Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Find Today's Future Ready Librarian® Webinar, The 1st Digital Learning App Smash, Recording and Slides Here


As students across the country return to learning, everything looks different from classrooms, buses, lunchrooms, playgrounds and, of course, libraries. The ways students and teachers access information, and the ways in which librarians support them, have evolved. One thing has become evident—we must find engaging, creative, and meaningful ways to engage and connect our students to learning more than ever.

During this new fast-paced and fun event, twenty Future Ready Librarians® shared twenty one digital tools and how they use them with their students to create amazing experiences in face-to-face, virtual, and blended learning environments. 

Watch as they share these digital tools and outline how they are used and how they support us as Future Ready Librarians®.

You can watch the recording of our webinar above or at this link.  And you will find the slides here.

Announcing The Future Ready Librarian Fall Summits....Sign Up Today, Friends

We have exciting news to share!  On November 7 and 21, 2020, Mark Ray and myself will be hosting the Future Ready Librarians Fall Summits

The Future Ready Librarians® Summits are a series of FREE, virtual, interactive, high-quality professional learning experiences for librarians who are interested in learning, growing and expanding their professional practice through collaboration and networking with like-minded colleagues from across the country. Recognizing the profound shifts in learning and teaching occurring in real time, these interactive online events will help librarians ground their practice in the research-based Future Ready Librarians Framework and define new ways in which they can lead, teach, and support learning in their schools.

Leveraging the active Future Ready Librarians community, the summits are designed around authentic problems of practice identified by librarians. The workshops will allow librarians to learn and collaborate with like-minded educators from across the country.

Both workshops this fall will focus on Collaborative Leadership with an emphasis on leading beyond the library during uncertainty -- how can librarians contribute to a shared vision and strategic plan for digital learning, fostering a culture of collaboration and innovating to empower teachers and learners?

Prior to the first workshop, we are asking that everyone complete the Future Ready Librarians Self-Reflection

This tool is designed to help librarians quickly assess their current strengths and areas of growth in relation to the FRL Framework. This simple survey provides a personalized snapshot so that librarians can plan for professional and program growth. For the workshops, we will using your results as a starting place for conversations and activities that we will do while we are together online. Be sure to save your results by downloading the PDF!

Due to the interactive agenda, each workshop is limited to the first 500 participants, so sign up here now. It’s free! You can register for one or both dates!

We hope to see you at the summits in November, friends.  Please let us know if you have any questions. 

Join Us Today at 3:00pm CST For The NEW Future Ready Librarian Digital Learning App Smash!

I don't want you to miss this super fun event coming up today at 3:00pm CST. 

It's the Digital Learning App Smash For Future Ready Librarians®, friends. 

Join me, along with 19 amazing librarians, as we share lots of awesome digital apps and tools that support digital and anytime learning.  

And one of the most exciting parts...We will be sharing lots of ways these apps can be smashed together too. 

This is going to be such a fun event.  We hope you can join us. 

Monday, September 28, 2020

Just Released....Planning For High-Quality Remote Learning Using The #FutureReady Framework, An Essential Resource For All

I have very exciting news to share from Future Ready Schools® and the Alliance for Excellent Education. 

Today, the Future Ready Planning Guide for High-Quality Remote Learning was released and it is such an amazing resource filled with ideas, best practices and practical considerations for addressing the unique challenges we are currently facing. 
At futureready.org/remote, you will find the High-Quality Remote Learning guide. 

As shared on the site, 

The Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed), in conjunction with the Future Ready Schools®  (FRS) advisory team of nationally recognized school- and district-level practitioners, developed this resource to share ideas, best practices, and practical considerations for addressing the unique challenges of high-quality remote learning. This guide helps school and district leaders develop and refine a learner-centered remote environment where digital learning is more than anytime, anywhere device access and instead focuses on the delivery of innovative instruction for every child in any setting.    

At the core of these recommendations, and at the heart of FRS, is equity. It is imperative that school and district leaders lead with an equity lens and keep historically marginalized student groups at the heart of all decision making. 

The guide uses the Future Ready Framework to provide insight and considerations around of the most important aspects of high-quality remote learning. 

You click on one of the eight "gears" within the Future Ready Framework to...
...read about each. 

Underneath the description, 
you will find the Common Challenges for Remote Learning and..
...Ideas to Consider.  

