Friday, January 30, 2015

Finally Friday Jan. 30

Overheard the past couple days ... "Do not walk through the vomit." (Seriously? That needs to be a direction?) "This place is all coming to the future" (re new tech)
Have a great weekend! Click through for embedded stuff!

Didn't make it to the actual Pinterest party but I saw this one go through my feed and was reminded of how much I like it. Wish we could give one to every 4th grader.

I made a Christmas one and it was pretty easy. This Valentine's Day version is cute. And I always actually meant to make one in white/black/orange.

Success during #makermornings. Though ours wasn't heart shaped.

I love these. And their packaging is the loveliest I've ever seen. Almost didn't want to open it to get at the star.

I want.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

This Week We've Been

Reading Blizzard, by John Rocco. I took a few pics from the book with an iPad camera and put them in Dropbox (to distribute to all of our iPads). The first grade kids practiced using Shadow Puppet EDU to sequence the pics. We also tried recording their retellings but they didn't turn out too well cause all of them were recording at once. Loads of background noise. Plus they only got to hear the story the one time. Still, the teachers liked the app and the kids didn't do too badly with it so I think we'll see it again.

Creature Features: Twenty-Five Animals Explain Why They Look the Way They Do

On a totally unrelated note we read parts of Creature Features in Kinder and tried Chatter Pix just up at the front with a couple volunteers. Eventually we'll have them try it individually, after they've seen it a few times with different books. And we finish getting the covers on the iPads!

Monday, January 26, 2015

#IMWAYR end of January

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 wrote a bit on Goodreads for three of the four. For Convergence there will be a post next week. Shorter than even the short Goodreads ... Wollstonecraft Agency is fun ... but I like Theodosia or Enola Holmes better. We shall see. after further installments. Dreaming was just ... awful. And Port Chicago ... wow. Sad story. I listened to the audiobook which was well done but sort of feel like I missed out on photos and primary source documents and such.

I'm listening to Lincoln on the commute. Young Houdini and Red Rising I just need to FINISH. Started Nightmares last night ... we'll see how it goes. Jeff Mack is coming to our school in May so I'm talking him up. Alex Rider is always fun. All the Truth just sounded interesting. And Story Thieves has been on my list for a while.

And I should get to Woven as it actually sounds quite good and the author's sister invited me to a little book launch party she was having.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

On Sunday Jan. 23

Click through for original sources. And big OOPS. I thought I finished/posted this on Friday. Shows you how being behind gets you in trouble. Organized bloggers bave posts ready to go ahead of time.

I love this color combo.

I wish there was a way to get this to work at school. Right now it doesn't because it is tied to a user's G+ account. But think of what they could build! Never run out of a color or size? And stop finding Legos on the floor every single day? ;)

Next week's MakerMorning Lego challenge? Albeit one that will cause mess? Only have a few plates, though. Hmmm.

I totally want the owl necklace. *offtoorder*

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

These are Instagram repeats. Two fun books.

new book deliveries

And a MakerMorning experiment ... Earthquake!!!

Lego Earthquakes

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, January 18, 2015

#IMWAYR (Almost) Jan.19

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.

Last week I read these. Steve Jenkins always has good stuff. As does John Rocco.

And since I never did get a post written up last week I have to say I loved Lockwood & Co. #2 The Whispering Skull. More Lockwood, ASAP! Hunchback will fill in for at least a couple books.

I received Demon's Heart as a gift from the author's sister-in-law. It's actually much better than the title (or cover, really) make it sound. Give it a chance if you like fantasy! It is the beginning of a series so we'll have to wait to get full closure for the next title. But, this one was a fun ride while it lasted.

I want very much to get a copy of the new middle grade Wollstonecraft Detective Agency Case of the Missing Moonstone. And I just found out yesterday about a new YA title called Woven that is being released on Tuesday. It looks interesting and I know the sister of one of the authors. (Funny. Two ... "connections" in one post. Never known anyone published before. And still don't, actually ... just know family members.)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Finally Friday Jan. 16

Remember to click through to the original sources if you don't see them in your readers. And have a great weekend! I live large. Think I'm going to bed early again.

This made me laugh.

