Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Together We’re Better, Together We’re Future Ready. Join the All4Ed Future Ready Schools® (FRS) Digital Learning Day Network, Friends!

Now, more than ever, digital learning is no longer confined to a school or classroom. Instead, learning is mobile and should be available to students anytime and anywhere. 

As we prepare for Digital Learning Day’s (DLDay’s) tenth birthday on February 25, 2021, the Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed) invites educators to join our Future Ready Schools® (FRS) DLDay network because together we’re better, together we’re future ready.    

When All4Ed started DLDay, many districts, schools, and educators felt uncertain about the role digital learning could play in their classrooms. Now, almost ten years later, digital learning has become a lifeline as districts leverage high-quality research-based strategies to teach students remotely and in hybrid environments during the COVID-19 pandemic 

 

Join the network of educators from across the country committed to ensuring that all students have access to high-quality learning everywhere, every day! 


By signing up you will receive access to a digital badge for email, Twitter, and Instagram and a profile frame for Facebook.

 

Be part of the first 500 educators to join the new DLDay Network here.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Our Elementary Library Lesson Choice Boards For Rotation #3!

We are already onto Rotation #3 of our related arts schedule at Van Meter.  That means a new round of activities that focus around literacy, new technology tools and experiences, making and lots of fun. 

Back in September, I wrote about how we are using Google Slides to create lessons in a choice board format to make it handy for all students to access and use the materials and links included on each. You can read the first post here.

I wanted to share Rotation #3 with all of you.  Just a note...I did take out any links specific to my students, but you can create your own and add them to the Google Slides if you make a copy for yourself. 

You can access it as students would here.   You can make a copy to edit here.
During this rotation, you will find the Halloween Choice Board, crafts and read alouds for our littles, BreakoutEDU, QuiverAR, Buncee, Keva Planks, Our Virtual Makerspace Choice Board and more. 
I hope you find these useful.  I sure have fun creating them and can't wait to start sharing with our students tomorrow. 

Creating Helpful Library Procedure Posters With Photographs and Buncee

Our library is now open and we couldn't be more excited.  

Last week in this post, I shared how we were going to be using Destiny Discover and little shopping lists for the kids to write down the books they wanted to find in the library.  This is going great and the kids are really enjoying using Destiny to find what they want before they come into the library.  

After a week of having the library open, we also think that a few new signs with pictures will be helpful, especially with our youngest learners coming in this week too.  

This weekend, I created signs to put into the plexiglass holders we have on the tables with lots of books and to post on the shelves, desk where they check books out and doors as they come into the library. 

I used Buncee to created the signs. 
I picked three of my favorite Templates in Buncee. 

I took pictures of our students in the library last week and used those in the posters, along with text. 
I used PicMonkey to make the pictures into circles and then uploaded them into Buncee. 

That goes along really well with the theme of the templates too. 

The new posters will be helpful reminders on how we want our students to use their Destiny Library Shopping Lists and their eyes to look for the books they want to check out.  
We are doing everything we can to keep our students safe with these little reminders posters and the procedures we have put into place. 

If you'd like to use this Buncee template to create your own posters, you will find the Buncee here.

Halloween Can-You-Find-It Buncee Project...A Fun & Creative Writing Project For The Week!

To celebrate Halloween with our 2nd graders, we are going to do a fun Halloween Buncee creative writing project based on the...
...Can-You-Find-It and Spot-It Challenge series from our friends from Capstone and iSpy books by Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick. 

To kick off the project on Monday, I will share this choice board where I pulled together a few things to introduce the project.  
First, I found a super cool video about how Walter Wick makes iSpy books.  
I also added links to his website where the students will be able to see in more detail how he creates the pages in the books. 
For this project, the students will be creating their very own Halloween Can-You-Find-It Buncee by choosing 5-10 different objects of various numbers that will be included throughout their Buncee. 

I created an example Buncee to show the kids.  One page is my Halloween Can-You-Find-It Buncee...
..and the second page shares what they will be finding. 
I really love how the Capstone Spooky Sights, A Can-You-Find-It book by Sarah L. Schuette shows the different items they are looking for in each page spread.  
You can find Spooky Sights and 7 others in this series here.

