Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Coloring in the Lines: Searching for Copyright Friendly on the Web

Here's a presentation I'll be doing at a pre-conference for copyright at TxLA 2017.
The slides all have a link on them so you can click on a slide to see more.  I'm working with some stellar people, including Kevin Smith, Gretchen McCord, Stephanie Towery and Deidre McDonald.  If you can't make it, I can share my portion of it :)  Happy conferencing!!
Here's the link to open it in Google Slides



Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Conference Season Is HERE!

April is the month when librarians, educators, administrators, and many many more amazing people convene for the annual Texas Library Association annual conference April 19-22.  The size of the conference is amazing, with thousands of professionals, authors, speakers, publishers, techies (and some that are all of these!) and more learn, network and present for five days of library nirvana......I can't wait!!  This year, it is in San Antonio, Texas, so here are some tips before starting off conference that'll make it even more amazing.

This year's theme is "Own Your Profession" and these next few tips will help you own it like an expert conference attendee!

1. Make your schedule now.  Don't wait until you get there and are handed a conference scheduler.  Do it now so you can really see what you'd like without having to flip pages in your hotel room.  The conference schedule is online (and yes, it includes pictures of speakers) and shows everything that is being presented.  Best of all?  Use the control+F function to search key words, speakers, events, and more to really target your learning experience.  Here's the link to the schedule

2. There always seems to be a race to the exhibit halls when they open, so be prepared ahead of time.  You usually receive a paper copy that includes coupons, but this year, you can actually download the guide with coupons to fill out early!  All you have to do is go to this link and request the PDF and you're on your way to preparedness on the exhibit floor.  (there's a tiny link below the major one...click on that.  The big one is ALA.  Keep looking below that link :)

3. The San Antonio Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center has been updated, and you may want to see the meeting rooms and ballrooms layout to help you map out for an ultimateTxLA Conference experience. Here's the link to the convention center with tons of information, including getting there and parking. It's always good to know before you go!

What's a little professional development without some fun?  Try these out!

1. The Riverwalk is considered one of the top tourist destinations in the nation!  Don't know much about it?  Not to worry!  If you find a street near the Alamo with stairs leading downwards, more than likely it's to the Riverwalk.  Lots of amazing restaurants, full of culturas, you need to go, if only to walk around.  PLUS....the conference precedes Fiesta, so there are sure to be cool vendors selling fiesta items!!  Here's a link to the Riverwalk and everything that goes along with it



2. Back in the day, my husband and I, along with friends, would cross the border for a weekend out.  We'd go shopping, eat some amazing food, and get to experience hanging out in another country (which always sounded pretty cool!)  Alas, those days aren't quite as carefree, but since you're in San Antonio, you CAN experience Mexico in the city.  El Mercado (Market Square) reminds me of those days.  Lots of stalls where authentic Mexican wares are sold line up next to each other along with some tasty eateries.  They also have a cool indoor shopping area featuring Mexican wares, jewelry, art and eveything in between you should visit too.  It's a little ways from the Riverwalk, but worth the walk (or Uber or car drive or bus etc).  Here's the link to El Mercado


3. I didn't know about this until I stumbled onto an article about it and this year I'm going! There's a beautiful church called the San Fernando Cathedral and every week there is a light show about the history of San Antonio that happens on the building. It's about beauty, history, culture...and not to be missed!  Thank goodness none of the dates are cancelled during the TXLA conference.  This is a MUST SEE!  Here's the link to the San Antonio Plaza (not too far away from the Riverwalk at all!)

I'll see you there!!!

IMAGES:
Riverwalk: https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7669/16936302228_2482c39d53_b.jpg
El Mercado: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4135/4917927146_822165ea83_b.jpg
San Fernando Cathedral: By Nan Palmero from San Antonio, TX, USA [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons






Friday, March 24, 2017

Diversity in YA literature Poster

Excellent books that feature diversity from various genres that feature different diversity in today's society.  Here is the link to download the pdf


Friday, March 10, 2017

Interactive Research Activity!

