Thursday, July 31, 2014

TBT Some Videos

Posted most of these before at one time or another. Hence TBT status. Click through if the embeds don't show up. ;)

Use with kiddos at the beginning of the year. Stand in the back of the room giggling when many of the references whoosh right over their heads.

Still laugh at this one. I STILL LAUGH. #growupmso

Funny. Just funny.

Not remotely library related but it makes me happy.

I have not done ONE MONDAY MADE IT this summer. #kindofsad #notsurewhattomake

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

Currently our space looks like this.

It will be awesome to not be in the middle of a hallway anymore. AWESOME. Small and cozy. Fewer visual and auditory distractions to concentrate on the learning. Still some, I'm sure ... but not NEARLY so many. If you have been reading a while ... guess what! Soon I won't be complaining about no walls anymore!

Email received yesterday ... "We ordered the shelves this week! They'll be here in 6-8 weeks!"

We start school on Aug. 25.

#shouldhaveseenthatcoming #idontevencarewellsurvive #8weekswillbeinthemiddleofthefallbookfair

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday ... the Authors of Books I Own the Most of

This is a weekly feature over at the Broke and the Bookish. First time I'm trying it but many of the prompts look like fun! This list is me personally.

Cheating on this next one. Topic not author.

Hmmm. That is only 8. My picture books are shelved kind of ... skeewampus, though. How ridiculous is that for a kidlit librarian. Probably not much exciting there if we're talking sheer number. Doreen Cronin, Karma Wilson, Laura Numeroff. Probably because of the $5 Kohl's Cares for Kids books. Which I just looked up. AAAAAAAAH! Little Critter! I might have to make visit and see if they still have any. Which I don't need. But I might NEED. Too bad they won't let  me have the stuffed animals at school. :P

Monday, July 28, 2014

#IMWAYR July 28

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.

Missed last week (and spent a fair amount of time on a plane or waiting for my brother who works the night watch as a policeman to wake up) so it's a long one. Click though the pics to go to my Goodreads page for more specific info. I will be highlighting a couple of them anyway in the next couple of weeks. And oops. I didn't mean to get the average stars in the pic grab. I don't usually. That is the total average. Mine ... well, my rating was often quite different for several of these, strangely enough. I still hate it when that happens. I either wonder what I missed or why I liked something nobody else did.

A quick rundown ...
Loved Loot.
Sorry to say I did not care for Braving the Brontes ... which surprised me a lot.
Skink (I believe, anyway) is a great book ... but the target audience is higher than previous kidlit titles by Carl Hiassen. Don't think I'll be getting it for our elem. collection but it would be a good one for a MS with the examples of the dangers of giving away too much personal info online.
Absolutely Almost is kind of sad. I felt so sorry for the kid with his clueless parents and teachers! But ... well. He is the everykid, no? Wonder is still my favorite but many kids will see themselves in Albie.
The picture books I got to see at the most fun little INDIE. I visited an Indie! This has been a silly little thing on the bookish unboring list for a while. It's so hard to get to the one that's in my town.

You already know I am in the middle of Invent to Learn. What else to finish? Time is running out!

I am totally chicken to head in to campus to see progress on the library space renovations. Is that silly?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Finally Friday July 25

Click through for embedded content!

I've been in my house for eight months now. Might be time to get some art up on my bedroom walls. How nerdy would this be?

Is this one too springy? Was just going back over OLD pins and remembered how much I liked them. They're a freebie via Google Drive.

Again. If only shopping for clothes was fun. (And yes. I know. Quit whining and go work out and meal plan.)

Harry Potter quotes. Also looked at a couple HP quote versions on Etsy. Though that wouldn't be much less nerdy to have on my walls.

Not QUITE YET. But I guess I'll look at these anyway. Should I do an update? Must think about new titles ...

Oh and if you would like to head over to The Craft of Teaching she's hosting a giveaway!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I'm reading Invent to Learn

Second post in a day! Blogger Boo Boo. Oh well.

Have you heard of this book? It is about "making" in the classroom. There is a local minimakerfaire coming up in a few days that I'm thinking of checking out. Not educational in focus but maybe it will help me figure out how to bring more real, hands on stuff to the school library.

