Friday, February 28, 2014

Finally Friday Feb. 28

One more week until spring break. (Yes, we have it before it's really spring. Texas for you.)
Two more weeks until bookfair. But I won't think about that yet. ;)

Things that are true!

The pic is kind of annoying (sometimes, Pinterest, it is very awkward to look at the Fitness boards) but the thought expressed? So true. Major struggle lately.

Hard to do, though, right?

This would have looked cool in my living room or study. Too bad I can't find it on sale anywhere. Maybe it sold out.

Check out the last link at this pin. I think it might be my favorite.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Seuss Doors Part 1

Shall I brag on our teachers for a bit? A spur of the moment "Let's have a door decorating contest" (I've never done that before ... PTA has for Red Ribbon Week but I haven't) has resulted in some great work! Here's part 1 that I have pics of already. They're not super professionally cropped and the OCD part of me is cringing at it. But aren't the doors fun? Part 2 next week. Some classes are still working on them.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Sale

starts tomorrow. Hmmmm. I don't really have a lot to say about it this time. I get excited about ideas ... and then things happen and I don't get to use them. That gets expensive! Like I love all of Smart Chick's STEM challenges but have yet to get to use the set I have. Would be silly to get more. But wouldn't it be fun? The Minecraft set? And picture book monsters under bridges? And mythology? And the winter games ones? Or just more of the just "regular" ones?

I do want to get Carolyn's Estimation Stations.
They look fun and anything math I can promote that I actually understand (had a teacher ask me to do something on volume ... and I had to say no :( cause I read a blog post about a volume activity with Duplos and flipped out at all the vocab) is a WIN.

I gush on too much about clip art. I knew I had a problem when I realized I forgot to ever put out my own Valentine's signs. I love to make them but then got behind and I didn't remember to get them out! My new favorite artist is Kari Bolt, though I still love Creative Clips and Melonheadz and Digital Bake Shop and Pink Cat Studios.

Is there anything you are thinking about getting?

On a side note I do have some talented teachers who have made some very cute Seuss doors for our contest next week. When I get pics of all of them I'll post. And an order from Garrett Books came today. Ugh on snakes but the kids will love them. Lots of Pebble Plus on lots of different topics. Some ghost books. Kylie Jean. Jake Maddox. Some minerals. Book delivery days are like Christmas! The boxes were waiting for me when I came back from making myself totally ridiculous presenting about our e-resources to our Spanish-speaking parents. They were nice but I couldn't remember any of the tech vocab. :/

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Transforming Space

Now if you're here because you thought I had the answer? A How To post? Nope. Sorry. I'm the one asking the question ... anyone got some ideas? I'm supposed to be writing a Transformation Plan but since this is the only space I've ever worked in it's hard to see the forest for the trees, you know?

And you already know how I feel about the lack of walls. I whine about it a lot. It's the second only to genes reason I have to color gray hairs.
This is our story area. Yes, I know I need to weed the picture books! The arrow is pointing to the cafeteria exit. It's ... eight feet from that corner. Constantly trying to get that door closed. And the entire wall of the cafeteria on that side? Glass. :P
Remember this pic? Do you think it's nuts to get rid of all those shelves? I will say I'm having some fun weeding. Seriously thought I'd kept up with it fairly well. NOPE! I should stop and take pics of more of the best ones. How did I leave these things on the shelf for so long?
Anyway. Now we move on.
Here's a view from the corner of the circ desk closest to the story area. Like our clutter on the circ desk? I'm trying. It's hard. :/
This is the view of the library from the office door. Literally. Here. Let's turn around.
Here I am standing on the hawk's wing looking to my right. The biographies are on the outside of the shelf you can see on the other side of the computers. Classes always sit in the hallway along the biographies and wait for the restroom (that is on the other side of the wall). These are thin client computers. It's nice to have so many but sometimes I would prefer fewer that do not have the limitations of a thin client. Time will tell. We've only had these a few months.
And here's my desk. Officially hanging my head in shame. Had a kiddo come back from break once saying "I showed my dad the picture of us that we took right here and he said 'Your librarian has a messy desk.'" I KNOW.
And this is the view from the circ desk. Little people walking by. Can't always see them. Can always here them, even when they're trying so hard to be quiet. Little feet. The older ones? They don't always try as hard.

Monday, February 24, 2014

#IMWAYR Feb. 24

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.

So one middle grade, one YA, and two adult. Not my usual odds but hey. The two adult books were not bad but not my favorites ever, either. See Goodreads for specifics.
Wake Up Missing gave a real sense of setting which I think the kids will like.

I have S. (JJ Abrams ... thoughts?) and Lost in Babylon checked out. A bunch of other books on hold. WHY do I do that when I have ARCs to read? Spring break is in 11 days!
And bookfair is in 20. :P

Friday, February 21, 2014

Finally Friday Feb. 21

If you're reading in Feedly or Bloglovin you might need to click through to the regular site. Embedded stuff doesn't always come through properly.

