Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tuesday (Google) Tool: Keep

Can you tell I'm trying? Hopefully it's useful to someone.
Anyway. Google Keep. I'm actually still really just learning about it ... it's been on my phone for a while but I didn't really pay attention to it until I started reviewing for the Google Certified Educator test. One of those things I download and sort of forget about until later. I do that sometimes. :/

It's available online and as an app on your mobile device. It syncs to your Google account.
You can add images and photos and audio recordings. You can add labels.. Checkboxes (who doesn't love to check things off?!). Color coding.

If you are moving to digital planning (for school ... I still like my paper planner for personal stuff. I even spent hours last summer working on a set of Avery printable teacher librarian planner stickers for paper planning ... and then found for school it just ... ugh. Didn't work for me. So I never ended up finishing them. I love analog planning for personal stuff but school, let's just go with digital) this is a MUST! There is no no no reason to keep a simple To Do list in Slides or Docs or Sheets. You can even add collaborators in Keep (though that part is easier to do on the desktop version).

Kasey Bell of Shake Up Learning has a great article (and lots of other things ... she's half of the Google Teacher Tribe) and lots of other things linked if you click through from the infographic found below.

So mine is too messy to actually show you. I'm too paranoid for that. But here's a glimpse.

Here's one short tutorial.

But here is a longer one from Matt Miller of Ditch that Textbook. He's an educator so it's worth the extra time! You might already have heard of him? He's the other half of the Google Teacher Tribe than anything but hey, whatever. He does it better than I could so we'll just let him, shall we? Since I was naughty and just got an Apple watch the GPS based reminders are especially interesting to me ... more help even than a buzzing phone. That could be helpful. You may hear about them again later.

Here's the link to the Chrome Extension.

Monday, July 24, 2017

#IMWAYR July 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.

I'm ba-ack. Two weeks in a row! And the new glasses, I'm sorry to say (because they are progressive lense bifocals and I wanted to be in denial they were needed), do help. Do you like how I never end up reading anything I was thinking about at this time last week?

Let's see ... how to organize all of these. The top pic links to my most recent Goodreads page. I never write super detailed reviews but there is a little more info there. I keep trying to figure out the best way to share books. Once a week in a big super post makes it hard to go back to later but easier to skim in feeds if that's not really your thing, especially where my choices are pretty eclectic. Dunno.

I'm super late ever talking about The Taxidermist's Daughter and The Impersonator. I think I won them on Goodreads? Both are adult books. Good ... not super great but definitely worth the read. Daughter was little extra gruesome in it's gothicness. And Impersonator predictable. But still both fun mysteries!

All By Myself, Alone is classic MHC. Also formulaic but still fun in fulfilling it's formula. Guilty pleasure popcorn reading.

Orphan Island I actually had as an E-ARC from Netgalley and I finally got it read. It had so many beautifully written lines and yet ... I'm going to say it. Another book that I don't get what the big deal was about. Yes, beautiful lines. But there were SO MANY weird parts and unanswered questions that seriously. Frustration. I need to meet a kid who has read it. What do kids think?

Maud was also an E-ARC from Netgalley. It is a historical fic book based on the life of L.M. Montgomery (author of Anne of Green Gables). I liked it. Not as much as I love Anne but I liked it well enough. It's not going to "convert" someone into enjoying Anne but for an already fan of Anne it's an enjoyable read.

Death on the River of Doubt was a little dry in places but still worth a read. The photos were a nice addition. I wish they could have been printed in a better quality resolution/on better paper but that would have increased the price of the book, I know.

Edge of Everything ... odd. I liked it! But also odd. Didn't really believe in the romance aspect but liked everything else about it. Interesting premise. Demon bounty hunter? I'll be back for part 2.

Red Queen ... late to this one but a page turner!

The Door Before ... is actually a prequel to The 100 Cupboards series but apparently it ties in to another series he wrote that I haven't ever gotten to. Maybe that's why I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the original series? I think it skews a bit higher in reading level (actually more for content than necessarily vocab) also. I liked this one but I liked the original series more, if that makes sense.

So for next week ...

The next two Victoria Aveyard books. Because thanks to Overdrive I already have them on my Kindle.
And I need to finish the second Mysteries of Cove book. Been halfway through it for a while. Not to say I wasn't really enjoying it. Most of last year is just best left behind. But hey! I got the ARC of book three (coming out in September) so a refresh is needed! If you like mid grade fantasy with some steampunk at all this one is fun. The author visited our school and he was so awesome.

I  need a good picture book binge. Our local public library just ... doesn't have very many. A few. But I really just need to head down to B&N again or something. I was only able to stop in for a couple minutes the other day.

