Saturday, April 22, 2017

Sing and Learn Library Skills Out Loud With Our Four New Books and Songs!

It was so much fun celebrating the new library series I wrote with Cantata Learning at the TLA Conference in San Antonio this last week.  
 I signed these adorable Learn Out Loud posters in the Capstone booth and gave out....
bookmarks to go with the series.

During our poster signing, we played the books and sang along with Emily Arrow.  Emily arranged and produced the music for each of the four books in the library series.

It was so much fun!
You can now listen and sing along too!

On the Cantata Learning site, go to the Library Skills Set page here.  You will find all four titles which include....
Find a Book, 

On each page, you can click the play button to stream the song or download it too.  

You can preorder from your favorite vendor now or buy directly from Capstone on August 1, 2017. 

This is a wonderful way to learn library skills out loud with your students.  I know you will be singing along with Emily and our beautiful new books in the library this year too.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Come Get Your Library Skills Poster!

I am heading to TLA in San Antonio today.  This is one of my favorite events and this year I am even more excited!

On Thursday, April 20 from 2:00-3:00pm in the Capstone Booth #1517, we will be celebrating my new Cantata Learning series....Library Skills!   I will be signing these sweet little posters shown here that go along with the 4 new books and songs from the series.
You can check out the Library Skills Set on the Cantata Learning site here.  They will be available on August 1, 2017.
Don't forget to listen to the music that goes along with the books!

My friend Emily Arrow sings the songs....Check them out on the Cantata Learning site too!

We can't wait to share them with you and your students.  They will help your students remember all of the important library skills.

I hope to see you tomorrow in Booth #1517, friends.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Watch The Second Future Ready Librarians Webinar....Leading Beyond The Library

On April 11, the Alliance for Excellent Education and Follett hosted the second Future Ready Librarians webinar....Leading Beyond The Library.  

Mark Ray and myself welcomed two special guests, Bill Bass and Kim Lindskog, from Parkway School District in Missouri to discuss their district and how the two of them have empowered and led their teacher librarians and others to be Future Ready.

It was an amazing hour and one you won't to miss.

You can watch the webinar and get all of the slides to the presentation here. 

This Is Exciting! PebbleGo Next Social Studies From Capstone Coming In August!

Our friends at Capstone has announced something very exciting. 

PebbleGo Next Social Studies will be joining the PebbleGo database family in August with over 150 articles aligned with national curriculum standards for the social studies.  
As the press release on the Capstone site states,

The module's robust content will explore: Culture, Economics, Fields of Study, Geography, Technology and Society, and the United States.  Each of the articles will include: a project of activity related to the topic, a research report template, critical thinking questions, a video (when available), and information-rich text.  

With this being created for grades 3-5, PebbleGo Next Social Studies will be the perfect compliment to PebbleGo Next Science and PebbleGo Next States and American Indian Studies too.

I can't wait to hear more as this is announced at TLA in Texas this week.  I will be sure to pass on any exciting news to all of you.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

You Will LOVE Creating New Genre Signage For Your Library Too!

As you know, we have been having so much fun creating new library branding and signage using Buncee's new backgrounds, stickers, animations and more.  You can read this post from my blog to find out more.

This week my friend and wonderful teacher librarian Elaine Deja created several beautiful genre signs for their elementary library using Buncee.
She created the Library Genre Signage Buncee and then....

created a sign for each genre section of their library using the different stickers from the Library category in Buncee.  
Let's take a look at one of these genre posters.

She took the Fairy Tale Buncee Sticker, added it to a page in her Buncee and turned it sideways so it could be a vertical poster when she printed it off.

Elaine even added a few more stickers and the call number to her Fairy Tale Genre Poster.
She then printed it off and put it into the new 8 1/2 x 11 table card displays she bought from Amazon. You can find them here.

I also thought of a few more things you could add to the genre posters.
You could direct students to the different categories in Destiny Discover.  Each category would have an unique URL.
For example, I could go to the Fairy Tale category in Destiny Discover, take that URL and make a QR code unique to that page.  
Then I could upload the QR code into Buncee and place it on the genre poster.  

When students go to the Fairy Tale section in the library, they will find those books on the shelf but can also use the QR code to go to the Fairy Tale eBooks through Destiny Discover too.  

You could do this with databases like Capstone's PebbleGo too  
I created a QR code for PebbleGo Animals and added it to....
the Animals genre poster that Elaine created and shared with me.  I even put a little PebbleGo image below the QR code so the students will know where that would take them.  

Elaine has made the Genre Signage Buncee available to all of us here.  You can make a copy and edit the Buncee just like I did to copy, edit or even make your own.  

And to give you an idea of what the genre signage looks like, check out Elaine's library....
I really love the sign Elaine created for her Makerspace.  
You will find that one in the Buncee too!

Thank you Elaine....You have inspired us all with these amazing Buncee Genre Signs!  

Just think of the possibilities when creating library signage using Buncee!  It will make your library and collection come to life.

AutoDraw...A Fun New Way To Draw From Google!

Tweets and posts have been popping up all day about something new from Google!  

When my friend Brett Salakas @MRsalakas from Australia posted this tweet earlier, I knew I had to check it out for myself.  

And I am so happy I did!  

It is called AutoDraw and according to the website it is a new web-based tool that pairs machine learning with drawings created by talented artists to help you draw.  It works on your phone, computer, or tablet (and it's free!).  

