Monday, December 31, 2012

Apps for Teacher Librarians Part 1: Books & Currently

This is a bit of an update for the series that I did last summer when the iPad was brand new. Go here, here, here, here, and here for the original posts! This one didn't change much but I think the others might.


Most of these are not free. Don't despair (because for a LONG time I wasn't allowed to pay for any apps either) ... not all posts will be about apps you have to purchase. But this one is.

Still LOVE

Harold and the Purple Crayon (Oddly enough ... I cannot find this on the US app store anymore! Did they quit selling it? It's so awesome! One of our favorites.)
Harold at the North Pole (this one either ... SO STRANGE and I must say ... a bummer for the rest of you ;])

How Rocket Learned to Read

The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore (there is an iTouch app--must be one with a camera--that will work if you also have the print book)

The Monster at the End of this Book can also work on either. Totally worth the price. I like it better than the second one but the kids like that one, too. Could just be me and nostalgia.

Barnyard Dance is only $1.99 and will work on either device. FUN!

Dr. Seuss books from Oceanhouse Media. I have the two collection sets.

I also have the Smithsonian books from Oceanhouse Media. For your lovers of non-fic they are definitely worth it. Plus? YOU don't have to try and figure out how to say "pachycephalosaurs."

Weird but True is a totally fun app that works on either size device. Can't really be used for directed research but for fun ... maybe as a game where kids then tried to figure out where they'd go in the library for MORE information  or to verify a weird but true fact?

Bobo Explores Light. Great way to introduce inventions, inventors, and properties of light. A little confusing to navigate, though.

OVERDRIVE ... is so awesome can hardly stand it. Will work on iTouch or iPad or Droid devices. For audiobooks it's just a matter of downloading. For ebooks you have to create an Adobe account first and sign in ... but that's just a one time thing. Go here for help! And maybe go here to get a splitter for headphones.

Want to Try 

(Will get our Terracycle check sometime in January and hope to use it to get an iTunes Volume Purchasing card ... but haven't been able to buy any new ones since I first started posting about apps.)

Bartleby's Book of Buttons

Brave Interactive Comic ... not usually a huge fan of movie to books but this one looks good. And it's only $1.99.

Ultimate Dinopedia is $4.99. But it looks COOL. User reviews are mixed but it is a NYT Top 10 Best.

Didn't End Up Loving So Much

Pete the Cat will work on either iPad or iTouch. It's OK ... especially for the price. But it's NOT the book ... just sort of a couple extended activities to go along with mainly the School Shoes book. But again ... for $.99 you don't NEED the book. Just not a lot to it.

Curious George at the Zoo does not have much of a story. It was only $.99 but it really doesn't even have THAT much of a story. And it's got some in-app purchases that of course everyone wants.

Dare I say it? The Numberlys. By the same group as Morris Lessmore! LOVE the animation. The story ... not as much. But to be honest I haven't tried it with kids yet so I can't tell you their opinion. Just that I didn't quite "get" it.

I need to read Sunday in Kyoto with the music teacher and see what she thinks. Rhyme guitar with bizarre and you lose me. The pictures are kind of cool, though.

The Artifacts story is actually kind of interesting and the art fun ... but some of the interactive parts are not super intuitive. Kids end up just sort of banging around on the screen trying to figure out what the app wants them to do.

Our school district got a site license for the Reflector software (which actually goes on your DESKTOP). Makes it so you can project the iPad up on the projector screen without it having to be tethered to any sort of adaptor. When I do it it works pretty well but will sometimes make strange ... scratchy noises. Haven't asked around to see if that happens to everyone or not. (PS The free trial? Works for 10 minute increments. Which could actually be enough for many of you.)

Next Tuesday ... apps for Media Creation. (I will say that Puppet Pals Pocket Director's Pass will be discussed next Tuesday ... and drat. It was free yesterday but that's already over. I did tell FB fans in time. Apologies to everyone else. :/)

And now to link up with Farley ...

