Thursday, February 28, 2013

Finished Kinder Research

Here are some examples of what the kiddos did. I think they're super cute.

And of course none of the ones you see here are in this packet (didn't pay attention and by chance the examples were ones I didn't have the right to share the files) ... but here you go.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

G is for ...

GOOGLE. It's both the bane of my existence as well as the awesomest. All depends on how it's used. (But PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE reconsider the iGoogle thing. Cause I'm going to be lost without it!)

Funny stuff.


Older blog post on possible substitutes for iGoogle. None of them compare yet. :(

This is interesting. Using Google Docs to make digital "kits" for projects. I like the idea. Most of our kids don't know how to use Google Docs, though. Been a SLOW rollout and not many teachers even feel comfortable with it yet.

Dan Gutman. My Weird School. Our students love these books. Interesting. He has a My Weird Writing Tips. Perhaps I will investigate.

Haven't found him yet. :/


Monday, February 25, 2013

What Are You Reading Monday? & BB Swap

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.

Well. Last week all I finished was The Twelve. And I didn't even like it nearly as much as The Passage. That was a kind of a bummer. Note to Self: Discover series after they are already written. Then you don't have to wait forever in between installments and you won't forget everything.

Coming Up
The picture book from the swap! Cause it's adorable! Am I supposed to say what it is yet? Not sure. So mum's the word for a little longer.
Open This Little Book (PB)
The Mask of Destiny (MG)
The Madness Underneath (YA)
Pulse (YA)
And, of course, plenty of Dr. Seuss!

I am TERRIBLE and I forgot to get my book/bookmark in the mail on time. And the one FROM my person came today (AND IT'S SO CUTE!). Note to self: follow this and be more organized. Luckily (or does it mean it's ridiculous and I really had NO excuse?) I already have the book and bookmark to send. Just have to get it wrapped up and to the post office!

I am kind of bummed today. Funny how a week can change things, right? Teachers weren't excited about Camp Write a Lot. Something I was going to try again (cause lots of schools in our district do it--they have camp song parodies with writing themes and we read mentor texts and send them back to their "cabins" to write. And of course I'd already ordered a bag an pencil and bookmark and started making their writing journals) to get the 4th grade psyched up for their big test. Haven't done it for several years cause the first time I tried it I got NO help. Zip, zero, zilch. Only two of five teachers responded. And our reading/writing facilitator "had concerns." Admin was actually OK with it. Come on. I AM TEACHER OF THE YEAR, DANG IT! And the kids would have had fun. :(


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bookish Un-Boring List Update #1

Here's an update. Figure I'll do it every couple of months. I'm actually moving forward on these. Tech Goals are sort of at a standstill. But that's neither here nor there for this post. ;)

1. Go to a comic book store and buy a Star Wars comic.
Dine in January. And in fact ... well, I missed the debut of February's issue. But the store ordered some more and I will pick it up next week. So this might become a regular thing?

2. To go along with R2D2's Guide to Folding and Doodling I made this. I'm a bit early but oh well. I may recut the shapes either with sharper scissors (EGADS cutting duct tape!) or get some vinyl and use my Silhouette Cameo. For now I like him as he is.

3. Read The Twelve.
Then ... run/walk 500 miles using the Zombies Run app. Over the course of the ENTIRE YEAR.
And ... finished the book yesterday. Sadly, didn't love it as much as The Passage. Anyway, appendicitis threw a wrench into the run/walking and I am WAY behind. First for real HAD to take a break. Then I was lazy and let myself. Tomorrow is another day, right? ACCOUNTABILITY.

4. Read Penguin and Pinecone.
Then make a video (either a booktalk or just something about penguins!) using the puppet I got at SeaWorld last spring. My puppet is more lifelike than the cute book illustrations but I don't think that matters. DO things like make videos. Don't just think about it!
Nope. Haven't even started on that one.

5. Straight up stealing straight the visit new indie bookstores goal. Right now I know of exactly ONE. Does this have something to do with watching You've Got Mail last week?

