Friday, December 23, 2016

Long Dry Spell but Merry Christmas

The holiday book post never happened. Lots of posts never happened.

Does anyone have a post they'd love to SEE happen? I don't know. The last couple months between battling viruses and allergies and general total and complete energy sapping muscle soreness blahs ... any even remotely halfway decent ideas I had just went to a quick snap on IG. Haven't even gotten much reading in. I think I might need new glasses. READING glasses on top of my regular glasses. Does that mean bifocals? Not cool. Finally fessed up to that after not being able to properly see the directions on the antibiotics. Ridiculous! I do not feel like I could be old enough to need bifocals. :( BUT if you are still around after that rant THANK YOU!

If you have any questions or silly freebie bookmark requests send me a quick email and maybe over the break I can get some posts prewritten for the new year. I'll have a "reveal" sometime in February or March as we ordered some new tables that are so very different from what we've had for over a decade that people will probably flip out. And then like them after they see how flexible they are. If the walls hadn't changed the look of the place the tables will!

Seriously. If only I'd had this a few days ago it totally would have been up at school!

I can hear my 23 month old nephew singing "Jingle Bells" so I'm out of here. Merry Christmas. Happy Season's Readings. May the Force Be With You.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

$10 Giveaway for TPT

Long time no writing! Oh well.

But now I get to give away a $10 credit to the TPT sale. That will be at the bottom of this post. Don't read the comments if you care about spoilers to either the Anne of Green Gables movie or the Gilmore Girls Year in the Life (which I actually did not watch the first go around ... though I'll date myself and say my first teaching job was at the high school "Dean" graduated from and it was not long after he left ... so students would come back from the restroom all aflutter when he'd come back to visit and be walking the halls). Comments on those two things are two of the three ways to enter. The third I will do a round up post on later this week ... fave holiday read alouds. So you'll still get to hear about those if you stay away from reading other people's comments!

Until then here are some things I've wishlisted lately for personal or library use! Quick because family is still around until tomorrow.

I want to learn how to do the brush lettering I see all over IG. Not Tombows but I got these to try.

Of course this I already had. Don't think at $100 it wasn't tempting for school (they are programmable/codable now ... they weren't for the first 6 months or so) but the paperwork to do a PO ... the price would go back up by then. No, I did not order myself a Force Band. THOUGH I WANTED TO!

And as much as I love Overdrive sometimes I don't finish them in time. I got the EARC a while back but am so far behind I'll never catch up there. Electronic is bad that way. If it's falling off of the stack I'll read it first. So for $5 today it was tempting!

And here are some pretty photos of books. You might see them again.

Oh and my favorite most favorite of all work pants (I have black, navy, gray, and maroon-ish brown) that still look nice but are comfy are on sale tonight. Use this link for an extra $15 off for both of us.

I'm pretty sure I set this to be open the rest of tonight and tomorrow til 12. Then I'll email the "winner" the code Monday morning. The sale is Monday and Tuesday, right? Don't remember the extra 10% code but I'm sure you'll see it around somewhere. Gets kind of ridiculous how it's plastered everywhere for 72 hours.

 I haven't made anything new in forever. Had a set of teacher librarian planner stickers (just on Avery labels so if you don't have a Cameo you're not stuck with scissors for hours) but never finished. An update to the shelf labels that has been 85% done for weeks. No new display signs or bookmarks. Those people who get it all done? I'm envious! But hey. I went to two movies and binged on GG this week. And finished some reading. So I did that. I hope you did things that made you happy as well!

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Monday, October 24, 2016

#IMWAYR Oct. 24

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Date. 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.

All awesome ones. 
My fave is probably We Found a Hat though Jedi Academy and Hotel Bruce are a close second. I NEED a Bruce "roar"ing t-shirt. It is a NEED and not just a want.
And I Will Not Eat You and The Obsidian Chamber behind that. And President Squid is classic Aaron Reynolds which means it can't be anything less than funny.

All of the pics and Jedi Academy are totally recommended for the elementary crowd!

Today our district took us on a bit of a field trip. We got to tour the Google offices in Austin and see a K-12 education furniture showroom. Fascinating day deserving of another post. That will come later!

Monday, October 3, 2016

#IMWAYR Oct. 3 Lockwood Fangirling and P&E However We Can Get Them

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Date. 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.

Another week where I only finished a couple.

