Friday, July 31, 2015

Already Friday July 31

I have lots of family coming in the next couple weeks. That's fun. Just lots going on as well so ... I will remain calm and cool and collected, right? You? If I was a blogger that could offer all sorts of organizational and professional/lifeplanning tips would you be impressed? :P

Means still no update on the apps post. Truly note to self NEVER announce a reboot of a blog series until you have at least three of them pre-written. I can procrastinate like no one's business. Real main thing? Haiku Deck is going to a paid subscription model if you want to be able to export the presentations out of the app. And for a shared library device that's pretty imperative so ... :(.

Calm and cool and collected. Remember to keep up the exercise. Cause I signed up with some other TL friends for a Star Wars themed 5K in December! Which is still a long time away but I am excited because, well, you know.

This is a pretty good intro to the book. And more concise than my notes were!

I think this smore makes much more sense if you've read (or at least started with the first four and a half chapters) the book. Not sure I could have "followed" some of this otherwise, even though I knew most of the apps. I like where it's going, though. MTV is really a book to stop and ponder as you lesson plan.

I want this. Like the Ewoks in the movie it's so ugly it's kind of cute. #theobsessivecollectingmuststop

You know #imageek.

Take care and enjoy the last days of freedom. I don't mean to sound like I'm dreading school starting. But those first couple of weeks are hard. Then you get in a routine and it works out. It's just so nice to have time.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Some Professional Reading Part 1

I thought about attempting sketchnotes but since I actually know nothing about them beyond seeing examples online ... I thought again. I used to only read one book at a time. Has the internet shallowed my brain? Also it would have made MUCH more sense to start this a month ago but anyway.

So as to 1) try and make myself accountable and 2) not MISPLACE any notes ... I thought I'd place them here. Lots of scrolling ahead. Proceed with this in mind. There is a photo at the end. Though you might have already seen it on Instagram. ;)

Notice and Note: Strategies for Close ReadingNotice and Note (How embarrassing that I have owned this book for ... 2 years? Been a lurker on the FB group for just as long? And never ... got to it? Anyway. Chapters 1-3)
  • The reading habits survey on page 14 is pretty awesome. May have to steal/use it.

  • The questions on "Talking with Colleagues" on pages 18-19 are food for thought. Wish I'd have read this when it was the #cyberpd of the summer so I could have actually discussed them with others. Right now the three most interesting to me are "How do I help students consider or document their changing interests in genre?" (Because so much of that is mandated by the classroom teacher. "This month you need to get one realistic fiction book as well as your choice." So what do I do as the teacher librarian? Then "Do I use nonfiction to extend students' thinking about ideas developed in novels?" I feel like I'm much better at doing that with picture books so I want to improve that this year. And then how can I encourage more of the "Do my students read literary nonfiction--the human interest essay, biography, autobiography, journalism, historical and scientific documents that are written for a broad range of audiences and often with a narrative structure (i.e. think The Great Fire for upper elementary ..."? This is also interesting in light of the third book I picked up, Digital Reading.

  • quote from page 21 "Rigor is not an attribute of a text, but rather a characteristic of our behaviour with that text. Put another way, rigor resides in the energy and attention given to the text, not in the text itself." Then on page 22 "The essential element in rigor is engagement [and committment]. The rigor has to be achieved by engaging the readers in a process that is sufficiently interesting or rewarding that the'll invest energy in the work." Such a delicate balance! Over-reading is so possible.

Making Thinking VisibleMaking Thinking Visible (Chapters 1&2)
  • page 1 spends a lot of time on the definition of thinking. Which was remarkably interesting! I'm already intrigued by the "What kinds of thinking do you value and want to promote in your classroom? ... if we are going to make thinking visible ... the first step will be for us as teachers to make the various forms, dimensions, and processes of thinking visible to ourselves."

  • page 8 "Thus, we might consider understanding not to be a type of thinking at all but an outcome of thinking. After all, one cannot simply tell oneself to understand something or directo one's attention to understanding versus some other activity."

