Friday, May 31, 2013

Finally Friday Pins May 31

FOUR MORE DAYS. I can do it. Well. If all the packing of books doesn't do me in.

Dear Geniuses Installing New Carpet This Summer ...
Not that I don't enjoy the idea of new carpet. But ... I have no idea what I'm doing here. And again, being in the middle of a major traffic school traffic pattern makes it very hard to get on a roll and get focused and things packed. Especially when we still have the equivalent of a third of our yearly budget checked out. COME ON. RETURN YOUR BOOKS, PLEASE. Even though I know it's hard and weird and I don't like saying "No, I'm sorry, you can't get any new books today." Don't have a stable enough pop to do summer checkouts.

That said ... this is the easiest post of the week. Most favorite pins. Go enjoy other's brilliance!

If I were to ever make fancy sugar cookies (and that's a big if right there) ... these would be it. Doable. Not so fancy it makes me want to run away and hide.

Made me laugh.

I like the looks of this set (and #2). I want to get them. Would we ever get to use them in next year's tutoring craze?

Dear Yoda,
Wise, you are.

Where to hang this ...

Actually keep finding lots of prints that I like. No walls at school and not really any now ... until the new place is done. If bought all of the prints and canvases that I wanted I'd need a much bigger place.


On an unrelated to kids or YA lit ... has anyone ever watched Foyle's War? One of my brother's introduced me and I'm hooked. Love a good mystery. Love a good period piece. Love anything British. Or Scottish. Or Irish. (Can you tell I also watched P.S. I Love You the other night? I multitask TV an computer a lot. Reading gets full attention. Computer ... depends but not usually as much. ;)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

LibGuides and Summer Reading

So remember that Symbaloo I made a week or two ago?

It has a new home.

Check out my Summer Reading LibGuide (LibGuides are new to our district and me ... this is my sort of playing around learning it project). Feel free to use or copy. Not sure how the embed code will work with copying but be my guest and try. Do YOU have a LibGuide? Can I look at it? Leave a link in the comments or send me an email!

And hopefully later I won't feel awkward that I told you all how I really wanted to try a new space and get a different job and now you know where I currently and still work (I always meant there were good kids and staff there ... just a hugely distracting space and soon to be rotten commute). Did you already know that? Oh well. This was the traffic at what will be an intersection and road I have to continue on through to get home as soon as I move. Now I get off and turn just in time. Anyway. This was at 8:10 on a Wednesday night and the only safe place to get a pic.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

There Is a Bird on Your Head

So if I were an awesome blogger there would be close ups of the entire process as well as some of the kids' work. And they'd be nicely edited shots. And I'd have known exactly which kids in this group could have their picture posted online.

But I'm not awesome. So I just have to say here! Messy, quick, out of focus and not very well framed shots. But this is one of our most favorite of all time Mo Willems' books. And actually maybe Ms. O's favorite.

1) Cut out lots of strips of colored brown paper. Fan about 9 or 10 in a pinwheel and tape/glue together.

2) Trace the pigeon pattern on a piece of gray paper folded in half. Google Pigeon finger puppet, increase that 150%, and use that outline.

3) Color the SIDES of the bowl brown. NOT the inside or bottom (at least we found the tape didn't stick as well when there was crayon on those parts ... but we were using inexpensive, terrible for the environment styrofoam).

4) Have kids cut out the pigeon. Remind them to NOT cut along the fold on the head.

5) Draw or paste on eyes and beak. Add any special things you like (you can't see in the pic ... but there are several birds wearing GO SPURS GO jerseys!). Fold the bottom edges out of the bird just a bit in order to make a flat surface to attach to the nest.

6) Attach the nest to the the inside of bowl. Add any more strips you like. Sort of fold/crumple the edges of the paper pinwheel around the bowl.

7) Attach the bird to the bottom of the bowl.

8 Attach the headband. We used bits of stretchy elastic. Make sure you have enough! And if you have a little guy sporting a faux hawk ... well, he'll have to wait to wear his.

