Monday, November 26, 2007
So many more questions about the voting. Currently the voting box is "missing" inside the district because it is blocked. A request has been made to get it open, but no one knows when. So for the time being, voting, if you choose to do so, must take place away from the district.
AND the award managers put out some voting guidelines late today :
Please note that we’ve set the maximum as 50 votes from the one location (as long as it’s an institution - home internet accounts submitting that many votes are being dodgy) as that would seem a reasonable amount of support to garner from your students and peers, and also be in the spirit of things (voting being decided by quality, not quantity).
So… if there are more than 50 votes from one location they all get removed.
...please take a look before enthusiastically jumping into voting mode. One very enthusiastic science teacher about 1/2 a day's drive away who is near & dear to my heart added about 70 votes after school and they were removed before she got home (and she lives across the street from her school!)...she didn't see the informative email before starting!
So, if you are inclined, I appreciate your vote of confidence...I look at your support as support for the things that, as a group, we are all trying to achieve...for the benfit of our most precious resource...our students, our children.
Thank you all.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
I truly hope I have proven to some doubting Thomases and some very uninformed persons that many, many, many blogs, bloggers, and the act of blogging are NOT bad things and deserve to be recognized for their postive contributions to information-sharing and learning.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
I prefer to think of it as one man's treasure to be discovered by masses as they find need for it. I, not being the best adapter at all things technological, can see even me using this device...1. because it does appear to a light-weight 2. it doesn't take a computer to make it work 3. it is visual reading (I'm just not into "audio reading," but want all the proper devices available for those who are!) If it is not perfection, then someone will go back to the drawing board until there is the perfect device. How many time did Edison try elements for his perfect light bulb? Aren't we glad others improved upon the "horseless carriage" or I would have gotten really wet on my rainy drive back home today and would not have had my posse (of singers on CD) riding with me.
Bezos said that color was being worked on as he spoke...I hope that means that pictures (covers and other artwork) won't too long in comg?
Here are some releases, reviews, and blog posts regarding the Kindle. Take a look and see for yourself whether this is a good thing...or not. The specs are below.
Blue Skunk Blog 1
Blue Skunk Blog 2
What I Learned Today --go down into the post to "Next, as I mentioned yesterday..."
The Library Stream
ALA Tech Source
Newsweek release (cover article will be out on the 27th)
if:book discusses the Newsweek article...the future of reading
if:book some thoughts on the pricing (yes, it is outta my league, but most of technology is outta my league price-wise...you outta see just how old my cell phone is..my kids call it the brick!) they still sold out in hours and with no opportunity to "kick the tires!"
NYTimes old article but does comparison with other devices
If nothing else, please watch at least some the interview...it is a 57-minute feast of enthusiasm.
You might catch some of the fever!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Put in the URL of your blog, your website, your "whatever you use or read" and find out the reading level. No explanation as to what is measured, etc. But hey, this is just for fun, remember!
Now I have to assess...did I intend to be so "scholarly"?
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I know every librarian, every teacher, every person has these same life lessons that ultimately come together to give us the reason we do what we do...and why the minutia that seems to overwhelm us almost to the breaking point truly D-O-E-S-N-O-T matter in the long run.
For me (on the short list)...
...the kid who came regularly to get book tape to hold his shoes together (and I will have to live with the fact that I did not put him in the car and take him some place to get new ones),
...the tall lanky AV (pre-PC days--yes, some of us worked in the Dark Ages) whiz kid who could fix anything for me as long as I had a hammer who first brought me his baby sister to meet and, later, his own child,
...the day the ESL kids and I bonded over The Polar Express and the chocolate bells that we all could hearing ringing...we could! Just ask them!
...the group of girls I convinced to read This Place Has No Atmosphere for their science fiction assignment by saying if I liked it, they would, and they did! and a special thanks to Paula Danzinger for writing it so all of us non-sci-fi readers could have a fun experience while completing our assignment. And to all the sci-fi followers who shared all their favorites with me so I could pass them on to others. You filled the empty spot in my genre wheel!
...the student assistant who had such art talent and made me the circus train for my desk out of construction paper that I kept until it crumbled because she had no money for Christmas presents and we had had such a wonderful time over some book about circus trains...I can't remember the book or much of the incident itself, but I remember the train...and I remember her.
...the all-too quiet student assistant that all of us should have paid more attention to remembering the old saying that still waters run deep, sometimes very, very darkly deep...there were no signs then and when there were, it was too late.
...and my students-- my assistants and my readers/researchers who are now my colleagues...I have been to their weddings, held their children, and one in particular spent many wonderful hours with her and HER students. They all taught me well.
...and who would have thought some of the surprises of this job have to do with my adult "students"...the people who for a variety of reasons allow me to share a bit of knowledge with them and together we take each other to a new place, a new adventure, a new...
