Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Let's Celebrate Dot Day 2021 By Connecting Here and Making Our Mark On The World!

International Dot Day is always one of my favorite days (weeks) of the year.  It is a special time to celebrate all of us making our unique mark on the world.

As we look forward to Dot Day which is always celebrated on September 15ish, we start thinking about and planning lots of special connections and celebrations with other libraries, classrooms, communities and especially our students around the world.

And even though Dot Day might look a little different this year, just think of all of the exciting and meaningful new ways we can celebrate and connect for this special day and throughout the week.
Every year we put together this collaborative Dot Day Google Doc so we can start sharing our schedules and connecting the dots with others. 
Please join us in celebrating Dot Day by joining in on the fun and connecting your own dots at the Google Doc that you will find here.

You can add your schedule, grade levels, locations and any other information that will be helpful as you make Dot Day plans.
Also, as you think ahead to what your Dot Day might look like with your library and school community, here are a few helpful resources to get you started. 
I brought together all kinds of resources, songs, project ideas, books and other fun in this Dot Day Collection.  You will find it here. 
Look at all of these wonderful books about Dots!  Please add others with dots to the Padlet here too. 
You can also follow the Dot Day Pinterest Board, which we continue to add resources too.  

I can't wait to celebrate Dot Day with all of you in September.  This is such a special way to kick off a new year of creating, connecting and collaborating with our students, families, teachers, communities and with others around the world. 

It's Week 3 Of The Future Ready Librarian Book Club! Find Out Our Plans For The Week Here, Friends.

Hi, friends.  We hope you are enjoying your week and that the summer is being kind to you and your family.

Did you expand your thinking around mentorship, leadership, community and partnerships last week while we read and reflected on Chapter 1, Digital Age Mentors?  Did you set new goals and connect to any? I know we sure did! 

Thank you for adding to the discussions within our Google Slides as you answered the questions and commented on the different Facebook posts.  It was also great seeing many of us interacting on Twitter and Instagram using #LeadingLibs and #FutureReadyLibs too. Let’s keep those conversations going as we grow together throughout the summer.

This week we are reading Chapter 2, Know Your Culture.  In this chapter, we will focus on the unique community that constitutes every school.  We recognize that not every strategy in this book will work in every location; librarians influence their communities in a variety of ways. However, by focusing on the culture of the school and greater communities, we can give students greater opportunities and experiences. 

After you read Chapter 2, please complete these three items: 

1. Use the #LeadingLibs Challenges on page 47-48 to challenge yourself as you create a culture within your library and school community .

Let’s share our ideas on this Flipgrid with password FRLbookclub

In your video response on the Flipgrid, share your challenge and what you are doing to create a culture within your library and school community. 

For example, this summer Shannon is creating a new space in her library for collaboration and connecting with teachers.  She ordered a few new book shelves and is cataloging the books she has to use with teachers and students in lessons and projects (STEAM, PBL, SEL, research, etc…) with Follett’s Classroom Manager. She plans to use this as a place to lay out books, technology, STEM tools and other resources to bring life to the collaboration she does with teachers and others on a daily basis.  She knows this is something her community needs and it will definitely lead to new opportunities with her preschool to 12th grade school district.  She is still coming up with a name and branding….Let her know if you have any ideas.  :) 

At the same time, Bill is working with librarians in his district to create a culture of collaboration with virtual teachers and students who will be fully online next year. While we’ve been teaching virtually all year, creating a culture that will embrace that and where librarians and teachers have the same types of relationships that they do face to face can be daunting. To foster this, Bill is helping his librarians define the roles of both groups and create opportunities to bring them together as they consider how they work with their students.

After you have added your video, make sure you listen to others.  You can add comments too. 

2. We have added the Week 3 slide discussion questions behind your introduction slide at  It contains the 3 discussion questions from page 48. 

  • How does your space promote inquiry, creativity, collaboration and community?

  • Do you have spaces for students to create digital products documenting their learning? 

  • What types of instruction do you use to promote critical thinking?

You can leave comments on others slides too.  Let’s make this an active conversation. 

3  Share your thoughts throughout the week in the Future Ready Librarian Facebook Group We can use this as a place to continue the conversation, ask questions, and share.  