I went through this EXTREMELY interesting workshop on interactive presentations and why they are important to learners.  We were tasked with doing this with a class, and this is actually the second one I'm doing (first one worked out SUPER well!)

If you've never heard of chunk and chew, it's a simple concept.  When you chunk information together, it shouldn't be handed over to the students without the opportunity to allow them to chew on it.  If they don't, the learning diminishes.  Kind of like eating your favorite meal.  Now, multiply that by 10 and see how enjoyable it would be to eat the entire thing.

Below is the Adobe Spark webpage I made for this project.  After reading the article, kids in groups will move to different posters that has each letter of the alphabet in a table.  They have a certain amount of time to write something in it that begins with that letter.  Then they rotate until the rotations are done.  When they come back to their chart, they can read what else people put down and share out the most interesting fact about the article.

The second activity involves the questions on the webpage.  It's like 4 Corners.  Students stand underneath the word that fits them best (holidays, food, movies, colors, clothing etc).  With each word is a question in an envelope they need to answer with their devices (we are 1:1).  Then they rotate to the next question until the rotations are done.

Their exit ticket is the emoji PDF before they leave, giving me feedback on if I hit the target or not.

 I'm sharing the webpage so if anyone would like to use it, they absolutely can :) Research Like a Ninja!

Friday, February 24, 2017

House Arrest by K.A. Holt

2015, Chronicle Books

12 year-old Timonthy is writing in his journal.  He doesn't want to do it, but his probation officer and psychologist told him he had to in order to ensure the judge his actions wouldn't be repeated.

What he did wasn't felonious, according to him.  All he did was swipe someone's credit card and make a $1000.00 purchase on it.  But it wasn't for him, it was for his sick baby brother Levi. And well, for his mom too, who is working two jobs on her own to make ends meet.

They still don't have enough food.  Timothy is still in need of clothes that fit him.

Timothy remembers one of the last best moment of his life.  It was the day Levi was born.  His dad was so excited and proud to become a father again.  But life changed.  Levi was born with only a small hole in his trachea.  Because of this he has to have constant care and attention.

His dad couldn't handle it, so he left....

Now, Timothy and his mother are doing all they can to make sure Levi stays alive and breathing, including doing all of the nasty stuff, including suctioning mucus, cleaning up constant throw-up, and listening to the sound of the breathing machine.

Now, he's under house arrest, but couldn't love his baby brother more.  His love is very protective too, including when a nurse comes in and Timothy knows she's not doing her job.  He also protects himself from letting people, including Mrs. B and Officer James, know too much.  They don't need help, or do they? His best friend Jose, and his family, help out. And then there's the mysterious benefactor leaving amazing stuff on their front door. And slowly but surely, Timothy is cracking, and his journal reveals to those who are helping in just how much he truly needs, both physically and emotionally.

But his baby brother is still getting very ill, making ICU visits a regular thing.  How long before his mother implodes?  What can a 12 year old kid do?

This quick novel in verse will take your through a one year journey of brotherly love and sacrifice.  It will also take you on the journey of one young man's self-awareness and the grit and determination he has to make sure family stays together.  You hear his joy, but you will also hear his pain, anger, and desperation.  Be ready....this may make you cry, a definite sign of an excellent book. Highly recommended addition to any junior high or high school collection.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

15 Science Fiction Reads for Young Adults

A list of great sci-fi for teens, including sequels and link to pdf 

Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh.  2016, Delacorte Press

Illuminae by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.  2015, Alfred A. Knopf. Sequel Gemina, 2016 

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid.  2016, Simon & Schuster

The Fever Code by James Dashner.  2016, Delacorte Press

Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig.  2015, Gallery Books.  Sequel The Map of Bones 2016

Where Futures End by Parker Peevyhouse.  2016, Kathy Dawson Books.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman.  2016, Simon & Schuster

Replica by Lauren Oliver.  2016, Harper Collins
Stars Above by Marissa Meyer.  2016, Feiwel and Friends

Mr. Fahrenheit by T. Michael Martin.  2016, Balzer + Bray

Alive by Scott Sigler.  2015, Del Rey.  Sequel Alight 2016

Dark Energy by Robison Wells.  2016, HarperCollins

Legend: The Graphic Novel by Marie Lu.  2015, G.P. Putnam's Sons

Flawed by Cecilia Ahern.  2016, Feiwel and Friends.

