Friday, June 25, 2010

This and That

It's summer, so not much going on library wise, so though I would share some other links.

Last weekend we spend the weekend in Panama City Beach, Florida (my very FIRST trip to the gulf!) for my son's baseball tournament. On Saturday, while we were sitting on the beach, a group of men came by us with blue latex gloves on, picking up things on the beach, they were looking for tar balls from the gulf oil spill and were finding small tar balls on the beach. A few minutes later a woman came out of the water and her float had small patches of oil on the side that had been in the water. I never thought that the oil spill would touch me, but it just goes to show you how HUGE of an impact this disaster is going to have on our whole country.
In other news, take a look at this blog post by Lisa Adams about the book If You Knew Suzy: a Mother, a Daughter, a Reporters Notebook by Katherine Rosman- I already had this book on my to read list, but after reading her post, I think I am going to take a trip to the book store tonight to pick it up!
This week I traveled to Massachusetts by car with two of my kids and my Dad - my Dad is awesome - who else would take a week off from his high pressure job as a bank CFO and fly down to Atlanta, travel with us to see his grandson's baseball tournament in Florida, help me try and fix my toilet (then buy me a new one when the fix didn't work) then drive 2 days, 1000 miles back to Massachusetts with me but my Dad. While we were at my house this week we had a great conversation about social media - it turns out that a mommy podcast that I listen to (Manic Mommies) is produced/hosted by a woman (@kristinsb) who helps run her families bank marketing firm in Massachusetts. She and I had a twitter exchange a few weeks back about my Dad and banking - I told my Dad this and as it turns out he has been trying to bring in some social media to his bank - which is one of the things she has done presentations on a bank conferences. I loved this "6 degrees of separation" conversation we had and that even though we are in totally different businesses, that I could turn him on to how social media works!
And to all my librarian friends who are traveling to the ALA Annual conference in Washington, DC or to the ISTE conference in Denver - safe travels and know that I am SOO jealous of all of you, maybe next year I will get to one of these great conferences!
Well, I am off to go swimming with my kids and my 2 year old niece Lilly, who is just the cutest little girl EVER!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Year in Review 2009-2010

High School media GODDESS Buffy Hamilton inspired me to create an Animoto video about my year in the media center. I had never used Animoto before, but thought it looked cool so I thought I would give it a whirl. I learned a few things, mainly, if you have more pictures/text than the song you choose allows, it just cuts out whatever it didn't have time for (so I had to choose a new song). The text tool is VERY limiting, so I ended up having to abbreviate a lot. Also, wish I had taken more pictures during the year- I am VERY cautious about putting students in anything I post on here, but looking back, I wish I had some more pictures of students engaged in activities in the media center.

Since this is my first attempt at any kind of annual "report" I think now I will know what I need to save/document for next year. Of course, Animoto is blocked in our county, so I will have to send this as an attachment so that my administration can take a look at it. I know that my Principal knows what I do, but I think it can't hurt to have it documented, especially with these trying financial times.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

You're Never too old...

photo by Sean McCarthy, Twisted River Productions

This weekend was my daughters (she's the one in green) 9th dance recital (8th year at her current studio, North Georgia Dance & Music Factory) and, if I can be a mom for a minute, she ROCKED IT! She got a lot of compliments this weekend of how much she has improved and I am one proud mama.

Adult tappers (I'm 3rd from the right)

BUT it was also MY recital too - I dance in an adult tap class at the studio - I have a lot of fun and get to partake in my first love - dance (I danced most of my young life until college,marriage,babies got in the way!) I love the reaction that I get from students who see me at the recital all dressed up in my costume and rocking it onstage - I love that they are seeing that you are never too old to do what you love and to try new things (although tap is not a new thing for me). Of course this lesson is a great one that my web 2.0 students are learning this summer, many of them are coming out of their comfort zone and trying new things - and I am SOO proud of them! Check out some of their blogs:

It is one HOT day here in the ATL, stay cool my friends!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Book Whisperer

I want to move to Texas so that my kids can have Donalyn Miller as a 6th grade teacher (ok, so two of my kids would have to repeat 6th grade, but it might be worth it...). If you don't know who she is...why not?? She is a 6th grade teacher, author of The Book Whisperer and from where I'm sitting, a FABULOUS teacher.

Check out her latest post about what her students read this year, it BLOWS MY MIND that the average number of books read in her class this year was 57 - WOW.

So ever since I read her book I have asked myself the question, as a librarian, how can I spark that kind of interest in books with the students??

I started doing book talks on the announcements... that helped a little. I try and "hand sell" a book (which I think is one of Donalyn's most successful methods in getting her kids to read) but with 950 students, this is SO hard for me to do with every student. I have a reading program, but I KNOW it does not generate the excitement that I would like to see, and I still haven't figured out what would generate that READING excitement that obviously Donalyn generates in her classroom.

These are the things I think about all summer long, hoping that the light bulb will go off - I'm still waiting....

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Feeling Summer!

I am sitting here reading my "students" blogs from my web 2.0 course and I am already SOO proud of these ladies - some of them are coming out of their comfort zone to take this course and it is SO great to see them embrace the technology that I love so much!

My daughter has her annual dance recital this weekend and so we have been listening to the same 5 songs all week that she will be dancing to this weekend - this one brings me back to the 80's - when I thought the B52's were so funny and never in a MILLION years thought that someday I would be "heading down the Atlanta highway" everyday. This song just SCREAMS summer and makes you want to dance!! Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Summer is here!!

photo by APDK via Flickr
Well it has been a week since the kids have left school, a few days since I left school for the summer and already, I am sunburned (from the Braves afternoon game I went to today) and have yet to put a toe in our neighborhood pool (but it does look promising for a pool day tomorrow!) but my exciting summer news is that I am teaching/facilitating an online web 2.0 class this summer.

This web 2.0 journey started earlier this year when my Assistant Principal asked me to come in and explain podcasting to her - when I started going on and on about podcasting, blogs, wikis - she called me a geek and told me that I needed to teach her what I was talking about. It got me thinking to the original 23 things course by Helene Blowers. As I did a little more research I came across Shelley Paul's awesome adaptation for schools, called K12 Learning 2.o. I came up with the idea that I could take these two courses and tweak them a little for our specific school community (after getting permission from the original course facilitators). My administration loved the idea and told me I could offer it to our teachers as a summer course worth 2 PLU's. I expected to get a few people interested, I would have been happy with 5 people, but to my surprise, I now have THIRTEEN teachers taking the class this summer!

We started last week and today I had my first three students start their blogs (and they look great!) This is an online course, but since it is offered just to teachers in my school I will be available for tutoring sessions, either in person or remotely by phone/email or google chat. If this goes well I am hoping I can offer it to media specialists in our county and other teachers at our school.

Of course, as with most of the things I take on, it took me a lot more time to get everything up and running, but I think that (or hope that) the people who are taking the course get something out of it and at the very least, be more comfortable using technology in their classroom.

Well, it is time to do one of my favorite summer activities - watch 2 hours of So You Think You Can Dance with my daughter!

Happy Summer!!