Thursday, April 30, 2015


Working with a grade level on several "green" related research projects ... alternative forms of energy, effects of the water cycle, and global warming and how arctic animals are adapting. Love it. The first discussions were with final products where the students would create a Haiku Deck to present findings to a city council/senate about forms of energy we should use. Or Puppet Pal plays explaining solar energy and why we use it here in TX. Or Chatterpix (iMovie looped together to get around the 30 second rule) where a polar bear talked about how what humans do to the environment affected them.

Exciting, right?

Tried to start off right also brainstorming questions. Finding that "third space" that Guided Inquiry suggests.

Makes my head hurt, though, when I see two honors students with a book open, typing into a Google Doc. Same exact sentence structure, just changing some vocabulary to "put it into my words."

Then still with the sentence style searches. "How does hydrolectricity work?" First of all, let's check our spelling. Was I talking to myself when we went through and jotted down keywords? And a few synonyms?

And apparently there is MUCH more to do to help them understand how to frame a search.

I would love to be able to say I felt like I'd done everything right the past two days. Not so much. :/ On the plus side a teacher brought by a project her kids did in the classroom for an author visit next week (post to come) and it so adorable. So there is that.

On a side note ... if you want something for Monday and can get around the fact I'm not sure these are completely kosher (if they HAD official clip art I would totally purchase it) ... go here or here.

Monday, April 27, 2015

#IMWAYR April 27

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.

Eeek! What happened to Skitch? Screenshots are all funky. Sorry if you can't read it. Go here for a clearer view.

For literary value: Water Can Be ... (seriously ... poetry in a water cycle book)
For giggle value: Flight School.
For awesome storytelling w/o a word: Girl and  the Bicycle.
For sheer geeky thrills: all three Epic Yarns. I posted Instapics of my favorite spreads a while back
For historical, new to me-ness: Gingerbread for Liberty!
For "it was OK but I didn't love it like all the other bloggers seemed to ...": Circa Now.

I'm in the middle of the audiobook version of Ally Condie's Atlantia. I also have All the Bright Places checked out on Overdrive. Ever so many E ARCS. And a few historical fics (I thought, anyway) that came in on a book order. I love historical fic and was looking for more that the kids would read. Not sure if I got those or not, we'll see.

I can hardly wait for #bookaday. 6 more weeks.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Finally ... Frursday April 23

NO SCHOOL TOMORROW! NO SCHOOL TOMORROW! We are a funny city. I'm going to embed this board and hope nothing odd shows up ... you just have to see it to believe it. Remember to click through if embedded things don't show up.
Follow Visit San Antonio's board ¡Viva Fiesta! on Pinterest.
Tomorrow is for the Battle of the Flowers. Yes. Ladies threw flowers at each other. To honor the heroes of the Alamo. It just sounds so funny to say. I was hoping to find a funny someecard someone had made but alas. And I am not funny on purpose. Only by accident.
I am not a parade go-er, however. So no personal experience. #avoidcrowdsatallcosts
So. In our Friday Focus today we got reminders about applying to present at both TLA or TCEA. I am torn. I haven't been to TLA in forever and it's in Houston ... and I have a sister that lives in Katy. So that would help with the cost. But ... I don't know. I love the tech. But I miss the authors! Is it bad to think about both? Of course if I'm not presenting maybe they wouldn't let me go. And do I want to present at both? Stress.
I WANT THIS SO MUCH! ALREADY! I wonder how much it will cost. I don't have one at school yet because all things budgetary have gotten 300% harder this year and that is not exaggerating. But I might try next year. Maybe.

Yes. This is true.

Also yes. #5 is true. Don't have one. :/ Also I used to pay a fair amount of money for red highlights. That was a lot of upkeep. Now I pay {somewhat} less to cover less savory colors growing out of my scalp. More than my MOM. Thanks Dad's genes.

This quote was from a religious conference but let's also point out ... the thought fits in SO many ways in education and in technology and social media.

And I already shared one yesterday so there is the five. Got a big book order in during testing so that, at least, was fun.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Will Can Fly

It's gone viral now but a college roommate knows the family. Aren't these photos fun? I think my favorite is the one with him in the monster hat, flying through the trees. Little guy has taught his family a lot. (Click through if you don't see the pin ... and then click again for the original source!)

