Monday, August 19, 2013

New books to share with students this fall!

Ready or not, the students are coming back to school tomorrow!  Full of excitement and promise, it is bound to be a great year.  My goal is for it to be a wonderful year inside the media center as well.  How to do this?  Have trending book titles, cutting edge technology, and a welcoming space where students feel at home.
I am in the middle of reading "Boy Nobody", a thriller about a teenage assassin, its full of mystery and intrigue, with the required teen angst and romance thrown in for good measure.  Another mysterious book is "The Brides of Rollrock Island" a story of selkies and witches, told as a cautionary tale full of melancholy and regret, told in lyrical language and with a setting of times gone by. 
These are just two of the new books I plan to share with my students; how about you?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Back to school, are you ready? I am and here's why

It's that time of year, back to school!  How many of us are ready?  We've read professionally, learned new web 2.0 or technology skills to share, and took advantage of the myriad of PD available, live and online.  If you did, good job; now is the time to figure out how to most effectively share this with your teachers.  Will you have a 10 for tech, a ten minute overview of a new tool you have learned?  Or maybe an enticing email teaser, if you plan with me you will find out about .....?  Maybe you are like me and you are a blitz bomber; just bound in to a planning meeting with "Ooohh, look what I have to share with you!  And, I brought candy!"  Whatever your style, remember it is not really professional development unless you use what you've learned.
Here's one great tool I use: Scoop It (  You set up the topics you want searched, and this program culls the Internet for possibilities, puts them together in a magazine-like forum, and delivers it to your email box for you.  You then get to decide what articles/links work for you and you add them to your page.  People can follow you, I think this would be great to collect information for a particular course project.  In the past I have used it for "women in the military" when a student was doing a research project, I have a technology in education page, inquiry in library, and others.  I love that new material is collected and sorted for me; and it also provides a place to save this info so I can find it again!
Any great tools you have discovered this summer? Please share!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

10 on the 10th Picture books for High School use!

I love picture books!  I don't care what grade level I am teaching, it can always be improved with a good picture book.  Here are ten I plan to have in my collection.

10 the 10th  Picture books

While not the newest, it is still a powerful choice with which to begin the school year.  There is certainly power in a book. I love to use the video! Dogs: Churchill and Rufus by Kathryn Selbert

This book shows us several things; the English side of World War II, and the softer side of Winston Churchill.  Every illustrated page includes Churchill’s beloved little poodle.  A great humanizing factor is demonstrated here. Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld

Love this one!  Great on so many levels.  One, how should you use that exclamation point? I love to overuse it, myself.  Could have students writing “books” for other punctuation marks, but I really like the underlying idea of finding your place – should spark great class discussion.

With the three parts to each page like a flip book, Chuck provides an interactive approach to sharing his art, and his disability.  Engaging and inspiring telling of the life challenges Close has had to make, but through it he continues to create art. Monsieur Marceau:  Actor Without Words by Leda Schubert

Did you know he worked in the French Underground during World War II?  He helped to move children to safety; using wordless gestures to show direction.  A very interesting biography, good for looking deeper at what we think we already know. Dark by Lemony Snicket

This is a powerful narrative about something we can all recognize, a fear of the dark.  A great mentor text if you have teachers who ask students to create picture books for a class project.  Of course, I could also love it because it is illustrated by Jon Klassen! A Story from the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole

Done is gray, with black pencil lines, this wordless picture book clearly demonstrates the power of humanity, one person helping others. by I. C. Springman

A fable for our time, this tale told sparsely with words and more with illustration, sends the message “too much stuff”. Sure to spark classroom conversation. Me, I Meant to Do It: False Apology Poems

William Carlos Williams’s famous poem ”This Is Just to Say,”,  models  fun, thought ful poetry  students can create.,TopRight,1,0_SH20_.jpgThe Fox in the Library by Lorenz Pauli

OK, I admit it; this book is here because it takes place in a library!  The fox did not come to read, but that may change.