Saturday, May 29, 2021

Our Ozobots Traveled To Their New School At Kindergarten Round Up!

Our kindergarten round up was last week at school.  The teachers invited me to come and do a little lesson to introduce myself and get to know our incoming students. 

I thought it would be fun to bring the Ozobots.  Since it would be their first time using the tiny robots, I used a marker to make and code a path for the Ozobot to follow. 

I went into Buncee and created a sheet with a school sticker in the center.  
I added a tiny flag with the Van Meter Bulldogs logo to make it look like our school. 
I downloaded the Buncee and printed it on white paper.  This would be their map. 
I took a blue marker and made a circle.  This would be their "home" the Ozobot would leave from.  
Then I took a black marker and drew a path from the blue dot to the school.  
The Ozobot would follow the path and go to school, just like our incoming TK and kindergarten students. 
We loved watching their little wheels turning... they watched the Ozobot....
...and helped it along the way to school. 
They were excited to talk about what was happening and...
... tried to figure out what would happen if they turned it around or...
...mixed up other combinations together. 
By the end of our 15 minutes together, they were working together to put together new routes and were asking...
...Do we get to use the Ozobots next year too?  
As they were working, I thought of an idea....a way to kick off their first week of school in the fall. 

During that first week, I will come back with blank maps.  This time, they will draw their own house and a route to school with the markers. 
We can even connect the special back-to-school and first day books from our first You've Been Book'd we have planned. 

That will be such a special way to celebrate their first week of school and a wonderful way to kick off their interest in robotics right from the start!  

You will find the Buncee template that I used here

Summer Break Reading Bingo Cards For Lots Of Fun Reading Choices From Our Friends At Capstone!


It's time for lots of special summer reading and our friends at Capstone have created a fun Summer Break Reading Bingo Card to share with our students and families. 
You will find the Summer Break Reading Bingo card in English and Spanish, colored and black and white here on the Capstone site
I love how the Bingo card offers our readers lots of different choices to inspire them to read while being active, creative, outside, inside and with their friends and family this summer.  
And what a perfect thing to pair up with our Virtual Camp Adventures as there are 120 eBooks included to give our readers lots of choices with the Summer Break Reading Bingo too. 

Our Virtual Camp Adventures Is Now Open For The Summer!


Our Virtual Camp Adventure is open for the summer!   

All students and families can visit to access this 12-week long fun summer learning and reading adventure with our friends at Buncee and Capstone
On the site, there are six bi-weekly themes including Fairy and Tall Tales, Sports Tales, Scary Tales, Pet Tales, Zoo Tales and Exotic Animal Tales.  

The choice boards and eBooks can be access by clicking on the tiles or... of the choice boards. 

When they click on Open Choice Board, 
it will take users straight to the choice board that is filled with reading, making, moving, coding, stem, technology and fun virtual field trips around the world.  
Each choice board also includes a Buncee Weekly Challenge that will be so much fun for everyone to create and share.  If they do not have Buncee, there is a place to click New To Buncee for their free summer trial.  

In the left hand corner, they will find a place to click to Read and Listen To Capstone eBook around the six different themes. 
All they have to do to read and listen to the eBooks is click on the eBook covers.  They are directly linked so a username and password is not required. 
And if they need help, there is a Family Help button on each choice board slide and...
...on the bottom of the page. 
This document includes How To Use The Virtual Camp Adventure With Your Children This Summer and...
...Directions For Using The Virtual Camp Adventure Choice Boards. 

I hope all of the children and families have a special summer visiting Our Virtual Camp Adventure.  I can't wait to see and hear all of the different ways it is used and what is learned, read, and created from this amazing summer experience. 
And don't forget, friends....There will be prizes for librarians and teachers throughout the summer.  I will be sharing the first one in a couple of weeks.  You can read all about the Virtual Summer Camp Giveaway here

Friday, May 28, 2021

Sharing Summer Fun, Creativity and Community With StickTogether!

