Monday, September 29, 2014

The One Where I Ramble On About Stuff

But no #IMWAYR because I am in a reading slump. I just ... can't seem to get things together enough to stick through an entire book. Got several that I need to, though, cause of reviews I promised. Anyone else hit a reading slump? I also got a Garmin Vivofit to help with fitness/weight loss/feeling better goals. It tells me to get up and move. Contradictory, the two things could be. I guess there are always audiobooks.

The library is coming together. I'd post some pictures but ... hmmm. Funny thing. Between the 11th and the 23rd ... the day I did our fall equipment inventory and the day our computer desks came? 4 of them disappeared. SO DUMB. They are thin client computers so they're useless outside of our district network. It's just so ... odd. How? We've looked all over campus. So working on shots that go around the funny spots. Plus it's taking A LONG TIME to get things like bulletin boards ordered. Cause, you know ... WALLS TO HANG THEM ON are kind of bare at the moment. I believe I mentioned that, right? Walls? :) And 85% pretty new shelving? That matches the 15% that we already had (which DIDN'T match what we had before)? It's a lovely cherry stain.

I still look around and can hardly believe it. We still hear most of the hallway (because the walls stop about 8 inches from the ceiling. Something to do with the HVAC system. That they can't get right. We're either freezing or in a sauna). But we don't SEE IT so it's not nearly so distracting. And actually I'm told the hallway can hear ME better now. So that's something.

On a side note one of the lessons today was reading The Wonderful Book and illustrating our own scene with a new animal and what they'd do with that big red book. One example? Kiddo drew a tiger using the book as a toilet. Yes. I opened myself up to that one, did I not? First graders.

Then I read some blog post that warned against embedding Pins. And I got worried. And tired. You know how by Friday you fall asleep before 7? I live large, let me tell you. That's where the last FF went. Sleep and feeling like ... dare I? Is it OK or wrong? I'll probably go back to it cause I like making comments. But maybe not. I do want to be a good digital citizen and not swipe other people's stuff.

My beautiful Google log in that I thought was just a dream last week? I have it figured out! Almost. Well except for that it doesn't work exactly the same on my school Google login as this one. That makes no sense, either. But it's CLOSE. And really wasn't hard, once I came up with the right terms to search for.

Did you see this? I'm signing up to see if it is any good.

Long ramble. Here is a random pic of some of my house decorations just to have a pic. Nothing to do with this post.

Also a PS ... the nasa and usinterior instagram feeds are my favorite. The few of you that I know about that I also follow are fun. But let's be fair. Space and our beautiful country. They are hard to beat. Cute kids come close. As do books. And Halloween decorations.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Library Sign In with Google

Do you keep a record of the kids that come in on passes?

We do have a flex schedule where teachers attend the library with their classes. But with 3-5 class checkout is only every two weeks. That leaves us some time to do lessons w/o so many people wandering around (though it could be better now, w/the walls! Not so distracting). The kids can always come on a pass on the "off" weeks.

It's always been in a binder or notebook. That was the easiest but let's face it ... just ended up being a piece of paper. I never took the time to go back and get the "data" from it that I'd like. Who had that kind of time? And patience to flip through pages and pages counting? Plus students didn't always fill it out completely with the time.

In my perfect world this would work. But so far I haven't been able to figure out HOW.

Each class or grade would have a laminated pass with a QR code on it. Depending on how it was set up (class or grade) all the kids would have to do is scan the pass (from an iPad in a locked stand) to open up a Google form and fill in their name. Google time stamps the entry in forms so no more "What time is it? with a clock right in front of them. :P In my perfect world through the specific QR code link the class (and by default grade, or they'd have to pick their teacher from a drop down menu) would also fill in on the Google results page. All the kiddo would have to enter would be their name.

And in my really perfect world the results would populate in two spreadsheets. One class specific tab that teachers could see (whether they chose to visit the link would be up to them ... but the info would be available) with their kids and a record of who was coming and the time stamp. That way teachers could see who was asking to come and who wasn't and even if they were playing around between the library and the classroom. And a schoolwide tab so that the library could also extrapolate our busiest days and times. And see which teachers perhaps needed some chains rattled to get their kids down here on passes.