I did something similar in my Halloween Can-You-Find-It Buncee here. Feel free to use this as an example. 
Once they have created their Buncee's, they will add them to the Halloween Can-You-Find-It Buncee Board. 

To do this, they click on Share in the right hand corner. 
Then on Share To Boards and put in...
...the code that I provided in the directions. 
Once they have put in that code, it will tell them they have shared successfully and give them a chance to click on View Buncee Board to...
...see what all of the other 2nd graders are creating too. 
They will even be able to leave reactions and comments.  This is one of their favorite parts. 

If you would like to view the choice board I created for this project, you can find it here as students will see it or feel free to make a copy to use with resources you have too. 

Have a wonderful week celebrating Halloween in creative and fun ways, friends. 

Friday, October 23, 2020

Don't Miss This eSchool News Article, How School Librarians Are Getting Creative In A Pandemic by Britten Follett

 

As the new eSchool News article How School Librarians Are Getting Creative In A Pandemic by Britten Follett states, 

In many districts across the country, the librarian’s job description had not been updated to reflect a “future ready” world that includes the delivery of digital resources, curriculum partnerships, and community connections. When you layer on a pandemic that includes hybrid and remote learning, there is no job description available. But resourceful school librarians from coast to coast are finding innovative ways to work in a system that has no precedent.

In the article, Britten shares survey information that has been gathered over the last 8 months and the ways several librarians are getting creative during this time.  It was inspiring to read what others are doing across the country within their libraries and community, and how we, as librarians, are making a huge difference for the students and families we serve. 

You will find this article on eSchool News here.

It's A Halloween Choice Board, Friends!

With Halloween next week, I created a special choice board. 

It is filled with online activities, books to listen to, songs to sing, games to play (like BreakoutEDU), things to make and draw, coding, typing and more. 

You will find the Halloween Choice Board here to share with your students

And if you want to make changes for your own school, please feel free to make a copy here.
I added a new page to the Monthly Choice Boards site called Special Events Choice Boards.  You will find this one there.  I will add other choice boards created around special events and celebrations to this space. 

Enjoy, friends.  



 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Collections By Destiny...The One-Stop Shop For Curation, Collaboration, Teaching and More!

As educators work with students in face-to-face and remote learning settings, we are constantly looking for the best methods and platforms to deliver learning, content and resources in organized, engaging and meaningful ways.  

In the classroom, we do everything we can to engage our learners and to provide them with wonderful experiences and resources. Platforms like Google Classroom, Seesaw, Canvas and others are being used to create engaging spaces online to bring together and share lessons, assignments, projects and learning opportunities, while connecting our students throughout the year. 

Within all learning opportunities, in person and virtual, we need tools to help us with the curation, collaboration, teaching and more. That is where, Collections by Destiny, comes into play for our teachers and students.  It is the one-stop shop for all of these things and so much more. 

In fact, I am getting ready for our annual Destiny For Teachers Library Pop-Up PD, that I offer every fall to get teachers signed up and back into their very own Destiny Library Manager account.  This not only gives them lots of access to the library, but it helps teachers set up Collections and Playlists to use with students and within their teaching all year long. It's always a blast and so helpful for everyone. 

Let's take a closer look at what makes Collections a one-stop shop for teachers, students and librarians alike. 

Curation

We use Collections to curate all kinds of resources for our students, teachers and families.  Books, eBooks and audio books can be pulled into Collections from our library collection within Destiny.  Online resources, like databases we have access to and OER resources available to everyone, can be pulled into any Collection too.  And don't forget all of the digital tools and apps that our students use to create.  They must be part of Collections too. 

For example, here is a Collection we created for 3rd Grade Geography.  It contains eBooks, print books, website, links to our PebbleGo and even the Geography Fun Choice Board. 
When a teacher is ready to share this with students, a Collection can be shared by inviting them via email, through the link, by sending an email and by connecting to Google Classroom. 
I love how easy it is to share Google Classroom.  You just click on the little symbol, select the class and action, and press Go. 
It automatically uploads that Collection into a post, where you can add details and share it with your students.  This comes in very handy when having students go back to the things we curate for them throughout the year. 

