Tuesday, October 29, 2013


So yet again nothing cohesive for you. Thanks for sticking around anyway! Dunno when I'll get my groove back. Hard to concentrate with so much "going on."

It just sounds spookier with his accent. Listen to the whole book here!

Debating (cause I still haven't gotten very many students or staff to fill out a "favorite book" leaf for the "Fall into Reading" bulletin board) ...

but one year (a couple years ago so I don't have a pic) we handed out one brown paper turkey body to each classroom. If you want to know the truth they looked surprisingly like a bowling pin. Google "bowling pin outline clip art" then whiteout the stripe around the neck. Voila! Turkey body. Anyway. Kids decorated them to look like their teacher (TOO cute. Glasses and hair and Spurs jerseys and the like) and then each morning for two weeks we added a feather for every 10 books the class read the night before. Should I try again? Didn't get 100% class participation but hey. Couldn't have kept up with that many turkeys anyway.

Turk and Runt might be my favorite T-Day book. Or maybe Twas the Night before Thanksgiving. I love the story about the first draft of that book. I was going to send you to pilkey.com but it looks like he's updated the site (which is still cool, just doesn't have the anecdote I'm talking about). If you go to the WAYBACK Machine and then go to the page about the book there is still a little snippet there. Dunno if this link will work but here it is just in case.

Should I? Are you? Sara is just starting. Really wasn't ever planning on it ... actually was kind of against it ... until our new library computers were installed. They take so long to log in (can't leave it up and running) that no one bothers to use the catalog anymore. NOW there's a real reason to. Maybe. Was asking around but only one teacher really gave me any feedback and she was about like me. Could see real Pros AND Cons to it. She told me "I'm game for whatever you go with."

Today we started a climate research project with 3rd grade. Here's the thing ... there are not many books that talk about the "continental" climate or the "mild" climate. Yes, state and country books that HAVE that climate that talk about it. But all print resources on the topic that I can find require MUCH inference. Can't even find many websites on a do-able reading level. What I have is on a Libguide here. Too bad our computer lab is completely non-functional.  #21stcentury

Sunday, October 27, 2013

#IMWAYR and almost Oct 28

It's (almost) 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.

Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library was very interesting. The illustration style was not my favorite but I loved hearing about his HUGE library and how he bought more than a book a day. I've seen reproductions of his cool revolving bookstand.

Pete was fun. The kids liked it even if it didn't have a song. But really ... why didn't it have music? The words rhymed and had rhythm. Still a good message. Look for the good. Need to remind myself of that as I bemoan being sick! (A side unrelated or maybe sort of related note ... have you ever read Hank the Cowdog? He has a FB fan page as well as an official page. The other day a quote was posted that has become hilarious to our family as we all are going through some big times of change. "We dogs save our Looks of Maximum Woe and Misery for special occasions." Hank is the reason at least two of my brothers are readers. Just funny. The audiobooks are actually even more fun than the print books. Like sitting around the campfire with the author.)

Contaminated has possibilities. Parts were great! Parts had holes. Definitely worth a library read (and if you're purchasing for a middle/high/public library worth a purchase) but I don't know that I'd have to personally own it. Boy howdy does the saying "Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels" have a different connotation to me now!

The Real Boy. I LOVED a good deal of it. The rest of it left me feeling like something was missing. Now this one is worth maybe owning just so you can underline all the cool lines that are so beautiful and descriptive. Parts of the character development frustrated me but I still enjoyed it a lot. Kind of the same as Breadcrumbs.

Coming up?

And at some point a picture book marathon, though that might not be this week.
Dinner in a pumpkin this week! Seriously try it if you haven't ever. See ... was it Wednesday's post? The one before the Finally Friday post. It has the recipe.

And next week little brother heads off on his mission for our church. Such a long time. :( But he's so awesome and wants to serve others. Proud of him. Remind me of that if I get mopey. ;)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pumpkin Notes

1) So the Wordless Wednesday Ivan was one example from our book character pumpkin patch. Last year was the first time we tried it and had over 100 entries! We NEVER get that kind of participation. Now ... this year there have been a lot more non-book entries. Never quite sure what to do there. I have been going with the flow and say "Hey that looks great!" but inside silently wishing it wasn't from a tv show. I am a little worried, however, about what we will find on Monday after a weekend of no AC. Lots of people did not pay so much attention to the "Please don't carve or puncture your pumpkin." :/ Also our Spirit Stick prizes were not in yet! We ordered them 6 weeks ago!

2) Every year we have "dinner in a pumpkin" on Halloween. The casserole is tasty and then you add salt and pepper to some of the scooped out pumpkin. YUM vegetable before the candyfest. Also the marker face is a must. Cause it kind of melts and looks funny.