Elephant & Piggie Like Reading 1 & 2 ... as many of you know they are cute. Not stupendous in terms of writing (though the illustrations are top notch), but cute. The Cookie Fiasco is a math lesson on fractions and division. We Are Growing is both a writing lesson on adjectives and a guidance lesson on accepting all regardless of differences. The framing device of Elephant and Piggie at the beginning and end will have to fill the void left by the discontinuation of that series. We get a little bit of the beloved characters.

Chloe on the Bright Side is certainly reflective of many students' everyday lives. Parents break up and kids have to move. New friends can be both good and bad influences. It's not lovely groundbreaking realistic fic like Wonder or Out of my Mind or Rules ... but it's definitely useful in an upper elementary or even lower middle school. I was glad they sent it to me because it's not one I might have picked up otherwise. I usually prefer my fantasies and murder mysteries and set in space stories.

I listened to Lockwood #4 via Audible. If I wouldn't have been driving I would have been bugging all my FB friends sharing funny snippets ... it's just full of sarcastic funny lines. Yes. A ghost hunting book that is funny. I mean, the talking skull has quite a sense of humor when he's not trying to see to the group's demise. Each character adds their own strengths to the group. The hints of more than friendship are stronger in this one but still nothing I'd feel uncomfortable giving a strong reader. Middle school for sure, strong fifth graders no problem, either.

AND THE ENDING. Oh my word the ending. That was just mean, Mr. Stroud! This book is so new and now I have to wait another year!

We'll see what I get to this week. Have several I need to finish.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Today I Went to #LRR2016

and I WASN'T PRESENTING. Which I have done at every conference I've attended for the last I don't know how long because 1) I wanted to try getting a position on a different campus and thought that would help; and 2) a previous admin wouldn't let me attend a state level conference being held in my own hometown and I thought "Never again, they can't say no if I'm presenting!" (Ha ha to the previous winter when yes, I got to go, but only on the two days I was presenting, so I missed 70% of it because the last day was only a half day :().

It was very nice to just attend and learn. I wish I had some awesome ideas to share this time but no. Just soaking it all in with no stress.

The keynote was Jason Reynolds. I haven't actually read any of his books but at least one has been on my TBR list for a while and perhaps I should bump it up. Curiosity may lead me to add another one of his titles. He had a great message about helping kids find the books that they connect with. And told stories about his literary and writing journey as "Langston Latifah." He tells it better. You should just take any opportunity to hear him. And actually the anecdote about the time he met Queen Latifah is pretty funny. Takes about 26 seconds to tell.

Then the first actual session was David Liss. He will be coming to our school in November. I LOVED Randoms so I'm excited to read Rebels.
A photo posted by Angie Oliverson (@msoreadsbooks) on
I bought these from the indie shop that was there. And I wasn't thinking when I handed them an Amazon credit card, now was I? She made a joke about covering that name up. Took me a sec to "get" it.

The second session I went to was about Genius Hour. I have done a few things similar to this ... but started it a little differently last week and am regretting it a bit. Showed part of Caine's Arcade and now 9 of the 10 want to build something out of cardboard. Will go back next week and try to revamp to somewhere in between. It's super awesome and motivating for kiddos to go after their passions. Just ... what do you do when the one non-cardboard person one insists her passion is building a printer? A 3rd grader?

Then we had lunch and we got to hear a highly condensed 45 minute presentation from Mr. Schu. Actually never heard him speak before. Definitely passionate about kidlit! I came home and ordered two books because P&E in any form are awesome. Don't know why Amazon says they are written by MW, though, because they are not. Just part of a series.

Third one was about delivering PD in the age of TTESS (our state teacher eval system). There were some interesting ideas shared that I may post about later. I really liked most of them. A couple ... wow. Made me feel a little overwhelmed with responsibility. I try to know a lot about what is going on all over campus. Just ... how on earth can I know everything?
My friend and colleague tweeted this out cause she had a better angle. And oh drat. Embedding doesn't show the pic preview. Well. Libraries and world domination. Click through if you have a sec.

Then I went to a refresher on because it's been a while since we had access to it. I always really liked it and need to figure out a better way to get staff involved using it.

