Saturday, January 14, 2017

Be Googley

I never finished or posted this back in late October. So ... now. Trying desperately to get some creative juices flowing again. The struggle is real. Two posts in a day. Seriously. Is it 2014 again?


I  spent some time in a Google office in Austin. Mind blown. I spent the whole time texting my little brother (undergrad in computer science) and sort of wondering if I wished I was 20 years younger.


This is an interesting blog post. Go read it then come back.

I like this philosophy. Granted it's one view and who knows if it was really true. It SEEMED like it from the people we met that day. But who knows. Anyway. It actually sounds like a lot of educators that I know. Some of these sound similar to the "Seven Habits." When those are being actually LIVED and not just talked about (cause that is just eyeroll inducing and so irritating) they can make a difference. And how often do educators go the extra mile. Try new things. Try to do the RIGHT and BEST thing. Keep the child in mind. Be nice. Help new teachers. Help old teachers.

Don't get frustrated when the roof of your classroom leaks every time it rains. Even when it happens for over two years. Or when you don't get to go to a conference but someone else in your district does. Or you do get to go but you have to pay for it yourself and their campus does. Cause frustrated is not googley. Human but less than googley.

I actually thought about doing a library "theme" of being googley. Primary colors. Basic font. Tech icons. These precepts. I still really like my Star Wars, though. And part of me says the kids do, too.



Some of these are IG repeats. Some are not. None are great but I was busy taking it in! Plus not getting actual Googlers in frame cause that's against the rules. Tech poaching and all.


I used to have some old disks I was going to turn into like a pen holder. And there was a cool Etsy shop that made little notebooks with disks as covers that I always meant to order from. Procrastination at it's finest. "They 3D printed the save icon."


This leafy green color is one of my favorites. The lamp is super cool. This was like a little mini conference room that Googlers could use to hold virtual meetings.


Their breakroom. Do you ever wonder why school breakrooms are so boring and blah? SO boring and blah. Ours does not look like this. And we would not be allowed to paint it to look like this.


Collaborative spaces. Now as an introvert I don't like to use the word just to use the word. Big groups are exhausting. But hey ... I do like to have more than one brain to pick. I'm always asking others for ideas or on our district FB group. Or rambling here on this blog. And I try to share if I have an idea. Ideas which seem fewer and farther between anymore.


This pretty room was empty. Was it because we were walking by? How crazy to have such a pretty room and no one using it. They were all like "most of this was gotten from thrift stores." In my head I was like "Well I wonder if you have the same hoops to jump through if you don't want to have to foot the bill yourself as we do?" Not a fan of the figure out the magic vendor system. Takes asking at least three different people and filling out at least two different forms. I never get it right the first time.


Even there at Google they had a place where people could bring their gear and get help with stuff that wasn't working. No need to put in help desk tickets that might or might not be answered ...well, sometimes they are actually answered within a day or two. Other times it's weeks. You just never know.


Imagine having all these nice spare parts and dongles easy to get at. Again. Nothing you'll ever find at a school. Wouldn't it be awesome if it was?


Usually not one for the glitter but pretty.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Finally Saturday

And a Rainy Saturday it is.

I just got back from a Pilates mat class. And I tried a Reformer session on Thursday. Can't say I loved it but I didn't hate it like I hated the different coach yelling at me kickboxing class that made me stop going to my last gym so there's that. Fitness. It's a necessary evil. :P







THIS is my nemesis. I keep thinking "If I had the kids for longer than 15-30 minutes" or "If I had more help" or "If they could come more often then 4 mornings a week every three weeks we'd get in a better routine" or "If I wasn't also trying to get morning announcements ready and check in books and get cards cleared for all the morning classes" (I know I'm preaching to the choir here) this would get better. There's no magic pill here ... the Little Bits labeling suggestion drives me insane because I haven't found that to help/work at all. But I do really like the other ones and haven't tried them. And to be fair she works with older kids so maybe the Little Bits ... maybe I am expecting too much and shouldn't have tried with as young as I did. I don't know. They make cool stuff. But they make utter chaos and I'm left with mess and Little Bits are not like Legos where they can just use any piece. It matters so they do need to be kept tidy. (Pin keeps not working so I linked to it at the top)







Random non-library related share.







"Do you have any books about Hippo Crates?"



Need to let it go, I know. Or just laugh and not be irritated about it. But seriously. Assign Hippocrates and not make sure the kiddo has a clue how to say it? And NOT assign Sylvia Mendez or any of the other suggestions I sent that we DID have books for?





If I were so inclined ... maybe with book covers on the hearts?