Tehnically it's New Year's Eve. I might not make it through the 5K I'm doing with my little brother tomorrow, though, so I decided to go ahead and post now (and hey! The Media Creation apps post is already written and scheduled ... so you'll get that much. Just may not get the Photo Editing, Utilities, and Miscellaneous posts cause they're not done yet ;]). Dumb allergies have made the last month super unpleasant and "training" has been not so good. But I REFUSE to wimp out. I will not start 2013 on an wimpy note. I WILL NOT. No matter how much I want to and how many strange NyQuil induced dreams I've sort of slept through the last couple of weeks.

A little overshared at this point but if you made it down this far  ...


Goals: Teaching

1) MORE RESEARCH. Dear Teachers ... Please let us do more research? PLEASE!
2) Also more booktalks. Teacher librarians ... best way to deal with the overwhelming response to booktalks? How you can never have enough of the books that you talked about? Without having to prepare 50 different booktalks?
3) Reaching out to new teachers. We will have two newbies just in January, not even counting the newbies from September. So do whatever I can to help them get a good impression of the library. Drives me batty when I read teacher blogs where they are either afraid of or not impressed by their teacher librarian.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Goals: Creativity

1) Photoshop Elements. I have it. I'm a little scared of it. (Yay Ribbet! And iPiccy. And Picmonkey!) On a related note ... take more pics!
2) Try VINYL with the Silhouette Cameo. Only done paper. #silly
3) Can I count cooking here? Have some time to plan ... won't have the new kitchen until the new digs (see goals posting tomorrow) but my dad made sure I was ready. His Christmas presents to me? Toaster. Knives. Plates. Kitchen utensils. In storage for now but hey. I have time to plan and learn. Oh and a personal crock pot that I can use now. Will have to hide it behind some books seeing as how I have no office and am out in front of EVERYONE but I can heat up lunches at work. Without having to wait in the interminable line for the nasty microwave that sets things on fire in the staff lounge. :/


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Goals: Reading

1) Make reviews a little more useful. No need for the review to be longer than the book but specifics are helpful.
2) Figure out a better way to link Goodreads reviews on MsOReadsBooks. Full reposting once a week on What Are You Reading Monday is a little overwhelming.
3) Read more! Less vegging in front of TV. More listening to audiobooks while on the treadmill?

Didn't make my Goodreads goal this year. It was 400. I've read 330. Which is still pretty good compared to many, I guess. Might make my goal 350 for next year. More doable. :]


Friday, December 28, 2012

Goals: Life in General

Life in General
1) DECLUTTER & ORGANIZE. I feel surrounded by it. Not sure how to do this one, though. Ideas? Home is a little easier than work but both places are in dire need. Will be moving into a new place probably late in the summer so it's needed at home. At work? Just for my peace of mind. With so much action in the halls I would like inside our little circle of shelves to be a bit calmer and more orderly. Spend enough time putting things out and taking things down. Don't need to spend time looking for lost things!

     Well. If I had some good ideas for the linky I'd let everyone know. But I don't. Trying to move to electronic only files (hooray Google Drive and $5 for upgraded storage and access from anywhere!) but that's hard. Seems wasteful to reprint signs and station task cards and even extra copies of things. Got some matching apple green binders to try keeping what I could in page protectors. That's better than the mess it was before! Not super eco-friendly to get all new ... but the mismatching binders ... they didn't look nice. :/ And if I was really good and organized? I'd have pics of said nice apple green binders. #oops
     ONE GOOGLE CALENDAR for both home and school. Right now I'm using the free version of Calenmob on my phone. Don't necessarily love it, though. Anyone have one they like better? I actually don't mind paying if it works.

2) Less time online, more with people in REAL LIFE. This is another one I'm not quite sure how I'll go about. By the end of the day I'm pretty tired. So many people needing things all day. You know what I'm talking about. And I don't even have kids when I come home that still need me so I tend to retreat into my introvert's comfort zone. Some of that is fine and good and necessary. Some of that zone should be expanded. This could also include commenting on blogs, though. ;]

3) MEAL PLANNING. That was the key to better health last time. Last minute and I make very poor choices.


Goals: Tech

Well hmmm. I did not follow up as I should have on this year's goals. Not by a long shot. So 2013 ... here's to being more accountable.