Then I went to a meeting about being a mentor to a teacher going through the UNT master's program. Though my mentee hasn't contacted me yet or responded to my message. Bummer. Now, I will admit ... there is quite a lot to this being a mentor. Who knew? Also I am glad I was able to concentrate on school and didn't have to keep teaching while I took the classes because that would be hard.

WEEKEND! Had two teachers ask about possible lessons next week. One ... second graders researching flexible seating to help a teacher spend $500. I LOVE that she asked. Just not even sure where to start! Then a fifth grade teacher with a couple options. Reading Separate is Not Equal for Hispanic Heritage. Maybe some mini bio research. Teaching kids how to search for photos for projects. And possibly integrating heat energy with that. Must do some test searches. Will looking up "heat" get us ... weird inappropriate images?

Monday, September 19, 2016

#IMWAYR Sept 19

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Date. 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.

Just the one! School starting has put a major harsh on my reading time. #thingsthatjustwillnotdo

I read comparisons to Star Wars for this one and I have to say ... bit of a stretch. Can sort of see it but bit of a stretch. That said it was a grand fantasy. The idea of rebel princes could have been overdone but there were some great twists to this one that made it still feel fresh. Upper middle school and high school.

Hoping to finish Cove #2 tonight. That's an upper elem. Get to start Lockwood #4 as my new commute listen tomorrow. Other than that we'll see!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

These Are the Days

I'm behind in all my reading and listening so I haven't started it yet. But all the heart eyes! All the heart eyes for this series!

The day started with an upset adult two minutes before morning announcements (in the library). I didn't handle it well (open with "It never made it home so it has to be here." "But it's not so hopefully they will find it in the classroom. She said yesterday they were looking for it." "But it's not his fault" and it went downhill from there). With grumpiness on either side no one wins. :(

Then a couple fun read alouds so there was that. Kinder and PreK both heard How to Babysit a Grandpa. "Today we're going to read a book about an old guy. Who do you think he is?" (Sometimes you have to amuse yourself, no?) "A PawPaw!" First grade heard The Dot and of course we used the Quivervision coloring page. Some of the message gets lost in the absolute tech amazement (apparently none of them have used a Crayola Alive coloring book) but I'll take all those "WOWS". All of you all that did more involved things for Dot Day ... power to you!

Then a lesson fell through but I remembered our equipment inventory was due. OOPS! The AP helped us clear out a lot of OOOOOOOOOOOLD stuff last spring so it was the quickest and easiest equipment inventory ever. What luck! Morning frustrations not gone but helped. And some great visits of kids on passes. Calm and unchaotic enough to talk a little bit and help them find a book. I know it can't always be that way but it sure is nice when it happens! And some great kids exploring Overdrive and creating wishlists.

The bookfair flyers came and we will have Mother Bruce.

Always a little nervous when I know a sub is coming. I was supposed to have a migraine preventive med checkup tomorrow (actually working well, knock on wood!) but the doc cancelled yesterday. Couldn't get an after school time until the END of Nov. Like post T-Day break. Lame. :/ But since I'd already made plans for the afternoon he's still coming. And I will get to hang out with one of my sisters and my mom. Family time recharges.

Early happy weekend everyone! Dullest post ever but that was the day. Some good and some less. Keep on swimming!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Already Saturday Sept 10

I was in PJs within 10 minutes of getting home. Tired.

Why is it so hard for students to use shelf markers? And bookends to not slip? And teachers to send class return books down early (well, I know it's hard there ... but as you know, it's less hard than not being able to check in books, check out books, and help students find books as one person with 24 plus students).

Now that I've whined ...
Things That Were Interesting This Week

Seriously, if you like Star Wars at ALL you need this book. Well, and the others are pretty fun, too. ;)

Speaking of messy library spaces ... though adults chuckle more than kiddos at this.

I need to make this. And get patterns cut so that kids could make it. I'm toying with the idea of making the club I sponsor this year either Star Wars or Harry Potter. iMovie was too stressful last year ... keeping track of everyone, range of kids from 3rd through 5th, no help (that knew what we were doing, anyway ... I mean, she did try but didn't know a thing about iMovie or iPads), keeping them on a storyline when we only met once a month or so for 70 minutes. That turned out more like 50 with transitions.