  • page 11-13 8 thinking moves or "understanding map"

  • page 14 other kinds of thinking

  • pages 18-20 are 4th, 6th, and 10th graders concept maps on thinking. Interesting to note the differences.

  • page 21 just a side note ... I asked Alexa what "epistemology" meant! The definition was about what I was getting from context but still.

  • page 25-26 put the student at the center! It's not all about the teacher delivering content! It's not even all about teaching "methods." "Our role as teacher shifts form the delivery of information to fostering students' engagement with ideas. Instead of ... judging our success by how much content we get through, we must learn to identify the key ideas and concepts with which we want our students to engage, struggle, question , explore, and ultimately build understanding."

  • page 28 "when we demystify the thinking and learning process, we provide models for students of what it means to engage with ideas, to think, and to learn. In doing so, we dispel the myth that learning is just a matter of committing the information in the textbook to one's memory."

  • page 29 "What are my students learning about learning? What messages am I sending through the opportunities I create for my students about what learning is and how learning happens?"

  • pages 30-39 SO many great thoughts on making the invisible visible. Subheadings include "questioning, modeling an interest in ideas, constructing understanding, facilitating and clarifying thinking, listening, and documenting." 
I've actually gone a little further and started into the routines but this is a good place to stop for now.

Digital Reading: What's Essential in Grades 3-8
Digital Reading What's Essential in Grades 3-8 (Chapters 1-2)
  • pages 1-3 describe two students and the different ways they interact with digital text. Super interesting. One mention of social annotations made me really curious. I totally had to turn that off on my Kindle because it was driving me NUTS!!!!!!!!!!!! In college whenever I had to buy a used textbook dealing with other people's highlighting distracted me as well. Does that help any of you?

  • page 5 A terrible, terrible, terrible quote by a focus group student "I know school is important and I want to do well because that's what everyone expects of me. But if I really want to learn something, I do that outside of school." THIS IS AWFUL!

  • page 6 "Just because students are "good" with technology does not necessarily mean they are literate in the digital age. Digital literacy is much more than that.... This knowledge makes them technology users but certainly doesn't give them a deep understanding of how the tools work, what the best tool might be for a specific task, or even what other tools might be available ..."

  • page 7 the NCTE Definition of 21st Century Literacies

  • page 8 "One thing we do know: we can't view digital reading as an add-pn; in other words, we can't wait until a child is competent with traditional literacy skills and then expect the child to transfer those skills to digital text." AMEN. I'll say it again and again ... AMEN!

  • page 8-9 "We want them to be intentional about when and how to choose which types of texts will help them find and best understand the message and medium. By helping students to recognize the types of text they will encounter and how to interact with these various kinds of texts, they will gain independence in their reading choices ..."

  • page 10 Figure 1.3 How digital reading expands traditional reading skills = AWESOME

  • page 11 talks about how our role as educators is to support students' literacy "by helping them intentionally use digital tools for learning and make these tools a part of their daily lives. We do this by being intentional about our own work with students ..."

  • page 12-13 talks about kids reading Harry Potter before they were necessarily ready. "We worry that when children read books they can understand only at a surface level, they start expecting only that level from all their reading" YES, this is TRUE. It's a delicate balance, there.

  • page 13 reminder of three text types (linear texts in digital format, nonlinear texts with links, and texts with media) but the book will be focused on three anchors ... authenticity and keeping reading meaningful, intentionality and making choices, and connectedness (between texts, readers, and experiences)

  • page 14 again "We cannot presume that students must become proficient with traditional texts before we give them opportunities with digital texts."

  • page 16 "While no single tool makes the difference in the literacy workshop, collectively these tools [ipads, iPods, e-readers, laptops/chromebooks, SMART boards] change everything about our teaching and our students' learning." 

  • page 18 The author discusses her own habits and changing reading. "Sure, it was great to do a project here and there, but for the most part, even as my own literacy practices were changing my classroom workshop remained the same."

