Tuesday, August 15, 2017

BTS Reads and #bookoftheweek in the Library

Have you joined the #classroombookaday group on FB yet? You should! So many great conversations going on there. I love all the bright and shiny and BLANK bulletin boards of classroom teachers that are going to read a book every single day. And of course there is still the hashtag on Twitter.

Can't do it, can we? Not to every single class. But we can read a book a week to many classes (or every grade if you see every class for read alouds every single week ... I don't). So I am going to do maybe a weekly one for PreK/kinder and first. Everyone else gets read alouds every once in a while mixed in with lessons but since they are not as consistent ... no pretty visual. They might get jealous, actually. Stay tuned to the IG feed. It's 98% certain coming.


You probably know about these but here are five BTS reads I'm planning on.


OLDIE. But I still like it. Showing my age that I continue to use it? It's just so good! You can relate behaviors to all of the animals! Maybe I don't need it ... looking at the schedule. But I like it. It's hard to get now, looking at Amazon. At least new.


Because it makes me laugh. And it's true ... Goat judges but then he learns. Get some freebie bookmarks here.


This is a new one. Still working out how to best turn it into a lesson. Shoulda finished that already. It's late August!


Just ordered this one (oh, my Amazon bill this month. It's not pretty. It just takes SOOOOOOOO LONG to get anything at school anymore :/). Their description? "We all know nothing rhymes with orange. But how does that make Orange feel? Well, left out! When a parade of fruit gets together to sing a song about how wonderful they are—and the song happens to rhyme—Orange can't help but feel like it's impossible for him to ever fit in. But when one particularly intuitive Apple notices how Orange is feeling, the entire English language begins to become a bit more inclusive. Beloved author-illustrator Adam Rex has created a hilarious yet poignant parable about feeling left out, celebrating difference, and the irrefutable fact that nothing rhymes with orange."

I love the other HOORAY books so it was a given when I saw one about BOOKS I had to click add to cart, no matter how bad my bill is. :( I'll figure out what to do with it when it comes! "Turtle has looked everywhere for his favorite book, but it's nowhere to be found! Maybe his book was borrowed by Zebra, Owl, Giraffe, Elephant, or Lion. As Turtle searches, his friends offer to share their own favorite stories, but other books just won't do. Or is it time for Turtle to try something different? A tribute to books, reading, and the joy of sharing stories with others from Brian Won, the author/illustrator of Hooray for Hat! and Hooray for Today!."


Monday, August 14, 2017

#IMWAYR Aug 14


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 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 now to the tortoise goes the race, right? It's not a race. Even though my Goodreads goal was overly optimistic at the beginning of the year. Unless I catch up with a LOT of picture books. Which could still happen. Picture books count when you are a teacher librarian.



Didn't get the other ones I was planning on done. Maybe this week? But I don't know. Lots of school set up then a bit of travel for a family wedding. I'm so weird-ed out ... it's my youngest brother! He's supposed to stay little forever, right? No. He's grown up into such a cool young adult. Haven't met the fiance yet. But little Charlie ... I used to read Harry Potter out loud to him. I pronounced Hermione incorrectly. OOPS!

Nerdy Birdy Tweets would be pretty good for digital citizenship discussions in a classroom, though. Pus he's adorable.

And Gamer Squad #2 was fun! I did a whole post on the two books a couple days ago.



Thursday, August 10, 2017

Almost Friday Aug 11

And tomorrow I am sitting through the first part of a training on responsive discipline and running morning meeting circles with your class. The class that I don't have in the mornings because I am putting away announcements and makermornings materials and checking in books. The second part is tomorrow. Did I mention this is unpaid/uncomp-ed hours? And we've already sat through probably 8 hours on this last year? I don't mean to sound grabby. I don't ask others to sit through training on things they won't do. I'm already tired of hearing the word austerity and why are teachers expected to do so much volunteer work? SO MUCH? As if we don't pay out of pocket enough just to keep things going.  There's been too much talk in TX of issues with teacher retirement and healthcare (and current personal issues with healthcare and junk diagnoses). Enough of the soapbox. I had a clue of what I was getting into and kids are still cute and mostly fun.

Here are some more interesting things found on the web. Click through if you're in a reader like Bloglovin or Feedly because embeds don't always show up. Weird that way. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. And click all the way through to go to the original source! No more whining.

By now you may have seen it but a new Wonder trailer!