We can also add Collections to other curation tools we use such as Symbaloo or Wakelet.  Just grab the share link and add to any curation tool or site. 
I make sure I always add a Collection to our Monthly Choice Boards and others.  This is such a helpful way to tie in library resources and a great way to highlight the Collections we have curated. 

You can find Our Monthly Choice Boards, as shown above, to use within your school and community here
I also love how I can bring all of these Collections into one Collection Set so I have one link to share with students, teachers and families.  It makes curation so much easier for all of us. 

Collaboration 

Collaboration is one of the most important things we can do as teachers and teacher librarians.  It brings us together so we can brainstorm, plan, research and teach in innovative, collaborative and creative ways, bringing the best learning experiences to our students and school community.  It brings us together in a way that enriches everything we do as teachers and librarians. 

Collections are a very important part of how we collaborate at Van Meter.  We collaborate on Collections together and share them with each other too. 
At the start of the year, I make sure our teachers know how to log into our Destiny Discover and use the features available as a teacher.  This includes being able to create and collaborate on Collections. 
As teachers, it is so helpful to be able to go to Collections with Destiny Discover, pick books and eResources from the library collection and add them...
...to a Collection they have created.  For example, our 2nd grade teachers created a Collection for Science.  They found an article in PebbleGo about plants and added...
...several books and eBooks too.  

Our teachers comment on how helpful being able to use Destiny and curate resources within Collection is for them as we collaborate and plan throughout the year. 

Not to mention, how they love being able to share Collections with students so they can find everything they need so easily.  

With students face-to-face and learning remotely, this is especially helpful this year.  

And did you know that students can collaborate within Collections too?
Everyone using Destiny within our school also have access to all of the Collections within our school and district, and ones that people around the world are creating and making public for everyone to access.  We are collaborating and sharing amazing work and resources in such a helpful way being able to access Collections in a variety of ways. 

Teaching

Through all of this amazing curation and collaboration, we are always excited to teach the lessons and projects we have prepared. Teachers have so much at their fingertips within Collections and Destiny.  
We can share the Collections in a variety of ways with students as I have shown in this post.  

One super helpful way to share with students who are using devices to access information, is by Creating a PDF with...
...the name of the Collection at the top, resource titles and even QR codes to access the resources.  This can be printed for students and even posted for everyone to use. 

One of my favorite things about Collections is being able to create and share Playlists. Playlists are curated visual lists of resources educators select from a Collection to share in a meaningful, organized way. 

Again, librarians within the school and district can help set up all educators within Destiny Library Manager in order to create Playlists within Collections. 
To create a Playlist, you click on the + sign in the right hand corner of any Collection. 
This is where you can add any type of resources or Items to a Collection.  You can add URL's, upload files and images, add a note and even add another Collection. 
First, click on Playlist and give it a title.  For this one, our 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Ferguson, and myself typed in Let's Learn About Plants and clicked on Add. 
The Playlist pops up with the resources from that Collection on the left hand side.  You can view as Image Cards or Title Cards. You can make changes with the little pencil too. 
To add the resources to the Playlist, click on Add Slide as circled above. 
This adds them to the Playlist.  We change the positions around once the resources are added so it makes sense when using this to present or share a lesson with students. To do this, just click on the three little dots in the right hand corner of any resource.  
Select Change Item Position and move the item to the position you would like. 
You don't have to use all of the resources within a Collection.  This is a really nice feature, because you can even create multiple Playlists from one Collection.  
When you are ready to use this Playlist in a lesson or project, just click on the Share button and share how you would share a Collection.  

We have found being able to create Playlists from our Collections especially helpful during remote and blended learning, because we can add instructions in a Google Doc, resources from our library and online, digital tools for them to create a project from the materials and even a form of assessment to complete at the end.  

It truly shows how Collections can be all educators one-stop shop for curation, collaboration, teaching and so much more! I would love to hear how you are using it as teachers and librarians too. 

Collections by Destiny have changed the way we do things at our school and I know it will within your community too. 

You can learn more about Collections here.

And if you want the template to the Collections by Destiny Pop-Up PD I created in Buncee, click here.  You can make changes and use it too.