Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pigeon Apron So I Don't Lose Things

Breaking Blogger Code by posting twice BUT ...

I am infamous around our library (and my house but let's not go there) for misplacing things. I set them down and they disappear.

The worst? MY KEYS! Ever had to replace car keys? Super expensive ... and what's strange is I still haven't found the original set. They never showed up. (I HAVE CLEANED, just so you know).

And my school keys. I always find them but there have been ... very uncomfortable days/up to a week once where I didn't know where they were. Those times it was always somewhere safe. But anyway. I digress from the purpose of this post.

I will now no longer lose my keys or have to sound like Santa Claus with them hanging around my neck. (Also, I have lost MORE EARRINGS taking lanyards off than I care to remember. :X)

And pens! And little post its! And hand sanitizer. And a band aid or two.

PLEASE tell me this is not as bad as a teacher jumper. Or vest. Cause that would be terrible when I love it so.


PS Order the fabric here and the pattern here. If she wasn't getting ready to be a grandma TWICE in the next 21 days (not by me! Siblings!) I'd trade making dinner or something for an extra one for a giveaway. Maybe when things calm down for her. Maybe. ;)

Top Ten Tuesday (on Wordless Wednesday) Dream Library

1) It sounds terrible to say. But you already know what it is. WALLS. I WANT WALLS IN MY LIBRARY CLASSROOM. This middle of the hallway thing is For. The. Birds. Not walls between kids or between me and the kids. Well. The kids IN the library. I want walls between me and the kids /staff/parents talking very loudly in the hallway and not even trying to be quiet while we're trying to learn inside the library. YOU try ignoring 400 people as you're trying to teach a lesson ... and you're not in 2nd grade trying to PARTICIPATE in the lesson. I want walls between us at these moments very badly. :/ #callmecrazy

2) This. Outlandish dream, right? This is dream library classroom, mind you. The Pinterest image just came from Tumblr. In the interest of time today that is where I will link back to credit ... but eventually I'll track down the original. Does this help kids learn more? I honestly don't know ... but it would sure make the school library a magical place.

3) So they might still misplace the bag (I know because I've tried some of the plastic Upstart ones) ... some of the little ones that have the really crazy home lives. But how fun would it be for at least PreK-2nd to all have a specific bag in which to keep their library books? Then in my idyllic little world they'd all bring their books back on time and be able to get NEW ones. And then read (or be read to) them every single week. And come back for more ... with no "unmentionable substances" adorning the covers/pages. That's a dream classroom. Lots of kids getting books! And keeping track of them!
(This pic/link is from the SHINY HAPPY WORLD shop on Etsy! Sorry, shop. Not purchasing the pattern and making 300+ of them. Though maybe one or two just for ME. You know my mom is a sewing queen.)

4) This one is partially coming true. Instead of 1 iPad we'll have 8. But it would be cool to have one for each kid. Along with an iTunes card for each device ... wouldn't have to be an unlimited card, even. With $20 you can make a powerful little device NIGH UNSTOPPABLE. Well. Also with a decent wi-fi connection for at least part of the time. ;)

5) Of course the two most important ingredients in any dream school library ... lots of kiddos (sorry, I just realized there are no BOYS in this pic and that was not intentional because I love me some funny little boys who love Star Wars and Transformers and sharks) and BOOKS. But this was the first CC licensed pic I saw. ;)

6. Space, materials, and time for HACKING. And by that I mean kid-led creation. Goodness. Does it ALL have to be about THE TEST? There is great possibility in tinkering and messing around. Follow Cari's Library Makerspaces Pinterest Board (and join in!) for other ideas. Also no. That doesn't count as three wishes in my Dream Classroom. Just one. ;)

Toy Hacking with Maker Kids

7. A space for a simple media creation lab that is also not in the middle of all the chaos. Our morning announcements are broadcast from the staff workroom with cast trying to read scripts while teachers are making copies (I'm guessing their kids are watching with another teacher?). When we try to make videos in the library there is always loads of background noise. Even a decent sized CLOSET. With a small window (so teachers can see what is going on inside). Camera. Computer. Microphone. If I find a pretty pic for you I'll come back and edit. Right now I've spent too much time on blog posts this morning as it is. ;)

8. Treats for staff ... both sweet and healthy. I would love to be able to provide such. So ... some sort of chocolate BEHIND A LOCK THAT MS. O CAN'T GET AT BECAUSE OTHERWISE SHE EATS IT. And some fruits or veggies because we all need a quick pick me up and in the staff room if there's anything it's always cheap donuts.

9. Somewhere comfy to read. Right now due to space (and noise!) limitations there's nowhere to relax, even for the 10-15 minutes a class might be there for checkout. Only hard and awkward chairs. I love these. Comfort does affect student learning. 

