Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Giving Our Readers A Place To Share What They'd Like To See In Our Library


Our favorite way to add new books to our library collection is through recommendations from our students.  We want to make sure every reader can find books they want to read and know they can request books, authors, series and genres we need in our library.  

As we kick off the new school year, this is the perfect time to make sure our students know how to do this when they come to the library, from their classroom or home, and even on-the-go through their own device. 

Here is how we set it up this year! 
First, we made a poster asking all students, What books would you like in our library? 

On the poster, we let them know they can make a book request in a few different ways. They can tell my library assistant, Mrs. Watson, or myself, write it on a book request form, or go to a that will take them to a Google Form.  This will give them options in how they want to share their requests. 

which I can print 6 on one page of paper. 
I created the Google Form header in Canva. You will find the template here.
And when they go to the or scan the QR code, it will take our students to the Google Form. 

We can't wait to hear what our students want to read this year!  

How do you get your students involved in developing your library collection, friends?  

Turn The September PebbleGo Monthly Holiday Calendar Into An Interactive PebbleGo & PebbleGo Next Choice Board!


Earlier this year, I wrote about the super fun holiday calendars that our friends at Capstone create and share each month.  
You will find this post explaining more here on my blog

I love making paper copies of these to share with our teachers and kids. They hang them up in their classrooms and hang them in our library too. I also share them online through social media and as an image in Google Classroom or Seesaw. 

Today, as I was sharing some of these special days with our students, I thought....Hey, this would be really fun in a choice board! 
So, I opened up a Google Slide, uploaded the PebbleGo September 2022 Holidays Calendar, and added a little chalk board with text over the top.  
Then I went through the calendar and found every special day in PebbleGo.  When I found the article, I grabbed the link, as shown at the top. 
I took that link and added a linked text box around each special date. 
Now, when the kids click on a holiday, it will take them directly to that PebbleGo article.  

I can't wait to share this with our students and teachers tomorrow.  If you want to use the template to create your own, you will find the Google Slide here
And to make it a choice board, just Publish to the web. 

I plan to do this every month so will keep on sharing them with all of you too. 

You Are Life...A Special New Picture Book From Our Friends At Capstone By Bao Phi and Illustrated By Hannah Li

One of my favorite new picture books this fall is You Are Life by Bao Phi and illustrated by Hannah Li.
As shared by Capstone, 

This joyful poem celebrate the wonderful and complex identity of children of immigrants and refugees, embracing all that they are-a dancer, a shining light, a K-pop song-and promising what they will never be: invisible. 
Award-winning picture book author and poet Bao Phi and illustrator Hannah Li remind young readers through lyrical text and fantastical illustrations that who they are and what they love will always be enough. 
On the Fall 2022 Preview site from Capstone, you will find additional information and resources about You Are Life. I find these things so helpful as I share this book, and others, with our students and teachers this fall. 
There is a book trailer, a place to preview You Are Life, and a....
....beautiful poster that will be a special addition to any library and classroom. 

Thank you Bao Phi and Hannah Li for sharing this wonderful story with all of us. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Celebrate #BeWhoYouAreDay On September 30 With Todd Parr & Flip, Lots Of Awesome Activities & This FUN Interactive Choice Board!


Friends, I have a very special day to share with all of you. It's called #BeWhoYouAreDay and will be celebrated on September 30. It is inspired by one of our favorite authors, Todd Parr.

Todd inspires and empowers children around the world with fun, positive messages. 
With his amazing book, Be Who You Are, Todd wants every kid to feel just how special they truly are, and that’s why we’re celebrating #BeWhoYouAreDay on September 30. 
To make this day even more special, our friends at Flip and Little Brown are hosting a special Flipgrid LIVE Event with Todd on this day.  You can read all about it and register for this free event here
As you get ready for Be Who You Are Day, there are so many awesome resources on Todd's site.
You will find this fun sheet to share how you are celebrating; 
drawing and....
...learning activities, 
coloring sheets to print off, 
stickers to make for the day and more! You will find everything here
My sister, Heather Fox, who is the teacher librarian at Amana Elementary in Amana, Iowa, made this adorable and fun...
...#BeWhoYouAreDay Choice Board to share with her learners at school and at home. 

And guess what? She wants to share it with all of us so we can use it with our students, teachers and school community too.  You will find it here, friends. 

If you want to make changes within the choice board, you can make a copy of it here

Thank you, Heather, for creating such a wonderful and special place for all of us to go as we celebrate #BeWhoYouAreDay with our community and others around the world. 

And thank you Todd and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for bringing us such a special day.  We can't wait to celebrate our kids on @BeWhoYouAreDay too.
I added the Be Who You Are Choice Board to the September Choice Board here.

It's Here Friends....Our September Choice Boards!

It's here, friends!  Our September Choice Board where reading, learning, making, coding, technology and music can take you on adventures all month long. 

