Friday, March 9, 2018

Join Us As We Kick Off The 2018 Future Ready Librarians Webinar Season With A Brand New One On March 22!

It is time to kick off another year of Future Ready Librarian webinars!  

For the first webinar, we are excited to welcome our friends and fellow Future Ready Librarians  Elissa Malespina and Joyce Valenza  as they discuss the...
 Curating Digital Resources and Tools wedge of the Future Ready Librarian framework.
The webinar will be on March 22, 2018 from 4:00-5:00pm EST.  

It will be a live event and we will share the archive immediately following the webinar. 

Please visit this link to register and learn more about this very special event.  

And don't forget to share this with others.  It is a wonderful event for Future Ready Librarians, administrators, teachers and others as well. 

Hope to see you all there. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Rock Your Summer Reading Program With Collections & Get Kids Reading All Summer Long!

Every year once spring break rolls around we know that summer is not far behind.  And with summer almost here, that means it is time to start planning a wonderful summer reading program for your students and community.  

This year the theme is Libraries Rock! and I couldn't be more excited about what this will mean for school libraries, public libraries and communities as we develop a meaningful summer reading program and put the right reading resources into the hands of our children all summer long.  

As a librarian and mom, summer reading always means so much to me and my family. 
Not only do we spend a lot of time with books we have gathered at home throughout the year, we also visit local public libraries to look for books to read....
 and share with family and friends throughout the summer.
My youngest son, Hagan, who is going to be in 8th grade next fall, also reads online a lot too.  He enjoys reading sports news on his phone in the morning, eBooks on his iPad, and loves digging in deeper to different topics using the online databases from school and the state.  One summer he even used Biblionasium to start his own eBook reading challenge. He set a goal for himself and kept track of the eBooks he read (he was into states that summer), writing reviews and recommending them to classmates along the way.

Hagan's plan actually gave me the idea the next summer to focus our school summer reading program not only around our print books in the library, but to include the eBooks and databases within our program, along with open educational resources, digital tools and apps, and more.  It was a terrific way for our digital library collection to be used all summer long and I saw the usage increase and continue throughout the entire school year.

And as we get ready for another awesome summer of reading, I can't think of anything better to bring all of these resources together than with Collections by Destiny!

Let's take a look at how Collections can be used by all of the different people in your community.
As librarians to kick off summer reading you can create a special Collection to include all of these resources. This will give our readers a place to go to connect to reading and to the library.

I created the Libraries and Reading Rocks All Summer Long At Our Library Collection to give you a few ideas on how this might look for your school library. Feel free to use this with your students and community or make a copy with changes and additions.

Even though this Collection contains lots of different digital tools and resources, your Collection could include just library resources too.  Collections could even be created to focus on certain themes such as Summer Reading At The Zoo.  

Teachers will also find so many benefits in creating Collections for their students.  These Collections could be created around a topic decided on together as a class or a school community.  They could also focus on reteaching or content coming in the next school year.  Perhaps there is a reading list for the fall that you'd love to get into their hands before the new year.

Teachers and librarians can collaborate on Collections together so that makes the content and organization even more powerful.
And don't forget the students and how they can have a voice in creating Collections too!

I helped Hagan create his own Collection today on all of his favorite places to read.  These resources include eBooks, audio books and places online.  Hags loves sports....ESPN, the Iowa Hawkeyes, the Chicago Cubs, the Green Bay Packers! He now has a special place to not only read from, but to curate and save all of his favorites teams, sports and moments he wants to remember too.

You can check out Hagan's Summer Reading Collection here. We hope that his Collection gives you inspiration and ideas on how to use this with your students too.

When you use Collections and ways to connect your students to all these amazing resources, make sure that you promote and share them with your community in lots of different ways.  You need to make sure everyone knows they are there.  

You can share the Collections in an online newsletter and the schools website; tweet it out and share on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat; make sure it is added to the front page of the school website; visit classrooms, collaborate with the teachers and invite them to the library to share; meet parents and spread the word through school and sporting events; and don't forget to collaborate with the public librarian to bring your summer reading efforts together too.  
And one of my all-time biggest hits for sharing the summer reading is to create a bookmark or card to send home with students and families.  I did this every summer and had such great response and activity from the QR code and URL I included.  

When you create summer reading Collections, you can take the URL and turn it into a short URL with, create a QR code for them to scan to get to the Collection, and then include all of these on the bookmark or card. 

For the summer reading bookmark above, I created....
the Libraries Rocks...2018 Summer Reading Program Collection by Destiny and then turned it into the, QR code and bookmark too.  

I would LOVE to hear the ideas that you have for sharing summer reading programs with your library and school community.
We know that it is essential for children to read over the summer to prevent the summer slide and have them be ready for success and happiness in the fall.  The research and ideas for summer reading with kids on this infographic from our friends at Follett is a great place to start.  It includes several important tips, statistics and articles that will help us prepare for our own summer reading programs.  

You will find the Prevent the Summer Slide Infographic here

I love the summer with my family and one of the main reasons is all the reading that we get to do.  This was one of the best parts of being a librarian too.  We have a chance to make a difference in the lives of our readers not just during the school year, but over the summer months.  

This summer lets make our lives of readers rock through reading.

Please share your ideas for using Collections to rock summer reading within your library, classroom and community too! 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Storytelling and Singing Brings Clay To Life In Claymates!

I love books about art.

Being a librarian, an artist, and someone who loves all kinds of creating and making, art books fill the shelves in our library and I love finding new ones.

Last year when I saw Claymates in an airport book store, I couldn't wait to bring it home to share with my family.  Hagan and I had so much fun reading it together as we got wrapped up in the story of risk and imagination with the sculpted characters. We were so excited to see what would happen next!