10. We're not allowed to have plants (well, with no windows that wasn't an issue for us anyway) or stuffed animals due to air quality. I see the concerns ... but in my dream library classroom we'd have BOTH (think of all the fun book characters! They were so handy for displaying on the shelf near the books ... "See Frog and Toad over there? That's where the books are!").

I could go on. Search "school library design" on Pinterest. Color. Comfort. Creative space and calming space. :)

And here's my Wordless Wednesday pic. Even though this post was far from Wordless. And it's a weird pic to share as it's not necessarily super artistic. But I was trying to organize the mess that is my laptop folders and came across these. We made a video last summer before my Dad's retirement. Now ... this particular birthday is still a good 8 or 9 years months (gotta be honest ;)) away for yours truly. But MIND BLOWN.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fits to a Tee B2S Shopping Bookish Style

Every school district, campus, and teacher has to have their own style. That could be construed in many different ways ... but today we're actually talking fashion!

Or, as you may feel, especially after my shoe post the other day ... the total lack of fashion sense. ;)

And no. None of us would want to wear t-shirts every day. But when one spends enough time crawling around on floors and moving tables and SMART boards and shelving books on ridiculously dusty shelves ... a nice pair of khakis and a t-shirt make much more sense than Banana Republic trousers or Ann Taylor Loft pencil skirts all the time.

When my hair was shorter I looked just like the librarian pictured on the shirt. Look at the store ... there's also a bumper sticker that says "Check me out." Old library joke but it's still sort of funny.

Take, for example ... READING IS JAWSOME. You know it's cool. While I was snagging the image a pop up appeared and for an email (we should all have junk emails for just this purpose!) you can get 40% off your first order. (But I just noticed ... apparently not on this particular tee cause it's custom made. But the rest of the site. Anyway. Click on the pic to go take a look.)

And Vader's READ A BOOK. Still want more people to contact them so that they'll release this shirt in a women's fit. It's on my pinboards like five times. WeLoveFine had a 20% off coupon over the 4th of July. I didn't order it. I wish I had. Click on the pic to take a look.

Harold and the Purple Crayon! Not usually a wear-er of purple but I might make an exception. This is one of our favorite book apps. You can't get it on the US store any more. I don't know why. :(

OLD School Nancy Drew! Kids won't get it but other teachers will.

READING RAINBOW. Please get on the Volume Purchasing app store so that we can get your app w/o all H-E-Double Hockey Sticks breaking loose.

I might need to get this one. Our school is using the baseball theme. Not super happy with the shirts. Like this one better. Will that look like I don't play nice?


I have this one. I spilled salsa on it the other day. Luckily it came out. #thepowerofstainspray


PS Clicking on links will not make anyone but the companies money. Never bothered to deal with the paperwork for "affiliates" and I don't see that changing in the future. Will let you know if it does.

PS #2 My take on the "cute" kerfluffle? I got addicted to clip art when I knew I wanted graphics that were visually pleasing to go on signs and PR stuff for the library as well as assignment creation. And Creative Commons IS awesome ... but egads. The hours you have to spend looking for a particular animal or a person in a particular job. Clip art costs more but it comes pre-indexed/keyword named.

Fonts, on the other hand ... that one I have to just own up. No real addition to any learning. That one is just totally it satisfies MY aesthetic.

I don't do the pompoms. Or a particular color scheme as we have some cherry wood tables/shelves/circ desk. Some BRIGHT royal blue shelves. Some ancient 70's whitewashed shelves. Some white columns because a former administrator went completely over my head and had the custodial staff paint over them completely without asking me. :X So I guess maybe I could go red, white, and blue. But I haven't.

I also haven't labeled everything but maybe I should because I'm forever losing stuff.

That is all.

Monday, July 29, 2013

#IMWAYR and Monday Made It

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

Add Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween to the READ pile. Fun! Then ...

Had a great little discussion via comments on Goodreads about promoting picture book biographies. Both of them were quite good.
Penguin and Pinecone (or other books about Penguin) was on my Bookish Un-Boring List. I haven't made my video yet. 
Jasper and Joop are just so stinking cute. Not a lot to the story but they are so feathery fluffy.
Pirates vs. Cowboys. Not my most favorite story ever BUT ... I must try it as a read aloud. Pirate voices AND Cowboy voices? Needs to be attempted, anyway. ;) 

As always ... my TO READ appetite is bigger than my actual ability to finish. Look, for example, at my e-arcs. This is not counting books from the library.

And now, it's more of a Monday Middle of the Project but ...

