Saturday, June 24, 2017

2017 AASL Best Websites Announced Today! Get The Symbaloo, Pinterest and List Here!

This afternoon at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, the AASL Best Websites Committee announced the 2017 Best Websites for Teaching and Learning!
Being part of this amazing committee, I am always super excited and proud to announce these websites that I know will make a difference for so many teacher librarians, educators and especially students.

Each year we select 25 of the best from a large list of websites we find, review and try.

They are split into categories and this year include the following...

As you can see, we will have lots of fun this summer exploring all of these and getting ready to implement and share with others during the next school year.

I know I will be trying all of these out even more all summer long!
To make it easy to locate and navigate, I created a Symbaloo for the 2017 AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning and....

...a 2017 AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning Pinterest Board too!

And remember, on our website you can get to all of the past AASL Best Websites too.

These are always my favorite places to go each year....and I know you will LOVE them too!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Join Us For The Follett ISTE 2017 Lunch and Learn Next Week!

With ISTE a week away, there are so many wonderful things we don't want to miss.

I have another that you need to put on your calendar!

It is the Follett ISTE 2017 Lunch and Learn where Jason See, Follett School Solutions senior product manager, and I will be talking about Collections, curation and Future Ready Librarians.

I hope you can join us for this special event over lunch on Tuesday, June 27 from 12:00-1:00pm.  It will be at the Marriot Rivercenter in the Grand Ballroom, Salon 1.

You can register for the Follett ISTE 2017 Lunch and Learn here.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wonder Woman...A Fun & Inspiring New Book From Michael Dahl and Capstone!

As you know, Wonder Woman has been making quit an impact this summer with the premier of the movie and all of the things that come with a new movie including clothes, jewelry, games and more. 

And the thing I love most...all of the books!  

But one in particular has become a new favorite...Be A Star, Wonder Woman by Michael Dahl and illustrated by Omar Lozano.  The Capstone website describes it as....

As a new day dawns, a young girl faces the ultimate challenge: school! Follow along as she demonstrates her greatest superpower (sharing), overcomes her worst fear (the playground),and conquers her archenemy (the spelling test).With courage, kindness, and other heroic traits of DC Comics' Wonder Woman, she'll turn a difficult school day into an AMAZING ADVENTURE!   Along with  Omar Lozano's  bright, bold illustrations, bestselling author Michael Dahl (Bedtime for Batman and Good Morning, Superman) delivers an imaginative read-aloud for your littlest super heroes.
You also need to watch this ADORABLE book trailer from Capstone too. 
Last week as I was thinking of sharing this book on my blog, I thought it would be cool to also ask my friend Michael Dahl about his new book, which by the way joins Bedtime for Batman and Good Morning, Superman by Michael too.  

Here is what Michael had to say....
I was so thrilled to write BE A STAR, WONDER WOMAN! I grew up reading comic books, including Wonder Woman. My Mom use to read them, too. And after we had both finished a WW comic, we'd talk about it. She ask things like, “Do you think Wonder Woman would have defeated that monster like that?” or “I like the way she flew her invisible jet in that story.” So not only did I love comics on my own, but my mother showed me that it was ok to read them; that comics were a part of reading, and belonged in our house just as all the books on our shelves did.”
“I liked Wonder Woman because, besides being such a cool super-strong hero, she was selfless. Always thought of others. And her family was the most important thing to her.  So I especially loved the stories where WW and her mother Queen Hippolyta, and sisters Wonder Girl and Wonder Tot would all be in the same adventure. You could be a hero if you were a mother or even a toddler!!!!“

I know you will love Wonder Woman just as much as me!  

And just wait until your students hear this inspiring little story too. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

NEW! I am a Future Ready Librarian poster! Download to print & hang on your wall.

As I share the Future Ready Librarian framework during presentations and at workshops, conferences, webinars and other events,  I not only share Future Ready Librarians and all of the gears that empower us to drive change, embrace personalizing student learning and lead beyond the library, I also brainstorm and share ideas for making FRL part of any school and learning community.  

You can share the Future Ready Librarian framework in school wide professional development; back-to-school night with parents; copy it off and slip into teacher mailboxes; and how about hanging it up in the library and other places in the building. 