  • page 19 Figure 2.2 The role of digital texts in the literacy workshop

  • page 21 Figure 2.3 Differences between traditional and digital reading workshops

So many things to think about! I want teachers to read this! And I need to ponder on what all this means for the library classroom.

And if you made it all the way to the bottom I will repeat a post from earlier today because, as you know, I love it (even if my photog skills in lighting and focus need work!). Getting a team together to do a Star Wars themed 5K in December and I am SO EXCITED! Yes! Many are walking. I might try to run even though I won't be fast. We're talking big deal if I can come in under 33 minutes. But that would be awesome.

Legos Libraries Star Wars

Monday, July 27, 2015

#IMWAYR July 27

It's (almost) 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.

So let's see, this past week ...
What I Read

Icefall and the two Bogle books were may favorites of this week. I wish my students were fonder of the late Victorian London type mystery stories because I did really like the Bogle books. Would the spooky aspect be enough for them? Not sure. I've had Icefall for a couple years and tried it before and always set it back down. Glad I finally stuck through. Would be an excellent title for a kiddo who might be waiting for Rick Riordan's Norse series to start. Or a writing/storytelling student. Definitely middle school kids, maybe gifted elementary. It's fairly complex. Eddie Red was fun, too, albeit the "kid working for the police" aspect that they tried to make realistic completely unbelievable.

See You at Harry's definitely was well written ... it just wasn't at all what I was expecting and it was so sad the contrast between my actual experience and expected reading experience was hard for me to take. I must not have paid any attention to what people said because I remember them saying "it's so good" but not anything about how sad it was.

So this week? I need to start Making It Visible. Is that terrible I procrastinate "professional reading"? Lots of reading is professional in a teacher's line of work, no? Anyway. I also finally ordered Digital Reading: What's Essential in Grades 3-8. PD books feel expensive but then again so are grad classes and such. Read enough great blog posts from people who've read both books that I wanted to. Started Thinking via library ebook several times but it's so dense I knew I had to go to the print to really get it. Ironic, no?

What I'm Reading Next

Has anyone read Red Rising? The description seemed so my thing and yet I've been in the middle of it for weeks. I should maybe start over. I was having trouble with the audio of Moriarty but my brother said the beginning was hard for him as well. That one's from Overdrive. I also downloaded Dark Disciple from Audible. I actually never watched much of The Clone Wars television show (Star Wars related, if you don't know) so we'll see if I can still follow it. Is it a US thing that I find the idea of a bunch of kids being sent to a outdoor school in the Highlands, in January, for nine weeks, pretty ridiculous? Even more so than the idea of Gerald inheriting a billion dollars from an unknown aunt, apparently. #thatsjustme Beyond that it's been a fun ride! The Maloneys' has also started out a little slow but a couple reviewers state it gets much better as you get further in so we shall see. 

This week and next week. Then the NEXT week my family starts coming, every couple of days. And I go back to work on that Thursday and will miss all of the daytime family fun. Would be one thing if much of those first days of meetings were useful. :X #rottentiming #theyrealsogoingtobakeinthesouthTXheat

Friday, July 24, 2015

Finally Friday July 24

Hello! It's Friday again! Only ... two more of summer vacation for me.

I spent Wednesday and part of Thursday at a Library Reboot Camp. I didn't get to go last year because I was in Seattle the first day and recovering from a serious red-eye flight the second day.
Wednesday I went to a class with tips on staff training, gathering stats from a couple of our e-resources, and makerspaces. Today I only went to two because I woke up at 3:30 this morning and could not go back to sleep. I was SO TIRED. Today was working on version 2.0 of our Libguides and then EB Online (we're coming from World Book). I was a little sad to lose World Book as I really liked their update earlier this winter and spent a lot of time teaching kids how to use it. Starting over now which is :P but it's not like EB Online isn't good, too. Just change. Always change, right?
I'd never seen this video before. With 8 million hits how did I miss it? I was told I was a Cooper with technology (at the meeting). Hmmmm.