Or stumble around until you fall into clothes, have bags hanging off of both shoulders, and are sitting in your car. By then you definitely need to be awake. No, I don't drink coffee. :/

My brother is a police officer clear across the country. They are in NYC this week to perform with his department's bagpipe group. I remember 9/11. I was just starting my second year of teaching HS Spanish. 14 Cows is still my fave book for the day! Take a moment to remember bravery. Then pick back up and be a brave teacher and serve your students now (I'm telling myself this cause remember earlier whining) and have fun with Dot Day!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

#IMWAYR Sept 6

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Date. 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.

Late Aug Early Sept Reads

I forgot to put Busy Week Busy Builders on there. Crazy. Will fix it later. Very different titles, no?

School's First Day ... I have to admit confused the kinders I read it to. "The school talks?"
Not So Quiet Library is a good one for a library/book related storytime.

How This Book Was Made ... lots of irony and sarcasm. I plan on reading it to 4th graders.

Hooray for Today! ... I mean, look at that owl. Automatic win.


Still have lots of books I'm in the middle of so when I finish them you'll find out. The second one comes out in a couple weeks. If you like middle grade fantasy/steampunk run to go read the first one right now so you'll be ready. The author visited our school last year. Fabulous.

Fires of Invention (Mysteries of Cove, #1)

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Busy Builders, Busy Week Blog Tour

Fun picture book alert ahead! I was so excited to be offered a copy and a spot on the blog tour.

Authors are awesome. I mean really. The ability to put words together in a beautiful or interesting or funny way? Pretty cool. Add rhyming (that WORKS) and you've got an extra poetic win.

"Monday! 'Doze it day!
Dig it, dump, dispose it day.
Roll, mash, crunch, crash.
Smooth the highs and lows it day."

Busy Builders, Busy Week is a fun little ditty.

It's structured through the week as the animals build ... hmmm. Do I tell? Maybe not.

Only that it's a place that would delight any kiddo. I wouldn't mind visiting! They start on Sunday and work throughout the week to finish with a grand Saturday celebration. The illustrations are bright and colorful and the big eyes on the animals are my favorite.

Read it to some visiting nephews and niece and they approved! I should have gotten a picture. ;)
Next up will be my students!

Jean Reidy is a two-time winner of the Colorado Book Award. Especially gifted at writing for very young children, Jean is a frequent presenter at national and local literacy, writing,and education conferences and at schools across the country—in person and via Skype. She is a member of the Colorado Council International Reading Association and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and she serves on the board of Reach Out and Read Colorado. Jean writes from her home in Colorado where she lives right across the street from her neighborhood library, which she visits nearly every day. Visit her at and on Twitter: @JeanReidy.

Teachers and teacher librarians, click here for a free classroom curriculum guide and storytime kit!

You can see past reviews and one more tomorrow right here!

Follow Jean on the BUSY BUILDERS, BUSY WEEK! tour!

Mon, Aug 22
Tues, Aug 23
Wed, Aug 24
Thurs, Aug 25
Fri, Aug 26
Sat, Aug 27
Mon, Aug 29
Tues, Aug 30
Wed, Aug 31
Thurs, Sept 1
Fri, Sept 2

Saturday, August 13, 2016

ACK! Already Saturday! And still August.

Behind. What a surprise. I'm sitting in my study hiding from the current chaos for a bit. On the plus side I did get

  •  three doctor visits (:P bum leg and allergies whatevs, fine, no worries);
  • a car inspection (why is it so hard to find a place that actually DOES those?); 
  • a visit to the tax office for new plates and car registration;
  • a bunch of stuff back to school out of my laundry room and garage;
  • one long hallway bulletin board covered and bordered (thinking I might do a grade level 40 book challenge and have them tell me books or articles they've read and post mini covers or screenshots? Would that work? Points for not having to change it out); 
  • a long inside the library bulletin board bordered(LOVE THAT IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE COVERED though no idea what will be going on the board ... I've done a word wall and an electronic resources wall-cause it's behind a wall of computers);
  • another smaller board pinned together ... waiting for it to actually be hung on the wall to staple and take pics cause I like it ... BB a GR8T Reader!;
  • printing and cutting for some of the computer lab bulletin boards (I don't do it and it won't get done. No one has time. I'm just making it this year because it hasn't been done in too long. :/);
  • a little organizing at school;
  • a full day elem. library PD downtown (where I managed to lose my car at the park and ride and since my Tile just died about two months ago and I haven't gotten a new one yet ... that was fun);
  • five nieces and nephews under five (and one 2 weeks away from 9) visiting, along with my siblings and inlaws;
  • college brother home for a visit after a cancelled flight adventure;
  • and the biggest barbecue ever (poor college brother missed the first round but will get the leftovers).
Next week is a day of Leader in Me, a day and a half of the new teacher evaluation system (that will not be used to evaluate teacher librarians so that will be super interesting), a day and a half of working in the classroom (though have you found they still tend to hold meetings in the library during that time? A little frustrating with no office), a half day of data, and ... I cannot remember what the other half day is. Kona Ice will be there on Friday! I suppose to make us feel better about having getting to stay for a long Meet the Teacher night.