1) Evernote. Been learning a little at a time but we're talking snail's pace here. Bump it up to maybe tortoise pace. ;]
2) Update posts on apps. Pester you all instead of the librarians in my district because sometimes I overwhelm them with emails and forum posts ... "Look at this cool app!" "Try this app!" "This app is free today!" ;]
3) Oh, this is coming up quickly! TCEA presentations on QR Codes and E-Readers.
4) Update Pinterest & Teacher Librarians post. Seems to be a favorite. I wish Pinterest would give more info on people you repin the most from. I know there's the three up at the top but that changes.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Monday Reading and on an Unrelated Note

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.
GREAT IDEA! Check out all of the What Are You Reading? participants for title ideas.

If anyone remembers to blog this holiday season ... I promise to be a better commenter!

Going for the quick post. I'm behind in my Goodreads goal. Would have to spend a couple hours in the picture book sections of both the library and B&N to make it. We'll see if that happens or not!



And ...

Do you get the VeryJane "deal" emails? They actually have some super cute stuff. Maybe don't sign up because then you'll just spend money. Anyway. They are giving away a super awesome Canon camera (WANT), a nice mixer (I don't actually cook all that often but when I do it IS to bake so I'd still like this), and an iPad mini (DOUBLE WANT). Win-win-win. Enter Here.

For those who celebrate ... have a very Merry Christmas. This was a movie my family really enjoyed about the history of the beloved carol. If you have the BYUTV channel you could see if it will be on again.

And ... I can't help it. The whole time we were watching this movie I was thinking of this song in my head. Because this is the version I've probably heard the most over my lifetime.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Library Wish List #3

Space to make a pretty display like this. LOVE. Also ... time management skills to be able to do so. I might be able to swing the creative part. Maybe. Would be a stretch. But not a much of a stretch as the time management and organizational skills to be able to!

Why do I think this would be fun? It would get trashed in less than a week. But what a magical fun little week it would be.

A doable wish list item! Must go order. (They have Star Wars ones, too.) (Also, must order an easel so I have somewhere to PUT the magnets. Or ... is it safe to put magnets on a SMART board? S)


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Flat Gingy Stories

So a few of the Flat Gingy stories actually came back. YAY! Here are two. They are just so cute. And Flat Stanley has not stayed on the shelf since we started.

(Also ... goodbye all Picmonkey effects for free. I will either have to learn how to use Photoshop Elements (which I actually have) or fork out the $5 a month. Which is not bad, in the grand scheme, as Picmonkey was Just. So. Easy. But when you already have PElements you feel ridiculous paying MORE.)

Tomorrow we will host a presenter who will be encouraging kids to "Catch the Reading Express." Hopefully that will be fun!

I have grand reading plans for the break. And ... exercise. I REALLY need to do that.

I will not think about the LONG staff meeting reiterating safety procedures that have always been in place but not always emphasized. One is "Keep your classroom doors locked at all times." Hmm. Well. Our classroom doors are the front doors so what do you say about that.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holiday Books Linky Party

Just saw this linky part and LOVE the Bad Kitty ABC order activity the blog owner shared.

Mine is not as cool ... just a pattern activity. Didn't start planning ahead of time enough to make anything very big. But hey, if you haven't ever read Uncles and Antlers by Lisa Wheeler then it's new to you and hopefully can be fun and/or useful for someone. If you can find a copy, apparently. While looking for a book image cover I discovered it's not that easy to get any more. (Also ... made with graphics by MyCuteGraphics ... fun, right? And FREE to teachers!)

Go HERE to download it!



Sunday, December 16, 2012

Nothing Much to Say

Playing around with a quote I read on Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast yesterday. Just used a pic I took in San Fran last February. Hence it not being the greatest but anyway. I loved the quote.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Library Wish List #2

Silly, silly as it doesn't even get cold enough around here enough days (do they have a cold lemonade maker? #mustinvestigate). And we can't give kids "treats." And most of the staff prefer coffee. But if we had a library office? I would be VERY TEMPTED to hide one of these in there. ;]

OK. Really? This one's just for me. Because it's AWESOME.

A poster of this.

And this.

