Monday, February 29, 2016

#IMWAYR Daughter of Smoke & Bone and Armada

It's Monday (actually Tuesday now but I didn't get the post finished!)! 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.

Last week?
Read End of Feb

I am late to the Daughter of Smoke & Bone party ... but totally hooked! What fun to discover a series later on when I don't have to wait for sequels. (Definitely YA, though. Not for the elem crowd, even the better readers.)
Sunny Side Up ... made me wish so many kids didn't face siblings with issues. But boy, what a fun summer with a grandfather. For the kiddos that might need to know it happens to other families.

I am about halfway through Armada. I don't love the language but I DO love the story. And listening to Wil Wheaton read it to me. Minus the language. Personal choice but I don't use it.

Been leafing through quite a few picture books at the bookfair even just today so by next week I'll have them finished. Funny thing about the bookfair ... hardly any kids are picking up Sunny Side or Roller Girl. At least today. We'll see about later in the week. I thought more would, just from all the buzz I've read about.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Finally Saturday

Yes, being late is the thing now. :P
Anyway. Random recap of the week ...

1) The bank was out of pennies when I went to get bookfair change. OUT OF PENNIES.
2) I am more sore from setting up bookfair than I was from a hard workout on Thursday where I was the only one who showed up to a group fitness class. They are changing it to cardio kickboxing in a week. This does not sound fun to me. Can't decide whether to give it a chance or go back to my own workouts.
3) So I brought out the Little Bits for third grade on Monday and they ignored them. Then Tuesday they went nuts and totally didn't follow directions and made a ginormous mess. I was irked so I refused to get them out the rest of the week. Then an aunt came in and asked what it was they had been because one kiddo hadn't been able to stop talking about them. Which of course made me feel guilty. Perhaps I have become old fogey-ish and forgotten that learning and experimenting is messy? I just don't have time to keep resorting all of them and for Little Bits it does matter. Each one does a different thing. (For the record we DO have a big sort of tackle box system. With a color picture of each type of part and description of what it does. That is why I was irked ... they were asked to put pieces back where they found them. But maybe that is too much for the age group? I gave up on sorted Legos and bite my tongue when they express frustration over not being able to find a certain size or color. But with Legos you can make two squares do nearly the same thing as a rectangle, you know?)

We are doing some simple dress ups next week. Monday is Wear Lots of Green day for Green Eggs and Ham. Only I discovered that green is not a popular color this season and mine is all too hot for S. Texas. I only have a simple t-shirt. :/

I find myself weirdly fascinated by hand lettering and wanting to learn.

I need to make some! Only there's no space for it during bookfair so it will be a little late. Also higher ups are complaining that the hallway monitor with library pictures and bookcovers is a distraction. Whatevs. For years classes walking through lessons when we had no walls werea distraction. Said higher ups are loud in the hallways and still a distraction to us in the library (since the walls stop short about a foot from the ceiling. Totally using the Peace Pals morning announcement reminders to not let other people's grumpiness affect me.

The last time I tried making these I ended up with melted white chocolate all over my three month old oven. Is it time to get back in the saddle? (I bet some of you are being more thoughtful and creative and doing something super fun ... share links!)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

#IMWAYR ... on Tuesday

It's Monday (actually Tuesday now but I didn't get the post finished!)! 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.

The publisher sent me the copy of First Step but I'm glad. I still would have liked it otherwiseThis volume tells the story of a little girl who loved going to school ... and then came the day she was told she could no longer attend that school because of the color of her skin. Her family went to court and LOST. It was 1849. After a lot of brave families and businessmen and lawyers came forward 5 years later that law was changed, at least in Massachusetts. It took another hundred years for the laws for equality in schools to go into effect nationwide. The illustrations were lovely (of course, look at the artist). Now, it is one of the picture books that is a bit wordy for small fry. Know that this is for 3-5 grade!

Wrath and the Dawn was quite good ... but there was one thing that bugged me. It's an Arabian Nights retelling. Have you read it? Is it a spoiler to say it's a love story? HOW COULD SHE LOVE HIM IF HE REALLY DID ALL THOSE THINGS! I hope in book two we find out it was all a facade.

