Monday, October 27, 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.

I already talked about Chum. The only other book I finished was not kid lit. It was As You Wish. But I liked it! As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess BrideAs You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Grand, great literature it's not. But as a thoroughly enjoyable several hours of listening to stories from the making of one of the funniest (and still innocent without being sappy) movies I've ever watched ... definitely recommended.

And I've started The Emerald Tablet. So maybe I am climbing out of my reading rut.
It's bookfair this week! I saw the new Sam and Dave Dig a Hole as we were setting up. So at some point this week I'll get to that one. And I'm starting either Tsar, Joshua Dread, or Al Capone Does my Homework as audiobooks. Helps pass the time on the dumb commute. Tsar is on the Kindle (Audible deal of the day a while back), the other two on my phone (yay Overdrive!).

Friday, October 24, 2014

Finally Friday

Hope your week went well! We had our school Fall Festival last Friday. Fun but long. This week? No Google Teacher Academy. :( But guy at the dealership discovered an extended warranty I'd forgotten ALL ABOUT. Today he is one of my favorites. :)

Would this really work as well as it seems to here?

There is that.

The only thing is with shelves I like to have books.

One day I will make a new one that replaces class with library. And then this will be perfect.

LOVE. If it wasn't bookfair in the coming week I'd totally do this.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ChumtheBook and Other Things

First book talk. Then life talk.

Ever watch reality tv competitions? Me, not so much. Not since Real World ... was it the first or second season? A long enough time ago. ;) I didn't really "get" that draw but I know lots of people who DO enjoy them.
Ever had an embarrassing photo or video posted to social media? Me ... not that I know of. I tend to avoid cameras. :P But it has happened to people that I know. I promise ... I'm not the one that posted them. Truly. I have done silly things that would have been embarrassing but no cameras were around, thank goodness. ;)
Ever felt like you didn't quite belong? Yep.
Like pickle juice? NO. But there I agree with the main character.
Now the little yellow plastic guys ... they are a bit creepy. But that's what makes them funny.

So ... this does not necessarily win the "Ms. O's Newest Favorite of All Time" as a couple parts were more farfetched than I was necessarily always willing to go. That said ... I can definitely can see middle grade readers that would eat this one up. Fans of Shark Week, for example. Or, actually, Captain Underpants. The main character is in eighth grade but I can see fifth or even strong fourth grade readers being fine with this one. No YA subject tendencies. A hint of romantic interest but so little is done about it a kiddo not looking it would most likely miss it altogether.

Also he had me at the a-ha reference. And the chapter titled "Delusions of Grandeur." #imageek #iknowitiliveitiloveit

Now excuse me while I go have some ice cream and bemoan not getting accepted in to GTA Austin on the same day my car's AC compressor blew out and four days before stressful bookfair. Sad face and then moving on. :/

Apparently a nErDcampSA is in the works. ;)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

#IMWAYR (almost) & Google Login Update

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.

Been a little while, no? Reading rut. Still not actually OUT of it. .. but on the road, I think. My Audible subscription kicked back on (after I set it to a 3 month hiatus) the same week as Cary Elwes' As You Wish came out. Now, grand literature it's not. But it's such fun to hear about the making of one of my favorite movies. Based on a book which I am embarrassed to say I've never gotten around to reading. Perhaps we'll need to remedy that next?

And of course the Ivan picture book. Oh, what I'd give for a pic from the days of visiting him at the B&I. I'd have bad hair, of course. That is sort of a given for the time period.

Stay tuned ... I have almost made my "dream" Google login system work. The auto-fill QR code was amazingly easy when I searched on the right terms. Right now I have all the classes sorted to send responses to separate tabs in the response spreadsheet. I'd prefer for a method I saw on YouTube where you clicked on a drop down menu at the top of the column and chose one possible response ... and then only that answer would show up. A teacher would choose their name and then only their kids would show up. Or we'd choose a grade. I think they called it data validation? Cleaner but I haven't gotten that to work yet (and now I can't find the video). So we have like 40 tabs on the spreadsheet ... a little messy but it works. Just waiting for what feels like forever on the order for the lockable iPad station. And a new custodian to apply and get the job so he or she can actually install it. Me and power drills ... well. So far we don't get along. Maybe desperation will help me to get brave. I just would prefer to not be brave FIRST on something so important as our circ desk.

Here are the library passes waiting to be used. Waiting. Waiting. If it actually works (and the info gained on classes and students coming to the library on passes proves to be useful) I'll post a how to. I already made a really ugly how to that I shared with district librarians. To put it out here it would need to be much prettier. I perhaps have too much pride in visuals. :P

So. GTA messages go out on Wednesday. I wish my video would have turned out more interesting. Tech really has changed my teaching. I've seen really cool things happen when kids and teachers try new things. Boy howdy would my colleagues from my first years of teaching Spanish would LAUGH at the idea. I would really love to go. But I keep seeing about how people apply multiple times. Hmm. Well. Would be super cool as it's just up the road and we rolled out Chromebooks on campus just this past week. But I'm not holding my breath. :P :P

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Library Field Trip

"Today was good, today was fun. Tomorrow can we have another one?"