3) I am in the mood for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Too bad I am getting kicked out of my house four times today (once is already done!) for people looking at it. I guess that's good. Need it to sell! Cookies might have to wait until tomorrow.
Enough of the not really library related-ness. Cross your fingers it's not #smellylibrary for us on Monday and have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

(almost) FInally Friday Oct. 25

Most awesome Harry Potter Pumpkin!

Because it's true.

I like this. A lot. Only that backdrop would work better in my new place if it were more grey and weathered.

Another comic. Isn't it fun?

Haven't tried this yet. But I might. Lunch is harder than it needs to be. Sandwiches are gross. Frozen dinners are gross. I'm not much of a cook. Any ideas?

Second time I'm early with a post this week ... but both rewind type posts. Nothing NEW to share. I might soon ... get a mini-grant from Kohl's so I'm going to get some of those LittleBits (oh and maybe some TPT task cards to go with them!) and see how they go. Rock on MakerSpaces! Still not feeling well which is just so ridiculous. And all the blog posts about "fitness" are driving me nuts. At some point I'll get back on the wagon. I will, I will, I will!
I will. Fell asleep last night at 8. We'll see how far I make it tonight.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

And here's an early submission to our Book Character Pumpkin Patch (actually the only one, so far, that's not a media tie in book :P ... I still have hope cause we're taking them through Monday). Is it not fabulous? Third grader and her mom. I might have unduly influenced a bunch of kids to love Ivan. WHAT I WOULD GIVE FOR A PIC OF ME VISITING HIM. Of course ... I would have had late 80s hair. And that's uncool.

I'm never all that wordless. But if you have any suggestions for posts you'd like to see let me know. A little ... discombobulated from being sick for so long plus trying to sell one house and getting ready to move into another and my "baby" brother leaving for his mission for our church.

Monday, October 21, 2013

#IMWAYR Oct 21

It's (almost) 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
(also the Spookley the Square Pumpkin book app and the Trick or Treat Little Critter book app)

I really liked Good Night, Zombie. Think I'll get all of 'em for school ... can never have enough "scary books"!

Next Week
Among other things, hopefully ...

I <3 BOOKS! And we're getting closer to the new place! And the whole wall of bookshelves. I cannot stand how excited I am about that. 

PS This is where I was this weekend. Aren't they too cute? The middle one (actually the top photo) is not even two yet and she recognizes shapes and letters on Endless Alphabet! Also she has EPIC HAIR. The oldest one (middle pic) is my crafting and adventure friend (I want them to move back here ... we had such fun together!) and reading the Charlie Brown Great Pumpkin app. I won a free code on iPadSammy's FB page. Then the littlest one on the bottom. I just met him this weekend. He was born the week before school started.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

(Almost) Finally Friday Oct 18

The former Spanish teacher in me approves. Also the want-to-be cookie decorator. I pin decorated cookies. But then never try making them because I know mine wouldn't be as pretty and I would get frustrated. Kind of silly.

I pinned this video on Pinterest but I'll just embed it here. It's a five minute video about a man who, at 5 years old, fell asleep on a train in India. When he woke up he was thousands of miles away from his family. He was adopted by an Australian family. As he grew older he remembered bits and pieces of his childhood ... and used Google Earth to find his home and, after a visit, his birth family!

Google like a BOSS. Sounds like that should be on a t-shirt.

I know, I know. I worked with a trainer for longer than I ever expected to. It felt GREAT to be that in shape! Have that much energy and to be skinny and wear cute clothes. And then ... school got crazy. And the money on the trainer quit being a motivator. :/

I meant to post them to Google Docs but haven't gotten to it yet. Plus honestly it's interesting to actually see how many people downloaded (or didn't ... can't always guess what others will like). Anyway. Four little ghostie bookmarks. They're free if you have a TPT account.

At risk of jinxing it but almost feeling human again! Hooray! Now to convince the DR. to send me for allergy testing THIS year when I've already paid my deductible (courtesy of one silly inflamed appendix). Which reminds me. Our open enrollment is almost over and I need to pick a new plan. They're canceling the one I've used because it was no longer "fiscally responsible." Which means it actually covered things.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Check Out Another TL Blog While I Go Sneeze

So I don't have anything interesting today. Check out my friend's new blog while I go cough and sneeze. :P

And bang my head against the wall. Know what I realized today? That pretty Surface tablet they gave us at ISTE? Completely don't remember the password I set up. Like tried every incarnation I can think of and nothing works. Have an email in but bow howdy. Can you trust me if I can't keep track of a password? Was going to attempt a mobile sign-in station and catalog look-up. Since our new "thin client" computers are a big fat BUST in the usefulness department. Like anyone is going to take three minutes JUST TO LOG IN to look up a book. It used to take 8 clicks after the three minute login process to get to the catalog. It's down to three clicks after three minutes logging in but that's still a lot.

