Thursday, January 31, 2013

Favorite Valentine Books

(Feeling pretty close to human again! And this one only needed a little bit of tweaking to be ready. #stupidappendix And OH! The cute heart banner up in the image above? TOTALLY MELONHEADZ.)

These are a few of my favorites. What are yours?

Funny, funny, funny.

So I pretty much love anything these two do!

Not usually a big Splat fan (he's kind of self-centered) but I do like this one. He gets out of his comfort zone to make a Valentine. #cute

Look at that hippo and tell me you're not curious. ;)

NEW! But it's Duck and Goose. So it's already awesome and a favorite.

These are always fun. Some of the rhymes are a little forced but not too badly.

The obvious heart art possibilities.

Not that I think fourth or fifth graders need to be worrying too much about this ... but this book is spot on. A great model for "how to" writing and he does present some good ideas.

(PS The book covers were snagged from all over the place. Make sure to check out your local library or bookstore if you would like to get a copy!)

And on a side note ...
these little mini-posters are $1.75,

and so are these;

and these bookmarks are $1.00;

these valentines are $2.25;

and these are free!

I heart them all. A lot. I'm sort of discombobulated with "themes" aren't I. Can't stick with one.
And apologies for the "commercial." I actually really dislike that. Tried to give some good content at the beginning of the post!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Be back in a bit ...

Out of ready to go pre-written posts. Right in the middle of third grade's major research project what does Ms. O get? Appendicitis. Super fun. Surgery's done and I'm home on my couch. I'm too old for this. :P Really.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, January 25, 2013

Finally Friday Pins Jan 25


I just gave up writing a quarterly article for LMC on Books New to Spanish. But the former Spanish teacher in me loves this pic and wants to explore this blog more. For those of you that don't read Spanish ... Google Translate!

I did something sort of like this one year. First year we had a Flip camera and mini-tripod ... the kids did it themselves. The Flip has now died, sadly ... I have a Kodak something or other which I like but it's a personal device, not a school one. Anyway, I had it all set up so all they had to do was push the big red button. Used a black science fair presentation board and covered it with red and hot pink hearts. Then filmed kids sitting in front of it saying "I love my library because ..." Sort of like a "confessional booth" like on the reality TV shows? ADORABLE. Was a little hard keeping track of parent permissions and who could be posted. And the little PreKers that wanted to come say something because they heard me mention it on the morning announcements? PRICELESS.

Remember how just last Friday I was showing you a bunch of little felt finger puppets I made and never used? I want to make these now. #nosense

Dunno who this "Angel" is but I like these ideas.

I want to order one of these. But I dislike having my picture taken so I don't know what to send her. Holding a book and my iPhone? Or Macbook? Or violin? Wearing ... running shoes (HA HA HA! :/)? Doc Marten Mary Janes? Or combat boots? Curly hair (natural) or straight (which only my stylist can do)? #TOOMANYDECISIONS


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

President's Day Signs & Bookmarks Repeat

These are some signs and bookmarks from last year but thought I'd share again. Hooray for Scrappin' Doodles. Wish I could draw. 

Should I put a border around them? I couldn't decide. But they are all b&w ... save the printer ink. Let the kiddos color them! ;)


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Apps for Teacher Librarians Part 4: General Utilities

NEARPOD ... Teacher version on your iPad device and student versions on their iPad or iTouch devices. (I thought they used to be separate apps on the iTunes store ... but it doesn't look like that anymore. Since I already have them on our devices it's hard to test.) Allows you to "control" what they see and monitor as they view your presentation. Click through the pin for a video.

Source: via Angie on Pinterest

a QR Code Reader. I like Inigma but any one will work.

Teachers Pick (iPad or iTouch) Won't lie ... it took a long time to get all of the classes set up--not as long as you might think but longer than I wanted. And I'm not perfect at keeping them updated with all of our move-ins and outs. That said this still helps me a lot ... I don't call on the same kiddos all the time and it helps me remember their names! There are other apps that do the same thing ... this is just the one I happen to have. I saw one on Pinterest at some point that included Bloom's question stems as it randomly chose students. Could be useful!