I haven't done ONE MONDAY MADE IT all summer!
Follow MsOReadsBooks's board SW Library on Pinterest.

I know they can't but I wish Jamberry could make some nails like these. Only my nails are much shorter so maybe it would end up looking squatty? Just know I could never paint these!

Please understand this one is shared in irony.

I love these colors.

Today is Pioneer Day for members of my church. It commemorates the day that the westward expansion-ers that were kicked out of many states (one actually issued an extermination order) made it to the Salt Lake Valley. They weren't perfect, either. Far from it. It's hard to get an accurate view of history because history can't defend or explain itself and accounts can have ulterior agendas. Anyway. I have always had a tendency to say "so glad I didn't have to walk across the plains in long skirts picking up buffalo chips to burn and running out of food" but hey, we all have different trials to deal with, don't we? It's dangerous to say one thing is harder than another. Just everyone be kind. Be kind.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

TBT Books for the Beginning of the Year

Should definitely add What Do You Do With an Idea? and The Most Magnificent Thing and Stick and Stone ... but what else? Click on the pics for the old posts and don't forget the comments? Then (and I know this is asking a lot ;)) if you can think of a MUST come back and comment here. I'm hoping enough inspiration will strike and I'll come up with some titles for a Part 3. We'll see. The app list update should come first because that is already a month late!

Books for the Beginning of the School Year

Books for the Beginning of the School Year Part 2

(Oh and get some Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great bookmarks inspired bookmarks if you haven't already)

Monday, July 20, 2015

#IMWAYR July 20

It's (almost) 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 spent some time hanging out at B&N waiting for a doctor's appointment. When you live sort of in the boonies (and your poor library doesn't get very many new picture books) you make do with what you've got access to! You can see (a little) more detailed reviews on Goodreads.

Suffice it to say my favorite picture books were What Do You Do With an Idea? and I Wish You More.

Thickety: The Whispering Trees was super creepy! Loved it!

I really liked the I Am books with their emphasis on people making positive changes ... just a bit perplexed as they are so text heavy but still look very "picture book-ish." The usual picture book crowd will not be able to read them and the older kids that could so benefit will think they look babyish. And I can already hear a few (good intentions but please DON'T EVER) teachers telling older kids "Get a longer book, that's too easy for you."

Mesmerized had some of the coolest art design ever.

Paper Things was sad. And brave. But sad.

Anything Platypus Police Squad is a fun and easy read! The kids love them!

Two books on contagious diseases! Can't help it. I'm a doctor's daughter. Even though I had no desire whatsoever to become one myself!

Not usually a talking animal fan but I did enjoy Hopper's Destiny. Now to wait for book three! And to feel sad for one particular character that seems to have lost his mind.

I didn't love The War that Saved My Life as much as many others. I didn't hate it, either ... just found it so sad. Much more going on than a world war here! Historical fic has been almost impossible to get my kids to read. I did have a group of fifth grade girls go on a late spree from April to May when we finally started getting new books (orders were a bit late last year due to many reasons ... at least we got to make some!) but now they are gone and will have to start over.

I just started The House of Puzzles (because seriously, mysteries about a boy who wakes up one day to find out an aunt he didn't know has left him a billion dollars? Isn't that worth some of the trouble he has to put up with? ;)). I have the first two of the Bogle books checked out so if book one is fun I'll try to get to book two as well. They didn't have book three. I keep hearing how this author is fabulous. She usually writes YA but these are middle grade.

I sort of made a calendar of all the advanced reading copies I have and when they are going to be released. I'm surprised Edelweiss or Netgalley ever let me have them again after last year and almost no reading. Pretty soon it will be back to school and my teeny public library will be super out of the way again, though, so I'm glad for those outlets. This year ordering shouldn't be so backed up so even though it will be less than it's ever been before in my career there will still be some!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Finally Friday July 17

The days are going by too fast, you know? Haven't really gotten much done. Didn't write a "bucket list" per se but maybe I should have? Did you? I have done better exercising. Played around with some Lego Minifig photos. You might see them eventually. Never did come up with a third one.

