Sunday, April 28, 2013

#WAYRM April 29 & #shelfchallenge

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 the previous week and to plan out your reading for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading.

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.

Not a whole lot. Was still fighting some sort of bug for a lot of the week. Hopefully the next week will be better!

My #shelfchallenge was the LO picture book shelf ... mostly Arnold Lobel and Jonathan London, with a few others thrown in. So far? About two thirds of the way through. So not exactly finishing on schedule but considering two weeks of feeling rotten and just wanting to sleep whenever I was home not terrible, either. Arnold Lobel really did write some cool stuff. I TOTALLY HEART the Frog and Toad Cookies story. Now the Froggy books. I do still like them, don't get me wrong. But the next time I let kids get me to read an entire shelf? Make sure it's not full of a series. Cause ... it's getting a little old, I must admit.

I have to finish Dark Triumph before it is due on Wednesday (well ... I may end up paying a couple days worth of overdue fines #badexample).

Then on to some E-ARCS. Unless, of course, more books come in from hold requests at the public library. Or our last order of bond money books comes in.

I have two professional books coming this month.

And apparently Book Love is another must read? Also Note and Notice? Anyone read either? (Yes, the shame. I ordered from Amazon. #needtosupportmoresmallbusinesses)

The house is coming along. I am sad to report that the Potter's Nook is no longer to be. I guess I had unrealistic expectations. I thought the stairs would be a good 6 inches higher up than they are. That bit of headspace made all the difference in my mind between cozy and claustrophobic. So maybe the nieces and nephews will still like it. Just won't catch ME in there with them. :/

I saw 42 on Friday afternoon. It earns the PG13 rating for language ... but the story is so amazing! Makes me want to go read more about Jackie Robinson.

I am working on some baseball stuff. Next year the campus will be using baseball as a common language for measuring "effort." This is just my start to have the library on board with this.

The signs are for choosing books. I actually am working on a couple different ones ... one for free choice and one for "teacher choice." Lately I've been hearing a lot of "no graphic novels, no drawing books, only chapter books" in the library and it's driving me nuts. Not sure how to address it. Yes, IN the classroom teachers are welcome to make requirements. Important for student learning. But if a child wants to take home an origami book to use on their own time? I AM HAPPY TO PROVIDE IT FOR THEM and get frustrated when the teacher tells them they "can't" check that out. Don't use it in the classroom? Sure. Don't get it at all? How can I address this? Not cool to do in front of the kids. Son't want to seem like I'm attacking anyone ... but this really bothers me. Suggestions?

Then there's just a simple reading log. Color in different parts of the picture for reading different things.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Finally Friday Pins April 26 on Thurs April 25

Hooray for random and strange city holidays ... I've got the DAY OFF tomorrow!
Never mind that I wasn't at school last Friday, either. I was home. Asleep. Not feeling well. Now I'm sneezing but enjoying the day.
And Saturday morning I get to play with my nephew. Expect pics. I just looked on my phone and realized I don't have any recent ones. His momma is a photographer so hers always look better. ;)

Um, hello. Owls and Books. They will be mine.

Super well done. Can they tweak a couple things to include more elementary examples? Or do I need to make my own. #summerproject #ohwaitImbuildingahousethissummer #wellnotpersonallybutyougetheidea

46 repins in the space of like an hour, all of 'em. Or most. A lot, anyway. Apparently we all like PB&Chocolate. ;)

If I could get this with a diet soda (sigh, I know ... so not good for you) I would SO GET IT.

I am off to get some books to read with my nephew. He's only 18 months old but he loves "books."

PS And if I was super creative I would have come up with something fabulously fun for the library for next Friday and railroaded everyone into participating. Would have been a day early but we're not in school on Saturday. The spring festival is Friday night so it will be a long day already. Can I throw something together in time? #shouldhavethoughtahead #doyouknowwhatdayitwillbe? #andnoImnotmistakeninmydatesandtalkingaboutcincodemayo

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

L is for ...

Testing + a cold/ allergies = no fun. MAYBE picking out kitchen cabinets on Friday (randomly strange city holiday!) = fun. Maybe.

R. L. LaFevers
Have I mentioned how much we like Theodosia around our library? It took some convincing as kiddos don't always gravitate to historical fiction ... still trying to figure out why this hasn't helped them to try other titles ... but at least they love these books! But we held a book club based on her and the word got out.

Her YA series His Fair Assassin is turning out to be fun. I am excited to read the galley of number 2.

