Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Summer Code-a-Thon With Tynker!

Are you looking for something education, challenging and fun for your children and students this summer?  

Well, look no further!  Tynker has just the thing and it is called Summer Code-a-Thon where they can create and enter projects for a change to win while learning so much about coding.

On the Tynker Summer Code-a-Thon page, you will find all of the information you need including...
each week's challenge coding activity.  You can even go back to the beginning of the summer to complete those challenges too.  
This week's challenge is so much fun!  
You will create a project about a pet using Tynker and coding.

I love how Tynker walks them through each step, while teaching and encouraging their coding creativity along the way.

This is the perfect activity for the summer!  I hope you check it out today here too.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Follow Heather As She Creates A Makerspace In Their Library!

My sister, Heather Fox, has been up a whole lot of fun in the Amana Elementary Library this summer.  
As you remember, she kicked off Makerspaces by adding a Makerspace Cart to her library last year. 
I just love how she repurposed the old book cart and brought so much creativity, collaboration and inspiration to her community.  

You can read all about Heather and their Makerspace cart here
Well, now she is taking that cart and spreading her Makerspace into a room close to the library.

Last week she called me and we Facetimed while she was in the room.
We talked about the closet and how she could turn that into storage and a supply place...even taking off a couple of those doors to open it up.
 I love the colors she is painting and the vision she has.
This sweet little table is even going to be their new LEGO table.  How cool is that?

Heather, we love what you are doing in your library.  I can't wait to come see it this weekend and watch as you transform this space into an amazing new Makerspace for your community.  

Have You Upgraded To The NEW Destiny 15.0? Find Out What You Are In For With The New Updates !

This afternoon I watched the Follett webinar about everything new in Destiny 15.0 with Don Rokusek and Bruce Hamilton from Follett School Solutions.  

After spending time with Don yesterday in the Follett office and learning even more about these amazing updates, I couldn't wait to watch this and polish up my Destiny skills even more.  
There are lots of new updates with Destiny Discover in this new update.  

One of my favorite is the new Collections!  

This will enable us to curate collections of resources; create more collaborative opportunities between the teacher and teacher librarians; find what others have created to use as our own; and so much more including...
being able to share these rich, beautiful Collections of resources with your district and publicly too.

You can watch this video to find out more about Collections and read my post here

A couple things you will need to remember....

The new Collections functionality requires Destiny Discover and Destiny 15.0.   You will want to make sure you have updated your Destiny. 

As you kick off the new school, make sure you start to introduce Destiny Discover to students and teachers as the primary Destiny catalog search interface. 

This is very important as it has the amazing updated features that you will want to make sure they are familiar with and use too. 
You will love all of the new features and feel of Destiny Discover.  

The Collections ribbon will be super helpful to our students and teachers as it will direct them to all of those wonderful Collections we will be creating and using. 
One more thing I know you will love!  

In August, there is an update coming which will bring student reviews to Destiny Discover.  

These will support video reviews and book trailers that students submit.  This means that a digital book trailer using a digital tool like Buncee can be added to the book review within Destiny Discover too. 

I can't tell you how long I have wanted a tool like this.  Awesome update, Follett!  This is going to make such a difference and impact on our students and school community. 
Even if you were not able to attend the webinar today, you can get to it within Follett Community at this link.  
And you won't want to miss....Collections By Destiny with Jason See on July 27 too!  You can register for that one here

Dots, Frames and A Little Surprise For This Special Dot Day Project Using Buncee!

With Dot Day coming up on September, I have been brainstorming all kinds of ideas to celebrate.

Last week, my friends at Buncee and I did a litttle of our own!

Meagan, one of the amazing designers at Buncee, has been creating a few new assets that will be perfect for Dot Day.
You will find the Dots in the Colors category of stickers and...
...the beautiful new frames in the Frames category.

If you wonder why Dots and Frames are needed for this project, watch The Dot by Peter Reynolds and get ready for Dot Day on September 15 too!   

You can sign up and learn more on the Dot Day site. 

More to come in a few days on how all of you can contribute to this very special Buncee project too! 

A Day With Follett...Look How They Get Ready For A New School Year Too!

Yesterday, I had one of the best days! I was in Illinois with my colleagues and friends at Follett.  We had a wonderful day planning, learning and working together.

In the afternoon, I was honored to speak to all of the Follett sales reps that were there for their annual meeting.  We are very lucky to have so many caring, creative and passionate people who care about our libraries, librarians and students.
Harvey Smith, who is a Follett rep in Texas, posted this tweet from their day together.  The reps met with 21 publishing houses to see al of the awesome new things coming out for libraries.
Molly Sullivan, who is a Follett consultant in several states, sent me this message to share her Capstone takeaway from that afternoon with all of the publishing houses.
I was so happy to see it was one of my new books from the Library Skills series I wrote with Cantata Learning and Emily Arrow!