I'm not done yet but thought I'd post about ... thoughts so far. Here is their webpage. Bold text is just me showing what really stood out ... it wasn't in the actual text. Italics is the reference point as well as I could mark it when reading the Kindle version and my thinking so far.

Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the ClassroomInvent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom by Sylvia Libow Martinez

Do I need to get out more? This is the most textbook like thing I have read since ... a textbook. But still interesting enough to keep going. This will probably be long. Sorry. I did try to edit!

THIS book quotes Piaget "to understand is to invent" (So I am a doofus and can't figure out the Kindle page numbers ... location 159 of 5629 if that helps? Are the "locations" consistent across devices? #IdontknowasmuchabouttechasIpretend)

"this 'maker movement' overlaps with the natural inclinations of children and the power of learning by doing" (location 173)

"The sorts of projects made possible by these materials may make readers nostalgic for what primary education used to be and reinvigorate project-based learning. Classrooms could once again become places of great joy, creativity, and invention.... Tinkering is a powerful form of learning by doing." (locations 191 and 200)

"The maker movement represents a bright spot in a world that too often uses computers biased towards the least empowering aspects of formal education." (location 545 ... and this one made me SIGH the most. Dang if I don't get sick and tired of computerized drill stuff on the computer lab machines.  One reason I try to keep the library machines very occupied with more interesting applications. :( :( :()

A WHOLE BUNCH of stuff about constructivism in education

Britain admits they changed their ICT curriculum because "It is harmful and dull." (quote from another source but in location 697 in this book ... also HA!)

"Reading and 'remixing' another person's computer program is a sophisticated form of literacy students need today." (location 748)

"Makedo is a series of reusable connectors and hinges for turning cardboard packaging materials into elaborate structures and play objects." (location 776 ... and now I am SO MAD that when Educents had them I didn't go ahead and get some. This was when they were like so new and it was a great deal and I didn't. That always happens. Buyer's remorse goes both ways. Also why do I remember random stuff like that when I still don't know the house phone number of my new place?)

"Although the learning happens inside the learn's head, this happens most reliably when the learner is engaged in a personally meaningful activity outside of heir head that makes the learning real and shareable." (location 825)

"... this is from 1987! 'Seek out open-ended projects that foster students' involvement with a variety of materials, treating computers as just one more material, alongside rules, wire, paper, sand, and so forth." (location 905)

"None of the constraints of school are for the benefit of learning--they create a more manageable, homogeneous, efficient platform for teaching a predetermined bit of content." (location 933)

"The scientific method may work for testing a guess about how the world works, but it is not applicable to things that don't exist yet." (location 1115 ... I like that she points this out ... considering she was part of the group that if I understand correctly invented GPS? Which SAVES MY LIFE?!! #nosenseofdirectionatall)

In location 1364 there are Eight Elements of a Good Project. Go find a copy of the book and look them up. We can discuss later. ;)

"One of the responsibilities of being a teacher is to translate the mandates of the educational system into something that helps children understand their world." (location 1428)

"The value of student projects at all levels needs to be demonstrably obvious to even the most casual observer.... As teachers, we often promote the idea that process is more important than the end product, yet is is often the product that provides context and motivates students to learn ... There is no reason why student projects cannot be both cute and good. Interesting, timely, relevant, sophisticated, moving, whimsical, charming, thoughtful, original, clever, imaginative and innovative are all attributes that contribute to a good project.... Projects are what students remember long after the bell rings. Great teachers know that their highest calling is to make memories." (locations 1556- 1593 ... and that line about "both cute and good" made me laugh ... the following sentence is so true, though!)

"Is there some way I can do less and grant more authority, responsibility, or agency to the learner?" (location 1610)

"The best fun is hard fun." (location 1707)

"Teaching is not testing." (location 1929)

Are you bored out of your minds yet? I'm only a third of the way through!

PS NONE of these links are affiliates. I cannot deal with the forms to start that. :P ;)

Throwback not so Book Related

Here's a quick pic ... just got back from my first return in #nowayamItellingyouhowmanyyears to the Pacific Northwest.

This was 9 & 10 grade. I pass the school where I actually graduated fairly often during the school year as it's only a couple blocks from where I work. This one has a lot of memories, though. It was significantly smaller. 400 or so total as opposed to 600 in just one class ... everything's bigger in TX. :P

Summer is going by TOO FAST!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, July 18, 2014

Finally Friday July 18

As always click through to see embedded content. I'm off in the great Pacific Northwest visiting family!

