Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Holidays

It has been a BUSY few weeks both here at school and at home - I am READY for a break, although my break involves driving 1000 miles and COLD weather, but that's what Christmas is all about, right??

Here is a slide show of the holiday fun we are having here in the media center - I think I like Whrrl better than Slide.com., but Whrrl is now blocked at school (sigh).

I hope that everyone out there has a FABULOUS holiday season!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Reader's Theater Podcast

Here it is, the podcast I did with my students readers theater. It is a little ROUGH, and we definitely have to work on talking LOUDER (and maybe using more than one mic to record it) but it is a start!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Reader's Theater - Performance Day!

It is finally here - performance day for my 4th grade readers theater group. We performed today for a class of 1st graders who already knew the story (A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon) and who are also working on a little readers theater project of their own in their classroom.

SO, how did it go, you asked? It went well. The kids were a little nervous, so some lines were delivered a little too fast, the kids who we have been telling to GET LOUDER were still reading a bit too softly to be heard, but overall it went GREAT!

Some things the teacher and I are going to do for the next go-around (which we will start after the holiday break):

~ have smaller groups - we will be doing 2 different stories, so I think that will give the kids more lines to say
~ video tape the kids earlier in the process so they can really see what they are doing right/wrong
~focus a little more on the difference between the book and the script (we will do this because the goal is for them to write their OWN script from a book)

As luck would have it, today in School Library Journal there is an article written by Avi (YES that Avi) about the benefits of using readers theater - what PERFECT timing!

I recorded the kids doing a practice run of it last week, but am having problems uploading it to Ourmedia (I haven't uploaded anything to them in a LOONG time, so maybe it's not working anymore??) so if/when I get it up I will put the link on here.

The other class performs on Thursday!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cybils & Your Holiday Shopping

Take a look to your right (no not that right , your other right..) do you see that COOL widget, yep that one, well it is the new widget for the 2009 Cybil nominate books. It will highlight a new nominated book every time it loads. So how is this helping your holiday shopping?? Well, you can click on the Amazon or Indie Bound link and you can order up that book for someone on your holiday shopping list. THAT EASY - yes it is!

Thanks to JacketFlap for this great widget (this WAS the buzz word at AASL!).

Speaking of holiday shopping, can you believe that it is only 26 shopping days until Christmas (and even less til Hanukkah) - I for one am giving my young nieces and nephew a new book and new pj's to go with the book - you can never have too many books or too many comfy pj's in which to get into when reading said book! Of course my teenager and teenager wanna be only want gifts of the electronic kind (Xbox 360 and a cell phone are on their lists)..sigh.... luckily my youngest son has the right idea, he has asked for bacon for Christmas - yep - actually he was specific, he wants Canadian Bacon - good thing Santa has to cross Canada before he gets to us!

Happy Shopping!

Monday, November 23, 2009

National Educational Technology Plan

Diane Chen of the SLJ Blog Practically Paradise forwarded a message on her blog from Julie Walker, executive Director of AASL. Here is the message:

Julie A. Walker, Executive Director of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has asked us to forward the information below widely. I hope you will participate on behalf of all school librarians and our students.

Late in October, I sat in on a webinar regarding the National Educational Technology Plan. If you have not done so already, I want to urge all of you to go to the site: www.edtechfuture.org . The developers are seeking input on all four aspects of the plan: learning, assessment, teaching and productivity / infrastructure. At the time of the late October webinar, the developers expressed concern about the LOW VOLUME of comments they had received. They are particularly looking for examples of districts doing INNOVATIVE things.

I urge those of you who feel that school library media specialists can bring value to this planning process to register and to comment. I noted a number of topics of importance to the field:
Lifelong & Lifewide Learning
Measurement of equitable access to learning resources
Learning skills
Technology literacy
Equality of access (including gap between home & school)

For those of you interested in an overview of the slides from the webinar hosted by the National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training (NCTET) and PBS, “Shaping the Future of Education Through Technology” with Jim Shelton, Assistant Deputy Secretary, Office of Innovation and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, they can be downloaded here: http://www.nctet.org/calendar.htm Please register and comment before the end of the month.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Kid Lit community is made of AWESOME!

im_a_cancer_warrior_breast_cancer_t_shirt-p235239235071001145qiuw_400.jpg
As many people who follow the kidlitosphere know, Andrea from the podcast Just One More Book is battling breast cancer. Her husband (and co-creator of JOMB) sent out a plea to the authors and illustrators and other kit lit folk to call and send a message of encouragement to Andrea - he got an incredible response and he compiled some of those responses into a theme that Andrea can listen to whenever she needs a pick me up - he calls it the Warrior Theme and it is so empowering to listen to. Listening to all the people in the kid lit world who responded is incredible- you guys (and gals) ROCK! (and as a side note, I loved hearing that fellow Emerson Alum and my Alpha Pi Theta brother, Henry Winkler was one of the first to respond!)

Andrea, I hope that you kick cancer's butt girl - you are already a kid lit warrior, now it is time to make you into a breast cancer survivor warrior!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

AASL 2009 - Notes and reflections

WOW.. that's all I can say about AASL - WOW...

Well, I do have some other things to say about the conference but if you are a school media specialist, start saving NOW for AASL 2011 in Minneapolis- really, I can't believe I have waited this long to attend a national conference. What I came away with was SO incredible and I will be talking about it and dissecting it more in the next few weeks as I have time to really go through conference notes and websites, but here were some highlights:

* stumbling into the Bloggers Cafe (and not realizing where we were) and meeting Joyce Valenza and Buffy Hamilton first thing on Thursday (both of whom are just MADE of awesome!) and listening to some great presentations and meeting some other FABULOUS media specialists and even a corporate librarian from GA. Here is the link to the wiki from the bloggers cafe.

* Listening to opening speaker Danah Boyd - wow - she had some great things to say, I wish I could have my staff and parents listen to her presentation!

* Attending the Smackdown (wiki here) - this was the BEST session of the whole conference - I am SO glad I went in early and got a seat!

* The exhibition hall was great too - I got some free books (including an ARC of the new John Green/ David Levithan book - SOO excited about this), some coupons from other vendors and I stumbled onto a great publisher - Sylvan Dell - their books are beautiful and they have a GREAT subscription e-book service! It will take me weeks to go through all the STUFF I came home with!

