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Get into the Rhythm of Summer Reading! April 16, 2016

Spring is in the air which means summer reading is right around the corner! We all know how important reading is to prevent the “summer slide.” Here are a few ways you can support and encourage summer reading with your students.

Give families a head’s up
Parents and caregivers are busy making all kinds of plans for the summer but summer reading may not be on their radar. Send this tipsheet home to families to give them ideas about how to incorporate reading into their daily summer activities.

DOWNLOAD PARENT TIPSHEET

Read, sing, learn

Encourage kids and their families to make reading an interactive experience. Singing, hand motions and acting out stories all bring words to life and keep kids engaged while building literacy skills.

Cantata Learning books each include a song. Families can download Cantata songs for free to their computers, smartphones or mobile devices. They’re perfect for sing-alongs on long summer roadtrips, or for just a quick trip to the store!

FIND SONGS

Put students in charge

A 2015 study conducted by the University of Rochester Medical Center showed that summer reading programs can be made significantly more effective by letting kids choose the books they read.

As the school year winds down, make building a summer reading list a project for your students. Have them identify topics they’re interested in and help them find titles to match. You could even have students share their summer reading lists with one another and encourage them to write short reviews that they post on your school’s LMS or social media channels.

Happy summer reading to you and your students!

So Many Opportunities to Learn, Share and Network at TLA! April 7, 2016

Texas Library Association Annual Conference | April 19-22 | Houston, TX

Texas Library Association 2016

The Texas Library Association (TLA) Conference is one of the biggest regional library events you’ll find. Which isn’t surprising since we all know everything’s bigger in Texas! We turned to Teacher Librarian Shannon McClintock Miller to give us a few pointers on how to get the most of this great show.

1.   What are you most looking forward to about the conference?

SMM: I Love TLA! Especially all the authors, illustrators, and my dear friends in Texas. It’s great to see everyone and learn together. The community they have in Texas is so inspiring. I can’t wait to see all the new things authors and illustrators are working on and to see what new things the publishers have coming out.

2.   TLA is a huge conference! What’s your strategy for picking sessions to attend?

SMM: It is definitely hard to find the time to do and see everything I want to. I usually go through the conference agenda ahead of time and decide which sessions I really don’t want to miss and then schedule the rest of my time in Houston around those sessions. I am drawn to sessions that feature authors, and of course since the conference focus this year is literacy I want to make sure to attend those sessions. I also try to look for something new to learn or people I haven’t heard speak before.

3.   You are a featured speaker. What is your session going to be about?

SMM: The 25 AASL Best Websites and Apps that Rocked This Year. It’s going to be a great session that librarians will walk away from with amazing new ideas and resources. I’m on the committee that chooses these sites for AASL so it’s going to be fun to share what we’ve discovered this year. I’ll also share our picks for the best apps.

4.   Are there particular products, services or publishers you’re excited to visit with in the exhibit hall?

SMM: The authors that speak in the exhibit hall are such a treat! I like to hear as many of them as possible. I always make sure to visit with the technology providers I already use to see what new things they’ve got available. And of course I make a point to stop by the booths that have products and services for school libraries. I’m really excited to visit the Capstone booth (#1621) this year because it’s their 25th anniversary and they’’ll be celebrating at the show. On Wednesday, April 20, there will be performer in the booth singing some of the Cantata Learning songs. I will definitely make sure to stop by between 3:00 – 5:00pm that day.

5.   How do you think school libraries have evolved to meet the needs of teachers and students?

SMM: School libraries are really a force for change and innovation in education. School librarians are championing everything from new technologies and makerspaces to virtual learning and global communities. It’s exciting to see school librarians take risks and try new things. School libraries are places where students can express themselves, explore and really take ownership of their learning. They’ll continue to evolve in ways we can’t even imagine and I’m excited to be part of that transformation!

For the latest information about TLA, visit http://www.txla.org/annual-conference

Combine Technology and Literacy for a Powerful Learning Experience April 7, 2016

Today’s students have been using tablets, smartphones and computers since before they could talk. Incorporating eBooks into the classroom is way to meet your students where they already are. Cantata Learning eBooks have special features that enhance the learning environment, including:

  • Music that engages children as well as creates opportunities for active and collaborative learning.
  • The ability to share a book with the whole class using an electronic whiteboard or projector.
  • Easy navigation tools and enhanced content such as highlighting and read-to-me audio that supports readers of all types and ages.

Cantata interactive eBooks are just the ticket for emergent, struggling, reluctant and ELL readers!

For more ideas on how to use eBooks, watch this short video with acclaimed teacher-librarian Shannon Miller.

Get FREE interactive ebooks!

From now until May 15, you can receive FREE Capstone Interactive eBooks with a qualifying order. Just meet the minimum purchase threshold and earn up to 60 FREE Capstone Interactive eBooks of your choosing—including Cantata Learning titles! Learn more about this offer.

Rhythms and Rhymes Harmony Project April 4, 2016

We are so excited to launch the next Harmony Project—Rhythms and Rhymes Global Project! This project is all about nursery rhymes and folk songs. They’re such a great teaching resource and kids can’t resist them! Word and letter recognition, basic math concepts, and phonemic awareness are just a few of the ways you can use nursery rhymes and folk songs with your students.

We want to know your ideas!

Share your lesson and project ideas with us and our community through our Rhythms and Rhymes Global Project.

The only rule for Rhythms and Rhymes is that you use nursery rhymes or folk songs as the basis for your lesson or project. So get as creative as you can about how to incorporate these songs!

All of the projects will be compiled into an eBook that will be shared so that teachers and librarians around the world can get ideas and inspiration for using nursery rhymes and folk songs.

LEARN MORE

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