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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fun Library Related Online Games

Since this is National Library Month, I thought it would be fun to share some fun library related online games.   Here are some I've come across lately.  Just click on the flower signs to go to the games.

















Happy gaming!  =)




Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Read Anything Good Lately?


One of the things I love about being a media specialist is that I "get" to read for my job...you know, so I will will know the books to recommend to my patrons.  To help me keep up with what I read, I post my books on Goodreads.

For the third year in a row, I have participated in Goodreads' reading challenge.  Participating in the challenge kept me on track throughout the year and it also helped me encourage my patrons to set a reading goal for themselves when they see how much I've read during the year.

In 2012, I set a goal of 100 books and read 103 books.  So I set my goal a little higher in 2013...120 books.  I wanted to see if I could challenge myself to read more.  And I did.

So I increased my goal about halfway through the year to 240 books. Once I met that goal I increased it to 250 and finally ended up at 260. I did pretty well with that goal, but by the end of the year it was getting difficult to read 20 or more books a month so for 2014, I am sticking to 250 books.  I may increase it later on, but for now 250 is feasible.

Here's a snap shot of what I read in 2013:
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I've added about 120 books so far in 2014:



My favorites out of the bunch


  • Odd Duck by Cecil Castellucci (Such a cute and funny picture book)
  • Ducks Don't Wear Socks by John Nedwidek
  • Miss Brooks Loves Books and I Don't by Barbara Bottner
  • I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll
  • Nugget and Fang  by Tammi Sauer (LOVE this cute picture book!)
  • Have Fun, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell


  • Missy's Super Duper Royal Deluxe Picture Day by Susan Nees
  • Iris and the Aloha Wedding Adventure (Flower Girl World #2) by Lynelle Woolley
  • Lucy Rose series and Melonhead series by Katy Kelly (Melonhead is super funny and my new go to recommendation for those who like Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  Melonhead is more appropriate for elementary students and it's still funny without being disrespectful.)


  • Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper (I would recommend this book to any teacher with students who have severe special needs)
  • The Universe of Fair by Leslie Bulion
  • The Sorta Sisters by Adrian Fogelin (reminded me of a Judy Blume book.  =) )
  • Sparrow Road by Shelia O'Connor
  • The Lemonade War series by Jacqueline Davies (Love that these books pair so well with a unit of study.)
  • I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis
  • Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer (books 1-4) by John Grisham
  • The Kingdom Keepers series by Ridley Pearson  (these would make great movies!)
  • Storm Runners trilogy by Roland Smith (talk about intense!)
  • The Genius Files by Dan Gutman (books 1, 2, and 3...I love how there are clues hidden within each book and how Gutman encourages the reader to follow Coke and Pepsi's journey on the Interenet...makes it interactive and fun!  Can't wait to read book 4!)
  • The Hypnotists by Gordon Korman
  • Stranded by Jeff Probst (book 1 and 2...anxiously awaiting book 3)
  • Countdown by Deobrah Wiles (I am not usually a historical fiction fan, but I really enjoyed this book.)
  • Ungifted by Gordon Korman
  • Son by Lois Lowry
  • The Tomorrow Girls  by Eva Gray (Books 1-4...so awesome!  LOVE these books!)
  • Clone Codes by Patricia McKissak (Books 1 and 2...not so crazy about book 3)
  • The Boy at the End of the World by Greg Van Eekhout
  • Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth (still haven't seen the movie, but I so want to!)


What's on my nightstand to read right now?


  • The Kingdom Keepers books 5 and 6 (Shell Game and Dark Passage) by Ridley Pearson
  • The Resisters book 3: Titan Base by Eric Nylund (book 2 was hard to get through, but I enjoyed book 1)
  • Romeo Blue by Phoebe Stone
  • A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Loyd (Such a cool cover...hope the story is just as cool.)
  • Rebel McKenzie by Candice Ransom
  • Everyday Angel: New Beginnings by Victoria Schwab
  • Hunted (Spirit Animals book 2) by Maggie Stiefvater
  • The Accidental Time Traveler by Janis Mackay
  • After Iris by Natasha Farrant
  • Timmy Failure: Now Look What You've Done by Stephan Pastis
  • Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up by Melissa Thomson (recommended by a colleague)
  • Prairie Evers by Ellen Airgood
  • Calvin Coconut: The Zippy Fix by Graham Salisbury
  • Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet by Graham Salisbury
  • Penny from Heaven  and Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf by Jennifer Holm (after meeting her at the Children's Lit conference, I really want to read some of her older stuff.)


What books am I looking forward to reading later on?


  • Memory Maze (The Hypnotists book 2) by Gordon Korman
  • Survivors (Stranded book 3) by Jeff Probst
  • Revolution by Deborah Wiles 


What have been your favorite books this year?  Anything you are looking forward to reading this year?


Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy National Library Week and Tax Day!

It's School Library Month and National Library Week (yay!) and Tax Day is tomorrow (boo!) so I thought I would throw a little sale to make this week a little more fun!


Everything in my TpT store is 15% off this Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  Just click here or on the picture above to check it out.  Hope this makes the week a little more happy.  =)


Monday, March 31, 2014

Reference Sources Review

This week in the Media Center, we are reviewing reference books to help us get prepared for our state testing in a few weeks.


This year I have covered several different types of reference sources during our media lessons: atlas, encyclopedia, dictionary and glossary with first, second and third graders, almanac, atlas, dictionary, encyclopedia, and thesaurus with fourth and fifth grades.  After talking about these sources, students practiced finding different information in these books.  You can find the dictionary lesson here.  You can find the thesaurus lesson here.  I am still working on a post about our atlas and almanac lessons, but you can read about my previous years' reference lessons here.


During these week's lessons, I will be reviewing each reference source and when to use them.  I will be using my Reference Sources PowerPoint to review.  You can get a copy of the first grade Reference Sources PowerPoint here.  You can get a copy of the 2nd-3rd grade Reference Sources PowerPoint here.  You can get a copy of the 4th-5th grade Reference Sources PowerPoint here.


I created two different Reference Sources activities for students to complete as a review.  The 2nd-3rd grade version covers the atlas, encyclopedia, dictionary and glossary.  The 4th-6th grade version covers the almanac, atlas, encyclopedia, dictionary, and thesaurus.

 

Each activity includes a Reference Books definition sheet, 12 Reference Source question cards, a  Reference Source poster, and an answer sheet.  You can get the 2nd-3rd grade version here on my TpT store for $3.00 or the 4th-6th grade version here for $3.00.

Hopefully this little review will jog their memory and keep this info fresh in their minds for testing, but also for times when they need to use these resources in real life...which is really the point of this lesson, right?

Do you have any fun ideas for teaching reference sources?