Hope you had a great Earth Day. I'm fighting a monster headache (I think from being outside in the oak pollen test monitoring the past two days, but I don't really know) so that is all for now. Later!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

#britlitfunnies Greg Heffley? Meet Tom Gates

Candlewick sent me a copy or I might have missed it as ... dare I say this out loud ... I haven't been a fan of Greg Heffley since book 3. Liked book one when it was online. Even had a great online book club with some decent forum conversations. Since then? I get tired of being asked where it is 70 times a day. "Checked out. Look at all the other funny books!" (And they are--I've never hidden them away, even when tempted!)

So thank you, Candlewick and author Liz Pinchon, for adding some variety to the humor book rotation!

A photo posted by Angie Oliverson (@msoreadsbooks) on
I am still waiting on kiddo feedback (I should have just given the book to a student straight off but I sent it to library processing first) but I think this is going to be a winner. Things like wanting to see your favorite band, or siblings tormenting each other, or parents doing things their kids don't approve of, well ... that crosses the pond both ways, does it not? There is a short glossary in the back for a few terms (ie biscuit and jumper) but with the doodles most of the meaning can be gleaned from context.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Dear Deer and Dear JC aka Gilbert Blythe,

Sorry we both lost yesterday. You much more than me. What on earth were you doing running around the median of a divided highway? Lost and confused, I suppose. I've been there. :(

"I am in the depths of despair." Only a few years older than myself. I dreamed of someday meeting someone like him even more than Han Solo and that is SAYING SOMETHING.

I've reread these books more than any other. He played a character and his loved ones and friends knew the real man. We're all just mourning his portrayal of a character. But it is sad.


Friday, April 17, 2015

Finally Friday April 17

It's FRIDAY! :) Next week is our testing week. Three days of sitting outside in the devil pollen for 3.5 hours, then 1.5 in the cafeteria, then 2 in the condensing room. #thingsthatarenotveryfun #orveryusefultoanyoneseducation I know some librarians get shut down for weeks/months for testing so I'm really trying to not dread it beyond all belief. I am trying. Thank goodness Friday is a holiday.
If I didn't already have a collection of snail mail cards that I never send I would be ALL OVER these.

How adorable are these?

#3. #8. #9. #11. And somewhat #7 though as soon as some things leave you can't EVER get them back. #conundrums


Current state of education?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

TBT Fiesta Printables

If you live anywhere near San Antonio a fever is very close to hitting ... FIESTA. For those out of towners ... well, you've got cinco de mayo coming. This is a repeat if you've been around. Here are some signs and bookmarks I posted about a couple years ago. Made from Scrappin Doodles clip art!

Click on the little downward arrow that is just to the right of the middle of the top of the screen to download a PDF.

  fiesta themed printable bookmarks
fiesta themed printable reading promo signs
(There are actually several different posters at the link. Just only reposted one here!)

I should make some new ones. Found some clip art I even forgot I ever had just last night. "Reading Fiesta" with hot peppers and cacti balancing books. But I should go exercise. That is my new thing. I will not give it up again, right? In order to survive next week's testing with sanity intact?

I'll leave you with the new SW trailer. The last couple seconds are the most interesting. Though they do show some age.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Not at TLA Random Post

Hmmm. As FB and Twitter fill up with peeps at #TLA15 I feel left out.

I mean ... I super enjoy TCEA. Actually find the classes more helpful. No cool author panels or bookmarks in the expo hall but for personal learning often better. But I am pretty much on my own there. This is how I connect, internet. I should probably work on that. :P I feel like I know some of you from mutual Pins and Instagram. But it's not the same, is it?

(Bonus favorite spreads from Chronicle's new SW Epic Yarns titles. You have to already be a fan to really need them but hello. I am their primo sucker. ;))

Things I Have Learned the Last Couple Days

1) ALWAYS. I mean ALWAYS ... no matter how tech savvy the individual might appear ... before I assume they know how to save something on the iPad and we divide and conquer recording class research ... make sure they know how to properly save the recordings. :/

2) The Book Creator app does not export iBooks with embedded audio and video easily. You can export it as a video but then there's no ToC access. Double :/

3) Never ever believe it when you think you are safe having an author visit on the calendar for almost 8 months. Large student groups will plan other activities for the day. And never believe it when at first the school says they will help pay for it. They'll take it back.

4) Kind of what she said.

5) Kids will grab on to the funniest things and run with them. Hopefully examples to come.