Eric Litwin
Egads are the kiddos cuckoo for Pete the Cat and his songs. I don't even like cats or kiddie music ... but this one has grown on me. The kids LOVE him. And myself? I could stand to really internalize "Does Ms. O worry? Goodness no! She keeps walking along and singing her song because It's All Good."
(On a side note ... I understand that the artist James Dean totally has the write to use his creation as he sees fit. But the "other" Pete books not associated with Mr. Eric? Just. Not. As. Catchy.

LIBRARY. The word is LIBRARY. Not media center or learning center or learning commons. We'll just expand and make sure everyone understands that libraries are not dusty places where all the librarian does is shush and stamp books and snark at people. Well. Unless they continually continually continually forget to send their books down in the morning and then stand there with an entire class wanting us to hurry and check in 90 books while answering questions and helping kids to find new titles at the same time. Then we might snark ... a little bit.

Just an extra pin ahead of Friday. Fun, fun, fun. At least they look like it from the outside. Maybe actually working there is strange.
The library at my first middle school (6-7 ... then we moved)? It was a huge cylinder. Open in the middle. Two levels ... with stairs up to the fiction books at the top. I've often wondered what that would have been like for the librarian! Keeping tabs on the kids upstairs (I mean, yes, we were very visible ... IF you had your head kinked up). Also ... shelving? There must have been like a little dumbwaiter.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Finally Friday April 19

So much craziness this week. Sadness. Heroes. Loss. Bravery. Crazy.

I have a cold. Seems lame to complain about it but it bites. :P

We are rolling out iPads next year. Three to a classroom. I wish ... well. I want it to work well. But so far the amount of time put on the calendar for useful PD? Not gonna cut it. You can't expect teachers to figure out everything on their own.

I hope everyone has this available at their school!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Green Peas

It's too hot for cocoa. What does one do for a sore throat?
No cool lessons to share. It's the week before testing. No one really wants to do much but prep. :/

Anyway. So I was being lazy vegging on the couch. And I made these just cause they made me smile. Loving Creative Clips. #wishIcoulddraw


Monday, April 15, 2013


So with the way I like to play with clip art you'd think I never used any other kind of bookmark.

Nope! Do you have a Silhouette cutting system? Or some ingenuity to come up with it on your own? These are by the artist Sarah Bailey. I hope she makes more! I haven't gotten the panda one yet but I might break down. Now debating which one to make first. And which ones to adapt for use with the kids. We made bunnies last week with a couple classes. #andofcourseIdidnotrememberpics #useupjunkmailenvelopes
Click on the pic to go to the Silhouette website (you have to have a Silhouette for these to work).

No What Are You Reading post this week. Hopefully next week. And a catch up on the #shelfchallenge.

And prayers for Boston.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Shelf Signs Part 2

Been having way too much fun with designing these. I hope it actually helps the kiddos (and the staff :/ ... cause many of them have a hard time, which I really don't get because everything fiction is "inside" our circle of shelves, and non-fic is "outside" the circle of shelves ... but not everyone spends as much time with the system, I guess) find things more easily.

Rough drafts continuing on from my first couple tries. What do you think? I'm still playing around with graphics for some of them. And figuring out how specific of a Dewey area I want to highlight. My goal was just to spread the signs around. Even if the user wasn't looking for Egypt, the 932 on the sign might help them know which direction to look on the shelf. Maybe. ;)

Any requests for those last four spaces on the end of the alphabet page?

At first I was going to put pictures with the letters for fiction (apple with A, etc.) but then I realized that went directly against what I'd just tried to do with the non-fix ... relate the shelf sign to what was on the shelf. Since everyone might have different books (and the jury's still out on whether or not that would be kosher to include cover images anyway) I left them blank. Users could print out images and just glue them on, if they wanted.

How ridiculous am I? Saved 'em as .png files so that I can send them to my Silhouette and not have to cut them out.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Fiesta Fun

If you live anywhere near San Antonio a fever is very close to hitting ... FIESTA. For those out of towners ... well, you've got cinco de mayo coming. This is a repeat if you've been around. Here are some signs and bookmarks I posted about a year ago. Made from Scrappin Doodles clip art!


(There are actually several different posters at the link. Just only reposted one here!)

Yesterday was our second "party" (rescheduled from it's usual Thursday before Battle of the Flowers because of standardized testing). Super awesome timing ... Thursday I woke up nigh on deaf in one ear (thank you pollen!). Some eardrops took care of it. But was was I thinking taking care of it so quickly?

