Monday, September 30, 2013

#IMWAYR Sept. 30

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.

This Week

Didn't get much else done on Saturday but I did get these two finished.

The Wooden Mile (Something Wickedly Weird #1)The Wooden Mile by Chris Mould
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Quite a lot of fun. Fairly easy to read (3rd or 4th, maybe high 2nd) with grand adventure. We do need to get a set of these at school!

Blind Justice (William Monk, #19)Blind Justice by Anne Perry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This one had a little more sanctimonious preaching of "the law" than I would have liked. That said ... maybe it was a necessary preaching? I don't know.
It was still an excellent story bringing Sir Oliver, his father, Monk, Hester, and Scuff together again.

And I managed to get one book from the fair finished.

Snow Bunny's Christmas WishSnow Bunny's Christmas Wish by Rebecca Harry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Saw this in the bookfair and picked it up.

It's fairly predictable but cute all the same. The little bunny misses the mailman so decides to deliver his letter to Santa personally. He prepares and packs a few items he thinks he might use. Along the way to the North Pole he ends up sharing those items with others in need and, in the process ... makes some friends. Which was his Christmas wish in the first place.

Soft illustrations. Definitely worth a library checkout and maybe even if you wanted a suggestion for a holiday picture book personal collection.

Next week? We'll see. I have this one out from the public library.

The King's Deception (Cotton Malone, #8)The King's Deception by Steve Berry

And as soon as it's actually delivered I am anxious to take a look at this one. I hadn't heard of it before but I love the idea. I play the violin. Or, I do when I practice.

The Man with the ViolinThe Man with the Violin by Kathy Stinson

Here's the trailer.

But with the recent turns of event I may be packing even more fervently. Less than half as much time as expected before I leave the house that has been home for a very long time. For a new place ... eventually. It's not done yet. Extended stay hotel in the mean time. And possible federal jury duty October promises fun times all around. :P

Thanks for all of the entries in the Easy Canvas Prints giveaway. As soon as I know who won I'll pass that along!


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Homerun Readers & Bookfair Stickers

Well. You know how back in early August when I posted the pennant and I was going to have this finished? I finished it. And then it didn't work. We couldn't come to an easy enough way to measure the classes that did their nightly reading. Too many numbers, even when we didn't follow the directions in the packet.

And ... I can't find my pic of the bulletin board. DRAT! Come back in a couple days and I'll have it here or in the file so that you have a visual reference ... cause it turned out cute, if not useful. Also too lazy to make a nice cover page for this packet. But click here for what I do have and if you can use any of it then great! Wasn't a total implosion. :/

Oh and here are the bookfair stickers I made. And then never got printed and handed out. Color printer was on the fritz. :P


PS So Activities Inspired by Bear Gives Thanks, Slightly Spooky Stories, Wrestling Readers, and Differentiated Biography Research have been free for ... at the least one hour, the others several. What will it be tomorrow? I dunno.

For a While

last night it was something Thanksgiving-ish.

Right now it's something Halloween-ish.

Later today it might be something sports-related.

And for a little while tonight it might be something biography-related-ish.

I'm making up words in the post book fair haze. (Any creative ideas on consequences for ... really poor "I shoplifted from the fair" choices?)

And the "I'm moving three weeks earlier than expected and then into a hotel" haze.

Better get my rear end in gear. There is work to be done! For both school and the blog (revamped design is finally actually maybe on the horizon) and home.

I'd say I'm getting a little tired of waiting to understand answers but that wouldn't make any sense, would it. Not trusting enough in Him.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Finally Friday Sept. 27

Click through! I stayed with embedded Pinterest widgets this time.

Thinking of making this with some of the RSG, PreK, or K kids in a week or two. Only we will add "SPOOKY" buttons (little ghosts or bats or owls or cats or what have you).

Love this bookcase made from an old door.

Fun rolls! As if I ever cooked ...

I haven't updated my phone yet. Actually thinking about getting a new one. Maybe shouldn't spend the money, though. May very well be homeless by the end of the October. It was too good to think the timing of the sale of THIS house would coincide with the date we could move into the NEW house. And I know that's coming (the new place) and it still feels awful. What about the people that don't have that assurance? :/

So since I'm feeling so overwhelmed with ridiculousness at school (CAN ONE THING WORK RIGHT? ONE THING?) and then the housing/moving situation I may be starting this sooner rather than later. So much to be thankful for.


