Sunday, August 30, 2020

A Collection by Destiny Set Of Special Yearly Events For Our Community & To Share

Our Collections by Destiny have been a very important part of our library.  Now with blended learning, our Collections are becoming more and more important, as they are an engaging, meaningful and easy way to share all kinds of resources with our students, teachers and families. 
As Future Ready Librarians, a big part of what we do falls under the Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment wedge of the Future Ready Librarian framework and I can't think of a better way to describe how Collections by Destiny support and help all of us. 

Throughout the year, we research, select and curate resources for a variety of library initiatives, various projects and for special events.  With these events, we have created several wonderful Collections that we continue to add new things to throughout the year. 
Coming up, we have International Dot Day, 
9/11 Remembrance Day, 
and lots of wonderful resources for Constitution Day coming up on September 17. 
With all of these Collections we are creating, we decided to bring them together in a Collection Set.  This is an awesome feature in Collections and one of my favorite things! 

With a Collection Set, we can bring together as many Collections as we want in one place.  You can read more about this and how to make your own in this post I wrote
We shared this right away in our Library Google Classroom and also....
 ...created a new page on our library and remote learning website.

The Collection Set of Special Yearly Events will be such an important place for all of us as we celebrate these special days, plan and collaborate with one another, and share these with our students, families and community. 

Let's see what we can plan to celebrate and learn about next!  
You will find the Collection Set of Special Year Events here

Using Google Slides For Our Virtual LIVE Library Schedule....Links, Posters, Videos and More!

This year more than ever it is important for us to make learning and reading extra special.  As I wrote about last week, we will be hosting LIVE daily events from the library and classrooms, and by bringing in other guests and celebrations too.

Last week as we went back to school, we kicked off these special events and it was a big success and so much fun for our students at school and for those learning at home.
Since I will be setting these special events up each week, I want to make it easy and convenient for everyone so I created a Google Slides presentation that I published online.  
Each week, I will create a new slide and put that one at the front so it is viewed first. 
I embedded that Google Slide presentation on our website under a new page and on the front of our library and remote learning site. 

I sent it out every Sunday and will print it off so they can have it in their classrooms. 
I also added it to our social media channels for the library and school. 
On the weekly event slide, everyone will find the LIVE Virtual Pop-In Storytimes and... and illustrator event posters we will use to share the news and information on that special guest and event. 

We will have at least one special guest each week.  We are super excited about that. 
I am also very excited about the weekly events that Skype in the Classroom is hosting.  This week we are going to learn about the migration of the monarch butterflies. 

You will find the upcoming and archived events from Skype in the Classroom here

As our year goes on, our students and teachers are excited to give lots of input on who and where they'd like to connect with for these events.  I can't wait to see where this new edition to our library program will take us. 

And I can't wait to look back on our Google Slides throughout the year to see all of the amazing events that will bring us together. 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

We Can StickTogether Anywhere With The NEW Virtual StickTogether Boards!

Our students love doing the amazing StickTogether posters together.   It is always such a fun sight to see them working on these posters together and to see how excited they are when they finish them too. 

With our current situation, our friends at StickTogether have created something very special for our students that they can do anywhere with their friends online. 

Introducing Virtual StickTogether Boards!  As they shared, We can't always be together, but we can always StickTogether! 
I had so much fun the last week working on my Virtual StickerBoard.  On the right you will see the different colored stickers marked with the corresponding letters. You click on the color and then click on the StickerBoard to make it stick. 
As you are working on the StickerBoard, you can click on the magnifying glass which will pull up a grid and let you select the section you'd like to zoom in on.  
Students can also see the number of players present as they are working and even read...
...messages left by the teacher or administrator.  Only administrators can post. 
I love how we can also set the number of stickers each participant places per day.  This will give all students an opportunity to contribute to the Stickerboard too. 

In that same window you can add a final message that will appear when the image is completed.  You must press SAVE for these changes to take effect, and these can be changed and updated at any time in the process.  

As the StickTogether site states, 

The Virtual StickTogether Stickerboard experience is FREE for a few weeks! The $5 Discount will automatically be applied at checkout. 
After you make your purchase, you will receive a separate CREATE YOUR STICKERBOARD email with instructions for setting up your personal Stickerboard.  From there you can select an image from a gallery, similar to the ones above. Once the image is selected, you can retrieve the unique link that provides access to your private Stickerboard. Simply share this link with your group. There is no sign-in required for members of your group to add stickers to your Stickerboard. Only those who receive the link can join in. 
So once you have your StickerBoard, you can give it a title, add your name and a message... 
 ...before you share it through a link, as shown circled above. 
You will find the Virtual StickTogether Boards here, where you can get your free one to do with your students and community too. 