I don't drink coffee or touch anything with banana. Otherwise these look tasty.

Maybe something like this. Only ... it would be awesome if it were something that could stay up longer. Fun stuff for a little while, sure. Long term more informative or instructional (though it is on the other end of the library from the teaching area).

Cause it's kind of funny.

No more hiding out. Family fun time. Loud but awesome. Missing the other half (I have eleven nieces and nephews. And five siblings total).

Friday, August 5, 2016

And It's Already Friday AGAIN

Last one of the summer. Insert sad face here.
Once the kids get to school and we get started it will be OK. There are just a lot of ... meetings to deal with between now and then. That only about 20-25% of which will be applicable.

Well. Enough of that. Click through for original sources.

I tried drawing a BB8 and R2D2 last summer. You did not see a picture of that. There is a reason why. So ... this is not my library door.

Leafy green (Yoda?) is one of my favorite colors. Even though leafy green comes from plants. That produce pollens. That are my nemesis (had to stop taking meds for retesting next week ... summer is usually my easiest time because it is so all fired HOT even the plants wish they could stay inside but this summer ACHOO-ing all over the place!). Also I imagine we'll all be feeling much like this red panda the next few weeks until we get back into the swing of things.

Last holiday season I took pics of Yoda on the Shelf. Purely pictures, no behavior tie-ins involved. This one is funny, though. Not sure why it showed up in the middle of the summer but oh well.

Excuse me for just a moment because I do not even really know the story behind it.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Already Friday & TPT Card Giveaway

It's already Friday! I only have one more full week! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!

HP #8 is coming out so soon! I am not attending anything midnight. Turned into such a homebody. But the closest store is 30 minutes away and the one that helps us at school is 45 so ... ugh that late at night. Last time I did something at midnight was the last movie when my youngest brother was home! Didn't even make it to a midnight showing of SW. Early the next morning. ;)

Don't love the font choices but oh yes!

Total rip-off for the price point but still cool.

We have walls now. But no windows. All fake light, all day.

And next Monday/Tuesday is the "big" Back to School Sale at TPT. They offered a promotion for us to give away a $10 card. To be honest I've thought about pulling back from TPT because I don't add much and sometimes it makes me feel guilty. But with limited time and energy sometimes I get sick of being on the computer. Other times I get an email from someone who is using the shelf labels and it has an adorable pic and I think "oh, wow, they liked something I made" and I don't. I feel so annoyed when I see blogs that are all ads for their stuff. Anyway. You can use the card for whatever you want. And while I should probably make winning it something more TPT related I am mostly going with STAR WARS. If you are not a personal fan there are still ways to enter. I hope I set this up to retrostart from this AM and go through Sunday night. I'll notify the winner on Monday.

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Monday, July 25, 2016

#IMWAYR The Fog Diver 1&2

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Date. 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.


Summerlost is sad. In a good way ... I don't usually like the realistic "make you cry" books but it's beautifully written. I don't know why I keep skimming the Enemy books. I just want to know that the characters are OK! I'm tired of the boily pus covered sort of zombies! I'm not reading them carefully anymore, that's for sure. But the characters are so interesting. Never had a book series that I disliked and yet still liked so much at the same time.

Quiet Power is not one browsers would ever pick up but it's definitely one that could be helpful. I found it interesting reading myself (I've also read the adult version). School IS hard for introverts. To be honest myself included! It's loud and the constant need to be "on" along with the emphasis on speaking up and collaboration. There were some good suggestions for kids. It's not a bad thing to need think time and down time! And for the teacher to recognize needs in their students and make sure to provide other ways to respond. Not all the coping mechanisms would necessarily work for the introverted teacher but we'll see. At least some good ideas for decompressing when I get home!