This is going to be such a helpful and essential resource for all of us, as educational leaders, IT leaders, instructional directors, teachers, teacher librarians and others within education and throughout school communities. 

As I plan our year and the work I do within my district, I will use this as a place to support our blended learning plans to make it the best year we can for all students.  

You will find the guide here
Tomorrow, on September 29, please join us for the #FutureReady Slow Chat on Twitter from 10:00am to 5:00pm EST as we collaborate and share ideas, best practices and practical considerations for addressing the unique challenges we are currently facing.  

Sunday, September 27, 2020

A Very Special #BeWhoYouAreDay With Todd Parr Choice Board!

This week, on September 30, is the very first #BeWhoYouAreDay with Todd Parr.
My sister, Heather Fox, who is the teacher librarian at Amana Elementary in Amana, Iowa, made this adorable and fun #BeWhoYouAreDay Choice Board to share with her learners at school and at home. 

And guess what? She wants to share it with all of us so we can use it with our students, teachers and school community too.  You will find it here, friends. 

If you want to make changes within the choice board, you can make a copy of it here

Thank you, Heather, for creating such a wonderful and special place for all of us to go as we celebrate #BeWhoYouAreDay with our community and others around the world. 

This Weeks Special Events For Your Students & School Community!

We are excited for another week of awesome events from the library.  These are events our teachers and students can join from their classrooms, and our students and families who are learning at home can join too. 

Each week, I shared this Google Slide, shown above, to share the schedule and links to each special event.  I make sure to look for the events that authors, illustrators, publishers, Skype in the Classroom, and others are sharing each week so I can add them to our calendar of events at Van Meter too. 

Here are the events that you can share and join this week too...
You can join the Draw Along and Read With Luke Flowers to celebrate National Good Neighbor Day on the Fred Rogers Productions Facebook here
Lizards with Chelsea Connor with Skype a Scientist here, and..
...the #BeWhoYouAreDay with Todd Parr Skype in the Classroom event here.

It's going to be an awesome week! 

You will find more details on how I use Google Slides to create, embed and share these calendars each week in this post. 

Friday, September 25, 2020

Our Art Choice Board & Collection...A NEW Addition To Our Virtual Makerspace!

Our kids are loving Our Virtual Makerspace choice board.  It has been so much fun seeing them create, image, read, learn and discover at school and at home.  

As I shared it with our related arts teachers, we collaborated on how we could create more choice boards focused around their topics like art and music.  

We started with the new Our Art Choice Board and filled it with places for Art Ideas and Inspiration, Creating Art Online, and Reading About and Researching Art Topics.  You will find it here.  Feel free to share this anyway you'd like.
As I found lots of sites and resources, I also created a new Collection by Destiny called the Virtual Art Sites Collection to add these and others.  Anyone can find and use it here.
After I got Our Art Choice Board set up, I added it to the top of the Art column on Our Virtual Makerspace. 

This gave me the idea to do it for each column, so over the next few weeks I will be creating more places for our students, schools and families to connect to building, coding, designing, engineering, music, robotics, reading and more. 
And here is a little tip... 

I created our library and remote learning site in Google Slides.  This makes it super easy to embed the choice boards so our students can use them for related arts like art and library, and other content related materials too. 

If you'd like to make a copy to make edits, etc..., you can make a copy of Our Art Choice Board here.

So stay tuned, friends.  There is more to come for Our Virtual Makerspace! I can't wait to share with all of you. 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Join Me For The All NEW Webinar....Capstone Connect: Content Discovery & Sharing Made Easy!

Our friends at Capstone made an exciting announcement today.  They introduced their newest product, Capstone Connect! 

And guess what?  On October 1 at 3:00pm CST, I will be joining Bryan Schmidt, Capstone's EdTech Marketing Manager, as we take you on a tour of the all-new Capstone Connect. 

As shared on the registration page

During this webinar you'll go on a guided tour of Capstone Connect including the intuitive, easy-to-use standards alignment search tool that helps teachers find the exact content they need from a comprehensive collection of PebbleGo modules, thematic Capstone Interactive eBook bundles, and compilations of Capstone instructional materials, all aligned to state and national standards. Capstone's EdTech Marketing Manager, Bryan Schmidt and future-ready teacher librarian, Shannon McClintock Miller, will introduce you to the modules, eBooks, instructional materials and standards search and examples of how Capstone Connect can help teachers and students with distance or in-class learning.

