Wednesday, September 29, 2021

A NEW Way To Share Our Digital BreakoutEDU Games Each Month....You Can Use This Template For Your Digital Breakouts Too!

Our kids love doing digital BreakoutEDU games!  They enjoy all of the different subject focused, seasonal and fun games that get them thinking, collaborating and engaging with classmates in their classrooms and with those at home learning virtually. 

While talking with one of our teachers last year, we thought it would be fun to put a few of the digital BreakoutEDU games together each month that our students could play anytime, at school or at home.  

I instantly thought to myself, This would be a great use of a choice board! 

I just create a template each month that would hold 9 of the digital BreakoutEDU games. I make sure to include all of the different grade levels. 
I take a screen shot of the digital Breakout game, add it to the template and add the grade level in a box over the top. 
To share the choice board, I clicked on Publish to the web under Share.  That created a link that I shared with our teachers to add to their Google Classrooms or Seesaw and I add it to each grade level Symbaloo.

I also downloaded each game key and sent those to the teachers with that email so they will have easy access to be able to help the students with each months BreakoutEDU games in the choice board. 

If you want to make a copy of the choice board, you will find the link here.

I can't wait to see what the kids think of our new Monthly BreakoutEDU Choice Board. I know they will be excited to see the NEW ones each month too! 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

It's Time For The Next Future Ready Librarians® Summits....Refining and Growing Your Professional Practice. Sign Up Today, Friends!

It's time for the next Future Ready Librarians® Summits, friends. 

The theme is Refining and Growing Your Professional Practice with Session 1: Thinking Critically About Media and News Literacy on Saturday, October 16, 2021 from 11am to 2pm EST and Session 2: Supporting Social and Emotional Learning Through the Library on Saturday, November 20, 2021 from 11am to 2pm EST. 

Future Ready Librarians® summits are FREE, live, virtual, interactive, high-quality professional learning experiences 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, these interactive online events will help librarians ground their practice in the research-based Future Ready Librarians Framework and define new ways they can lead, teach, and support learning in their schools.
Leveraging the active Future Ready Librarians community, the live summits are designed around authentic problems of practice identified by librarians. This fall, we will focus on two topics that represent new opportunities for leadership by Future Ready Librarians.
You can register for one or both of these interactive virtual professional learning summits here....they are FREE! 
We have a wonderful lineup of presenters, conversations and learning planned for our Summits.  We hope to see everyone there.  

Join Us For The Future Ready Librarian Webinar On October 20, Empowering Student Voice and Choice From The Library


We have a special new Future Ready Librarian webinar coming up on October 20, 2021, friends. 

It's called Empowering Student Voice and Choice From The Library with three very special guests including, Kelsey Bogan, Karina Quilantan-Garza and Stephanie Galvan Russell.

Our libraries and librarians play a very special role within the school community. They give students a place and chance to be heard and seen through unique programming and opportunities. During this webinar, our guest panelists will share how they empower student voice and choice from the library and within their school community.
During the webinar, panelists will discuss how to
  • empower student voice and choice from the library;
  • encourage student feedback in the library;
  • use student feedback to guide library programming; and
  • encourage/support student choice in school reading assignments/curriculum.

We hope you can join us on October 20, 2021 at 4:00pm EST for this webinar by registering here. And if you can't join at that time, we will be recording the webinar and sharing afterwards, along with the resources. 

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Join Me and Lots Of Special Guests For Season 3 Of The Future Ready Librarian Podcast Series, Leading Through The Library

I am excited to announce we have kicked off Season 3 of the Future Ready Librarian® podcast series, Leading Through The Library, our podcast by Future Ready Schools®.  I have been busy recording conversations with lots of special guests and couldn't wait to share them with all of you.  
Leading from the Library releases on Tuesdays of each week. For week 1, I had Amanda Jones on the podcast for Journeying with Jones...How Librarian, Amanda Jones, Connects Her Students To The World Through Virtual Field Trips.  

On the Leading Through The Library page found here, you will find the podcast and three different places to listen including...
...Apple Podcasts, 
Spotify and...


