Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Reposting March Signs & Bunny Bookmarks

Seriously ... I tried to embed the thumbnails and it didn't work. Or ... it did embed but y'all can't get at them if you like them. I couldn't get them to open properly, anyway. WHAT AM I DOING WRONG? Here they are again.

Whoooo wants to read this book?

It's a Lucky Reader who checks out one of these books.

Whooooo loves reading?

Bunny Bookmarks

Our Lorax Bulletin Board...

So I tried to tweet this pic earlier today but ... I did something wrong. Or it's just the terrible reception in the library. But here is our Lorax bulletin board, very much inspired by this one found via Pinterest.

And actually since this we had a teacher who loved it so much she went back and on her lunch break whipped out a couple Barbaloots. So they're on there now.

March Library Signs

Thanks again to KPM Doodles!

Bunny (mostly) Bookmarks

Still just playing around and trying to justify my love of purchasing clip art. These are from KPM Doodles. Let's see if this embed thing works. Looks a little funny in the preview. Might have to repost.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The One and Only Ivan

I used to see Ivan at the B&I when I lived in WA state. He looked lonely. I don't remember much about his space other than it was sort of gray (cement?) and barren. Somewhere I read it was "state of the art" in the 60s when it was built ... but then never upgraded. And they also had a machine where if you put in a quarter the floor would heat up and a poor chicken would be forced to "dance." Also sad.
I am glad to hear that Ivan's story had a happy ending in Atlanta.

Anyway. Back to the book 'cause that's what's important. LOVED IT. Can't wait to share it with the kids at school. I totally wish I could get someone else to take over running the school announcements. Then I'd do a read aloud of it in the mornings.


This would be a great example of voice in a writing class. Each of the animals and human characters have a distinct personality that comes through in everything they say (or do not say ... so there's some inference practice).

More important than any curriculum connections, however, are the emotions and principles behind the story. We could all use a little more empathy. We could all show a little more charity to those around us. And by charity I don't mean like giving money ... I mean like showing that we CARE. We're watching out for each other, human and animal alike!

(Unless you are a snake. Then I'm afraid I'm not much for watching out for you other than to stay away! ;])

Here is the Atlanta Zoo's page on gorillas. Did not know they have the most gorillas of any zoo in the nation. Our zoo has monkeys but no gorillas. I thought it was cool the webpage had a list of recommended books for kids (find it HERE) though they obviously need to update it to include this one!

(Totally for my own curiosity ... I did some Googling. The Tacoma Public Library had a few archived photos of Ivan's earliest days that were kind of interesting. I don't have any pics of my visits. I don't remember really even liking that mall ... the whole thing was kind of run down--not just Ivan's cage--in the late 80s/early 90s when I was there. That was before the days of camera phones that document every small moment of our lives!)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

What I'm Reading Monday

It's 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.

This Week
The One and Only IvanThe One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

(Real review to come! I want to read it again. I do that ... not very often.)

The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a TaleThe Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy

The Eleventh PlagueThe Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch


Gideon's Corpse (Gideon's Crew #2)Gideon's Corpse by Douglas Preston
(HOW can two of my favorite "grown-up book" authors come up with such drivel? Sorry I checked it out. Sorry I waited to finish it and will now have to pay an overdue fine that the city will take and the library doesn't even get to keep. Blech. Give me Agent Pendergast.)

Nothing Like A PuffinNothing Like A Puffin by Sue Soltis

Next Week
SwaySway by Amber McRee Turner
(if I can get it the e-ARC to work!)

Blood Sun
(And Goodreads is being dumb and won't give me the embed code. Lame. Well. Didn't know this was a book three. Just saw it on the shelf and thought it looked cool. HAD been on the plan to read ... but maybe I'll return it and go back to book one. Decisions ...)

The AviaryThe Aviary by Kathleen O'Dell

Why We Broke UpWhy We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

The End of the World Club (Jaguar Stones, #2)The End of the World Club by Jon Voelkel

Friday, February 24, 2012

This Just Pinned

Already made and done! Come on, can't you tell? It's green eggs and ... bacon. For a "celebration" for the kids who read five of the state reading list titles. If anyone gave me grief about kids and food? "This was curriculum related. READING!"

Wanted to do this for a bulletin board. Tried to talk some parent volunteers in to help (too many classes today) but they didn't come. :[

Because it's EPIC.

Should've bought the t-shirt when it showed up on my FB sidebar.

I would do this in like a leafy green or chocolate brown.

Only ... where to hang it?

 Thanks to the Book Butcher for the idea!