And nope. You don't get a pic of me wearing a bird on my head because DARN, we had to scavenge the last bit of elastic.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Pinners to Follow Part 2

Happy Memorial Day! I would share a video my brother made and posted on his FB but I'm not sure (security settings) how many of you would see anything, anyway. Just know he did an awesome job. ;)

Well. Never knew the day I posted the first version of this little list would eclipse everything else I've ever written by the thousands. Literally. But HERE are some more people that help me find great ideas. Some I use! Some I hoard. All make me spend more time on the computer. ;)

(Original CorkBoard photo from Flickr user net-efekt)

And still wish Pinterest would give me a way to really tell whose pins I repin the most. Cause I'm sure to miss someone awesome in trying to update. AND I only linked up the pinner's main page ... not specific boards. In some cases, just to keep the info stream manageable, you can't follow every single board.  :/

Original post pinners are listed first. New ones are listed after the one line break. Got anyone you would add? Are YOU not here? Leave a comment. Dear Pinterest and Blogger, please make cross finding your virtual friends easier.

(And are you here but would rather not be? Cause I didn't contact any of you first and maybe that's not cool ...)

Library (Books & Tech)
ATBOT/The Book Bug/Sharing the Shelves
Random House Kids
Harper Children
Reading Rockets
Amy Bansak
Laurie Leavitt
Linda's Links
Valerie Fort
Ashley Kurth
Kirsten Murphy
Max Macias
Regina Hartley: Hey Twitter friend!
Kelly Butcher: Another Twitter friend!
Sara Romine: I know her in real life. So many great ideas and energy she shares!
Sherry Phillipus: An awesome TL friend!
Cari Young: Centered School Library blogger. Know her, too!

Lynn Morris
Wendy Howk: Hey, my friend!
Sara Ducharme
Brynda Taylor-Flynn
Belinda Self
Brittney Tubb
Sandy Geach
Jolee Owens
Kala Butler
Jamie Lightfoot
Jenn Granger
Jessica Young
Krystal Gutierrez
Leah Sanders Fawcett
Kim Moss
Flannel Friday: I love the idea. And have even made a couple sets. Just never gotten into a groove of USING flannel/magnet board stories.
Mary Ann Scheuer
Penguin Classroom
Angie Moore

Matt Gomez: I heard him present at a recent iPad mini-conference. He's a kindergarten teacher doing AMAZING things. Check out his Pinterest boards AND his website and Twitter feeds.
Jessica Jackson Meacham
Lisa Johnson : of the TechChef4U app and AppyHour podcast. At least I think that's the name of it?
Donna BaumbachL for lots of reasons but especially cool info graphics.
Jennifer Jones: Also follow her blog Hello Literacy.
Elizabeth Eastman: another one to follow for lots of reasons but especially cool infographics.
Cyndi Danner-Kuhn
Erin Klein

Richard Byrne (FreeTech4Teachers)
Laura Moore
Janet Corder
Tony Vincent
Liz Ragland Sherman

General Random Geeky Coolness that Is Difficult to Categorize ;)
Winston Breen
Michael Scott

Book Patrol

Classroom Teachers (I think!?!) Sharing Easily Adaptable Ideas
Rachel Owens
The Science Penguin
Belinda Kinney
Julie Perez
Alyson Beecher
Pam L: my friend! Also great decorating, cooking, and fitness.
Katie: another friend and great teacher. And fashionista so follow that board, too.
Kathryn H: friend and fellow teacher
Shannon Clark: Twitter and blog friend! Also I am working on converting her to the ways of clip art fanaticism.
Susan Dee
Laura Castro

And If You Like DIY, Organizing, Fitness (:P), Photography or Design ...
Pick Your Plum
MyGrafico Digitals
PopSugar Fitness
Digital Photography School


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Anchor Charts with No Walls

Just saw this on Pinterest and wanted to share.

Doing this on my phone so apologies for the weird layout.

But ... if anyone can think of a way to better share info like this in the library classroom I would LOVE it.

1) We have no walls to hang charts on (and any easel to even WRITE them on has to be wrestled out of a closet and placed in the middle of the room then put away cause its so in the way of foot traffic).

2) I model correct behavior as much as possible but hanging things from the ceiling? Yeah, kids are constantly slapping at it. Drives me BATTY the way they jump up and grab at the US flag. A lot of teachers dont even see them do it cause they are walking in line. It's right in my line of sight if I'm at the circ desk. But I digress.

3) Sort of related ... hard to project an electronic version. Has to be pre-prepared which loses the kid's ownership of it. The "wireless" part of the Smartboard doesn't work so well and the actual computer that projects? 15 feet behind the kids. Lose a lot of 'em that way.