I promise more from the conference, but Book Fair starts tomorrow and I better get some sleep!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I'm off to AASL

I am leaving for Charlotte with a good friend (and fellow media specialist) to attend my first national library convention. I have been a member of the American Library Association(ALA) and it's affiliate the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) since I was in grad school (we're talking 7 years now ) but the conventions are always SO expensive to attend. Most have been in far away places that require planes, trains or long automobile trips to get to and then require hotels and food and well you know how things add up - and my school cannot foot the bill and with 3 kids, neither can I - until now!

This convention is only 3 hours away (by car) and we are staying with my friends brother who lives in Charlotte. This might be my one and only national convention that I get to go to, so I am going to try and make the most of it! I am excited to hear the speakers and attend the sessions and also to hopefully meet up with some online friends.

I have a feeling I am going to be VERY tired on Saturday when I get back!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween

Today we could dress up as a book character for school - I had a hard time deciding and finally decided at about 3pm yesterday - which explains why I could not find pink pants for my outfit.

Can you guess the book??



Just wish I had more time last night to make pink cupcakes to share at school today - maybe next year!

Today our school systems cable channel is coming here to film a segment for a series they have called the Author in You with local Atlanta author ( and my friend) Laurel Snyder - they usually put up a link to the show once it is live, so I will be sure to add it to the blog. Check out some shows that they have done in the past here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Boo Bubbles, Ghost Stories and 40

I love October - for many reasons - post season baseball (ok, that one not so much this year), cooler weather, leaves changing color, pumpkins, my birthday and Halloween! Last year I found a kit to make BOO bubbles on Steve Spangler Science (my favorite science shop!) and the kids loved it so much I decided to do it again this year. I forget what I read last year, but this year I am reading the book The Ghost Eye Tree by Bill Martin jr. and John Archambault. The worst thing about this story time - having to go buy dry ice every morning before school (and it gets expensive!)

My new favorite photo sharing slide program - whrrl is now blocked in my school (knew it was too good to last) so I tried slide share - here is my first attempt at a slide share presentation



oh and it was my 40th birthday on Saturday - I have never been bothered by my age, but this year I seemed to be hit with it - 40 is OLD - LOL - but I had a great weekend with friends and family and a great party on Saturday night, so it made turning 40 not so bad!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Weekly update - storytime & readers theater

It has been a crazy week here in the media center - lots of classes and my assistant was out this week, plus we had a 4-day weekend last weekend (which was SOO nice!). So here is what we have been doing this week in the media center- celebrating Eric Carle's 80th and the Caterpillar's 40th birthday (he and I are the same age!) Take a Whrrl with my Whrrl story:





Powered by Whrrl



I am also on week two of my readers theater project and it is going REALLY well. This week we gave out the scripts to the kids and they did their first read through. They seem really excited about doing this and with the class today, they had some GREAT comments for each other after our first read through. Next week we will work on better fluency with the text and reading with more emotion and "voices".

next up - my FAVORITE story time of the year - BOO Bubbles!! Plus I have to figure out a great book character costume for Halloween - any suggestions?? I've already been a pirate, the bus driver (from the Pigeon books) and Lilly from Lilly's purple plastic purse, the paper bag princess and Abe Lincoln - hmmm.......

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mo Willems!



Yesterday my school got to be part of Mo Willems simulcast! It was SO much fun! After lots of headaches getting the technology to work in our school (thank you to my AWESOME technology guru at our school and the awesome Internet guy in our county who made it happen) it all went off with out a hitch. My only disappoint with the program, I was REALLY hoping he was going to show us his dinning room (the one with the chalk board walls) so I guess this means that I will still have to hold out for an invite to his house for dinner - I'll even bring desert Mo - really I will!

Between watching this yesterday and watching the video : Eric Carle: Picture Writer this week with my story time classes, I want to quit my job and go work in an art studio - one problem, I have NO artistic talent what so ever. But it does make me want to go out and buy new colored pencils and crisp white paper!

Thanks Hyperion & Mo for letting me be a part of this!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Readers Theater

I am so excited to start my first readers theater project today. I am working with a 4th grade gifted teacher and her 2 classes (one with 15 students, the other with 11 students).

For today's first class we will be explaining to the students WHAT readers theater is. I am going to show them this video of a group of teens doing a readers theater performance at a public library so that they get a REAL sense of what they will be doing. I also have a short United Streaming video on creating your own readers that I will show them. The teacher and I have already chosen a script from the book A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon that we will be using as our first script, so to introduce the kids I will be reading the book. We will introduce the scripts at our next meeting next week. Our plan is to meet once a week with these kids and work with them one week on the script and then having them perform the script the next week. We will video tape the kids so they can see themselves performing and also so we can critique their performances.

This project is a perfect example of why media specialists need to TALK with each other. This idea came from a media specialist in my county that I talked to at a meeting we had a few weeks ago. She was describing what she did with a readers theater project at her school and I knew that I wanted to try something here. The hardest part in doing something like this is getting a teacher to work with you and sign on for a project that will be a few weeks in length.

I will update here on how the project is going and what we will be doing each class session that we meet.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Johnny Appleseed story time

We have dried out here in Georgia, but some of my friends have been hit HARD by the flooding, My former school had a lot of flood damage and is STILL not open yet and there are many families that still cannot go back to their flood damaged home. I have seen flooded areas on the news before but NEVER imagined that it would happen here.

On a happier note, we are celebrating apples in the media center this week. Check out my Whrrl story about our story time and art project.

Powered by Whrrl

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Snow" day in September and musing on Web 2.0

Yes, that's right, I am writing this at home in my pj's at 10am on a Tuesday - YES, I should be at school, NO I am not sick, but we are home because of our 2nd "snow" day, which really is a rain & flood day off from school. For those not in the metro Atlanta area this sounds like another CRAZY thing us southerners do, cancel school for RAIN (my father was laughing out loud when I told him) - but really, look at this:




I have never seen this much water in my life, my neighborhood is ok and from what I could tell yesterday, my school is fine, but there are schools in our district that have parking lots and fields under water and I have heard that a few schools even have water IN the schools. It is CRAZY how much rain has fallen in our area since last week, I have heard reports that in my area, 18" of rain has fallen since Sunday - and to think we went through a severe drought last year!!

Since I am home from school, I am doing a little thinking about web 2.0 tools and the way I use them. I have posted before about my online time and how I have tried at times to "back off" being online so much (a failed attempt) but while while I have been thinking of ways to streamline my use of these tools and also thinking about ways to TEACH these tools to my staff (and maybe to other media specialists in my district) I have come to a few conclusions:

Facebook: - I will admit, I am obsessed, but I have figured out that although I have a few "work" related things on here, this is my personal time. I keep up with family & friends on here, I vent about my kids on here and share pictures of my kids doing funny things on here, to me this is personal networking and I am keeping it that way.

