Monday, October 29, 2012

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

Flesh and Bone (Benny Imura, #3)Flesh and Bone by Jonathan Maberry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dang it dang it dang it dang it dang it. Just when I think things can't get more stressful for this world ... THEY DO.

The Lost Girl. We learn a bit more about her.
animals that pop up out of nowhere
Zombie Hunter cards
the other twists I didn't see coming!

Didn't Like as Much
strange & creepy "religions"
It's still not done! Don't get me wrong ... I'll keep reading. But for some reason I thought this was going to be a trilogy and that there would be closure at the end of this one. I guess there is still more of the story to be told. Which is good. I'm just impatient!

Feedback (Variant, #2)Feedback by Robison Wells

I'm in the middle of this one. I guess it's been a while since I read the first one because I'm sort of lost.

Next Week
Finish Feedback.
I'm A LITTLE jealous of people with snowdays. I hope they stay safe and warm. But a little jealous.

In A Glass Grimmly (A Tale Dark & Grimm #2)In A Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz

The SpindlersThe Spindlers by Lauren Oliver

I made a couple of funny little Turkey Reading Posters. Get them here. I forgot I can't put them on TPT cause I only have the blog freebie license. Actually had them there for a couple hours cause I wasn't thinking. They're only here now. #oops A few people have already repinned my mistake. #doubleoops


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Weekend Pins

I love owls. And printables. That is all. :]

Picked 7 up today! Had to mix slightly polka-dot and glittery which sort of bugged. And they didn't have as many pretty colors. But still. On a day when I was already feeling GRRR because the volunteer who wants to change my life by cleaning up my desk was trying to do so ... it made me feel better. I KNOW he's trying to help but seriously. This is how I know where things are. I don't even have a clue how/what to have him do. So I will buy more things. But research! Organized where books are tidy! YES!

I love this book. It's so cute. I love the story. I love that kids love the story. I love that many kids do not even get why it is SO FUNNY.

If I dressed up for Halloween.

OK, Fitness Gurus ... any suggestions for a librarian who has totally lost all exercise mojo? I WAS DOING SO WELL. Three years ago. #unmotivated


Friday, October 26, 2012

Literary Pumpkin Patch

FINALLY remembered (in time) to try this this year. Do you even know how many years I thought about it ... like on the 28th? #butthenitwastoolatetodoanythingaboutit

I was a little leery as ... we don't always get a lot of participation with things. Like two kids out of 700 did our summer reading challenge (which was SO NOT HARD). But apparently we struck a chord with this one!

I totally stole these pics off of our PTA page because I am too tired lazy to deal with getting all the photos off of my school iPad and onto my personal laptop.

Apologies ... the slideshow is five minutes long. That is only one point five seconds per pumpkin (and two more came in today that didn't make it into the video ... a super cute Hungry Caterpillar and Curious George)). But if you have a second or two try the video ... there are so many cute ones! And if you have a favorite I could create a "Ms. O's Blog Reader's Favorite" prize. You will see that a few of them took the "book character based" directions a little loosely. They were so proud I couldn't be too upset. :]


Thursday, October 25, 2012


Finally got around to trying them and ... success!

I downloaded the two books from TPT but given the choice again I'd join the website. They have extra masks available!

These are great for turning into puppets and using as retelling props.

If you choose the color ones you will have it all ready to go in mere minutes but you will go through some ink. Or you can print the b&w version and have the kids color them. Super quick to cut out ... though if he'd make them jpgs instead of pdfs could send them to the Silhouette Cameo and they'd cut themselves out! The signs around their necks are the "setting" photos.