6. At some point this year I will be moving into a new place. It will have a little closet under the stairs. Don't freak out that it won't be perfect ... just paint it something like THIS. I am going to be the coolest aunt ever with a reading nook. ;)

Anyone seen other pictures of Potter Nooks that they love?

7. A wall of bookcases in new place! A WALL. Only ... I want to paint the back of the shelves an accent color. Not sure what color the walls will be yet, or I'd start obsessing over that.
Well, they just finished clearing. Foundation will start next week. Gonna be a while on this one, too.

8. I feel like I should do something Oz-ish. I can't decide about the new movie adaptation preview. But hey. I need to think of something because the kids will be excited about the book! Any ideas?
This seems like an awful lot of work and only tangentially Oz related. Like is it even, really? Just found it on an Oz pinterest board.
NEED IDEAS! Or should I stick with this cloud one?

9. Also a kind of stolen idea ... book art. Only I am going to try Knuffle Bunny style with some photos I take (part of a goal ... photography!) and illustrations that I will get my nieces and nephews to make. ;) Had a student have to come show me that Trixie was reading a P&E book today. And a new Sunday School student that was SO IMPRESSED I knew about Mo Willems. So ... Knuffle Bunny style book art.
Haven't even started this one yet. But maybe during a visit with two of my nieces?

10. I WISH I could say "Visit Prince Edward Island." But I do not think that one will happen this year. So we'll say when I get into my new kitchen? Host some sort of get together and try making this.
Considering I burned one of my mother's new pans yesterday I may want to rethink this goal ... :/


Friday, February 22, 2013

Finally Friday Pins Feb. 22

Yay! It's the weekend. Four days with the kids (and one day of "PD") are always so crazy!
Of course next week is early release/parent-teacher conferences. That's crazy, too.

How awesome is this?

EVENTUALLY this will be useful at school. When we have more than the one.

Must find a book to read with PreK and make these! Simple but ADORABLE!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Kinder Community Helpers Research


Super simple but hey it WORKED! I cannot always say that about my attempts with kinder. But I can't take credit. Two colleagues came up with the idea. I just put my spin on it.

Last week we read this book and

watched this video.

We talked about all the different tools we'd seen in the book and video. 
Then we filled out these note pages.

The font is Kimberly Geswein. The firefighters are from Digital Bake Shop. The book is from Scrappin Doodles and the computer is from Ashley Hughes.

This week? We read the first few pages of this book. Could have skipped it but it was a fun intro and the kids liked it.

Then the kiddos worked with a partner. Their job was to find 5 different tools in the pictures of the books they were looking at. Know what I discovered? One: our "job" books need updating! The TV reporter book showed the reporter carrying around a giant tape cassette recorder. The doctor and astronaut computers were HUMONGOUS. Two: Kinders don't always work so well in partners. But Three? Three: They are so cute. They come up with some of the funniest ideas and reasons for each tool. Most of 'em were spot on, too.

Stick around. You might get more of our notepages next week. And maybe a shot or two of the kiddos in action. If Ms. O gets her act together and remembers to take some.


F is for ...

Fishing Line. Use it to hang things from the ceiling. With no walls that is actually pretty handy. #whenIdontmisplaceit

John Flanagan and the Ranger's Apprentice series. AWESOME! Especially for kiddos that aren't ready to tackle, say, the Lord of the Rings yet. Fourth and fifth grade readers, read aloud to third grade or up.

THE FORCE. Not really library or book or tech related but hey. Made it work, I did.
Signs for the library. There are more besides this one. Is this one rude? IT MADE ME LAUGH. Anyway. Click on the pin to take you to the right post. Actually by now have learned how to link pics but already had the draft of this post written. ;)

Color bookmarks. The boys fight over these. And, luckily, a few of the girls!

B&W bookmarks. They are really fuzzy here. They aren't when you print/copy them.