Twitter: I had signed onto this last year and then never used it - but THEN I checked out a few "professional" contacts on Twitter, had some new people "find" me and I have been hooked ever since. Twitter is my "combo" tool.. I use it to connect to people professionally, librarians, authors, book publishers and teachers and it is also my Red Sox nation source, and who knew that I would become "twitter friends' with a librarian who is ALSO a Red Sox fan! I have gotten so many journal articles, blog posts and information from my Twitter followers. I recently sent a tweet out about wanting to find some readers theater resources and I got a few GREAT suggestions from fellow media specialists and teachers. This to me is a tool I can use for many purposes, although it is SO hard for me to express myself in 140 characters or less!

Blogs: Although I don't blog as much as I would like, I still find it a great source to share and "meet" other media specialists. This blog is (mostly) a professional blog, although I have been known to "talk" about my kids, the Red Sox and Jon Bon Jovi, I mostly talk shop here. In my Google reader, though, I do have 2 different groups set up, Mommy Blogs (which, really, I should change the title of that to personal blogs) and professional blogs, and I cannot tell you how much information I get from these people. Being a media specialist is sometimes a lonely job, you are the only person in your building who does what you do and people "just don't understand" what you do some days. Reading these blogs not only gives me ideas on how to do my job better, but also is like sitting in the teachers lounge with my "grade level".

All the other stuff: there is SO much more to Web 2.0, photo sharing, ning groups, wiki groups - it would take me 3 days to talk about it all, but I think that it is my JOB to know what there is out there, although it is also my job to figure out what will help me, personally and professionally and stick with those tools that I am comfortable with.

Here is a great article by Joyce Valenza about using these Web 2.0 tools to teach kids. Here in my school district, many of these tool are blocked, but if anything, I wold love to teach the TEACHERS about these tools. The kids are using them at home, wouldn't it be great if we could teach them that they could be doing a little learning too while using some of these! I love what Buffy Hamilton (one of my Twitter friends) is doing with social networking and high school students, I can only hope that somewhere down the line, I can incorporate these into elementary classrooms too.

Well, I am going to check out what kind of damage there is in our area, I hear the park where we play baseball and football is under water!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Tomie!

Today is Mr. dePaola's 75th birthday and illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka (who I hear is from my neck of the woods, central MA) has a project to wish Tomie a happy birthday - go check it out here. (Thanks to Fuse for letting us know about this cool project!)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A garden for a sunny Saturday

I can't believe I haven't heard of this before, but one of my favorite authors - Peter Reynolds (I swear he wrote his book Dot for my son and Ish for my daughter - too bad HE doesn't know that - LOL!) has a new book coming out! I read in Publishers Weekly today that he is coming out with a new book, dedicated to Rose Kennedy called Rose's Garden. The article was about the publisher (Candlewick Press) moving up the publication date to October and they also provided a link to the Telefable version of the book on the Rose Kennedy Greenway website.

It is another great story - whether you are a fan of Mrs. Kennedy and have visited the Greenway or have never stepped foot in Boston, you will love the story about a girl trying to beautify a city and of a girl trying to make her way in a new place.

Of course as I was reading the Telefable I was already planning the story time I will do with it - I can see the students making their own paper flowers and I will have to show them some pictures of the REAL Rose Kennedy Greenway (which I walked on this summer) and maybe include a picture of the famous steaming tea pot, which I used to walk past every day one summer when I was working in downtown Boston and was the inspiration for the tea pot that Rose rides on in the story.

Now off to pre-order the book!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Story time this week: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

With 950 kids in my school (K-5) I do a different story time every two weeks. This week and next week I am reading Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett, illustrated by Ron Barrett. If you frequently tune into the Disney channel or Nickelodeon, you know that there is a movie coming out based on the book (they show the preview every 10 minutes!) so I wanted to make sure the kids knew that the book came before the movie - LOONG before the movie - when I tell the kids I was 9 when the book came out they all say "WOW" - so far nobody's called me old... but I am waiting!

After we read the book I do a little science lesson with them. I created a Whrrl photo story to show you highlights from our story time.

Happy Friday!
Powered by Whrrl

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Decatur Book Fest 2009

The Decatur Book Festival was this weekend, and as usual it was FABULOUS!

I only got to go on Saturday and for the first time, I spent more time in the teen area than at the children's stage, but my daughter and I got to see some GREAT authors.

First up was Kate DiCamillo - she had a standing room crowd and I had aspirations of getting my copy of Tales of Despereaux signed, but the line was SOO long that I decided that hearing her was good enough.  She read from her new book, The Magician's Elephant, out on Tuesday and answered lots of questions, mostly from the kids in the audience.  The thing that shocked me the most about her - she is SOO tiny, I mean the woman must wear a size - 0  - yep, so jealous of her!
Here is a video I took of Jon Scieszka introducing her:




Speaking of Jon Scieszka, we saw his presentation about "Guys Read" - he had lots of funny, inspiring things to say and told us some great stories about his family. I am telling you, my dream author dinner party would include this guy - and of course Mo Willems - and maybe take place in Mo's chalkboard dinning room... I have a feeling it would be one non-stop laugh fest! So boys, I am available anytime you are.....

My daughter got to hear one of her favorite authors, Lauren Myracle and we were introduced to Sara Shepard, the author of the pretty little liars series. She was also a teeny-tiny author - what, so do these woman not eat when they write?? - My daughter & I really enjoyed her talk and bought the first 2 books in the series.

Our last author of the day was David Levithan - he was just like I pictured him, kinda of a nerdy/hip New Yorker - he looks like some of the guys I went to college with actually!  He read from Nick & Norah and also from his new book, Love is the Higher Law, a book I now MUST read! He also shared that he is writing a new book with Rachel Cohn and also writing a  book with Mr. John Green - that is exciting news! He closed by giving us his current favorites he is listening to - wish I had written them down, I am always in the mood for some new music, especially when the suggestion comes from a hip New Yorker (which I am not!)

I wish I could have gone back today, but family duties interfered - can't wait until next year!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Odds & Ends

Two very different links today - one from Buffy of the blog Unquiet Librarian - she is a high school media specialist in GA and is SO inspiring. She is teaching a web 2.0 class and her students have lots of LOVE for the library - read her post here - lots of inspiration for those days when you say - WHY do I do this??

