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Showing posts from October, 2015

Bookmarked and Geoff Herbach Share Some Laughs

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On Monday, October 26th, the members of Bookmarked were treated to a skype visit with author Geoff Herbach. He, like Jen Calonita, is published by Sourcebooks. I took advantage of the publisher's offer of free skype visits for libraries and classrooms as long as you purchase some of the authors' books. I chose Geoff Herbach for the high school book group because we seem to have so many female authors at school. Though the group is made up of a majority of girls, I figured all of the students would enjoy talking to Geoff. I was right. 


He speaks without a filter, and the students loved his humor and willingness to address anything that they threw at him. Since he began the skype visit with a story about his son and puberty, one of the older girls asked him if he had difficulties during his own puberty. He told them that being a teenager was not easy for him. All agreed that it is not easy for anyone. 

Another student asked him what was up with two of his books: Fat Boy vs. the …

Highlights for Teen READ Week 2015

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When the 2015-16 school year opened, PFTSTA had a growth spurt of 100 more students than last year. These additional students meant that the cafeteria could no longer fit the students in two lunch periods. Now there are three separate lunches. The library opens for the 6th and 7th graders lunch period at 11:00 and concludes at 1:07 when the 8th graders report to fourth period. I wasn't sure how this would play out for Teen READ Week (TRW) because the members of the high school book group always ran the events held during both lunches. The high school students are in third period when the little ones have their lunch. I decided that it was important for me to simplify this year, and in the end, I had helpers from both the middle school book group and the high school book group.It worked out that I did have the extra pairs of hands that I sorely needed. Also, I lost  a day of celebration when the students had no school on Monday due to the day of professional development and parent…

Presentation on the Research Process for Middle and High School Students

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Early this past week, one of our science teachers, who was suffering with a terrible case of laryngitis, talked to me about a presentation that she was suppose to make to the faculty at a local Catholic school on Monday, the 19th. She initially agreed because she thought that she was just talking to the science department about preparing students for the engineering and science fair, but then they asked her to talk to the whole faculty about the research process. She knew that I would be a better fit than she would for that. Also, she really did not have a voice to be able to speak to an entire faculty. With her help, I was able to put together this presentation in two days. That is a record for me because I always agonize over how to organize the information and what exactly needs to be included. When you go through the slides, you will find that I have inserted live links on the slides with screenshots, so you can see the actual resources that I created for the students. I have eve…

Snapshot of PFTSTA Library in Animoto

PFTSTA holds an open house for prospective students every fall. I like to have a special video running in the library for this event. 
I use the same background every year. I just update the pictures and make sure that all students in the pictures are still attending PFTSTA. I created a PowerPoint with the background, text and images. When I select save as, I save the slides all at once as jpeg images. PowerPoint automatically downloads all the pictures into one file folder. That means it only takes a few clicks to upload the pictures into Animoto to create the videos. It is easy to get an educator account in Animoto to make videos that are longer than 90 seconds. As an educator you can create student accounts under your teacher account so the students can make longer videos, also. With the educator account, users won't get the Animoto watermark on each picture, just a logo at the end of the video. So easy and fast to do. I like the results.

Teen Read Week 2015 is Around the Corner

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You too can TRAVEL to unknown lands through books Teen Read Week October 20th—23th
1. Annual Library Book Mark Contest: Two winners, one from middle school and one from high school, will receive a $20 Barnes and Noble gift card, and their bookmark reproduced to give away to the PFTSTA community. You can visit the library for a hard copy or open here:
http://bit.ly/bookmarkcontest2015 to print out from the web. All bookmarks are due in the library by Wednesday, October 29th at 2:30PM. 

2. Now showing in your library: Visit the common area outside the library at lunch on Tuesday the 20th to watch “Elegy,” an episode of the television show TheTwilight Zone. In this episode, three astronauts find that their rocket has landed on a very strange but Earth-like planet. A treat will be served.
3. Travel Guessing Game: On Wednesday the 21st and Friday the 23rd during Teen Read Week, you can visit the library to get a clue about a character from a book or movie who has traveled far from home. If you …

Where Reading and the Web Collide

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This past Saturday I traveled to Lafayette, LA to present at the first ever LASL Fall Summit. In the past, the Louisiana school librarians had a mid-winter conference. It was always scheduled in late January or February every other year, but even in Louisiana, the weather could get in the way during the winter. Fog and ice could make it difficult for people to travel the state to attend a one day conference. In 2014, I got half-way to Lafayette and had to turn around because the fog made it impossible to cross the Atchafalaya Basin that lay between me and my destination. 
My presentation was entitled, "Where Reading and the Web Collide." My focus was to give websites and apps that librarians, teachers, parents, and students could use to enhance the reading experience. Even though I only serve students in grades 6th-12th, I tailored this talk to K-12 because there are always more elementary librarians at these conferences than those who serve older kids. Many of the sites co…

BRiMS Shares Lunchtime with Author, Jen Calonita

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Early this past summer, I received an email from Sourcebooks publishers explaining a new skype with an author program that the publisher had just started. The thirty minute skype visits would be free as long as you ordered a certain number of books written by that author. I think that I had to spend $50 on books for a group of 30 to attend the skype, and you can spend less if the group is smaller.They have some guidelines set that are easy to meet. I have done many author skypes over the years and never had to pay for them. Since I wanted the students to read the books of these authors anyway, I figured that purchasing a set of books from the publisher at a discount was really a good deal. I immediately set up a skype for the middle school book group, and once done, I selected an author for the high school book group also. The list of authors is so long that I am sure you can find one that fits the age group that you teach. 


On the last Wednesday of every month the 6th and 7th grade …