If you have any idea what I'm talking about ... Happy Pioneer Day! If not ... oh well. Happy Pioneer Day to you, too. So glad I didn't have to walk across the plains and that treks were not a thing when I was in YW (knock on wood I am not prepared to be a leader! Just saying!).

Friday, July 21, 2017

Fridays Still Coming TOO FAST in July

There's only one more in July! Which of course you all know. I'm just ... ack. Too fast. I need balance. Less free time in summer and less craziness in the school year.

This week I went to the dentist. Bleh, but hey, they had a different x-ray machine and it wasn't terrible. Three Pilates classes! A little bit more decluttering. Some reading! Some movie watching.

Interesting things found on the internets. Some of these are old saves from FB that I'm cleaning out. As always, click through for original sources. Thanks to those creators cause they look interesting!

As anyone who sees my Pinterest feed knows ... I have a weird fascination with the color palettes. They are oddly calming, no matter the photo (though this is a lovely photo). This combination is a favorite.

Boring as all get out photo but oh well. It gets the point of the post across, right? Drives me nuts ... we can actually have carved out the time for all the drafting/writing/editing/rewriting only to have a recording still turn out lame because of all the ambient noise in a school. So I have the foam. Just need to actually MAKE them. Note to self ... summer is running out!

There is probably time for one more binge. Should it be Star Wars? Or Harry Potter? Sherlock Holmes? Back to the Future (that one would be short but funny!)? X-Men? Jurassic Park (second shortest!)? Or Lord of the Rings? It might be Lord of the Rings because it's been a while and it is so good.

Shark Week! Do you watch? I DVR several and then later on through the fall find myself oddly drawn to them even though I have NO intention of ever getting anywhere close to a shark in real life. Changed up the source of an old pin ... instead of Mashable now it goes to the original creator, Andertoons.

Isn't he adorable? That is one thing I have not done this summer. Made anything. Tried to dejunk because last year things just piled up. So maybe that is what I will do as soon as I sign off. Go make something. Have a great weekend! Let me know in the comments or on FB or IG if you make something or read or watch something great!

Monday, July 17, 2017

#IMWAYR July 17

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.

And it's been over eight months since I last participated. And I've been in a reading slump. GOING INTO THE SUMMER. How rotten is that? That is supposed to be #bookaday time!

But you know what is helping? Rereading. I almost never ever do that because there are so many books in the world and who has time to read the same thing.

But then again ... if a a book is wonderful ... who has time to NOT read it again. Because life is short and why NOT read an awesome book again?

So. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on audio. JK, thank you for the magic and for providing a place to come home to. Jim Dale, thank you. You got me going again.

So ... three picture books. 
Poor Louie is cutest for the illustrations. If you know of a pet owner that is about to welcome a new baby? Here is your perfect gift. They are the only ones that would HAVE to have it. The rest of us ... maybe. The illustrations are adorable, I will say that. Story ... cute enough. I loved the other one by him ... what was it. The two boys that were bored ... oh, yes. Let's Do Nothing! I Want to be in a Scary Story would make for a fun read aloud in October. Nothing groundbreaking but a definite storytime contender. And of course Nanette's Baguettes. I was just late getting to it. We ran out of budget to order it and I ran out of energy to ever stop at B&N on the way home to look at it. But it's Mo! It's funny! And who can resist a warm baguette. I mean, really.

Three mid grade.
I wish I could write beautiful lines like Kate Beasley (does it run in the family genes?). Like so many beautiful lines I had to work on not coveting writing ability as I was reading. I am curious ... do kids like Gertie? Do they understand her need to connect with a mother that didn't seem to want her? Is it a must order? As much as I loved her sister's Circus Mirandus ... it didn't take off with my students like I wanted it to. :/
Weapon of a Jedi is simple but the rabid Star Wars fan will enjoy it. Guardian of the Whills is more sophisticated (still for kids but much higher than the other) ... that one was my favorite, actually, even though Luke is a longer beloved character. If that makes sense.

As for YA ... Zero Day was totally unbelievable (governor's daughter abducted at 8, returned to now president at 16 ... but with what agenda?) but fun all the same. Think sort of like the tv show 24 ... the most ridiculous things happen and yet you still keep watching/reading. I saw on Goodreads that she does not at this point plan on a sequel and THAT IS NOT COOL. Everland. Interesting. A steampunk version of Peter Pan. I have hopes for the series. There would have been some changes I would have made in the editing... but that is me. I felt like a few things were uneven. That said ... possibilities! If you enjoy dystopians or Peter Pan or retellings give this one a try. Not perfect but interesting.