Well, when I mentioned this in the above slide at a conference in Texas a few weeks ago, I thought and brainstormed with others....

Why not make the Future Ready Librarian Framework into a poster with a super title like "I Am A Future Ready Librarian" across the top?  The poster could include how to connect socially and also through a QR code.  It could be a very useful tool for all of us as we move ourselves and libraries to being Future Ready too.  

I contacted my friends at the Alliance for Excellent Education and Follett as we went to work in creating a poster we could use and get into the hands, libraries and learning communities around the country sharing, strengthening and celebrating our Future Ready Librarians.  
Today, Future Ready Schools had it ready to go and shared it on Twitter!  It is just so awesome and one that you will want to print off, hang up and point out to everyone too.  

You can find the 11 x 17 or 18 x 24 Future Ready Librarian poster here.  Feel free to copy it and use in some of the ways we just discussed and thought about. 
Also, Mark Ray and I will be handing out posters at the ISTE Librarians Network Playground from 8:00am to 11:30am CST Monday, June 26..and other places throughout the conference. 

We hope to see you all there.  

Read With Sarah Jessica Parker By Joining ALA Book Club Central!

I was so excited to receive an email from ALA President Julie Todaro announcing ALA Book Club Central.

Over the last few weeks I have seen lots of pictures and posts with Sarah Jessica Parker surrounded by books and wondered what this was all about.

Julie shared...

On Saturday, award-winning television and film actor and Honorary Chair of Book Club Central Sarah Jessica Parker will reveal her first “SJP” book pick. She will also speak with the selected author, who will sign copies of the book after the session. Please come by and celebrate with us on Saturday in McCormick Place, W375b/Skyline.

Even if you can’t attend, you can sign up for Book Club Central updates at or follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for chances to win a set of books for your club or signed Sarah Jessica Parker READ posters.

I signed up today and followed Book Club Central.  I can't wait to hear the first SJP book pick announced.  

I hope you sign up to read with all of us too.  

Monday, June 19, 2017

Future Ready Librarians Will Be In The ISTE Playground On June 26! Come By and See Us!

Mark Ray and I can't wait to share and connect with Future Ready Librarians in the ISTE Librarians Network Playground at ISTE next week.

Please come by to discuss, connect and celebrate Future Ready Librarian on June 26 from 8:00am to 12:00pm.

We can't wait to see all of you there!

Watch This! A Sneak Peak At Collections by Destiny® Coming 7-7-17!

I can't wait for Collections by Destiny® to be available to everyone this summer on July 7!  

I have tried Collections out for myself.  It has definitely changed the way I look at so many things that we, as librarians and educators, must do.  And the way our students successfully tackle these skills and tasks too.  

Follett has created this wonderful Overview of Collections to give us all a sneak peak.  You can watch it here

Let me know what you think.  

I just know you will love Collections.  It is going to change the way we collect, create, deliver and share content and resources with our students, teachers and learning communities. 

It is going to change your life as a Future Ready Librarian too!  

You can read more at my post, Have You Heard About Collections By Destiny Coming 7-7-17, here

Sunday, June 18, 2017

I Have A FREE Flipgrid Account For All Of You!

As teachers, we have the opportunity to engage students in opportunities that let their voice be heard.

One of my favorite ways to do this is by using Flipgrid.

As the site says, Flipgrid is a video discussion community for your classroom that supercharges your students' voices.  You add the topics, your students respond with short videos and everyone engages. 

I use Flipgrid with children, teachers and even parents.  This summer is the perfect time for you to learn how to use Flipgrid in creative and engaging ways too.
As you try it out, I have a code for you to use that will give you a free trial of Flipgrid now through September 30, 2017.

Just go to Flipgrid Classroom and enter SHANNONMILLER into the promo box.  

I can't wait to hear all of the ideas you come up with for using Flipgrid.  Please use the comments on this post to share yours too.  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Place To Go For Genre Services & Best Practices From Follett As You Embrace Genrefication In Your Library Too

Genrefication is becoming more and more popular within school libraries as a way to support reading, enrich curriculum and engage our readers. 
At Van Meter Community School, we flipped our collection several years ago.  It was such an exciting and beneficial process, which proved to be just what our readers and teachers needed.  
In fact, through the process of organizing books into categories and genres we created a wonderful student-centered library where the kids gave input and feedback along the way. 
However, since we were one of the first school libraries to embrace genrefication, there wasn't a lot of information and help available.  
Is this where you are?  