Started a third grade ... it's not tutoring cause they are already strong. It's more ... well, I'll write more about it later. First half is reading, second half is steam. I showed them Caine's Arcade and then we started building "something." They had some great ideas but ... it's like they thought they could finish something in 10 minutes? So I need to rethink my explanations. I biffed it in many ways this week with poor third grade. Thought they could answer eight questions and create a nine slide Haiku Deck in 4 hours. My bad. I see now but I didn't before. We used to make PSA videos so I thought this would be easier ... but that was more the writing they were used to. As succinct as Haiku Deck is ... they needed more time. I will still share when they are done cause the works in progress are pretty cool. I just feel bad I so misjudged. Anyway. Point being the group and the MAKING.

Gotta work on this one. I still want people to like me.

Also started Maker Mornings (7:15-7:45 ... you'll get more info once our TCEA presentation is done!). I see this one in our future.

Is this funny or kind of annoying? I don't look like I'm going to break someone's knees. Ever, even when I know they haven't even tried to look for it. Let's go with he's being silly. Cause Calvin is just to funny to be annoyed by.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Finally Friday Jan. 9

Made it! It is cold. I know I'm a TX wimp but it's cold. Click through if the embeds don't show up in a reader. And click through again to go to the pin source!

Because it's true. And funny.

*Hangs head in shame at how bad mine are ...*

Because it looks cool. And I'd love to go back and visit Scotland.

Reminding you of these ...

I love to follow Flannel Friday posts but don't actually do much in the way of prop storytelling. This one was pretty cool, though.

I love doing research with classes. It's actually my favorite. This week was crazy cause a grade ... sort of sidestepped me. Super frustrating to see ridiculousness when I offered help multiple times. No place on the organizer for citations. Kids going straight to Wikipedia and printing it and thinking they were done. But next week a grade is coming to the library and we're going to have Loads of Fun with Loads of Learning about rapid changes to the earth's surface ... . I'm excited! We used to do PSA videos about "How to Survive a _____________." The last time we actually tried that ... I got appendicitis. Then we did a careers project for a year. Now this year we'll make Haiku Deck presentations. I like how easy their image search function is (and how safe). And the quality of the photos!

Reading Resolution Printable 2015

Double post today! But just a reminder if you've seen or used them the last two years ... here's an updated one. Click on the text link for a PDF or you can save and resize the pics. The font is by Jen Jones of Hello Literacy. Got any ideas for new prompts?

2015 Reading Goals Printable 1
2015 Reading Goals Printable 2

Remember to remind kids they FOLD on the straight line and cut the dotted line ABOVE that straight line. I didn't add any crazy 2015 fonts to fill in for that top page cause it might be more fun for the kids to design their own with markers or stickers. Or cut the numbers out with a die cut. And, to be honest, because our copy machine is CRAZY and half the time won't feed double sided copies properly. Or I can't figure out how to load the originals so I get the double sides on the sides I want. Both have occurred multiple times. So I'm not counting on it for next week. :P

example 2015 Reading Goals Printable 1

Monday, January 5, 2015

#IMWAYR Jan. 5 Lockwood & Co.

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.

My favorite? LOCKWOOD & CO. By a long shot they were so fun! Slightly spooky and long ... so I don't know that I will be getting them for our collection. Maybe the first one, just for fifth grade. We'll see. I did them as audiobooks. Audiobooks are saving me from my reading rut. Why can I not concentrate? Over the break it was because of family and small fry. Before that it was because I was so tired from school I would just fall asleep. Would like that to change but for now I'll enjoy my audio ride and keep chipping away at the books I only have in hard copy or e-format.

The top one is another audiobook. Only listened to about 20 minutes before I found book two of Lockwood & Co. and then it got put off. The bottom two are ones I've been trying to finish since November.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Looking Back to Look Forward Part 1

Eh. So cliche and sometimes not useful. But ... othertimes yes. So we'll go for it for now. This is LONG and missing a lot of pics.