I'm actually still working on HP. That's a long audiobook. I'd say I don't want it to end but there's always book 2. In terms of mid grade I'm embarrased to admit I've had Orphan Island that everyone is so crazy about for a while now. Dragonwatch? The Door Before? Then for YA maybe Strange the Dreamer? I have that one. Three Dark Crowns or This Savage Song? Super behind ... Red Queen?
Thoughts on priorities? If I start looking at the link up there will be other books I'll want to read!

If I were to even go to Netgalley or Edelweiss ... I'd be embarrassed. I'm surprised they still let me download ARCs. I should see if there are any new ones that I could actually get a decent schedule down. That is what a proper book blogger does!

I need to finish up a couple professional ones as well because as much as I might be in denial ... summer is not going to last forever. As soon as the 4th hits it's feels like wham bam IT'S OVER. Though I know technically I still have at least a couple weeks. Several appointments and such to still get through before then.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Fridays Come Fast in July

Here are some interesting things I've found around the webs. Click through for original sources. Thanks to those people for awesome content.

So you know I love Google Forms. They made some updates! When I figure out how specifically I will USE the updates that will be it's own post. Hopefully I will figure out a way. ? They look too cool to just let them sit.

Definitely try it out because you know it won't be free forever.

These are some examples from the iPad version.

If you saw that IG post I was talk about of the super cute HP fabric I got ... this is some other cute stuff that I wanted to get. But I didn't. But I wanted to. Just didn't quite know what I'd do with (who am I kidding ... what I'd ask my MOM to do with).

I was going to learn how to crochet this year. I got one of the Star Wars crochet kits for Christmas and then I saw this one. Hasn't happened yet. I get distracted plus the whole tingly fingers (not carpal tunnel ... cubital tunnel, in my case. So dumb) thing.

TO anyone still out there, thanks for sticking with me as I remember how to do this!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Out of the Habit

Well. Missed ISTE. That was a bummer. Story of why is not interesting but I still feel badly about it, considering it was local to me and all. :(

I DID, however, get my Google Ed and Apple Teacher certifications so there is that. I am not a complete loser teacher. Everyone should totally should do it. I spent more time reviewing than was necessary for one already pretty familiar with the tools and considering it's open internet. Though ... I wasn't super excited about the wording of several of the questions. I feel like they were not as clear as they could have been. Is what it is. Anyway. Hopefully it's not breaking the TOU to display them together like this. Eventually I'll get them in the sidebar. Have to renew the domain name next month. Seems kind of silly considering I've posted what ... like four times in the past year? Maybe five. Hopefully eventually inspiration will strike again! :P It helped keep me on my toes.

I started listening to the Harry Potter #1 audiobook again to help me out of my reading slump and IG friends were right. I think it is helping! And if you are not on IG and didn't already see the sneak peak of the fabric I ordered for my mom to make something with ... my love for HP is only just behind Star Wars. Just. I hardly ever reread so it is so fun! Just what I needed!

Did anyone get anything interesting for Prime Day? I got a tech cords organizer and pre-ordered Bruce's Big Move and got Nanette's Baguette since I didn't already have it. Also because I got a Star Wars Kindle book I got a credit for 40% off another Kindle book so I'm deciding whether or not to preorder the new Wonder Woman YA coming out next month or getting a PD title. Decisions.
I have an Echo at home already. Didn't get one for school because they'd never let it on the network. :/
And to be honest I use it way more for music anyway. Still getting used to the talking to devices thing. I find it hard to talk to Alexa and Siri. I just got an Apple Watch, too. So how dumb is that.

Gasp! I have NOT gotten any of the Kohl's characters for school. Stuffies are highly discouraged in our district which is kind of sad (something about air quality ... who am I to judge as I am the one unwilling to wash or freeze them once a month or something like that). I totally used to have them. Clifford books? See him over there? That's where they are. Frog and Toad? See them over there? That's where the books are! I have gotten them for nieces and nephews, however. Knuffle Bunny remains elusive. Those of you still allowed to have them in your libraries ... I'm a little jealous of the pics but keep them coming because they are so cute! The one of MW walking in to Kohl's was hilarious, too, was it not?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Don't Keel Over But I'm Posting

Still around over on Instagram and FB some. Thanks for sticking around. This year has been ... well. Is what it is, right? There's always SUMMER READING. And next school year. This is a presentation I did with my friend at our district tech camp yesterday and today. If it can spark any ideas for any of you ... great! There are always things I'd go back and change now (plus I'm sure there are awesome books that I haven't seen yet plus awesome apps I've never tried) but at some point you have to stop and call it good.

We have iPads and Chromebooks. We have some paid apps. Almost all of my student examples recently got deleted in the great district iPad wipe of 2017. <insert grumpy face here> Lost some cute stuff. But a few were saved in easy to find places and are still around.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Be Googley

I never finished or posted this back in late October. So ... now. Trying desperately to get some creative juices flowing again. The struggle is real. Two posts in a day. Seriously. Is it 2014 again?