Debated like table binders with mini-displays. But that's one more thing that I'd have to get out and take down every day (plus, again, pre-prepared). Because of the open concept and after school care in the space nothing can be left out.

Or maybe I will just not worry about it until August. We're still in school for eight more days but some of that we have to spend packing up the library for new carpet. Which will hopefully not kick up so much dust? At least for a couple years? Anyway. No more note taking lessons. Summer reading book talks, mostly. And packing.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Summer ABC To Dos

Yes, I am a lunatic who has been awake for over an hour on a Saturday morning. Thank you Mother Nature for a storm that woke me up. Technically my summer doesn't start for another two and a half weeks or so. And the kiddos? Boy howdy. They knew the storm was coming cause behavior was crazy yesterday. This was a bit therapeutic. ;)

Head over to What the Teacher Wants for the template. What will you be doing?


PS 500th post!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Finally Friday Pins May 24 and Piggie & Elephant Dance Party Part 2

Well. It's a three day weekend! And kids are still amazing and awesome. Even when their end of year behavior is so ... not so much.

So ... I didn't get a job change I wanted pretty badly. Would have been WAAAAY closer to my new house plus ... it had walls and not 750 people walking through all day more than a couple times a day. And a library office. AND a library workroom. And a library storage room. No morning announcements (if anyone actually watched them I wouldn't dislike them so much ... but we can hear the hallways ... no one's watching). Would have hurt to leave my current kiddos but they would have been fine. And there would have been fun kids at the new school. And I wouldn't have been spending 10 hours a week commuting. But I didn't get it. Sort of a bit of a joke how many times I've interviewed to try somewhere new. :(
So I am remembering these things. I'm not terrible at what I do. Not perfect but not terrible, either. It's not all me. It's some them. One functional catalog/research computer in the library is not the end of the world (an expected delivery of 12 has been postponed with NO new date). And ...

Does anyone know the original source for this pic? I so want a print. Or a square gallery canvas print, actually. He's so happy.

Do I dare take the UGLY school one home and try this? Would base paint it a "bright navy" blue (is there such a thing?) and then sort of modpodge collage some book pages onto it? What book/s?

KidLit Cares for OK! Kate Messner is setting this up. She does some awesome things. And how rude am I to be so ... ridiculous. When there are people with real reasons to be disappointed this week.

Hooray for Batgirl and Tom Angleberger.

And ... didn't do anything different from last year. But cute pic ahead.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


was pretty much about the same. Whiny whiny whiny, right? At least I got to come home and give away a Piggie and Elephant book. Definitely puts a dent in the rottenness. And I never said yesterday but thank you so much for the birthday wishes. I have an awesome family so I was spoiled. Then this week came and I was humbled in a less fun way. Oh well.

So ... DAWN! Send me an email at mso at msoreadsbooks dot com with your address and you will receive Watch Me Throw the Ball. Funny you mentioned that one because I actually read our library copy to a class today. And we talked about Piggie's awesome attitude about the new thing she tried. No matter the outcome she was excited about it. Didn't connect those dots at the time. Maybe I should have and I wouldn't be so whiny right now. :/

And now maybe I'll go take this advice. Although there is supposed to be a big thunderstorm so maybe I won't. Maybe I'll go eat another cake pop. We'll see. At this moment it's a toss up. :/


Monday, May 20, 2013

Hot Hot Hot

So I'll pick the P&E book winner first thing tomorrow morning and post. Thanks for playing along with my little giveaway. Still time to enter! Stressful day (non-functional AC in South Texas always leads to stress ... hard to be chill when you're SO HOT) so I need to go work out. Did I really just say that?


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Birthdays, Milestones, and Piggie and Elephant

So today is my birthday. And very soon this blog will hit 500 posts. And I always save Piggie and Elephant for the end of the year.

So I don't have a cute pinnable graphic or anything and I don't know all the rules and such about "giveaways" plus it's just a little one ... but leave a comment with your favorite Piggie and Elephant book that you don't already have a hardback copy of. Tomorrow night I'll pick one winner and send it to you. US only (stats show a couple international hits but by FAR most are not). Will need your address eventually. We'll figure that out after a winner is chosen. ;) ;) ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Finally Friday Pins May 17

Breaking cardinal blogger rule and posting twice! But I won't again. Probably until next week. In case you were interested and in need of something last minute ... here is the Scaredy Squirrel booklet.

