#imwayr It’s Monday! What are you reading?! 12.15.14

What Are You Reading? was first hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. If you’d rather follow folks who are reading books for grown ups, you should follow her Monday meme. I am  participating in the kidlit version of this meme (although sometimes I actually read books for grown ups).

I’m back on track! I have a big stack from the public library to get me through the next few weeks…

In print: I finished The Meaning of Maggie by Sovern yesterday. SO GOOD! Please read this book! Last night I started The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Zevin. I’m only a few pages in, but I’m thinking I will like it very much. Zevin is the author of one of my most favorite books ever – Elsewhere (another one that everyone should read) and I’ve heard only good things about Fikry, so we’ll see.

Listening to: I’ll Give You The Sun by Nelson Started this one on Friday, so I’m not too far into it – I like it so far though. It is about a set of 13 year old twins who have some family drama.

What are you reading?


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#imwayr It’s Monday! What are you reading?! 12.8.14

What Are You Reading? was first hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. If you’d rather follow folks who are reading books for grown ups, you should follow her Monday meme. I am  participating in the kidlit version of this meme (although sometimes I actually read books for grown ups).

I missed posting last week! That’s okay though, because I have a confession – I’m not really reading anything right now! It happens to the best of us…I’m reading magazines at mealtimes and that’s about it. I’m in a rut. I’ve picked up a few books, but nothing has captured my attention. I plan to go through my Goodreads today and put some things on hold. Stay tuned…

What are you reading and what do you suggest I pick up next?


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2014 – 2015 Week 16

WOW! It has been a BUSY week!

The beginning of the week was spent with 5th graders doing research about countries. They are getting ready for Immigration Station. The first day of research, we focused on print resources and on the second day, we focused on digital resources. I had them use CultureGrams in DISCUS to find what they could not find in the books. After they complete their research, they are going to create a presentation for their class and we are going to simulate coming to America at our Immigration Station on Tuesday – an excellent idea that I borrowed from my friend, Betsy Long…you can read about how we did it last year at the link above.

With my Kindergarten classes, I started reading gingerbread man stories. This lesson will take me through to Winter Break. During this first lesson, I retold the gingerbread man story using props (a story basket) and then read The Gingerbread Bear by Robert Dennis. We talked about how there are lots of different gingerbread stories out there and I told them that we would be reading a few of them in the library and in their classroom during the upcoming weeks. After reading The Gingerbread Bear, they checked out and went to a center. There are three centers, so they will visit a different one each week. The centers are:

*Bake and decorate a gingerbread cookie using the Gingerbread Fun! app on the iPad

*Decorate a cookie and listen to the Gingerbread Man story on Starfall.

*Decorate and cut out a bookmark shaped like a gingerbread man.

On Tuesday, we had a group of kids from the high school come to the library to kick off Hour of Code. We will be doing Hour of Code lessons for our students during the actual Hour of Code Week (December 8 – 14), but the high school kids gave us a good taste of what’s to come! 4th and 1st graders came in to check out what they have been learning in their Computer Programming classes.

Wednesday was an early release day for our students, which meant it was LEAD Time day! LEAD Time is an hour long “club” that students select. My LEAD Time is Maker Time! and we made cards that light up with copper tape and LED lights – like this. Cool!

On Friday, I presented to our district librarians and Technology Integration Specialists about what we are doing at my school for Makerspaces. I gave them a little background information and then they explored centers. The centers were:

*100 Item Structures/Explore Makerspace – This was 2 centers rolled into one. At 100 item structures, they had stuff (cups, legos, toothpicks, etc.) to free build with. I plan to use this in January for Makerspace Moments, since the 100th day of schools falls in January. Folks spent 10 minutes at this area and then used the rest of the time to explore our Makerspace. We put out a lot of the cool stuff we have been able to purchase (Snap Circuits, MakeyMakey, Squishy Circuits) for them to take a look at.

*Debbie Jackson from Pelion High School – Debbie is a librarian in my district doing Makerspaces at the high school level, and she spoke to people about what she was doing at the high school level.

*3D Printing – I stayed at this area with a couple of students who told folks about the 3D printer and how we use it at NPES. The students showed off Tinkercad, which is the online software we use to create items we print on the printer and answered questions from the LMS and TIS.

Since it was the first week in December, I also sent out our December Learning Commons Newsletter and switched out our spotlight for Makerspace Moments. This month’s focus is Toy Take Apart (idea from Tinkering Studio). I got a few toys from Goodwill and cut off the skin so that you can see the mechanics underneath. The other areas they can explore are making Christmas ornaments using a variety of materials and make something using perler beads.

