Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Join Us For The 2021 Traveling Mural Project, Friends!

Dear Friends, 

It’s time for the 2021 Global Traveling Mural Project! 

Our first annual Traveling Mural Project in 2018 was a huge success and such a special project for over 150 schools around the world to be part of. It has been such a special experience sharing it with all of you, my students and community.

If you haven’t read about The Traveling Mural Project yet, please visit this post to read all about it. You can also visit our Traveling Mural Google Slide Book to see pictures and stories of those who were part of this amazing journey too. 

Here are the steps: 

1. To get started, you will sign up to a group here in this Google Doc.  There are 10 per group. 

2. Create a mural with your community on butcher paper that is 36 inches wide by 10 feet long.  It is helpful to mark off the 1 foot sections on one side before starting the mural.  This makes it much easier to cut when finished.

You can use paints, crayons, markers, pencil, mixed media, photos, etc.. 

It can be as simple as putting up a 10 foot piece of butcher paper and having your students contribute to it over the course of a week or two to having it all drawn out for them to color in too.  Anything goes with this mural project. 

There are several wonderful picture and nonfiction books to use for inspiration and when talking about, planning and creating murals.  This is the Padlet with several….please feel free to add more. 

3. Cut the mural into 10, 1 foot long pieces and send them to the 9 other places on your list.  Make sure to include the name and location of your school somewhere on the mural. Keep one of the pieces for your mural. 

Send the mural pieces by November 30, 2021. 

4. Once you have all 10 pieces of the mural, put it together with your students to create your traveling community mural. 

5. Go to the 2021 Traveling Mural Project Book here.  

You will add a photo or photos of your Traveling Mural before you cut it into pieces and of your group with the mural.  Share your group, school, location and a little about your group and the traveling mural.  

Feel free to use more than one slide if needed. 

6. Post pictures & videos using #travelingmural on Twitter & Instagram. Let's all post these by the end of 2021. 

7. Make connections throughout this project with the others in your group. This project is about creating global connections and community with others around the world.  

Together, think of the impact and difference we can make for our students, library, school, community and throughout the world. 

Let us know if you have questions.  Our email is shannonmcclintockmiller@gmail.com

With love, Shannon McClintock Miller and Heather McClintock Fox

Monday, August 30, 2021

Our Students Are Making Their Mark In A BIG Way This Year With Paper Coasters, Green Screens and DoInk Fun!

We love celebrating International Dot Day at Van Meter with creative projects and celebrations.  To kick off the school year, we are celebrating Dot Day for a whole month with our students in the Library, S.T.E.A.M. Room and within their classrooms. 

One of our favorite projects to do during Dot Day is to have all of our students create their own dot.  
For this project, we use paper coasters, which I ordered on Amazon, 
and lots of drawing materials like markers, crayons and colored pencils. 
These little coasters give our students such a wonderful place to create.... 
...their very own special little dot full of...
...beautiful designs...
...and colors.
Each sharing a unique story. 
This year, Brittany and I are putting a new twist on this project by using our green screens and the DoInk app, which you can find out more about here.
We set up the two green screen in the library and Brittany had all of the students do something fun as they were holding and playing with a giant dot. 
It was so fun to see all of the different poses they did! 

She also took a picture of each dot on a piece of white paper. 
In the DoInk app, she put the picture of the students on the green screen and the dot they created together.

Do you see how the background is taken out by the green screen and using the DoInk app?  
It is super easy to do. You can learn more about using the DoInk app here

We will be putting these all together on a giant bulletin board and in a virtual board so I then took the images that Brittany put together and uploaded them into Remove.bg to take out the white background and make the background transparent.  
Here is what the image looks like cut out and I will share what it looks like virtually soon. 
One thing that bothered us about how we did it last week, was that it didn't look like the kids were holding their dots. I ordered a round green screen to use to see if that works.  We are excited to see if it makes this process quicker too.  We will let you know what we learn and how it worked. 
And we hope you join us in celebrating Dot Day.  You can sign up and find lots of ideas and resources here on the official International Dot Day site.  You can connect with other classrooms and libraries around the world by making connections here in this Google Doc

We can't wait to showcase all of our students with their DOTS to celebrate making their mark on the world. 

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Here Is How We Built Our LEGO Wall, Storage & Gallery!


This year, we built a very special place for LEGO building right outside of our library.  It's our NEW LEGO Wall! 

We took over a bulletin board and transformed it into this great place for our students to be creative, collaborate and show off what they are making with LEGO's this year. 

Let me show you how we built our LEGO Wall, storage and gallery. 
One day when I was at the Dollar Tree, I found plates that will work with LEGO's.  They are called Make-It-Blocks and you can learn more here.  I bought brown, green, blue and grey.  I like how these colors will be good for grass, dirt, sky and more. 

One of my library partners, Brittany Marks, put up the plates with command strips. 

I then went home to brainstorm with my husband, Eric, about what we could use for a storage place at the bottom of the LEGO Wall. We thought it would be cool to use a metal gutter. 
Eric and I went to Home Depot and bought a long piece of gutter.  
Eric trimmed it down to 72 inches, the width of the LEGO Wall.  
He glued gutter end caps on each end so it wouldn't be sharp. 