PS Know what story we are retelling in the first pics? First commenter with the correct answer will get ... I don't know. What will they want? Superhero bookmarks or signs? Thanksgiving bookmarks (I've gotten new clipart since the set I combined with some library/reading promotion signs)? Christmas? The Halloween and Star Wars ones I posted for free anyway? Don't have that much to offer but hey. Just for fun. ;]

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Shelf Signs for Some Wonders

I'm trying to figure out ... in the actual file all the pictures are there. Why are they not showing up in this preview? I'd just link to the actual Google Doc but I used clip art that asks for flattening in their Terms of Use. Here is the file link to download the pdf. For the life of me I still can't get a picture to link. #oops #notassmartasImightthink

Inspired by Wonderopolis! Check out the task card jpgs I posted a week or two ago. Print them out for using with the website. Print THESE to display around the library (can you tell I love [fairly ... don't go too cheap or they tip over] plastic photo frames?) to inspire book checkout.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Data Board How To #2

Today we'll do the pie graph of checkouts by area of the library. Only ... I will be changing it some from what you can see in the example pic. Too many little areas cluttering up the visual. I DID separate out the Dewey areas but lets be honest. No one cares about that but us. So for today it will just be a pie graph showing checkouts by Everybody (or Easy or however you have yours labeled), Fiction, and Non-Fiction (or, I guess, technically Dewey).

What to do with that info? My guess is encourage more non-fiction reading (especially you states that have the Common Core standards ... only know what I've read online about that but I've gathered that much!). If you have the Dewey areas separated on YOUR end you can look and say "Oh, a display on books about places around the world might be in order, because really it was only the 500s that got much attention last month." But usually I don't think others would care that much.

This one I couldn't figure out how to make the data entry portion work as a clean form. The columns and rows didn't match up properly (so FYI ... unless some smarter person figures it out then pie graphs need to just be created in the spreadsheet view). So you'll go here, click on File and choose Make a Copy, and then change the cells to match your numbers. I totally made these up but they must be close ... I know we were around 4000 last month cause I was like "No wonder we're so tired." I have about 720 kids. Bigger schools, I do NOT know how you do it!

Once you have your data in Column B (and on your copy you could change the labels and number of rows ... if you wanted to separate out by more specific areas!) then highlight Column A & B Rows 1-3 and choose the chart option.

Choose Pie Graph.

Then again ... I like to move the chart to it's own page. That's just me. ;]

Then click on Advanced Edit.

Then you can play around with the colors and labels. You can choose to have the exact number shown or percentage of total checkouts listed.

 And you can play around with the colors.

 And then Save Image. I like to "tile print" them so that they are bigger than just one regular sheet of paper. Usually they are four sheets of paper. Mini-poster size.

Question ... would it be helpful to have these "how tos" in a pdf or Google Doc or Smores flyer format? So they could be printed? Or does this work for whatever need there might be? Though I have to be honest ... it might take me a while to make that happen. Maybe November break or something.


PS I'm working on a sort of 1.5 ... forms that gather more interesting data like "What is our favorite genre to read?" You can then turn that into a bar graph or if you are really adventurous ... maybe start designing an infographic? ;]

Monday, October 22, 2012

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

Let's Go for a Drive! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)Let's Go for a Drive! by Mo Willems
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dear Mo,
I was not a big fan of Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs. Maybe it was over my head, I don't know. Anyway ... I LOVE this Piggie and Elephant adventure. They are like me. Get all excited about an idea, get the "extras" ready ... and then realize they are missing one main component. Their eyes ... Piggie and Gerald say so much with their eyes. Also the Pigeon cameo is awesome! So you are forgiven. Later.

Giants Beware!Giants Beware! by Jorge Aguirre
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Love the colorful illustrations. And I enjoyed the story as well, even if Claudette was a little annoying in her persistance of adventure.

Fancy Nancy: Nancy Clancy, Super SleuthFancy Nancy: Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth by Jane O'Connor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For girls that have been reading Fancy Nancy books these will be a perfect step up.

How Things Work: In The YardHow Things Work: In The Yard by Lisa Campbell Ernst
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Love the collage illustrations. And it was interesting.
Just ... it felt a little discombobulated to me. Like some of the items were just thrown in there. And the descriptions were not very detailed. This is surface level how things work. But I still love the illustrations. ;]

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Will be looking forward to book #2. Interesting characters, premise, and location ( I follow the author on her blog and I remember she went to Wales to do some research a while back ... loads of cool pics! Now we need pics of the actual Virginia location! Even though it was described pretty well). I especially liked Blue and her mom and aunts!