Cause by Friday morning it was thank you pollen again and a rotten, rotten headache. And ...
we had TWO HOURS of mariachi concerts in the cafeteria Friday morning. Which is 15 feet away. With no walls on our end and only glass walls on their end. Then lunch. Then the annual shoebox float parade with scratchy feedback PA-played soundtracks. #headwantedtoexplodeItellyou

photo credit: Armando Maynez via photopin cc

On a less whiny note ... I used the time to do some big time shifting and weeding. If you're not a school librarian ... shifting is moving the books up or down the shelf line and weeding is getting rid of the ... shall we call them "much loved" older books. Or the books that maybe should never have happened in the first place. Or now have outdated info.
I should have taken a picture. One, of the GINORMOUS warren of dust bunnies that I disrupted. And then of how much prettier and nicer and better "spaced" the shelves are now. Probably no one else will ever notice or know WHY it's so much easier to find things now. But how much better it looked was what kept me going yesterday. Like I should have done it YEARS ago. I'm sore now. Moving thousands of books is a workout. Such is the life, right? Bunch of work and no one but you notices the results?

Well, I lie. Kids coming back from lunch were asking me what I was doing (I had to put out traffic cones to stop kids from tripping all over me when they weren't watching where they were going--of course they tripped over the cones, too) and I said that I was rearranging some of the books so that they would look better and one little one said "Cause they're so crowded!" YEP. So one noticed.   :)

Today I am at a presentation by Peggy Sharp. LOADS OF BOOKS. If my head didn't hurt it would be most awesome. Since it does it's just awesome.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Finally Friday Pins April 12

Oh, Dear Pinterest. I know that maybe you had to change things because of Copyright. But I, for one, never dreamed of even insinuating any of the pins were "mine." They linked to their respective owners (as best as I could edit, anyway). This new way of embedding? It bites. You can't preview and make sure anything looks remotely normal before you publish. Makes it very hard to make any comments on the pins as well. I may have to rethink this Friday regular. It was just ... so fun. And relatively easy. And I thought interesting. People seemed to like it. #sigh #afewdummiesruinitfortherestofus


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Today ... Jane Goodall and Chimpanzee

I boxed up 100 extra wooden shelf dividers that have been sitting on the bottom of carts or in the back of cabinets for 10 years. #teacherscanbepackrats #ofcourseitsalsotheactofcongressneededtoremoveanythingfromschoolproperty

Finished up a new Nook content order. Wish we could have gotten a tablet one for to use the rest of our content money but the timing was off. I'll update the EReaders in the Library post as soon as it's all clear.

We watched some video clips from Chimpanzee/DisneyNature and talked about our observations. Then we read Me ... Jane. That was it with kinders. With first grade we also printed out the handprints from the educator's packet on the Disney site and measured several things around the library. Was going to have them record their findings but we ran out of time. I'm not always the best at math integration so this was a step forward for me. Something I've been meaning to do all year.

Naptime Or Playtime on Disney Video


Sunday, April 7, 2013

AWESOME Kid Version of Ms. Nelson Is Missing

OK. Apologize for the double posting on the blog today (and FB or Pinterest followers already saw this) ... but I can't wait until later in the week to share. It is TOO adorable. I love, love, love it. Their little accents when singing "This Used to Be My Playground." Their ACTING! And line delivery! And they are KINDERS, my friends. KINDERS.



Saturday, April 6, 2013

Earth Day

I like to pretend I'm "green." And in terms of recycling I'm pretty good. Reusing ... getting there. Reducing ... eh. That one needs some work. Composting ... ugh. Not going to happen for some time yet.

But this time of year (and hey ... it IS in the standards, taking care of the environment!) our thoughts turn to the planet and how we can take better care of it.

These are some of my favorite books relating to Earth Day and conservation.

Here's a freebie preview page from a packet I just put on TPT. Pic is from Scrappin Doodles and the fonts from Hello Literacy. I saved it as a jpeg so you may have to fiddle a bit to get the printing right ... I think I set it to 8.2 X 10.7? Apologies for being lazy and not uploading to Google Drive. Still on burnt out test brain. WHY is it sitting and watching is so exhausting?

PS If you happen to be anywhere near my hometown ... or want to get ready for cinco de MAYO ... check out the links on my Printables page. There are some freebie library display signs there. ;) And some animal themed bookmarks. Which aren't very green to keep copying but hey, it's steps at a time.

Head over to The Centered School Library to check out all of the other teacher librarian blogs. Is yours not there? ADD IT!


Friday, April 5, 2013

Finally Friday Pins April 5

It's cinco de abril! What does that mean?

Nothing. It's just been a week of testing. I'm giddy with silly jokes. My brain is FRIED.

And Pinterest has made embedding things lots harder. :( I wonder if that was on purpose. Anyway.