So the next time you want to make a birthday card, party invite or just doodle on your phone, it'll be as easy and fast as everything else on the web. 

I had to give it a try for myself!  
 First I tried out AutoDraw on my laptop.
I drew a simple person, very simple, to see what would come up.  You can see on the top that it is asking me Do You Mean....and giving lots of drawings to pick from.
I picked the mermaid to see what it would look like.

How cool!
I then used more of the tools on the sidebar to write, fill and sign my drawing.
 In the left hand corner there is a drop down menu.  This is where I can pick the size, share,  download and watch a How-To video.
I love that you can also check out all of the Artists' Drawings and even submit ideas that you don't see in AutoDraw yet.  

And as Brett shows, AutoDraw is just as cool using a phone.  I can't wait to use it there and to send in a text.  

AutoDraw would also be a fun tool to smash with other digital tools and apps too.  Your students could use it to draw and upload into Buncee to tell a story they write or illustrate a poem for Poetry Month.  
To learn more about AutoDraw, watch this video and check it out here

Use The Buncee Parent Newsletter To Keep Families In The Loop!

I was excited to see Buncee tweet today announcing the new Buncee Parent Newsletter to keep families in the loop too!  

When using digital tools and apps with your students, this is one of the most important things to remember.....Keep parents in the loop.  They love to know what their children are using at school and how these things work.  The more we can share with families, the more they support and celebrate creativity, collaborating and connecting within our libraries and classrooms.  
You will find the Buncee Parent Newsletter here on the Buncee site.

I love how students can even write in their own username and password so when they are using it at home all of the important information will be there too.

Thank you Buncee for supporting our families in such wonderful days.  

“Personalized Learning” Can Helps Rural Schools Address Their Unique Needs and Challenges, Says New Report

To prepare all students for college and a career, many schools and districts nationwide have turned to “personalized learning,” a student-centered approach that tailors instruction to students’ unique strengths and needs while engaging them in challenging, standards-based academic content. Largely an urban phenomenon, personalized learning can also address the unique challenges facing rural schools, and a new publication released today by Future Ready Schools® (FRS) offers them a step-by-step guide for how to do so.

Released in partnership with AASA, the School Superintendents Association, and the National Rural Education Association,A Guidebook for Success: Strategies for Implementing Personalized Learning in Rural Schools uses the FRS research-based framework and five-step planning process to help rural schools move to a personalized learning model. The framework includes seven essential planning components, or gears, of a personalized learning model while the planning process guides districts as they assess their readiness for personalized learning and develop a plan to implement personalized approaches to learning.

Download A Guidebook for Success: Strategies for Implementing Personalized Learning in Rural Schools at

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

We Are Cooking Something Special Up For The Fall With The Global Buncee Recipe Book!

Last week during the #BunceeChat and #GlobalEdChat Libraries As Global Hubs, we had amazing conversations focused around libraries, creating, collaborating, connecting and so much more.  You can read about this and see the entire chat here

In fact, during the chat we cooked up an awesome new idea!  

We mentioned how fun it is to have students find and share recipes from around the world. 

I know that when our students participated in their big country project in 3rd grade, one of the requirements was to find and cook something from that country for the Country Fair Celebration they had at the end of the project.  It was very special for students to share what they had learned and prepared with parents, teachers and other students.  Afterwards the teachers put together a wonderful recipe book of all the recipes from around the world.  

I still have the recipe books my boys, Brady and Hagan, created with their classmates that year.  They will always have a special place on our cookbook shelf.  
Then we thought....wouldn't it be cool to use Buncee to create a global recipe book?  

I love this idea!  

That night I gathered the friends who were interested into an email to kick off this Buncee collaboration.   We were all very excited to see where this idea could take our students.  
The next morning Buncee Ambassador Elaine Deja shared the beautiful Foods Around Around The World Buncee she created.  We were all even more inspired after seeing Elaine's ideas shared throughout each page.
And at Buncee, their team from around the world created pages to share special recipes and pictures.
Meagan, Buncee graphic designer extraordinaire, put them together is this amazing Buncee Recipe Book.

I learned so much about food from around the world by reading the recipe stories shared.  We can't wait to try these out at home too.

I know you are excited to participate too after hearing this story and seeing these Buncee's...I am too!
So, we have decided to kick the Global Buncee Recipe Book project off in the fall as a brand new Buncee Buddies project.

It will be the perfect time to cook up a project like this.  It is exciting to think about what everyone will create with their students and how these recipes and stories will be shared.

Will they use photos of themselves cooking or of handwritten recipe cards from their grandma?  Will they use video and capture themselves cooking in the kitchen?  Will they tell a story using stickers and animations to go along with their recipe?  Will they interview a family member and include that with the special recipe?
I love the potential for so many cross curricular connections that will take place too.

We were even thinking that it would be fun to have students share holiday recipes from around the world to create a Global Holiday Buncee Recipe Book.

The possibilities are endless!
To get ready for the Global Buncee Recipe Book project, we created a Google Document to brainstorm all of the different items we might need.

You can get to the Google Doc here.  Please add your ideas too....and ask your students to help you too.
In the meantime, Hagan and I are going to be finding the family favorites that we want to share.

I hope you will get ready to share and cook something wonderful up with all of us too!