Dropbox is a GREAT way to move bigger files (like videos) from an iDevice to a desktop. You do have to have a free Dropbox account. If you don't have one already and use this link I'll get a bit of free extra online storage space. You NEED this one as many apps are designed to integrate with Dropbox. ;)

 (Only ... "there ARE now." Not "there IS." Grammar. I might run on sentences but my subjects and verbs agree. Usually. :/)

Google Drive Of course this is only useful if you have a google account to sign in with. But you can move files back and forth this way. Get the pdfs from Google Drive and download, then open in Skitch for annotation or iBooks for reading!

Chrome! I dislike Safari. Couldn't even really tell you why. Chrome is the way to go. ;)

Three Ring looks to be pretty cool. Haven't used this one yet but I think it would be nice to try. Quick pics of student work and then you don't have to carry the work around, you can grade digitally. Your thoughts for in the library classroom? Check out this mashable article on it.

In my quest to understand Evernote ... there's an app!

Here are Parts 1, 2, and 3. Anyway. Are there any topics or app themes that you are interested in?


Friday, January 18, 2013

Flannel Friday ... oops a Double Post

You won't be hearing from me again until probably Tuesday so please excuse. ;)
Thoughts. Found these at school yesterday. Made them several summers ago and have never used them (you can't even see all of them in the pic!). Don't remember where I got the patterns or what rhymes/finger plays I thought I might use. Not much of a rhyme/ finger play person. Should I change that and start using them? It give them to my 5 year old niece visiting this weekend?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Finally Friday Pins Jan 18

As a Teacher Valentine Gift?

Why is everything Valentine-ish? BAH HUMBUG on Valentine's Day.

Keep doing planks. Even when I don't want to!

This is especially true for me lately after the last couple weeks of school. Maybe it's the unseasonably wet weather (well, actually for January it probably SHOULD be wet but we've been in a drought for so long!) but I feel all grey and gloomy and frustrated with testing mandates and overwhelmed teachers who then completely "forget" the library and technology that is non-functional and/or not being used to it's full potential for kids. And the hallway noise. Allways the hallway noise. Here's to a weekend with family to get me out of it!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

C is for ...

Eric Carle and Nancy Carlson. Call me a crazy picky librarian but WHY OH WHY OH WHY do those books always get mixed up on the shelf? WHY? THEY ARE DIFFERENT.

Patrick Carman. Loved the Dark Hills Divide series. Love Skeleton Creek. Love Floors. Pretty much love all of his stuff.

Clip art. I have a weakness for clip art. You knew that already. And I clear out that pinboard pretty often after I buy stuff or install fonts. Does anyone have a really good system for organizing clip art?

Silhouette Cameo. I don't use it nearly as much as I could. Or others do. But still. SO MUCH FUN. Made these over the summer and they are still favorites.

Color! The school district blog where this picture originally lived is gone. Plus I've made them prettier. They're laminated, on a ring, hanging from a Command hook (HA! another C) on the side of the catalog computer monitors. Well. I need to get some more hooks because of our four computers? Three have died in the past two months. We got hand-me-downs from classrooms for two. But here is one idea I had for using paint chips in the library. Mini-Genre Word Walls for looking up particular genres of books in the online catalog!

Oh. And here is an entire post on other people's ideas for using colorful paint chips. Do you use them in other ways?

Besides matching them to the three different bookshelf colors/styles in your library, that is? ;)


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

B is for ...

Blogging. This makes me laugh, even if this particular Sherlock pictured was my least favorite of the six episodes.

I just noticed the source of this photo. I hope I am not linking to something strange. :/
Anyway. It's helped me to reflect on my reading preferences and teaching practices. And get ideas from other great educators. And I love the idea of student blogging. Had some success with more closed "forums" at my school. So far not a lot of student blogging ... though I think that could be awesome.

Board Books. I never used to see the point. Then I had nieces and nephews (and students ... even though they are all at least three and should know better!). Not the best shots (one had to have some serious digital help with the lighting and it was a cell pic to begin with) but look. IS HE NOT THE CUTEST? I have more shots of the other ones but these are from the last two weeks. The older shots are harder to find. :/ #shameonmefornotorganizingandtagging

Plus? He can say "book." If you're listening. ;]

BOOKSHELVES ... I have an entire Pinterest board devoted to them. None of that "styling" where there are all of three books on the shelf for me. Yes, there does need to be some space to breathe on there. But after that? BOOKS. BOOKS. And more BOOKS. Also not in order by color cause that's just dumb. Topic or author. Just like the library.