On another, sad, note this article came to me today from SLJ about a district in California closing all their school libraries. This is SOO sad to me, not just from a professional aspect (is MY job in jeopardy one of these days?) but it saddens my heart. My guess is, the kids that these schools serve are the ones that NEED access to books and NEED to be taught by a librarian how to search and how to use a library and be shown how AWESOME libraries can be. I hope that somehow they can find the money to keep these libraries open.

And one more article.. one that made me YELL "Someone else gets it!!" after I read it. It is an essay by Susan Straight on the reading program AR (Accelerated Reader.) She says what I have believed for years and have told many a parent and teacher when I have been approached and asked "When is our school going to get AR?" I of course have other issues with it, including the cost and the time it takes to manage the system, but in my heart, the issue I have with it is exactly what Ms. Straight has with it, kids read for the points and are not reading for the pleasure of reading.

I had a tough end of the week last week dealing with some issues about working in a HUGE district and feeling like the "suits" just don't get it...just don't understand what it is like for us in the trenches. I am doing my best to get through my feelings and not blast the district, but it is times like these that I miss being in a small private school (of course I do not miss the small paycheck though). But I am determined to start this week out right. I am doing my LAST orientations this week and will finally get to what I love most about my job, story times and collaborative lessons with teachers - YAY!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Senator Kennedy

I have had a bunch of things I wanted to post about, but there does not seem to be enough hours in my day (sigh). But, I wanted to remember the senator from my home state of Massachusetts, Senator Ted Kennedy who passed away on Tuesday night.
here is a great pictoral of his life on NPR

and here is what ALA has to say about him

and here is what my favorite team did for him last night


He had been Senator of Massachusetts since before I was born. His family, a large irish catholic family from Massachusetts, just like mine, was our version of royalty. Everyone I know has a Ted story, mine was seeing him in a hotel in Boston where I was waiting for my parents to show up for a college parents weekend, I was upset about something - and his son Teddy actually came over and said something to me - they were having a roast for Ted in the ballroom in the hotel that night.

He was an advocate for those who did not have a voice and no matter what his personal demons were, he was a true American and I for one am glad we had someone like that on our side.


image from the American Library association

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Media Center on Whrrl

My friend Marlynn started using Whrrl on her blog/twitter/facebook to create photo stories and it seemed pretty cool so I thought I would try it out with a photo tour of my media center.

It was easy to use and I could post a link to it on twitter and facebook right after I saved my photo story. You can also send it out as an e-mail. I can see some definite uses in education and one of the best things - it is NOT BLOCKED (at least yet) on my school computer!

hope you enjoy my virtual tour

Powered by Whrrl

Friday, August 14, 2009

1st week wrap up

my desk after a week of craziness!
It's been a week full of.. well.. lets just say it's been a typical 1st week of school full of surprises.

This week I have:

~ Started Monday's morning announcements (which are live on our close circuit tv) with a teleprompter that was out and an audio board that did not work very well - luckily I had 2 5th graders who did an AWESOME "on the fly" job with the announcements without any script at all!
~ Helped the administration put bus tags on ALL of our students backpacks - this involved running around our building and resulted in a big ol blister for me, I need to make a note NOT to wear cute new shoes on the first day next year!
~ Helped LOTS of children on and off buses - including one yesterday that was crying when I got him off the bus in the am and was STILL crying when I put him on the bus in the afternoon (you have to feel bad for THAT teacher!)
~ Worked lunch duty with first graders three days this week (so far, I haven't made any child cry yet, a new record for me and lunch duty!)
~ Finished my media center orientation video and started doing media center orientation for 5th grade classes.
~ Shot and edited a video with our PTA and Principal for Monday's curriculum night
~ Figured out on my own how to work some new equipment our county gave to our media center and gave us no training on - including a visual presenter, a high def. professional dvd recorder and a cd/dvd duplicator. Wrote and had laminated an instruction sheet for teachers on how to use the visual presenter.
~ Had a master's degree student observe me for the day
~ Straightened out my order for the Atlanta Journal newspaper
~ Talked to two 5th grade teachers about collaborating on lessons this year!
and finally....
~ Found out I was nominated by one of my colleagues here for our local schools' Teacher of the Year - now need to fill out more paperwork for the next round of nominations.
I also spent a lot of time after school at my sons football practices this week and managed to get into my first accident, a fender bender in the public library parking lot yesterday, no one was hurt but there was some damage to the other car.
So what a week it has been! I am ready for a weekend full of football games (youth football that is). So Go Eagles (my 8 yr old's team) and Go Hawks (my 13 yr old's team).

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Happy New Year!

No, No it's not January 1st, or even Rosh Hashanah, the new SCHOOL year starts tomorrow here in my little piece of Georgia and I always look at the first day of school as a new year, full of possibilities and full of potential. 

Franki at Year of Reading has a great post up about her thoughts/goals for her school library this coming year, it has some great links and great ideas!

This year has started off with me feeling not quite ready and not quite connected. I think the 3-day furlough that our Governor required us to take has something to do with it.  Even though I still came into school on one of the furlough days, our teachers seems to be scrambling and feeling overwhelmed and tired already - and of course those of us that live pay check to pay check are having to figure out how we will live minus the 3 days of pay. There is talk that more furlough days are coming in 2010 and that is making me nervous too.

I do have somethings planned this year that I am excited about - author visits, collaborating with a 5th grade teacher on some great research projects with her students, and a 40th birthday party for the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar (which is the same age as I will turn in October!!) I am looking forward to trying out a Skype author visit (if I can get Skype to work in our school) and also starting a workshop after school for teachers on web 2.0 (this I still have to convince some people on!) I am REALLY looking forward to going to AASL in Charlotte in November with my good friend Tina.  I have never been to an ALA conference so I am very excited about this!

Tomorrow morning I also send my own kids off to a new school year. My oldest is in his last year of middle school (8th grade), my daughter is in her first year of middle school (6th grade) and is quite nervous about it and my youngest is going into 3rd grade at my school.  Having grown up in Massachusetts, it does seem a bit weird to be going back to school in August, when the temps are still in the 90's here! Afternoon bus duty tomorrow is gonna be HOT!

I will leave you with a quote from one of my favorite movies of all time, You've Got Mail  

"Don't you just love fall in New York it makes me want to buy school supplies"- Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail. 


