Thursday, September 30, 2010


just one quick thing to share.

Today I got to GIVE away some books we recieved from First Book (thanks, Target!). Teachers chose students and sent them down. We told 'em they "won" and they could pick out a couple of books. A couple of them skipped out the door. One asked to skip his Headsprout practice so that he could read. Another wanted to pick one out for his little sister. One mentioned she was so excited because she didn't have any money to buy a book at the fair.

Even during bookfair. It was a good day. :]

Monday, September 27, 2010

EEEK! An entire week!

Though those of you in town know about the nasty bug that has been going around. Love the kids. Wish they had better immune systems. Well. Wish I had a better immune system as well.

That said, it's now ... wait for it ... BOOKFAIR week. So ... today I'm taking the easy way out and just going to share WHY I like some of the blogs in the links on the sidebar. Later this week I'll cover some of the books at the fair. Next week some lessons.

Not mentioning a blog doesn't mean it's not worth checking out (I did choose all of them for a reason). Just means I'm not going to say anything today.

Spilling Ink--this is one of the best books on writing I've ever read. Wish I could get class sets into all of the classrooms and that everyone had time to read it aloud and work on the writing "dares."

Rick Riordan--only posts every couple of weeks but when he does it's always interesting ... linking to info on John Rocco (cover art) or new titles or places he's been or whatever.

John Green (YA author)--he and his brother do a series of YouTube videos called the Vlogbrothers. Sometimes useful commentary on current political or environmental issues. Sometimes SUPER FUNNY! (DO NOT miss Nerd Fitness!)

Kinderscares--not sure what these people actually do as a day job but hello. Just love the idea of a place devoted specifically to the "scary" books we are ALWAYS getting asked for. I want to look down at that little face and say "You are five. You don't NEED scary books." But, apparently ... they do.

Jen Robinson's Book Page--Can I even count the number of times I have looked like a rock star because of a link posted in her roundup? Things to share with parents and teachers. And now I am sharing that secret with you.

Free Tech 4 Teachers--MUST. Even if tech makes you a little nervous. He shares too many awesome things (for all age groups). (Tom Barrett)--every once in a while you have to do a little "translating" (he's from the UK). But it's so worth while. Easy ways to integrate tech into teaching.

OK. So at least that's a little short post for today. Content will get better. I am now going to the gym because as much as I dislike it the exercise is good for me. :/

Monday, September 20, 2010

Interestin' Ed Tech Post

Got this off of Free Tech 4 Teachers ...

Talk Back to the Pros

There they offer some 2 minute intros to different apps. This is what I know about these apps. You will see that in many cases what I know? It's not much.

1. CoverIt Live--NOTHING. Never heard of it. Will have to investigate more.
2. VoiceThread--have never used it but may try it with some book groups I'll be starting after the dreaded B-Word (bookfair)
3. social media--obviously, I'm a fan :]
4. Glogster--tried it for the first time this summer when completing my write up for the BYU Children's Lit Conference. Can see some use feels a little cumbersome.
5. stuff. Get at it anywhere.
6. PicLits--OOOH. I already like this one. Must show it to reading facilitator tomorrow.
7. XTraNormal--friend showed me this while at ALA. Started one the other day. Takes some planning for the  different camera angles and all. Will report on the final result when I'm done.
8. Type With Me--never used this one. At first glance it seems like Google Docs does the same thing (but that could just be because it's what I'm familiar with).
9. Screencasting--really want to learn how to do this better. Think it could be super useful making database search tip videos.
10. Learning beyond the classroom walls--Yes. That is all I have to say about that.
11. Go Animate--seen this in several placed the last couple weeks. Will have to also investigate this one further.

Total PS to that one ... someone retweeted this. Fabulous comparison of Blog vs. Wiki vs. Google Doc.

Friday, September 17, 2010


is one of my favorite emails to get all week! (Ironic, isn't it, anyone who came to my presentation this morning? You can actually get this content via RSS feeds but this is one thing I prefer to get the "old fashioned" way. The message comes on Saturday mornings when I can spend some time looking through all of the titles. As you could tell this morning I never promised to always be logical. :])

Wowbrary is a free service where you find out all of the new books/CDs/movies your public library ordered the past week. Links to Amazon reviews are included, as well as direct links to the library catalog page for putting the item on hold. Of course this is if your library uses the service. Anyway. If you didn't know about it before ... now you do!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


RSS: Really Simple Syndication

What does that mean? Honestly ... from the technical aspect? No idea. But from the practical aspect? It means that we can automate the delivery of the new content from a whole bunch of cool websites. Instead of having to "travel" all over to different locations for information we can get it in one place. A great timesaver!

Google Reader is my favorite--though there are other aggregators as well as ways to monitor blog content.
Google Reader is accessible via iGoogle (which is, of it's own accord, a handy dandy tool!).

Today, since it's my soapbox ... Google Reader and iGoogle.
Go here. Sign up for an account. Create a new one or attach it to an existing email address (you don't have to use gmail ... although why wouldn't you?). Either option will still allow you to use many of the other Google Apps!

The layout of your iGoogle page can look very different from someone else's. There are LOTS of different modules to choose from. I'd start with Google Docs and Google Reader. (Google Bookmarks and Google Calendar can also be helpful. Well. And Gmail. Really. I'm not a Google Certified Teacher and I sound like a commercial!)

(Google Docs deserves it's own presentation (especially the Forms function). Super easy and hey, you can access it from anywhere with an internet connection! This is one nice YouTube intro ... but there are lots of others. This one on Forms is geared toward business ... but look around and you'll find loads of educational possibilities.)

And now, back to the fun part of today's presentation ... the content!

The following links will take you to some of my favorite sources of information. There are LOTS and LOTS of others. When you find a page you like look around. Somewhere on the page (everyone puts them in different places!) you will find a link that says something along the lines of "Subscribe."
Remember that if you want it to show up in Google Reader you need to find the Google option. THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO GET RSS FEEDS. That is what is going to cause the most confusion, I think. Not everyone puts their "Subscribe" buttons in the same place.

"Google Friends Follow" is another relatively new option. So far the only difference I can really see is that Follow is public. Subscribe is private. Actually both will show up in your Google Reader so if you see "Friends Follow" try that.

They are not necessarily in order of usefulness. I will go over some of them in the presentation, and then you'll have time to start playing around and adding some of your own.

Authors & Illustrators


Book Review or Literacy Blogs

Teacher Blogs

Ed Tech Blogs

Just for Fun (Personal Interests)

PS I had a hard time figuring out how to credit the RSS icon symbol. But, if you follow the link, you'll see where I got it from!
PSPS Here are a few more notes ... if they help. :]

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010