Tech Round Up! BreakoutEDU

At this year's School Library Boot Camp Campers participated in a Breakout experience with speaker Jennifer LaGarde (who was awesome, by the way!).

BreakoutEDU is a fun way for students to work together to solve problems and challenging puzzles to open up locked boxes or rooms. Think breakout boxes, escape rooms, and simulation games...

Breakouts encourage students to become curious, ask questions, and grow their brains and they can be adapted to various content areas and even for professional development.

Jennifer LaGarde has an awesome website to learn more about Breakouts including info. on how to make your own.

You can also purchase ready-to-go kits from BreakoutEDU to turn your library into an escape room.

Games on BreakoutEDU are available for a variety of ages and content areas including...

what for it... 

Topics include:
Dewey Organization
Digital Citizenship
Intellectual Freedom
Library Orientation
Searching the Library
Source Types
Social Media
Internet …

Events & Deadlines + A Calendar for SD School Librarians

Here are some dates for you to note on your yearly calendar. Also, I hope you find this document helpful. It’s a monthly calendar of sorts of celebrations, events, and South Dakota school library specific deadlines. Yes, yet another spreadsheet in your life!FALLSDLA conference - Sept. 26-28, 2017 in Sioux Falls. Learn, network, and earn college credit! Reaching Out - PD opportunity for SD school librarians. Deadline to apply Sept. 14. 2018-2021 21st Century School Library Award ceremony at the Systems Change conference in Sioux Falls, Oct. 17-19. Come celebrate with us! SD book awards - Prairie Bud, Bloom and Pasque & YARP voting ends April 1, 2019. #schsdsl Twitter Challenge - An ongoing, self-paced cont. ed. opportunity for all SD school library staff. Earn 5 contact hours- social media style!  SPRING21st Century Library Awards - Apply starting March 1. School Library Survey - opens April 2018. Exact date to be determined. School Library EdCamp SD - Spring 2019. Exact date to be…

Makerspaces in the Library

A Makerspace is a support program that the library can offer that provides hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, tinker, build, invent, and relax.

Makerspaces come in all shapes and sizes. You should consider your student population, your administrative support, your budget, your schedule, your school climate, your temperament, etc.

Your Makerspace may be embedded into library class or it may be offered only before or after school. It may be open just for lunch or just for reward time. It may be an entire course even!

There's no real wrong way to do a Makerspace but be sure to do your homework before diving in. The following resources may help you as you start or expand your Makerspace.
These books...

These other resources: Check out this post from The Daring Librarian blog. Author Gwyneth Jones has made it easy for librarians to find and buy the things they will need to start a basic Makerspace.

If you're on Twitter, follow @LFlemingEDU and @mak…

Crosswalks Galore!

Folks, we've got new crosswalks coming out of our ears! There's some serious leadership and collaboration happening with school libraries in our country. And that's exciting!

What are crosswalks exactly?

In layman's terms, a crosswalk is an educational tool that maps the elements of one system to the equivalent elements in another system.

Crosswalks provide navigation.

Think of it like a map that shows you how to transition from old to new or a guide that helps you interpret this set of standards with that set of standards. 
Check out these three new crosswalks from big players in the school library world and they'll be linked on the SDSL School Libraries page too.

1. Future Ready Librarians + ISTE Standards for Educators

2. AASL Standards + Future Ready Librarians 

3. AASL Standards + ISTE Standards for Students and Educators

SDSL Databases for School Counselors

The following information is not only for your own knowledge as a school librarian but also for those you serve including school counselors. Please pass this post along to your school counselor or teachers you believe could benefit from using these databases.
The South Dakota State Library provides 50+ electronic resources/databases at no cost to all South Dakota citizens. Fifteen of those databases are K-12 based and three are particularly useful to school counselors:
Learning Express LibraryLearning Express Library (LEX) offers hundreds of tutorials, practice exams, and eBooks to help students and adult learners improve the skills required for academic and career success. It provides support primarily for grades 4-12+ in the areas of for basic skills mastery, academic success, career and job prep and research, standardized test prep, and more. Its depth and breadth of tutorials, tests, and other resources complement SDMyLife, and in some areas they reach beyond SDMyLife. Read more …

Back-to-School Basics for School Librarians

Far and wide, children and adults are gearing up for a new school year.  Are you ready?