Monday, August 3, 2009

Wordle

Been meaning to try this all summer, finally getting around to playing with it - 
check out my first attempt


Wordle: media center

trying to print it, but having trouble, wonder if it is one of those things that is not totally compatible with Safari?

Music & Science - Don't worry Be Happy!

I found this great video at Dr. Tim Tyson's blog,  Practical Practice. I love that Bobby McFerrin - the Don't Worry Be Happy guy is at a science conference!


World Science Festival 2009: Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale from World Science Festival on Vimeo.

I am off to get a little work done at school - I should be sitting in a meeting right now at school, but today and tomorrow are our furlough days. I am lucky that my principal has opened our building, the bad news is, the a/c is off - so I won't be there long!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Getting Ready..

I have spent the last few days at school, ordering supplies, moving furniture and starting to think about lessons and plans for the upcoming year. I love being at school when it is fairly quiet, I get SO much done, but I really can't wait to have the kids back!

In a follow up to last weeks post about too much technology, I had a technological encounter that made me think that all this technology IS worth it, although maybe in smaller doses.

One of my followers on Twitter gave a @ shout out to one of her followers, someone I did not know, but thought I would check her out. So I followed her (buffyjhamilton) and then when I went to her Twitter page, I noticed she had a blog - so I checked it out and - wow - I found another Georgia Media Specialist. The blog is The Unquiet Librarian , and she has a great blog post up now about how she put together back to school packets for her teachers. Of course this inspired me and although I don't have time to get free stuff from vendors like she did, I am working on getting something similar together for my teachers - so thanks Buffy for the ideas!!

So many of the teachers and librarians I am following on Twitter seem to be using Twitter in schools, even if it is just using it as a networking tool or as a notification tool for parents/students. My problem with this is, Twitter and all social networking tools are blocked on our district servers. While I am glad that Facebook is blocked (would be WAY to tempting for me during the day), I do see the benefit of using Twitter and other social networking sites (Flickr is another one that would be great to use in schools). So how do I go about preaching to the technology powers that be in my district to unblock these sites?

I am thinking of offering a Web 2.0 workshop for some of my teachers - basically just to teach them some basics of blogging, podcasting, what social networks are and how to Tweet, I just don't know how I can do this without access to most of these sites at school.

Back to school tomorrow to work on the studio and make sure all is up and running for the first day of school broadcast!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Well, I guess I should count my blessing that I still have a job...

Last week Sonny Perdue, the Governor of Georgia told school districts that they had to furlough teachers 3 days this year due to the State's money woes.  Some districts are getting by without having to do this, unfortunately my district is not one of them.  

So I can *technically* not go into school Aug 3 & 4th (teacher pre-planning) or on October 9th (a scheduled staff development day), because I will not be paid for those days, but as anyone who has ever worked at a school knows, it takes a lot to get everything ready for the year, and since we still have an open house for the students scheduled on Aug. 6th, I will still be going into school on those days to get things ready to go.

I know things are tight all around and I should be counting my lucky stars that I have a job, but I have seen how much money is WASTED in the public schools.  Just the other day I received from the State a cardboard bookshelf and a box of books that was sent to every elementary school in the State, it was to promote nutrition in our schools, or something like that - I can just imagine how much this cost - and it is something that I will not even put in my media center (well, the bookcase, the books I will add) and don't even get me started on useless technology that has been put into the schools or how much the school districts/State would save if they eliminated some of the mandatory testing that is in place.

I am scared not only for the morale of my work environment but also the attitude of my children's teachers this year.  I know I am MAD about losing money and I can't help but think how it will affect the overall school environment this year. I think if Governor Purdue had announced this in May or June teachers and school districts would have had an opportunity to process the information and maybe make some changes before we had to take the furlough days. To do it just a week before teachers come back to school is just bad planning.

I can't help but wonder what other things will be lost this year due to budget cuts and funding woes.... I have a feeling I will not be ordering too many new books this year, I just hope I can keep the author visit I have planned, because it is going to be FABULOUS!!






Friday, July 24, 2009

Unplugged summer

Well, that statement is not entirely true - but I was without Internet access for most of my 3 week trek through Massachusetts - but right before I left I got a new toy - a Blackberry pearl phone - through which I was able to keep up with my e-mail, Facebook obsession and Twitter, but found it too hard to type whole blog posts - but I am sure with practice I can update the blog too.

Of course while I am somewhat obsessed with this new toy, I do have to wonder if it is all too much. Do I REALLY need to be connected 24 hours a day/7 days a week, even while at the beach?? One of the strangest things I saw this vacation was at Nauset Beach on Cape Cod, the snack bar area had a picnic table set up that had a sign on it that said Free WiFi - I never saw anyone sitting there with their computer, but gee, if you can't unplug at the beach, where can you? I found that even my kids were feeling technology deprived while we were internet-less - especially my 11 year old daughter (she does not have a phone, so texting was out for her, her 13 yr old brother texted to keep up with his friends). I would love to try and go TOTALLY unplugged one weekend, but truthfully, I am really not sure if I could do it.

This got me thinking about how much technology is too much. I have found that I do tend to spend too much time checking Facebook/Twitter/chatting online at night when I used to use that time to read, but then again using my phone to keep up with e-mail and things while sitting at football practice has been a great thing.
On another note, I am scheduled to give the teachers a short talk during pre-planning (which for me starts Aug 3rd) about what is new in the media center and also give them some technology tips that they may be able to use in their classrooms this year. Not sure yet what I am going to talk about - if you have any great websites/equipment that I might want to take a look at please leave a comment!

Even with my Blackberry obsession I did manage to get some reading in over vacation and I think that we really lucked out and had the best 2 weeks that Massachusetts has seen all summer (it is raining there today - again!). Here are some pictures from our trip.

on the boat going to Martha's Vineyard



Gay Head Cliffs, Martha's Vineyard


Tall ships, Boston Harbor

Jason Varitek up at bat, Fenway Park

Monday, June 22, 2009

Technology & Schools

A podcast that I listen to - Manic Mommies - was part of an event at WGBH, the PBS affiliate station in Boston, about our digital nation.  Today the Mommies posted a video link from PBS about technology in schools and the video highlights two specific schools and how technology is changing the way they teach their students. I really like what this video is saying - use technology to enhance your lessons and give kids real world skills.

