Showing posts from December, 2011

My Fav YA Reads for 2011

When I was at the AASL conference in October, I talked to a university professor who is on YALSA's Best Fiction for Young Adults Committee. She explained to me that she reads a book a day. Wow! I did know that all members of the BFYA committee are expected to read over 300 books a year, but I just couldn't finish a book every day. I love to read. I love reading YA titles, but I just don't think that I have the time to read that much. I average 50 titles a year. I admit that some days I just don't feel like reading. Other days I read for several hours. I am going to start reviewing books for Library Media Connection and School Library Journal. I hope that I can meet their deadlines. This is the time of the year when everyone seems to be making best of and worst of lists. I tried to avoid it because I did not want to be cliche, but I like to reflect. Even though I probably mentioned some of these titles in this blog over the year, I want to give another plug to some of

My First Contribution to School Library Journal Extra Helping

Last week, I was asked to type up 200 words describing the books that my middle school students were reading for fun. It was published in the online newsletter, Extra Helping, that School Library Journal publishes every other week. Open the link below and scroll down to find out what the middle school students at PFTSTA love to read: What Are They Reading for Fun?: Middle School Edition

Fourth Graders Visit PFTSTA for Science Extravaganza

It's not often that we see 35 little ones sitting on the floor in the PFTSTA Library It has been almost nine years since I was an elementary school librarian. I miss the beautiful picture books, and the way I could hold a class of 32 kids in the palm of my hands as I told a gripping story. Luckily, we have an event every year that gives me the opportunity to ham it up and be silly in front of a group of kids.  Each semester, Mrs. Higgins, the seventh grade science teacher invites the 4th graders from Metairie Academy to visit PFTSTA. The students spend 45 minutes engaged in the experiments that the 7th graders created, and then they spend 45 minutes with me. I have two fabulous books by Steve Jenkin s that I have used for three different Extravaganza events. The non-fiction books, Bones and Actual Size , are huge with amazing pictures and the science fits right into the event. You can see me on the right reading to the students.  Once I read the books, my 8th gr

What do the PFTSTA Students Want for Christmas?

I received a bunch of multiple copies of brand new books from a library that could not use them. I wanted to give them away as prizes, so I ran another email contest for the students. That way, I would be getting the books into the hands of kids as well as getting them to read their school email. I also went through some of the boxes in the library and found more books to give away. I had  a total of 31 books which meant ten percent of the student body would win a book. I really like surveys. So I created a google form and asked the following questions.: What electronic device do you want for Christmas, be realistic or dream a little either way is correct?; What device do you want to give your family for Christmas?; What device do you want to give your friends for Christmas?; and finally, What device do you want to give your teachers for Christmas?. I am so proud of the students at PFTSTA; by reading their responses, you can tell that they put a lot of thought into it. Even though t

Book Review of a New Fav Title

I picked up Mrs. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs on a fluke. I had seen it listed on the best seller list, but I really didn't know much about it except that it included some unusual photographs. The author found some old black and white photos from various collections to enrich the story. Each photograph portrays one of the many cast of unusual characters that reside in this book. Jacob adores his grandfather and has listened to the stories that his grandfather tells about his childhood in the children's home as if they were fairy tales. It is not until his grandfather dies that he learns the truth. His parents don't understand, but allow him to travel with his father to find the children's home on an isolated island in Wales. Jacob is astounded by what he finds on the island of his grandfather's youth, and you will be too. I am not a fan of horror, and I guess you could say this has a tinge of horror or the grotesque to it. I say

Need Help Selecting a Book?

Not everyone likes to read the same kinds of books. Selecting what to read next can often be an arduous task for some, especially those reluctant readers.   I encourage all students to read, and if technology is king in your home, then there are some great new tools that can be used to tie the Internet to books. You can use these tools for book recommendations or even help with book selection for holiday gifts. Author, James Patterson, believes students must be good readers to find successful careers, and I agree with him. He is all about finding books that mean something to you. He has created a website called Read Kiddo Read to recommend good books for students. Barb Langridge has created   a phenomenal website about books called A Book and A Hug . The website may have an elementary look about it, but she has lists of good books for tweens and teens. There are also some great author videos that your child might like.  StorySnoops was created by four moms in Californi

Voting Opened for Edublog Awards

The polls have opened for the annual Edublog Awards. I was shortlisted again this year for best librarian blog. You can vote once a day until December 14th. Open here to enter the voting booth.

Presenting at LACUE 2011

On Wednesday, November 30th, Kelly Maher, Lisa Valence and I were scheduled to present at the LACUE conference. We titled our presentation: Preparing Students for the Future: Tools for Teachers and for Teaching Teens. We were to begin at 1PM which was the last hour of the conference. When we walked into the room for the noon session right before ours, there was one person sitting at the presentation. UGH! We really didn't want to present in front of a party of one. When I began to hook up the computer and get ready for our marvelous multi-media powerpoint that we created, people started to walk in. Whew! We were going to have an audience after all. About 20 people attended our session. Kelly began the session by thanking them for joining us for the very last hour. We got several compliments when we were done. We put together  a wiki with all the sites that we mention in our talk and more . Open it up and check it out, you might find something new to try with your students. L

Highlighting the 2011 TEAMS Award Winners

When Lisa Valence and I heard that we won the Gale TEAMS Award in September, we thought that we would receive $2500 and that would be it. Who knew this was an honor that would keep on giving and giving, even several months later. Gale Cengage sent us to the American Association of School Librarian's Conference in Minneapolis in October and held a reception there in our honor. We have a year's subscription to Library Media Connection magazine, and we are waiting to receive the cash award along with $500 in Gale products and some Linworth products, too. Library Media Connection asked us to write an article for their magazine describing the collaborative project that we submitted for the award.  The icing on the cake is this marvelous video that Gale had produced about Patrick Taylor Academy and the project that we designed to teach the social studies research paper. The video was shown at the Gale booth in the exhibit hall during the AASL conference (over and over again).

LACUE Award Winner

Region I winners for LACUE I am standing on the far right On Tuesday, November 29th, I accepted an award from the Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators. They gave me the Region I Educator of the Year Award. There are 8 regions in the state of Louisiana. I applied for the Leader of the Year Award which is designed for non-classroom personnel who exhibit exemplary use of technology for teaching and learning. The best candidate overall is selected as each region's Educator of the Year. I was excited to win that, then one person from each category is selected as the state winner. Okay, I wanted to win state, but you can't win everything.  I won the lovely certificate that you see me holding in the picture below and bragging rights too.