Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Join Me Today For A NEW Webinar.... Choice Boards With Capstone eBooks, PebbleGo, Capstone Connect and More!


Today, I am part of an exciting NEW webinar hosted by Norm Berning and Literacy for Texas, Choice Boards With Capstone eBooks, PebbleGo, Capstone Connect and More!  

As shared on the invite...

Join Literacy for Texas and Norm Berning for a special presentation from Shannon McClintock Miller showcasing how you can easily create custom choice boards with your school’s Capstone eBooks or PebbleGo articles! Create fun and easy ways to share digital content with your students. Take it one step further and make it easier than ever to grab direct links and teacher's resources from Capstone's new 'Connect' Program!

You can register for this FREE webinar here. If you can't attend at that time, don't worry because the recording and resources will be send to everyone. 

I hope to see you there, friends!  

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Our High School Housing Students Designed, Created and Printed Their Own Tiny Furniture!

I love projects where our students can make their ideas come to life.  Last week, I worked on a project with our secondary FCS (Family and Consumer Science) housing class where we did just that!  

Our FCS teacher, Mary Sents, reached out with the idea of having her housing students use the 3D printers to print furniture they drew up and created.  

We started by having the students sketch up their furniture ideas on a piece of paper.  I then taught them how to use Tinkercad to create their piece of furniture.  Tinkercad is a free, online 3D modeling program that runs in a web browser and that is very easy to use for all ages.

As a teacher, we can make a class in Tinkercad.  You give the students a code to join the class so all of our housing students were together in this class we created.  This made it easy for me to check in on their designs and make sure everything was set to print. 

It was so much fun to watch our students dream up designs in Tinkercad.  
Take a look at their furniture designs! 
Once they were complete, I sent their furniture designs from Tinkercad to our Monoprice 3D printers. 
We have tables, 
couches, chairs and even a super cool bed.  
They are also using our 3Doodler pens from Maker Maven to create little details and accents, like...
...the tiny pillows Kierra created for her couch.  

We can't wait to see what else they create for this project.  We will make sure to share their furniture when they are all done.  

Earth Day Choice Board For This Weeks Celebration!


This week, on April 22, we celebrate Earth Day.  It's a day to celebrate by learning what we can do to help the Earth.

I have put together the Let's Celebrate Earth Day Choice Board with resources to learn, read, create and play with Earth Day, environmental and recycling activities. 

I made two versions.  We use PebbleGo and PebbleGo Next at our school and there are several awesome articles that are perfect for Earth Day. 

One includes the Recycling and the Environment article from PebbleGo Next and...
...Helping the Environment from PebbleGo. 
You can just find the articles, click on Copy Link as shown in this image and...
...attach it to the screen shot of the article in the choice board. 
The second choice board includes an article...
...from National Geographic Kids about...
...the History of Earth Day.  

You will find the Let's Celebrate Earth Day (with PebbleGo and PebbleGo Next) Choice Board here.  If you want to make a copy, you will find the link here

You will find the second Let's Celebrate Earth Day (with National Geographic Kids) Choice Board here. If you want to make a copy, you will find the link here
And you will find the two versions of the April Choice Board here in this blog post. 

I would love to hear any other ideas and resources we could add to the Earth Day Choice Boards, friends.  Just let me know if you have ideas or any questions.  I am happy to help. 

A Special Stick Together Poster and Poem For Poetry Month With Our 5th Graders!

During Poetry Month, I love bringing creative and collaborative activities to our students and teachers.  It is such a fun and meaningful way to celebrate this special month and poetry all month long. 

This year, I was so excited to see that our friends at Stick Together had the perfect sticker poster for us from their Poetry Series.  

As we hung up the poster, the 5th graders saw this beautiful poem by Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay, printed at the bottom.  

They immediately started guessing what it might be with the sticker colors and poem.  

One of the best parts of the Stick Together posters is that they can be an activity for individual students, 
groups of students, and even for...
...our teachers.  

They worked on this one for a week together and were very happy to see....
...the beautiful spring blossoms they created. 
And just as the Stick Together shares on their site

Spring blossoms peek through the pixels in this lush, new image. Now you can celebrate Poetry every day, as your group delves into this classic Frost Poem about beauty, innocence, change and loss.
You will find this poster on the StickTogether site here.  And guess what?  Right now it is on sale for $29.99. 

The 5th graders are already asking what is next for our Stick Together posters.  Stay tuned, friends.  We have a super fun surprise for them next! 

Let's Celebrate Star Wars Day With These Choice Boards & Traveling Stations!