Can't make the webinar? No problem! Everyone who registers will receive a link to the recording

I will be sharing a blog post soon about Capstone Connect.  I can't wait to share how it works, how we can smash up others apps like Flipgrid, Buncee and Pear Deck with Capstone Connect and so much more.  

Hope to see you at the webinar, friends. I know you will love it too! 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

A Personalized Way To Store and Use Merge Cubes and Other Makerspace Materials

As we learn together this fall, we think a lot about all of the ways we can safely share library and Makerspace materials between our students and classrooms.  Two of resources we use a lot at Van Meter are Merge EDU and the Merge Cubes.  

In fact, our friends at Merge have made the cube pattern available free online so a few weeks ago we started having all of our students create their own to keep with them at school and home. 

After they created their very own Merge Cube, we had every student write their name on a plastic bag and put their cube inside.  The teachers then found a safe place for them to keep their cubes, often times in their desks. 

You can read about how we used the paper Merge Cube pattern and where to find it here.

Today when our 4th graders did a lesson in Merge EDU it was super easy for each student to grab their cube and scan it using the iPads.
When they finished, each student place their cube back in their plastic bag.  

This is an easy activity for us to share with our virtual learners too. 

We need to think of creative and safe ways for our students to continue this exploration, learning and creativity.  How are you doing this with your students? 

Monday, September 21, 2020

Lots Of Fun & Inspiring Downloadables For Our Readers...Zoom Backgrounds, Bookmarks, Posters and More!

As we look for ways to inspire and engage our readers and reading community, check out all of these awesome new materials from #AllBookForAllKids! 
As I shared in a post about #AllBooksForAllKids last week on my blog, this new reading campaign from our friends at Follett is to develop lifelong learners by encouraging reading across all genres and all platforms.  It is about getting all students to read what they want, how they want. 
And that is exactly what they have done with the free resources they have created for all of us to download from the site. 

On the #AllBookForAllKids, we will find...
shelf talkers and...
...Zoom backgrounds, all designed so creativity and fun with the #AllBooksForAllKids theme.  

These are easy to download and print off to use with your learners at school or to send home with your learners learning virtually too.  
And one of my favorite parts...the Zoom backgrounds, can be used to brighten up your learning connections and make them even more special for your kids. 

The Candy Mafia....A New Middle School Comical Mystery You Don't Want To Miss!

From the minute I had this new book in my hands, I couldn't wait to read and share it!  The Candy Mafia is one that will be such a huge hit as this comical mystery hits the shelves this month. 

As our friends at Peachtree shared, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets Bugsy Malone in Lavie Tidhar's middle-grade debut, The Candy Mafia. 
In Lavie's first book for young readers, 
along with illustrator, Daniel Duncan, they have created the perfect book for every mystery fan, especially those who love candy, fun shenanigans, and comical and mysterious stories. 
As shared inside the front cover of The Candy Mafia

In a city where candy is outlawed, Nelle Faulker is a twelve-year old private detective itching for her next client.  So when notorious candy gangster, Eddie de Menthe, struts into her office and asks her to find a missing teddy bear, Nelle is on the case.  But as soon as the teddy turns up, Eddie himself goes missing. 

As a seemingly innocent investigation unravels into something mores sinister, Nelle and her friends quickly find themselves swept up in a shady underworld of sweet smugglers, back alley deals, and storefront firebombs.  If Nelle has any hope of tracking down her missing client, first she will have to unmask the true faces behind the smuggling ring.  Or else, this might turn into a care with a sticky end. 

When I read The Candy Mafia, I couldn't wait to read this one aloud to our students at Van Meter.  In fact, this is our next read aloud for Virtual Chapter Book Fridays!  I can't wait! 

You can read all about The Candy Mafia here on the Peachtree site.

This is one all readers will love! 

The Virtual Librarian....Two New Follett Webinars You Won't Want To Miss, Friends

I am excited to tell you about my upcoming double feature webinar, The Virtual Librarian, with our friends at Follett. 

As remote learning has changed the way all educators do their jobs, and librarians are no exception. Flexibility and new ways of working with students, teachers and parents are essential. You won’t want to miss these idea-packed discussions designed to help you be the best librarian you can be – virtual, blended or face-to-face!

On October 14, I will be presenting...

The Virtual Librarian: Promoting Literacy with Technology Tools, Collections and Destiny (Part 1)

4:00pm CST

How can today’s librarian transfer what they’ve always done into today’s remote learning environment?

