Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another reason to LOVE October

The Cybils Nominating process starts October 1st - which is TOMORROW!

What, you don't know what the Cybils are - well check out Jen Robinson's post here and then head over to the official Cybils blog here.

One of these days when my kids and my job and my husband don't demand as much of my time as they do now I can't wait to be a part of the process, for now I will just nominate!

Monday, September 29, 2008

This & That

I have had a post that I started and stopped about 10 times since last week on technology's role in the media center, and I promise, I will get it out soon.

But in the meantime a few things...

There was a jazz funeral for Coleen Salley in her hometown of New Orleans this weekend, Deborah Wiles has a great description of the event and pictures - I wish I could have been there, I think it was just as Ms. Salley would have wanted it to be.

If you are looking for some ideas of what to do in the media center in October, check out Susan Gringsby's blog with a listing of holidays, birthdays and other fun stuff that happens in October (my birthday isn't on there...hmmm)

and just in case you haven't heard, the Red Sox are in the post season, game on Wed vs the Angels - I think this year might be tougher than last, but hey, we made the post season and the Yankee's did not that always makes me smile!

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Newest Obsession

On SLJ's Bowllan's Blog today, Amy Bowllan has a link to Dan Blank's blog about how Facebook changed his life (and she also has a profile on Bonnie Bracey Sutton, whom she connected with via Facebook) Go read....I'll wait....

Ok, Good, you're back. I have just recently gotten obsessed with Facebook (like I have time for another online activity), doing the things that Dan mentions, getting hooked up with old high school and college friends, keeping up with real life friends and now I have just started merging some of my professional life by "friending" colleagues, authors and other bloggers. I really like Dan's suggestion of having groups on Facebook to connect with others. As gas prices and well, everything, gets more expensive, going to conferences is going to be a thing of the past, at least for me, so maybe groups set up on Facebook could be an alternative to connecting to people I might have connected with at a conference or workshop. I also have a library shelf application ( I forget what it is called) where I can list the books I am reading, I can post a review and I can also see what my friends are reading too.

I think educators do have to be careful in how they use Facebook. While I have a few "friends" who are high school age kids (daughters of friends of mine) I try and keep it adults only, and I would never friend a student at my school. This might get harder as my kids get older and are on sites like this, but, it could be a good way to stay in tune with what is going on with my kids and their friends.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Coleen Salley

As most of you know by now, author Coleen Salley passed away this week. I had the pleasure of being her very last school visit - and let me tell you, how lucky I was.

Many people who knew her better than I have posted tributes, here, here and here but I just wanted to reiterate the importance of author visits to schools.

When I announced to the staff about Coleen's passing so many people told me how touched they were by her visit her and how touched their students or their own children were. You can read about my adventure with Coleen here, and I will repeat, she is one person who made such an impression on me that I will remember our time together the rest of my life.

Coleen, I know you are up there in heaven having a drink and telling stories - thank you for making an impression on so many people!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I found this story in my People Magazine news page today:


Headline is "Lauren Conrad Inks a Three Book Deal"

To quote from the article:
"Conrad, 22, has signed on to write a three-book series of young adult fiction for HarperCollins, the publisher tells PEOPLE. The books – the first of which is scheduled to hit shelves in the summer of 2009 – will be loosely inspired by Conrad's own experience going from an ordinary teen to a reality TV star. "

UGH is all I have to say about that.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

October is the BEST month

Ok, I must admit that I am a little bias - I have a birthday in October (and gave birth to one child in October) and I still contend that all the "cool" people have birthdays in October - BUT it is shaping up to be a COOl YA celebration in October - I already mentioned that Nick & Norah's Infinite playlist is scheduled to make the big screen in October, but now I find out that John Green's newest book, Paper Towns is scheduled to come out in October also.  Jen Robinson has a review here - and if any of my family is reading this - that would make an EXCELLENT birthday present (along with a new iPod Touch and a gift card to Ann Taylor Loft would just be FABULOUS!).

Am I the only one who misses Brotherhood 2.0 - I do check out John's blog, but I miss the everyday banter between John and Hank!

Maybe they will bring it back for 2009???

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Nick & Norah - the movie

HOW did I miss this??

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist is going to be a movie, coming out October 3rd.

This made a boring night of editing Teacher of the Year video for school SO much better!

I can't WAIT to go see it!!

Election Resources

I wanted to share with you something I gave out to my teachers - the books mentioned are books I have in my collection, there are a few other election books out there that I do not have that might also be good - The Kid who Ran President by Dan Gutman is one that comes to mind.

On a somewhat related topic, since I am also a Mom, I find the talk since Sarah Palin was named VP nominee about Moms trying to do it all very interesting. Here is an article from the Boston Globe on the subject. I for one, only have three kids and am not running for Vice President and I KNOW most days I can't do it all, more power to her!

Election 2008

I have put together some resources for you to use for the upcoming Presidential Elections.


