other libraries, classrooms, communities and especially our students around the world.

And even though Dot Day might look a little different this year, just think of all of the exciting and meaningful new ways we can celebrate and connect for this special day and throughout the week.
When making these plans and connections, my friends Andy Plemmons and Matthew Winner, along with myself, put together this collaborative Dot Day Google Doc each year so we can start sharing our schedules and connecting the dots with others.
Please join us in celebrating Dot Day by joining in on the fun and connecting your own dots at the Google Doc that you will find here.

You can add your schedule, grade levels, locations and any other information that will be helpful as you make Dot Day plans.
Also, as you think ahead to what your Dot Day might look like with your library and school community, here are a few helpful resources to get you started. 
I brought together all kinds of resources, songs, project ideas, books and other fun in this Dot Day Collection.  You will find it here. 
Look at all of these wonderful books about Dots!  Please add others with dots to the Padlet here too. 
You can also follow the Dot Day Pinterest Board, which we continue to add resources too.  

I can't wait to celebrate Dot Day with all of you in September.  This is such a special way to kick off a new year of creating, connecting and collaborating with our students, families, teachers, communities and with others around the world.