That said ... I wasn't quite convinced by Gansey's obsession with an ancient Welsh king and the reasoning behind Virginia as the setting. That got a litte confusing. Maybe a couple prequel chapters explaining the story would have helped? All the Raven boys were so angry.

And there was some language in there that was just not necessary. I mean, obscene language is rarely necessary (Please don't start on the "This is how people talk" ... so that makes it necessary? No, it does not and in writing or reading a book we have the advantage of time to come up with a better way to explain ourselves) but it seemed even more just thrown in there than the usual.

So almost four stars. Ever ever ever so close to four stars.

Article 5 (Article 5, #1)Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I did like the characters ... but there wasn't much "new" here and it was a bit confusing at times understanding some of their motivations.

So ... I will give it one more try. Book #2, when it comes out. Then we'll see.

View all my reviews

Coming Up

Well ... still working on my professional books. Or, perhaps better said, claiming I am though I'm not really picking them up. I want to! And then fiction books that I've purchased. I want to read them but keep thinking "oh, I can read that whenever." All the library books are sitting there falling off of the shelf and I get distracted. New goal: Do Not Put Anything Else on Hold at the Library for at least a Month. Maybe more.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weekend Pins


I don't have kids and I don't have [many] toys. So what would I do with them? But I like these bins/shelves.

No comment necessary, right? Though I've never had to feel unsafe in my own home I know some of my students have. :[

Source: via Angie on Pinterest

Handy dandy!

Source: via Angie on Pinterest

Love the layout, colors, and information!


Friday, October 19, 2012

Data Board How To #1

Are you like me? Might be considered Tech Savvy by others but more than a little nervous with Excel? Silly, I know.

Step one to making a data board ... a bar graph of checkouts by grade level. You will need your monthly statistics (however you might get those ... can't really help you there because all I've ever worked with is SIRSI and I still call for help on setting up the reports!).

I used Google because I could enter my data here. Isn't that nice and clean and not scary?

You do have to have an account with Google for this to work. If you use gmail you've already go the access. If you don't ... maybe think about signing up? ;]

Of course when you go to the link you will see something that looks more like this. And I just realized I forgot to get a screen shot of one earlier step. Click on "File" and "Make a copy" first!

And I can hear many of you. You're asking "Where is the nice not scary looking form?" Click on Form and choose "Go to Live Form." A new window will open.

Enter your numbers. Hit Submit! See how the spreadsheet is still there?

So now go back to your spreadsheet. Click and highlight on the B column rows 1 & 2 and hold it over to the H column 1 & 2 (or I or J if you add PreK or Parents/Community Members).
Once you have those highlighted click on the little graph icon here.

This window will pup up. Choose the bar graph for this particular exercise. (If you are a math genius and you think up good uses for the other ones? PLEASE SHARE! Do you even know how long it took me to think through and decide "which kind of graph for what kind of data"?

Then click on "Insert."

Now see that little arrow? Click on that and choose "Move to own sheet." That might just be my preference but I preferred to not have the spreadsheet behind me. Then click on "Advanced Edit." 

This is where you can play around with the graph title and axis labels.

Then I choose to "Save Image."

If you want to print it bigger than a regular 8X11 there are all sorts of sites online to enlarge and "tile" the printing (ie each page will be like a fourth of the image and you tape it together). Poke around and you should find one that you can reach past your school filter.

Is this helpful at all? You know this is as much "If I can explain it to someone else I'll truly have mastered it" as anything. NO  EXPERT HERE! ;]
Give me some time and I'll work up some other ones. Maybe ... a pie graph showing the percentages of total checkouts from Easy, Fiction, and Dewey? And maybe a line graph showing how busy the library is on different days (or hours of the day)? I did a pictograph of my usual tasks during the day ... but that was in Graph Club. And it was almost a total guess because my ability to keep track of hours spent in a week is not necessarily great.

I LEAVE YOU WITH THIS ... DON'T BECOME A SLAVE TO DATA GATHERING. IT'S SO NOT WORTH THAT. And stats can be manipulated and so only tell a part of the story. But a little info can be a helpful thing!


Here's my first post on a data board.