Since that, I have brought it to several events to give to other librarians and teachers. In fact, I just sent it to my daughter Brianna in Belgium for her personal library too.
 Claymates is written by Dev Petty and...
illustrated by Lauren Eldridge.
I just have to give you a glimpse into the pages of Claymates so you can meet these two sweet little balls of clay....
and see what they create in the studio before the artist gets back.
You can learn more about Claymates by visiting the Little Brown site at and #Claymates on Twitter and Instagram.  Also, make sure you share using that hashtag. 

And guess what?  Today, our friend and singer songwriter Emily Arrow announced....

she has a new Claymates Song.  You will find it on YouTube and it is aweosme! 

I know you will have fun singing and reading Claymates with your kids! 
Also on Dev Petty's website, you will find several wonderful things to print off and do in the library, classroom and even at home.  
There is Clay and Storytelling for Kids packet,  

In The Classroom Art and Storytelling Packet, and... 
three different Claymates bookmarks.   
You will find them all here
Bringing Claymates in the art room or Makerspace would be perfect for continuing this story and even having students make their own by creating with clay or playdough and using a green screen, stop motion and digital storytelling tools such as Buncee. 
My kids loved making playdough when they were little.  That is another activity you can tie to Claymates.   

I am taking Claymates to Hong Kong to share next week.  I can't wait for all of the terrific conversations, ideas and laughs we will have with Claymates there too!  

Join The Free Follett Webinar On March 7....Intervention Strategies for Striving Readers and Writers, Grades 3-8!

I am really looking forward to the Follett webinar coming up tomorrow on March 7 at 2:00pm CST.

It is called Intervention Strategies for Striving Readers and Writers, Grades 3-8! 

As we know, good reading and writing skills are essential for a lifetime of success in all subjects and careers.  We need to be able to support and build these skills in children starting in elementary school and equip them with the skills they need for the rest of their lives as readers and learners.
This webinar will address these needs and what we can do as teachers to support and foster reading and writing within our students.  

Follett Community shared, 

Striving readers and writers in elementary through middle school need more than traditional learning techniques to help them achieve success and keep up with their peers. Good reading and writing skills are paramount to a lifetime of success in all subjects and careers and helping striving readers develop these skills early is key.  

Join this informative webinar as a middle school librarian and a popular published elementary author share insight, experiences, and strategies for improving the reading and writing success of students. You’ll learn how to motivate readers, promote student choice in what students read, connect learners’ interests to text, and create meaningful assessment opportunities. The presentation will also share simple techniques for struggling writers that give writers a choice and will show you how to use rich prewriting activities and frequent mentor texts. All information presented for better reading and writing instruction can be smoothly integrated into different styles of teaching.
A variety of approaches and resources for use with struggling readers and writers will be discussed, including print and eBooks, interactive online texts (Lightbox) and features within Destiny—all designed to engage striving readers and writers in your library or classroom.
 I hope that you will join Sarah Downing and...
and Darcy Pattison, as they share their expertise, experience and ideas.  
You can register for this free Follett webinar here
I can't wait to see you there, friends. 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Sing & Read Along To 6 Classics Fables In This New Cantata Learning Series!

As I get ready to travel to Hong Kong and share literacy, libraries and technology with teachers, parents and lots of students, 

I packed up this very special beautiful new series from Cantata Learning....
Classic Fables in Rhythm and Rhyme.  
As the Cantata Learning site states, with this cleaver series, Aesop's tales take on a new spin through music.  
Classic Fables in Rhythm and Rhymes gives young readers a multi-sensory way to determine these stories' important morals.  
The relatable animal characters are brought to life through graphic style action-packed illustrations.  
And memorable lyrics make the stories, and the life lessons they offer, easy to remember, 
Since the minute I read and sang this series, I was drawn in by way the authors, illustrators and music producers, retold these classic fables in a way that would speak to the children in our libraries, classrooms and at home. 
Everyone will LOVE singing along and as with all Cantata Learning titles, the music is very easy to get to by scanning the QR on the back and within the book.
It is also available on the Cantata Learning site to stream and download in the version with words, as it is in the book, or in an instrumental version too.

You can check out The Milkmaid and Her Pail here.
Also, in each book you will find a Glossary and meaningful Guided Reading Activities.  
I really love the letter in the front to parents, Tips To Support Literacy At Home.  This is an important addition to each book and one to remember when sharing with parents and children as they take it home too.
On the Cantata Learning Resources page, you will find the Lesson Plan: Classic Fables in Rhythm and Rhyme, which includes the....
Moral of the Story Worksheet to use in the library and classroom.  Students will love drawing and writing about what they find and learn within this series.  
All six of these are available to listen and sing to on Cantata Learning's YouTube Channel in the Classic Fables in Rhythm and Rhyme list here.
You will find the Classic Fables in Rhythm and Rhyme Set here on the Cantata Learning site. 
They join 13 others in the Fairy Tales Tune Set. 

Have fun singing, dancing and reading these fables with our friends at Cantata Learning.  
And don't forget to check out all of the amazing Cantata Learning stories and songs at today. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

A Very Special Collection For Women's History Month!

In March, we celebrate Women's History Month. This year the theme is Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.  

As I was working on a project focused around the wonderful PebbleGo Women's History Month Quiz taking place all month, I started pulling together lots of other resources into this very special Collection by Destiny. 

The Women's History Month Collection is filled with books, resources, projects, ideas and more. 

Three of my favorite resources are....
the amazing Women's History Month site hosted by the Library of Congress; 
a wonderful Women's History Month Titlewave List from Follett full of lots of terrific books focused on women who have changed history and lives; 
and of course, the awesome new PebbleGo Women's History Month site

The resources I have brought together in this Collection is just a start.  Please help me add even more as a collaborator or let me know and I can add them too. 

Have a special month celebrating women...from the past and today!