Fast Five Friday: Favorite Cowboy Books

So it's been Rodeo Time here where I live. These are my favorite cowboy themed books. The reviews are terrible because apparently I have never put any of them on Goodreads. Is that padding this year's numbers to mark them now?

Bubba, The Cowboy PrinceBubba, The Cowboy Prince by Helen Ketteman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

How did I not have this one on here yet? Only my favorite rodeo time read. Stereotypical "drawl" is the only accent I can do.

The Gingerbread CowboyThe Gingerbread Cowboy by Janet Squires
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Maybe three and a half. I like this one a lot. Just not quite as much as Bubba. Could be the kids have fun looking for the Gingerbread Man as he runs around. Could be they like the cowboys. Could be they see familiarity with the landscape. I don't know. We enjoy it!

Buster Goes to Cowboy CampBuster Goes to Cowboy Camp by Denise Fleming
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Why did I not have any of our rodeo reads posted here? A must!

The Three Little JavelinasThe Three Little Javelinas by Susan Lowell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

OK, so this one isn't really cowboy-ish. But they are dressed in a western style, are they not? And this is a FUN retelling!

Sock Monkey Rides AgainSock Monkey Rides Again by Cece Bell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This one's silly and the kids don't "get" all the jokes. But they love Sock Monkey anyway, and the grown ups reading the story get their own laughs in.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


So anyone who reads my little blog may already also read this one I'm about to share with you. Just read this post (on my phone ... for reasons I'll share at the end) and then had to go find my laptop.

photo credit: [auro] via photopin cc

They share this list of books that encourage empathy.

*Home of the Brave, Applegate
The One and Only Ivan, Applegate (Have this one! If I can stay awake and not feeling yucky long enough today I'm hoping to read it!)
*Because of Mr. Terrupt, Buyea
Iqbal, D'Adamo
Wit, Edson
No Ordinary Day, Ellis
Flying Solo, Fletcher
*Eleven, Giff
*The Thing About Georgie, Graff
*The Fault in Our Stars, Greene
*Uprising, Haddix
Unbroken, Hillenbrand
*Rules, Lord
Larger Than Life Lara, Mackall
The Gold Threaded Dress, Marsden
*We Are the Ship, Nelson
*How to Steal a Dog, O'Connor
Greetings From Nowhere, O'Connor
*Wonder, Palacio
*A Long Walk to Water, Park
Beneath My Mother's Feet, Qamar
Anna Hibiscus, Tobia

I added the stars for ones that I've read. Some GREAT books here. Add any suggestions you have to the original post back on the Year of Reading blog. I'll see them there. Was reading that post from bed curled up with my phone because of my dumb immune system.

I think I got my own little miracle last weekend to be able to go to San Francisco. Prayers were answered and I got to go! What I thought was food poisoning (because it let up enough to go) is looking to be more like the yucky bug that has been going around my school. It hit again after our staff development day Monday. I went to school yesterday but that was a mistake. Came home and went to bed at 3:45. Got up at 9 for a shower and was back in bed by 10. Any suggestions on ways to improve immune systems? I'll take those in the comments here. I need to keep more vigilant with washing my hands at least once an hour. But what do you do during storytimes when the child on the front row keeps coughing all over you over and over and over. :X 

I hate that I've been gone from school so much this month. There are things to do! Now, I learned a lot at TCEA. So that was a worthwhile sacrifice. And maybe I shouldn't have gone to San Fran. In eight years that is only the second time I've gone on a little vacation during the school year. But now I'm sidelined again with this yucky bug. I'd like to think that the kids and staff need me! And I'm letting them down. :[

Monday, February 20, 2012

What I'm Reading (and Where I've Been)

It's 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.

OK. Little bit more reading this week! Will get real reviews (or, at least as detailed as I get) a little later this week.

13 Hangmen (interesting idea but a bit on the confusing side in the execution)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again (Cosmic is still my favorite FCB book but this one was funny!)

Coming Up
finish Gideon's Corpse. I like the Agent Pendergast books way better but I'll still finish it.
Sway. Hopefully, anyway. Must figure out why it wouldn't open on my Nook.
Henry's Freedom Box. Technically already read it but using it with 1st grade this week!
Eleventh Plague
One and Only Ivan

And no posting this week? Thank a bad bout with food poisoning that almost messed up a trip. And then the trip. Didn't ruin it. Just made the getting ready, packing, and flight a little harder.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Updated SW Signs

So I'm still playing with these graphics. GEEK THRILL and all. Updated the signs to include Chewie, Luke, Leia, and R2D2. Took a commenter's suggestion (THANK YOU) and ... well, actually I changed the suggested person. Instead of Leia that one is actually with Chewie. As soon as I though of this quote for Leia I had to do it. Maybe the kiddos won't know how funny this is? We'll see. I can do another one of Leia with the kissing quote if we want. Bookmarks will come eventually.