On these different pages, you will also find the podcasts from Season 1 and Season 2.  There are so many awesome conversations around important topics to all of us as Future Ready won't want to miss them. 
This upcoming Tuesday, September 29, Stephanie Russell joins me to share stories from her middle school library where she creates a special space for her students to connect to books, experiences and each other.  

We hope that you join us each week for the Leading Through The Library Podcast, friends.  And please let me know if you would like to join me as a guest to share the great things happening within your library and practice too.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Recording & Resources For My Follett Webinar, Giving Students Voice and Choice With Collections, Choice Board and Other Resources Are Here!


On September 23, I presented the Follett Community webinar, Giving Students Voice and Choice With Collections, Choice Boards and Other Resources.  This such a fun hour of sharing and learning together. 

You can now find the recording and resources online in the Follett Community here.

I hope that you enjoy the webinar and take a lot of ideas back to your library and school too. If you have any questions, please let me know. I am always happy to help.

Follow "The ISTE Books Update" Site For New Books, Special Offers, Author Interviews, Sneak Previews and More!

I love to find books that tie into what I do as a teacher librarian and innovation director of library media and technology within my school district, and in working with Future Ready Librarians and educators around the world.  

One of my favorite book publishers of professional titles is ISTE as they have created such a wonderful set of books featuring lots of topics tying into all parts of education, educators, families and most of all, students.  
In fact, I wrote a book with ISTE and my dear friend, Bill Bass, called Leading From The Library that you will find here

To check out the ISTE books, special offers, author interviews, sneak previews and more, you can follow The ISTE Books Update site.  There are lots of books coming up that I can't wait to read! 


Friends, Sign Up To Share A Digital Tool or App In The 2nd Annual Future Ready Librarians® App Smash Event On November 17th!

We have a very exciting announcement!  On November 17, 2021 at 4:00pm EST, we will be hosting our 2nd Annual Future Ready Librarian App Smash Event!  

Last year, 20 amazing Future Ready Librarians and Instructional Leaders shared their experiences using digital tools and apps with students in face-to-race, virtual and blended learning libraries and schools.  It was such a fun event and we all learned so many wonderful ways to empower our students as creators and learners with the tools shared. 

It was such a fun and helpful success, we are doing it again! 
Here is where we need your help, friends. 

For our live webinar event, we need 20 Future Ready Librarians and/or Instructional Leaders to join us and share a digital tool or app that you use love to use with your students and teachers. You will have 2 minutes and 30 seconds to share your ideas as it is a fast and lively event. 

Please visit by November 8, 2021 to apply to be a presenter.  
We will choose a variety of tools and apps that fall into the different wedges of our Future Ready Librarian Framework so think about how you will tie into that work. 

I hope you join us, friends!  I can't wait to hear what all of you have to share and the amazing ways you are creating, collaborating and learning with your students this year too. 
And don't forget to add the 2nd Annual Future Ready Librarians® App Smash to your calendar on November 17, 2021 at 4:00pm EST.  We will send out the invite to register soon. 

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Join Chelsea Clinton and Authors Of The She Persisted Team For A Very Special Flipgrid Live Event On October 19, 2021


There is a very special Flipgrid Live Event coming up on October 19, 2021.  This event is in partnership with our friends at Penguin Young Readers. 

As shared on the Flipgrid Live Event site, 
Join Chelsea Clinton and three members of the She Persisted team, authors Kekla Magoon, Rita Williams-Garcia, and Deborah Heiligman, as they talk about their new books in the She Persisted chapter book series! This new series highlights the lives of amazing women who rose up against the odds, and is inspired by the She Persisted picture book series by Chelsea Clinton, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger.

Tune in with your learners to hear about the lives of these historical figures, find out how these authors did their research, and get inspired by activities anyone can do to reach for the stars and help carry on these women’s legacies!

You can register for this event here

We can use these ready-to-use Flipgrid Topics to get your class ready for the live event with Chelsea Clinton and the She Persisted team too.  

Sunday, September 19, 2021

A Special NEW Place For SEL Resources From Our Friends At Follett

It’s so important to support our educators in their social emotional health too, in addition to students.
To support all of us, our friends at Follett have a special new site called SEL For Educators. 