Have you embraced genrefication or do want to take the next step towards bringing this to your library?    
Our friends at Follett now support genrefication by offering amazing services including tips, tricks, guides and best practices along with Genre Consulting Services to make sure this genre flip happens just the way you'd like....quickly and in the most efficient way.  

I love this video sharing Lori Kelley's story about genrefication within her middle school library at Katy ISD in Texas.  After watching this, you will want to learn more about these services too.  

On the Follett Learning website, you will find a new page for Genre Services and Best Practices.  
This includes Genrefication Best Practices and More with Tools to Help You Identify Genre; Follett's Best Practices, Updating Destiny with Genre Information and more. 
If more help is needed, Follett now offers Genre Consulting Services that are perfect for those who don't have the time or need a little extra guidance in this journey through genrefication.  

On the site, you will find other materials including an inspiring case study and video on how Follett helped another school library in New York City. 
I never imagined that genrefication would lead to so many changes within our library and school, but this change brought something to our readers and to our library that I would do again in a heartbeat. 

And this time...I would definitely include Follett in this process too.  

You can find out more about Follett's Genre Services and Best Practices here

Andrea Beaty Shares Her Special New Rosie Revere Book With Me...Read What She Has To Say!

I love finding books about making, creating, building, inventing, drawing and more!  They hold a special place in our library at home as they do in school and public libraries, Makerspaces and classrooms around the world. 

One of my favorite authors of these creative treasures is my friend Andrea Beaty.  Her books Rosie Revere, Engineer; Ada Twist, Scientist; and Iggy Peck, Architect are just the best and perfect for our makers!  

Last week I picked up her newest book, Rosie Revere's Big Project Book for Bold Engineers featuring 40 things to invent, draw and make.  
You can go to the Abrams Books site to flip through a few of the pages.  I know you will love it too. 

As I worked through a couple of the pages myself, I wanted to know more from Andrea about creating this special new book.  

This is what Andrea shared with me....

I wrote the book to help kids see themselves as engineers. Engineers are creative and look at problems in new ways. I want kids to say, "I'm like that! Maybe I'm an engineer, too!"

The activities meet kids where they are and take them further into the world of engineering by exploring the engineering design process. There are lots of brainstorming activities plus some hands-on projects. And some poems!

Here's my favorite:

Three cheers for the Engineer,
creative and so smart.
Finds a problem. Fixes it
with Science, Math, and Art!

There are also some real-world, big problem solving sections. Kids want to help and inviting them to be involved with big problems is important. We need them!

In the fall, the Iggy project book will be out. It does the same thing with architecture and explores the basic elements of architectural design. it's a fun book and so beautiful. David and the art department at Abrams have gone wild!

And . . . I'm working on the Ada Twist book which, I think, comes out next spring!

Busy! Busy!  But so much fun!

You can read all about Andrea's other books and will find tons of materials to go with the Rosie, Iggy and Ada books here.

Learn What's New In Destiny 15.0...Join The Follett Webinar On July 20!

There are lots of exciting new additions coming to Destiny 15.0 this summer.

Join Don Rokusek, Program Director for Follett Library Solutions, on July 20, 2017 at 2:00pm CST as he shares the new, advanced features and upgrades.

You can register for this free webinar here.

Track, Measure and Create Reading Goals For Your Student & Their Online Reading With Stackup!

It is always exciting to learn about something new that you just know is going to make a difference in the life of our students.  

Well, this week I learned about Stackup and I can't wait to share it with you. 
As stated on the Stackup site,

We track, measure and report online reading while providing the accountability needed to measure progress, while giving students the freedom to read what they want. 
It is for teachers, life learners and students.

Students are using Stackup to uncover interests and showcase the reading they go, while teachers are using Stackup to create and track reading goals in the classroom. 