I don't sew. But I'm seriously considering asking my mom to make this (maybe with the upcoming Mo Willems' Cloud9 fabric?) for all the things I misplace during the day. Pens. Scissors. Cabinet keys. It's not cool how often I misplace things.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Read the Shelf Challenge

Finally starting today. Shouldn't actually be too hard ... maybe. Depends on how many kids check out books from that shelf as well!
Here are today's selections. Many of our books are not actually this new or pretty. Of course which did I grab first?


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I,J,K is for ... & Ramblings

OOH. Hard ones ... so I'm combining to get on to ones with something more interesting. This is all my brain is capable of after day one of test giving. You know how it feels. But hey! Day one down! How many more to go?

Also ... do you have any better ones for I, J, or K? I feel like they are getting the short straw.

iDevices. Likin' 'em more and more. And less and less, if that makes sense. Awesome personal devices. Not so great when it's a shared device. Do believe I mentioned that in the #petpeeve post.

Ink. I use a lot of it since Pinterest and TPT. So many fun printables.

I just went through my Goodreads lists (read and TBR). Only one I author. Rachel Isadora. Don't have much to say ... read one, one on the TBR. The one I have read was not my favorite by a long shot but wasn't terrible by any means. Worth taking a look at to see if it will be your favorite.

Jon Klassen ... he counts for both!
The kids and I totally <3 I Want My Hat Back and This Is Not My Hat. And Extra Yarn. Get 'em. Read 'em. Repeat. I still love my clipboard I made with bear in his red hat on it.

Oh, that reminds me. Lita Judge. Red Hat.

empty Kleenex boxes
I put them behind books (this only works on shelves where most of the books are about the same depth ... so it works awesomely on series shelves, less so on others) on the shelves. That way, when kids are super helpful the shelves still stay looking nice. It's that nitpicky librarian thing again. Books should be at the FRONT of the shelves! At least in the library. At home sometimes they get pushed back because there are knickknacks in front of the books. But I even avoid that when I can! I've been meaning to take a pic of a shelf with the books all nicely lined up at the front of the shelf. But then you'd see that they're not in alpha order like they should be.

Unrelated ...


Monday, April 1, 2013

#WAYRM April 1 & Currently

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 the previous week and to plan out your reading 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 you're here for Farley's "Currently" ... scroll down to the bottom!

The Book of TimeThe Book of Time by Guillaume Prévost
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Frustrated ... this one seems like it could have been really cool. And maybe if you keep reading on in the series it is. Time travel. Mystery. Usually exactly my thing.

I just felt like it took WAY too long to get to the real story. Like with a little tighter editing book one and two could have been combined. Lots of detail that turns out to not mean much, in terms of the final paragraphs.

FearlessFearless by Elvira Woodruff
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Liked the story ... it's a grand adventure. Some of the writing seemed a little ... is heavy handed the correct term?

Anyway. Inspired by a real person I'm now very curious to look up this man who invented the first "Magic House."

Ready for Anything!Ready for Anything! by Keiko Kasza
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh how cute. I am going through my bookshelf finding books to donate to our PTA sale. Picked this one up once but ... Eeek! Hadn't ever actually read it until today. Now I want to keep it to remind myself "what ifs" shouldn't rule everything.

Violet Mackerel's Brilliant PlotViolet Mackerel's Brilliant Plot by Anna Branford
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I hope there are more to come. Violet has great potential.
Perfect for those readers chomping at the bit for "chapter books."

Return to the WillowsReturn to the Willows by Jacqueline Kelly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved it. The author captured the characters, their voices and quirks, all of it. So perfectly. The illustrator's work is just lovely ... the picture of Humphrey might be my favorite.

This is one you read for the characters and not necessarily the "action." Toad is up to his old tricks. Will he never learn?

I want to get a copy for our school collection so I can see ... as much as I loved it I'm. actually not sure what kids will think.

Red HatRed Hat by Lita Judge
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ever so cute! I like the first one best but this is a close second. Will need to practice for read alouds ... the very few words on each page are more ... sounds than words.

The Death CollectorThe Death Collector by Justin Richards
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Great possibilities ... just a little work needed in the actual execution.

I enjoy a mystery. Check!
Victorian England. Check!
Zombies. Check!
Dinosaurs. OK, a stretch and not my normal but check!
A story that "works" well enough to make me suspend disbelief. Not quite.
But I may look up more books in the series ... just to see if they can improve.

OK. This week I really may get to some of my E-ARCS. Or maybe I'll continue on the "read all the books I've picked up here or there but have been sitting on the shelf for years." Though it will be too late to donate them to the PTA sale. That's what finally got me going this week. ;) #springcleaning