Monday, October 14, 2013

#IMWAYR Oct. 14

It's (almost) 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
Can I have a reset? I tried going to school all week since I missed two days the week before. Was pathetic in many ways ... left by 2 on both Thursday and Friday. What good is a teacher who can't talk for more than two or three minutes without descending into a coughing fit? I even went to a meeting for campus "Teachers of the Year" with our school superintendent Wednesday afternoon! What was the point? Everyone staring at me. I promise, it's not contagious! Or at least I really don't think it is. Get it just about every year at the same time but my family doesn't. So once I got home? Not a lot of reading. Nyquil or higher powered dr. prescribed cough meds and hope for blessed sleep.

I did read a little more of Empty Mansions. And I did get to listen to Happy Halloween, Curious George when the local B&N brought the character to our school. Other than that I listened to the rest of Season 1 of Duck Dynasty from Amazon Prime on my phone while curled up in bed. SO RIDICULOUS and yet I didn't stop. Bummer that the rest of it is not on Prime!

Plans for this Week
Depends. I WAS going to take a personal day on Friday to visit a new nephew and spend some time with my brother before he leaves the country for two years. Do I dare on the chance that it IS contagious? Also missing yet another day of school? Cause then I could get some reading (well, probably audiobook listening) in on the way up and back again.

And the plan with classes had been to read PETE THE CAT! And make Petes with Halloween colored shoes (orange for pumpkins, green for ____________? and purple for ______________?) or Pete Puppets with Slightly Spooky Buttons (Halloween foam stickers). And then the counselor said "We need you to give benchmarks. Reading aloud benchmarks." HA HA HA HA HA.

I got a new James Preller Scary Tales book from the public library. Hopefully I'll get to that. Oh, and the new Piggie and Elephant that is released on Tuesday. And finishing The Silver Casket.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Finally Friday Oct. 11

Love this quote.

Fun Outfit!

This webinar reminded me I needed to check out Doceri. I actually already had it downloaded but never tried it before! Silly. When my voice sounds normal again I will try it.

Love all the art! I need to get the calendar.

Remember I'm a Star Wars Nerd, even if I missed out on SW Reads Day AGAIN. October is not my friend. I get sick or nasty allergies or something Every Single Stinking Year.

PS THis post accidentally went out on Wednesday night. Then I pulled it. Now it's back. :P

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Me again! Coughing so hard now my poor brain is banging around inside my head. Ugh on fall and colds or allergies or whatever it is. AND ... the house is for sale again. Last day and it fell through. Seconds before the Google presentation I got a text. Hey. At least now we probably will get to move door to door and not be homeless for weeks in between. But please sell! Anyway.

I had to share. I'm not usually all that "IN" to poetry but Naomi Shahib Nye spoke at our mini-conference today. She's local so I've heard her speak several times. Anyway. She's so good I always go on a poetry kick for at least a week or two. If you ever get the chance to have her at your school or hear her speak GO! Here are two YouTube examples. They don't really do her justice for how funny she is or what a good teacher she is.

Another speaker was Bill Perryman. I liked one activity he shared but that's for another post.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Creating a Google Form for Collection Requests

I am presenting with a MS and HS librarian today at a joint district/public library mini-conference. This isn't our entire presentation but it's one of the parts that I "own" so I can share. It's pretty simple but maybe everyone doesn't know how to do this. Or maybe they do.
Among other things a Google Forms Library Survey one might be coming before we present again at TCEA. Depends on if I get it done. And I'm working on fixing the template for the Library Data Board. That page has way more above average hits for my posts. How come no one told me it didn't work for you all? It was still working on my end but then I wasn't using a copy. Oops. :/
And I would love for more student work. That will require more functional computers on campus, however. So it's not entirely in my hands. With the iPads and my intervention group perhaps.

#IMWAYR Oct. 7

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.

If you're reading this in Bloglovin or Feedly CLICK THROUGH. I have a new blog design! Plus the Goodreads title embeds may not come through otherwise. If you're here from the Linky you'll see it anyway.

This Week

The Man with the ViolinThe Man with the Violin by Kathy Stinson
Definitely worth a look for a writing lesson on looking for details. Actually a reading lesson, too, on looking for details and noticing things. Check last week's post for the book trailer.

The Icy Hand (Something Wickedly Weird, #2)The Icy Hand by Chris Mould
Not a perfectly believable series but still fun. Can always use slightly spooky.

The King's Deception (Cotton Malone, #8)The King's Deception by Steve Berry
A grown up book! He's ... sort of like Dan Brown. Takes bits of the truth and makes it ridiculous but it's still fun.
Queen Elizabeth was actually a man in disguise?

Next Week

For some ODD reason I've picked up this one.

Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American FortuneEmpty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman

Not my usual sort of reading (not KIDLIT) but oddly interesting.