Also, want to see something slightly funny? All three of these color bookshelves are in our library space. #wematch

Yes. Those are VHS. I got rid of all the ones that are on Streaming Video. And after that fuss I didn't have the drive to get rid of these. Tired of the fuss. But one day soon I will be strong enough to say "Please don't question my professionalism. And seriously, so many of the books on the older RR are hard to get nowdays!

Blue Balliet. No pinned pic for this but her website is newly (or, at least since the last time I checked it out!) redesigned. I still love an activity we did when Chasing Vermeer was new. Had mysterious letters delivered to classrooms with clues that they had to use the databases to solve. Our missing article was my Yoda READ poster.

Bears. I love bears. It's genetic from my mom. My niece once had a little bet going with Grandma about how many bears she had in her house. Shall we just say the number was higher than any of us guessed. ;)
Here is a screenshot of some of the bear books I've read. I'm actually surprised there aren't more. I probably forgot to add some to Goodreads. Or Goodreads didn't recognize it was a "bear" book. Like Peter Brown's You Will Be My Friend. Totally a bear book. Not on here. #weird


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Apps for Teacher Librarians Part 3: Photo Editing

I tried to link to tutorials where I could. Most of them are not educators ... but I liked how they explained things. For now I will concentrate on ideas for educational use and let them do the nuts and bolts explaining of the app.

Pixlr-o-matic (free) & Pixlr-o-matic+ ($.99) Yeah ... not so much on the educational. Unless you're trying to age a photo to make it look like it was taken a long time ago. But the effects are super cool and the more you play with your iPad the better your tech instincts will get at everything. Check this out.

PicCollage. This one is great for making collages of student work or photos to post on a teacher website (if you have permission to post photos of kids). Or kids could make collages on different topics. (PS ... DROPBOX Plug here. It's the best way I've found of moving pics on and off of an iPad!) (PS #2 1/16 addition ... nice post on using PicCollage to make a visual dictionary.)

CaptionCard for adding text to a photo (like credits, perhaps?) while it's still on the iPad. On a desktop Ribbet, Picmonkey, or iPiccy are easier. Not that CC isn't easy ... it's just very basic. But the others look nicer.

Diptic (I got it when it was free but it's regularly $.99) Here's a tutorial.
I need to get back in to making book collages. Remember this? I was so excited to be on Free Tech 4 Teachers. How much of a nerd can I be?

Frame Magic is similar to Diptic. Maybe even a little cleaner layout. Available on iTouches (with cameras, obviously) and iPads. There is a lite version (free), a regular version ($.99). and a premium version ($1.99) I have the regular version. Pretty sure I actually got that one for free. Watch and you don't have to deal with "lite" versions with annoying ads.

Dr. Seuss Camera Grinch edition ($1.99) ... not really editing but kind of fun! And easy. Worth paying for.
Dr. Seuss Camera Cat in the Hat edition (also $1.99)
Dr. Seuss Camera Happy Birthday edition (FREE ... you've been waiting for me to say that again, haven't you)
These need no explanation as to why I might mention them. ;)

Mad Lips. ($2.99) Worth paying for. Sort of like Blabberize but you can export the videos to the iPad camera roll. Have the kids research a person. Or animal! The talk as if they WERE that person or animal. Or YOU make a video of instructions for something. Kids click and play. Laught. And then follow directions! Saw Tony Vincent use it at iPadpalooza. Fun! (If I were brave I would post one that I've done here. But I'm not brave enough yet to share with grown ups. ;) I'm working on it!)

Match a Photo. ($1.99 but I'm pretty sure I got this when it was free, too.) You can make simple Memory games here ... import pictures or jpgs of vocab words or what have you.

And actually for MUCH more than photo editing ... SKITCH. Skitch can be awesome for labeling pictures, annotating PDFs and webpages ... seriously. Maybe one day I'll write up a full "tutorial" (cause hey, I'd have some to learn before then, too!) but for now check out some how-tos on Skitch from the Evernote site here. Plus? It's FREE! I love it so much I paid for the Mac edition. Before Evernote bought it and then started giving it away for free. ;)

You know, after this post I'm thinking another one on ways to find out when apps go free might be in order. Cause paid apps do go free for promotional periods. I think it might even be a requirement for a set amount of time each year but don't quote me on that.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

A is for ...

I started an alphabet series (books, authors, information seeking skills, tech, and JUST MY FAVORITES) last year and never finished it. Here's to do-overs in the new year.