Kind of funny. Just happened upon this the day before our district announced that they would not be purchasing the part that would make our new laptops compatible with closed circuit tv. And that they did not foresee us having the bandwidth for everyone to pre-record and watch them via the network. Hmmmmm. Well. One thing to take off of the "to do" list, at least.
Angie O's pin on Pinterest.

Trying to think this through. Our Genius Hour start is ... kind of slow. Wednesday was the first time I really saw a spark of "Oh! I picked this topic and am going to do some research on my own time." Well. Second time. First time was when a girl brought in a diorama she'd made about horses. No facts behind it but she was so proud. I want her to keep feeling proud!

Do you have a favorite method for creating quote images? I've used Ribbit and Share as Image and the Keep Calm-o-matic. Recite looks interesting.

Love this! Just not quite enough hours in the day.

More family coming this evening. Two weekends ago it was the CO crowd. This time it's the (for now Dallas) bunch.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

In Progress

After a day where not very much went right I was sent this ...

Isn't it fabulous? I take no credit ... it's my talented Mom who can sew. Not me. Another pic when it's done!

Now. To recharge for tomorrow where I will remember all the good things that happen at school instead of getting weighed down by everything that doesn't work. I'm looking at you, technology. :X And test-heavy "nothing else matters" environment. :X

Cause Pigeon is here. And Ninja Pigs (more pics will be added to that post ... the kids were SO excited to hear that the author liked them!) are here. And Ivan. And Wonder. And the kids who love them.

Have a great evening!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Three Ninja Pigs Pics

Nothing high tech or exemplifying deep critical thinking. Just impressed by what these kiddos did with only 12 minutes.

 Though I don't really know what the line down them middle is about. Still think it's well done.
 Oh and this one, too! More of a person than a pig but who cares. That wolf!
 Love the chop!
Another great wolf.

And I forgot to get a middle. Oh well.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Finally Friday Feb. 14

I went to a presentation at TCEA about Vine. Haven't actually done anything yet ... but think I'd like to. The question is just HOW?

Of course you know Kid President. Just thought this one was a great inspiration for our possible library "renovation" project to create a quieter Makerspace closet in the library.
Angie O's pin on Pinterest.

Silly and ridiculous ... but hey, if you didn't get the original game downloaded then here's an option!

Working on wrapping my head around this model because I think it's on to something.

A great example of the importance of a hook!

So. This morning I had this grand plan for a 4th grade class publishing a poem ... and I overestimated their comfort level with inserting textboxes and images. Argh. Kiddos haven't had enough practice.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Weeding & Space

I thought about posting a picture of my filthy pants as a wordless Wednesday but then didn't. Weeding. It's gross. Books can get so nasty dusty. Rarely know ahead of time a day when I'll "get" to or I'd ask to wear old clothes. But due to combinations of things today was a day that ended up being good for weeding.

I'm kind of nervous. If I move forward with an idea (and it passes through the powers that be) we will lose 150 plus feet of shelving. And right now it's all non-fic, unless I can figure out another way to rearrange our rectangular shape (inside is fiction split into regular and everybody, outside of the rectangle is non-fic).

BUT I think ... I hope ... it would be worth it to create a small walled off room in the library. Not big enough for a full class but big enough for a small group.

My PLAN is for it to be a small ... call it Makerspace or Podcasting Studio or whatever you want to call it. A somewhat quieter (and more secure ... more locked cabinets!) than our out in the hallway space. Admin didn't quite understand me at first and thought it would be a full classroom. Which, to their credit, their first thought was "that would be awesome for you." But no. Can't get rid of ... 750-900 feet of shelving.

Do I worry it will be commandeered for tutoring? Yes. I do. Doing it anyway. I used to think I was relatively on top of weeding until I found this little gem today ... (and apologies if this book changed the life of some little person somewhere along the way--it's just not been used HERE!)

Now I know I can do more!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Finally Friday Feb. 7 & More from TCEA

You'll be hearing a lot about TCEA in the days to come.

Two favorite quotes:"You have to let kids BE digital citizens, not just tell them about it." And then "The same choice and differentiation we advocate for students should be afforded to our teachers as well!" And I am terrible and can't remember who said either. Not me. But aren't they brilliant ideas?

Owls and books!

I may weed some books just for this purpose next week. Cause we can always use some weeding. In fact ... I am thinking of a radical weed. Like ... radical. Our director asked us for 5 and 10 year plans to bring our libraries up to date and quite frankly ... if they aren't going to build us a completely new space THAT IS NOT A HALLWAY we at least need a small ... do I call it makerspace or production room? Where small groups could record and work on projects with a bit more soundproofing than the library at large? It would require a good ... if you count all the shelves ... a good 150-180 feet of shelves removed to make space. That may be too radical. But I digress.

I didn't get to see this presentation but the smore looks good. Although I would hardly call 4th grade "Little." It's all perspective, I guess.

I didn't get to see hers this time around, either. But this formula could change my Google Forms world!

And just because I love the photo and color combos ...