Porcupining: A Prickly Love StoryPorcupining: A Prickly Love Story by Lisa Wheeler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cushion the Porcupine wants to find love. Don't we all? Well. The picture book crowd may not be looking to get married but they understand wanting friends and someone to play with.

We had fun reading this one today in kindergarten. Started with a non-fic book about porcupines. There are 26 different kinds and they can weigh up to 66 pounds. Did you know that?

Anyway, back to Cushion. He tries to woo a bunny rabbit, a pig, and a beaver with some truly terrible songs that everyone will enjoy singing together off key. Because of course we were out of tune on purpose.

As porcupine books go ... I prefer A Balloon for Isabel. But porcupines AND Valentine's Day? This one is the clear winner!

View all my reviews

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What I'm Reading Monday

So ... NOTHING got read last week. Except for a few blog posts and my TCEA presentations (see the pages up at the top of my blog ... two of them are posted and one will get updated as soon as I can) over and over and then also my TCEA schedule and the directions to get to the convention center. Sad face for no cool books, busy afterschool meetings on Mon/Tues and then lots of driving on Wed/Thurs/Fri. But happy face for cool stuff learned at TCEA (a tech in education conference).

So ... I guess this post will just be what I hope to get read this week. Which is also a short list because I am taking a little trip Wednesday through Sunday (repeat to not you, dear readers, but the Internet at large ... my house will NOT be empty so lay off! I'm still mad at the ones who broke in once. :[) to SAN FRANCISCO. Super excited. Haven't been there since I was four and according to family lore several Asian tourists wanted to take pictures of me and my Grandma having an ice cream cone. Would love to get a copy of those pictures. Anyway. But there's the plane ride! And my Nook! So some reading will get done.

So, whatever I get read next week will be from among these Netgalley ARCs.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again (love the old movie and love Frank Cottrell Boyce so I'm sure it will be cool)
13 Hangmen
Man Overboard
Show Me a Story

(Am I the only one who requests more books from Netgalley than can ever be read? This does not even include my hard copy TBR pile, which I did not get a picture of in to the Nerdy Book Club in time. Drat. Next time!)

EEEK! I rambled a lot in this post. So sorry. Will do better.

More SW Signs

So ... if you're not tired of them yet I turned the bookmarks into some signs. Stick them in a photo frame and make a display around it. I'm not tired of them yet. It's so silly. I think I overwhelmed the artist with suggestions for other characters to include in the second set. ;]

Still have a Luke, Leia, and R2D2 that could use a catchy saying if anyone wants to suggest something.

I also liked a quote my friend posted on Facebook so I remade the Abraham Lincoln bookmark to include it. If you like that you can find it here. BTW ... you've probably already figured this out but I don't put borders around individual bookmarks (even though I would actually like that look better) because it makes it so hard to copy and cut properly. These are just made to be easy to copy and have the kids color as a bookmark (instead of lying books facedown in their desks, or using pencils! EEEK!). If you wanted to make them look nicer you could glue them onto a nice piece of cardstock, laminate them, and maybe thread a ribbon through the top.

It's driving me nuts that I cannot figure out how to embed the links to the Google Doc in the thumbnail. Every tutorial I google doesn't work. Or what I see on my screen is different!

PS This is post #200. I should have thought of something more interesting to post. But I still love the little clip art figures so for now these will have to do. Thank you, Scrappin Doodles! 

PS #2 I did fix the original file where the Reading is not Optional quote was not centered properly. If you copied the Google Doc before I got that fixed ... go back and get it again! It was bothering me! Not enough to change the thumbnail but enough to change the real file. ;

President's Day Signs & Bookmarks

So nothing mind boggling ... but I made some more bookmarks (not Star Wars ... yet! I did ask her to do another set and it might take a while but she said yes! And I still have Luke, Leia, and R2D2 from the first set to think up a bookmark or library sign for) and a couple signs that you could possibly use on a display. They are all digital line art so that you can have the kids color them and save some of that printer ink.

Also got some cute March ones from KPM Doodles. So if you have any ideas for sayings (leprechauns, pots of gold, rainbows, etc.) add them to the comments! 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Geek Thrill Bookmarks

So ... I was checking out Scrappin' Doodles last night (see link in the sidebar) and LOOK. WHAT DO MY EYES BEHELD. I should have checked to see if she had it in digital stamp format because can't print out very many of these in color for school. But I can't stand it I love them so much!