Little Owl Lost was fun. A must get for picture book/storytime. Rolling with BB8 ... well, I love it because of it's shape, no the actual story.

I'm about an hour in to the Armada audiobook. And about a third of the way into (I'm late on this one!) the first Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Still enjoying City of Thirst, just not very quickly!

Thanks for stopping by! What are you reading?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Finally Saturday ... Maybe This Is the Thing Now

So a couple weeks ago I posted on Instagram about my Smuggler's Bounty Star Wars box. It was fun. Does anyone have a favorite BOOK related box? I've been poking around but haven't decided yet. So much for the budget, you know?

This will be quick because I have family visiting. Nieces and nephews galore. :)

Bookfair is coming up Leap Day/first few days of March. Do I go with their theme, embrace Dr. Seuss, or stick with the Star Wars theme that has never fully materialized like I wanted but I jolly well may keep it another year anyway? I do love fonts, either way.

Seriously like the first actually do-able when you don't have 10 artistically inclined volunteer ideas I ever remember seeing. Once it was a road trip theme and went the extra mile and spent all spring break making a photo booth cart front ... and it cost more than I want to remember and no one even really liked it.

Easy enough.

Next week has two early dismissal days for parent-teacher conferences. Plus Friday is the early out schedule for "clubs" when I'm actually also trying to set up for bookfair. "Here kids, make an iMovie about me setting up the bookfair." Yes. That will go over well. All on a grades 3-5 class checkout week. :P Keep it up! Will actually have a short #IMWAYR post on Monday. Finally finished a couple even with a bad headache week. :P

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Finally ... Saturday Again

Time just flies.

So I've spent the morning cleaning and looking for posters for the computer lab (cause typing is still interesting with my bum finger from that silly fall at TCEA ... plus designing my own takes more brain power than I've got at the moment). What was supposed to be a 5-10 minute meeting on Wednesday turned into almost 75 and really nothing was accomplished ... we're all still super frustrated at what a mess it is. (And some of us that it seems to be testing prep rote skills practice haven and not much else. But I digress.)

The fact that we don't have a dedicated teacher there means we all need to take responsibility. Just thinking if the walls weren't so dull and bare (and had some useful stuff?) maybe? Is that wishful thinking? Looking at Erintegration's GAFE posters (and iPAD for the library) but haven't decided yet. I kind of like this word wall but there's not actually a bulletin board in there ... and I'm not accomplished in the "make stuff stick to cinderblock" department. Plus too many small pieces for the time I've got on Monday to put it up all by my lonesome.

Here are some pins I liked this week. Click through to see embedded content and go to the original sources.

I love to watch the cookie decorating videos. Will never be crazy enough to DO it but I like to watch. Cause I'm a perfectionist and I wouldn't like the ugly ones you have to make before you get as good as those in the videos.

It's an old video but I saw it for the first time at a Sphero presentation. Funny!

I want some Right Now.

Now. To continue cleaning? Or read?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

#ChooseKind Make the Internet a Nicer Place!

Maybe you've already caught this via other outlets ... I only just found out about it tonight and this family lives just up the road from me. Now I'm crying like a baby and I just don't do that. :/


Go here and hear about a little boy whose photo was used in a cruel meme. She's also on Twitter and her blog now has a FB page.

Please let her and her family know we support them!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Finally Friday

Well I'm using Google Drive voice typing to write this post as I'm pretty sure I broke my finger in that silly fall this morning. This might be the end of my public presentation career but thank you to those who came. I hope you got at least a little something. The link is now visible at the top of the page. I'm going to enjoy my weekend.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

If I Had Been at TCEA Today

On the plus side two 1st/4th buddies groups managed to get some animal research in today because I was NOT at TCEA. Then I got told I would be losing my assistant yet another half hour a day. He's there 45 min first thing in the morning, then 50 before his super early lunch, then 3 sets of 15 minutes in the library the rest of the afternoon. Useful. Poor man gets his steps in running around campus all day. Y'all that don't even have that 140 minutes ... bless you. We all work so hard.

On the down side ... we still paid for registration. Are you there? I'm kind of jealous! Kids asked me where I was yesterday and when I said "at a meeting about technology in schools." They said "Don't you know all that?" and I was like "No way! I love learning."