In fact, the books come out in just 10 days on August 1!

If you haven't read about these yet, please visit this post on my blog...My 4 New Library Skills Stories and Songs With Cantata Learning
You can find the series and all of the music, which is arranged and produced by Emily, on the Cantata Learning site here

It is an exciting time of the year as not only librarians, educators and communities get ready to go back to school.  Publishers, book companies and all of the amazing people they have working with them are getting ready to support and celebrating reading, learning and schools throughout the year too.  

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Create Back-To-School Invites With Buncee....And See Who Is Coming!

As we start to think about going back to school, we also start to think about how to engage our parents and students....and get them excited about another wonderful school year.

I always did something special on Back-To-School Night in the library to pair up with the awesome things the teachers were planning in their classrooms too.

In fact, this is one of my favorite things to do with my own children as we start a new school year too.  I loved seeing what the teachers planned, what special things they created for my children to make them feel at school.  It was truly a reflection of how the year was going to be.

This year as you prepare for Back-to-School Night, create an invite using Buncee!

With Buncee, you can create an one of a kind invitation that will show your excitement and get families excited about the new school year too. 

And guess what? I have some great news!  Our friends at Buncee have added an RSVP feature to their amazing digital tool which allows us to send an RSVP attached to a Buncee invite we create.  

Let me show you how!  
Once you have your Buncee invite created, you will click on the Share button in the right hand corner.  

You can see the Library Open House Back-To-School Invite Buncee I created here.  
And just a little tip...As you are creating school and library type Buncee's, there are TONS of backgrounds, stickers and animations in the Education and Library sections of Buncee. 
There are lots of ways to share a Buncee including by HTML code, email, on social media and now through an RSVP.

You will click on RSVP...
...and then on Create RSVP.  
It will bring up the RSVP Template that lets you fill in all of the details.
Once you have the details filled out, you can send it to Recipients through...
an Address List or CSV Import.  
I added my email address to show you how this will look.
I received an email to say I received a RSVP to the Summer Workshop.
When I clicked on the Buncee in the envelope it opened up....
...onto the page to share the invite and RSVP information including a place to respond and leave a comment.
As the person who created the Buncee RSVP, I can check the RSVP Status by going to Share again and clicking on RSVP.
This shows me who responded and if any comments were made.

 Here is a wonderful example of a Back-to-School Night Buncee my friend created for her school.
As you can see, this will definitely get their attention!
You could also Record a Video to include in your Back-To-School Buncee too!

This would be a nice way for students, especially younger students, to see their teachers before they went.  It will ease the anxiety and make this invite even more meaningful.

Enjoy the rest of your summer, friends and as you are preparing for Back-To-School Night, Library Open Houses and other events this fall, jump into Buncee and see what you can create for your students, families, teachers and others too.

Create A Total Eclipse Activity With Buncee!

As we plan for our road trip to see the total eclipse on August 21, I was thinking it would be fun to create a Buncee highlighting the event.  

You can too! 
Meagan created an Eclipse sticker in Buncee this week that we can all use.  

You will want to use it on a dark background for it to have the effect of a total eclipse.  For this Buncee, I also added a shadow over the hills and background. 

As Hagan, Eric and I travel three hours south of our home in Iowa to see the total eclipse on that day, we could create a journal, an informational poster, a photo album and even a Buncee with a recording of the eclipse.  It will be fun to share our eclipse creations too. 
For more ideas, apps, websites, books and other eclipse resources, check out this post from my blog

Friday, July 14, 2017

Create Your Very Own Coloring Pages With This!

It is so fun seeing coloring become such a wonderful community in libraries, classroom, public spaces and homes.  It brings people and families together through an artistic activity and conversation.

As we bring different types of coloring materials and experiences to our students, we look for a variety of unique options too.

I found one that will let you create personalized coloring sheets in just a few steps.   
It is called Coloring Pages Maker

You can pick from a variety of templates they have or even upload your own image.
 Once you select your template, you type in what you want it to say and select a font type.  
When you are finished, you can preview, add more captions, download and print.
I love how it printed!  It was so much fun to color.
I also found one where I created a question for the caption.  This makes coloring thought provoking.  

You could tie it into different areas of the curriculum, events, holidays and so much more. 
I can't wait to see what all of you create with Coloring Pages Maker.  Please share the creations with all of us.