Now. My favorite. The Fog Diver books. Book 3, when are you coming? (Book 2 is new so I doubt very soon :(.) The series is set in a world covered in nanite fog (tiny computers supposed to clear the air of pollution, but in reality have taken over and humans have been forced to floating airships and the very tops of mountains).

The mix of characters is a merry band. Each adds something different to the story.

Chess can be inside the fog longer than anyone else. Why? 
ALSO THE DRIFT SHARKS AND TICKTOCKS ARE JUST AWESOME. Mental movie was fun. I want a movie version on the screen!

And the drops of pop culture are awesome. I only wrote down one but there were several (Star Wars included! Why didn't I keep track of that?)

"There's a saying of the ancient spidermen: "With great power comes great responsibility." (pg 110)

So. The rest of this week, next week, and a couple days the week after that. Then back to work. It will be fun to see the kids. Not looking forward to the drive back and forth. Or the total lack of natural light. Or the week of less than useful meetings beforehand. But we do it all for the kids. They make it worth it. Plus I got all this cool Star Wars stuff for the library.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Your School Rocks Thoughts

Your School Rocks... So Tell People!: Passionately Pitch and Promote the Positives Happening on Your Campus
Again, originally read courtesy of the Kindle Unlimited trial that I ended up upgrading to a six month one with the Prime week specials (just for the PD books because you really have to search to find the good fiction. It's hidden).

Chapter One The Power to Connect / Location 142
"it was time to take back education and lead with our passion for kids and our belief that school should consist of learning and fun."
Learning and fun! Well that's pretty cool.

Chapter Two The Video Newsletter / Location 191 & 199
"educators must do a better job of engaging students' families."
"trading a paper newsletter for a video newsletter is the greatest shift schools can make."
Oh, heavens. Video. Hard. Out of comfort zone. #doIdare

Location 210
"Keep your video newsletter under three minutes. Any longer and you'll lose your audience's attention."
Short and sweet does make it easier.

Location 230
"If kids are telling their parents nothing special is happening at school, that is the parents' perception whether or not it is accurate."
Perception is perceived truth. So we work to change it.

Chapter Four iMovie Movies / Location 419 & 449
"We also use these video messages with our staff to generate excitement and to remind them of our philosophy to make school about learning and fun as we focus on the most important thing: our students."
"Meeting students and parents where they are requires flexibility on your part, the payoff is an engaged community."

Chapter Five Facebook / Location 489 & 504
"Parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents--a large part of the audience schools need to reach--all appear to be flocking to it. If we are not targeting them with our communication, we certainly should be."
"My school's Facebook page currently has 584 likes, so I know when we share information, a photograph or a video, 584 people have that information in their Facebook newsfeed."
Now, that's not entirely true. The algorithms will only show it to a fraction of those people. Viewers have to do more than like the page to actually see all content ... they have to comment and like specific posts. But they all COULD find it if they went to the page. Which is easier to find if they've already liked it.

Chapter Six Twitter / Location 628
"Twitter exposed me to more than I had ever learned in a class or workshop--and created doors to educators, their ideas, and best practices, thereby increasing my personal, professional development in ways I had never thought possible."
Totally true. Why mine don't ... match. When I first joined I just used an old email address from my Spanish teaching days because it was mostly silly pop culture. Then it got much more interesting with authors, illustrators, and fellow educators. By then it was too late to change the handle!

Chapter Eight Instagram Photos / Location 720 & 739
"connecting with 20 percent of our students' families--10 percent of them every day."
"reach potentially one in five of our families by doing ten seconds worth of work, the decision was easy--yes, it is worth it!"
Taking decent pics takes practice, though. And just remembering to do it!

Chapter Eleven Instagram in the Classroom / Location 910
"educators can use Instagram to throw out a hook the night before to excite students about upcoming learning opportunities."
As an elem teacher librarian I'm not looking for student followers ... I know some of them have accounts but those are the exception. But I could see how this would be super powerful for middle and high school, especially with the "hooks" from location 913.

Chapter Fourteen The School Blog / Location 1074, 1097
"I routinely ask them to write blog posts."
"You don't have to be the one to write every post. Invite students, other teachers, even parents to be guest bloggers on your site."

Chapter Sixteen Bringing It All Together / Location 1229
"Just as there is power in a positive phone call or short written note, we are finding the power in positive messages sent through social media. The difference is that social media allows that message to be shared countless times."