I can't help it. I <3 my Mac and iPhone. I MISS MY MAC when I am at school and stuck with a faltering lame PC that takes 10 minutes to boot up. #bignetworksareamajormajorpain

Katherine Applegate, author of The One and Only Ivan
Love that story. I used to go and visit Ivan when he lived at the B&I. Not a very nice place and he looked so lonely. Glad his story got a happy ending. I tell all my students about another animal that lived at the B&I. A poor rooster. He was stuck in a machine where people (NOT ME) would put in quarters and it would heat up the floor and make the rooster "dance." :X If I'd known I would be a school librarian back then ... and that such a good book would have been written ... I would have TAKEN A PICTURE. #alas #theundocumentedyearsbeforeiphones

Anne Shirley. I'm not usually much for girly-type books but I love this character. My sisters and I want to visit PEI. Like really bad want to visit.

Tedd Arnold and FLY GUY.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Finally Friday Pins Jan 11

I love the idea of this library assistant center (from Mrs. Lodge's Library). I haven't had a whole lot of luck with my "centers" so far ... but I keep trying. I have to take anything I put out down and back up every day (hazard of an open concept space ... if I don't it's either gone or thrashed the next day :X :X :X) so maybe that's the problem. I am not as consistent as I need to be.

And right after I say my centers are still a work in progress ... I mention this. Tempted. $8 but she put a lot of work into it. As if I don't already have things I could use but I LIKE THE LOOKS OF THIS ONE.

Owls! And reading! Two of my favorite things.
Source: Angie on Pinterest

LOVE. Not inexpensive ... but LOVE.
Source: via Angie on Pinterest

Can fit into so many aspects of life, right? Teaching and otherwise.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 Bookish Un-Boring List

OK. I loved the idea so much I had to steal it. Thanks, Jen!

In no particular order (well, that's not true, as I know I will do number one on Wednesday and you won't read this until Thursday!) ... but after that I don't know! Is it cheating to put something on here that I was thinking of doing this week?

1. Go to a comic book store and buy a Star Wars comic. Never would I have dreamed I would find myself entering an establishment called Alien Worlds (apparently that's the closest one?). But for classic Star Wars? Apparently I will do it.

2. To go along with R2D2's Guide to Folding and Doodling I will make this. To ... recycle my practice folds and doodles.

3. Read The Twelve.
Then ... run/walk 500 miles using the Zombies Run app. Over the course of the ENTIRE YEAR. I'm not crazy, people. That works out to a little less than 10 a week. TOTALLY do-able.

4. Read Penguin and Pinecone.
Then make a video (either a booktalk or just something about penguins!) using the puppet I got at SeaWorld last spring. My puppet is more lifelike than the cute book illustrations but I don't think that matters. DO things like make videos. Don't just think about it!

5. Straight up stealing straight the visit new indie bookstores goal. Right now I know of exactly ONE. Does this have something to do with watching You've Got Mail last week?

6. At some point this year I will be moving into a new place. It will have a little closet under the stairs. Don't freak out that it won't be perfect ... just paint it something like THIS. I am going to be the coolest aunt ever with a reading nook. ;)

7. A wall of bookcases in new place! A WALL. Only ... I want to paint the back of the shelves an accent color. Not sure what color the walls will be yet, or I'd start obsessing over that.

8. I feel like I should do something Oz-ish. I can't decide about the new movie adaptation preview. But hey. I need to think of something because the kids will be excited about the book! Any ideas?
This seems like an awful lot of work and only tangentially Oz related. Like is it even, really? Just found it on an Oz pinterest board.

9. Also a kind of stolen idea ... book art. Only I am going to try Knuffle Bunny style with some photos I take (part of a goal ... photography!) and illustrations that I will get my nieces and nephews to make. ;) Had a student have to come show me that Trixie was reading a P&E book today. And a new Sunday School student that was SO IMPRESSED I knew about Mo Willems. So ... Knuffle Bunny style book art.

10. I WISH I could say "Visit Prince Edward Island." But I do not think that one will happen this year. So we'll say when I get into my new kitchen? Host some sort of get together and try making this.

I'm too scared to call this a linky-party. What if no one else wanted to participate? But if you should happen to write your own 2013 Bookish Un-Boring List ... please share!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wonder Wednesday & Professional Reading

I've said it before but I'll say it again. I <3 Wonderopolis. The website and the free app, both (though the app doesn't work through our school filter :( and the website does! How's that for strange?).

