Saturday, August 13, 2016

ACK! Already Saturday! And still August.

Behind. What a surprise. I'm sitting in my study hiding from the current chaos for a bit. On the plus side I did get

  •  three doctor visits (:P bum leg and allergies whatevs, fine, no worries);
  • a car inspection (why is it so hard to find a place that actually DOES those?); 
  • a visit to the tax office for new plates and car registration;
  • a bunch of stuff back to school out of my laundry room and garage;
  • one long hallway bulletin board covered and bordered (thinking I might do a grade level 40 book challenge and have them tell me books or articles they've read and post mini covers or screenshots? Would that work? Points for not having to change it out); 
  • a long inside the library bulletin board bordered(LOVE THAT IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE COVERED though no idea what will be going on the board ... I've done a word wall and an electronic resources wall-cause it's behind a wall of computers);
  • another smaller board pinned together ... waiting for it to actually be hung on the wall to staple and take pics cause I like it ... BB a GR8T Reader!;
  • printing and cutting for some of the computer lab bulletin boards (I don't do it and it won't get done. No one has time. I'm just making it this year because it hasn't been done in too long. :/);
  • a little organizing at school;
  • a full day elem. library PD downtown (where I managed to lose my car at the park and ride and since my Tile just died about two months ago and I haven't gotten a new one yet ... that was fun);
  • five nieces and nephews under five (and one 2 weeks away from 9) visiting, along with my siblings and inlaws;
  • college brother home for a visit after a cancelled flight adventure;
  • and the biggest barbecue ever (poor college brother missed the first round but will get the leftovers).
Next week is a day of Leader in Me, a day and a half of the new teacher evaluation system (that will not be used to evaluate teacher librarians so that will be super interesting), a day and a half of working in the classroom (though have you found they still tend to hold meetings in the library during that time? A little frustrating with no office), a half day of data, and ... I cannot remember what the other half day is. Kona Ice will be there on Friday! I suppose to make us feel better about having getting to stay for a long Meet the Teacher night.

I don't drink coffee or touch anything with banana. Otherwise these look tasty.

Maybe something like this. Only ... it would be awesome if it were something that could stay up longer. Fun stuff for a little while, sure. Long term more informative or instructional (though it is on the other end of the library from the teaching area).

Cause it's kind of funny.

No more hiding out. Family fun time. Loud but awesome. Missing the other half (I have eleven nieces and nephews. And five siblings total).

Friday, August 5, 2016

And It's Already Friday AGAIN

Last one of the summer. Insert sad face here.
Once the kids get to school and we get started it will be OK. There are just a lot of ... meetings to deal with between now and then. That only about 20-25% of which will be applicable.

Well. Enough of that. Click through for original sources.

I tried drawing a BB8 and R2D2 last summer. You did not see a picture of that. There is a reason why. So ... this is not my library door.

Leafy green (Yoda?) is one of my favorite colors. Even though leafy green comes from plants. That produce pollens. That are my nemesis (had to stop taking meds for retesting next week ... summer is usually my easiest time because it is so all fired HOT even the plants wish they could stay inside but this summer ACHOO-ing all over the place!). Also I imagine we'll all be feeling much like this red panda the next few weeks until we get back into the swing of things.

Last holiday season I took pics of Yoda on the Shelf. Purely pictures, no behavior tie-ins involved. This one is funny, though. Not sure why it showed up in the middle of the summer but oh well.

Excuse me for just a moment because I do not even really know the story behind it.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Already Friday & TPT Card Giveaway

It's already Friday! I only have one more full week! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!

HP #8 is coming out so soon! I am not attending anything midnight. Turned into such a homebody. But the closest store is 30 minutes away and the one that helps us at school is 45 so ... ugh that late at night. Last time I did something at midnight was the last movie when my youngest brother was home! Didn't even make it to a midnight showing of SW. Early the next morning. ;)

Don't love the font choices but oh yes!

Total rip-off for the price point but still cool.

We have walls now. But no windows. All fake light, all day.