PS If someone knows the easy way that obviously others have figured out ... where you embed a thumbnail of a google doc and when you click on the thumbnail it takes you to the doc? I obviously am not getting it. You will have to go here to get the link.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bluebonnet and More Etc. Library Fun

I will get back in a groove of posting at least semi-useful stuff. After a little side trip next week. ;] A little more gathering of my thoughts. It's keeping me awake. It's been a long week! So I missed the "live" announcement (cause a 5th grade class and I were Skyping with Laurel Snyder--which was also awesome!!) and then got sidetracked by TCEA.

 Preach it, Tom! (Can I call him Tom? He was just here. Super nice guy.)

Shall I refer you, dear readers, to our school blog? Just finished a research project with third grade. We were studying "rapid changes to the earth's surface." IE Natural Disasters. After all of my frustration with Visual Communicator on our live morning announcements ... these videos post-edited in iMovie? A SNAP. Also, my first try with it. I'll get better. The kids were already awesome. We tried something new this time ... the kids were in the library all day. We started with electronic sources; then they went to specials. They came back and we did print sources; then they went to lunch. They came back and we started writing and revising. Then filming! Pros to this method ... no one has to remember this class is coming at 9 on this day, 10:30 another day, 1 another day. The kids don't lose their notes because they never take them home or even back to class in between. Cons? Was a little hard to keep them all on task all day. And it might be nice for them to have some at home time to process and maybe to ask friends and family who might have experienced a wildfire or an earthquake. But all in all? Great bunch of days.

 Upcoming fun? Second grade is always ready to do something. On Tuesday we are going to read books about Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. We'll brainstorm important events from their lives and make a list. (I'll have one ready, as well, with the events printed out on small slips of paper ready to hand out.) The kids will illustrate their event onto either penny shapes or dollar bill shapes. Glue those on a backing sheet of paper with their event glued underneath. Voila! Either a hang up in the hallway timeline or a human timeline where the kids have to put themselves in order. I'll take pics and post. Oh. And once the list of dates and events is finished I'll post that, too, if anyone is interested? 

We also have a habitat project coming up. Still thinking it through ... but we may go with a "zookeepers convention" where they will research their animal and it's basic needs and then create a diorama of a possible zoo exhibit that would fit all of those needs. Trying to convince another school to do the same project and then we'll Skype with each other to have the kids present their findings. Still thinking it all through! This won't start until late February and may run for a while. Anyone have a suggestion to "bump up the rigor"?

TCEA 2012

I'm done! I'm done! I'm done! Two presentations ... presented. Lots of others attended.

I would give myself ... a B. Maybe a B+. That's decent for my first try at a state level, isn't it? Some things went really well. I do know my content. Some things ... not as well. I get nervous and talk too fast. Anyway. Enough of me rambling. On to cool stuff I learned. Or was reminded off. Had actually heard about a lot of it at one time or another but in an information overloaded world it's easy to forget. Good to be among like minded people. ;]

PS Because I was driving back and forth I never stayed past 4.

Technology Is Not Technology
Added a pic to make it a bit more interesting. Go here for this pic if the embed code doesn't work. Yay for people who CC their work!

Google Apps. COME ON, DISTRICT. Let's get moving on it! Or, I should be more patient. I know it's in the works. I'm sure there's a lot behind the scenes I don't even know about. Would be so exciting, though. I do what I can with sharing Google Docs and using Google Forms. Need to try harder and not get impatient (or back off!) when others don't see the use right off. The kids WILL NEED this "work from the cloud" ability. It's not on any standardized test. Other than the one called life.

Tammy's Favorite Technology Tips. I'd miss the kids. And I'd go nuts with all that traveling and having to talk to so many big groups. And ... there's a lot more to her job. But that is a fun side part. Just talking about COOL STUFF. Takeaway #1: I MUST LEARN EVERNOTE. I've had an account for a while but have not even by a long shot ... and I do mean LONG SHOT ... am I using it to it's full capability. And considering how terrible I am at keeping "stuff" where I can find it again (I know. How embarrassing. A disorganized information professional) this could be a great lifesaver. Copy Paste Character looks like fun! I'd heard about Class Dojo on a couple blogs but hadn't seen it until she showed it to us. It actually looks ... I mean, I'm not sure about the "negative points" being shown to everyone. But the positive feedback is awesome.

Tech Integration with Dr. Seuss. This presenter was doing great things with her special ed students. They were on video interviewing others about their favorite books. They made some great ppt slides. Still thinking through how I might use some of her ideas. When I figure out why I keep getting errors every time I try to download handouts from the TCEA website I'll come back and link to her stuff!