Thursday, February 6, 2014

3 Things from TCEA

#1 Graupel. Seriously, south Texas, you are weird. Lots of Dallas people rushing to get home. Stay safe!
#2 Find our presentation here. Only ... I had trouble figuring out th best way to share some of the elementary content in a way that fit the layout. So I might post some explanations here. Would that help?
#3 I have a total teacher crush on Matt Gomez. The tech-integrated (and so naturally!) stuff he does with kinders is amazing.

Posted from my Kindle. Obviously a way to go. :P

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Two Things

Funny #1: "Can you get the Harry Potter author to come to our school?"
Why sure. Let me hit my speed dial number 3.

Funny #2

(later edit but title already went live ...) Look! FB recommended this one. In this particular case, FB ... I agree.

Great author visit today by Diane Z. Shore. Totally recommended.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

#IMWAYR (almost) Feb. 3

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.

Papa Is a Poet: A Story About Robert FrostPapa Is a Poet: A Story About Robert Frost by Natalie S. Bober
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From an adult perspective five stars. What a lovely little biography. Beautiful illustrations and a real sense of the Poet as a Papa.
From a kid's perspective ... I'm not as sure. Will have to figure out a way to share this with some and see.

Lucy Maud MontgomeryLucy Maud Montgomery by Alexandra Wallner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My one "girly" love ... Anne books. I hated puffy sleeves as much as she wanted them. A book to be enjoyed by someone who already had some interest in the author ... not necessarily the "hook" to get them to start!

The Three Ninja PigsThe Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well. That was hilarious. Maybe even a four point five. A must read (and share!).

The Shadow Throne (The Ascendance Trilogy, #3)The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A nail-biting conclusion to the trilogy.
One day I will learn and I will re-read the first books when reading the end of a series. Cause it can get confusing ... if it's been a while. There were a couple times when I felt like the transitions between settings or "moments" were not as smooth as in previous books. Of course I also read this one late at night when I should have been asleep so maybe fatigue was the issue.
The main characters were all there. Some nice twists thrown in ... stick with it to the end!

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #2)The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Took a little while to get going but this was great fun as an audiobook. The performer narrates well. And, of course, the author wrote a rollicking good story.

The Rome Prophecy: A ThrillerThe Rome Prophecy: A Thriller by Sam Christer
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Finished it but wish I hadn't. Definitely sticking with my favorite "thriller" authors from here on out.

And coming up?
I almost always change my mind and read something different from what I say here, anyway. I'll get ahead on an audiobook, that's for sure, as I'll be driving back and forth between Austin on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Good ... 75 minutes each way, if not longer, depending on the traffic. Right now I have The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen because it looked funny on the shelf ... but I just saw that it's a book two. I wonder if that will matter?

 I also have the new Ransom Riggs/Miss Peregrine. And a friend recommended The Clockwork Scarab (Stoker and Holmes? I'M IN). Just not sure how far I'll get. Plus the ones I already had in the currently (but apparently not very fast) reading stack.

So. Monday. The Newbery. Do I give it another shot? WHAT AM I MISSING? I just really didn't care for as far as I got into it. Kiddos are voting for the state award last week and this week. We never have too many participants. Lots of readers but not "from a list." From my informal polling I'm afraid I had much too much influence on them ... at our school Ivan will be the winner, with Wonder a close second and that is not the case from any of the other campuses that have informally shared. I loved Ivan so much (personal connection and all) I talked about him more, I guess. Flora is on our state list next year, too. So far I've not loved several of the books on that list.

Am I grumpy?

How do you ... feign enthusiasm for books that just didn't resonate with you? I TOTALLY get that some books are for some readers and other books are for other readers. Some books are for grown-ups and some books are for kids. Booktalking is something I need to work on ... at least for the books I'm not crazy about. Cause those books MIGHT be the ones the kids need.

Are you going to be at TCEA?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Currently February

Linking up with Farley!

Not listening to anything. The past two weeks have been … a struggle in our major hallway and no walls library classroom. I'm losing my will to try and adjust my attitude about all this, blog people. I want to kick the stupid architect of our school and all open concept schools (though on our campus it's just lucky me) in the shin. It was an idiotic idea. Lessons with 350+ people walking through? Who can not get distracted by that? Student or teacher.

I have so many books I want to read. My Goodreads list is ridiculous. Picture books. Middle grade books. YA books. Adult books. Fiction. Non-Fiction. Mysteries and Thrillers are my favorite genre from YA on.

I hope the kiddos have a great experience. And … classes that might be on their way elsewhere for that particular time slot take the long way round and give the author some respect.

Wanting very badly for allergies to go away. And to be in shape again.

TCEA! I am helping with a presentation on Google in the school library. I wish I had more elementary ideas to add.

I did! It was an Explorer boat, though. Had almost all girls on it. Just one crew member (and the captain) that was not. Thinking back that kid must have thought he had it pretty good. He was maybe 17. We were all 15-18. Only two. The third one I had to drop out in the middle. Never ever get a flu shot four days before a race. Every once in a while I think about training again to get rid of that DNF. And then I don't cause it's a lot of work! Season Three will be over on Sunday! Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman and the writers … they're doing such a great job. Plus BC is just YUMMY.