I tend to think that  my school district has a lot of technology, but I think the thing that my district misses the boat on is teaching the students REAL WORLD applications.  I think that our kids should be in the computer lab doing typing programs/games in 1st grade. I think the kids should be learning and practicing how to use word processing programs, spreadsheets and multimedia programs.  A perfect example of this is my district spends a lot of money on broadcast studios in every school, and they are great, except that instead of giving us a multimedia computer with programs like Adobe Premier (or better yet a MAC) they give us an expensive editing system.  The system is hard to use and it is something that the average student (or teacher for that matter) would not have access to at home. It's a great system for a high school, not so much for an elementary school.  Let me teach them how to edit simple video using Windows movie maker (which every PC running Windows comes with) and maybe get a little more advanced with something like Adobe Premier, something they could purchase easily for their home computer.  

I think that schools the schools who find ways in integrate technology using real world applications and that use technology to enhance lessons instead of using technology just to use technology will be the schools that will succeed. Of course the other part to this technology puzzle is training teachers and giving the teachers time and resources to use the technology with their students.  

Well that is enough thinking today... it is hot and sunny here in Atlanta and I think my neighborhood pool is calling...




Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summer.. just a flying by....

I can't believe that the kids got out of school 4 WEEKS ago - between my kids activities that were still going on (dance, baseball, both of which FINALLY ended this week) and some school things I had to take care of (all day science committee planning meeting, two days of trouble shooting with the county people to get my broadcast studio back up and running etc..) I feel like summer has just barely begun and now there is really only 5 weeks left to enjoy some carefree days.  On July 27th the kids activities start back up and I have to start getting into work mode again - sigh - I was once a stay at home mom for a few years and during that time I realized that I am not very good at the "staying home" part, and I do love my job, but it sure is nice to have this time off! I have read quite a few adult books this summer but I still have a large STACK of kid books to tackle, I am thinking I will get started on those this week!

This is what I was up to this weekend - 
This is my daughter and I at our dance recital this weekend! Who says librarians are old and stuffy!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Scholastic & Junk

Ever since I worked my first book fair as a media center volunteer I have been aware of the "junk" on the fair. Those little trinkets like erasers, pencil sharpeners, fuzzy pens (that NEVER work) and the like.  As a media specialist I have been known to "hide" in the back, BOXES of this junk.  Well now teachers are trying to organize a fight with Scholastic.  In an article in Monday's USA Today, the group Campaign for a Commercial free Childhood is starting a petition for Scholastic to get rid of the junk and get back to the books.

As a former marketing person, I do know that Scholastic makes their money on this junk - and in turn WE make more money on our book fair from the purchase of said junk - BUT, as the group is asking, is it right?

Like I said above, I have long hidden boxes of junk during the fair, I make decisions on what I feel comfortable putting out and what I think needs to be left in the boxes, just like any "store owner" would.  I also have made a deal with my Scholastic Rep (The FANTASTIC Tammi Brown) that on my fall fair I get it all, but on my spring fair I only get books and also a handful of bookmarks and pencils (we cannot give change for a check so sometimes if parents have written the check out for a specific amount we have to add a few of these to make the purchase total the check amount.)

In my area there is not much choice in the book fair market, I have used other companies before, but for what I want/need, Scholastic meets my needs. SO no, I won't be canceling my fair in protest, I will keep on doing what I have done for six years and maybe the result of this petition will be, I will have less boxes of junk to hide next book fair!


Monday, June 1, 2009

New post up at my school blog (about author Laurel Snyders book party tonight!)

I am trying to get through a pile of adult books that have been collecting dust, but I am hoping to get to my kids book pile soon! I am taking a quick trip to Boston this weekend, kid free, so I can't wait for 2.5 hours of uninterrupted reading time on the plane!

We have been on summer break not even a week yet, and I am now listening to my 8yr old son sing to me "My mamma hates me, she hates me very much".. this is in response to the fact that I won't get up and make him a 2nd breakfast (he didn't like his 1st of homemade french toast). 

Gotta love summer! 



Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Any Which Wall

just want to give a plug to Laurel Snyder's new book, which came out YESTERDAY - Any Which Wall.

I am going to pick up my copy today, so I don't have a review, but I will!  

See all the details on Laurel's Blog here and then go pick yourself up a copy.

Oh and if you are in the Atlanta area, I will see YOU at the book party at Little Shop of Stories on Monday at 4pm - you KNOW it will be sure to rain here... again.. so what else do you have to do??


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

hmm.. not sure if I will be ordering this book

My new favorite book blogger - Lori over at Get in the Game alerted me to the organization Daddy's Hero's - an organization dedicated to bringing families together through the stories of baseball and sports- how COOL is that - well or so I thought, until I went over and saw their newest book - "The '86 Mets, Buckner and the Bambino" - as most Red Sox fans will remember, that day/video of Billy Buckner will live on in history forever- every time I see it (and who hasn't seen it, it is on EVERY World Series highlight clip show EVER produced since 1986!) I cringe just a little (the same could be said for the Bucky "effin" Dent homer too).

In all seriousness, I think this is a great idea for an organization and look forward to checking out some of their titles - now if they could just write one about the 2004 World Series, then I might be happy!

MY last day

I am getting ready to head into school for MY last official day.  Of course I will have to go in over the summer to do a few things, one thing on my list is to spend a day trying to figure out the new equipment they dumped in my TV studio this spring ("they" being the county I work in) but otherwise I am not obligated to enter this building until August!!

I have a post up at my school blog, check out the video, I found it on a blog I read, I love the expressions the kids use while singing!

And in weather news, if it does not stop RAINING here in GA I might go insane!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

180 days

Today is the 180th day of the 2008-2009 school year, which also means it is the LAST DAY of school for students - woohoo!

As I end my second year in public school I am reflecting on what we did in the media center this year... here are some highlights:

* Had author Laurel Snyder come in and have a lunch & learn with a special group of 4th graders
* Had illustrator Michael White give presentations to all 1100 of our students (PTA arranged & paid for this)
* Had FABULOUS author visits with Deborah Wiles (grades 3-5) and Nina Laden (grades K-2)
* had two fairly successful book fairs, which in this economy, I was quite surprised at!
* had an AWESOME used book fair, where we raised $500 for the local Children's Hospital
* helped to host our school's annual Polar Express Night
* did countless story times and research lessons to students - my favorite story times of the year had to be Make Way for Ducklings and Boo Bubbles. Oh and we did send letters to the President and to Mo Willems (we've heard back from Mo, still waiting on Mr. President!!)