So I'm going to start off with a ridiculous one. It's four months early and on the one hand this stuff is just awful. On the other? AWESOME.

Awesome cakes about kids' books!

Here is a random giraffe pic. Just because who doesn't love random giraffe pics?

I would love this outfit if the idea of wearing white pants to school wasn't kind of ridiculous. Also I haven't gotten off the weight I gained back. AGAIN. :P #clotheshoppingisntfun

Oldie pin but goodie.

Monday, July 14, 2014

#IMWAYR July 14

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.

In order of favorite to least ...

  • This is a Moose
  • Revolution 
  • The Forbidden Library (can't wait to share this one! I quite liked it!)
  • Jedi Academy 1&2 (jumps ahead of Revolution in terms of Kid Appeal)
  • Reading in the Wild (PD)
  • Scowl 
  • Say What You Will (YA)
  • Young World (YA)
  • Revenant of Thraxton Hall (YA or adult)
Go to Goodreads to see more info on specific titles.
I mentioned Jedi Academy already this week (seriously ... if you are a TL you need it for school and if you are a classroom teacher of grade 4 or above you need them and if you are a parent get them for your readers, too! They're silly but fun!). I will probably have finished Secrets Underground by the time this post goes live.

Well and there is also this one. I can't say I love it, though. #forcedrhyme

What next? This week I am heading to SEATTLE so we will see. I haven't been there since the summer between sophmore and junior year of high school. Visiting family and maybe old stomping grounds. Reading could be light. Pretty sure I will finish Rose and the Lost Princess. Maybe next I will read Carly Keene: Braving the Brontes. Or The Copernicus Legacy: The Serpent's Curse. Or Loot. Or Skink. Or Guys Read: True Stories. My goal will be two of them. Getting to anything else will be icing on the cake.

Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Finally Friday July 11

Still know when it's Friday ... even in the summer! Click through if you're in a reader to see embedded content.

Most of the resources on this page are for teaching Spanish ... but I thought this was worth remembering.

So my very favorite is still Fitness for Nerds. But John and Hank (like how I pretend we're on a first name basis?) produce some pretty cool educational content as well. WOO-HOO!

I want to go to London. Before these go away. #notgonnahappen

If I cooked I would try this.

Or maybe this one.

I've preached Chrome before. Ditto what this presentation says.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

TBT Connecting with Authors

This is a presentation I did for Simple K12 a couple years ago. It's always been up on the top menu ... though it's old enough maybe I should take it off until I update it?).How would you update it?

Besides acknowledging the demise of Google Reader, obviously. Anyone had a cool student/author/illustrator interaction on Twitter? (Still nerding out over Corey Rosen Schwartz seeing our Ninja Pigs illustrations because of a shared link via Twitter!) Or a cool Skype? Or is there an author using Pinterest to share book related content?

Hmmm. Also I hope you all see something above this. It's not showing up in the "preview" though with embedded stuff that's not all that strange. Anyway. If I messed up the code then you can see it through the page link in the top menu.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

#summerreading #auntANDteacherlibrarian

This is one of my nieces. She's staying at my house for most of the summer in between a move.

We're hitting up programs.

On a side note this library prints something on their receipts I thought was interesting.

Really only been going since the summer. Checked out a couple during the spring but as the location is kind of inconvenient for anything else and (then, at least ) my previous library card was still good I usually went to that system on the way home from work. Adds up fast, no? Shouldn't be so hesitant to renew the SA city library card for the out of county price. Which is. $200. :/

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Carbonite: Part Awesome and Part Sloth #backupyourdata Also JEDI ACADEMY

Tech Rant ahead then books at the bottom ...

My first hard lesson was 4 years ago in October. A jerk broke into my house and loaded up a car with TVs, jewelry, cameras, and computers.

Lost a lot of pics and files that day that I can't get back. :(

So when I got a new computer I was NOT EVER going to have that happen again. Enter Carbonite! Automatic backup of anything I ever save. Don't even have to set up Time Machine (Mac). LOVE that. Always remind everyone ... "Back up your files OFF site!" I'm lucky they didn't see the external drive or they might have taken that, too ... along with the $100+ in bookfair change I had ready for the following Monday. But I wasn't good about regularly backing stuff up on that drive so it was very hit and miss.