Lunch during the school year is hard. I have struggled with the simplest grocery shopping and planning! So we'll see if this helps. Still have to attach everything. And decide for sure if I want to use this "due date stamped" fabric as the background or something else. This is not my favorite frame but it's one I had on hand. What should I put on the little boxes? And these are my silly "menu" choices. Suggestions? I need healthy and EASY.

The card template came from this first example.

and then I also looked at this one. Click through on both to get the original examples!


Friday, July 26, 2013

Finally Friday July 26

OK. Today I'm going to try copying the pics off of the original sites and linking through. I feel a bit weird about that ... at least Pinterest made it very obvious they were never mine to begin with. And no one could get just the pic from my website. But dumb Feedly and Bloglovin don't pick up most embedded things!

I want some of these SO MUCH RIGHT NOW. PB and chocolate is like my favorite combo. The pic is linked to the original source ... Butter Baking. But they are NO BAKE so that's even better.

Fun, right? Adaptable to different grade levels, too. And am so mad I didn't come up with it myself because I have all of the clip art. Maybe it's because I have no walls and the two bulletin boards I DO have are constantly picked to pieces means I just don't think that way? Or I'm just not as cool. Anyway. The pic will take you to the blog where you'll click on the pic again. No direct link to the Google doc because you need to see where it came from!

Saw this on Pinterest. Totally want to do it! Also I need to go get my phone and figure out who did this version of the song. True, by Duvall. Never heard of 'em but I got the song. It's 10 years old! #apparentlyIamoutoftouch

This one is from a blog called Whimsical Perspective. It's made out of sheet music and it's more involved than my usual projects but ... I like. How fun might it be from a withdrawn book?

This one? It speaks for itself. ;)

Extra one today. I'm not as much a fan of her dancing or some of her costumes as I am of the music as a whole. So just close your eyes and listen. If you sort of want to giggle a little bit at the dancing I would understand. I guess it's a thing?

Anyone having a Potter Party in August? I've been debating but it's a stressful time for everyone and I don't always get a lot of participation in stuff like that. Only teachers that made book character pumpkins last year were my assistant and her daughter (who also works at our school).

I keep looking at cookie cutters. I DON'T EVEN DECORATE COOKIES. Though one could always start. ;)


Thursday, July 25, 2013

I (Don't Always) Love My School Shoes

So this post was going to be a Throwback Thursday copy and paste. But companies have changed selections!

Remember these? A bit different from last year's choices. Looking back at that post I see they were on sale last 8/2 ... I wonder if they'll do that again. Cause it was a year ago NOW that I ordered my Green Eggs and Ham low-top pair--that they no longer carry! #timing

And these (again, a bit different ... Catwoman and Batgirl used to be two different pairs ... apparently now it's one of each which is maybe a little strange) ...

I thought about showing you a picture of all my other "regular" Converse. But these are the two one can sort of justify as work related. Professional necessity and all. Pete the Cat might help out on that expanding that definition. Anyway. Hobbling out to the car at the end of the day is not professional either! So as much as I love cuter more delicate, classy, and "professional looking" shoes (and I do own them!) it is not to be.

(OH! And before I forget ... look what I got at Jo-Ann Fabrics yesterday? I see a Just Right Fit Book lesson  in my future ... BUT NOT FOR FIVE OR SIX MORE WEEKS! Check out THIS page for a fun iPick shoe poster as well as a ppt that you could tweak for your situation. I didn't make 'em. Sharing other people's ideas!)

Piperlime had a 20% off sale earlier this week. I ordered these. Hopefully they are comfy?

Yes. I already have these. I own Crocs. #clintonandstacywouldnotapprove (BTW ... $25 on Amazon)

Considering these. Just for fun.

PS Side note ... I was considering shoes as a post topic. Then I read one last week from another librarian. And now I can't find it. So ... great minds think alike, whoever you were!


UNRELATED... also got these at Jo-Anns. Books that are Movies. $6 for the 2 packages together ... or $4 each but 50% off the second item. There was matching bulletin board border but with the way kids pick at it (I kid you not ... like 50 staples a week!) more generic corrugated stuff is usually what I do.

And have you seen the Dr. Seuss stuff in the Target Dollar Spot? I had to withhold big time.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

For as many photo blogs as I like to follow I hardly ever remember to take them (Instagram account with NOTHING for how long? That's right ... for as long as I've had it).  This is an oldie but a favorite. Beauty of digital ... you can take a bazillion until you get it right.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Guided Inquiry with 2nd Graders

So I just finished day two of our district activity. I'm excited for the activities a second grade teacher and I have planned so far.

If you aren't familiar with this model ... it's a little different in that you actually take make the time for students to get immersed into the subject BEFORE deciding on a question. Time is always an issue and we've all been guilty of "here are your questions now go find your answers." Of course they consider copying ... why would they care? But how can they know to care when a student doesn't have any background knowledge or experience with a topic?