This month, the choice board is filled with so many new and exciting things!  I can't wait to share it with our students, teachers and families, and all of you. 

You will find the Our September Choice Board here to share with students.  And if you would like to make changes or additions, you can make a copy to edit here.
Within the monthly choice boards, I include other choice boards for special events. 

In September, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. You will find the links to this choice board here.
Dot Day is coming up on September 15, so the special Let's Celebrate Dot Day choice board is included and loaded with lots of creative fun.  You will find it here in this post. 
It's also Be Who You Are Day with Todd Parr on September 30th. My sister, Heather Fox, made this choice board for that celebration which you can find in this blog post.  
In the September Choice Board, you will also find the Elementary Coding Choice Boards found here, 
Our Virtual Makerspace found here
...and the Let's Take A Trip Around The World Buncee found here
I create most of my choice boards in Google Slides and Buncee. With each choice board in Google Slides, I share this with our students and teachers by publishing it to the web. 

In the image above, you can see how to do this by clicking on Share and Publish to the Web. 
The Publish to the Web window pops up that will direct you to publish to the web. It will give you a link that you will copy to share with students and teachers through Google Classroom, Seesaw and any other place you want to share this like social media and through QR codes. 

This is the link to the 2022 September Choice Board that you can share with your students. 

I will explain how I share choice board posters in an upcoming post. 
With each choice board, I also share the link to make edits and changes.  This is the copyable link to the 2022 September Choice Board.  Please feel free to use the choice board with your community and make changes to fit the needs of your learners and teachers. 

Please let me know if you have any questions or need help sharing and creating choice boards.  

I hope the monthly and special choice boards will give you and your students special opportunities for reading, learning, creating, collaborating and having fun all year long. Happy Dot Day, friends. 

A Very Special #BeWhoYouAreDay With Todd Parr Choice Board!


Be Who You Are Day with Todd Parr is coming up on September 30!  
My sister, Heather Fox, who is the teacher librarian at Amana Elementary in Amana, Iowa, made this adorable and fun #BeWhoYouAreDay Choice Board to share with her learners at school and at home. 

And guess what? She wants to share it with all of us so we can use it with our students, teachers and school community too.  You will find it here, friends. 

If you want to make changes within the choice board, you can make a copy of it here

Thank you, Heather, for creating such a wonderful and special place for all of us to go as we celebrate #BeWhoYouAreDay with our community and others around the world. 

Part 2...10 Ways To Kick Off The New Year With Biblionasium...."GoodReads For Kids"!

We are in the second week of a new school year!  I am so excited to be back with our students and teachers. 

As I shared last week on my blogone of the programs that we use to kick off back to school time every year is Biblionasium or as we like to call it...."GoodReads for Kids".

This year, I couldn't be more excited to share with my teachers and students that we now have the School-Wide Version of Biblionasium. This will offer a great value and opportunity to foster a culture of reading that permeates across grades and through the school community.  It will help us create an engaging and exciting reading culture with all students, and again one we will go back to year after year.

You can check out the recent Biblionasium blog post here on the NEW School-Wide version.

For the next three weeks, I will share 10 Ways To Kick Off The New Year With Biblionasium with the NEW school-wide version in a three-part blog post series. This is how we use it at Van Meter and I can't wait to share these ideas with you.

Last week, I shared the first 3 ways in this post and today, I am sharing 3 more!

4. Help students start a "want to read" list by recommending books to them. 
Our kids LOVE it when we recommend books to them through Biblionasium. It is a great way for us to use Biblionasium as a reading advocacy tool and for us to match up books with all of our readers. 

When they see the books we have recommended, they can determine if they'd like to add it to their Want To Read list or book shelf within Biblionasium. You can see above what that looks like. 

This is always a place to start when they are looking for something to read or even recommending books to others. 
5. Set up an easy reading challenge to jump start the reading activities.  
Within Biblionasium teachers, librarians and students can set up Reading Challenges. As we kick off the new school year, this is a fun way to encourage and celebrate reading with students.

I love starting with a Genre Challenge to get our students familiar and connected with lots of different types of genres as they read. 
6. Have students check out the reading badges and select a badge to earn by reading towards that goal. 

Yes! And let's talk about badges!      

Our kids love the reading badges they can earn in Biblionasium.  There is a badge for so many different things including Recommendations, Friends, Number of Books, Types of Books, Special Events and more.
Once a badge is earned it will show up in My Awards so they can keep track of the badges they earn.
One that every student receives the first time they log into Biblionasium is the Biblionasium Honor Code Badge.
When all students sign up for Biblionasium, they read and agree to the Biblionasium Honor Code. 

This is the perfect thing to use for an important talk around digital citizenship as they become part of this digital reading community network. I love that it focuses on being honest, safe and kind, while having fun and reading. And just another great way to kick off the new school year! 
I hope you follow along over the next three weeks and in our Biblionasium back to school journey, as I know you will love to learn how you can create a safe and fun social reading community for your students, teachers and families too.