And next Monday/Tuesday is the "big" Back to School Sale at TPT. They offered a promotion for us to give away a $10 card. To be honest I've thought about pulling back from TPT because I don't add much and sometimes it makes me feel guilty. But with limited time and energy sometimes I get sick of being on the computer. Other times I get an email from someone who is using the shelf labels and it has an adorable pic and I think "oh, wow, they liked something I made" and I don't. I feel so annoyed when I see blogs that are all ads for their stuff. Anyway. You can use the card for whatever you want. And while I should probably make winning it something more TPT related I am mostly going with STAR WARS. If you are not a personal fan there are still ways to enter. I hope I set this up to retrostart from this AM and go through Sunday night. I'll notify the winner on Monday.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 25, 2016

#IMWAYR The Fog Diver 1&2

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Date. 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.


Summerlost is sad. In a good way ... I don't usually like the realistic "make you cry" books but it's beautifully written. I don't know why I keep skimming the Enemy books. I just want to know that the characters are OK! I'm tired of the boily pus covered sort of zombies! I'm not reading them carefully anymore, that's for sure. But the characters are so interesting. Never had a book series that I disliked and yet still liked so much at the same time.

Quiet Power is not one browsers would ever pick up but it's definitely one that could be helpful. I found it interesting reading myself (I've also read the adult version). School IS hard for introverts. To be honest myself included! It's loud and the constant need to be "on" along with the emphasis on speaking up and collaboration. There were some good suggestions for kids. It's not a bad thing to need think time and down time! And for the teacher to recognize needs in their students and make sure to provide other ways to respond. Not all the coping mechanisms would necessarily work for the introverted teacher but we'll see. At least some good ideas for decompressing when I get home!

Now. My favorite. The Fog Diver books. Book 3, when are you coming? (Book 2 is new so I doubt very soon :(.) The series is set in a world covered in nanite fog (tiny computers supposed to clear the air of pollution, but in reality have taken over and humans have been forced to floating airships and the very tops of mountains).

The mix of characters is a merry band. Each adds something different to the story.

Chess can be inside the fog longer than anyone else. Why? 
ALSO THE DRIFT SHARKS AND TICKTOCKS ARE JUST AWESOME. Mental movie was fun. I want a movie version on the screen!

And the drops of pop culture are awesome. I only wrote down one but there were several (Star Wars included! Why didn't I keep track of that?)

"There's a saying of the ancient spidermen: "With great power comes great responsibility." (pg 110)

So. The rest of this week, next week, and a couple days the week after that. Then back to work. It will be fun to see the kids. Not looking forward to the drive back and forth. Or the total lack of natural light. Or the week of less than useful meetings beforehand. But we do it all for the kids. They make it worth it. Plus I got all this cool Star Wars stuff for the library.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Your School Rocks Thoughts

Your School Rocks... So Tell People!: Passionately Pitch and Promote the Positives Happening on Your Campus
Again, originally read courtesy of the Kindle Unlimited trial that I ended up upgrading to a six month one with the Prime week specials (just for the PD books because you really have to search to find the good fiction. It's hidden).

Chapter One The Power to Connect / Location 142
"it was time to take back education and lead with our passion for kids and our belief that school should consist of learning and fun."
Learning and fun! Well that's pretty cool.

Chapter Two The Video Newsletter / Location 191 & 199
"educators must do a better job of engaging students' families."
"trading a paper newsletter for a video newsletter is the greatest shift schools can make."
Oh, heavens. Video. Hard. Out of comfort zone. #doIdare

Location 210
"Keep your video newsletter under three minutes. Any longer and you'll lose your audience's attention."
Short and sweet does make it easier.

Location 230
"If kids are telling their parents nothing special is happening at school, that is the parents' perception whether or not it is accurate."
Perception is perceived truth. So we work to change it.

Chapter Four iMovie Movies / Location 419 & 449
"We also use these video messages with our staff to generate excitement and to remind them of our philosophy to make school about learning and fun as we focus on the most important thing: our students."
"Meeting students and parents where they are requires flexibility on your part, the payoff is an engaged community."

Chapter Five Facebook / Location 489 & 504
"Parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents--a large part of the audience schools need to reach--all appear to be flocking to it. If we are not targeting them with our communication, we certainly should be."
"My school's Facebook page currently has 584 likes, so I know when we share information, a photograph or a video, 584 people have that information in their Facebook newsfeed."
Now, that's not entirely true. The algorithms will only show it to a fraction of those people. Viewers have to do more than like the page to actually see all content ... they have to comment and like specific posts. But they all COULD find it if they went to the page. Which is easier to find if they've already liked it.