At the top of the LEGO Wall, I wanted to create a place for us to show off what our students were creating.  Since all of our students at Van Meter are creating on the wall, it will be nice to take pictures as they create, just in case their creations are taken down by others.  We will call this our LEGO Gallery! 
At Home Depot, we also picked up a roll of Galvanized Flashing. 
We unrolled it and measured 72 inches for the top of the board. 
Eric used a die grinder to deburr the edges and...
...and a rubber mallet to smooth it all out. 
We took it all to school and installed the flashing and gutter. 
I created a sign that says Check out the LEGO Creations by our awesome Van Meter students and...
....put the printed poster into a black frame on the LEGO Wall. 
I then created little magnets for the metal LEGO Gallery with several LEGO pieces and...

...these little magnets. I used a tiny dot of hot glue to hold them together. They will look so cute holding up photos of our students creations. 
We love how our new LEGO Wall turned out and can't wait to fill it with kids and creations this year.

Creating An SEL Virtual Library With Capstone Connect, Buncee, eBooks and PebbleGo!

As we open up our SEL Pop-Up Library at Van Meter Elementary, I also created a SEL Virtual Library to share with our teachers and students.  

Using Buncee, Google Slides and Capstone Connect, I created this choice board filled with Capstone Interactive eBooks and... 
...the Feelings and Emotions articles in PebbleGo

If you would like to make a copy of this to use with your own eBooks and PebbleGo, you will find an editable copy here.  

This is what it looks like when published online as a choice board too. 
To share our SEL Virtual Library, I created a poster with a QR code for our students to scan with the iPads so they can easily listen and read the eBooks and PebbleGo articles.  
I made a few copies to promote in our SEL Pop-Up Library and gave each teacher a copy too. I also hung up the poster in the library and a few other places around the school.  

This poster is also created in a Google Slide so can be shared in Google Classroom and Seesaw.  This is a super easy way to share choice boards.  

Throughout the year, I will rotate other Capstone eBooks into our Virtual SEL Library.  It will be a special place for our students, teachers and families all year long. 
And you will find two very helpful SEL resources on Capstone's Back-To-Central site. 
There is an article, 7 Tips for Managing Students' Back-to-School Anxiety and...
...Social Emotional Learning list of Capstone books and eBooks here.

Join The Special Crayola Education Read Along, Draw Along, Bald Is Beautiful, On September 1st, Friends!

On Wednesday, September 1st at 7:00pm EST, there is a very special event hosted by our friends at Crayola Education.  

We can all join this Read Along, Draw Along with author and Pediatric Oncology Pharmacist Carola Schmidt, story-tellers Joey and Tonya Madia, and illustrator Dian Ovieta for an inspiring and uplifting story about loving your bald, beautiful head.

As shared on the Facebook page,

This event is free, no tickets or sign-up are required. Just head to Crayola Education's Facebook page here on September 1st at 7pm EST to watch!
With these special events and others, I always share them with our school families by posting it on the Van Meter Library Voice Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter. It is a nice way for families to enjoy these wonderful events and conversations.

I can't wait for this event and I hope to see you all there too.

Setting Up Our SEL Pop-Up Library With Resources & Posters From Our Friends At Follett!

As we kick off a new year at our school, I have collaborated with many of our teachers on their goals and dreams for the school year.  One request that I have heard over and over is the need for more and more ways to tie in SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) to the classrooms and lives of our students.  
One way I can get more wonderful SEL books into the classrooms and hands of the teachers and students is through our Pop-Up Libraries throughout the hallways at Van Meter. 

Our Pop-Up Libraries are bookshelves where we can set up a collection of thoughtfully curated and organized books for everyone to borrow and read as a class, use in a lesson or project, lead an important conversation, and so much more. 
To start, I create a sign to share what the Pop-Up Library focus is with a few instructions for the teachers.
I put it in a clear, plastic holder to set on the shelf and then surround it with the books we picked from our library collection that fit into that theme.  
As the teachers come and pick them up to use, we keep and eye on the Pop-Up Library to continue to refill with more books.  When the teachers are finished using them in their classroom, they bring the books back to the Pop-Up Library. 

As this is our SEL Pop-Up Library, I was super excited to use a resource from our friends at Follett to help and guide this project.  

It's the SEL site within Follett Titlewave that is filled with so many resources to...
...support the whole student with SEL materials.  As the site shares, Explore resources to strengthen student identity and to develop community and empathy.

On the SEL site, we can...
...find relatable books focused around the CASEL framework, growth mindset and character education for all grade and students; 
Build home-to-school connections; 
Boost classroom library engagement; 
Spread a love of reading with Follett's #AllBooksForAllKids; 
Find Hands-on Resources that encourage discovery, critical thinking and independent or collaboration learning; 
Practice through pictures with Jillian Heise's #ClassroomBookADay, and more. 
You will also find a place to get FREE personalized curation help from experts at Follett when building a collection of SEL books for your school library, bookroom or classroom libraries.  I just reached out to them to help us with our expansion of SEL books and materials this year.  
And one last resource to mention are the VERY special SEL-themed posters that are FREE for all of us to download and print off for our classrooms, hallways, libraries and Pop-Up Libraries. 
There are two sets of SEL posters...one for elementary and one for secondary.  These posters will encourage and celebrate positive thinking all throughout the year. 
I downloaded all of them and printed on heavy card stock paper.  I laminated the posters and hung them going down the side of the Pop-Up Library book shelf.  I LOVE these messages and can't wait for our students and teachers to see them too. 

You will find the SEL site on Follett Titlewave here, friends.  I can't wait to see how you support SEL through books and programs this year too.