Here is how Stackup works....
First, you add the FREE Chrome Extension.  
I was amazed when they showed us how the Chrome Extension popped up on an article online.  
Stackup’s patent pending technology tracks time when students are actually reading with high accuracy. 

Stackup also calculates the reading level & subject area of every webpage. 

Browse the web normally and it knows when you are engaged and reading content.
Teachers can assign and monitor reading by grade level, subject area, or website. 
Students can get credit for completing reading that interests them.
Join your groups reading challenges or start your own. 

Students can earn badges, rewards, and even compete against classmates! 

Badges of achievement are issued by subject area, providing important insight into students passion & interest.
And I really love how this Be A Critical Thinker reminder popped up on this news site.

Stackup empowers learners to ask themselves a few questions to make sure they are being a critical thinker while reading and researching online.  As we know, this is a valuable and essential skill for all readers.

I love how Stackup will give teachers valuable data on their students reading habits and foster a love of reading by getting a snapshot of what their readers enjoy reading.

You can sign up for Stackup free today and use it to track, measure and create reading goals for your students and their online reading too.

Please Share Your Annual Library Report With Us

As we create annual library reports at the end of the year, it is helpful and inspiring to see great examples of what others have created. 

On this Padlet, please share yours and ask yourself these questions...

Does it connect to the Future Ready Librarian framework or does your district have your own?  What did you learn this year?  What would you do different?  

These are all questions we ask ourselves as we create our annual reports.  

Thank you for sharing.  This will be helpful practice for all of us as we reflect, create and refine ours too.  

Summer Deep Dive Into The Future Ready Librarians Framework With Us!

One of the unexpected surprises of Future Ready Librarians initiative has been the amazing virality of #futurereadylibs and the Future Ready Librarians Facebook page. Both librarians and educational leaders have embraced the idea of future-focused school libraries. What began as a small extension of the work of the Alliance for Excellent Education has become a ‘thing.’ #thatscool
An example of this is the Future Ready Librarians Facebook page developed by Kristen Mattson. Inspired to ‘lead beyond the library,’ Kristen created a page that now has over 7,000 users. Some have joined because of their interest in the Future Ready Librarians Framework while others are interested in a dynamic social network of school librarians. And in this context, Future Ready means different things to different people.
At the Alliance, Future Ready represents a framework and process for schools to personalize learning for all students through digital transformation. In many districts, the phrase ‘future ready’ is also used more generically to represent innovative thinking, practices and programs to ensure students are successful in school and beyond. As part of the broader Future Ready initiative, Future Ready Librarians is about connecting librarians to the strategic work of schools and districts through research-based components of innovation.
As librarians seek to build and sustain their future readiness, they need different supports. Our work at the Alliance will be to promote and iterate both the Future Ready Librarians Framework and resources to help connect librarians to the essential work of schools. We also appreciate the need to develop formal and informal networks among librarians and district leaders to support professional practice and learning. Thanks to Kristin, the Future Ready Librarians Facebook page provides another means for librarians to learn and collaborate with one another.
Because every library, school and district is unique and defines future ready in different ways, it is exciting and essential that Future Ready Librarians has developed a life of its own. The Future Ready Librarians Framework has been lovingly hacked, remixed and reimagined. Social media has embraced #futurereadylibs and new communities of practice have emerged. Thanks to the Alliance and engaged educators, the conversations about libraries are changing.
To that end, we would like to cultivate additional conversations on social media to foster strategic, innovative and provocative thinking among librarians. 
This week we kicked off Future Ready Librarians Twitter Chat.  It was such an inspiring hour as Jonathan Werner and I lead a conversation on how to unleash the instructional leadership of librarians to foster Future Ready Schools.  I will be sharing our monthly Twitter chat calendar soon.  
Also, on Monday, June 19 Kristen Mattson, myself and other Future Ready Librarian leaders will be launching a Summer Deep Dive into the Future Ready Librarians Framework on Facebook.  We will post a daily question Monday-Friday in the Future Ready Librarians Facebook Group kicking it off with questions focused around Empowering Students As Creators. We would love for you to be part of this conversation by responding to the questions too.  
On behalf of students in our schools, thanks for making Future Ready Librarians such a dynamic and evolving success. You are making learning better. 
That’s what great librarians do.