Reach out if you have any questions.  We are always happy to help as we grow together and lead from the library,

Shannon, Bill and the Future Ready team

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Join The Flipgrid Live Event This Week To Learn About Shark Superpowers With Sharks4 Kids!


The Flipgrid Live Event is awesome this week as they join Sharks4Kids to learn about Shark Superpowers.  It is on June 16, 2021 at 12:00pm CST. 

The Flipgrid Live Events are free for everyone and families can register to participate throughout the summer.  You will find the link here, friends. 

A Collection By Destiny of Summer Reading & Learning For All Ages and Families!

Summer is here and there are so many wonderful reading and learning programs and resources being shared with all of us to pass onto our students and families.  

I started a Collection by Destiny to bring them together for our families at Van Meter and wanted to share it with all of you too.
You will find the Summer Reading and Learning Programs For All Ages and Families Collection here.
In the Collection, you will find a wide variety of programs from reading, coding, making, cooking, exercising, researching and more, while learning about interesting topics and new places. 

I have added a description and age or grade level of the program to each too. 

Here are a few that I think look super fun! 
Camp Wonderopolis is the free online summer-learning destination that's full of fun, interactive STEM and literacy-building topics boosted by Maker experiments.  
There are five different camps available for all ages and you will find links... all of them within the Collection and...
KidLit at Home from our friends at KidLitTV offers....
....videos with authors and illustrators, crafts, science and more. 
PBS shares on Camp PBS Kids, Summer is full of opportunities to play and learn! We know summer might look a little different this year, but Camp PBS KIDS is here to fill your days with creativity, exploration and fun for the whole family. Explore ideas, tips and activities around different themes with your favorite PBS KIDS characters!
The resources,
activities, games,
and ideas for families to learn and have a wonderful summer together from PBS can be found here
I included our Virtual Camp Adventure with Capstone and Buncee in the Collection too.
We are now in Week 3, which celebrates Sports Tales. You will find the website for Virtual Camp Adventure here

And read all about our Virtual Camp Adventure here

If there are other free reading and learning programs and resources you know about, please let me know and we can add them to this Collection.  

This will be a great resource to share with families as we go through the summer.  I can't wait to see where all of our learners go!  

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Let's Celebrate Sports Tales For Weeks 3 and 4 Of Our Virtual Camp Adventure!

It's time for Weeks 3 and 4 of Our Virtual Camp Adventure!  And this time we will be celebrating Sports Tales. 

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

This week, just click on Week 3 & 4 Sports Tales and it will take you to the choice board filled with reading, making, moving, coding, stem, technology and fun virtual field trips around the world.  
The 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 Sport Tale Capstone eBooks. 
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 second one in a couple of weeks.  You can read all about the Virtual Summer Camp Giveaway here

Oh, and if you need to make a copy of the choice board, please visit this post for the link and directions. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

It's Time For The 1st Virtual Summer Camp Giveaway! See How You Can Enter To Win Today!

We are wrapping up Weeks 1 and 2 of the Virtual Summer Camp, friends. 
As a way to celebrate all of this awesome summer learning and reading, we will be picking one lucky winner at the end of each bi-weekly theme who is participating with their students and families this summer. They will win the 20 books in print from Capstone and a swag bag from Buncee. 

To enter the Virtual Summer Camp Giveaway, please share on Twitter or Instagram how your community is participating using the hashtag #SummerCampGiveaway and #VirtualCampAdventure.  You can tag @CapstonePub @Buncee and myself at @shannonmmiller too. 

Thank you for joining for this fun summer adventure. 

Join Us For The Future Ready Librarians® Summer Summit In August, Friends!


Friends, we have an exciting announcement from the Future Ready Librarian team!  We will be hosting two Future Ready Librarians® Summer Summits on August 5 and 19, 2021 from 12:00pm to 3:00pm EST. 


The Future Ready Librarians® summit is a FREE, live, virtual, interactive, high-quality professional learning experience for librarians 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, this interactive online event 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 live summit is designed around authentic problems of practice identified by librarians. The 2021 Summer Summits will focus on listening to student voices and meeting students where they are -- examining what it means to be learner-centered as schools seek to return to something resembling ‘normal.