So now I have time to bask in the sun and hang by the pool - well sorta - I am *hoping* to get some good planning in - since so many grade levels hear my story times I try not to repeat too often, so I try come up with new things every year - and sometimes (well, most weeks...) that means I am barreling through Target or WalMart on a Sunday night looking for the materials I need for the storytime project I will be doing with 300+ kids that week - not the wisest use of time or money (in most cases, MY money). BUT as always, I am sure the summer will go too fast, my boys are still playing baseball (does it EVER END I ask) and my daughter and I still have a dance recital to get ready for. I have a STACK of books I can't WAIT to get my nose into and I have a few author events that I can't wait to get to too - (Laurel's book party at LSOS on June 1st - can't can't wait!!).

Happy last day of school!!


*

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Summer reading

School here in my neck of the woods officially ends a week from today - well for the students anyway and I have been busy telling my students about my summer reading program - which really is just putting together reading incentive program from the local library, Barnes & Noble and Scholastic together in a brochure and offering the students a treat from me when they get back to school in August if they participate in at least 2 of the programs.

To check out my program, check out my school blog (which I have ignored since October... I'll try to do better next year...)

I already have a STACK of books I want to read this summer and a list of projects a mile long -but first, we still have baseball games and dance recitals to get to - hopefully after June 15th I can get some good summer fun going! But for now, our neighborhood pool opens this weekend - I see some poolside reading in my future!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Used Book Sale


Today was our 2nd annual used book sale in the media center.

One of the reasons I love working with children is that once in a while, you come across a really special kid - a 5th grader here, Hannah is just that kind of kid. She came to our Principal last year with an idea to hold a used book sale and have the proceeds go to our local children's hospital, she had a friend who had a cousin who was being treated for cancer and she just had to do something.

Well, we decided to do it again this year and again have the money go to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta - my family has used this hospital many times, so it is a place to close to my heart and they are AWESOME!
We had a TON of books donated this year, but didn't seem as busy for the purchasing this morning, so I am going to hold the sale over until Monday, hopefully many of these books can find good homes. We are selling the books for .50 for paperbacks and $1.00 for hardbacks. I will find a place to donate the books we have left over. As Martha Stewart says "It's a good thing"






Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Take me Out to the Ball Game!

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know I am a baseball fan -ok ,well, I am a RED SOX fan, but also a baseball mom (both my boys play... ALOT of baseball), a baseball book fan and recently I became a fan of our new minor league team, the Gwinnett Braves (whose stadium happens to be around the corner from my school!)

Well I recently heard about a few programs that combine baseball and reading - what could be better, I ask??

Kevin Youklis, first baseman of the Boston red Sox (YOUK!) has teamed up with New England Mobile Book fairs to offer a reading incentive program as part of his charity, Kevin Youklis Hits for Kids, called Youk's Kids Reading group. You can sign up on the website and every member gets a $5 gift certificate on their birthday to spend at New England Mobile Book fairs. There is also an essay contest, which you could win lunch with Kevin (how COOL!!). Thanks to Terry at Reading Tub for the link.

Speaking of Red Sox'a players - if you live in Massachusetts your kids can get into summer reading by participating in the Mass. Teachers Association's Red Sox Reading Game. The spokesperson for this program is none other than Sox catcher, Jason Varitek, who just happens to live not far from me (hello, Jason, wouldn't you like to come read to some enthusiastic baseball fans during the off season... we're not far from your house.... give me a call...ok). The program is run through Massachusetts schools, and the cool thing is, winners can take their teacher to a Red Sox game - my aunt went with one of her students last year and she said it was a BLAST!

Now closer to home in Georgia, I saw in an article in our local paper that the Gwinnett braves will be donating tickets to students who participate in the library reading program, I have not seen anything about this on the Gwinnett Braves website, but will keep looking.

Lots of other major and minor league teams have reading incentive programs over the summer, check out the teams website to see what your favorite team is up to this summer.

If you are looking for some new baseball themed books, check out this list of new books from Kids Reads - even though there is a book about the Yankees included, there are some great new books I can't wait to check out this summer!

This just in - go on over to the blog - Get In The Game - Read (this is the blog where Terry/Jen got their Youk info.) Lori is running a contest to win a new Babe Ruth book by David Kelly. Go on over and check it out, enter the contest, but be forwarned - I am planning on winning the contest - ha ha ha...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sign of the Times

I received an e-mail this morning from a vendor I have used for years, World Almanac Education is going out of business (and if you are in the market for some research materials, their stock is now 60% off!) I mainly bought almanacs and almanac kits from them and I am guessing that between the economy and the Internet, school and libraries are just not purchasing sets of almanacs anymore. I ordered a set of encyclopedias this year and I am wondering if this will be my LAST purchase of a print set of encyclopedias - I guess time will tell.

A few weeks ago I noticed that another independent book store that I have loved had bite the dust - Armchair bookstore in Dennis, Ma (on Cape Cod) had been a mainstay in my summer vacation for years and I was so sad to see that they had closed this winter. They always had some great book signing during the summer and I loved to browse their shelves. I discovered the Beacon Street Girls series there one summer and they always had a great selection of local books by New England authors. If I was in a different place in my life I would LOVE to buy the store and live on the Cape full time, but I guess it will have to wait.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hall of Fame

I am on a roll with the hall of fame inductees this year! One of my FAVORITE Red Sox players, Jim Rice, finally got himself into the Baseball HOF, and now the inaugural class of inductees into the Indies Choice Picture Book Hall of Fame* are none other than 3 of my ALL TIME favorites - Make Way for Ducklings (see post below), Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (if you have read this blog, you know how I feel about MO) and Where the Wild Things Are (my 1st attempt at blogging was named after this book!)

Now if Bon Jovi could just be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of fame......

Hope it is nice and sunny and warm where you are today - it is summer weather here in Atlanta and it feels FABULOUS!

*thanks to Mo Willems for alerting me of this news!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Virtual Field Trip - Make Way For Duckings

This week my story time is Make Way For Ducklings the classic I talked about in my last post - which, believe it or not, I had already decided to use for story time before the duckling nabbing incident occurred last week.
Anyway, as part of storytime I am doing a google lit trip with the kids - never heard of google lit trips - well, they are virtual field trips using google earth and they are based on classic books and luckily they have one created for Make Way For Ducklings.

Since many of the kids in my school have never been to Boston I thought this was also a way for me to share with them my home state.