Monday, July 11, 2016

#IMWAYR July 11

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Date. 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.


My Lady Jane was surprisingly funny. My expensive summer obsession with subscription boxes needs to end soon but that one was a great surprise. My sis is getting the book for her birthday. Reuse, right? Is that terrible of me? Unhooked was good but I was a little ... I just thought it could have been MORE. Some really great parts that deserved more elaboration. The Wild Robot. There's a thinker for you. I so enjoyed it (the audio! I still need to see the pics!) but am just really curious as to what kids think of it. Jeff Mack is always funny. I liked the Hug one best but this one was also good. Octicorn was great for being accepting of others that might be a little different. Heaven knows after the past week we could all use more of that.

Still have some PD books to finish. And electronic ARCs. Will have nieces and nephew at the house this week so may not get far on he older stuff. But there will be picture books!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Already (almost) Friday? Random Stuff

I just noticed the other day when I went to look for the pics of my clipboards (Pete, Pigeon, and Bear (who wants his hat back!) that older pictures are gone. CURSES ON YOU, GOOGLE! Sure it was something to do with the G+ and Picasa changeover but still. I haven't figured out how to fix it. Sort of like decluttering. "I've spent so much time on this, it seems a waste to just toss it" but really, is the time spent in recovery worth it? I don't know. I can see an archive of some of them but not all and they'd all have to be reuploaded and linked. :/ CURSES, GOOGLE!

Anyone ever watch Expedition Unknown? Only discovered it a few days ago and am now obsessed.
(Long, annoying ad at the beginning ... but I won't embed an illegal YouTube version ... which there seem to be a lot of? I mean, yes, it's ridiculous. How does he deliver those lines with a straight face? But fascinating, all the same.)

I am starting a 21 Day Fix Challenge next week. Actually thought it was Tuesday but turns out it's next week (different interpretations of "after the 4th). I am ... worried. Silly thing to be worried about in this day and age. So much real pain and I just can't deal without chocolate? That's just crazy!

I am SUPER excited for the new Jason Bourne movie.

I went to this conference once several years ago (in fact ... it might have been the subject of one my first blog posts, now that I think about it). It was awesome! Wish I could go back! But I was just there. Too early for the conference but egads, not making that drive again anytime soon! This year Molly Idle, Douglas Florian, ELiizabeth Wein, Kristyn Crow, Steve Sheinken, and Ann Martin. It's held in an amazing old restored building. Philo Farnsworth did some research there.

I prefer to listen rather than watch because as a (let's be honest, former, cause I don't practice) violinist I am just so ... WHAT IS SHE DOING. But do listen. Cause it's beautiful. And if you like the dancing, hey, so do a lot of other people.

IG is fun but hard. Photo skills are still a work in progress. Been playing with WordSwag as that will help when school starts again ... I'll use these quotes on the display monitor in the hallway.

Oh and these!

Not Rick-rolling here ... I just genuinely needed the video/song today to get moving. One of those tunes that will do that.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

More Star Wars Books

Because, as you know, I LOVE THEM! These are not in chronological order or in order of how much I liked them. Truly just in order of where I copied/pasted them from my Goodreads list. :P

LEGO Star Wars: Small Scenes from a Big GalaxyLEGO Star Wars: Small Scenes from a Big Galaxy by Vesa Lehtimaki
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Love the concept and most of the shots. I wish I 1)had that many SW Legos! And 2)could take decent pictures of them! I like his little asides giving some context to creating the shots. And they are interesting shots.

But I will say that it really seemed like a lot of the shots were barely lit. I mean, I'm all for "dark side ambience" and all but on a fair number of them you can hardly see any details. My personal thoughts, anyway.

Elementary students would look at the pictures for a bit but then lose interest. Middle and high school might be more interested in the behind the scenes explanations.

Star Wars: ABC-3POStar Wars: ABC-3PO by Calliope Glass
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Love, love, love the illustrations.
The rhymes ... some of them are quite good. Obi-Wan's, for example. Others seem super forced. And that is not a pun ... just not the best rhymes.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Rey's Survival GuideStar Wars: The Force Awakens: Rey's Survival Guide by Jason Fry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loved getting a little more detail on Rey. Will have to think about getting it for school.
The downside is the handwritten script. For a journal it was necessary but it will
make it harder for kids to read.