Read this earlier about educational blogging. Well and I read the original post (but didn't sign up to participate). I hope eventually I'll get some good ideas going again. ;)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Long Dry Spell but Merry Christmas

The holiday book post never happened. Lots of posts never happened.

Does anyone have a post they'd love to SEE happen? I don't know. The last couple months between battling viruses and allergies and general total and complete energy sapping muscle soreness blahs ... any even remotely halfway decent ideas I had just went to a quick snap on IG. Haven't even gotten much reading in. I think I might need new glasses. READING glasses on top of my regular glasses. Does that mean bifocals? Not cool. Finally fessed up to that after not being able to properly see the directions on the antibiotics. Ridiculous! I do not feel like I could be old enough to need bifocals. :( BUT if you are still around after that rant THANK YOU!

If you have any questions or silly freebie bookmark requests send me a quick email and maybe over the break I can get some posts prewritten for the new year. I'll have a "reveal" sometime in February or March as we ordered some new tables that are so very different from what we've had for over a decade that people will probably flip out. And then like them after they see how flexible they are. If the walls hadn't changed the look of the place the tables will!


Seriously. If only I'd had this a few days ago it totally would have been up at school!


I can hear my 23 month old nephew singing "Jingle Bells" so I'm out of here. Merry Christmas. Happy Season's Readings. May the Force Be With You.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

$10 Giveaway for TPT

Long time no writing! Oh well.

But now I get to give away a $10 credit to the TPT sale. That will be at the bottom of this post. Don't read the comments if you care about spoilers to either the Anne of Green Gables movie or the Gilmore Girls Year in the Life (which I actually did not watch the first go around ... though I'll date myself and say my first teaching job was at the high school "Dean" graduated from and it was not long after he left ... so students would come back from the restroom all aflutter when he'd come back to visit and be walking the halls). Comments on those two things are two of the three ways to enter. The third I will do a round up post on later this week ... fave holiday read alouds. So you'll still get to hear about those if you stay away from reading other people's comments!

Until then here are some things I've wishlisted lately for personal or library use! Quick because family is still around until tomorrow.

I want to learn how to do the brush lettering I see all over IG. Not Tombows but I got these to try.

Of course this I already had. Don't think at $100 it wasn't tempting for school (they are programmable/codable now ... they weren't for the first 6 months or so) but the paperwork to do a PO ... the price would go back up by then. No, I did not order myself a Force Band. THOUGH I WANTED TO!

And as much as I love Overdrive sometimes I don't finish them in time. I got the EARC a while back but am so far behind I'll never catch up there. Electronic is bad that way. If it's falling off of the stack I'll read it first. So for $5 today it was tempting!

And here are some pretty photos of books. You might see them again.


Oh and my favorite most favorite of all work pants (I have black, navy, gray, and maroon-ish brown) that still look nice but are comfy are on sale tonight. Use this link for an extra $15 off for both of us.

I'm pretty sure I set this to be open the rest of tonight and tomorrow til 12. Then I'll email the "winner" the code Monday morning. The sale is Monday and Tuesday, right? Don't remember the extra 10% code but I'm sure you'll see it around somewhere. Gets kind of ridiculous how it's plastered everywhere for 72 hours.

 I haven't made anything new in forever. Had a set of teacher librarian planner stickers (just on Avery labels so if you don't have a Cameo you're not stuck with scissors for hours) but never finished. An update to the shelf labels that has been 85% done for weeks. No new display signs or bookmarks. Those people who get it all done? I'm envious! But hey. I went to two movies and binged on GG this week. And finished some reading. So I did that. I hope you did things that made you happy as well!


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Monday, October 24, 2016

#IMWAYR Oct. 24


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.






All awesome ones. 
My fave is probably We Found a Hat though Jedi Academy and Hotel Bruce are a close second. I NEED a Bruce "roar"ing t-shirt. It is a NEED and not just a want.
And I Will Not Eat You and The Obsidian Chamber behind that. And President Squid is classic Aaron Reynolds which means it can't be anything less than funny.

All of the pics and Jedi Academy are totally recommended for the elementary crowd!

Today our district took us on a bit of a field trip. We got to tour the Google offices in Austin and see a K-12 education furniture showroom. Fascinating day deserving of another post. That will come later!




Monday, October 3, 2016

#IMWAYR Oct. 3 Lockwood Fangirling and P&E However We Can Get Them


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.




Another week where I only finished a couple.



Elephant & Piggie Like Reading 1 & 2 ... as many of you know they are cute. Not stupendous in terms of writing (though the illustrations are top notch), but cute. The Cookie Fiasco is a math lesson on fractions and division. We Are Growing is both a writing lesson on adjectives and a guidance lesson on accepting all regardless of differences. The framing device of Elephant and Piggie at the beginning and end will have to fill the void left by the discontinuation of that series. We get a little bit of the beloved characters.