The only thing you need to be able to share these with your students is Google Earth loaded onto your computer and a projector so your students can see it. I was having computer issues yesterday (the power went out for 2 hours yesterday at school and my computer did not like that) so last night I made a little imovie at home so I could be sure I had something to show my students today. I used ishow and made a movie of me using the lit trip (clicking on the pictures in google earth and adding in an additional Boston attraction - Fenway Park) and then I saved it to a DVD.

The kids loved it and it led into a discussion about maps (which is part of Kindergarten curriculum).

A NJ Teacher has a great blog post about how she has used this Google Lit trip in a technology classroom.

As an added bonus, I found the perfect hat to wear while reading - my daughter had an old dance costume where she was a disco duck and the yellow feathered hat is perfect to wear while reading the story!







Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Happenings in Beantown

I am in Boston for spring break this week (I know, most people go south for some sun, I just like to be different!) and the big story here this week - one of the ducklings from the statue saluting the classic book Make Way for Ducklings was found missing on Monday. It was the second lead story (after the Red Sox rainout) on the evening news - these people like their ducklings!


But all is better in beantown, the duckling was found yesterday, leaning against a street sign - I am guessing frat prank (and if my husbands fraternity was not now defunk, I would blame the RDO boys from Emerson!)

As a total coincidence - I was planning on using that book for my next storytime - I love the story and for me, growing up around Boston, I love to share the area with my students, many of whom will never make it up this way.

Off to my first Red Sox game tomorrow to celebrate my oldest son's 13th birthday (YIKES, I am now a mom of a teenager!) but first I get to go see author Matt Tavares - author of one of my oldest son's favorite picture books - Zachary's Ball - he happens to be doing an author visit at my aunts school - how cool is that!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Author Visit: Deborah Wiles


Wednesday I was fortunate enough to host author Deborah Wiles in my media center. She came and spoke to some of my 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students. I LOVE doing author visits, especially with authors who have a presentation that really INSPIRES the kids - and Deborah does on so many levels.

She talked to the kids about writing and how she finds inspiration in her own life. She showed the kids slides of her writers notebooks and one of my teachers commented that she LOVED that she showed the kids the lists she makes in the notebooks- this teacher makes the kids do lists for writers workshop and she said the students can never figure out WHY they write lists. The best part of her presentation for me was the very end. She talks about her book Freedom Summer - and while I have always thought that it is a very powerful book, hearing her describe the events that made her write it is... well.. even more powerful, especially for someone who did not grow up in the south in the 1960's.

This author visit also felt like having an old friend come over for a visit. Deborah and I have only met once before this, but she was good friends with author Coleen Salley who I had the pleasure of hosting last year (which was her last school visit before she passed away last fall). During lunch we got to talk and "gossip" as Coleen called it and it was so much FUN!
Here are a few pictures of our day.




My clerk Cindy, Deborah and myself










Monday, March 23, 2009

Library Rants

This weekend on Facebook my daughters dance teacher made a list of questions/comments from parents that she has gotten over the years (if you are a dance teacher or know one, leave a comment and I will forward these) and what she would REALLY like to say to them, but didn’t– they were great and got me thinking of some questions/situations I have been in during the last 6 years in the media center and came up with a few of my own. Alison Morris of the Publishers Weekly Blog Shelf Talker must have been thinking the same thing this weekend and she has a post up about what customers do to make you crazy (and links to some very funny videos)

Here are my top 6 questions I have been asked by parents and responses I WISH I could give (but didn’t).

Suzy lost her library book so we just bought this one at Borders to replace it, it was cheaper than the $15 you were asking us for.
Well gee, the book you lost was a library bound, hard cover book that had been labeled and bar-coded for our library – what you brought me was a paperback of the book – NOT THE SAME THING!

Alice brought home Harry Potter yesterday from the library and we just don’t read things like that around our house, so can you make sure she doesn’t check it out again or any other book like that and make sure she checks out appropriate books.
Of course, I will make sure to check on every book little Alice checks out and I am SURE that you and I see eye to eye on what is appropriate for your 3rd grader to read – may I suggest Lolita as her next book….

Johnny is a VERY advanced reader for kindergarten, can you make sure he ONLY checks out books on a 5th grade level.
I think it is great that Johnny is such an advanced reader, but since he still sucks his thumb while he is in here for story time I am not sure he will do well reading Old Yeller – spoiler alert – the dog dies.

I know you said the absolute last date to turn in the reading forms was a week ago, but I just forgot, so can you let Jane take part in the reading celebration, thanks.
Sure, I just put a random date on there for no reason – I have spent 5 hours figuring out a schedule that works for all the teachers and has the appropriate number of kids in each celebration, what’s one or two or 15 more.

Hannah read the book she bought at the book fair last night, it must be too easy for her, so she wants to return it and get another one.
Oh, sorry, I didn’t realize I had quit my job in the media center and gone to work at Wal Mart. Because of this question I now have a HUGE sign saying there are NO RETURNS at the book fair.

So, you REALLY need a degree to do your job??
No, the $20,000 and 2 years I spent in grad school to get my library science degree was just for fun. You know, all I do all day is read stories to kids, that’s it – the books magically appear on the shelves, the 5th graders teach themselves research skills and the book fair just appears one night in the media center – we think the fairies are to blame, I can see why you are wondering WHY I need a degree in library science to do my job.

I feel better now!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Where is Bono?

One of my FAVORITE bands (after Bon Jovi, of course) is U2 and to promote their new album they played a FREE concert this week at the Somerville Theatre in Somerville, MA (just outside Boston and coincidentally the theatre is next door to where my Dad works) - so what's this got to do with children's lit - well Publishers Weekly reports that Candlewick Press's offices, which are also just down the street from the theatre, had a little display in their office windows and a contest welcoming Bono and crew.

This is from the PW article:

"For every person photographed in Davis Square with Waldo on the day of the concert, Candlewick will donate one book to the charity of U2’s choice. For every band member photographed with Waldo, they offered to donate 1000 books. Candlewick didn't contact U2 directly, but it was hard to miss the bespectacled children's book character roaming the neighborhood, or the attention local media gave both the windows and the literacy offer.

How cool - I knew U2 was in town and playing in Somerville (my Dad's bank actually had to close early because they were closing the streets in Davis Square) but I didn't realize there was a bookish twist! U2 guitarist the Edge sent a photo of himself and Waldo into Candlewick and they will be donating 1250 books to a Somerville charity in U2's honor.

and just in time for St Patrick's day!