This webinar will take you through new ideas and best practices for using technology, including Follett Destiny® and Follett Collections by Destiny®, during an unprecedented time in education. 

Being a teacher librarian during a pandemic in virtual and blended learning settings brings a host of opportunities, challenges and celebrations for change. While connecting with each student and helping to promote literacy is at the heart of everything a librarian does during a “normal” school year, teaching and learning virtually requires additional skills and expertise. 

How can today’s teacher librarian transfer everything they’ve always done into today’s remote learning environment? What new approaches, resources, and programs can help every librarian succeed and help their patrons succeed?

Learn all about: 

  • How to use Collections and Destiny to build meaningful and exciting places for reading, learning, creating, connecting and more
  • Several special programs she has created around Destiny and Collections while creating exciting remote learning opportunities
  • How to make Collections and Destiny a big part of your virtual libraries

The Virtual Librarian: Engage Your Entire School with an eFair (Part 2) 4:30pm CST

How can today’s librarian transfer what they’ve always done into today’s remote learning environment?

This webinar will take you through new ideas and best practices for hosting an online book fair during an unprecedented time in education. 

Being a teacher librarian during a pandemic in virtual and blended learning settings brings a host of opportunities, challenges and celebrations for change. Connecting with each student and helping to promote literacy is at the heart of everything a librarian does during a “normal” school year. Historically, students, parents and teachers have been fans of book fairs – now, eFairs give librarians another tool with which to promote literacy and a strong reading culture.  

I will share new ideas and best practices, plus ways to make your eFair a memorable and dynamic learning experience.

Learn all about: 

  • How I kicked off the year with a virtual Follett Book eFair to celebrate and strengthen the reading culture within her school district
  • Ways to use the various parts of the online book fair to foster collaboration between teachers, students and families
  • And I can't wait to share one of my favorite parts...how to create and share virtual book lists!

You can register for both of these webinars here.  And afterwards, the recording will be shared with all who register too. 

I hope you join me, friends.  I can't wait to share with all of you.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Don't Miss A Hour Full Of Fun With The Future Ready Librarian® Digital Learning App Smash Event! Register Today, Friends!

I don't want you to miss this super fun event coming up on September 29.  

It's the Digital Learning App Smash For Future Ready Librarians®, friends. 

Join me, along with 20 amazing librarians, as we share lots of awesome digital apps and tools that support digital and anytime learning.  We will be announcing our lineup soon and if you are interested in being one of the presenters, please apply here.

This is going to be such a fun event.  We hope you can join us. 

#AllBooksForAllKids...A Special New Place To Support All Readers

I have a favorite new site I am excited to share. It is called #AllBooksForAllKids!

Our friends at Follett, have created this special new space for us, as librarians, educators, families and champions of reading and literacy, to encourage all students in their journey of becoming lifelong learners and readers.

As shared on the front page of the #AllBooksForAllKids site,
...as part of #AllBooksForAllKids means making sure all students have access to books. It’s our mission to help put books into the hands of all students.
When students have a choice in what they read, it leads to a generation of enthusiastic readers and a hunger for learning. Building a lifelong love for reading starts with choice, so let’s empower students to take ownership in what they read.
It doesn’t matter what they read, or how they read it. Whether a student picks up a graphic novel, listens to a novel in verse audiobook, or reads an article from a database, #AllBooksForAllKids is about seeing students’ faces light up because they’re reading and learning about the topics that interest them.

At the top of the page, you will find several pages.  The first, Just Read includes lots of highlights including...
...timely and important book lists and..
..informative webinars from leaders within our field.
Under the tab, Hear From Authors, you will find the Behind the Book interviews and Author Takeovers are also included here and these are always a favorite to share...
 ..with our readers and teachers as they connect...
 ..to our favorite authors and the books they write.
The next tab, Resources for Educators, includes so many ideas fun idea around reading and learning like...
 ...Sketchnotes and...
 You can find inspiring blog posts and webinars around important reading and learning topics, and...
 ..one of my favorite things about #AllBooksForAllKids, these amazing free downloads for spreading the love of reading.
There are lots of ways how we can partner with Follett to get students reading including Follett Book eFairs, Destiny Discover, Collections and more.
To read about all of these ideas and more, you can stay connected by going here. I love getting little updates and I know that you will find this informative and helpful too. 

And the main #AllBooksForAllKids can be found here, friends.