PS Sale this weekend! I thought it would let me mark some things 10 and some things 20 percent. Nope. Split the difference and went for 15%. But if you are around your computer between ... oh, between 4 and 7 Friday or 9 and 11 or 1 and 3 Saturday check any wishlisted items. There will be some flash freebies as well. I need something to cheer myself up! Bookfair's stressful. Moving is stressful. Stupid work where not one piece of technology EVER WORKS is stressful. :P

Monday, September 23, 2013

#IMWAYR Sept. 23

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.

This Week

Ugly FishUgly Fish by Kara LaReau
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ever so funny. In terms of funny-ness and illustrations for stars.

Three because ... well, while I'm not sure every book needs to teach a lesson, per se ... it would be nice if Ugly Fish had longer to contemplate his actions.

The Escape of the Deadly Dinosaur: USA (Secret Agent Jack Stalwart, #1)The Escape of the Deadly Dinosaur: USA by Elizabeth Singer Hunt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Completely unbelievable but then again ... does it have to be completely believable? Sometimes it's fun when it's not!
Nifty little gadgets.
I'll have to get a few for our collection and see how they do. No, not the most literary but again ... not everything has to be. Building up stamina can sometimes be "just for fun" books.

Midnight in Austenland (Austenland, #2)Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love Jane Austen's novels. Not a fan of romance novels.
The two are different, are they not?

Anyway. If you read the first one this is just sort of a companion to that one, with more mystery thrown in. Very, very silly in places. Very nicely parodied Jane Austen in others. The author is a Newbery Honor winner, after all.

Now my next read needs to have some zombies or super heroes or something in it cause I need a break from the girly stuff.

I also saw the movie Austenland this weekend. So silly. But in a fun way.

Coming Up
It's book fair. I'll be lucky to stay coherent long enough to get home and in my pajamas. Maybe I'll get to read a couple picture books during a slow time? Only sent 6 kids back to their teachers crying today. Caught two kids taking something that did not belong to them. #bookfairdayone #rememberthehundredsofexcitedkids

Before they are due at the library ...

Blind Justice (William Monk, #19)Blind Justice by Anne Perry

Love a good historical mystery!

The Wooden Mile (Something Wickedly Weird #1)The Wooden Mile by Chris Mould

Haven't started it yet or heard anything. Just thought the cover was interesting and the kids might like it.

One more week to enter for the free 8X10 Easy Canvas Prints giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, September 20, 2013

Finally Friday Sept. 20

I survived the presentation! And I hope it was at least somewhat helpful. I always talk too fast and forget half of what I was going to say.

Check out the iPads in the Library page in the tabs if you want to see what we talked about.

And if you were there? THANK YOU! While you might be a bit of the cause of my nerves I'm ever so grateful you think it's interesting enough to come. Same thing with my blog readers! I'm not here talking to myself after all. Yay. ;)

Remember if you like something to pin from the original source (or repin on Pinterest). Don't want the pins to look like they came from my site cause this is not my content. I'm just ... gathering it. ;)

So annoying when pins don't have real back links. I totally want to do this one. Maybe when I take down my baseball reading promotion that never was. :/

Looks tasty, no? I'm not much of a grilled cheese fan (or veggie fan) but the two together look kind of tasty. Dreaming Foodie, I'll have to try this one. Click on the pic to get the recipe.

Actually sitting here looking at upcycled book pumpkins and some cute trees that could be fun garlands and then I notice I pinned this last week. Too cute. Do I DIY or pay someone else to do it for me. I like to craft but I don't like it when it doesn't look like I want it to. And next goals are talk to teacher whose student ratted her out this afternoon "We're doing research and getting pictures online!", make it through bookfair with excitement and no tears, and my part of a Google presentation that may be at TCEA in February. Trial run at district mini-conference Oct. 8. So ... time for crafting? Not quite yet.

Dear Behance.Net Gallery ... I still can't figure out your site but I LOVE THIS BOOKSHELF!!!!!!!!!!! Even though it doesn't really hold very many books.