...and ALL the kids who told me time and time again "that was the BEST book I ever read, give me another one!" It was magic, that's what it was, that is what it is...the right book at the right time for the right kid for the right reason that makes it all work...no formula, just magic.
gosh, I looked back once more at the original article and I'm not sure I followed it's list exactly...but for me, these are the things, no, the people that they did not teach me about in library school, but boy, o, boy am I glad I learned from them.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
In reading about this event, I found an interesting tidbit about the poster that was issued in the early 1920s. A librarian was known to cut off the bottom of the poster because the books were scattered all over the floor and she felt that was a bad message to be sending her young patrons!
Although some folks in my sphere of influence don't believe it, I do enjoy children's books...especially ones with colorful illustrations and clever, humorous text. Every year our district holds a book exhibit of publishers' review books so that librarians and others can make selections to add to the campus library collections. There is always a title or two that jumps out and catches everyone's attention. We have a great time laughing over the book and sharing it with each other.
The book that seem to catch everyone's eye in 2006 was How to be a Pirate by Melinda Long. David Shannon's artwork reminded me so much of one my favorite nonsense songs, Ray Steven's The Pirate Song, that I enjoyed the book even more.
Then while working with some teachers recently, I realized this delightful book AND a companion title Pirates Don't Change Diapers are also available as e-books through TumbleBooks. If you are lucky enough to have this database, you can enjoy these two stories read aloud with fun music thrown in! There is even a little game available through TumbleBooks that comes from the original title.
Wouldn't it be a great lead-in to a "how-to" essays or even "how-to" speeches in high school? !!
This year's choice for group funny book was 17 Things I'm Not Allowed To Do Anymore written by Jenny Offill and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. I think the group consensus was that the funniest illustration was where the mischievous little girl stapled her brothers hair to the pillowcase. I do have to admit that a close second for me was the fly in the ice cube although that would be pretty gross if it were played on me!
And yes, I see writing prompt ideas with this one, too. don't you?
Another way I get to run into great books is through the librarians around me who are always sharing great titles. When a colleague put out a call for some book ideas for a presentation, she shared one that just hit my funnybone so much, it made me howl with laughter! Chicks and Salsa! Is that not just the greatest title? Written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Paulette bogan, it is about the farm animals and a fiesta of good eats. It is so clever and the play-on-word features make it extra special. I loved it at first sight and managed to work it into MY presentation as well! Thanks TH & LP for sharing.
Am I easily entertained? Yup, you bet!
I hope you have a great Children's Book Week and have selected some winners for your kids. Comment and share you ideas!
“A veteran - whether active duty, retired, national guard, or reserve - is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to The 'United States of America', for an amount of 'up to and including myVeteran's Day books can be found at 394.26 in any library that uses Dewey.
life.'” (Author unknown)
This particular holiday is a tad more historical in that is the 25th anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I remember all of the controversy that surrounding the idea and plans of the Memorial, but also remember the immediate acceptance of the site as a very special place. Although I have never had opportunity to visit, I can not look at pictures of or read accounts of the meetings at the Wall without feeling the emotion of the place.
Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam collected by the NY Memorial Commission
The Wall: Images and Offerings from the Vietnam Memorial
The War and the Wall: Service, Sacrifice and Honor
Thursday, November 1, 2007
We took content samples from our subscription databases including Facts on File, Teaching Books, Tumblebooks, Discovery Education videostreaming and worked in PowerPoint. Not that we produced slideshows, but we looked at how users can use visuals...be they clipart, photos, maps, etc. and manipulate them for use in PPTs and other things. The participants also found out how easy it is to download and use pieces of videostreaming.
One of the things I also emphasize in this type of staff development is to look "outside the box"... think about how a historical photo can be used to teach word meanings or use a science video to explain a particular idiom. And my favorite part...using picture books to introduce a concept or ideas for end products the students can create themselves!
Another idea that came out was that by including lots of visuals and silly bits of video, a teacher will have captured the attention of his or her students so that even MORE learning can take place. Our kids are visual learners these days and it is a shame not use as much "stuff" as possible.
And yes, we had an oops moment...something to always expect when working with technology. You gotta learn to roll with the punches. What was our oops?...the screen shot I made would NOT paste to the PPT so we could manipulate it. That was a first for me! But that's ok..we still practiced with the crop tool and the grouping technique and turned our "pretend" screen shots into the weirdest new bird---a wingless chicken with a Sphinx head! Names anyone?
One other thing I did...I challenged the group to "play" 15 minutes a day...mess around in an online resource, play with PPT tools, READ blogs (yep---showed them the blogroll!), but do SOMETHING with technology or explore an online resource EVERY day. Sounds simple enough, but I know...even 15 minutes will be hard to squeeze out of the days of most of these people...their plates are very full...but it WILL be worth it...they will benefit...and more importantly, so will their students!
How did we end this action-packed day? Animoto of course!
(I can't get it to embed!!)
I hope some of the participants will share their classroom ideas here in the comments...
...and you know what else...these things will work with ALL students!