Is this too much to ask? Spreadsheets are not my forte. There has to be some kind of script or "if/then" statement. I just haven't figured it out yet! :P

PS I wonder where the QR code in the pic leads. To be honest I just looked for a CC image on Flickr. A super on top of it blogger would have an example Google form ready to go. And a freebie library pass to download.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Finally Friday Sept. 19

Heavy moment ahead then back to business. My sister and nieces (just barely 7 and not yet 3) /nephew (1 a week before the 7 year old turned 7) left today. I know I'm being ridiculous because they were only here what. 14 weeks? And they are only going what ... 170 miles or so up the road? That's better than the 300 something it was before that. I know. Ridiculous.

They just came at a time when so much else felt like it was a big fat lie. It was so good to have them. And I miss them already. The oldest one painted me this. And another one of the two of us as princesses that you'll get when I find the right place to hang it. Do I show you the whole wall here? Then you will see I am an owl nut.

That said ... whew! Busy week! Shelves! Moving books! We'll open on Monday. I can still see the kids faces and hear them whispering "OOOOOH" when they caught a glimpse of the new space. Pictures to come. I can't believe I forgot to take any during the big move. Big white double wide rolling carts EVERYWHERE.

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I know this will not impress everyone but ... AAAAAAAACK!

I loved this story. I have a brother in Kuwait right now and he is going through books sent in a "soldier's" program like nobody's business.

You probably saw this but if not let me call your attention back. Awesome post! I now want to go find Ruta Sepetys. She spoke at a regional ed center conference today and it was awesome. I'd had her book on my TBR list for a while but believe you me it has been bumped up. And it's got me thinking. What is MY story?

When I forget about Google Reader I still <3 all things Googley. We're getting some Chromebooks in the next couple weeks.

I saw some of this today for the first time with my own eyes. TOO COOL. I want to try. Where to find the money and the time with the kids ...

Friday, September 12, 2014

Finally Friday Sept. 12

Well. Still no shelves. I've now lost cred twice because I told everyone "The shelves are coming!" :P
Asi es la vida.

Boy howdy am I learning this one.

This weekend I should really finish the quote mini-posters for well-known Hispanics. Only had them mostly but not all the way done for a month now. The former Spanish teacher in me insists! When I get them done they'll be a freebie on TPT. If Google let you know how many people downloaded something I'd totally keep it there.

Well. So I joined dumb WW again. Same 50 pounds. Third time's the charm? :/

Not really one for fake fur but otherwise love this.

Fascinating. Hasn't changed much since the version I remember on Mr. Rogers.

Have a great weekend. Hopefully will get my Aurasma & PLN presentations finished this weekend. Giving them on Friday. Go! Watch a movie! Run Walk outside! See you later.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hooray for Hat & Books

Nothing earth shattering to share today. :)
Just had to give an extra shout out to a book many of you have probably discovered. I shared it with another class today and, yet again ... "Can you read it again?" immediately upon finishing. WIN.

Also I cannot wear a hat to save my life. I have a big head. They look funny. :P

Monday, September 8, 2014


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.

Still in a bit of a distracted slump. The first weeks of school. Does anyone else come home and just fall asleep? I can't get at our school collection yet. Since having to give up my previous library card for a smaller system outside the city where I work ... it's just not the same. Super inconvenient location. I do have a bunch of ARCS on my Kindle, though, so I should get reading. At least my wrists/tingly fingers are not nearly as bad as they were. I can read w/o it hurting now!

One book that I did finish last week was called Jump, written by Julia Dweck and illustrated by Brian Allen. She contacted me about looking it over and when I heard it was about thinking outside the box (saw the cover and) I responded "Sure!" One of my goals this year is to actively encourage the kids to take risks and try new things. The process is just as important as the product and really perhaps even more so. Please follow directions but use your brain, too! Hello, Makerspaces, everyone?

My first thoughts? The illustrations are bright and colorful and cheerful. I love the addition at the end of a few factual tidbits about animal jumpers--not directly related to the story but a fun little extra. The last line is my favorite "To think outside the box you must First take a leap of faith and trust!" The smallest listeners will just enjoy the story and illustrations but with first or second graders you could start discussing what that actually means. Leaps aren't always easy. They're hard and scary. They can pay off! The majority of the rhymes and rhythms work very well for reading aloud. Some a little better than others but the author shows promise. I'll look forward to seeing more work.