PBS Teacher Line: http://www.pbs.org/teachers/vote2008/
Videos, lesson plans and other activities

Scholastic news: http://teacher.scholastic.com/scholasticnews/indepth/election2008.htm
Lesson plans (I am using some of these with 5th grade already), video clips of student reporters on the campaign trail and blogs from student reporters. Also election games and student centered articles about each candidate.

Weekly Reader Election Coverage http://www.weeklyreader.com/election/
Blogs by students on the election, games and fun activities for students.

Nickelodeon Kids Pick the President: http://www.nick.com/kpp/
Very graphic site about the election, videos, kid polls and articles about how we pick a president

Election day
[ Video ] AV 324.973 ELE Schlessinger Video Productions ; [produced and directed by Fabian-Baber Communication].
Published 1996

Videos from United Streaming

Hail to the Chief: presidential Election
Presidential elections brings the electoral process to life. Students will learn about political platforms, party tickets, and facts about former Presidents. Included are the qualifications of a presidential candidate, the rise of political parties, how presidential caucuses and primaries work, the role of national conventions, the voting process and the role of the electoral college..
22 minutes
Copyright: 2000Grades: Gr. 3 - Gr. 8

So you Want to be President
In the time-honored tradition of political commentary, author Judith St. George and Caldecott Medal winner/illustrator David Small celebrate the public and private lives of forty-two Presidents with humor and flair. Imparting much information and many laughs, this rip-roaring look at the men who have all wanted to be President deserves a place on every library and classroom shelf. Narrated with wit and wisdom by Stockard Channing. Based on the book by Judith St. George and illustrator David Small. Part of the Weston Woods Series.
28 minutes
Copyright: 2002Grades: Gr. 3 - Gr. 5

Understanding the Constitution: The Executive Branch
This series takes a close look at the United States Constitution and how it works.
Learn how the President leads the country. This program clearly explains how the President recommends new legislation to the Congress, exercises veto power, the role of his Cabinet, and the President's responsibilities as Commander in Chief of the military.
22 minutes
Copyright: 2001Grades: Gr. 3 - Gr. 8

Books in our Media Center:

D is for democracy : a citizen's alphabet
[ Book ] 320.973 GRO Grodin, Elissa, 1954-
Published 2004

Voting in an election
[ Book ] 324.6 HAM Hamilton, John.
Published 2005

Presidential elections
[ Book ] 324.6 HAR Harvey, Miles.
Published 1995

Elections in the United States
[ Book ] 324.6 Hea Heath, David, 1948-
Published 1999

Running for office
[ Book ] 324.7 HAM Hamilton, John, 1959-
Published 2005

If I were president
[ Book ] 352.23 Sti Stier, Catherine.
Published 1999

So you want to be president?
[ Book ] 973 St St. George, Judith, 1931-
Published 2000

Pete for president!
[ Book ] E ALB Alberto, Daisy.
Published 2006

Duck for president
[ Book ] E CRO Cronin, Doreen.
Published 2004

My teacher for President
[ Book ] E WIN Winters, Kay.
Published 2004

The class election from the Black Lagoon
[ Book ] FIC Tha Thaler, Mike, 1936-
Published 2003

Monday, September 1, 2008

Scarecrows Everywhere

The kids and I took a little road trip today a few miles up the road  to Hoschton,GA where they are trying to break the World Record for most scarecrows - which would mean they would have to have 4000 of the SCARY things around town. Read about the town's quest in this article on the AJC. I am thinking I might have to get in on the action at school and do a scarecrow story with my Kindergartners.

Here are a few pictures from our trip today - notice that my son seems to want to be a Scarecrow too!

Decatur Book Festival

My daughter Hannah and I made our 3rd annual trek to the Decatur Book festival yesterday - what a great time, I just wish I could have gone on Saturday!

We first saw Doreen Cronin, author of Click Clack Moo and others - and we got to buy her newest book  Thump Quack Moo (which officially comes out on Tuesday)- Farmer Brown is back and he is busy getting ready for the Corn Maze and of course Duck has his hand in it too. She was very fun to hear and she has two adorable little girls that at one point wanted to join her on stage!

Then we watched fellow Atlanta blogger and now children's book author Laurel Snyder on a fantasy panel. We bought a copy of her new book Up and Down the Scratchy Mountain and she told my daughter that she was the first person that she signed this book for- pretty cool!

The last person we saw was another Atlanta author/blogger,  Deborah Wiles.  She is going to be a guest author at my school this year - and after seeing her, well, I am just SO excited!  She talked about her books, but she also talked about writing - something that I KNOW is going to get my students excited.  Her talk made me want to go right out and get myself a writers notebook and start writing my story.  I have a sign in my kitchen that says "Home is where Your Story Begins" and that could have been the title to her talk.

We left the festival hot and sweaty, full of YUMMY cinnamon kettle popcorn, but with lots of new books and for me lots of ideas to share with my students and teachers.