Not library related but click through if you enjoy travel or photography. Caught this guy's Flickr moment last week and it was so fun!

alkmaar nl


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mumpley Middle School

And the Mumpley Middle School winner is #3, Deborah Benavides!
The winner will be contacted shortly! Once I figure out how to do this. Never done a publisher giveaway before. Get the address and pass it on, I would guess. Anyway. It was a fun little book. Not Shakespeare or DiCamillo or Seuss but still a fun little book.

Enter the 8X10 canvas print giveaway through the rafflecopter at the end of this post here. It's open through the 30th.

This week has been all about Digital Citizenship. Which is SO important ... and yet in some ways hard to get across to elementary. Especially plagiarism. Makes so much more sense in context with a research question. We'll talk about it again, I'm sure. Today was an intro and checking it off the "must do" list.

First attempts ... disaster. I used the lesson script from the district but it was ... dare I say it ... kind of dull. Second attempt ... a little better but I cannot do a pirate accent. Just so you know.

Finally ... enter the Digital Citizenship Kit! Of which I don't have a cute picture because mine is not cute yet. It's still in a random shopping bag because I only gathered the items last night.Totally stolen from this blog post. Go. Gather. Went over much better with 3rd grade. Still not perfect and definitely needs tweaking for more emphasis on plagiarism (that was supposed to be my part of the lesson cycle)... but so much better in terms of student engagement.

I'm debating doing the same thing with 4th grade tomorrow. OR ... give each table a "situation" and let them make a short Sock Puppets or Puppet Pals video on what the right thing to do would be? We only have MAYBE 40 minutes if we push it. Closer to 30. Could they create something in that short of time? When they haven't seen the app before? Neither are hard so we'll see.

One of my nephews called me last night. He wanted to talk Harry Potter, Star Wars Legos, and Captain Underpants. I enjoy two of those three. You can probably guess which.

I've never done small group tutoring before this year. I'm ... the kids are cool but I'm not very impressed with the leveled readers. Guess it's naiveté. Knew they were out there. And I'm sure there are "research based" reasons for them being so boring. Kids need the repetitive structure? But reading each one three times? When they are so dull? No wonder some kiddos don't care for reading. And having to fill out a different organizer each time? Insult to injury. But my strengths are not in the How of reading but more the Why and the Love. So I still do what teachers and admin ask. At least until they are more sure what we're doing in small groups and can give me goals a little further out. Then I can figure out maybe how to get us there.


Blogger Rule #1
Have images.

I'm trying to be better! Wouldn't know it from this text heavy post.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Easy Canvas Prints Giveaway

It's here!
So I am part of a local bloggers FB group. And one of them posted that she had this opportunity and did anyone want to participate? Partner with Easy Canvas Prints.

"Sure. Why not?" I thought. Yes, I'm usually a book and teaching and library blogger but I've got a new house to decorate with empty walls (well ... I don't have it YET. But SOON. VERY, VERY SOON) and it would be fun to have something to give away on the blog. (Neither of the two publicists from our recent book giveaways had contacted me at this point.)

Sorry it's not up on a wall looking as pretty as it could. Not in the new house yet! Also the dumb iPhone pic.

It was SO easy to order. Have the .jpg of the photo you want on your desktop. Upload. Choose the size and thickness of the canvas you prefer. Choose the edge "finish" (mine is "mirrored" ... looks awesome!) you prefer. You can choose to have them do some coloring (sepia or black and white) and maybe some retouching? I didn't have them do any of that. Personally I think that's pretty easy to do yourself but if that makes you nervous of course have the professionals do it! Could print a nice photo of a family member (This is one of my nephews ... isn't he cute? His mama is a professional photographer) or even make a print of a quote you like.

Anyway. It was at my house in about a week.

 Time to enter! This Rafflecopter will be open ... two weeks, I think. The 16th through the 30th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Outtakes of the Pep Talk for Teachers and Students

See the original, of course.
Then watch these outtakes.

Dennis would be an epic name for a dinosaur.
Is your brain all kissy? I liked them at first and then it was just like market saturation. GO AWAY. Saw The Host last weekend. Liked the book better than the movie.

Enter for The Contagious Colors of Mumpley Middle School on Monday's post! Right now your chances are pretty good.

And a giveaway of a free 8X10 canvas print will start on Monday.