 We'll work harder than usual to connect students ... to meet them halfway between the curriculum and their personal interests in what the authors of the model call the "third space." The pilot schools that tried it last year had great things to say so I am interested to see how this will go.

Our overall big idea is INTERDEPENDENCE. How things we do affect the environment and how the environment affects us. As it will be really an on and off year long activity we're tying it in with manmade and natural resources, habitats, and endangered animals ... all science standards they would be covering anyway. Immersing the kids in the topic BEFORE we start reading we'll also use rainforest, endangered animals, deforestation, and pollution themed fiction and non-fiction texts and media to cover English and Language Arts standards. We also thought we'd try to tie in some math with tallying and graphing recycling around our school ... how much of it happens or doesn't happen.

Once we figure it all out. The coolest, most comprehensive and coherent cross curricular activities take some advance thinking, don't they!

I never saw this movie. But we thought it might be one of the introductory activities ... during rainy recesses or as a "reward" over several days of "lunch in the classroom" with a teacher. I would say "lunch in the library" but because of our location (hallway, every class has to go through us to get to the cafeteria which is only 15 feet down the hall and only has glass walls to contain noise) right around lunchtime is not particularly conducive to learning or attention. :X Save it whenever possible for just open checkout and running out to classrooms to try to "fix" things or small groups with very focused at a table work.

Would be even COOLER to Skype but hello ... rain forest and Skype not necessarily perfect partners. Still looking around to see what's available and what's not already totally overwhelmed with requests.

Then there is a Marcus Pfister book (think Rainbow Fish) called The Yellow Cab that looks like it's right on our topic. The reviews are a bit lukewarm ... no one LOVES it OR majorly DISLIKES it. We'll see.

Anyone have any ideas? Or doing anything remotely similar where the kids might have fun chatting?


Monday, July 22, 2013

#IMWAYR and Monday Made It

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

Not quite as much reading this week as time was often spent playing with (or chasing after ... whichever you want to call it ;)) the littlest (at least for another month) nephew. I miss them when they are far away. :(

Favorite of these three is Time Stops for No Mouse. That's an old one ... but I now really want to track down the next three! Fun adventure story told by what is at first a bit of a fuddy-duddy stuck in his ways mouse. He gets out of his comfort zone and grand things happen! I read it as an audiobook.
The Fox Inheritance is a YA. Maybe it's because it's been a while since I read #1 (which I greatly enjoyed) but this one was not as engaging.
Templeton Twins, well. The narrator on that one bugged.

Loved Into the Volcano! Will have to get it for school. The Alamo from A to Z was a little disappointing. Completely generic or cookie cutter or whatever you want to call it. Will probably still have to get it because hello ... where do I live. But I wanted more from it.
Loved Vader's Little Princess but I'm not sure a non fangirl/boy would appreciate it.

Dear Publishers, I love the idea of more Worm/Spider/Fly stories. But this one with the "1" on it is misleading. Teachers and parents are going to think younger students can read it independently. This is not the case. Also why do you all "number/level" your books so differently?
Alvin Ho. He's not as funny as he used to be.
The Eyre Affair was a lot of fun as an audio book (GROWN UP audio book ... a bit of language :/). I've had the print book sitting on my shelf for years and had never gotten to it. I do that. Buy books and then never read them because hello, if I own them I can read them whenever. Library books are due. Which makes no sense at all.

And coming up ...

You'll notice a couple of these look familiar. Why is it when I OWN a book it takes me bazillion times longer to read?

THEN ...

Mostly school stuff this time. But not totally.

The first bunting is inspired by my favorite movie series of all time.

This one is saved in Google Drive. Click and download!

And then our school sort of "theme" this year is baseball and "effort." So while I'm not done with MOST of the signs and reading logs and bookmarks and such ... here's a freebie I posted on TPT. Because I learned how to use a layered template in Photoshop Elements! Still not sure how I did it but it's done. ;)

This one is a freebie on TPT. Click (and if you're already signed in) download!

The last Monday Made It is in honor of one of my nephews. He just turned 8 in June. Anyway, apparently he decided (without my sister's prompting!) that he needed a pen pal. I was the chosen honoree, as I like both Star Wars and Legos! This was his most recent letter ... my very own Lego set, complete with detailed "How To" drawings. I can't stand how adorable this is. Though I can't call it adorable to him. COOL, it must be. I've sent him a personalized Lego SW comic, some bookmarks I made and Capt. Underpants tattoos I found, and a Frankie Pickle book. What to do next? I need to write all the other ones, too. This was just too cute that he started it.