I thought I'd share some off-the-top-of-my-head ideas for prepping for this year in the school library.

So, have you...? Introduced yourself to new staff in person and by email? Think about your good o' elevator speech. What do you do? Why should they care? Reached out to all staff in a staff meeting and/or by email? Have you communicated what you do, what you can do for them, library resources, programming, Makerspace info., schedule, changes/updates, your school's SDSL eCard for off-campus database access?Touched base with your administrator and not just by email?Made your Back-to-School newsletter with vital resource lists like SDSL K-12 free databases, new books, and resources for school-specific programming/initiatives?  Try using Canva or or use a simple Google Doc to share with staff, students, and parents?Updated your virtual library/website? Check out this virtual libra…

Tech Round Up! Skype in the Classroom

Skype in the Classroom (or library!) is a digital resource that teacher-librarians can use to connect students to broader ideas and deeper experiences from and the world!

Experiences (think: authors, speakers, field trips, etc.) that we'd normally pay big bucks for are suddenly accessible and attainable when you go digital.

Skype in the Classroom is free for educators who are using the standard free version of Skype. And while there is a learning curve, it's not crazy curvy especially if you take advantage of the free professional development courses and resources.

The Skype Calendar of Events is super handy for the library environment that also focuses on programming as well as curriculum.

Here are some ways that Skype in the Classroom can be used in the library or classroom:

Mystery Skype - This is BIG right now along with Breakout Edu! Mystery Skype is a global guessing game that gets kids learning about geography, culture, and people.

Guest Speakers - What a great resource fo…

2018 School Library Boot Camp Was a Hit!

This year's School Library Boot Camp a hit! Teacher-librarians, teachers, and para-professionals from across the state met on July 23-26 at the State Library in Pierre for this annual professional development event.
With each new Boot Camp comes a new theme and this year’s theme was “21st Century Literacies: The School Library Connection." Campers explored digital, media and information literacy.

Librarians Lynn Klundt and Kristin Echtenkamp from Northern State University in South Dakota presented on the importance of media literacy in today’s world. In addition, award-winning blogger and teacher-librarian Jennifer LaGarde (author of The Adventures of Library Girl blog) engaged campers in a variety of activities, including a BreakoutEDU encounter, which challenged campers both physically and digitally. For Jennifer’s post about her experience at Boot Camp read her post here. It's one you won't want to miss because it's loaded with ideas and ready-made digital too…

Int'l Dot Day - Sept. 15th-ish

Folks, the new school year is less than a month away for most of us so I thought I'd share this resource/event/celebration so that you can be prepared.

International Dot Day is September 15-ish and what better way to "Make your mark, and see where it takes you." than in the library.

Peter H.Reynolds' book has made its mark around the world with Int'l Dot Day. Visit the website to register for a free planning guide and to connect with others celebrating at the same time. This a perfect opportunity to use Skype to connect digitally around the world.

The Dot is one book in a trilogy of books:

Sky Color is a gentle tale about opening our eyes for inspiration and looking beyond the expected.

The Dot is a fable about surprise, self-expression, and self-discovery. It's a story about a caring teacher who dares a doubting student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to make her mark.

Ish is about thinking in terms of 'ish' which can lead to more beau…

READ: Essentialism

At last year's Systems Change conference, this title was listed as one worthy of professional reading, plus, it looked intriguing... so, I read it.

Essentialism by Greg McKeown


Essentialism is essentially (pun intended!) about the disciplined pursuit of LESS to empower us to BE MORE.

Here were my takeaways:

Only you are in control of your time and energy. Create your life's agenda so that something or someone else doesn't create it for you.Say no. It's ok to be unavailable or to heck out in our super social, instantaneous world.As much as it hurts to hear it, you can't have it all. And, really, do you want it all? Wouldn't that be heavy?Teams function best when there is one, clear, identifiable purpose. When team members aren't taxed for time and energy, results are better.Make time for yourself. Read or keep a journal or practice yoga or wake up early... do whatever it is that centers you so that you can make essential decisions to make your life better…