(insert mental picture of Han Solo here ... can't find one that embeds neatly)

But (and there is a BUT here) ... OH MY WORD CARBONITE IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO SLOW! I'm remembering now. It took it three weeks just to back up the files I DID have. Three weeks.

And now? Moving files over from one machine to another? Going to take even longer as I have more files. #Sigh They say they released the "throttle" on data but gotta say ... not seeing it. And I have high speed internet that allows multiple devices to stream video and direct downloads of individual files are super fast.

Attempts to use the Mac Migration Assistant were also less than primo. Software and I can be friends. But hardware related? #notasgood

So. All this just to say ... it's better than not backing up. But it could be better.

I finally read the first Jedi Academy book yesterday. And the second. TOO FUN.

Star Wars: Jedi AcademyStar Wars: Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Too funny. I can't believe it took me so long to get around to reading this one. First I got an early egalley and then I've actually owned a copy since ... last fall's bookfair, I think.

Roan is hilarious. Readers will need to be at least somewhat familiar with the SW universe. After that, though, the story stands as a sci-fi Wimpy Kid. Only less annoying.

Must get a couple copies for the school collection!

This one isn't quite out yet. I received an advanced e-copy via Netgalley.

Star Wars: Jedi Academy: Return of the Padawan (Book 2)Star Wars: Jedi Academy: Return of the Padawan by Jeffrey Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After taking almost a year to read the first one (which really I can't explain because I am a SW fangirl) I managed to read both 1 & 2 this afternoon.

Too fun. It does take a little getting used to, reading all of the SW names in a handwritten font. That will cause some issues for some readers. But beyond that? TOO FUNNY. I love the characters. I love the references to classic SW moments. I love the "Holobook" and the lessons Roan and his classmates have to learn about being kind and to use an oft repeated phrase ... "seeking first to understand, THEN be understood."

Will definitely be getting both of these books for our school collection.

PS The Carbonite link is not a referral. Could have been but I'll leave it up to you. I LOVE it for the peace of mind. I am ready to scream at it for being so slow.

Monday, July 7, 2014

#IMWAYR July 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.

This post comes to you from my NEW COMPUTER! That ... I'm not sure if I like. Got a desktop instead of a laptop (they don't cost as much :/ plus I now actually have a desk where said device CAN reside and I never did before) but I can already see ... it's going to take some getting used to. Keyboard feels strange and I'm stuck in my office. :P Note to everyone ... Mac Migration Assistant? Bunk. Don't bother. Started off saying it would need 287 hours. Got stuck at 155 for 8 hours about a day later ... which is when I said "enough is enough" and pulled that plug.

Reading was not as successful this week. Didn't really like much of what I finished. What's up with that?

Don't bother with these two (both are "adult" books, anyway). And usually I quite enjoy both authors.

I DID really like this one, however.

The Mark of the DragonflyThe Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Took me a while to actually open it up but once I did? I really enjoyed it. One of the first steampunk-ish type books I've ever read where the bits of machinery seemed necessary to the story.
Will definitely pick up the companion novel when it becomes available.

Definite possibility for middle school and even upper elementary (the hint of romance is not a major plot point).

I'm currently reading ...

Revolution and Secrets are my highest priorities. Love historical fic, personally. Have a harder time "selling" it to others. This one is really making me think. WOW people had to be brave that summer. I hope I would have been that brave. Also I have a weird fascination with old tunnels. Wouldn't catch me down there for anything but I love to read books or watch documentaries or look at photos of urban explorers.

I started the audiobook of Snicker months ago. Should I start it over? I just wasn't loving it like everyone else seemed to. Ungifted is good. Just keep getting distracted. Reading in the Wild is good so far but it's not really anything new. Just good to hear it from someone else. ;) Even though I'd still like to hear her talk more in her books about collaboration with her campus teacher librarian. Continuous Conversion is not one I have to finish quickly. It's more like one you read a few pages and think about it first. I also started The Revenant of Thraxton Hall (but apparently forgot to add that to Goodreads).