As shared on the site, 

Follett is excited to provide schools and districts with tools to support connections among students, families, and fellow educators that you can use all year long. Our tools are for all faculty and staff at your school – we know everyone needs a reminder to take care of themselves!

There are lots of things on the site I am excited about but today, I focused on the... 
...Printable Activities as I prepared a new week at our school. 
There are several printable activities including Happiness Habits Checklist, Habit Tracker Bookmarks, 
Staff Bingo, Mindful Choice Board and Sticky Notes to Share. 
You will find all of these wonderful resources in the SEL Printable Activities folder, which makes it easy to download, print and use within your school community. 

I will be using these SEL printable resources in lots of different ways at our school and can't wait to share these ideas with all of you. 

You will find the NEW SEL For Educators site from Follett here, friends. 

I can't wait to hear how you will use them too. 

Supporting Our Youngest Digital Citizens With Books, Online Resources and Interactive Experiences!

There are many ways we can support digital citizenship within our schools and within the homes of our students and families.  

When we gather resources together to use throughout the year, I refer to several different things.  One is the ISTE Standards for Students. 

As the ISTE Standards for Students states, 

Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical.

It's important that our students understand what this means to them and to give them the knowledge, skills and experiences to support even our youngest learners.  

Here are a few resources that we use to support our students.  
We love the Be Internet Awesome Digital Citizenship Curriculum from Google for Education and Pear Deck.  

To make the most of the Internet, kids need to be prepared to make smart decisions. Be Internet Awesome teaches kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence.
It focuses on the Internet Code of Awesome which includes 5 parts... Share With Care, Don't Fall For Fake, Secure Your Secrets, It's Cool to Be Kind, and When in Doubt, Talk It Out.  
And one of the best parts, there are interactive slides and flashcards by Pear Deck, tailor made for the Be Internet Awesome curriculum.  You will find these here to download to use with your students. 
Oh, and check out Interland!  Google gamified the Be Internet Awesome curriculum and gave our kids a place to test their knowledge and skills. 

As shared on the site, Kids can play their way to being Internet Awesome with Interland, an online adventure that puts the key lessons of digital safety into hands-on practice with four challenging games.
I also love using picture and nonfiction books to teach and support conversations and learning around digital citizenship.  

This Padlet is a place I have brought together lots of book to support digital citizenship.  
One of my favorites is Staying Safe Online which I wrote with Capstone.  Emily Arrow created the music and Kathryn Durst the illustrations.  We have the print book in our library and classrooms, and also have the eBook in Capstone Interactive.  
You can find this on Cantata Learning's YouTube here
In addition to using books, I love using the PebbleGo and PebbleGo Next articles from PebbleGo and PebbleGo Next Social Studies for The Internet (PebbleGoand Technology and Society (PebbleGo Next).
In The Internet section, there are articles about Cyberbullying, Digital Citizenship, Internet Safety, My Digital Footprint, Social Media, Understanding Media, Web Pages and What is the Internet?
Within each article, there are different topics under the tabs that will support our digital citizens and the curriculum.  For example, check out the tabs under Digital Citizenship and think about how those tie into the ISTE Standards for Students and Be Internet Awesome curriculum. 
To support our learners, I put together these two choice boards to start the year.  

I added a QR code on each to make it easy to be scanned with a device. 
They can also be shared online in Seesaw or Google Classroom with the published link of the choice board. These tie in perfectly with the other resources we are using and support students in the classroom, library and at home with important information.  
You can make a copy of the My Digital Footprint choice board here and...

...I Am A Digital Citizen choice board here.  You can add links to the PebbleGo articles and eBooks, or make some changes and additions to make it work for your library and school. 

I will continue to make these around the different digital citizenship topics and PebbleGo articles and eBooks throughout the year as we add more digital citizenship and computer science topics and conversations. 

Feel free to add more books to the Padlet and let me know how you support your digital citizens too. 

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Bringing Together Print and eBooks In A Very Special New Way For Our 2nd Grade Readers!