So as not to be annoying I will just text link to the two three things I have in my TPT store (is that excessive to have that many SW things?). A set of posters, another set of posters, and a new reading promotion. Pin those if you like. And OH! One more freebie. The sort of Lego-SW inspired bookmarks. I just picked up another set from a different artist the other day. So ... you might see more. #imalittlebitofafangirl


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

E is for ...

Wait for it ... Elephant AND Piggie, of course. Yes, I know technically his name is Gerald. ;)

Also John R. Erickson and the Hank the Cowdog books. There are songs on the audiobook versions. Really, the songs are my favorite. And lines like the ones they share on the FB Fan Page "After a brief mutiny of my mental faculties, I regained control of my ship.-Hank" I looked all over the site and web for some audiobook previews. Couldn't find any. :( But trust me. These are funny books ... and are even funnier LISTENED to. I don't often say that. If you like animal stories, funny stories, mystery stories, or cowboy stories you must check these out! For student independent listening ... first or second grade and up. For independent reading ... probably high third grade.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chrome for Teacher Librarians #1

We take a short break from iDevice apps to talk about Chrome. Took me a while to love Chrome. I loved Firefox (don't get me started on Explorer :P) first. But now? Now I have seen the light!

Don't own the Chrome logo, just using it for this post. Scrappin Doodles frog doesn't have anything to do with Chrome, either, just thought he was cute. Kimberly Geswein font. ;)

These won't be as organized as I tried to make the iDevice ones. Sort of random as I go through and figure out which ones to share.

Extensions for Chrome. Do I understand the difference between apps and extensions? Not so much. Apps are links to websites? Extensions work inside Chrome? What does that even mean? Hopefully you don't mind I'm still not totally clear on the distinction.

Search for Feedly. It will come up in APPS!

Dear iGoogle, I'd still rather have you. But Feedly is a nice alternative to the Google Reader interface for keeping track of all my favorite blogs and YouTube channels. On the desktop, anyway. Flipboard on a iDevice or Droid.

Ribbet. Photo editing. Photoshop it's not but does a nice job for most of us amateurs.

NICE alternative to the disappeared Picnik, or Picmonkey/iPiccy.

Font-a-holic? Trying to decide which one to use? Install and you can see what an example word would look like with all of the fonts on your computer.

Search for Read &Write in the Chrome Web Store and choose extensions.

This is a great one for accessibility in a Google Doc. If you have a student who has trouble reading independently upload the assignment and voila! 


Monday, February 18, 2013

Random Questions I Have

in No Particular Order ...

(PS Dang. Hello shiny nose. Should have filtered that out. Or put on some makeup. Oh well.)

Pinterest. All the "authorities" say to have your boards be very specific. I dislike having to scroll through a bazillion board titles to choose one. Plus super small boards that only have like 5 pins? Who even has time for those? Is this just me? I'll admit I DO wish Pinterest gave you the ability to search just one specific board for a comment/pic you know you pinned and now want and cannot find. But I think that will come.

I will also admit that my Library Stuff board (along with a couple others but it's definitely the worst!) has gotten a bit out of control too big.

Also Pinterest ... WHY, WHY, WHY the "I'll be happy I pinned this one day" or "Another pinner said" comments? #petpeeves

Feast or Famine. Days when 400+ kids and all relevant staff are in the library wanting/needing something. Then days (which don't happen as often but they do happen) where no classes come and only like 50 kids ever show up and we almost don't know what to do with ourselves. Which makes no sense at all because there is always shelf reading and repairing and shelving and signage and displays and DUSTING and planning and ordering and weeding and newsletter writing and bulletin board doing and copying.

Will Apple ever come up with a school-friendly management plan for multiple iDevices? WILL THEY? Cause this individually updating and not being able to lock certain folders or make user profiles ... it's annoying.

Eric CARle books mixed up with the Nancy CARlson. Mo WILlems mixed up with the Karma WILson. WHY does this happen? Repeatedly? Also Dr. SEUss and David SHAnnon. Really makes no sense.

