Thursday, August 27, 2015

I Have Found Work Pants

that I do not hate. INTERNET, I HAVE FOUND WORK PANTS THAT ARE COMFORTABLE. That I can bend over to look at books on the bottom shelf in. Or crawl behind a table to look at a computer cord in. Or lean over and hug a kid in.

I just had to share. You won't get a pic with ME in them until I can get them hemmed (I'm 5' 8.75" but apparently they think everyone will be wearing heels. Um, no) but even though I'm so tired (4 days down of week 1!) I just tried them on and I love them. And want to buy every single color. I might wait to do that until after my trip. Or I might get them now anyway.

They do run small so order up (check the measurements). And long. But they are comfy and they look nice! If you use this link you'll get $25 off and I'll get $25 on my next pair. Because seriously. SO COMFY. I sound like an infomercial. Over and out.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

You Are Awesome.

Is your head a jumble? Mine is a jumble. You are not alone!

I figured out I made a mistake in not clicking a box on the editable maker bookmarks. So if you got them and had trouble go back and redownload. It's not just you! And definitely download Z is for Zebra's free "how to". It saved me!

Anyway. For right now that is all. And in case you didn't get a sweet note like I did from a friend pointing out my silly Lego pictures actually helped her find books her son is enjoying ... (I totally cried and I. Don't. Cry.)



Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Maker Donation Request Bookmarks

So ... if you have access to a copy machine you might want to test the "doublesided-ness" of this pdf.
I took the rectangle off the back because try as I might, with the sort of crookedy look of them anyway I couldn't make them match up. Double sided sometimes equals stress.

But. If you're allowed to ask for things (not even quite sure I am, we shall see) ... this is editable but I put in some test text. Just sort of quickly playing around and thinking about what's coming. All of this could be used for makerspace or "regular" library research and book promotion activities! It gets expensive when you're doing things with an entire grade, doesn't it? And even with bookfair money ... there's a lot of hoops to jump through. A LOT. Way too many times I just didn't want to deal and paid for it myself. The time saved was sort of worth the money.

If you don't know how to use editable pdfs go to Z is for Zebra's TPT store and download this freebie. It saved me! I might upload this on TPT (still as a freebie) as well just because it's nice to have a clue how many people found what you posted remotely useful. But I shall probably wait to do that until I can test this on a copier. Click on the top image to download the pdf from Google Drive.

library maker donation request bookmarks

And if the spacing is totally off, well, I'll get it fixed eventually. Might take a while. #crossesfingers

Monday, August 3, 2015


It's (almost) Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now… who knows, you might discover that next “must read” book!

Our Kid Lit to YA version is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers.

ACK! This is probably the last decent reading week. I start back to work on the 13th ... and family starts coming on the 10th. Someone or another will be here for two weeks (the weekend of the 15th? Something like ... well, 11 nieces and nephews plus 5 siblings plus 4 siblings in law plus my parents. Whatever that equals). Last week was a little slow because of insomnia. I fell asleep only when I TRIED to read. :P :P :P And if it was nighttime didn't actually stay asleep, even then.

books read the end of summer

Of those ... well, the LGBs just have the most awesome art. The Disney one for looking vintage-y and the Star Wars ones for being, well, Star Wars! I think A Pocket Full of Murder was probably my favorite book finished last week.

books currently reading
I keep not moving Red Rising off. It looked so good and so my thing ... but not getting anywhere with it. I did a post on the early beginnings of the three professional reads. Moriarty is an audiobook I'm listening to. Maloneys' started out pretty slow but ... like other reviewers ... it's getting more interesting! I think my next read will be Louis Sachar's Fuzzy Mud, though I'm really not sure when that will be! It probably should be another Bluebonnet book. I have 10 of them read. 8 were read before the list was even announced.

Don't forget Piper Green comes out tomorrow! 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Currently August 2

Well, insomnia strikes AGAIN. It's getting more than a little old. Tried baths, showers, aromatherapy, turning off the TV/computer at least 30 minutes before, stretching, exercising earlier in the day, melatonin, nasty chamomile tea, eating earlier ... you name it, I've tried it. So ridiculous.

 Linking up with Farley just ... because that is what one does, no? ;)

Currently August slide

Listening to quiet. Well. And my buzzing DVR from the other room. When I can't sleep I come out to the couch. But lately that is a noisy spot so now I'm in the office.

Loving time spent with "local" family (still takes 45-60 minutes to get across town! but that's nothing compared to everyone else) this weekend. More of them are coming! All of them are coming, actually. Starting a week from tomorrow ... 4, then 5 late the next day, then 6 two days later, then 1 two days after that (plus the 5 that are semi-local). One day with EVERYONE (there will be pics!) and then people start leaving. Rotten timing with hot weather and BTS where it's pretty impossible to take a day off of work but better something than nothing!