January: Oh, heavens. January is mountain cedar hell. Last year it was BAD. My insurance changed on 1/1 and while it covered less with a higher deductible (:() I no longer had to get "permission" from a PCP (:) Take that buddy, for telling me to take Zyrtec and rinse and I would be fine. NO I WASN'T). Tested and surprise. Every environmental one there is except for cockroaches. How gross is that. They had to scratch me with cockroach essence to determine this non-allergy. No food, though, luckily. Started the TL Blogging Challenge (still need to finish that one ... I put it on hold for the summer and our library space renovation and never picked it back up!). Had only moved into my new place in Dec. '13 so there was still a lot of unpacking and arranging.

This pic shows you part of what cedar season means to TX. LOTS of Kleenex. LOTS. Like we should get stock. This was what was used at my house over the last 12 days or so. Granted, fair number of us here. But SIX BOXES emptied. And in the next week good chance of another 3 or 4. Bright spot? I use them at school. More on that later.

February: TCEA is always fun. I do enjoy it, even when as in 2014 I felt like I was taking my life into my hands driving back and forth through graupel. Spooky! We presented on Google Your LMC. So much learning goes on. Recharge. Remind myself "what I'm doing does make a difference" before going into testing season where it feels like everything in education is heading tin the total wrong direction. It's not ALL wrong. :P Also at that point I knew I was planning a space transformation ... I just had no clue it would end up being as big as it was.

March: Started off with a fun Seuss Door Decorating contest. Teachers outdid themselves! Biggest professional surprise ever. In the middle of our spring bookfair a visit and "Hey, we're going to enclose your library this summer." OH!

April: Who can remember. Took a blog break and only did #IMWAYR posts along with a couple FF and one TL Blogging challenge. April is a busy month with testing, Easter, and a local Fiesta holiday. Plus I hadn't hit my reading rut yet so I read a lot.

May: Weeding. Weeding. More weeding. Weeded until I couldn't weed anymore and our district Library Services sent reinforcements! It really was helpful to have new eyes. Even having them there helped me to see with new eyes. Considering all that we weeded (what was it ... like 3000 or so titles? Maybe even a little more) I only miss maybe like 50 of them. Pretty good odds.

Oh ... and visited ice cream Mecca while presenting at a Google day in Brenham. And hitting a ... date.

June: Majority of it was the dumbest month ever. Beat even January 2013 and appendicitis. Didn't see any of it coming and still feel the after effects. :( :( Must think about many blessings and trust in better things to come. I can't control everything.

July: Fun with nieces and nephews. Reading and no school! Combination for awesome.

Less awesome but oh well. Never did work. Now must add an awesome day photo.

August: Stress! Walls are up but the rest isn't done! Also TX is STINKING HOT. Only time of year with no pollen to cause distress (shots are helping but they're not miracle workers) and it's stinking, stinking, stinking hot.

September: More stress but then finally we could open. Too bad I didn't take pics the day we moved all the books. That was ... crazy. Big double wide rolling shelves everywhere and it was like a puzzle figuring out where the books we needed to put away next were. The kids were SO IMPRESSED with the final result! A TL blogging challenge post still to come (how behind can I be?) on changing to meet patron needs. Surprised that higher ups are not as excited about my plans for the library entrance as I was. Sort of just dropped that entirely when I was told no. I should bring it up again. I thought I had a great plan. Ugly posters have appeared on other areas of the wall outside the library are not nearly as attractive and professional and kid-friendly/learning-centric as the plans I had (and I know that sounds super self centered but IT'S TRUE). So what gives? #timetotryaskingagain

October: So fun to see the kids still excited about coming into our new space. Somewhat of a learning curve. Super pleased about most of our changes ... really aren't many things I'd do differently given the chance. Maybe the only thing is an "animal story" genre. And that's really it. So that's something. In a perfect world it would have been a BIGGER space with some natural light and full walls so we don't still have to hear all of the hallway noise. But in the real world? This was a well done change. Less visual distraction is a HUGE improvement. Another great Literary Pumpkin Patch. And the librarian field trip to BiblioTech was pretty cool. I still think touting a "bookless" library is pretty dumb but whatever. They are filling a need that perhaps couldn't have been done by the regular city library system that has to split resources between print and electronic.
Also the deer ate 85% of the landscaping. #boo

November: We got our big bulletin board and white board up! Also got the iPad stand installed for sign in stats. Also I woke up the Saturday to start Thanksgiving break with a mild flu. Better in time to go to Houston on Thursday morning. Came back to cedar. :P

December: Did not start with the Google Teacher Academy. Oh well. Thought where it was local I had a chance, :/ Better surprise. Charlie's (my little brother!) home. So proud of all he accomplished whilst away. Third surprise ... no more doorstop morning duty come January. So ... MAKER MORNINGS HERE WE COME.