So summery.

It's my birthday on Sunday. Shall I have one of these? Or perhaps I shall remain in denial about WHAT birthday it is and instead celebrate almost 500 posts. Of me blathering. Thank you for your patience. ;)

I love this idea. How shall I tweak it for next year ...


5th Grade Summer Reading Book Trailers & Can I Still Be Cool

if I completely spaced on Children's Book Week? But have these?

Please ignore the trash can and mess as we are had the volunteer luncheon in the library today AND we are preparing to clear out everything for new carpet. Yay for new carpet. Yay for volunteers (the entire school's volunteers, not just the library of course). Not yay for loads of people eating in the library and spilling things or leaving crumbs behind. Not yay for clearing out everything. Anyway. Completely non-styled photo here.

And ... anything I should have added? By the time you see this it will already be a finished activity. But comment with any additions and I'll add them!
Also ... how do I fix this embed code? Too big to fit properly. I tried changing the pixels but I couldn't make it work and still show the entire symbaloo. It would just show a corner.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Not Posed Ad for (some) Interactive Ebooks

Well ... technically it was a little bit posed. Cause they (sister, her three kids, plus one of my other sister's little ones) had just finished it when I was like "Oh! Wait! Let me get a pic!" And luckily they were still so in to the story that they sat still. And read/watched The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore again. It's the perfect example of an interactive ebook. A beautiful story and fun value added elements in the electronic version that you can't get in the book version. But not so many that it becomes a book more than a story.

Dear Teachers, I know the Reflector app is not working well so that we can use one iPad to project up on the screen. And the white adapter (I cannot remember what it is called) falls out and is a frustration. We MUST let the kids see this one. We MUST!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Scaredy Squirrel

So we've done a couple Scaredy Squirrel activities in first grade the last couple of weeks. Read Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping, some classes made a Scaredy Squirrel head, and some classes did some writing. Oddly we haven't gotten to the games yet. Kids would probably like them but I don't have any dice. #somethingsmakenosense

A lot of them weren't able to finish, so in the future I'll either plan ahead with the teachers for more time in the library or for the teachers to set aside time in the class. I'll also make some sort of word bank. We only had 35 minutes plus 10 for checkout. But how cute are these. Even with the truly terrible photos.

He is scared of aliens, ... and I don't know. I remember she told me as we were talking but I can't tell now.

At 9AM Scaredy gets stuff. At 10:30AM he gets a spaceship. At 12PM he will go ... and then he will relax.

(Love this.) "She might be a little bit afraid of sharks and cockroaches. But, if she has a plan, everything is A.O.K!"

(LATER EDIT ... Here's the file if you like the little booklets. Would love a comment telling me you're going to use it!)

Monday, May 13, 2013

M is for ...

Mo Willems, of course! He is my fave. Piggie and Elephant. They ROCK. Blast from the past ... remember when I did this? Stop motion = crazy.

James Marshall. (Do you like how I mix my first and last names?)
Shall I post the super cute LA kinders retelling of Miss Nelson again? I think I will. I promise, it is WELL worth the 13 and a half minutes. Well worth it.

Brandon Mull.
I'm so behind. Haven't read Beyonders yet but Fablehaven and Candy Shop Wars were fun. I heard him speak at the BYU Young Reader's Symposium a couple years ago.

Mess. Sigh. I WILL get everything cleaned up and orderly. I WILL. The kids deserve as non-chaotic a place as I can make it.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Testing BlogLovin

So I'm not sure I love it ... will probably stick with Feedly (Google, Google, Google. Seriously?) But figured I should try it just to be sure. Not judge on the name and all.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


I Have Gone a Little Nuts

with the clip art purchases. So many fun designs (WHY OH WHY CAN I NOT DRAW?). Here's one thing I made with a new set. Click on either pic to download the Google Doc pdf file for easy printing and image credits.


I love that I've been getting some requests for things. Always feel free to ask ... here or on TPT. So far it's all been stuff that was easy enough to tweak or adapt from what I already had.

The further along the new house gets ... the more I realize I'm a bit nervous about trying the IKEA hack for built-in look bookshelves. I wanted it A LOT but what if it turns out looking tacky? Stuck with it cause of the flooring. Zero experience building anything. This replacement claims to be a better price cause you still put the pieces together but egads ... they are high enough! Didn't even know that was cheaper than the real thing.