The real test was to read it with my seven year old niece. Her thoughts? "He needs to meet a girl and then they can have more adventures and live happily ever after." She very much likes her stories to have GIRLS in them. ;)

I think the distractions are going to last at least another week. Putting the library back together means I'll probably come home and fall asleep by 7 again. But I'll bounce back soon. There are too many good books in the world to be read to get behind for long!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Finally Friday Sept. 5

The shelves are coming, the shelves are coming. Hopefully, they said they would, on WEDNESDAY. Thank goodness because this popping all over and being pulled for every willy-nilly thing because "the library's not open" is getting old. I have no patience, do I? And let the record state I have been visiting classrooms!
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Does this say it all? Does it say too much?

I'm doing a presentation on this in two weeks. We started using it last year but I know there is so much more that could be done! And it's really not as "hard" as it might look! But shhhhh! Don't tell the people who are wowed by it that.
Follow MsOReadsBooks's board Augmented Reality in the Library on Pinterest.

I do love a fall outfit. Too bad a fall day around here still consists of upper 80s temps.

One of the things I've been doing as I visit classrooms is read this book. It's on our state list. It's way fun. I pretty much have it memorized by now.

I have recently discovered how awesome text expansion is. Type a couple letters that you set up (like "myadd") and it automatically fills in whatever you set (like my entire address). FAST! Or "ccc" to fill in the full credit to Creative Clips for some of her awesome clip art. So now I want to learn more of these.

And now ... sleep. Or catching up on my blog reading. And getting some commenting in! We'll see what wins. Have an awesome weekend. Have a couple reviews, finally, to post next week.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday Characters to Have to Lunch

This is a weekly feature over at the Broke and the Bookish. Second time I'm trying it but many of the prompts look like fun! This list is 10 characters I'd like to have at my school lunch table. For purposes of this post I am not including people from religious books.

1) ANNE. Of course.
2) Harry. And Hermione and Ron. And Dumbledore. And Neville. OLDER from the movies Neville. :)
3) Sherlock Holmes
4) Samwise Gamgee
5) Gerald
6) Morris Lessmore
7) Sara Crewe
8) Liam (from Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce)
9) Mary Quinn (from The Agency series by Y. S. Lee)
10) Agent Pendergast (Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child thrillers)

A few of these are givens. And a couple are ones that I thought might be funny today. All of them I have enjoyed for one reason or another. How awkward might #5 be, though. An elephant can eat a lot. And he's not always sure if he wants to share the ice cream.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Currently September

Linking up with Farley.

Finally getting around to hanging tools and such up in the garage. Sawing the boards to do so, however, sounds like nails on a chalkboard.

It came JUST IN TIME. I swear. The first week needs to be shorter. The littlest ones and the teachers are exhausted by the end of the day. Middle grades ... they're doing OK. But the rest of us need naptime. :P

Impatient, I know. I have been frustrated by the space for a decade. No walls can make for distraction central ... for the kids and myself. I can wait a little longer, right? Kiddos want books, though. And I want the re-setting back up DONE so that I can sleep again. Or at least so it's not what's keeping me awake anymore. "Is this the best way to do it or is that?"

So lame. Laptop went nuts earlier in the summer and I had to replace it. Now the printer. Everything LOOKS like it's working perfectly but then somewhere between the computer and the printer there is a miscommunication and for the life of me I cannot figure out what it is. So the replacement $ is as much for my own sanity as anything. A broken printer the first week of school is unfun. Especially when the library printer is in storage and the computer lab printer needs new toner but the office staff is so underwater they don't have time for ordering anything like that yet.

Happy Birthday, Mom! You are THE BEST!

I'm lucky. I've actually been to England, Ireland, and Scotland all once. I want to go back! They all deserve more time. Actually been pretty lucky on the travel front. Also visited France and Spain a couple of times. And Morocco and Mexico and Guatemala and Belize and Honduras. And BC. The only non-family visit in the US I've done was DC for ALA a couple years ago. I haven't been anywhere outside the US for a while, though. It's time to plan another trip. And renew my passport.

No #IMWAYR today because last week my attention span was nil. Sit down and fall asleep. Only thing I finished was Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark. Have a great Labor Day!