Cute shoes that hurt my feet.


WHY,  MATTHEW, WHY? #downtonabbey

And a PS a quick 18 minutes before this post goes live ... plan a whiny post like this one and what do you get? Avery sweet day where you find out your colleagues voted you "Teacher of the Year" for your campus. #lessonlearned

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bookfair is coming ...

Like it does. Twice a year.

And Friday I was informed one of the days I will be giving a test. #superawesometiming

Anyway. With the no walls or doors thing ... I don't tend to go all that big with decorating. Is that lazy of me? There's nothing to ATTACH things to but the ceiling. And if I have to spend a bunch of money buying trash cans and spray paint and pool noodles then we're not MAKING money.

I actually like the geeky Story Laboratory theme Scholastic is doing but it doesn't seem like it will fit in our space.

Or is that a bah humbug attitude?

Cari is doing a Seuss theme. That might work. Was also contemplating a Buggy for Books theme because that's springy and I could leave it up through April and the kids could make some decorations.

Anyway. Here are some pins that I've found helpful or interesting as I get started planning. It's in a month.

Love this but no walls and out in the middle of the floor kids would knock into it and destroy it within minutes. Plus money AND time.

This pin doesn't actually go anywhere and I can't seem to find it just searching by the title ... but the idea is cute for a decoration. May reinvent this wheel if we go with this theme. Also I have some cute die cut bug patterns for my Silhouette Cameo.

But then again there are cute bug party treats. And this would be pretty cheap.

Have this already. It's sort of "out in the hall" but hey, that's 5 feet from our 599-636 section. Well. Have minus one truffula top. It disappeared. :X
(PS I don't usually do much for the teacher preview ... we don't get nearly as many books purchased from teacher wish lists as we did even a few years ago so many of the teachers don't make one. But OH! The fun little truffula cupcakes and other Seuss related snacks all over Pinterest!)
Plus we could make the little empty TP roll Seuss puppets like we did last year and use them as decorations. #badblogger #didnttakepicturesofthose

Also you know me. I have cute bug clip art. :)
And maybe some Seuss related stuff that the artists had to take down but hey, I'd already purchased.



Friday, February 15, 2013

Finally Friday Pins Feb. 15

I love quotes and clip art. Love how these turned out. Watch for some of the other characters from history in the next ... oh, who knows. Actually already have them done but one needs to spread out the freebies, right? I should ask Melonheadz to draw some Hispanic Americans. And actually some authors or illustrators might be fun.

The view or the bookshelves? Toss up. Both are fabulous!

Tractor seats! Turned into chairs! I think that is fun. My grandpa was a farmer. Love the bright colors, too.

Bah, humbug have no Valentine but maybe one day. ;)


Thursday, February 14, 2013

D is for ...

DIGITAL. Files. Books. Music. Movies. I mean ... don't get me wrong. I still prefer hard-copy books. But they are so handy when you don't feel good and want something new to read without having to go out to the library or bookstore. And digital files? HOORAY FOR KEYWORD SEARCH. When it works. And no need for filing cabinets! Well. Most of the time.

I don't remember ever having the fascination. But kids do (and not just boys ... though often boys).
A few of my favorite dinosaur books (and not in any particular order because I uploaded them all at once) include ...

 Sadly does not look like this one is available anymore. But it's so fun!
On our state award list this year. For older kids but super cool. 

I might like this one more than the kids. I mean ... they enjoy it. But they don't quite "get" how clever the remakes of the songs (comes with a CD) are. Take Handel's Messiah and dino-fy it! 

 Because chocolate chip cookies are always a good choice.


 Actually I should have uploaded this one separately. Cause ... I can't believe I'm going to say this ... oddly enough? As a M.W. fangirl? DIDN'T love this one. But the kids like it well enough.