And this is a little independent film that is only showing in UT (I saw a clip about it on a IG feed I follow) but it looks funny. It might end up being stupid but it looks so funny. An author writing super successful YA romance but hates himself for it? I am watching for when it goes to Netflix or iTunes or video.




I used to do Terracycling (chip bags and drink pouches) just outside the library space. It brought in a bit of money and helped the environment. But in order to further help the environment shipments had to get bigger ... and that got hard to keep the stuff sitting around the library until we collected enough in big boxes of what basically seemed like trash. Plus it got time consuming because people didn't always make sure the drink pouches were empty :( so there was cleaning of mess. We had to stop. BUT ... dry markers? That's easy to recycle! No fund raising here but who cares about that part. And no sticky, stinky mess keeping them around until you have enough for a good size shipment!



Here's an old one but a good reminder from Tony Vincent. Printing on Sticky Notes! Click through for the Google Slides templates. And remember there are LOTS more fonts on Google than just the few defaults. Keep them legible for the kiddos, of course. Cutesy isn't always legible. But they don't need to be boring, either.



And speaking of old TV content and Google Slides and printing on sticky notes ...




Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Gamer Squad Books 1 & 2

The publisher sent me these books to review but I'm glad they did because I might not have picked them up otherwise. Yes, in many ways I might be considered a geek. I love Star Wars and Star Trek and all things tech and sci fi and fantasy. But I don't necessarily love gaming. I think it has to do with my lack of a sense of direction. Truly. I can get lost in my own backyard. The times I've tried to play Minecraft or SW The Old Republic or even Cars Driven to Win my little nephew wanted me to race with him ... I turn around and walk into walls or drive into walls constantly. Can't find my way around the virtual world and never tried the augmented reality world. When there were rumors of a Harry Potter version of a P.Go type game I was ready to get lost as I went "hunting" but that never ended up happening, now, did it. BUMMER.

Puzzle games, maybe. But any other type of video game not so much. So gaming books I might not have picked up without a little encouragement. And they are so fun! I think kids will really like them. The question will be ... do I now give them to a niece or nephew? Or a colleague for their classroom? Or a student?


Book one brings monsters to real life and book two brings aliens to planet earth.

I thought the discussions of coding in book two were actually a nice addition. There ARE kids who know an awful lot about all the coding languages!

I mean, grand classical literature they are not. No huge metaphors for life or beautiful turns of phrase. But you'll laugh. You might bite your nails a couple of times when the main characters are in trouble. And for sure you will recognize student bullies and geeks and "popular" kids as well as kids just trying to navigate the late elementary/early middle school years.
I would say ... fourth or fifth grade? Up to mid-sixth grade. By seventh the books would seem a little young, I would think. A strong third grade reader, maybe, though the second book talks a lot more about "liking" each other, just as an FYI.

Who is this Veratrum Games Corp that keeps releasing these popular pastimes that end up causing so much trouble? That's what I'd like to know. And the teaser for book three's "big baddie" had me hooked.


The author, Kim Harrington, has written several other YA novels and another middle grade series.


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Tuesday Tech Fave Audiobooks

What are some of your favorites? Cause said commute and all.
Not EVERY book is good on audio. Some topics and plots work better than others. Not to mention narrators (like I was not a huge fan of the Percy Jackson narrator ... was it the same for all of them? I didn't even try past book 1). Here are just a few of specifically audio ones I have enjoyed.

There is lots of scrolling on this post because of long skinny pics. Sorry. Click on the pic to go to Audible to listen to a snippet, at least of the top books I've listened to.

The entire Lockwood & Co series. Book 5 comes out next month and so far there is no pre-ordering the audio, just the book or Kindle version. WHAT IS TAKING SO LONG TO POST THE AUDIO?  DO NOT EVEN PROPOSE THE HORRIBLE THOUGHT THAT THEY WON'T HAVE AN AUDIO VERSION. It's slightly spooky but only slightly so. Set in an alternate London. I've recommended it to my stronger upper grade readers before. We don't have it in our elementary library, though.  They have to go find it at the public library ... but they enjoyed it! The later ones especially go into YA territory. Nothing major so I feel OK recommending the series to a few of my kiddos.

 Lockwood and Co link to Audible

Cosmic. I seriously stayed on the treadmill longer than planned just to keep listening. Laughed like a crazy person in the middle of the gym. It won't be everyone's cup of tea but for those of you that share the same sense of humor? HILARIOUS!!!! About a kid who looks older than he is and it gets him in ... shall we say a spot of trouble?