The Star Wars Little Golden Book Library (Star Wars)The Star Wars Little Golden Book Library by Various
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Amazing literature? No. Fun adaptations of the movie stories? Yes. Super fun illustrations? Yes. A must have for geek fans. An additional purchase for school libraries.

Star Wars: Rolling with BB-8!Star Wars: Rolling with BB-8! by Benjamin Harper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The format of the book (with the spinning cover) is what makes this book fun. The attempt to boil down the high points of TFA into a board book ... well, they're OK. Not great but OK.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Kids Deserve It

Kids Deserve It: Pushing Boundaries and Challenging Conventional ThinkingHere are some thoughts after the first reading. Read on a Kindle so no page numbers ... just chapters and locations. This was a WOW book for me after a tough year. Like minded peeps! I wish some of my coworkers could read this! They were like me ... we got bogged down. But we all want to do better. The Kids Deserve It.

No cool personal creative pic for the post. Bad blogger. Just the embedded Goodreads book cover. I need to get on to implementation, not spend too long on blog formatting! :P

Chapter 1 Location 232
How can you "go big"?

Chapter 2 Location 309
"We live in a world where we can no longer claim ignorance -- only an unwillingness to learn."

Chapter 3 Location 334
"We can't expect our kids to be growing, learning, and pushing boundaries unless we're doing the same."

Location 345
"creativity is a learned skill that you develop by working at it --  continually."

Location 390
"Students need to be Tweeting as well!" (I sometimes Tweet quotes but I really should create a student account.)

Location 418
"When you choose to innovate and be unique, you will experience some failure. And sometimes it stings more than you'd like." (OOWWWWWWWWW! Why? I mean, I know. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again. That's what we want the kids to do!)

Chapter 4 Location 499
"you're creating the right conditions for them to take root and grow up to be the best versions of themselves."

Chapter 6 Location 639
Seven Practices That Will Make You a Better Leader (Read the book to find these ... they are great!)

Chapter 11 Location 964
"That's why it's so important to be aware of the messages you're sending out with your body language, choices, and words." (This is something I have to work on. Last couple years = tired face/body.)

Chapter 15 Location 1169
"I want my students to be brave and bold and try new things. I want them never to be afraid to make mistakes, because their brave actions might inspire others to try new things. Their actions may show others it is okay to make mistakes; it is how we learn."

Chapter 16 Location 245
Recognize Awesomeness (How can I be more vocal about this?)

Chapter 18 Location 1333
"Our most important job is to love kids and convince them they are absolutely incredible and unique."

Chapter 21 Location 1417
"facilitating learning opportunities that empower kids to discover what's possible in this world."

Location 1454
"supporting the community and having fun!"  (This is where I decided I need a Star Wars costume. Rey, I think. No one would recognize Jocasta Nu. Plus that would be hot in TX. Rey's is better for hot.)

Location 1491
"How are you going to leave your mark?"

Location 1494
"if you have a random idea, try it out!"

Chapter 22 Location 1558
"Look Ahead, Be Relevant" (He's talking about sharing Google Voice Typing)

Chapter 24 Location 1631 & 1632
"because then we get to tell them about this great tool called Google, which is accessible to everyone. When you don't 'get' something ... Google it!" (I full on admit here I was like "SEE?" because I know several people who feel justified in not knowing tech. Well how on earth do you think the rest of us learned anything? It WAS hard. There were tears. But then it finally clicked and we got it and we moved on. Petty rant. Sorry.)

Location 1648
"Jim Collins: 'Good is the enemy of great.'"

Chapter 28 Location 1852
About Being a Reader (Another one to read in the book!)

Monday, July 4, 2016

#IMWAYR July 4

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Date. 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.


Illuminae was super cool but go old school and read a hard copy. The electronic one ... old eyes but I could zoom in enough to properly read some of the more creatively formatted pages. Illustrations are the best part of ABC-3PO.

I will finish Sword in the Stacks (Ninja Librarians #2) ... maybe even today but for sure this week. As well as The Innovator's Mindset and Launch. Oh, and the audio to The Wild Robot. Then will I work on more of the Bluebonnet books? Visit my local library? Or read more ARCs? We'll see!

Happy Fourth of July, US people! Well, happy fourth for everyone but it's just the fourth like every month has outside of here.