How often do veggies look tasty?

Chocolate always looks good.

Nieces and nephews come in a couple weeks. This could be a fun project with the older ones, too.

I love a new Sharpie. Simple way to keep track of which is which!

Blast from the past fun summer outfit pin.

One thing I've learned ... "Don't try to start a blog series until you have at least a couple posts already written." Even though that is Blogger 101. Be predictable.

Monday, July 13, 2015

#IMWAYR July 13

It's (almost) 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.

Circus Mirandus, The Book of Kings (release date in Sept), and The Mad Apprentice were my favorites of the week.
CM is not for the dry eyed. I listened to the audiobook. (On a total side note the narrator is one of the guys from ... what was the name of that show. Perfect Strangers? Dating myself there.) I have quite enjoyed all of the Mister Max books (a great supporting cast!) and the main character makes the Forbidden Library books. She's awesome. I should do blog posts on both of these titles. I ... abandoned The Cabinet of Curiousities. I hardly ever do that. I keep reading thinking I will like it more by the end. Often I do. Sometimes I still feel meh. Sometimes ... every once in a blue moon ... I get halfway through and I can't go any further. :/

Let's see. This week I have ... Jack and Paper Things checked out from the public library. And I need to start reading the books I swiped from the collection at school or the ones that have been on my shelf but I might want to give to nieces and nephews when they come in a couple weeks. The summer rapidly draws to a close. TARGET IS DEAD TO ME FOR A COUPLE WEEKS for already having you know what out on display. UPS man knows I'm boycotting Target because I've been a bit Amazon crazy. #summervacationcangetexpensive

Friday, July 10, 2015

Finally Friday July 10

Well. The days are going by too quickly! Getting some stuff done but not everything. Hope you are having a great summer. Click through for embedded content!

Considering the time and effort I am putting in to trying to love exercise ... it is ironic that I would share this. Eating better. IT'S HARD.

Waa, waa, waa. I know. Stop whining and start moving!

See, this LOOKS pretty. But would it actually taste good?

Morbid fascination with Shark Week. Only to find out a lot of it isn't even accurate. But the crafts are fun!

This 11 Places to Dive ... these are places you will never, ever, ever, ever, ever see me!

I'm a sucker.

Thinking about making this before all my nieces and nephews come.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Piper Green

book cover    book cover

Too cute. I mean really, I actually enjoyed reading these and many of the easy chapter books I find a little dull. (Would never tell the kids that but it's the truth!)

Piper lives on an island off the coast of Maine. First of all that's just cool and different. I used to live in WA state many moons ago and there were a few kids at school that had to ride a boat in every day. Then she's just funny. In book one it made me laugh when she points out that her little brother eats only green beetles because "they taste like bacon." Or in book two when a classmate, upon hearing a pet rabbit has gone missing, says "Oh no! Did he meet an untimely end?" Or a bit later when Piper remarks "You could hear the sigh and everything. I think we exasperate her" [the teacher].

The illustrations were just lovely. So. Definitely, even with an upcoming year of budgets cuts, must gets for your strong end of year 1st graders or 2nd graders.

photo credit: Bass Harbor via photopin (license)

The author's website can be found here. And just a side note ... if you've never read Spilling Ink? GO and FIND A COPY NOW. I'm not even a writer (does anyone remember a children's television show from the early 80s that had a bug as the main character? And he finished each episode with a writing prompt? I HATED THE DAY WE WATCHED THAT SHOW because our homework was always to finish the prompt and it was so hard) and I enjoyed it and wished we could get a copy for all of our kids.

