Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Books and Resources To Inspire Kindness

Over Thanksgiving break, my family went to the movie Wonder.  Not only was this one of our favorite books to read aloud at home and in the library, it is now one of our all-time favorite movies too.  

Afterwards it inspired conversations between us about acceptance, differences and of course, always being kind to others.  
We are also thankfully seeing this theme more and more within our school communities, libraries and classrooms.  Kindness is taught throughout meaningful lessons, songs, books, arts and crafts, and more.  

Today I would love to share a few ideas for bringing kindness to your space and work too.  

Tonight at 8:00pm CST we can join teacher librarians Shawna Ford and Michelle Cooper for #txlchat as they talk about encouraging our students to give back this holiday season in the Kindness Counts conversation here on Twitter. 

You just follow and use #txlchat to be part of the conversation.  
Last month, we celebrated World Kindness Day on November 13. 
For this special event, I brought together lots of wonderful resources, lessons, posters, crafts, stories and songs into the World Kindness Day Collection by Destiny.  These resources can be used to embed and teach kindness within your school and community all year long. 
I love Books That Inspire Us To Be Better and you will find all of these shown above on this....
Titlewave List.  You can also search books like Wonder and with themes of kindness within Destiny. 
There are also helpful resources included in the National Bullying Prevention Awareness Resources Collection
I love tying in kindness to art and craft activities and these are perfect for the library and classroom....even at home with families too.  If you take a look on Pinterest, you will find so many.  

Here is one list of Kindness Arts and Crafts that I found on Pinterest. 

With all of these resources and even more, you will bring kindness to your students too.  I can't think of anything more important this holiday season and throughout the year.  

Monday, December 11, 2017

Sign Up For The Classroom Research Station Giveaway (Including PebbleGo) From We Are Teachers!

 I have something very special to share from We Are Teachers and sponsored by Capstone. 
It is the Classroom Research Station Giveaway and is perfect for our young researchers and explorers. 
Five educators will win all of the PebbleGo databases, nonfiction books from Capstone, stacking stools for your new research station and a bin full of supplies.  How awesome is that!  

All you have to do is go here to enter.  

Good luck, friends.  Your students and school community would definitely love having PebbleGo.  It brings so much learning, research and exploration of our youngest learners.  

15 Librarians To Follow On Instagram

Last week on Scholastic's On Our Minds blog, they shared an article featuring 15 librarians to follow on Instagram. 

I am so honored to be part of this amazing list of school librarians who are also my wonderful colleagues and friends.  You will find this list here.

As I read through the article, there were a couple librarians that were new to me too.  I love finding new people to follow on Instagram who provide me inspiration and ideas.  This list definitely does just that! 
I hope you take a look and please follow me at shannonmmiller on Instagram and....
of course, don't forget to follow Scholastic too

Thank you Scholastic....I am thrilled to be part of this group and celebrate all librarians on Instagram.  

Friday, December 8, 2017

Virtual and Augmented Reality Favorites For The Second Week 'Til New Year's!

On the Second Week 'Til New Year's, I am going to share virtual and augmented reality resources, tools and Collections to use in the library and classroom and even for your students to use at home. 

A lot of you have used VR and AR in your libraries and classrooms, but some might be asking, What exactly is virtual and augmented reality?

Let me start by sharing the definitions from Merriam-Webster with you.

Virtual Reality is an artificial environment which is experienced through sensory stimuli (such as sights and sounds) provided by a computer and in which one's actions partially determine what happens in the environment; also it is the technology used to create or access a virtual reality.

Augmented Reality is an enhanced version of reality created by the use of technology to overlay digital information on an image of something being viewed through a device (such as a smartphone camera); also, it is the technology used to create augmented reality.

By using VR and AR in education, we are changing the way our students interact and see the subject matter being taught to them and the world around them. These tools engage and excite them in wonderful ways and bring learning to life.

I love using VR and AR with young people. To see eyes light up when putting these tools and resources into their hands makes it so rewarding for me, as a librarian and educator too.

I hope they will bring something special to your library and classroom during this holiday month too.
You will find My Favorite Things on The 5 Weeks 'Til New's Year Smore here

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Register For The Next Future Ready Librarian Webinar on December 12

Don't miss the last Future Ready Librarian webinar of 2017 as we talk about cultivating community partnerships.  

The webinar is on December 12, 2017 from 4:00-5:00pm EST with Sue Kowalski and Gina Seymour joining me as they share their stories and advice for cultivating community partnerships in their libraries and school communities.  

You can register for this free webinar here

We hope to see everyone there.  

Monday, December 4, 2017

10 Ways To Celebrate Holidays Around the World With Buncee!

As we head into the holiday season, there are so many wonderful things we can celebrate within our culture and other cultures around the world.  This is one of the most special parts of the holidays and something that we can bring to our students and school communities in meaningful, creative and engaging ways.  