Chapter Six Twitter / Location 628
"Twitter exposed me to more than I had ever learned in a class or workshop--and created doors to educators, their ideas, and best practices, thereby increasing my personal, professional development in ways I had never thought possible."
Totally true. Why mine don't ... match. When I first joined I just used an old email address from my Spanish teaching days because it was mostly silly pop culture. Then it got much more interesting with authors, illustrators, and fellow educators. By then it was too late to change the handle!

Chapter Eight Instagram Photos / Location 720 & 739
"connecting with 20 percent of our students' families--10 percent of them every day."
"reach potentially one in five of our families by doing ten seconds worth of work, the decision was easy--yes, it is worth it!"
Taking decent pics takes practice, though. And just remembering to do it!

Chapter Eleven Instagram in the Classroom / Location 910
"educators can use Instagram to throw out a hook the night before to excite students about upcoming learning opportunities."
As an elem teacher librarian I'm not looking for student followers ... I know some of them have accounts but those are the exception. But I could see how this would be super powerful for middle and high school, especially with the "hooks" from location 913.

Chapter Fourteen The School Blog / Location 1074, 1097
"I routinely ask them to write blog posts."
"You don't have to be the one to write every post. Invite students, other teachers, even parents to be guest bloggers on your site."

Chapter Sixteen Bringing It All Together / Location 1229
"Just as there is power in a positive phone call or short written note, we are finding the power in positive messages sent through social media. The difference is that social media allows that message to be shared countless times."

Monday, July 11, 2016

#IMWAYR July 11

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Date. 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.


My Lady Jane was surprisingly funny. My expensive summer obsession with subscription boxes needs to end soon but that one was a great surprise. My sis is getting the book for her birthday. Reuse, right? Is that terrible of me? Unhooked was good but I was a little ... I just thought it could have been MORE. Some really great parts that deserved more elaboration. The Wild Robot. There's a thinker for you. I so enjoyed it (the audio! I still need to see the pics!) but am just really curious as to what kids think of it. Jeff Mack is always funny. I liked the Hug one best but this one was also good. Octicorn was great for being accepting of others that might be a little different. Heaven knows after the past week we could all use more of that.

Still have some PD books to finish. And electronic ARCs. Will have nieces and nephew at the house this week so may not get far on he older stuff. But there will be picture books!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Already (almost) Friday? Random Stuff

I just noticed the other day when I went to look for the pics of my clipboards (Pete, Pigeon, and Bear (who wants his hat back!) that older pictures are gone. CURSES ON YOU, GOOGLE! Sure it was something to do with the G+ and Picasa changeover but still. I haven't figured out how to fix it. Sort of like decluttering. "I've spent so much time on this, it seems a waste to just toss it" but really, is the time spent in recovery worth it? I don't know. I can see an archive of some of them but not all and they'd all have to be reuploaded and linked. :/ CURSES, GOOGLE!

Anyone ever watch Expedition Unknown? Only discovered it a few days ago and am now obsessed.
(Long, annoying ad at the beginning ... but I won't embed an illegal YouTube version ... which there seem to be a lot of? I mean, yes, it's ridiculous. How does he deliver those lines with a straight face? But fascinating, all the same.)

I am starting a 21 Day Fix Challenge next week. Actually thought it was Tuesday but turns out it's next week (different interpretations of "after the 4th). I am ... worried. Silly thing to be worried about in this day and age. So much real pain and I just can't deal without chocolate? That's just crazy!

I am SUPER excited for the new Jason Bourne movie.

I went to this conference once several years ago (in fact ... it might have been the subject of one my first blog posts, now that I think about it). It was awesome! Wish I could go back! But I was just there. Too early for the conference but egads, not making that drive again anytime soon! This year Molly Idle, Douglas Florian, ELiizabeth Wein, Kristyn Crow, Steve Sheinken, and Ann Martin. It's held in an amazing old restored building. Philo Farnsworth did some research there.

I prefer to listen rather than watch because as a (let's be honest, former, cause I don't practice) violinist I am just so ... WHAT IS SHE DOING. But do listen. Cause it's beautiful. And if you like the dancing, hey, so do a lot of other people.

IG is fun but hard. Photo skills are still a work in progress. Been playing with WordSwag as that will help when school starts again ... I'll use these quotes on the display monitor in the hallway.

Oh and these!

Not Rick-rolling here ... I just genuinely needed the video/song today to get moving. One of those tunes that will do that.