At some point I will remember to post the pdf of Avery labels advertising an upcoming Scholastic bookfair. I made them like a month ago. Our bookfair is not this coming week but the one after that. It's an Egyptian oasis theme. But I don't have any decor plans. #callmeboring


Friday, September 13, 2013

Finally Friday Friday the 13th

I want to come up with a better way to help kids. I absolutely cannot answer thirty seven of them at once. Nice creative way to ... take a number? Naive? Actually thought about a question SPOT in the library to get in line. But then we have no spot.

I tried a stop motion Piggie and Elephant a while back. If I'm ever feeling that crazy again (or if I ever got out of morning announcements or outside morning duty) I would go back to having a Library Lego Club. And I'd get like a super cool set. And we would totally do this!

I sort of want this. Even though I have my cool case that also has a mirror and somewhere to keep a drivers license. I also sort of want a 5S.

And ... just those three today. Tired. That happens when you quit working out.

Enter Monday's Book Giveaway! And come back this coming Monday for a free canvas print giveaway.
Have an awesome weekend! I picked up a couple books on hold at the public library. So I'd like to say I'll be reading but really I'll probably be fussing over my Region 20 presentation.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Mentioned this last year and I'll say it again ... my favorite book on the topic is still
14 Cows for America. It's a book that can be read to just about any age.

I don't actually love the trailer. But here it is ...

Don't judge the book by it's trailer!
Sometimes I cry a little bit when I read it. Which I HATE cause I truly very rarely cry at books.
The art is my favorite part. That close up of the boy where you can see the towers burning in his eyes? Powerful. And it's about hope. A people who wanted to make what difference they could in the face of such despair.

If you have a subscription to BrainPop I'm jealous! But the 9/11 video is free. In my personal opinion the video is for 4th grade and up. Might be animated but it talks about the reality of the day so follow any guidelines your district or campus might have in place for discussions.

I worked at the high school level that day teaching Spanish.

It was so ridiculously hot today in south Texas. Hot and muggy. UGH. I am still looking for my fitness mojo. It was doing pretty well until school started and since then? Completely down the tubes. Partly because it's so hot! But mostly because I let myself be tired at the end of the day.


The Contagious Colors of Mumpley Middle School is a fun read for 4th and 5th grade. Go to Monday's post and comment with your favorite color or pattern ... what you'd want to turn if you got the funny sickness from the story.

The canvas giveaway will start next Monday and run for two weeks!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

#IMWAYR ... Contagious Colors of Mumpley Middle School

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.

New Read Finished this Week

And guess what? I get to give one away! And it will come with some fun colored band-aids!

By Fowler DeWitt
In Stores September 3, 2013
For ages 7 and up

About the book
If there’s one important thing Wilmer Dooley’s dad always says, it’s this: “Where are my car keys?”

Okay, maybe not that. He also says: “Observe!”

Wilmer has always known that the greatest science comes from the keenest observations. So when he observes his classmates looking a little green…and orange...and chartreuse-fuchsia polka-dotted...he knows that it’s up to him to find the cause of this mysterious illness—and the cure.

But with his arch nemesis, Claudius Dill, hot on his heels; the eagle-eyed biology teacher, Mrs. Padgett, determined to thwart his plans; and a host of fluorescent classmates bouncing off the walls at increasingly dangerous speeds, can Wilmer prove he has what it takes to save the sixth grade from a colorful demise before it’s too late?

My thoughts? When I wasn't grossed out by talk of glowing snot (kids will like that ... I did not, but then again I am not the target audience ;)) it made me laugh.

Wilmer is a funny kid. He's infatuated with a girl named Roxie. He desperately wants her to notice him but his nerves often get the best of him and he says nerdy things. Can't we all relate?

I loved the illustrations! And the change in font when it's Wilmer's scientific journal records.
One of my favorite lines in the book is where Wilmer says "You can experiment so much that you never get things done. Sometimes you just need to rush to trial. Sometimes you need to take a risk and see what happens, whether it's [SPOILER] or wearing your heart on your sleeve." (You can probably guess what goes in there but I can't give it away here in a blog post! Read it!)

I could have done without the discussions of snot. And ... really, not one of the adults in the story is useful. They're all pretty lame ... bumbling along either completely clueless or downright mean. Luckily the student characters are enough fun to go a long way in making up for the adults.