Even though we're not doing the Lego club anymore. Would make a fun display. Superglued together so that no one could lose the pieces.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Library Wish List 2012 Part #1

So this is just for silly fun. Of course my first wishes would be that our students (and all children!) had a safe place to live and plenty of food to eat. And their own bookcases filled to the brim.

Last Year's Post #1, #2, and #3.

Really this one stands for ORGANIZATION. When I think of all of these that I threw away. Hardly ever get them anymore because flash drives or cloud storage have taken over CDs and DVDs. Do you think the school district would pay for a professional organizer to come in and help me streamline? IT IS SO HARD when all day people need things. And after school people still need things. So I give up and just go home.

A podcasting studio! HOW COOL would that be? Every time we try to do anything where the students record to publish their learning we are always dealing with so much ambient noise it spoils things. Classroom is always hard with the other kiddos but at least in spaces where the library has walls or the librarian has an office the teacher can send small groups down to record without dealing with 300 people walking through in the middle of it. Oops. There I am whining again. If I went back to my resolutions post (which I will, eventually) I will be reminded that my goal was NOT to complain about it so much. Apologies. :/


Monday, December 10, 2012

Dec. Books Redeux

So this week will be a mix of recycled posts from before. Until inspiration hits again, anyway. ;]

From December 2011.
So my sister asked for some suggestions of books to either buy or get from the library. These are not necessarily in order because hello, I am way too indecisive for that.

My Penguin Osbert

Is it the bowling pin penguin or the name Osbert? I love them both. What an idea ... get a penguin from Santa! Always have interesting discussions with little guys about the pros and cons of such an animal as a housepet.

Bear's First Christmas

I love this one for the pictures. So soft.

Uncles and Antlers

This one makes me laugh. Especially the Uncle from Texas and the one that looks like Elvis.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Um, hello. NO EXPLANATION NEEDED! Never seen this movie. Or, let me clarify. The live action version. The classic cartoon is awesome.

It's Time for Christmas

Love Duck and Goose. This is a little board book and my niece and I like to read it together. She has it pretty much memorized.

The Longest Christmas List

Greediness makes for funny times. And a writing prompt. !]

Mr. Willoughby's Christmas Tree

Upcycling at its finest. And, even more importantly ... the true spirit of sharing.

The Polar Express

Can I admit I've never actually seen this movie? Every year I swear I am going to dress up in my PJs and be an honorary 1st grader for the day. And then stuff comes up. :[ I LOVE Liam Nissan's recording. Is that how you spell Liam Nissan? I should go look it up.

The Night Before Christmas

I just love James Marshall's illustrations.

Bear Stays Up for Christmas

I totally love all of Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman's books. The Bear ones happen to be favorites though they've got some other good ones as well. Anyway. MAKE SURE to get this one!

The Channukah Guest

We used to have a fairly large number of Jewish students at our school so it was looking for something for them that led me to this one. It's still my favorite Hannukah story (once I looked up the difference in the spelling ... I don't remember what it is, now). This one's pretty old but to have an older lady think a bear was her rabbi ... it's fun! Wish we could make latkes in the library. That would be cool. We always just have to compare them to McDonald's hashbrowns.

If You Take a Mouse to the Movies

Love Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond's circle stories. This is no different. Been working on If You Give a Reindeer a Rootbeer stories this week with 1st grade. Thank you Pinterest for first showing me the idea (which was actually done by a talented teacher but I just have to plug Pinterest because it's fun and useful for school!)

Llama Llama Holiday Drama

Love her paintings and love just saying "Llama Llama." Check out the YouTube reading if you haven't seen it.

Merry Christmas Mom and Dad

I loved (and collected) Little Critter books before I ever even knew I was going to be a librarian. Is that strange? He just tries so hard to be good.

The Night Tree

The illustrations are what make this one. The soft lighting ... lights are my favorite part of Christmas!

Christmas Cookies

So this one ... really more for adults than children. And I only like the illustrations ... not super crazy about them. But I do love the definitions for different character traits and holiday traditions that are related to each cookie.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Remember this OLD movie? The book is better!

Let It Snow

This one is for a young adult reader ... but just look at the authors who contributed. Pretty good. I'd check it out of the library instead of buying it, though. Fun fluffy stories to read this time of year but not ones you'll go back to over and over.