A favorite! I need to remember my B&N login so that I can go in and give it a better review than the one that's currently there. It's always a hit every time I read it to kiddos in the library.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Biography Research Part 1

I am still a bad blogger who doesn't have any pictures of kids in action. Or in the case of today's posts even of examples. #notsogreatwiththeorganization :/

We'll start with two activities that we've done past Februarys, because they involve presidents or famous African Americans. Both were completed with second grade

The first promotes timeline skills. We've varied it a bit from year to year but the basis has pretty much always started with materials from the H.I.P. Pocket Change site. It's old now ... started with the new quarters ... but I like it.

Lincoln Penny

Some years we've directly used their penny images. Even read their info. Kids didn't do much but color the page and put the pennies into chronological order according to his life but hey, that's a start.

Other years we've used the David Adler picture biography. I gave them sentences and dates (cut apart) and they had to work together to match up the date and the sentence. They would glue the sentence on the bottom of an orange piece of construction paper. Then they'd cut out the outline of a penny (is it terrible I did that? Used their outline but covered up the picture inside, so that all that copied was the "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ONE CENT E PLURIBUS UNUM"?) and illustrate their date/sentence. Then they would display the illustrations in timeline order outside their classroom. If I can't find the file with the sentences or I'd share. :/

Washington Dollar
The general activity idea was the same. They had to match up dates and sentences from a David Adler picture book biography. Glued them on the bottom of a piece of green construction paper. To be honest I don't remember where I got the general outline for a dollar. Thought it was on the H.I.P. site but apparently not. Anyway. That was copied minus the center picture. Kids illustrated their sentence inside the oval on the dollar image and then worked together to put their sentences (ie Washington's life) in chronological order.

For Black History Month we started with an adapted organizer from Mailbox.
Some years they were completed independently. Others it was more of a group activity. Sometimes it was a challenge to find enough simple biographies that the kiddos could read them. Now that we have PebbleGo it's not an issue! Though computers working always are. :/

Some years it's just been the organizer. Other years we then took that info and wrote a short paragraph and designed a commemorative stamp with a picture of their person.

This year we are using these. I don't want to become a walking advertisement but that is what we used! The cover page prettier than when I first pinned this but I don't want to be an annoying person who even repins their own stuff.

My favorite part was the little girl who was studying Martin Luther King, Jr. Her thing that was the same or different about his life and hers? "He made good speeches and I like to speak." She was cute. She MC-ed our school talent show. Second grade!


Monday, February 11, 2013

Quick Pic

This was waiting for me when I came back from TCEA.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, February 8, 2013

Finally Friday Pins Feb 8

I knew the loss of appetite post-surgery couldn't last.

Ever so pretty! I <3 organization. Too bad I completely cannot put it into place in my own life.

And from the same tumblr (can one follow a tumblr w/o a tumblr account? #somethingIdonotknow)

SO EASY. #mustdo

I love this table. A lot. When the new digs are finally done I want it. How, I do not know.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Favorite Books for Black History Month

(Ashley Hughes background paper, Pink Cat Studio frame, Melonheadz clip art, Kimberly Geswein font)

Of course there are all of the biographies of individuals that are great to read (in fact I'll be posting about biography research later this week or next) but these are just some that I especially like, biography or picture book.

Cause it's more unexpected. ;)

Because the artwork is BEAUTIFUL. 

Great short examples. And the Power of Change.

Lovely. I don't always agree with everything he does but this one I can stand behind 100%. 

Technically I guess this one is more President's Day ... but it's so good! 

There's a reason it got awards. 

 SO good. I'm embarrassed to say I didn't really pay too much attention to it when it was on our state award nominee list. Then I heard the author/illustrator speak and I went back and saw HOW COOL THIS IS. Not for a read aloud in one sitting. But excerpts and definitely writing about the artwork.

 Just for fun ... and it doesn't hurt it's rodeo season in February around here.

Not the "same" Jackie Robinson story.

One of my favorites of his songs. Then the art is so fun.

So ... pretty much anything Kadir Nelson was involved in, it seems. ;)