Chloe on the Bright Side is certainly reflective of many students' everyday lives. Parents break up and kids have to move. New friends can be both good and bad influences. It's not lovely groundbreaking realistic fic like Wonder or Out of my Mind or Rules ... but it's definitely useful in an upper elementary or even lower middle school. I was glad they sent it to me because it's not one I might have picked up otherwise. I usually prefer my fantasies and murder mysteries and set in space stories.


I listened to Lockwood #4 via Audible. If I wouldn't have been driving I would have been bugging all my FB friends sharing funny snippets ... it's just full of sarcastic funny lines. Yes. A ghost hunting book that is funny. I mean, the talking skull has quite a sense of humor when he's not trying to see to the group's demise. Each character adds their own strengths to the group. The hints of more than friendship are stronger in this one but still nothing I'd feel uncomfortable giving a strong reader. Middle school for sure, strong fifth graders no problem, either.


AND THE ENDING. Oh my word the ending. That was just mean, Mr. Stroud! This book is so new and now I have to wait another year!


We'll see what I get to this week. Have several I need to finish.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Today I Went to #LRR2016

and I WASN'T PRESENTING. Which I have done at every conference I've attended for the last I don't know how long because 1) I wanted to try getting a position on a different campus and thought that would help; and 2) a previous admin wouldn't let me attend a state level conference being held in my own hometown and I thought "Never again, they can't say no if I'm presenting!" (Ha ha to the previous winter when yes, I got to go, but only on the two days I was presenting, so I missed 70% of it because the last day was only a half day :().

It was very nice to just attend and learn. I wish I had some awesome ideas to share this time but no. Just soaking it all in with no stress.

The keynote was Jason Reynolds. I haven't actually read any of his books but at least one has been on my TBR list for a while and perhaps I should bump it up. Curiosity may lead me to add another one of his titles. He had a great message about helping kids find the books that they connect with. And told stories about his literary and writing journey as "Langston Latifah." He tells it better. You should just take any opportunity to hear him. And actually the anecdote about the time he met Queen Latifah is pretty funny. Takes about 26 seconds to tell.

Then the first actual session was David Liss. He will be coming to our school in November. I LOVED Randoms so I'm excited to read Rebels.
A photo posted by Angie Oliverson (@msoreadsbooks) on
I bought these from the indie shop that was there. And I wasn't thinking when I handed them an Amazon credit card, now was I? She made a joke about covering that name up. Took me a sec to "get" it.

The second session I went to was about Genius Hour. I have done a few things similar to this ... but started it a little differently last week and am regretting it a bit. Showed part of Caine's Arcade and now 9 of the 10 want to build something out of cardboard. Will go back next week and try to revamp to somewhere in between. It's super awesome and motivating for kiddos to go after their passions. Just ... what do you do when the one non-cardboard person one insists her passion is building a printer? A 3rd grader?

Then we had lunch and we got to hear a highly condensed 45 minute presentation from Mr. Schu. Actually never heard him speak before. Definitely passionate about kidlit! I came home and ordered two books because P&E in any form are awesome. Don't know why Amazon says they are written by MW, though, because they are not. Just part of a series.



Third one was about delivering PD in the age of TTESS (our state teacher eval system). There were some interesting ideas shared that I may post about later. I really liked most of them. A couple ... wow. Made me feel a little overwhelmed with responsibility. I try to know a lot about what is going on all over campus. Just ... how on earth can I know everything?
My friend and colleague tweeted this out cause she had a better angle. And oh drat. Embedding doesn't show the pic preview. Well. Libraries and world domination. Click through if you have a sec.

Then I went to a refresher on TeachingBooks.net because it's been a while since we had access to it. I always really liked it and need to figure out a better way to get staff involved using it.

Then I went to a meeting about being a mentor to a teacher going through the UNT master's program. Though my mentee hasn't contacted me yet or responded to my message. Bummer. Now, I will admit ... there is quite a lot to this being a mentor. Who knew? Also I am glad I was able to concentrate on school and didn't have to keep teaching while I took the classes because that would be hard.

WEEKEND! Had two teachers ask about possible lessons next week. One ... second graders researching flexible seating to help a teacher spend $500. I LOVE that she asked. Just not even sure where to start! Then a fifth grade teacher with a couple options. Reading Separate is Not Equal for Hispanic Heritage. Maybe some mini bio research. Teaching kids how to search for photos for projects. And possibly integrating heat energy with that. Must do some test searches. Will looking up "heat" get us ... weird inappropriate images?