 Cosmic link to Audible


HP goes without saying. Only I should have done the screenshot in two parts because now it's so long and skinny. I am not a new blogger. I should know my images better.

 HP link to Audible

He could read just about anything and I'd listen. Sorry. I digress from proper reviewing.
 BC reads Sherlock link to Audible

Definitely not the best of the best stories but worth a listen.



I also have a couple new Star Wars books downloaded still to listen to.

I know I need to listen to Echo. I've already read it but I heard it was a great audiobook. I got it when they had a recent kids' audiobook sale. $4, I think.


And I downloaded the first Audible X-Files book because MULDER and SCULLY original full cast audio. But I haven't listened to it yet. They already have a book two in the works that I might as well go ahead and preorder. I'm sure there will be time. Remember this? Normal. Not an out of the norm day. Sigh.




I just have a one credit a month subscription to Audible. There's always Overdrive, too. Though our district recently made a change to the login. Trying to be patient until we learn more about it because right now? ACK! DO NOT LIKE! TAKES WAY TOO LONG AND WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY TOO MUCH TYPING ON A MOBILE DEVICE (I actually really like the changes on the desktop) TO LOG IN! I've had problems and got sent in login loops every single time I've tried. And that's me, a user who is motivated to log in. Patience. All will be revealed, right? Patience.



Monday, August 7, 2017

#IMWAYR Aug 7


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.






Yep. Already slowed down. Is it because I didn't love any of them or because I didn't sleep all that well?

Red Queen #3 continued to surprise. To the point that ... it started to get a little annoying. I will still be there for book #4 this winter because I can't stand not knowing how things end. But seriously. Enough with the pulling the rug out from underneath "me"(ie the main character) EVERY SINGLE STINKING TIME.

Children of Exile #2 a free E-ARC from Edelweiss finished. Not a big fan, actually. Surprised me as I usually enjoy her stuff.

Full Wolf Moon was OK. Supposed real life werewolves in the Adirondacks. I like it when Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston work together the best (I've read some of DP's solo work as well).

Gamer Squad #1 will get it's own post (well, along with #2 when I finish that one!) a little later this week. The publisher sent them to me.

I will finish Mysteries of Cove #3 and Dragonwatch next week. Oh and HP #1 audio (you would think not sleeping well I would be finished ... but I fall asleep and miss enough I have to go back. I just don't sleep well to get stuff done :P). Got far enough to know that. Full Wolf Moon coming in from a hold at the library sort of distracted me from them.I have a few authors that are just auto set to put me on hold for anything the library buys by them. They don't even offer it for every author.

I got Refugee on my Kindle from a bit of credit I got from ... somewhere. Not even sure where, they just said "hey, you have $3 credit" and I used it toward that. So if I can I'll get started on that. Everyone says it's so good.

I don't know if I'll get to And I Rise. The first chapter confused me. Sometimes when it's been a while you forget things about the first book. We'll see. Maybe I have to just get back into the groove of that one. But I should finish the professional reading.

Happy last part of of summer reading to you. Stay cooled off!

Friday, August 4, 2017

First Friday in August

It came. Whether we wanted it to or not (CONFLICT!!!!!) it came.
I think I've forgotten to mention lately ... if you're in a reader like Bloglovin or Feedly the embedded pins might not show up. So you might need to click through to see them, then click through to go to the creator's source cause they are the ones that made them.

Except for the videos. Just straight up embedding those instead of the pins.

Things I found interesting on the Internet this week ...


So many funny ones. I mean, a-ha is my favorite 80s band of all time. They are actually still around. But at first the Elmo clip was my favorite reading specific snippet. Then the Abby/Journey one grew on me. I want them to do a full length version! But of course Super Grouch is funny. As is (sorry if this is a spoiler) the Rickroll. I actually really liked Rick Astley back in the day. Had his tape. Tapes? Do I have it in digital form? I do not know.


I like this idea. Not quite sure how to do it for school as I find the ordering process really frustrating and I cannot foot the bill for everything. Not that we have the money for everything at school either, but we do have some. But in this case it's all contained in a box so ... portions. Now keeping what ... a class set would be like 10-12? One per every 2 kids? Keeping a class set stocked could get cumbersome. So for now it's just an idea.