Thinking that really the summer disappeared. I didn't make specific plans and now time's almost up. FB on this day reminds me of X years ago I was in Seattle. X years ago I was in Hawaii. X years ago I was in SCOTLAND or IRELAND. #needtomakesometravelplans

Wanting some inspiration. Have to do my part but there are loads of professional and personal things that I just ... dunno what to do! Hard to figure stuff out when you are tired. I know He'll help me if I can just listen. Should do better with devotional time because that is one way to practice listening!

And I'm needing to figure them out. Time is becoming of the essence.

Not to be grumpy because RAK are awesome. But cheap chocolate or soda or salt ... does no one any health favors. It just really doesn't. So just positive notes, even silly printed out memes or ecards, maybe some fun stickers or a pen? As the TL I don't really have a "team" at my school. I mean, the music and PE teachers are super nice but as none of our curriculums even remotely connect we can't plan together or anything. Lost my beloved assistant of eleven years so ... must welcome the new part time assistant (part of what I need to figure out! How to do things with half the help when already things often felt overwhelming! TLs that don't even have that need awards because the idea makes me literally want to hide) and all the teachers, really, so they know that even though the library might not be able to help them quite as fast as we used to we will still be trying.

I sound grumpy and sleepy, don't I? Apologies. Shouldn't post when sleep deprived. I'm not always grumpy. Lately sleepy but not always grumpy. :P ;)

Friday, July 31, 2015

Already Friday July 31

I have lots of family coming in the next couple weeks. That's fun. Just lots going on as well so ... I will remain calm and cool and collected, right? You? If I was a blogger that could offer all sorts of organizational and professional/lifeplanning tips would you be impressed? :P

Means still no update on the apps post. Truly note to self NEVER announce a reboot of a blog series until you have at least three of them pre-written. I can procrastinate like no one's business. Real main thing? Haiku Deck is going to a paid subscription model if you want to be able to export the presentations out of the app. And for a shared library device that's pretty imperative so ... :(.

Calm and cool and collected. Remember to keep up the exercise. Cause I signed up with some other TL friends for a Star Wars themed 5K in December! Which is still a long time away but I am excited because, well, you know.

This is a pretty good intro to the book. And more concise than my notes were!

I think this smore makes much more sense if you've read (or at least started with the first four and a half chapters) the book. Not sure I could have "followed" some of this otherwise, even though I knew most of the apps. I like where it's going, though. MTV is really a book to stop and ponder as you lesson plan.

I want this. Like the Ewoks in the movie it's so ugly it's kind of cute. #theobsessivecollectingmuststop

You know #imageek.

Take care and enjoy the last days of freedom. I don't mean to sound like I'm dreading school starting. But those first couple of weeks are hard. Then you get in a routine and it works out. It's just so nice to have time.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Some Professional Reading Part 1

I thought about attempting sketchnotes but since I actually know nothing about them beyond seeing examples online ... I thought again. I used to only read one book at a time. Has the internet shallowed my brain? Also it would have made MUCH more sense to start this a month ago but anyway.

So as to 1) try and make myself accountable and 2) not MISPLACE any notes ... I thought I'd place them here. Lots of scrolling ahead. Proceed with this in mind. There is a photo at the end. Though you might have already seen it on Instagram. ;)

Notice and Note: Strategies for Close ReadingNotice and Note (How embarrassing that I have owned this book for ... 2 years? Been a lurker on the FB group for just as long? And never ... got to it? Anyway. Chapters 1-3)
  • The reading habits survey on page 14 is pretty awesome. May have to steal/use it.

  • The questions on "Talking with Colleagues" on pages 18-19 are food for thought. Wish I'd have read this when it was the #cyberpd of the summer so I could have actually discussed them with others. Right now the three most interesting to me are "How do I help students consider or document their changing interests in genre?" (Because so much of that is mandated by the classroom teacher. "This month you need to get one realistic fiction book as well as your choice." So what do I do as the teacher librarian? Then "Do I use nonfiction to extend students' thinking about ideas developed in novels?" I feel like I'm much better at doing that with picture books so I want to improve that this year. And then how can I encourage more of the "Do my students read literary nonfiction--the human interest essay, biography, autobiography, journalism, historical and scientific documents that are written for a broad range of audiences and often with a narrative structure (i.e. think The Great Fire for upper elementary ..."? This is also interesting in light of the third book I picked up, Digital Reading.

  • quote from page 21 "Rigor is not an attribute of a text, but rather a characteristic of our behaviour with that text. Put another way, rigor resides in the energy and attention given to the text, not in the text itself." Then on page 22 "The essential element in rigor is engagement [and committment]. The rigor has to be achieved by engaging the readers in a process that is sufficiently interesting or rewarding that the'll invest energy in the work." Such a delicate balance! Over-reading is so possible.

Making Thinking VisibleMaking Thinking Visible (Chapters 1&2)
  • page 1 spends a lot of time on the definition of thinking. Which was remarkably interesting! I'm already intrigued by the "What kinds of thinking do you value and want to promote in your classroom? ... if we are going to make thinking visible ... the first step will be for us as teachers to make the various forms, dimensions, and processes of thinking visible to ourselves."

