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Five Little Ducks Featured in Midwest Book Review’s Children’s Bookwatch March 25, 2016

FiveLittleDucks“Five Little Ducks” is a charming counting song and storybook, complete with CD and downloadable app for music access, plus music notation and song lyrics for intergenerational sing-along fun. The pastel illustrations illustrate the counting song story line, as young children enthusiastically count, quack, and sing the song of a Mother Duck calling her ducklings to come back. Perfect for teaching counting skills and concepts to children ages 3-8, “Five Little Ducks” is part of a popular educational series of sing-along math songs through Cantata Learning at Capstone. These books reinforce the development of early learning skills, including physical, cognitive, and social and emotional learning. Added educational perks include a glossary and suggested guided reading activities at the end of “Five Little Ducks.” Children will enjoy and respond to the fun game elements of the story, as well as the reassuring full circle theme in which the lost ducklings return and are found.”

Read the review.

Stream or download the Five Little Ducks song for free!

Get ready for IASL 2016! March 24, 2016

April 3-4, 2016 | Ramada Tropics Resort and Conference Center, Des Moines, IA


We sat down with Teacher Librarian Shannon McClintock Miller to get the inside scoop on the upcoming IASL conference. This year’s conference theme is TL Squared: Teacher Librarians Connect Technology and Literacy and the folks in Iowa have a great program lined up to support Teacher Librarians’ work in 21st century schools.

What are you most looking forward to about the conference?

SMM: Teacher Librarians in Iowa are doing so many cools things! I’m really looking forward to catching up with all my friends in Iowa and meeting lots of new people. I always come home from this conference with a bunch of ideas to try so I’m excited to get to the conference and start learning.

Can you give us a little preview of your session?

SMM:I’m so excited about this session! I’ll be speaking Sunday night during the Lightening Talks with Michelle Luhtala about when your mentors become your closest friends. Michelle was my mentor and now she is one of my best friends. We’re going to have so much fun sharing what we’ve learned with other Teacher Librarians.

Which sessions are you most looking forward to attending, besides your own?

SMM:John Schumacher (MrSchuReads) is going to kick-off the conference on Sunday night with a lot of energy and fun. He is amazing and I’m excited to hear his ideas for helping kids fall in love with reading.

Monday’s keynote is going to be great too. Michelle Luhtala is really changing people’s perceptions about what a library is. I can’t wait to hear what she’s doing with her Makerspace. I know I’m going to walk away with a ton of new ideas.

There are so many sessions to choose from but two others that I don’t want to miss are Katy Kauffman and Chelsey Kolpin talking about Makerspaces for grades 7-12. Most of my experience with Makerspaces has been with younger kids so I’m interested to hear what they’re doing to engage older students.

And on Monday afternoon, Ernie Cox is going to talk about summer reading and how to make sure students have access to reading materials over the summer. This is always one of my favorite topics and I’m excited to learn about what they’re doing at College Community School District.

Which technologies are you most interested in learning about while you’re at the conference?

SMM: Definitely Chrome extensions. Beth Swantz has a session on Monday morning about these hidden gems that will transform your teaching and learning and I’m really interested to learn more about these tools and hear how other Teacher Librarians are using them.

What recommendations do you have for Teacher Librarians to get the most out of attending the conference?

This conference is a great place to learn new things and make wonderful new connections with amazing Teacher Librarians. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new. Go to a session on a topic that is completely new to you. And choose sessions with speakers you haven’t heard before. Don’t feel like you have to stay for a full session. There are so many to choose from! If two interest you during the same time slot go to both of them. Learn as much as you can!

And be sure to follow #iowatl. Even if you’re not going to the conference you can learn what is going on and will probably discover new resources and ideas.

Learn more about the IASL conference at www.iasl-ia.org/p/conference.html.

Cantata Learning QR Codes, Spring 2016 March 22, 2016

Get instant access to all of the Spring 2016 Cantata Learning songs with our QR codes.

Click Here for the PDF FileSeason-3-QR-Labels_Page_1


Here Are Poems For Your Pockets! March 22, 2016

by Shannon McClintock Miller

As the weather warms up and the flowers start to bloom, we know that April is right around the corner.

And that also means that National Poetry Month is here.

The website states, National Poetry Month is the largest literacy celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary event curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives.

There is a very special day during the month that we all love to celebrate too. It is called Poem In Your Pocket Day.


On this day, we celebrate by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and on Twitter using the hashtag #pocketpoem.

You can read even more about Poem In Your Pocket Day on the Academy of American Poets website.

As we prepare for Poem In Your Pocket Day this year, I have planned a fun day with a few of my favorite poets, authors, publishers, teachers and students.

My dear friends Mrs. P and Robert Forbes, who are both poets, are going to join me for a Google Hangout on April 25, 2016 with friends from Iowa, Colorado and a couple more places around the world.

We will be sharing poems from our pockets, creating poetry, and hearing poems from Mrs. P and Robert too.

Also, we have asked our wonderful friends at Cantata Learning and Capstone to join us.

They will be sharing poems, songs and books in the Google Hangout and online with all of us too!

I will share more details about the GHO on April 25 soon….And will tell you how you can be part of this fun celebration with all of us.

Here are poems for your pocket and a poster too!

To get ready for our Poem In Your Pocket Day Celebration, I have created several little poems that can be copied, edited, printed and shared with your students and communities for their pockets.


I have created 12 poems for you to use….One about birthdays from Robert Forbes, two Mrs. P wrote just for our celebration, two from one of my favorite poetry books Sing a Song of Popcorn, several from Cantata Learning including Happy and You Know It and Spring, and one by Blake Hoena from the Capstone book, Trust, Truth, and Ridiculous Goofs: Reading and Writing Friendship Poems

You can get them from the Poems and Poems for Poem in Your Pocket Day Google Doc

I included each poem as 4 on a page so it is easy to make copies and cut them out for your Poem in The Pocket Day. And a poster that is a full size sheet of paper.  You can find this in Canva at this link to even make your own changes to the pocket for a poster.

I would let my students and teachers pick from poems I had printed off….I just put them in a basket for them to look through easily.  Many of them wrote or found their own poem too.  The most important thing is that everyone has a poem in their pocket to share on that day!

Enter to Win 30 Cantata Learning Books for Your School or Library! March 15, 2016

Do you remember the hand motions that go along with the Itsy Bitsy Spider song? Or how about the Wheels on the Bus? Do your students know them? We want to see what motions and movements your students use to accompany nursery rhymes and folk songs. Make a short video that shows your students’ hand or body motions and submit it to the Cantata Learning Rhythms and Rhymes contest.

You can teach students the classic hand motions to traditonal songs or create brand new ones. Stream online or download nursery rhymes and folk songs from the Cantata Music Library.

Click here to learn more about the contest.

All entries are due April 1, 2016 at 5 p.m. ET!