She actually did a talk at BYU as well (they do bring in outside speakers sometimes!). They couldn't post that one (re my podcast reference earlier in the week). :( But here's her TED talk which you've probably seen but if not? TOTALLY RECOMMEND! and if you haven't read her book? Either Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking or the one for kids (I really don't know that kids would read it but still ... there are a couple of chapters that talk about school that could be really helpful to teachers) Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts. Seen that "Introverts Unite, At Home, Alone?" I am. But in reality it just needs to be a balance. Sometimes school is just so much people needing overload it's draining, right? But sometimes summer is so much alone time that's a little draining, too. Balance.



I signed up to do this Vlogging challenge (learned about via the Tech with Us community on FB?). There's no way I'll get to every day in August but hey, if I get even 5 done that's a win. And I've already got 2 posted and 1 ready ahead of time. So I think I can do more than 5. They are not good ... the first never are. But maybe they will get better? Dunno, we'll see. Posting them to Instastories and Youtube. If they get anybetter I'll embed them here. I might make video creation my TTESS goal (state educator requirement ... it's a little different for librarians than classroom teachers but you get the idea) this year ... since I already did the Google certifications over the summer. What was I thinking? I should've waited!


I am not a big fan of fall. Back to school is so crazy. Allergies kick back into high gear. There's a looooooong stretch of no school holidays (kids get a couple but teachers still work). It's still hot in TX. So I have to convince myself.


Anyone get something cool at the sale? I got some fun clip art--as if I didn't have enough already. And I got some coding stuff from Brittanny Washburn, a fun little book study on Stick and Stone from Cara's Creative Playground, and an iPad project on Dig Citizenship from Erintegration. Before the sale I'd already tried one PB font set and a digital librarian planner. I was going to say tell us what you got but then if it's awesome I'll spend more money! That could be bad ... 😛

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Tuesday Tech Fave Podcasts

The COMMUTE will soon start back up. And a big five year construction job 😟 has just started on the main way I get between home and school. There are very limited alternate routes that will also fill up with people trying to avoid the madness. :(



This is an old pic I took once back when I used to go to the gym. I now live about what, eighteen miles further down that road (what was I thinking? Honestly I was thinking I'd change schools but that is another story). It sort of gives you a glimpse of why they had to do something. But five years. And WHILE they do the something. 😒 Did I mention I have a manual transmission car?







So I will probably get even more time for audiobooks and PODCASTS. Thought I'd share some of my faves with you. Some are library or book or education related, some are not. I actually wasn't much of a podcast listener until like maybe November?



Pretend I inserted a fun graphic of someone listening to a podcast here.



Some I listen to every episode ASAP, some I might subscribe but end up deleting episodes before I ever get them listened to because I get behind and I hate seeing them stack up, some I don't actually subscribe to but I've gone in and downloaded specific episodes from their back catalog because at least one has proved super interesting. Not telling you which is which cause everyone needs to decide for themselves. Just like every book has its reader, every podcast has their listeners!





In no particular order and I feel like I'm forgetting some (linked to webpages where you could try episodes out or get show notes and decide about subscribing ... most have the link to iTunes or Stitcher there) ...





Mike Rowe's The Way I Heard It (hilarious and interesting!)



The Google Teacher Tribe (I've fangirled before I think!)



Angela Watson's Truth for Teachers



Books Between



Fangirls Going Rogue (STAR WARS and general all things GEEK ALERT ;))



Star Wars Bookworms  (They don't do junior books and not many YA, which is actually what I read the most of. Big surprise. But it's still interesting to the super fan!)



Levar Burton Reads



All the Wonders



Masterpiece Studio (because I loved Downton and Sherlock and Victoria and what else ...)



Brains On! Science Podcast



House of #EdTech



Publishers Weekly PW KidsCast



TeacherCast Educational Broadcast Network (I'm not sure I got all these links right on the webpage ... but searching for podcasts they are different)



The TeacherCast Podcast



TechEducator Podcast



Song Talks with Richard Marx (there is some language on this one which personally I can do w/o)



The Wildlife Photography Podcast (this one is more interesting if you follow his IG feed as well, and have some interest in photography)



BYU Speeches (This one is quite faith based, though not entirely. I didn't take advantage of all the great speakers when I was there so now I listen to devotionals. Makes all the sense in the world, right? But they are not all devotionals. Some of them are just interesting sort of like TED talks? But the majority faith based.)





I wonder if later I will wish I had done this on like a Listly or something. Anyway. Later!