Or maybe tomorrow I'll go back to campus and give benchmarks.
Hmmm. Which sounds more interesting. :P

Our district took half of our elementary librarians on a bit of a field trip today. The other half are going on Thursday. I was a terrible blogger today who didn't take hardly any pictures! We were a big group and I don't feel comfortable posting too much of my own kids, let alone someone else's students. So it was mostly just looking.

The first school we observed some science stations. I would love to do more hands on stuff. It's one reason the Maker movement sounds so inviting.
They read a book on the doc. camera and then moved around to different tables. They had some great weathering and erosion activities going on.

PROS: hands on! A literature component. An art component. Tech components. The kids were on task. Also everyone loved the mini iPad cases.
POSSIBLE CONS: Mess. Sand and water in lots of places. She had more physical space than we do. Would it still work as seamlessly? Also I see she still has the same ... conundrum about reading a book on the doc. camera. If you are facing the book your back is to the kids. If you are facing the kids you get a kink in your neck twisting around to read the book.

At the second school it was more to observe her management style and see little ones doing self-checkout.

PROS: seriously ... those little guys knew their ID numbers and they followed directions. Coziest space. How did they keep it so dust free with all of the little displays and decorations? I did take a pic of the bulletin board behind her computers. It's pretty close to what I was thinking about for our space if I could ever get the company to send me a price quote! I keep getting the "48-72 hours" line. Twice. Over the space of four weeks. But never any answer. I would go to another vendor but this is the only district one that has what I want! She also had some interesting "museum" type displays with research bags for teachers to check out. I would have loved to have learned more. And copied them! ;)

POSSIBLE CONS: They were only getting one. I let kids check out more books. Maybe I shouldn't. Had a discussion back on the bus about really encouraging kids to actually FINISH what they check out. Are they more or less likely to do so being limited to two books at a time versus more?

Also in both schools their shelves were pretty packed. After the past several months and changes in our space (I promise, pics of OURS will come ... there are just some things I am having trouble getting moved out and I want it to be a pretty non-cluttered photo tour!) I find myself very much a proponent of less in number but higher in quality books. Yes, people have noticed. And there have been a few books I wish were still around. But not enough to make me sorry I did it.

Then after lunch we went to Bibliotech. I haven't completely changed my mind. I still ... well. I'd still prefer to see some print books. In my jolly perfect world there are physical spaces with a mix of print and electronic available to all. But I don't dislike it as much as I did before. They are doing some pretty awesome things there in terms of community outreach. A manned kiosk in the courthouse for people reporting for jury duty. GENIUS! And while I'm not usually a fan of "modern" furniture (much more a shabby chic/cottage style) it did really work in their space. Clean colors (blue, green, orange, chrome, and black) and all so ... MOVEABLE.

I 'll admit I just stole this owl mascot off their website. Isn't he fun? Apparently he is also an AR trigger though I did not ever get straight if it was through Aurasma or Layar or Daqri.

And then we talked at the newest middle school (seriously beautiful space) about a cool tech innovation research project she does with 6th grade. I can't fathom getting the kids for as long as she says she does but they really delve into their topics and create some amazing things.

Monday, October 13, 2014


So I just submitted an application for the Google Teacher Academy. Here's my video. It's way cookie cutter and not great (some people are budding Spielbergs!) so I'm counting on the rest of the application. Chances are slim but you never know. It's for sure no unless you try. If you never hear me talk about it again that means I didn't make it. :P

Did you have school today? Kids were off but we had meetings. They ... were not super fascinating. Oh well. Tomorrow I will actually be off campus at a little librarian field trip. Our district has never done this before so it might be fun! Half of us are going tomorrow and half on Thursday.

Part of the day will be to visit the county library without books. I have been against the idea of it since I first heard. We'll see if my mind is changed.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Currently October

Linking up with Farley!

Listening ... could I be more of a fogey? And COULD IT BE ANY HOTTER? :P
Loving ... new TV show. So ridiculous but I'm still watching. When I'm awake.
Thinking ... a nap might be in order. Been going to be early all week and still tired.
Wanting ... the heavenly fall combo that is pumpkin and chocolate chip. These muffins are a decent substitute, I will say. No, not QUITE the cookie. But pretty close. Granted, also not super low fat. But less fat.
Needing ... a day off. When not everyone has it.
Treat ... I'll be lame and link to some old Halloween bookmarks. If I get even remotely caught up (though if I'm watching any TV this shouldn't be an excuse, no?) I'll want to play with new images. And maybe I'll wish I'd saved it for a TBT later on but here are some of my fave Slightly Spooky Stories.