Monday, July 31, 2017

#IMWAYR July 31

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.

Click on the image to go to Goodreads for a bit more detail. 

The Duck & Goose and There's Nothing to Do! were both E-ARCs coming out later this fall and so cute. I want to get both of them for our school collection. We'll have to see if we have the $$.

Mrs. Smith's Spy School was also an E-ARC. I loved the idea of it but the execution fell a bit short for me. At least in this book one. Maybe book two will tighten things up a bit? It sort of skipped around a little (I thought) for the sake of brevity. It's not necessarily easy to write for kids! You still have to cover bases but you have to do it succinctly! I liked the idea so I'll take a peak at book two.

Hunting Hour was an adult mystery. If you're a dog lover  (or a Lifetime/Hallmark movie lover) then totally give it a shot. Wasn't my cup of tea but I didn't actively dislike it.

I LOVE STAR WARS LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK ILLUSTRATIONS! They are sort of retro. Like Mary Blair-ish? I'm no expert but that's the vibe they give me. The text to I am a Hero is simple but fine for what it is. The text to the starship one ... did not make my teacher librarian heart happy, as much as my Star Wars heart loved it. No organization to the starship madness. Is that nitpicky? Does there NEED to be organization to a made up non-fic book?

I actually read Children of Exile last week but forgot to put it on here! That's what happens when you read stuff on a short road trip. Totally weird ("Fred town"?) but I will be back. She comes up with some of the strangest premises and yet leaves you totally wanting more!

Still enjoying the Red Queen series. I keep falling for the same things Mare does and getting the rug pulled out from under me. It's so silly ... I actually highlighted several lines in this one. Kindle location 4847 (I wonder what page that is? "“I see you as you could become, no longer the lightning, but the storm. The storm that will swallow the world entire.”) Fits the story. Actually already started book three so that will be on next week's finished pile for sure.

And I finally finished Gears of Revolution. It took me a long time for some reason which is so not fair because I actually really like the series (it was a digital arc that kept getting hidden on my device ... books that are visible on a shelf are easier to keep track of but harder to read. Makes no sense at all, right?). Upper midgrade fantasy with a touch of steampunk. Flying robotic dragons ... to battle real dragons? Book three comes out in early Sept., I think it is?

I hope this will turn into my "Read" list next week. We'll see?! I might be dreaming too big but I want to finish these before back to school gets too crazy.


Friday, July 28, 2017

Friday that is Almost (gulp) August

Two weeks from today I go back for two days of "voluntary" training (yes, that includes a Saturday).
Then two last days of break. Then back on contract! And a family wedding. Summer. There needs to be more balance. There's almost too much free time in summer but the school year. It's just too crazy and I get overwhelmed. Does anyone else get overwhelmed? I don't want to say I hope so .... Anyway.
Last Saturday when I was at the Houston Harry Potter Symphony with one of my sisters and my niece I thought about changing my Star Wars in the Library for HP. I really did. Kept thinking about it all week. It's his birthday week! So this week's "This is what I found on the webs" is pretty much all HP themed. Click through for original sources cause they created them.
(I am 90% sure I won't do it. But I was pretty tempted because it would be just as awesome as Star Wars. I heart Star Wars the most. But it's only a very little bit more most. HP is right up there.)

I have something sort of like this (not from this shop, but hey, they have some) but Star Wars themed in my living room. They are 11X17 but on wood so I didn't have to get them framed and they would last longer than canvas. Look at the fun HP ones! (Oh, when I clicked through I saw the set of three. Even more tempted now.) Only not a vendor so if I got them for school it would be on my own dime. Hmmm ...

Craft alert! Makerspace? Or just for fun ...

The pin goes to an Etsy store. The idea is so cute.

This could be kind of fun. Could take some doing but find the right sounds (takes going to another link) for transitions?

There are a couple more but they are being weird about embedding. Which in the end is OK ... who knows if embedding is the best idea, anyway. A set of growth mindset/quote posters (I think in that case quotes are more OK, because the maker added more of her own value. I used to have some freebie HP quote posters but then I took them down because I decided even freebie ... who am I to say I can use HP quotes? Even short ones? I didn't add a bit of my own to it. Copyright can be so confusing sometimes, especially when you add in layers of movies and product licensing and such) that are super cool. Make your own sorting hat! You can find them all easy enough via my recent Pinterest and then to their own respective original sources.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Pineapple Bookmarks

Been on a computer kick and (very quickly) made these. May have to take a rest, though, cause my word. Knots in the shoulders. Anyway. Can you tell I like coloring? Simple things? None of the super complicated "adult" style coloring books for me. Is that terrible it all started with what I liked? But the kids seem to like the same things ... they go crazy for them. Click on the pic to get a (not editable) pdf copy from Google Drive.

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?