We got out of school on Wednesday.  Earlier this week, we passed out over 100 StickTogether posters from the school library fundraiser we had last week with our community. The kids were so excited to take these home and couldn't wait to get started. 

Over the last two days, I have received pictures like the ones above showing the creativity, collaboration and team work happening with the StickTogether posters at home too.  Especially since it has been rainy the last few days, this has been the perfect way to kick off a fun summer. 
I have created a space where families can share their StickTogether creations this summer.  It is our Van Meter School 2021 Summer StickTogether Gallery.  You can check it out here.

It will be fun for them to watch what is being created and to share their creations too. 

And to add to the fun, I will be sharing a virtual StickTogether sticker board each week with our kids from the Van Meter Library Voice Facebook page too.  

We love how StickTogether keeps us together in the summer too! It's such a special way to share summer fun, creativity and community all summer long. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

I Have Exciting News! Your Students Have Access To Buncee For Our Virtual Camp Adventure All Summer Long!

As we get ready to kick off Our Virtual Camp Adventure in a few days, I have very exciting news to share! 

Our friends at Buncee are giving ALL students free access to Buncee for the summer while they participate in Virtual Camp Adventure.  On each bi-weekly choice board there is a Buncee Weekly Challenge.  
There are two ways to give your students access to Buncee.  

1. You can sign up as a teacher and give all of your students a username and password to use throughout the summer. 

2. A family member can help their children sign up at home too.  

Here are the steps to sign up (or upgrade an existing trial) as a teacher or family member: 

1. Go to and click on Sign up.  If you have logged in before and have a trial account, click on Login. 
2. At the top of the screen, you will see Upgrade. Click on Upgrade. 
3. You will have the choice to click on Classroom Lite or Classroom Plus Trial.  Click on either one of those buttons.  If you plan to have up to 150 students use the account you set up, click on Classroom Plus Trial. 
4. Click on Enter Coupon Code. 
5. Enter the coupon code virtualcamp2021 and click on Apply. It will show you that you have 65 days, which will take you through the Virtual Camp Adventure. 

If you have questions, please let me know.  I am always happy to help.  

Thank you Buncee for making Virtual Camp Adventure even more awesome!  

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

How Do You Share The Virtual Camp Adventures With Families So They Know How To Use It At Home This Summer?

Hi friends,

A lot of you have asked, How do you share the Virtual Camp Adventure with families so they know how to use it at home this summer?  

I just sent an email out to our families so I wanted to share it with you.  Feel free to copy and paste this into your communication with families too.

This is what I shared...

Hi Van Meter Families, 

On Friday, May 28, we will kick off Our Virtual Summer Camp Adventures. 

This fun reading and learning summer program is focused on the national summer reading theme of Tales and Tails. It includes Fairy and Tall Tales, Sports Tales, Scary Tales, Pet Tales, Zoo Tales and Exotic Animal Tales. 

It will be located at all summer long. 

Your children will be bringing a bookmark to use this summer and family letter.  I also wanted to share the information and resources with you in this email. 
Each bi-weekly theme will include a choice board filled with activities for reading, making, moving, coding, using technology and lots of STEM activities. 
There is also a choice board for each theme filled with Capstone Interactive eBooks for all grade levels.  

Attached you will find a few helpful resources when using this with your children over the summer.  You can also find them here.
There is a detailed Virtual Camp Adventure Family Letter, 
Directions for Using The Virtual Camp Adventure Choice Boards and...
​...a guide on How To Use The Virtual Camp Adventure With Your Children This Summer.  

If you have any questions over the summer, please reach out with questions. I am always happy to help. 

I will also be posting fun updates and challenges on our Van Meter Library Facebook Page here

I hope everyone has a wonderful and fun summer.  I loved working with all of the students this year and can't wait to see them again in August.  

Thank you, Shannon McClintock Miller ❤