We will explore how to reimagine Future Ready Library programs and practice with the following topics:


  • Student needs and hopes as they return to school
  • Challenges of variability and equity among learners
  • Examining the connections between emotional and academic learning


This is a LIVE event and sessions will not be recorded. 


Register today for this free event here.  We hope you can join us. 


It's Week 2 Of Our Future Ready Librarians Summer Reading Book Club!


Welcome to Week 2 Of Our Future Ready Librarians Summer Reading Book Club!
This week we are reading Chapter 1: Digital Age Mentors. Then complete these 2 items.
1. Use the #LeadingLibs Challenges on page 32-33 to challenge yourself as you build relationships and create opportunities for being a digital age mentor in your school and district. Let’s share what we are doing in the comments of the pinned post in our Future Ready Librarians Facebook Group here.
2. We have added the Week 2 slide discussion questions behind your introduction slide at It contains the 3 discussion questions from page 33.
You can leave comments on others slides too. Let’s make this an active conversation.
Please let us know if you have any questions or need help with anything at all. We are always happy to connect with you.
We can’t wait for the learning and conversation this week, friends. ☺
Shannon and Bill

Sunday, June 6, 2021

A Special Crayola Education Read Along, Draw Along This Week....Oona, With Kelly DiPucchio and Raissa Figueroa!


Our friends at Crayola Education and Harper Kids are hosting a special summer event this week on June 8, 2021 at 7:00pm EST. 

Kick off summer with New York Times bestselling author Kelly DiPucchio and illustrator Raissa Figueroa as they share a colorful story about invention, creativity, and friendship.
Hear Kelly read the tale of Oona, a little mischief-making mermaid ready to make a splash. Then learn how to draw fun underwater scenes with Raissa using Crayola art tools!
*This event is free, no tickets or sign-up are required. Just head to Crayola Education's Facebook page on June 8 at 7pm EST to watch. 
I shared this with our families at Van Meter and can't wait to watch it too!  

Friday, June 4, 2021

Register For This FREE Maker Maven Webinar....Strawbee's Introductory STEAM Toolbox For Educators


Our friends at Maker Maven have an upcoming webinar on June 10, 2021 at 4:00pm CST you won't want to miss!  

This one is with Andreas Hoel, from Strawbees. We will learn more about the Strawbees STEAM Starter Kit, the introductory toolbox for educators looking for a STEAM solution. 

I can't wait to hear Andreas discuss how Strawbees can be used to promote STEAM education in our library and classrooms.  It will learn us with lots of amazing ideas to think about this summer. 

You can register for this free webinar here and your chance to win a Strawbees STEAM Starter Kit.  Maker Maven will giving away 160 kits to webinar participants.

Dive Into World Oceans Day With California State Parks In The Flipgrid Live Event On June 9th!


On June 9, 2021 at 12:00pm CST, California State Parks will be joining Flipgrid Live Events to celebrate World Ocean Day. 

As shared on the site, 

Dive into World Ocean Day with California State Parks and the Monterey Bay Aquarium! Our scuba divers will be broadcasting live from underwater in the kelp forests of Point Lobos State Marine Reserve. We'll also visit other marine protected areas on the central and northern California coast. Throughout the program we will gain an understanding of how the ocean connects us all and supports all life on planet earth. We will also learn actions we can each take to protect marine life and our global ocean!

Recommended Age Range: 8+

Through Flipgrid Live Events you can connect your students with experts and they can ask their questions via a fully moderated chat.

You and your students/families can register for this FREE Flipgrid Live Event here

Adding A Little Thank You Reminder To Our Technology With StickerMule!


We love celebrating all of the amazing ways that our....

...VMEPC, Van Meter Elementary Parent Committee, supports our students, teachers and communities.  

One big way is through the technology we bring to our library and classrooms. This year they have supported us with... and STEM materials we have purchased from our friends at Maker Maven such as Orboot AR Globes 3DuxDesign,  Ozobot and more. 

After this awesome technology started coming to school, I wanted to make something to each product to celebrate and thank our VMEPC. 
I went to StickerMule...
... and created super cute circle stickers. 

They make such a nice addition to everything and will be a....
...great reminder of the amazing support our VMEPC brings to us every year.  
If you are wanting to create stickers like this one, here is a StickerMule coupon that will give you a $10 credit.