Monday, July 6, 2015

#IMWAYR July 6

It's (almost) 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 will finish Circus Mirandus either later today or tomorrow. I didn't spend as much time as I should have on the treadmill last week (and allergies are flaring up which makes no sense at all ... so no outside walking/biking) and when I tried to listen while puttering around the house I found my attention wandering. And many of the lines are too pretty to miss! That's one thing about audiobooks. They are great for super plot driven titles but sometimes if the writing is just really pretty I wish I could SEE the words as well.

Finally finished The Magician's Fire after putting it off for months. I'm not sure why it took me so long as it wasn't bad. Wasn't my new most favorite of all favorites, either, but it wasn't bad. Same for Red Rising and Story Thieves. Those are two more ARCS I've been in the middle of for a while.
Technically I also finished Serafina and the Black Cloak last night as well but as it was late and I would have preferred to be asleep I want to go back and look at some of it again. Cause I had been enjoying it up until the last third or so.

I keep trying to read grown up books and being seriously MEH at the results. I did quite enjoy the Barnum book. And The Underground Abductor. Flashlight is pretty cool as well ... it's a seriously cool concept for a wordless picture book! Love the story of Malala but this book ... the "voice" in the book wasn't as warm as she seems in interviews. Pretty cold, actually. Not usually a realistic fic fan but Lisa Graff does a great job. Undertow was basically the Little Rock 9 but with mer-people. I enjoyed The Black Reckoning but haven't found many elem kids who can get through the whole thing. I am curious to read Steal Like an Artist again. It's short, so I can. Don't usually read stuff like that but this summer I'm trying to get back ... whatever it was that I misplaced last year. :P

So the next week? These are my goals.

And hopefully some picture books and maybe another ARC or two. We shall see.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Finally Friday July 3

Well, app post will have to wait until next week. Got distracted this week, didn't I? From that and finishing some in progress update projects.
Click through for embedded content. See you later!

Slowly but surely I WILL get back in shape. Debating going in for a sleep study but not sure I want the results. Sleeping better would be awesome, though. Couldn't help but help, no? Skipped the workout class this AM. Lingering effects of a rotten headache last night and small fry staying here this AM. Anyone on MyFitnessPal? I don't use it much but maybe that's because I've never "connected" with anyone.

Cute and simple. Better to have started it a week or two ago, though.

AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH! Forgot about this. Even though it's the cover of this board.

I want to do more augmented reality projects next year. I've done simple Aurasma/Daqri triggers with 2nd grade classes and their research dioramas but it's time to take it up a notch. Wish I could have gone to iPadpalooza!

I like to play around like I know this stuff.

And I'll leave you with this. Ordering online, I think, so that I can get the Stead characters/animals I missed when they were in store. #beenspendingtoomuchlately #buyallthethings

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Currently July

Linking up with Farley.

Currently July meme

Listening: to the Hurricane album
Loving: time. Like, to eat breakfast! During the school year there's just no way I'm eating before 6:30 and that's the absolute latest I can leave my house. :/
Thinking: I need a project. Had a hard time narrowing down what to do this summer. I guess start with some of the Lego minifig pics I wanted to play around with. And hello, I haven't used my Cameo in a while. Make some stuff for my Star Wars in the Library year next year?
Wanting: an Amazon Echo. In fact I was just super naughty and ordered one. I shouldn't have but I did.
Needing: to call some people. Both family and friends.
All Star: I'm really not sure. That sounds lame but the two other posts I've read said "truth teller" and I'm not really that. I hate telling people things they don't want to hear. Reader? Cookie baker?

So kind of dull answers but it's time to go eat and get dressed. Errands with my Mom this morning! I'll have to do the treadmill this afternoon (TOO STINKING HOT OUTSIDE :P). Back to the gym class tomorrow.  And a one on one with the trainer to come up with some better meal plans and substitutes for when I really crave sugar (double :P :P). And TL bookclub. And (finally) a bang trim and touching up the cursed roots. A pox on the gray hair gene that has been rearing it's ugly head since I was 15! Every time I swear I'm going to chop it all off. And then I'm like "but then I couldn't just twist it up in a clip!"

Hopefully tomorrow the next iPad apps post will be ready!