  • page 8 "Thus, we might consider understanding not to be a type of thinking at all but an outcome of thinking. After all, one cannot simply tell oneself to understand something or directo one's attention to understanding versus some other activity."

  • page 11-13 8 thinking moves or "understanding map"

  • page 14 other kinds of thinking

  • pages 18-20 are 4th, 6th, and 10th graders concept maps on thinking. Interesting to note the differences.

  • page 21 just a side note ... I asked Alexa what "epistemology" meant! The definition was about what I was getting from context but still.

  • page 25-26 put the student at the center! It's not all about the teacher delivering content! It's not even all about teaching "methods." "Our role as teacher shifts form the delivery of information to fostering students' engagement with ideas. Instead of ... judging our success by how much content we get through, we must learn to identify the key ideas and concepts with which we want our students to engage, struggle, question , explore, and ultimately build understanding."

  • page 28 "when we demystify the thinking and learning process, we provide models for students of what it means to engage with ideas, to think, and to learn. In doing so, we dispel the myth that learning is just a matter of committing the information in the textbook to one's memory."

  • page 29 "What are my students learning about learning? What messages am I sending through the opportunities I create for my students about what learning is and how learning happens?"

  • pages 30-39 SO many great thoughts on making the invisible visible. Subheadings include "questioning, modeling an interest in ideas, constructing understanding, facilitating and clarifying thinking, listening, and documenting." 
I've actually gone a little further and started into the routines but this is a good place to stop for now.

Digital Reading: What's Essential in Grades 3-8
Digital Reading What's Essential in Grades 3-8 (Chapters 1-2)
  • pages 1-3 describe two students and the different ways they interact with digital text. Super interesting. One mention of social annotations made me really curious. I totally had to turn that off on my Kindle because it was driving me NUTS!!!!!!!!!!!! In college whenever I had to buy a used textbook dealing with other people's highlighting distracted me as well. Does that help any of you?

  • page 5 A terrible, terrible, terrible quote by a focus group student "I know school is important and I want to do well because that's what everyone expects of me. But if I really want to learn something, I do that outside of school." THIS IS AWFUL!

  • page 6 "Just because students are "good" with technology does not necessarily mean they are literate in the digital age. Digital literacy is much more than that.... This knowledge makes them technology users but certainly doesn't give them a deep understanding of how the tools work, what the best tool might be for a specific task, or even what other tools might be available ..."

  • page 7 the NCTE Definition of 21st Century Literacies

  • page 8 "One thing we do know: we can't view digital reading as an add-pn; in other words, we can't wait until a child is competent with traditional literacy skills and then expect the child to transfer those skills to digital text." AMEN. I'll say it again and again ... AMEN!

  • page 8-9 "We want them to be intentional about when and how to choose which types of texts will help them find and best understand the message and medium. By helping students to recognize the types of text they will encounter and how to interact with these various kinds of texts, they will gain independence in their reading choices ..."

  • page 10 Figure 1.3 How digital reading expands traditional reading skills = AWESOME

  • page 11 talks about how our role as educators is to support students' literacy "by helping them intentionally use digital tools for learning and make these tools a part of their daily lives. We do this by being intentional about our own work with students ..."

  • page 12-13 talks about kids reading Harry Potter before they were necessarily ready. "We worry that when children read books they can understand only at a surface level, they start expecting only that level from all their reading" YES, this is TRUE. It's a delicate balance, there.

  • page 13 reminder of three text types (linear texts in digital format, nonlinear texts with links, and texts with media) but the book will be focused on three anchors ... authenticity and keeping reading meaningful, intentionality and making choices, and connectedness (between texts, readers, and experiences)

  • page 14 again "We cannot presume that students must become proficient with traditional texts before we give them opportunities with digital texts."

  • page 16 "While no single tool makes the difference in the literacy workshop, collectively these tools [ipads, iPods, e-readers, laptops/chromebooks, SMART boards] change everything about our teaching and our students' learning." 

  • page 18 The author discusses her own habits and changing reading. "Sure, it was great to do a project here and there, but for the most part, even as my own literacy practices were changing my classroom workshop remained the same."

  • page 19 Figure 2.2 The role of digital texts in the literacy workshop

  • page 21 Figure 2.3 Differences between traditional and digital reading workshops

So many things to think about! I want teachers to read this! And I need to ponder on what all this means for the library classroom.

And if you made it all the way to the bottom I will repeat a post from earlier today because, as you know, I love it (even if my photog skills in lighting and focus need work!). Getting a team together to do a Star Wars themed 5K in December and I am SO EXCITED! Yes! Many are walking. I might try to run even though I won't be fast. We're talking big deal if I can come in under 33 minutes. But that would be awesome.

Legos Libraries Star Wars