6) Bluebonnets make me feel better. Even though they come when oak pollen is high. They are still so pretty.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Finally ... Sunday Night April 12

Goodness. Last Thursday was the busiest checkout/in day ever. Many classes. Many, many, many classes. Also I was still sore from working out. Sore from working out is better pain than "I'm old and decrepit," though.

Then on Friday I woke up at 3AM sneezing with an oak induced headache. And then we had mariachis. And a fiesta shoebox float parade through the school. And then a student dropped an open bottle of cheap cologne on the carpet during dismissal.

That was fun.

But then I went to a series of speakers at a women's conference with my mom. And that was much better. A good reminder of priorities. ;)

Starting back up. Fitness is getting real here again, folks. Clears the head.

Right now I put it all away every morning. This would be more fun and make it more accessible ... but literally there is nowhere to keep this cart unless I kick out the literacy tutors big trunk. But I can't really do that, can I? Can I? #conundrums #causeitisBIG

Loved this. One of my brothers is a cop.

Personal purchase. These books are coming this week!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

My Favorite Earth Day Book

Do you know Here Comes the Garbage Barge?

I love it. I won't get to read it this year (must prepare for an author visit and the actual week of Earth Day is our big testing week :P). It's more about reducing the recycling but the art is too fun and it's based on a true story.

(wouldn't show this to small fry but it's interesting from an adult POV)

I just checked on Amazon to see if it was still in print and it is. I was a bit surprised to see some negative reviews from individuals who thought it was derogatory. I really don't see it but hopefully I'm not being willfully ignorant. The SLJ review is very positive ... "This title should be a part of every elementary school ecology unit."

Always love a RR video field trip.

I can't find a video I used to show about a boy who loved to use worms for composting. Which is beyond me but anyway.

Do you have a favorite? Bag in the Wind is another one. And of course both Curious George and Charlie and Lola have options. Or What to Do with an Old Red Shoe?

I just found out our choir will be gone on the day of our author visit. :(

Friday, April 3, 2015

iRead class

So I recently signed up to give a class at our district's beginning of summer tech camp. I called it iRead. The idea is to share apps that are easy to integrate with books ... apps where kids can share their reading and understanding of picture books, chapter books, and non-fiction books. Nothing super complicated or drawn out because hello, get them reading MORE. Don't overly distract them with too many projects. Keep it all to a delicate balance. ;)

 Of course it will end up here at some point. I have some ideas (some of which I've already posted ... but I'll gather them together in one place). Does anyone have any suggestions? Things they've done that their kids loved? You will be credited in the presentation, of course!

Sometimes I can't figure out why I sign up to do these things. They stress me out. :P
Later! Back to cleaning reading ... ?

Currently April and Finally Friday April 3

First? Linking up with Farley!

I love to listen to her violin music. The dancing sort of weirds me out (I play the violin ... how does she DO that?) but I love, love, love the music.
YAY for three day weekends! Also for Easter. Just a head's up if you also follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or a couple specific boards on Pinterest. They may be Faith-heavy feeds this weekend. It's not always ... but it will be this weekend. Twice a year we have worldwide broadcasts by speakers and leaders from my church. It's a good spiritual refill for me and since I've never been one to stick to a super focused focus ... well. Back to the "norm" next week.
I did NOT feel good the first three.point.five days of this week. And the first two? Testing. Already no fun, and not feeling well on top of it? Less. Not totally myself yet but so much better. I am grateful I didn't get sick as often this year. I think it's probably that my allergies were not as bad because of spending all the time/$ getting shots. So I guess it was worth it!
They are my favorite breakfast. But there's no MickeyD's within 10 miles of my house.
I do. I really do. That part of this weekend is no fun. And really I only have today. Will have my niece and nephew the rest of the weekend.
My blog used to be much more book based. I am trying to get back to that. I don't read as much as I used to and I miss it!

So my generation ... they just remind me of some old toys. :)

You KNOW I pre-ordered these.

I am petrified they will not let me do #makermornings next year and I'll be back to standing at a door and the kids to sitting and remaining silent. Don't we accomplish more? Unfun news this week ... the campus has been cut $14K, 4 teachers, and 2 assistants for next year. :(

Two super long pins. Apologies for all the scrolling. But isn't this a lovely sentiment?

Healthy eating is weird.

For those who celebrate ... Happy Easter and Passover. I am grateful #becausehelives. Now off to ... clean? Or read a book? #illnevertell