The Grimm Conclusion (A Tale Dark & Grimm, #3)The Grimm Conclusion by Adam Gidwitz

Started this one (either Netgalley or Edelweiss). Sadly not liking it as much as the first two. We'll see if that changes by the time I'm done!

The Silver Casket (Something Wickedly Weird, #3)The Silver Casket by Chris Mould

I need a picture book fix! A new Piggie and Elephant comes out next week. May need to cancel that preorder, though. Mail's going to be weird until we're properly moved. But the new Rick Riordan will be here some time this week.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Finally Friday Oct. 4

Well. Home for the second day because of a dumb sore throat. Rotten timing. But anyway. Here are some of my favorite pins for the week. You'll have to click through if you are reading in Feedly or Bloglovin as they don't catch embedded stuff.

When I can get in to my new office I want to find a fun one. Ha ha. Fun. To describe a filing cabinet. But organization IS fun when it happens. :P

I just gained 10 pounds looking at this. I did SO WELL with fitness there for a couple years. Struggled the last two. :/

Random funny you may have already seen.

Love these colors!

This weekend is the General Conference of my church. Twice a year we get to hear from leaders ... the prophet and apostles (yes, just like in the Bible). Terrible to mention it's comfy to "attend church" in pajamas (it's broadcast via satellite on cable channels)? I'm hoping to hear some words of encouragement. Be reminded that when things get crazy ... that's when HE is closest. If you are on Pinterest or Twitter you will see lots of references to #ldsconf. I hope you have a great weekend as well!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Slightly Spooky in the Library

This is a post from last September. If I get time I'll write a new one! What are your favorite ideas?

If it's in the library we turn off all the lights (which doesn't mean a whole lot, cause remember we have no walls and are in the middle of a major traffic hallway :/) and gather around a pretend fire made of orange "Christmas" lights. I have a flashlight that I use to read by ... plus it has a couple sound effect buttons like a wolf howl or scream. Pushed at the right time they add a nice effect. :]

Sipping Spiders Through A Straw: Campfire Songs For MonstersSipping Spiders Through A Straw: Campfire Songs For Monsters by Kelly DiPucchio

This one we actually do first before gathering around the fire. We put the book under the document camera and SING. Second grade and up. One year I randomly gave out rubber rats to kids who were singing with gusto. I was then the COOLEST. For a while, anyway. ;]

Haven't read this one yet ... but how cute does it look?
Creepy Carrots!Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds

(10/13/12 update ... Yep! It was a winner. In fact if it wasn't for how cute the kids are listening to it I would be SICK TO DEATH OF IT BY NOW as every K-2nd grade class has wanted to hear it and do some sort of activity ... be it illustrating settings (I should take pics!) or letter matching or number matching or character tree maps.)

(9/29/13 update ... MY COPY IS IN STORAGE! Whatever will I do? School copies ordered last year were part of the order that was "not fulfilled." Ordered it again already but school orders take SO FLIPPING LONG to get in.)

Oh, and this one, too. Then back to the ones I've actually read already.
FrankensteinFrankenstein by Rick Walton

(I still like this one ... but decided not to use it with 2nd grade. Headless monsters were kind of gross. Cute but gross.)

When a Monster Is BornWhen a Monster Is Born by Sean Taylor

AlphaOops: H Is for HalloweenAlphaOops: H Is for Halloween by Alethea Kontis

Robot Zombie Frankenstein!Robot Zombie Frankenstein! by Annette Simon

Ghosts in the House!Ghosts in the House! by Kazuno Kohara

What a lovely little Halloween book to discover at a bookfair just before October.

The 13 Days of HalloweenThe 13 Days of Halloween by Carol Greene

Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to DanceFrank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance by Keith Graves

You can see a movie short version of this one online. Fun.

The WoodsThe Woods by Paul Hoppe

I Need My MonsterI Need My Monster by Amanda Noll

The House that Drac Built. I read it so long ago that I hate to put it on Goodreads (I like my "count" to be real) but it's pretty fun. Rhyming and spooky illustrations but not ... creepy.

For the older ones ... something out of any one of Robert San Souci's Short & Shivery books.
Or playing them the first few minutes of The Graveyard Book (found here). There's something super spooky about listening to Neil Gaiman (the author)'s English accent telling the story.

Here There Be Monsters: the Legendary Kraken and the Giant SquidHere There Be Monsters: the Legendary Kraken and the Giant Squid by H.P. Newquist
(Including this not really as a read aloud but as one to get and maybe have on display or something. It's not perfect (random Tennyson quote) but it is COOL.


PS Freebie Halloween bookmarks at this throwback post. All my new clip art is color so I don't know if I'll make any this season.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Here's the bulletin board from last week and the baseball reading promo that never happened. I think it was Saturday? I still like it. But couldn't get an easy enough way that people would actually report their kiddos nightly/weekly reading.

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