I would have had a hard time choosing between ...

10 Killer iPad Projects Students Will Love
Advanced Google Spreadsheets and Forms
Genius Hour and the Technology to Make It Happen
Broadcasting 101: Creating a Successful Program
Chromebook Tips and Tricks

#GeniusHour for Educators
Efficient Workflow with Google Apps
Engaged Project-Based Learning
Google: Marzano's Style
Improving the Writing and Research Process with Google Tools

Augmented Reality: Yes, I Can Create AR on my Chromebook!
But I Don't Have TIME for Technology TEKS
More of Chromaholics Anonymous: Additions to Apps and Extensions
3D Printing: Steps for Getting Started
Google Apps in the library: Media Ideas to Facilitate Collaboration
Google Tools for the Visionary Lead Learner

App-Smashing with Nearpod

Become a Google Power User Tips and Tricks
Creative Technology to Bring Out Your Inner Picasso
Librarians as Instructional Leaders
Make Learning Come to Life with Aurasma and ChatterPix
Making Makerspace Easy
Sketchnotes: Not Just for Artists
The Power of the #hashtag

Authentic Literacy with Google
Connecting the Dots: Libraries, Technology, STEM, and Literacy
Make Tinkering Real: Using SketchUp in Your Classroom
Take Better Pictures with Any Camera
3D Design and Print Workshop
What the Blip? Augmented Reality over DAQRIs

Show How Awesome You Are and Tell Your Story with Social Media
How Short, Simple Student-Captured Videos Will Start Driving Your Instruction
Tammy's Favorite Technology Tips, Tricks, and Tools

A Passion For Screencastin' with Camtasia and YouTube
Frozen? Let It Go and Connect with Your Students
Garageband: Educational Podcasting
MindMapping, Timelines, and Collaborative Brainstorming
Raising Readers: Old School Meets New School
Streamlining Student Directions with Screencasts
The Flipped Library

BookClub Meets Makerspace
Creatively Blogging for Understanding in Elementary
Digital Youth: Technologically Savvy But Not Literate
Office Mix for PowerPoint: Making Instruction Extraordinary

And that's just today. Never mind tomorrow.

Well. Thanks for listening to me rant. Off to maybe hit the treadmill and work on my presentation for Friday. It all is what it is.

Monday, February 1, 2016

#IMWAYR Feb. 1 and Currently February

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.

The list of finished is ... also very short this week.

Dear Hank WilliamsDear Hank Williams by Kimberly Willis Holt

I don't know how many stars to give this one. Parts of it I really liked. I didn't stop to write down any quotes but the writing was well done. I love it when I go back to a sentence and am blown away by how the author put words together. "Why can't I do that?" I think. It sort of meandered a bit through the story but then with a letter writing plot structure maybe that's OK? My students as a general rule don't care much for historical fiction but I would have tried it with a few.

A possible spoiler ahead. I missed it if others had ever said anything. I'd just heard how good it was.

Near the end BAM! Straight to the heart. Insert sad face. Didn't see that one coming!

Will be spending some time in the car over the next week so I will be listening to some YA lit ...

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

ArmadaArmada by Ernest Cline

And now I'm linking up with Farley ...

Right now I'm digging the quiet. We had two classes of first grade animal research today with their fourth grade buddies. Loved it. It was loud.
I got a Spark Planner. I am trying to be more ... intentional. Plan better. Make more stuff happen instead of waiting around? I'm finding that sometimes it's hard to figure out what goals to set. Surprised me. Plus it's kind of fun to make stickers for it. #howoldamIagain
I am going to TCEA on Tuesday and Friday. I was not allowed to go on Wednesday and Thursday even though I still had to pay registration. And ... that is all I will say about that. :/
I wish my presentations were done! They stress me out! I apply to present so that I won't be told I can't go to any of a professional learning conference. If I am thought to know anything about books and tech it came from blogs and conferences. Not, actually, from district PD.
I need to exercise. I didn't make it to the gym class today. In a bit of irony, I was sitting in a meeting about our school "fun run" fundraiser.
I didn't really know what to put here so I just said Poe Dameron. Star Wars.