One of my favorite things about being a teacher librarian is dreaming up new ways to engage and inspire our readers as they connect to books, characters and series they love.  It's the best when our readers develop special connections to characters, series and publishers of the books we have in our library and classrooms. 
This happened last year in our 2nd grade classrooms when our teachers Staci Braun, Tracy Ferguson, Amanda Hetland and Megan Warwick started checking out several books in different early reader book series from our friends at Capstone. One day when I was in Amanda's room for a technology activity, her students told me how much they loved the Yasmin books and wondered if I had more. I was excited to see how the teachers and students were embracing the stories, characters and series. 

At the end of the school year, they asked to get together so we could brainstorm how we could take this concept and grow it into a new book club idea for this school year.  We thought it would be great to start with several of the kids favorites series like Yasmin, Sadiq, DC Super Heroes, Katie Woo, Pedro and more. 
So, over the summer, I took that list and picked four titles from each series.  I ordered five books of each of these titles from Capstone. You will find the New Capstone Book Sets for 2nd Grade Google Doc here

All of the book sets came in and we cataloged them as Capstone Book Sets in our Destiny Discover. 
Right now, these books are housed in the library as we wait for our brand new shelf that will go in the hallway down by the 2nd grade rooms. 
It will be called Our 2nd Grade Capstone Book Club Pop-Up Library!  It will be a place where our teachers can get sets of books from the different Capstone series to bring into their classroom to read in book clubs and for free reading. 
To start the school year, the teachers have been sharing the different series and books to get their students familiar with the characters. They will start the actual Capstone Book Clubs soon. 
To go along with the book clubs and to give our readers another place to connect to these characters and books, we also had the idea of using the Capstone Interactive eBooks we have to create Our Virtual Capstone Book Club Library! 
I created a Google Slide for six different characters to start.  Even though there were a lot more eBooks of some series like Katie Woo, I added 16 to this first round of choice boards and will make more as needed. 

For creating the choice board, I took a screen shot of each book cover and hyperlinked the link for the eBook to the cover as shown in the image above. 
The teachers have been sharing the choice boards in their Google Classrooms and also...
...displaying the print copies in their classrooms. I love how they are using them together. 
To make it easy for our students to access the eBooks with an iPad, 
I put together a poster for each choice board too.  I used QR Code Monkey to make the QR code. With this free site, you can include a tiny screen shot which makes it easy to know what each QR code is for. 
I laminated colored copies of the first 6 posters for each teacher to hang up in their classrooms. 
And now for one of my favorite parts!  

The teachers have also been making a black and white copy of each choice board.  The students use these as a way to keep track of every book they are reading within the Capstone series. 

As you can see, they are very proud of their reading achievements...
...and when I come into their classrooms, they can't wait to show me all of the books they have read. 
I love how the teachers have given them choice within this reading program.  
This means the world to our readers. It truly shows. 

Here are the choice boards that I have created so far.  You can make a copy and add links to the eBooks you have too. 
And a special choice board that includes all six of these choice boards.  You will find this here to make a copy and changes of your own.  

As the year goes on, I will continue to create choice boards around the Capstone characters that our 2nd graders are reading like Camila, Sofia Martinez, Katie Woo's Neighborhood, The Amazing Adventures of DC Super Pets, The Amazing Adventures of Batman and Superman, Emma Every Day, Astrid and Apollo, My Furry Foster Family, Far Out Fairy Tales, Mr. Kazarian, Alien Librarian and more. 
In fact,  this page on the Capstone site for Early Reader Books is the perfect place to start when taking on a project around your early reader program.  
It outlines What Makes A Good Early Reader Book?, 
How Can Early Readers Build Lifelong Readers? and so much more.  You will find it here

This is just the beginning of something that will make a special and important impact on our readers.  It will bring a reading experience to every one of our students that they will never forget. 

And my hope is that this will be the start of something wonderful that will spread to the other grade levels too.  I can't wait to see what we do next with our Capstone Book Clubs! 
In the next blog post, I will share how we are going to be using Biblionasium with this program so our students can make virtual book shelves, write reviews, recommend books and more.