Now off to read. I didn't do a #IMWAYR reading post but I have to say ... read (or listen to the audiobook ... that's what I did) Jonathan Stroud's The Screaming Staircase stat. NEW FAVORITE. I was so bummed when Overdrive didn't have book 2. So I went to Amazon and if you search there they only show the CDs. But then a search actually ON Audible and SUCCESS. Book 2, here I am.

Will be back on ... maybe Thurs. with part two Looking Ahead. Maybe later if I contemplate/ procrastinate more. Happy New Year!!!!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Finally Friday Jan. 2

First Friday of 2015! Last Friday of vacation.


Finally saw The Five Armies on NYE. Been on a LOTR kick since. This ... this is real.

Love. Just truly ... no space for another table/desk. At least not until we can replace our big bulky teaching tables with something more ... efficient. Why I want a Lego WALL so much. But this table would have storage space built in so that's cool. If you have the floor space for a table this is a great alternative!

Love! Nieces and nephews? Or, let's be honest. Grandkids. Cause Mom (aka Grandma) would be doing the sewing. I'd .. get takeout so she didn't have to cook that day. Or my parents suffer through MY cooking. Isn't it funny that I love to collect recipes (binders of them before Pinterest) and yet can't cook? Can't deal with all the planning. I start and discover halfway through I'm missing something. Or get distracted and it burns. Or what looked so good ... just doesn't TASTE as good.

When I run out of ideas (as I'm SURE I will ... doing alright at day 2 but come on ... it's day 2!!) will come back to this.

Are you on Instagram? Let me know! My feed will always be a mix of personal and school so FYI if that overwhelms you. I know we all have to prioritize how much social media we can consume. For those two months or so I deleted FB from my phone ... it was nice, you know? I missed out on some good news but I also missed out on loud internet "noise." And that was nice.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Currently January

Linking up with Farley!

Listening: to Peter Hollens. (Re)Discovered him with the #sharethegift World Record nativity video (with the Piano Guys? Did you see it? He's the first one singing before David Archuleta). Downloaded a couple of his songs. Edge of Night (LOTR) was first. Now actually an 80s playlist is on. I might have to go get a couple more PH songs, though. I wasn't actually a big fan of the first song where I heard him (a collaboration with Lindsey Sterling) but more are growing on me.

Loving: my little brother is home (first he was in Wisconsin ... then Brazil)! He's been gone for a long time but he's back. A little earlier than expected and with a NASTY cough but we'll get him well. He's such a good kid. Whose not really a kid anymore but he will always be to me.

Thinking: I really thought I got rid of a lot of clutter last year before the move. I just went to tidy up my present wrapping supplies and found ... do I even tell you? Eeeek. Three SW Ep. 1 posters and an a-ha poster. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT? Kind of like when you find a book you can't believe you didn't weed five years ago in the library collection?

Wanting: a hot cocoa. Do I start of the new year drinking calories? They are so tasty and this morning is cold and rainy.

Needing: to get healthy. Seriously. I couldn't keep up with the nieces and nephews and that is unacceptable. Exercise and eating better would probably help the sleeping problems that have been around ... really all year.

Yes: see above.
Maybe: I feel kind of ... in a rut? Not sure if it's job-wise (the commute is getting SUPER OLD) or hobby wise (I feel like I come home and sit on the couch cause I'm so exhausted. See above). I follow photography blogs. Maybe a Photo 365? Could see more action on Instagram! Or do more with my Silhouette and general crafting. I like that.
I wish: I had a trip planned! I don't have the nerve to go by myself and no one I know is going anywhere cool. At least not w/o husbands and kids. :P