Saturday, April 13, 2024

You Will Find The Recording and Slides To The Future Ready Librarian Webinar, Empowering Librarians With AI, Here In This Post. Register For All 6 In This Series Too!

We kicked off our 2024 Future Ready Librarians webinar series last week on April 10. 

The first webinar was Empowering Librarians With AI: A Guide For Future Ready Librarians with my amazing friends Bill Bass and Carl Hooker. 

You will find the recording here and the Google Slide presentation here.
And please join us for all 6 of the webinars in Future Ready Librarians Webinar Series, Beyond The Shelf: Navigating Innovation and Collaboration as Future Ready Librarians, by registering here.

A big thank you to Follett Content Solutions for supporting our webinar series and Future Ready Librarians in so many ways.  

Join Us For The Future Ready Leadership Forum 2024 In Edinburg, Texas At Region 1 On September 24th! You Can Register Today, Friends.


Friends, I am excited to share the upcoming Future Ready Leadership Forums for 2024.  These are powered by Capstone

We are kicking them off in Edinburg, Texas at the Region One Education Service Center on September 24, 2024. 

The Future Ready Schools® (FRS) Leadership Forum is a one-day professional learning event designed to empower educators with the knowledge, skills, and strategies needed to lead their schools and districts into a future shaped by leadership, equity, technology and innovation.

This year the theme is... Leading Transformational Change: AI, Innovation, and Austanibility. 

You can read more and register for this amazing day of learning and connecting here

We hope to see you there, friends. 

Quiver Augmented Reality Coloring Sheet & Lessons For Earth Day!


For Earth Day, our friends at QuiverVision have created a special Earth Day augmented reality coloring sheet and lessons for all of us to use today as we celebrate with our students and community. 
On the Earth Day page, you will find educational lesson/activity plans around the Restore the Earth official 2021 theme.  
This page also includes the beautiful AR coloring sheet you can download from the page.

Have an amazing Earth Day! 

Let's Celebrate Earth Day On April 22 With This Choice Board Filled With Ways To Learn, Read, Create and Play!


We celebrate Earth Day tomorrow on Friday, April 22.  It's a day to celebrate by learning what we can do to help the Earth.

I have put together the Let's Celebrate Earth Day Choice Board with resources to learn, read, create and play with Earth Day, environmental and recycling activities. 

I made two versions.  We use PebbleGo and PebbleGo Next at our school and there are several awesome articles that are perfect for Earth Day. 

One includes the Earth Day PebbleGo article, 

Recycling and the Environment article from PebbleGo Next and...
...Helping the Environment from PebbleGo. 
You can just find the articles, click on Copy Link as shown in this image and...
...attach it to the screen shot of the article in the choice board. 
The second choice board includes an article...
...from National Geographic Kids about...
...the History of Earth Day.  

You will find the Let's Celebrate Earth Day (with PebbleGo and PebbleGo Next) Choice Board here.  If you want to make a copy, you will find the link here

You will find the second Let's Celebrate Earth Day (with National Geographic Kids) Choice Board here. If you want to make a copy, you will find the link here
And you will find the two versions of the April Choice Board here in this blog post. 

I would love to hear any other ideas and resources we could add to the Earth Day Choice Boards, friends.  Just let me know if you have ideas or any questions.  I am happy to help.    

Get VOOKS For FREE All Teachers & Librarians...Storybooks Brought To Life!


Vooks is such a wonderful place for librarians, teachers, families and most of all, our readers. 

As shared on the Vooks site...Storybooks Brought To Life! 
Vooks is an entire library of storybooks brought to life with beautiful animation, read-aloud narration, engaging music and sound, and read-along text. We're educational, safe, and ad-free screen time that inspires a lifelong love of reading!
You can search any of the books to watch. At the bottom under Activities, you will find the amazing activities too. 
Look at this one for Earth Yay! that will be fun to use for Earth Day in April. 
And the great news...VOOKS is always free for teachers!  You can find the link here.
Not only are there so many wonderful books to share with your students, there are Beyond the Book Activities and Resources here too. 
I can't wait to hear which books in VOOKS is your favorite!  
Don't forget to mark them as your favorite with the little heart so they show up in the handy little spot called Your Favorites. 

25 Bookmarks For Our Readers To Color As We Celebrate School Library Month! You Will Find The Canva and Google Templates To Copy & Use Here, Friends.


Our kids love bookmarks.  They especially love the bookmarks they can color. 
As we celebrate School Library Month, we have been created a lot of new ones for our readers at Van Meter. 
For this batch of 25 new bookmarks to color, I went to Canva. There are 100's of bookmarks and lots of templates for bookmarks to color. 
I found 25 bookmarks to color and added them to this link in Canva.