It's almost time for one of our favorite days coming up on May the 4th....Star Wars Day! 

On this day, there are lots of exciting, educational, creative and fun ways to celebrate.  We tie in lots of STEAM, art, coding, reading and learning online to this day and throughout the week. 

To start our celebration, I have created a NEW choice board....Let's Celebrate Star Wars Day With This Choice Board. 
In this version, I have added the space and planets articles from... 
...PebbleGo and PebbleGo Next so our students can research and learn about these topics for Star Wars Day. 
With the information they learn from PebbleGo and PebbleGo Next, students can then go to Buncee to create their very own May the 4th Be With You Buncee story or poster.  
There are tons of space related stickers, animations and backgrounds to choose from in Buncee. I uploaded a few I found online to use and they can even turn themselves into an astronaut like Buncee Man. 

You will find the version with PebbleGo and Buncee to share with students here.  You can make edits to this choice board here 

The second version includes five different Star Wars games from Disney and LEGO at the bottom of the choice board.  You will find this version to share with students here.  You can make edits to this choice board here. 

In addition to the choice boards, we are going to set up different stations and activities for our students.  Here are some of the resources we are going to use.  
The Anthony Herrera Designs site has amazing Star Wars Snowflakes. 
You can download the snowflake patterns so students can create their own.  You will find the site here.

The Star Wars Day May The 4th Be With You site has lots of special resources and information too. You can visit it here
I love the cooking and...
...craft activities.  
And this Star Wars Day Activity Kit is packed full of games, recipes and more!  You will find it here.

As I get out traveling stations put together, I will share them on my blog. 

I hope you have fun planning a Star Wars Day Celebration for your community.  I can't wait to see what you and your students have planned. 

Friday, April 16, 2021

Get Your Students & Families Ready For Summer Reading With A Follett Book eFair! We Had A Blast With Ours!

Summer is right around the corner and our students and families will be looking for new books to read.  With this, it's the perfect time of year for a book fair. 

And with our libraries and schools looking different this year, it is the perfect time for a Follett Book eFair where we can safely bring an amazing book fair experience to our school community and all of the students at school and those learning from home. By hosting an eFair, we are giving our families the opportunity to build their home libraries and put diverse and amazing books into the hands of their children.  We know that the more they read, the stronger and more eager readers they will become. 

And that is what we did for the last three weeks! We hosted our end of the year Follett Book eFair. 

Let me tell you more about how we hosted another very successful online book fair at our school.  I hope these tips and information will help you in hosting one too. 
As we prepared the eFair kick off, I couldn't wait to tell our students, teachers and families we were having another eFair. This will be our third one this school year and I have to say, we are so excited to have one more at the end of the year as we support our readers with all of the amazing new books they will find at the eFair.  
In this new Follett Book eFairs testimonial, our elementary principal, Cody Tibbetts, shared his excitement around our eFairs this year. 

On a personal level, I have my own kids in the district, and my wife and I found the Follett Book eFair extremely easy to navigate and an enjoyable experience,” Tibbetts said. “I heard a lot of great comments about the quality and selection of books, how easy it was to pay online, and the cool part of being able to share the link with relatives and friends. Being online, the eFair did not require volunteers or space in the library. Follett Book eFairs have been a big hit for us.

You can read more from Cody here.  

As the Follett Book eFair webiste 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 always 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. 
One of the most important things to remember when hosting any kind of book fair is the promotion that you do around this special event.  Follett has given us lots of Excitement-Building Resources, as they call the promotion materials they have created to make sure every eFair is a success. 
For example, check out this computer monitor sign and...

....this adorable graphic I paired up with the parent letter to create...

...the poster we attached to the...
...flyers and bookmarks we received in our Follett Book Fairs Marketing Must-Haves box. 
I also used this picture to promote our eFair on our library and school social media.  This is a great way to get the attention of families and students. 
I also include these on the slides we share for library classes in Google Slides and choice boards, our Smore library and school newsletter. and to share on our social media. 
In fact, check out the Follett Book eFair choice board that Follett created for all of us to copy and use.  
These are so much fun and are a terrific way to engage our students in all of different videos, flyers, book talks and more that go along with the eFair. 
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 Badges, 
Reading Challenges, 
Contest Ideas, and...
...Goal Posters are more 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 community, large or small.  We are so happy with all of the books our eFairs have provided us with this year at Van Meter.  We wouldn't have been able to fill the shelves without them and the support of our families. 

And most important, they will bring excitement and happiness, while inspiring our readers through books, and as we get ready for our summer reading adventures.