Monday, October 24, 2016

ARC - Access. Relevance. Choice.

If you could hear the buzz surrounding Game On! 2017 during our bookfair preview video you would understand why ARC is critical to readers.

Access. Relevance. Choice.

Access - to LOTS of books. Relevance - Subjects, topics, & genres meaningful to the reader.

This part is the simplest, yet we complicate it. Choice - what the reader WANTS to read.

That’s the recipe for magic (don’t keep it a secret).


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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Coding Club

There were so many wonderful ideas for my school club it was difficult to pick just one. What an exciting opportunity for our students to have a variety of clubs to pick from.  In the end for me, coding won out over games, art, or even a book club.

There are 15 students in the coding club and we had our meeting in the media center.

We began our coding club by coding me!

I can still hear the giggles when the coding put me in front of the column!

Two students used arrows and other symbols to guide me to them while navigating me around and through obstacles - columns and chairs work perfectly.

During our 1st club meeting, we had a rotation to become familiar with the many things we have at our school, including, Dash, Ozobot, Scratch, and Daisy the Dinosaur.

I didn’t even break out my Osmo Coding with Monster Mo yet from Donor’s Choose!

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I would love to hear from you - being connected is one of the best things about being an educator and lifelong learner. We’re better together!


Friday, October 7, 2016

Who is Shy?

Mrs. Grant’s 1st grade joined Mrs. Crook in the HNSA media center to celebrate the book birthday of Shy on September 27th.  Mrs. Crook shared Blue Chicken and The Story of Fish and Snail before our Skype read aloud to familiarize students with Mrs. Freedman’s writing and illustrations.  Students investigated the website to guess which character they thought would be Shy.  Finally, the big day arrived and Deborah Freedman read Shy to students via Skype. There was cheering and clapping when it was revealed which character was Shy.   Students shared birthday cards they had created for Shy with Mrs. Freedman and she talked about her studio, her writing and drawing with the students.  

Would you like to take a guess?  Who is Shy?

Happy Book Birthday, Shy and Deborah Freedman!


Friday, September 9, 2016

323 Years Ago

How many blogs, Tweets, emails, or books do you read each morning? If you’re like me, you find that all the information serendipitously fits together to add more to the picture. Sometimes it happens in a day!  Case in point, Vicki Davis sharing a post from Richard Byrne about digitized books.

That’s one more to add to the list, Teresa!

I’m intrigued thinking about how children’s books have changed over the years and I searched and discovered that post. Who knew that in the article another nugget would fall magically into place.

“ of his big ideas was to make reading fun”. That was the brainchild of John Locke  - 323 years ago. Yes, 323 years ago! Locke wanted to change education and he wrote that in1693!  Do Locke’s thoughts “readers should start with "easy, pleasant" books, even books with pictures” square with my thinking? Considering the few books that were available at that time, yes.  But I wouldn’t agree with those words today.  Think ARC: Access. Relevance. Choice.

Imagine a passionate, excited 2nd grader bringing his coffee table military encyclopedia, weighing close to 5 pounds, as his reading choice from home. A book selected by him and purchased at the bookstore.  Was he a motivated reader? You betcha!  That was my middle son.  He was shamed for his book choice, deemed inappropriate by his teacher.  If only I’d known then what I know now.  Not only could I have helped my son, but others readers too. He’s now a cadet recruit knob at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina.  He KNEW who he was, what he was interested in and that was reflected in his reading CHOICE!

Learn more from Donalyn Miller. I’m so glad we have her voice about reading.

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So many wonderful connections are being made each day. Be sure to pause, just like the boy did in The North Star by Peter H. Reynolds.  As you’re on your  journey, cherish the connections made.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Bitmoji & SlidesCarnival

There’s always something new to learn and explore. It’s one of the best things about being in the media center. Another is seeing and hearing the excitement of sharing interests & passions.  Reading blogs about the latest publications is especially enjoyable - the creativity and diversity in children’s books are incredible.   The PD opportunities available to us makes it easier to learn practically anything, anytime and anywhere - from webinars to online chats and bookclubs - PD in PJs anyone?

Before school started I noticed a peer using a character emoji in her email signature and she also sent me an encouraging emoji.  One search and I’d added the Chrome extension Bitmoji.

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I loved Angela Gadtke‘s Seesaw presentation last night and the presentation template caught my eye! You’ll want to investigate SlidesCarnival for creative options.

Now that the school year is underway, make sure to allow time for learning something new that piqued your interest.  Best of all: share it - with those in your building, your PLN around the world, or both.

Sharing one more emoji that reminds me of a line in Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove - “Many thanks”.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

What are you thinking, reading or wondering about?

Love this article about the new YMCA and the real-world math, science and of course, language arts it contains.
I've been fortunate to have watched and observed the changes with a shore view since the construction began. I've counted construction vehicles noting if they were odd or even, saw loads of dirt arrive, and noticed workers put up barriers to prevent erosion. I also thought a lot about the animals and insects that once lived there.
Did you know Bradford Pear trees are an invasive species? I knew they were a hybrid tree. If you have one in your yard, no doubt you have smelled it when it blooms! Have you ever noticed how they split after a windy day or snow storm? I read an article recently that recommended planting several other species of trees instead of the Bradford Pear.
My Dad was a forester and I've always appreciated nature and the outdoors. There are so many things to observe - the changing of the seasons, animal tracks, and who could forget the sky! I especially love clouds! It's fun to think about my childhood cloud watching memories. My outdoor moments are extra special when I spot raccoon tracks or when I see or hear a hawk.
My most vivid memory at the lake was the day a very large oak tree by the water's edge was taken down, branch by branch as if it were a mere twig, and the trunk pushed to the ground as if it were a toothpick. One still remains.
The article is perfect for change over time too - how places become outdated, are established, and how much easier it is to build now than long ago just to name a few.
Jesse told me that the water level is being lowered so that the pipe could be replaced and the article confirmed that. I wonder how many gallons have been released thus far?
Of course, the designer and planner in me visualizes about the architecture and finishes of the space.
What are you thinking, reading or wondering about?

PS Learn more about the Bradford Pear tree here.

Sunday, August 28, 2016


Tomorrow is the big day! I just posted that I have always worked best under pressure. It seems that’s when my creative juices really start flowing.  There are many wonderful things to be celebrated, noted & shared with others; hence my writing!

I’m so excited about my new position! Feel very fortunate to continue working with Mrs. Silva, our school counselor.  We have plans for Dot Day again this year, making it five years of celebrations.  Join us! There are many wonderful Dot Day plans - including Kid Lit & Discovery Education plans. Need help? Dot Day enthusiasts are super friendly - just reach out!

If you’re not familiar with this fabulous NC educator, Sean Gaillard, check out his page and be sure to follow him on Twitter.  Let me encourage you to tweet and #CelebrateMonday & #TrendThePositive - learn more here.  Listen to or read this wonderful post - School Leadership: Marching to a New Beat - great way to start a new year.

If you’re not familiar with Buncee you’re in for a treat - it’s fun, creative & beautiful! The story on how it was created is equally beautiful - check it out!

Are you nervous about tomorrow? What about your students?  Check out this cool song, Just Say Hi!, on a Buncee of course. The creative genius is @BradyRymer on Twitter.

What are your thoughts about the first day of school? Don’t forget to add to the hashtags #Celebrate Monday & #TrendThePositive! 

We all need a cheerleader in our lives.  So thankful to have my Mom cheer for me.  Just know that I’m cheering for you.