We can also tie in geography, history, math, writing, reading, art, digital citizenship and so much more.

When looking for a tool and app to be part of this amazing adventure for learning, connecting, collaborating and creating, Buncee will be just what you are looking for and I will tell you how.  

Here are 10 Ways to Celebrate Holidays Around the World with Buncee....
1. With all of the different stickers, animations and backgrounds focused on Holidays, students will be able to create Buncee's for the various holidays around the world including Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, St. Lucia, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year, New Year and even Mardi Gras.
I just love all of the new Santa characters for China, South Africa, England, Italy and more.  This is a fun way to teach them about the holidays around the world and to have them teach us and each other by creating in Buncee too.
2. If they create Buncee's about the different holidays around the world, it would be super helpful to create a Holidays Around theWorld Buncee Board so everyone can share.

And the cool thing with Buncee Boards....you can even share this around the world using the link on Twitter, Facebook, email, and in other online ways.  Now in Buncee Boards, comments can even be made making it a great place for conversations between the different schools and students. 
3. As your students are learning about all of the holidays, have them research dishes and goodies from around the world and bring these together in the Holiday Recipes From Around the World Buncee.  

I love this one above that my friend Sean Farnum has been creating.  

You can even have the students bake their recipe and bring it to school for a special holidays around the world celebration.  They could record themselves baking and embed that into their Buncee as well. 
4. And what about sharing their Holiday Recipes From Around the World Buncee with other students around the world.  The Buncee Buddies program would be a terrific way to kick off this collaboration.

As the Buncee site states, 

Buncee Buddies is a digital pen pal project bringing together students and teachers from across the globe! The Buncee team’s goal through this program is to connect classrooms to share Buncee creations, learn about other cultures, and make new friends along the way. Throughout the program, the goal is to encourage cross-cultural exchanges, critical thinking based on a prompt, creativity, and the growth of new friendships.

How perfect is that!  

5.  When celebrating Holidays Around the World with my students in the library and their classroom, we brought in lots of different cultures using Skype in the Classroom.  
We can share our holidays online with others as we learn first hand with them by going to the Mystery Skype section of Skype in the Classroom here

6. As we Skyped with them, I would have the students journal about all of the different holidays and cultures using Buncee.  

Within Buncee, they can add stickers, backgrounds, animations and other assets like I showed above for all of the different cultures.  

7.  As they are creating and connecting through Buncee, 
the students can use the platform as a research and resource tool as they search the web using Pixabay within Buncee to find images and videos.  
8. Another element that can be added here is an interview with others about their holidays that can be captured in Buncee using the Record Video feature.  It can even be someone from their family sharing holiday traditions, recipes and other fun.
9.  I love using Buncee for creating book talks to share with students, teachers and families. 

Cantata Learning has the best new set, Holidays in Rhythm and Rhyme, that is paired with wonderful stories, songs and illustrations.  

You could use this Cantata Learning series to create a Buncee Book Talk....or in this case, a Buncee Series Talk.  

With the books all being part of the Cantata Learning YouTube Channel, you could add these to your Buncee as a video too. When a video is embedded, you can play it right from the Buncee online or app.  
10. One more idea I have been tossing around is to host a Holiday Christmas Buncee Exchange.  

Students can use the Buncee app or website to create a holiday greeting Buncee.  When they are finished, they can be shared with others around the world.  This could be part of a geography or history project keeping track of the different locations on a Google Map or paper map...even a globe.

In the one above, I added a video, Cantata Learning's Merry Christmas, to make my holiday greeting for others around the world even more special and engaging.  They can sing along as they learn about Christmas. 

As you can see, Buncee has brought together the best tool box for holidays, learning, creating, and fun.  

I also wanted to point out all of the ideas for Holidays Around the World on Pinterest.  You will find so many here

Happy Holidays Friends....Please share how you will use Buncee in your library, classroom and at home during the holiday too. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

"New for You" In Titlewave Makes Suggestions For New Titles In Your Collection

During the AASL Conference last month, I was excited to see this tweet from my friend Jenny Takeda, district teacher librarian on the Beaverton School District Services Team.

She was sharing the super awesome New for You feature in Titlewave, which as Jenny shared makes suggestions for new titles based on series and authors in your library collection.  

You will find New for You under Your Account.  

I just love this feature. 

We can share this feature and information with our teachers and students too.  It will engage them in collection development with a wonderful collaborative collaboration on the suggestions Titlewave makes.  

Thank you for sharing Jenny...and thank you Follett for making our libraries the best they can be.

Friday, December 1, 2017

On The 5 Weeks 'Til New Year's, Shannon Shared With Me....