AND, as if my school week wasn’t crazy enough, I threw a surprise party for my husband on Saturday for his 40th birthday. I must say that after my errands that I need to get done today, I will be SO happy to rest on my couch before another crazy week starts! I also must say that this week was super crazy, but I couldn’t have done it without HELP. My computer lab teacher and my media assistant have both been amazing in helping me get ready for these lessons and events. And, we aren’t done yet! ;)

How was your week?!


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2014 – 2015 Week 15

Two day week!

Thanksgiving is Thursday, so we are out of school Wednesday – Friday…I give THANKS for that!

These last two days went by in a flash. Our school hosted its annual STEM Safari, which is a two day long event. There are different STEM-related activities each day. It is planned by a committee that I am on, so I am fairly involved in the activities. My biggest responsibility these past two days was hosting Dr. Doug in our Learning Commons and helping classes with a QR Code Scavenger Hunt. Both activities happened at the same time (between 8am – noon each day), so my assistant helped with Dr. Doug and I helped with the Scavenger Hunt. Each event went well, I think…there are always things to tweak for the next time, but there was a lot of learning and students were having a lot of fun…that’s what’s important!

I did have a Kindergarten class on Monday. In honor of Thanksgiving, I read The Ugly Pumpkin by Horowitz.  After reading the book, we talked about our feelings and moods. After checking out a library book, they drew a picture of a squash (or pumpkin or gourd) depicting some mood. Under the picture, they had to write what the squash was feeling. We had, “I am the happy squash,” “I am the tired squash,” and “I am the hungry squash”…along with a lot of other cute squash. They did a great job.

On Tuesday, the Related Arts teachers worked together to do Team Building exercises with classes, so we did not see our class that day – we saw them all! I helped with a lego activity. There was also an activity in the gym where kids had to try to make it across the gym using materials like a hula hoop, rope, etc. There was some great team work going on!

That was my short school week! Now, I’m looking forward to the rest of the week to watch parades, rest and EAT! What are your Thanksgiving plans?

Gobble, Gobble!


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#imwayr It’s Monday! What are you reading?! 11.24.14

What Are You Reading? was first hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. If you’d rather follow folks who are reading books for grown ups, you should follow her Monday meme. I am  participating in the kidlit version of this meme (although sometimes I actually read books for grown ups).

In Print: Keeping Safe the Stars by O’Connor. Another South Carolina Children’s Book Award nominee. I’m not too far into it, but I like it. Another story about kids who are having to take care of themselves…there are a few books like that on our list this year!

Listening to: Still reading Dark Places by Flynn. It gets better the more you read…

What are you reading?


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2014 – 2015 Week 14

This was BOOK FAIR week! Some schools go all out for Book Fair – dress up days, big parent events, lots of decorations…we do not. Don’t get me wrong – I promote, promote, promote (I talk to each class about Book Fair, send home fliers and put information on Facebook and in newsletters) and I stick with the theme for all events we *do* host (Teacher Preview), but I wouldn’t say I go “all out.” Our Book Fair is still successful year after year and we are able to mostly continue other things we do in our library during Book Fair week…not checkout, but I am able to do lessons with classes and other special programming. That stuff is just as important as Book Fair, so I’m happy with our balance. With all that said – here’s what happened this week, in addition to Book Fair!

5th grade Media Technology classes continued working on Google CS First.

I helped a 1st grade class get started with math centers using our iPod Touches.

I presented to our faculty about copyright and other important technology related topics with my TIS. At least, I tried to…we had one of those technology crazy moments where I wasn’t actually able to present what I intended, but we still got the job done, I think.

Two 1st grade classes came in and visited our Moon in My Room. My friend, Mrs. Stepp, at Gilbert Primary School introduced me to this fun item. Our 1st graders LOVED it! We listened to the Moon “tour” on the Uncle Milton website…it kind of felt like we were at a planetarium! Loved it!

The rest of the week/time was dedicated to Book Fair! The Book Fair is all packed up now and ready to go…we have a short (but busy) two day week ahead…the holiday season is here!

How was your week?

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SQUASH Story Time!

For this month’s theme, we read about SQUASH!

  • The nametags were squash shaped.
  • I did not really have a special playlist that they listened to. Just regular library music. There aren’t a lot of songs about squash out there.
  • We read one of my newest favorites, Sophie’s Squash by Miller. After reading the book, we learned a little bit more about how squash grow (we watched this really cool time lapse video about squash). I also brought in a butternut squash that I had decorated to look like Bernice. We passed it around talked about if we thought it was the perfect size for a friend.
  • I read The Ugly Pumpkin by Horowitz (another fav!)
  • We explored various gourds and squash that I brought from the store and they also had a chance to try some yellow squash. I had a couple of brave friends, but not many.
  • I read Mrs. McNosh and the Giant Squash by Weeks
  • Then we made our own Fall Friend, using special supplies I had out like feathers and googly eyes.
  • The snack was mini pumpkin muffins…pumpkins are part of the squash family, after all!

Everyone had a great time!


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