I  spent some time in a Google office in Austin. Mind blown. I spent the whole time texting my little brother (undergrad in computer science) and sort of wondering if I wished I was 20 years younger.

This is an interesting blog post. Go read it then come back.

I like this philosophy. Granted it's one view and who knows if it was really true. It SEEMED like it from the people we met that day. But who knows. Anyway. It actually sounds like a lot of educators that I know. Some of these sound similar to the "Seven Habits." When those are being actually LIVED and not just talked about (cause that is just eyeroll inducing and so irritating) they can make a difference. And how often do educators go the extra mile. Try new things. Try to do the RIGHT and BEST thing. Keep the child in mind. Be nice. Help new teachers. Help old teachers.

Don't get frustrated when the roof of your classroom leaks every time it rains. Even when it happens for over two years. Or when you don't get to go to a conference but someone else in your district does. Or you do get to go but you have to pay for it yourself and their campus does. Cause frustrated is not googley. Human but less than googley.

I actually thought about doing a library "theme" of being googley. Primary colors. Basic font. Tech icons. These precepts. I still really like my Star Wars, though. And part of me says the kids do, too.

Some of these are IG repeats. Some are not. None are great but I was busy taking it in! Plus not getting actual Googlers in frame cause that's against the rules. Tech poaching and all.

I used to have some old disks I was going to turn into like a pen holder. And there was a cool Etsy shop that made little notebooks with disks as covers that I always meant to order from. Procrastination at it's finest. "They 3D printed the save icon."

This leafy green color is one of my favorites. The lamp is super cool. This was like a little mini conference room that Googlers could use to hold virtual meetings.

Their breakroom. Do you ever wonder why school breakrooms are so boring and blah? SO boring and blah. Ours does not look like this. And we would not be allowed to paint it to look like this.

Collaborative spaces. Now as an introvert I don't like to use the word just to use the word. Big groups are exhausting. But hey ... I do like to have more than one brain to pick. I'm always asking others for ideas or on our district FB group. Or rambling here on this blog. And I try to share if I have an idea. Ideas which seem fewer and farther between anymore.

This pretty room was empty. Was it because we were walking by? How crazy to have such a pretty room and no one using it. They were all like "most of this was gotten from thrift stores." In my head I was like "Well I wonder if you have the same hoops to jump through if you don't want to have to foot the bill yourself as we do?" Not a fan of the figure out the magic vendor system. Takes asking at least three different people and filling out at least two different forms. I never get it right the first time.

Even there at Google they had a place where people could bring their gear and get help with stuff that wasn't working. No need to put in help desk tickets that might or might not be answered ...well, sometimes they are actually answered within a day or two. Other times it's weeks. You just never know.

Imagine having all these nice spare parts and dongles easy to get at. Again. Nothing you'll ever find at a school. Wouldn't it be awesome if it was?

Usually not one for the glitter but pretty.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Finally Saturday

And a Rainy Saturday it is.

I just got back from a Pilates mat class. And I tried a Reformer session on Thursday. Can't say I loved it but I didn't hate it like I hated the different coach yelling at me kickboxing class that made me stop going to my last gym so there's that. Fitness. It's a necessary evil. :P

THIS is my nemesis. I keep thinking "If I had the kids for longer than 15-30 minutes" or "If I had more help" or "If they could come more often then 4 mornings a week every three weeks we'd get in a better routine" or "If I wasn't also trying to get morning announcements ready and check in books and get cards cleared for all the morning classes" (I know I'm preaching to the choir here) this would get better. There's no magic pill here ... the Little Bits labeling suggestion drives me insane because I haven't found that to help/work at all. But I do really like the other ones and haven't tried them. And to be fair she works with older kids so maybe the Little Bits ... maybe I am expecting too much and shouldn't have tried with as young as I did. I don't know. They make cool stuff. But they make utter chaos and I'm left with mess and Little Bits are not like Legos where they can just use any piece. It matters so they do need to be kept tidy. (Pin keeps not working so I linked to it at the top)

Random non-library related share.

"Do you have any books about Hippo Crates?"

Need to let it go, I know. Or just laugh and not be irritated about it. But seriously. Assign Hippocrates and not make sure the kiddo has a clue how to say it? And NOT assign Sylvia Mendez or any of the other suggestions I sent that we DID have books for?

If I were so inclined ... maybe with book covers on the hearts?

Read this earlier about educational blogging. Well and I read the original post (but didn't sign up to participate). I hope eventually I'll get some good ideas going again. ;)