Feel free to use this template and bookmarks too. 

I made it even easier to print these off by downloading all of the bookmarks and...
....creating a Google Slides presentation.  I started by changing the size to 8 1/2 x 11, the same size as a standard piece of paper. 

I added 5 different bookmarks to each page or slide. I made 5 pages to print.
This will make a really nice sized bookmark and it will give them lots of space to color.  They can even use their own creativity on the back side of the bookmark, which we will leave blank. 
I put a little drop shadow on each so they are easy to see and cut out. 

We will print these on white cardstock to make them a little heavier so they will last longer. 
Here is the Google Slide presentation that I created with all 25 bookmarks to color. You can make a copy and use it for your library or classroom too.  
To print, either download as a PDF and print the pages of bookmarks you'd like. 
Or you can click on Print at the bottom of the dropdown under File too. 
In the front of the Google Slide presentation, I stated that all of the designs were templates within Canva. I changed a few of the original designs to create these special bookmarks for our readers to color. 

Happy School Library Month, friends. I hope your readers LOVE the bookmarks. 

Friday, April 12, 2024

The April 2024 Capstone Holiday Calendar and Book List Is Filled With Special Books and Events, Friends! You Will Find It Here.


It's almost April 2024 and time for a new set of books on the April Capstone Holiday Calendar.  I love using these calendars to highlight books each month from our collection. 

It's a great way to celebrate and learn about topics that tie into our curriculum including important historical events, and other special events that our kids love to learn and read about throughout the year. 

You will find the Capstone April Holiday Calendar here, along with the other months too. 

And here is the April 2024 Capstone Holiday Calendar Book List where you will find the links to the books on

When the Capstone Holiday Calendar comes out each year, I go through and mark the books we have in our library collection, and add the books to my list that I'd like to order for my collection each month too.
You can read all about the 2023-24 Capstone Holiday Calendar Poster here, friends. 

Enter This Special Giveaway From Follett Content Solutions and Capstone, Friends! Win My Top Capstone Titles For Your Library!


Friends, I am so excited about this special giveaway from our friends at Capstone and Follett Content Solutions.

I put together my Top Capstone Books for Spring 2024 here in this choice board.  You will find all of the books linked from Titlewave, including a full book list too. 

And guess what?  


My friends at Follett and Capstone are doing a special giveaway of Capstone's Top Titles for your library!

Six lucky winners will receive the best books of Spring 2024 for their collection too. 

You can enter here.  The deadline to enter is April 30, 2024. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

The Recording and Resources From Last Weeks Storyboard That Webinar Is Here, Friends. Find it Here!

Last week, I had so much fun joining my friends at Storyboard That for the new webinar, 10 Ways We Can Celebrate and Support Library, Literacy and Technology Skills with Storyboard That. 

It was such an exciting hour as we shared lots of ideas and resources for using Storyboard That in the library and throughout the school community. 

You will find the webinar here, friends.  And the slides for the webinar here.

I hope you loved the ideas I shared and that you try them in your school community too. 

Come To My Capstone Author Signing and Book Giveaway at TLA....You Will Get A Merge Cube & Sonia Activity Card Too!


Friends, I am excited to share a special event at TLA next week. 

On Tuesday, April 16, at 3:30pm, I will be signing copies of Sonia's Digital World in the Capstone Booth, 1921.
And to make this giveaway even more special, our friends at MergeEDU are giving away a Merge Cube with each book.  

In Sonia's Digital World, the kids are using a Merge Cube in the library to view an eagle. You will find this activity here, and I will have copies of it at TLA too. 

I hope to see you there, friends. I can't wait to share Sonia, and her world, with all of you. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Supercharging Summer Reading: Connecting with Your Community and Beyond! Join Us For This NEW Future Ready Librarian Webinar On May 2, Friends.


In May, our Beyond the Shelf: Navigating Innovation and Collaboration as Future Ready Librarians webinar comes at a perfect time as we plan and share our summer reading programs at the end of the school year.  

On May 2, 2024 at 5:00-6:00pm EST, three amazing teacher librarians from Brazosport ISD in Texas, Liz Fambrough, Brandye Roland, and Bronwyn Rumsey, will share lots of ways to supercharge summer reading as we connect with our communities and beyond.  

We will discuss:
  • Ways to engage families and caregivers in summer learning initiatives I
  • How to collaborate with local organizations for enriching summer learning and reading opportunities 
  • How to strengthen relationships with public libraries and educational institutes for summer reading programs. 
You can register for this FREE webinar here.  And don't worry if you can't attend live. The recording and resources will be sent out to everyone who registers. 