This is just a recap of some stuff I've posted before. If you saw it then ... thanks! You've been reading for a while and I really appreciate it. If it's new to you ... thank you so for stopping by! Please come back.

(And if you were here before ... remember how I was going to make my own Wonder videos? Yeah. That didn't happen. Our Wonder Wednesdays on the morning announcements got nixed and student lost interest in submitting questions. :( Kind of a little frustrated by that as it was TWO MINUTES out of the week when SO MANY OTHER people come in and go on and on and on during announcements. :X But I digress.)

THIS post offers some shelf signs (for the library) directing kids to the right Dewey area if they have a particular wonder. I would totally LOVE to make some more. Anyone got a request?

Then THIS post offers a simple set of activity card jpgs you can download for using Wonderopolis in the classroom. (As a class activity 2nd grade. As an independent activity probably 3rd grade and up, just because of all the new vocabulary.)

And this is the book that got me really thinking more about how to get the kids CURIOUS. I mean, sometimes they ask the funniest questions in the middle of a totally different discussion. And then other times they just sit and look at you like "What do you want us to do/think?" We want THEM wondering and us not coming up with all of the questions. Somewhere in the middle. They explain things much better.

And this was another one that inspired me for my older students. Loved it.

And PS If you thought I was talking about the other Wonder when you saw the post title ... I LOVE THAT BOOK, TOO. For ... oh, let's say read aloud to third through sixth, read independently in fourth and fifth. Such a great book to teach empathy and caring/accepting others. I believe the tagline is "Choose Kind"? If you teach younger kids I would suggest The One and Only Ivan. Similar topics and more age appropriate.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Apps for Teacher Librarians Part 2: Media Creation

Puppet Pals HD or Pocket ... there's a free version but I'm linking to the director's passes because of course you have WAY more options with the paid versions. (And the Pocket version Director's Pass WAS free for a couple days last week ... did you catch it?) Hooray for being able to save work and export videos to the camera roll (and then to whereever you want to post them).
And HEY! New version. Which I don't have yet. But maybe soon. (And if any readers just happen to be Christian and involved in teaching there ... how did I miss that they had a Bible version? And for those that might also be LDS ... a Book of Mormon version? Linked both of those to the freebie versions but I would think the director's pass would be worth the minimal investment. Or watch for when they go free.)

Toontastic ... same there. Free pack for anyone (check out the historical ones!) and then a school "subscription" for all of them. I LOVE their set up. Just really frustrated that they won't allow you to export the videos. They can ONLY be seen on their website and embedded elsewhere. They don't want to split their product (or something to that extent ... I wrote and asked and that was the gist I got from their answer). Frustrating because hey. As a teacher and school we don't want work split, either. We want some control over where kids' work goes. And we're PAYING. Boo to that. But I still love their animations and the story-telling structure framework. The artwork is way cuter than Puppet Pals, too. :/

Sock Puppets has a basic, 30 second recording version available for free. Then there are other options available with in-app purchases or a content pass. Kids could explain a science topic, or summarize a story.

Vintagio requires the right project. But it's so much fun! I picked it up when it was free (and called Silent Movie Director) but I'd pay. I love the sepia toned videos and music. Easier to have the kids make and show cue cards than have to rerecord over and over if they don't like how they delivered lines. Maybe for a book trailer on a historical fic story?

Action Movie is also LOADS of fun. I hope to have some PSAs on "rapid changes to the earth's surface" by the end of January for you. Warning, though. A lot of the best effects are in-app purchases. So this one I actually have on my personal iPhone, not the school iPad.

ScrollShow is a freebie! And only on the iPad. But it's a slideshow maker with a bit more kick than just PPT. Which doesn't come on an iPad. ;)

Haiku Deck for presentations ... with pics to use! Now, I cannot guarantee every single pic. Haven't seen all of them. But I have not come across anything ... untoward. And Richard Byrne likes it.

Comic Life is available on both iTouch or iPad. I have to think it would be a bit harder on the iTouch, though, just because of the size of the screen. But so much fun. The "Daring Librarian" is a master at Comic Life. So far it's just me using it on my personal Mac or the school iPad (with only one device it's hard for student projects as it does take a little while) but if the right time comes along they certainly COULD use it.


Here's Part 1 of the newer set. And that reminds me I already need to go update it ... just a few hours after I posted that the 2012 Cybils book app finalists were announced.