QRazy about QR Codes. SO COOL. They offered some great ideas on how to use QR codes for class instruction ... sorting activities, self checking vocab, etc. I SO WISH we had more than 3 iTouches that had cameras. Will start with what we have, though! (PS Must also check ... YouTube is often blocked on the iTouches ... but what about linking to book trailers?) Go here and scroll down to the bottom for the info on their presentation (and of course look around at their other stuff ... I've seen them present several times and own a couple of the Print, Cut, and Fold books. AWESOME! Actually, they ran the next presentation I attended as well. So ... explore that Digital Goonies site!

Then I went to the Sweet 16 Digital Projects presentation. Go to LiveBinders and search AUTHORS for ebenno. Among other things she showed us a couple of cute music videos her kids had made using music from Discovery Ed. I usually am not a big fan of kid music ... but wow. Way to learn the difference between living and non-living. She also talked about a couple avatar creators I'd never seen. And some nice digital storytelling ideas.

Then I went to a presentation on Library Design ... how to remove obstacles to learning and collaborating and finding information for students and staff. This one I also need to think about some more. I'm sure more could be done in our school space. I let the hallway space (ie we don't have walls at all in our library ... basically in the middle of a a major traffic hallway where it's not unusual to have 12 classes walk through on their way to lunch. Or a poor little one who's not feeling well on his way to the nurse. Or an upset little one crying because mom/dad are enrolling brothers or sisters. Or classes waiting in line for the bathroom in the biography section. Or waiting to be picked up from lunch in the 590-640 section. I have to bloom where I'm planted, right? The kids deserve the best I can give them. BUT I'M NOT SURE WHAT TO DO! Constantly stopping lessons to ask distractions in the hallway to move along doesn't work. Raising my voice just to be heard over the din doesn't work. Bells don't work. Ignoring it doesn't work. If I can barely keep my concentration straight ... what is it like for a 3rd grader?

Research Made Fun. Imagine my surprise to not hear the word library or librarian spoken once. I don't mean to disparage it too much. This teacher and ed tech person really did a pretty decent job with their kids. I just felt badly that I think it could have been EVEN BETTER. Want to try some of the backchanneling they did. Must see if Primary Pad is available through our filter. Might be fun to try it along with a class in a different building. Take the collaboration outside of the school even. Or Primary Wall.

75 Creative and Useful Imaging Websites. WOW. He works with HS kids but said a lot of these could be used with younger students and he's right. SO MUCH FUN! Will post more on specifics as I use them with students.

Then here's another set of LiveBinders worth checking out. Go here for a list. I only went to one of their sessions but my friend went to another. Pretty good stuff! More people to follow. I enjoyed the discussion among the other attendees as well. Twitter was mentioned a lot. Made me realize I need to "talk" to more people there instead of just listen. Contribute and not just consume. Might be worth a blog post or a new blog page ... Twitter for Beginners, Library Style. Some people don't know about #mglitchat or #yalitchat or #titletalk or #tlchat or #edchat. COOL STUFF. Plus how Twitter incorporates with Flipboard or Hootsuite or Tweetdeck.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Woo Hoo!

I finished the webinar. I think it went pretty well. Never been the one GIVING it before ... just attending. Probably talked too fast ... I usually do. To anyone arriving here from the webinar: Thanks for stopping by! I don't have the page on my blog for this topic done yet. But I will.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


So all of my brain power this week has gone to the Simple K12 Webinar I am giving ... EEEK! The day after tomorrow! And then my two TCEA presentations.

Also nerves.

And putting in letters of intent to maybe transfer to either a middle school or two new elementaries. Actually interviewed for the middle school but I don't interview all that well. (See: Also nerves.) Sort of looking for a change but not sure what it should be.

So I will be back. As interesting as my posts ever are they'll be back. Probably not next week ... that's TCEA! And the week after I am actually going on a short trip. (Not that any of my readers would do this but I just have to interject to the Internet at large: "BUT MY HOUSE WILL NOT BE EMPTY SO NO ONE TRY TO COME IN AND TAKE STUFF, K? ONCE WAS ENOUGH.") But then I'll be back.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wonder Wednesday (but not really)

So today's wonder is more me thinking.

I wonder WHY, during the week of prep for three pretty big presentations and a change in administration as well as interviews, when I am super stressed out and don't have the brain power to even read, I choose to do something with the 40 years of broken crayons from the library.

Should be practicing. Should be tweaking presentations. Should be exercising.
But sometimes you just need something pretty. :]