May have to take my niece to B&N for a picture book session.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

(Almost) Finally Friday July 4th !!!

Happy birthday, America! Hopefully you are at a pool or the beach. I'm not. With family but nowhere COOL. Just where ... it's hot.

I am in "AUNT TEACHER LIBRARIAN" mode. One of my nieces is here for the summer between a move cross Texas. She home schools due to some food allergies and aversions. We need to do some research projects! Of course Pebble Go will be a big part of this. I will be in this mode at least until I head to WA. Then it will probably just be aunt mode because I won't have as much time with them. I hope their TL (do they have one? Occurs to me maybe not in WA. I should find out) takes care of their research!

Summer reading mad scientist dough at the library. Their conference room carpet will never recover. #callmeafussbudget


Red, white, and blue!

Haiku Deck is pretty awesome so I am curious to try this "smash."

Look tasty, no?

So. I never know what to think about things like this. Obviously meant to remind us of something. Did they get permission? I kind of think this would be fun to have, though.

Excellent thoughts on Google Classroom ... what they got right and what they might still want to consider.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Picture Wednesday

Cause it's not quite wordless. Was reminded of this book during a recent #IMWAYR roundup because someone posted about a picture book that talked about the Sudan. Then another Angie (HI!) "liked" my review on Goodreads which reminded me of this quote. Since the last few weeks I've been even more drawn to all things hopeful I made this (pic was Flickr CC shared here) ...

And you can see I have some work to do in the graphic design dept. Pretty sun reflection and the words don't mix. Will blame it on my computer freezing up every 90 seconds. New one is on the way!

Oh, and I couldn't quite figure out ... I guess I should have just put it at the beginning. Technically this is not a quote by Linda Sue Park. It's by Salva ... one of the real "lost boys of the Sudan." But it's in the book.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Apps Recap & July Currently

Or Anyone Else Who Might be Interested ;)

This is sort of a Throwback ... Tuesday. Scroll to the bottom for Currently!

Go hereherehere,here, and here for the original posts when I only had one iPad in the library.
And the updates when I had 6 more as well as more experience? Here are Parts 123, and 4.

That many posts can get overwhelming so here are my tip top faves that I use the most.

Free Must Haves
Phonto--adding text to images
Dropbox--getting media on and off the device ... I would suggest creating a free account with a generic login that is specifically for library/classroom iPad media
Haiku Deck--seriously they make image searching for presentations amazingly easy that even little ones can create nice looking presentations. See some 1st grade examples at this link (then click on the animal group submenus on the left).
Google Docs --now fully editable on a mobile device! Of course much easier when the device has a keyboard but oh well
Google Presentations--when the fully editable app is released later this summer. So technically I haven't used this one YET but I expect that we will.
a QR code reader--I like I-nigma but there are plenty of others
an augmented reality reader--Aurasma is the only one I've used so far but it's pretty easy! Here's a link to some example projects.
Chatter Pix--use a static pic and turn it into a video. Here are some examples (mixed up with Tellagamis).

Not Free but WORTH IT
Sock Puppets Director's Pass--you can record 30 seconds worth for free but with the director's pass (volume purchase edu store or in app purchases on the regular store) you can make longer recordings and export them to your camera roll to be posted/reshared as you see fit. Worth purchasing for any device students will use.
Puppet Pals HD Director's or All Access Pass--same reasoning as above but with different puppet options. Either Puppet Pals 1 or 2. Both are cool. 2 just has a couple more features.
Tellagami--this used to be free and they aren't making it easy to buy back options with in-app purchases instead of a full functionality app on the volume purchasing store. That said? What it can do? Super useful in the classroom on any number of subjects. So even with limited app budgets ... this one is worth it!
Strip Designer ($2.99)--powerful "comic" creating tool. Story Me used to be a nice free option but it disappeared a few months ago. Kids can creative write or share their non-fic learning.
Don't Let the Pigeon Run this App ($5.99)--I actually wouldn't necessarily recommend it for an individual user ... I think the price point is kind of high. But if you have a teacher device that is being used to demonstrate with lots of classes? TOTALLY worth it.
The Monster at the End of this Book ($4.99)--classic story and the app is nicely done. Not TOO gamey but more interactivity than "just" the printed book

And now for July Currently with Farley ...