They are so pretty, though.

Off to play the Disney version of Apples to Apples with my nieces and nephew. Three are only here until Tuesday. Two will be here through the week.


PS The link is working now. I forgot to set the "share" values properly. (8:35 PM May 12)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Finally Friday Pins May 10

Nap time ...

Well. In a bit. For now I'll share five things.

I totally need to get this for my house, right? Cause ... no walls in the library. I believe I've mentioned that before. ;) Plus these aren't really elementary. Just awesome.

Substitute some "just books" or a Nook or iPad in there (cause it is a commercial, after all) and isn't this awesome? I sort of wish I thought I had time to get one done this year filming with our school's kids.

I <3

I TOTALLY love this one.

Fonts are almost as much fun as clip art.

PS If you happen to be one of the people who left me questions on TPT ... email me! I can't figure out how to (or if I can) from within TPT. Got two of the design adjustments ready to email out and the third I just have a question first then will finish it.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cute Kiddos, a Cool Bulletin Board, and RIDICULOUS

No pics of the cute kiddos. :/ But I just got back from the kinder PTA presentation and they were adorable. And then choir did awesomely, even though they were sweating up there under the lights with no AC even more than we were in the audience.

 I heart my new bulletin board. Already know some things I would change but I'm thinking of doing a whole reading promotion (I SO didn't come up with the idea) next year.


I actually already made one change and added "all summer." "iRead all summer." Thinking of adding the "apps" onto a clip art iPad and saving them all as one image ... and then trying Thinglink and adding links to websites or book trailers or something that relates to each genre. Maybe.
And now I see there is no home button. And it's crooked. Oh well. I still like it.
(PS If you would like the files to make this bulletin board they are $2 on TPT here.)

Today? Two point five hours of thumping bass, maracas, jingle bells, and screaming kids (appreciating each teacher on a red carpet after picking up classes from lunch) in the 590 section plus sounds of a bird coming from the office plus drills and workers fixing a broken door plus horrendously painful "cute shoes" (and they were FLATS!) = at least the kinders and choir did well tonight and I am so glad to be home! Now to go read a book. Or shop on TPT. We'll see which one wins.


For the number of photo apps I have I should really have like put a frame or something around this image. :/

Monday, May 6, 2013

Overheard Today

I didn't mean to be eavesdropping. But today I heard this. From people that I know, if they'd stopped and heard themselves, would have realized. They're good. So do I laugh or cry at this?

"Why are they getting rid of the writing test? Everyone needs to know how to write. I mean, you can just google for ______________ (insert topic of choice here) but you need to know how to write."

1) Because it's not on the test it won't be taught any more. No. That's not true.


Going to go work out now. Apparently I need to chill out.


Sunday, May 5, 2013


So my brother is home from college and decided to go renew his library card.

First #fail on the part of our local public library ... "They don't have an app?" Had to tell him I'd read it was in the works but not done yet. Kind of embarrassing.

Second #fail (and I do know that one, he shouldn't have waited so long to renew his card, and two he should have returned the books on time) was that because of four year old overdue fines of just over $5 he couldn't renew his library card. He didn't have any cash on him and that's all they took. It was several books (he remembers the project) and they were 6 days late.

So I would TOTALLY agree with suspending privileges for someone who didn't return books at all. Or for months. Or consistently late, even.

But a one time thing? And for $5 and change? Users are more important than that, people. You had the chance to keep a college kid as a patron. He'll probably just go back to borrowing my mom's or my card. But he should have been able to have his own. #PRIORITIES

The big TPT Teacher Appreciation Sale starts on Tuesday. (PS Graphics from the Pond made this image.)

My stuff's on sale! Thank you to everyone who's been so kind with purchases and comments. You (almost ;) ... it's that bad) keep me in my clip art habit. Plus I just get so excited. "They like it. They really like it." I've never watched SNL but I think that quote sort of comes from there?

I'm thinking about all of these. I should NOT buy them all. I will not.

I want to.

I'm still working on the baseball theme library signs, reading promos, etc. Probably won't get them done in time. :/

And I started working on a summer reading booklet like three weeks ago. Oops!

On a semi-related (well, just TPT) I got this a while back and adapted it for a bulletin board. If it works out I'll post pics.