Thank you, friends.  You have given us very special to share with our students.  I can't wait to share it with them tomorrow too! 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Connect with Peter H. Reynolds For Dot Day On This Special Skype in the Classroom Event

For Dot Day, our friends at Skype in the Classroom have announced a very special event for all of us to be part of. 

On September 16 at 12:00pm CST, we can join Peter H. Reynolds and Candlewick Press as we celebrate Dot Day with others around the world.  

There’s no wrong way to make a dot! Join Skype in the Classroom and Candlewick Press in a global celebration of creativity, courage, and collaboration: International Dot Day!
The Dot is the story of a caring teacher who dares a doubting student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to “make her mark.” What begins with a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage, igniting a journey of self-discovery and sharing, which has gone on to inspire millions of children and adults around the globe.
Peter H. Reynolds is a New York Times best-selling illustrator who has created many acclaimed books for children. He is the author-illustrator of The Dot, Ish, Sky Color, Rose’s Garden, The North Star, and Playing from the Heart, as well as the illustrator of Megan McDonald’s Judy Moody and Stink series.
On this site, you will find a wonderful activity kit for Dot Day with three amazing...
...templates for students to create their mark too. 
I added this event page and resources to our Dot Day Collection by Destiny that you can find here.
And remember, you can make connections with others for Dot Day here on this Google Doc too
I can't wait to celebrate within our school community and with others.  And I sure can't wait for this special event with my friend, Peter.  It is going to be a beautiful day to celebrate making our mark on the world. 

Monday, August 24, 2020

Kicking Off The Year With Our Follett Book eFair

This week is our first week back at school, and it sure has been an exciting one!

As I visited classrooms and students, lots of questions kept popping up as we talked what the library would look like this year.  A few that I heard were....

Are we going to have the book fair this year?  If we don't come to the library, where will the book fair be?  What if we miss it again? 

These are tough questions and ones that we are all facing as we go into this school year. But with a smile on my face, I was happy to share that we would be having the book fair in a couple weeks and this year it would be online as we are hosting our first ever...
 ...Follett Book eFair at Van Meter School!

We have hosted several Follett Book Fairs over the last two years at Van Meter and our students, teachers and families love them every time.  This summer when Follett announced the eFairs, I was excited to sign up so we can still bring a wonderful book fair to our students in a special virtual way.
As the website states,

Follett Book eFairs for the school provide a new way for students and families to shop for books. They’ll find a variety of titles that reflect all interests and backgrounds.

Follett Book eFairs give students a convenient, affordable way to grow their at-home libraries. Students can browse recent releases by popular authors or add an old favorite to their shelves. You can expect to see 80% of the choices available in paperback and low-priced books so that every student can find something.
As the various grade levels flyers show,
the eFairs are packed full of amazing books for various grade levels around different genres such as...
 ...picture books,
 beginning readers,
 chapter books,
 nonfiction titles,
 must-have titles,
graphic novels and so much more.
I love how Follett provides us with Suggested Book Lists, which they update regularly with a fantastic mix of books including great recommendations for all ages.
They also have Customizable Selection which allows us to make book recommendations for our students and add titles.  

This is another aspect of the Follett Book eFairs I am very excited about as I can tie in books that relate to our curriculum and certain topics of interests specific to our school, classroom curriculum and students.  As a teacher librarian, this is a meaningful way to collaborate with my teachers and students as I bring these book recommendations together. 
As I get ready to kick off our Follett Book eFair right after the holiday, I am having lots of fun looking through the promotional materials as I plan this special event.  
For example, check out this computer monitor sign that I turned into the invitation to hand out to students to take home,
to include on the slides in our library orientation, our Smore library and school newsletters, and to share on our library and school social media channels.
The activity kit will come in handy and give students a place to color,
 find and...
 ...participate in activities around the camp theme.
I absolutely LOVE these bookmarks which also serve as a way to get the word out.  
And guess what?  Online Wish Lists are here!

Students and teacher can now create online wish lists to share with family and friends, near or far.  Everyone can participate and help to build both classroom and home libraries.
In the marketing materials, we are provided with the My Book eFair Wish List and...
...Teacher Wish Lists in a few...
...styles to choose from.
The Reading Challenges, 
Contest Ideas and...
 ...Goal Posters are more great ways to get students involved and excited.
As you can see, Follett Book eFairs offer a variety of literacy and fundraising opportunities that are perfect for every school, large or small.  

And the most important thing, they will bring happiness and inspire our readers through books, experiences and a great adventure to kick off the year.