It's a way out there fantasy story. I would say the target audience would be fourth through sixth grade. Older than sixth grade and the story would seem juvenile and beyond belief. Strong third grade readers might enjoy it. There's enough talk of romance and science that they'd need to be beyond Junie B or the Magic Treehouse ... but not so much the strong third grade reader wouldn't have fun with it and still relate.

Want to win this one? Comment below with ... oh, we'll make this one easy. Comment with your name and your favorite color or pattern ... the color or pattern you hope YOU'D turn if you got the Mumpley Malady! Make sure your email is included or that it's visible on your blogger profile. US entries only. If I was entering I'd say I would probably be plaid or argyle. Shades of blue, brown, and green. I must admit not a zebra or leopard print bone in my body. Some of you are more wild than me!

My Next Reads
Probably The Jedi Academy and The Real Boy. Have the e-arcs and want to finish them before they time out! I let so many books time out. Didn't get much done on the house this weekend so won't get as much read as maybe I might want. But The Dream Thieves and The Boy on the Bridge look so good! Hopefully I will get to them. If not in e-arc then later in hard copy!

And the Rose giveaway winner!
There were nineteen comments but only ten of them were entries for Rose. Maybe that was confusing combining the giveaway with a Currently post. Lots more people saw it, though. Anyway. picks ...

Swersty ... that's you! I'd say email me your address but hey ... we are close enough we maybe could meet up. Too hot still for anything but a big ol' Sonic cherry limeade! We'll compare schedules. Otherwise I'll mail it to you!


Friday, September 6, 2013

Finally Friday Sept. 6

You know me and clip art (and owls). It's so silly. But I like these. And I want them. You don't even know what I already got that I haven't pinned to remember! ;)

Dear Digital Bake Shop, I wish I could draw like you!

A friend sent this to me on Pinterest. I like it for 3 reasons. 1) Cause it's Lego. 2) Cause it's Library. And 3) Longish brown hair. Like me! And Princess Katherine. Was looking at a gallery of photos the other day and they were talking about her half up-half down hairstyles. I have to remind myself she has people to do her hair all the time. I think about chopping mine all off at least five times a week.

Found on Super Furry Librarian's Flickr stream

I got these earrings from Twisted Design (on Etsy) earlier in the summer. Really only started wearing them once school started. And then I lost one on Saturday. *insert sad face* Debating replacing them. I wasn't even wearing a lanyard! That's been the usual culprit for my many lost earrings. I also got the lightning strike studs.

I listened to this on Tuesday night after a 12 plus hour day. It was super interesting. I want to get it going in our library. I'm just not sure if I have the "umph" right now. Feeling very ... meh for two weeks in. Hope I beat it. Feeling this beaten this early? Uncool. Rise above sillyness and all that.

(PS The link goes to The Busy Librarian's webpage/podcast. It's an interview with a school librarian and the author/owner of the Genius Hour website.)

This is from the Primary Chalkboard. We're getting some mp3 players for audiobooks as soon as the PO goes through (OH MY WORD THAT TAKES SO STINKING LONG!!!). But they aren't iPods. Hope that won't confuse the kiddos.

And now it's the weekend. It's time to write my nieces and nephews. I LOVE THAT THEY WANT TO BE SNAIL MAIL PEN PALS.

Come back on Monday for the winner of the Rose ARC and the start of a new book giveaway. Then NEXT Monday for a giveaway of a free canvas print. Giving stuff away is fun! Can't wait for the next SLANT box matchups.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Throwback Thursday Wowbrary

This one comes from Sept of 2010. When my mom read this blog.

Wowbrary is a free service where you find out all of the new books/CDs/movies your public library ordered the past week. Links to Amazon reviews are included, as well as direct links to the library catalog page for putting the item on hold.

Be at the front of the hold line! I hate waiting. ;)

Now off to get over my first Skype attempt this morning coming off as an epic fail. From the outside (internet connection strong, for one) we were both online and good to go. No call connected. :/

Bowl of ice cream with chocolate syrup? Or the treadmill?


PS Comment on Monday's post if you want to win the paperback ARC. Another book giveaway will start on Monday. And a week from Monday ... that's when the 8X10 canvas print one will start.