It is December 1st, friends and the holidays are here.  To celebrate, I have created something very special for all of us!  

As you sing or hum The 12 Days of Christmas, read the photograph above.... 

On The 5 Weeks 'Til New Year's, Shannon shared with me...

Every Friday up to the New Year, I will be sharing learning and library ideas, books and songs, digital tools and apps, maker resources and lots of fun for Shannon's Favorite Finds each Friday.  
You will find the schedule on the Smore here too.
Today, on the first week 'til New Year's, I am sharing Coding and Robotics with all of you.  

With Hour of Code coming up on December 4-10, it is perfect to kick off these special 5 weeks with coding and robotics.  

You will find two new Coding and Robotics Collections...one just for our studnents, a few of my favorite coding and robotics tools and resources, 

and several awesome Titlewave Lists that will point you to wonderful resources for your library and Makerspaces.  

I hope you bookmark the On The 5 Weeks 'Til New Year's, Shannon Shared With Me...Smore to find out what I will be sharing and what you are sharing too.  
Please share your ideas, resources and holiday fun on this Padlet.  We can't wait to see what you have to share!  

Take in every moment and share the joy, learning, creating and collaborating with your students, teachers, families and global community this holiday season.  

See you next Friday for the second week 'til New Year's, friends. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Staying Safe Online With Kindergarten Friends In This New Jersey School Library, Their Amazing Librarian Cheryl Bonsall and Cantata Learning!

I was so happy when my friend and fellow teacher librarian Cheryl Bonsall shared this on Twitter.  
She was sharing my new book Staying Safe Online with her kindergarteners in New Jersey. 
I just loved watching this video of them singing and doing hand motions to the song.  I hope you watch this too.  

Let me share a little more about this story and song.  

Staying Safe Online teaches our youngest learners all about the online world and what they need to know to stay safe online and be productive, engaging digital citizens.   
Not only will they learn along with the adorable animal characters created by illustrator Kathryn Durst, they will sing along with Emily Arrow, who wrote and sang the music for Staying Safe Online and the other three books in this series, 

Click above to listen to Staying Safe Online...

I just love how Emily took this story and made it into such a sweet and catchy tune for all of our young learners to sing as they learn how to stay safe online and practice their digital citizen skills.   

I know you will love it too!  
As you are singing along with your students, you will find the music.... 
...and lyrics in the back of the book and on the Cantata Learning site. 
You can also scan the QR codes, which is on the back of the book and inside the book, can be scanned to go to the music....
...on the Cantata Learning site too.  

The music can be streamed, download and there is even an instrumental version of Staying Safe Online too. 

You will find Staying Safe Online here
Staying Safe Online is perfect to use when teaching your students simple digital citizenship skills and as you kick off another year.  
Here is a lesson plan for this book and the entire Library Skills series. 

I hope you love reading and singing it just as much as I do.  
You will find it on the Capstone site here.  It is available as an eBook in Capstone Interactive too.  

I know you will love this one and all of the Library Skills series,  just like Cheryl's students do too!  

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Storyline Online Brings Celebrated Actors To Read Aloud To Your Students, Libraries and Communities

One of my favorite places to go and send young readers too is Storyline Online.  This site is filled with wonderful actors reading children's books paired with beautifully produced illustrations.
From the Storyline Online website....

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more.
Storyline Online receives over 100 million views annually from children all over the world.
Reading aloud to children has been shown to improve reading, writing and communication skills, logical thinking and concentration, and general academic aptitude, as well as inspire a lifelong love of reading. Teachers use Storyline Online in their classrooms, and doctors and nurses play Storyline Online in children’s hospitals.
Storyline Online is available 24 hours a day for children, parents, caregivers and educators worldwide. Each book includes supplemental curriculum developed by a credentialed elementary educator, aiming to strengthen comprehension and verbal and written skills for English-language learners.
Storyline Online is a program of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. The Foundation is a nonprofit organization that relies entirely on gifts, grants and donations to fund Storyline Online and produce all of its videos.
You can help the SAG-AFTRA Foundation create more Storyline Online videos and new content, so that we can read to millions more children every month. By giving a gift to Storyline Online, you can help advance children’s literacy, and improve children’s lives. Your support makes a world of difference.

Not only are there lots of amazing videos to share, 
Storyline Online is free for all of our readers, along with their teachers, librarians and families. 
Each story has a teacher guide that goes along with it.  
These can be found under the video by clicking Activity Guides. 
There is even a Storyline Online app for different devices too!  You can find out more here.

Thank you SAG-AFTRA Foundation and all of the amazing actors who have created these special Storyline Online videos for us.  We love your story telling and can't wait to see what is added next. 
And don't forget to click on Subscribe at the top of the site to stay informed with email updates and social media postings too.