We hope to see you there, friends. 

Join The NEW Webinar From Our Friends At Follett School Solutions...Managing Classroom Libraries While Empowering Students, Teachers and Administrators.


I am so excited about the NEW Follett Destiny District Classroom Library Manager.  

Our friends at Follett School Solution will be sharing more about this amazing new upgrade in a webinar on May 2, 2024 at 2pm CST. 

In the webinar, you will discover how to effortlessly track and manage your collections, promote independent learning, and maintain insights on equitable content. Join us for a game-changing webinar that will transform how you organize, utilize, and track your classroom library resources across your school and district. 

You won't want to miss this one, friends. And make sure you tell your teachers too!  

Unleash Your Creativity With The Achievery Learning Challenge and Win a $150 Amazon Gift Card!


Dive into the world of digital learning and share your favorite lesson for a chance to win a fantastic $150 Amazon gift card. Created by AT&T and Warner Bros., The Achievery offers over 500 videos across seven subjects, integrating clips from blockbuster movies and shows with teacher-provided lesson plans. Whether you're an educator seeking innovative teaching methods, a parent looking for extra resources, or a student eager for new challenges, The Achievery has something for you. With lessons designed by trusted collaborators like ASCD and ISTE, the platform ensures engaging and accessible learning experiences.

Join the contest by creating your free Achievery account and sharing your favorite lesson by May 9, 2024. Every participant also gets the chance to showcase their idea on social channels throughout May.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to transform learning and celebrate innovation - Join The Achievery Learning Challenge today!

You can learn more and sign up here.

I Am Excited To Share These "Titlewave Tips & Tricks" This Week!


One of my favorite tools to use as a librarian and in our library is Titlewave from Follett Content Solutions. 

In this Titlewave Tips and Tricks video, you can learn more about downloading MARC records and educational resources, creating lists, and browsing books reviews. 

All of this and more is available through Titlewave that you will find here

You've Been Virtually Book'd With These 19 Books For School Library Month! Check Out This List & Choice Board From Titlewave Here, Friends.

With summer right around the corner, it's time to plan summer reading too. 

As we prepare for summer reading, I brought together 19 books that celebrate the summer in so many fun, exciting, meaningful and special ways. 

Let me show you how I set up this choice board for my school community. 

First, I created the choice board in a Google Slide.  I added the covers of the 19 Summer Reading books I included in this choice board. 

Second, I went to our Destiny Discover and...

...grabbed the links to each book.   

This is easy to do.  You just search for the book, click on the three little dots next to Open, and this drop down menu will appear. 
Click on Share and the link to the book will pop up. That is the url to share in the choice boards. 
Take the copied link and add it to the book cover.  

When every book cover is linked, you are ready to share the choice board. 
Go to File and down to Publish to the web.  
This will give you a link to share with the students and teachers.  
When they click on that published link, the You've Been Virtually Book'd With These Summer Reading Books choice board will pop up where they can read more about each book, and even read the eBooks where they are attached. 

I am excited about this list of 19 special new books I put together in Titlewave.  In this choice board, you can click on any book cover to view and find the full book list from Titlewave there too. 

If you would like to edit this and use for your own library, you can make a copy here.

Have fun getting ready for the summer, friends. I can't wait to hear what books you recommend too. 

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Creating Monthly Novel Effect Posters In Canva For Our Special Read Aloud Library! Find The Template For Our April Poster Here, Friends!

One of the best additions to our library and school over the past few years has been Novel Effect. 

In fact, we started a Novel Effect library. This has offered our teachers such a wonderful way to bring stories to life with special and important books. You can read about how we created our Novel Effect Library here

Last year, we started something new to go along with our growing Novel Effect Library. 
Each month, we will bring together several Novel Effect books around special topics, events and celebrations.  This month, we focused on special holidays, events, snow and winter, and the Novel Effect books that have these topics from our library. 
Once we have our list together for the month, 
I go to Canva and create a monthly flyer for our Novel Effect books using the book covers, a Novel Effect image from their site and fun text. 

I create the collage of the book covers in PicMonkey.  You can edit a copy of this template here
You will find the Novel Effect images under the Additional Learning Resources on the Novel Effect site here.

And you can find the Canva template for this poster I created here where you can make a copy to use too. 

I printed the Novel Effect Books posters and passed them out to all of the teachers so they can post in their classrooms and keep track of all of the amazing read alouds to pick from each month.  

I love our Novel Effect Library and can't wait for everyone to read even more throughout the year. 
Don't miss all of the  new April book activities found on the Novel Effect site here, friends.