Monday, November 29, 2010

Vacation Over, Back to Work

I took my vacation from school seriously and have not posted here in a week. However, I have been reading. Let me share some good reads with you.

I started Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson before she visited us at Taylor. Unfortunately, I did not finish it until a few days after she left. I have read several of her other books, but I thought that it was very important for me to read this one because I had not read one of her historical fiction stories before. She was on the book tour to push the sequel to Chains called Forge, but I have not read that one yet. Laurie's story about slaves during the period of the American Revolution reminds me of Octavia Nothing by M. T. Anderson (no relation to Laurie). We don't usually think about slaves living in the colonies of New England, but they did. Both the Chains series and Octavia Nothing series offer a glimpse into that life.

I had read some good reviews of Bruiser, and I am a fan of Neal Shusterman so I was excited to read this one. It starts off with lots of wit and humor. Two of the main characters are named Tennyson and Bronte because their parents are both English teachers. As you begin to learn more about the character of their friend Bruiser, you realize this is not a humorous story nor is it strictly realistic fiction. The author uses magical realism to give Bruiser abilities to make life sweet for those around him, but turn his life into a hell. I don't want to give too much away, but this is a recommended high school read.

Front and Center by Catherine Murdock is the third book in a series that began with Dairy Queen. It tells the story of D. J. Schwenk who lives on a dairy farm in Red Bend, Wisconsin. She is an avid sports participant and fan. Her parents hope that her ticket out of Red Bend will be a full basketball scholarship to a Big Ten university. It is told from the first person, and I like the book because I liked D. J's voice. She is unsure of herself and her place in the world. You don't have to be a sports fan to like this book. I do suggest that you read the first two books before tackling this one. You will miss many of the references to her brothers and boyfriend if you don't read the books in order.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Laurie Halse Anderson Visits Taylor 7th, 8th and 9th Graders

On Thursday, November 18th, the students were given a history lesson by fiction writer, Laurie Halse Anderson. Her Seeds of America series focuses on two slave teenagers in New York during the American Revolution. We foiund out that the third book in the series will be called Ashes and be from two characters point of view.

Ms. Anderson gave the students background on the Revolution that she discovered in her research for the books. She told true stories that made the history come alive for the kids. The students loved her descriptions of how she actually cooked a rabbit over an open fire and walked in the snow covered woods in woolen socks, dressed in only the layers that the soldiers had at Valley Forge. She discovered it was not easy to have been a soldier during that period.

The author with librarian, Elizabeth Kahn.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nominations for Edublog Awards 2010

Nominating a website for an edublogs award is an opportunity for educators to nominate the outstanding work of colleagues.

Here are the categories in which I would like to nominate the following individuals:
Best Teacher Blog--blanchetBlog: an online classroom community by Tinashe Blanchet
Best Resource Sharing Blog--Free Technology for Teachers by Richard Byrne
Best Library Blog--The Big House Library Blog by Anna Koval
Best Group Blog--Yalsa Blog: the official blog of the Young Adult Library Services Association

You can make your own nominations by visiting the homepage at EduBlog Awards.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Read my November Post for the YALSA Blog

If your gift list includes teenagers, I made some holiday shopping suggestions.

Follow the link below to read the post that I added to the November blog for the Young Adult Library Services Association:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

One-upping the Web: Finding our place in Bloom's revised Taxonomy

I am always trying to keep up with changes in my field. I love what computers and technology can do in the classroom. It certainly makes teaching more fun for me, and around every corner there seems to be some new tool or resource that can help the students I teach. I probably learned about Bloom's Taxonomy from one of my very early education courses. I won't mention how long ago that was because I don't want to give away my age.

I was fascinated by this article published in the November issue of School Library Journal. Bloom's can still be relevant today but in a modified state. I thought this article summarized it well. Please take a few minutes to read.

One-upping the Web: Finding our place in Bloom's revised Taxonomy

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fundraiser Kick Off with a Power Point

I wish that I did not have to have fundraisers in the library however, it is a part of the territory. I need money for programing, and students are always asking for new books.

I kicked off this year's event with a six minute powerpoint presentation that I narrated. Each Advisory teacher played the powerpoint during the Advisory period. I sat with two groups as they watched me talk about how the fundraiser will work. It is a little different this year because the students will take orders now, but no one pays until the items are delivered sometime in January.

The kids seem excited about the prize package, and I hope that I can double what I raised last year selling just magazines. You can still renew your magazines by ordering online. Or visit the website to see what else we have for sale: and enter the school code: 1479302.
If you want to read more about the fundraiser, visit the library website here:
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