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Showing posts from January, 2012

Busy Week Ahead

I like to post weekly, but all I have is a very short note. I saw a small group of 7th graders today. The assignment is a mini-research paper to correlate with their reading of the novel, Flush by Carl Hiaasen. I put together a set of 7 task cards for them to use to begin their research for this assignment. They were given specific resources both print and electronic to use to find information on water quality and water pollution. Once they found their sources of information, the students had to create a citation for each source in Easybib. I thought this would be simple for them. All of the students had experience with the databases and using Easybib. It did not go as well as I would have liked. First, the students did not follow the steps on the task cards. Not following directions is often a big problem with students. So I went back to my task cards and at a teacher's suggestion, I divided each task into steps. You can find my task cards here.

Andrea Cremer, Author of the Nightshade Series, Visits PFTSTA

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On Friday, January 20th, the 9th and 10th grade students were treated to a talk by Andrea Cremer. She has written a trilogy called the Nightshade series, and she is also a history professor at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. I was fascinated with her explanations of how she used her knowledge of the early modern era of history (1500-1800) to flesh out the elements of the fantastical world that she builds.
She talked about her upbringing in a very rural area of Wisconsin. This fostered her love of nature, the woods, and wolves because of her proximity to the outdoors. She knew that if her characters were going to change into wolves, then they needed to be beautiful not horrid. As she found the real wolves that she encountered as a child to be beautiful. It was a horse accident one summer that got her on the road to writing. She was bed bound for 12 weeks and wanted to spend her time doing something that she always dreamed of doing. She had the time, and so fulfilling her love of w…

Get Reading 9 : Created with Student Help

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I have been working on the pieces and parts of this video for a month. In the meantime, my school desktop and laptop were converted to Windows 7. I had not used the new Movie Maker, and I was not sure if PhotoStory would work on 7. The learning curve was small and except for the time that it took to download the programs onto my computer I got this put together this afternoon in about 45 minutes. Thank goodness because I have a litany of other computer issues that I won't dwell on now. In this episode there are two recommended books: The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk and Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer. The president of Bookmarked, the high school book group, gives her take on the Pfeffer book.


John Green's TFiOS Tour Hits New Orleans

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Last night was a real treat. I took a couple of former students to dinner, and then we went to see the touring John and Hank Green show. John Green is the author of some of my favorite young adult literature titles. He is on tour for the New York Times bestselling book The Fault in Our Stars or TFiOS as he likes to abbreviate it.
The brothers are making 17 stops on this tour. At each stop they are performing at a venue of around 500. There were sell outs in the 6 cities before New Orleans and though NOLA didn't sell out, there were over 450 people in the audience last night. I was blown away because I knew so many of them. I did not see any librarians that I knew, but the audience was made up of mostly teens and 20 somethings. So there were a lot of my former students there. Every time I turned around, someone else was calling out "Ms. Kahn" to me. That made it a lot of fun. John and his brother Hank created a Youtube channel called the Vlog Brothers. I have seen some of…

Time for the Louisiana Teens' Readers' Choice Awards

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If you are ages 12-18 then click here to cast your vote for your favorite books.

These are the books on the ballot:  Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson Iron Heart: The True Story of How I Came Back from the Dead by Brian Boyle Hate List by Jennifer Brown The Maze Runner by James Dashner Mare's War by Tanita Davis If I Stay by Gayle Forman Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia Ruined by Paula Morris Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater If I Grow Up by Todd Strasser

Happy New Year and Welcome Back to Computer Hell

We returned to school today. We had a wonderful two week and one day break from academia. The last two days before the break there were computer issues at school. Some students and teachers could log on to the Internet. Others could not. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to it. You could be using a hard wired computer or the wifi. I managed okay and was able to print and access all that I needed to and was able to help teachers who could not.

Over break a new server was installed. I am using the brand new  Lenovo laptop that the district gave all the teachers. It is working fine, but I have to tweak it and add all the programs that I like to use, like Chrome. Luckily, all my documents from the old server are accessible from the new computer. BUT..... there is a problem. The new laptop runs Windows 7. I have a desktop that I use for all my library circulation. It has the scanner attached. That computer runs XP. I can't have a 7 profile and a XP profile on the server and have th…

Reading to Review for the Journals

I love to read, though I am picky about what I read. Generally, I will read several YA titles that appeal to me and then read an adult book to keep up with what my adult friends recommend. I like fiction, and only read a non-fiction title if the subject is one of my passions. Sometimes I need to read a book because a student has begged me to or because someone objects to a book's content and I need to see if I agree (usually I don't) or because the author is going to visit my school.

I have always thought that I was capable of writing book reviews for the journals for librarians. I am reading all the time, and I have been writing reviews on this blog for years. I would see the call for reviewers in School Library Journal (SLJ) but never respond. I was gun shy and didn't know if I could live up to their standards. After winning the Gale TEAMS Award in October, I was asked by Library Media Connection(LMC) if I would review for their magazine.  Then I got a call from SLJ and …

Get Reading a Dystopian Novel for the New Year

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Happy New Year one and all. I have been spending my day (in between going to parties) creating the tenth episode of Get Reading: digital booktalks for teens who love to read. In this edition, I highlight two new dystopian series: Divergent by Veronica Roth and Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Watch the video to find out more.