The Taking by Kimberly Derting  2014, Harper Collins.  Sequels: Replaced, 2016; The Countdown, 2016.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

15 Ways to Use Snapchat and the Library

So, yesterday a colleague and friend of mine, Sarah Thomasson, sent out an email that started me down the path of using Snapchat.  I can be like one of those kids in left field that sees a butterfly...and I'm off doing something else.  Well, Sarah sent me a big butterfly and shared the fact that Snapchat can be used as a QR code reader!

You know what that means?

Students will be more likely to scan QR codes using their favorite social media site  than having to download a site that are favorited by educators.  And off I went down this path of resistance to blow it wide open.

I confess, I was one of those people who wasn't going to Snapchat....at all.  Why?  Because it was for "another generation" beyond me, I didn't want to learn something else, I was fine with what I already have.  But then Sarah's butterfly kicked my butt!  That is NOT the right attitude to have!  If social media is going beyond the standard, then I should hold myself up to that standard too!

So....ideas just started FLYING!  I'm going to write them down really quick so I won't forget them either!

1. Of course, QR codes....

2. learning from my followers!!!  Ideas come from all over!!

3. Highlight the great things happening in the library with a story so people can see the importance of school libraries.

4. doing quick booktalks

5. sharing book covers from a certain genre or collection

6. A quick reminder to students about what's happening

7. before and after pics or videos

8. Using those silly filters on books with faces (a librarian shared hardcopy of these...I want to try digital now!)

9. monthly library "story" update

10. Snapchat school events I attend (to show librarians DO things other than "librarian-ish" things)

11. Quick preview of new library resources

12. testimonials on the importance of libraries from teachers, admin, students

13. take a pic of a tweet you're going to send to "smash" two social media apps together instead of typing it all over again

14. do a library mystery theater or "escape room" type of program

15. answering the age-old question, "What do librarians do all day??"

This was a QUICK overview of my enthusiasm spilling over today but I hope you can use these ideas as well as SHARE great ideas via comments with everyone.  And if you want to follow me, I'm at nhstexlibrary

Have fun, and start Snapchatting!

See you on the filtered side!!








Saturday, February 4, 2017

Blood, Bullets, Bones: the story of forensic science from Sherlock Holmes to DNA

2016, Balzer & Bray.  Written by Bridget Heos

Turn on any television network, and you'll find programming about murder, mystery, and a savvy team of solvers.  It seems there is an interest in forensic science, but it's also a science that is very broad.  And that's where this amazing YA book comes in.  It captures the history, as well as the interest found today in our modern society.

Not only is this a book about forensic science, but it's also about the history of forensic science.  How long has this practice been instituted (far longer than the FBI and CSI)?  How has forensic science changed over the centuries?  These are just a few questions this book will answer.  It also includes some interesting facts including:

The word "coroner" derived from the English word "crowner," (SUPER interesting how this came about!)

The very first FBI group, which happened in Europe, not the States

The trend of murder in the 1800s - early 1900's (not, it's not guns either)

How forensic science investigation has changed from the macabre to the technological.

The best part of this is that there are numerous different cases Bridget Heos inserts that gives the readers as sense of where this science was during that particular time. Readers will have insight into the science AND the judicial side as well and how that has morphed into what it is today.

 This isn't a book filled with scientific vocabulary. From testimony to "expert" witnesses, admissible information to complete accidental findings, Heos takes the reader on a scientific journey that will pique curiosity, perhaps make you cringe a little, and explains this exacting science in a narrative format that young adults will be drawn to.  Heos  inserts cases into the narrative, but also historic and current images that solidifies what forensic science looks like.

Highly recommended for upper JH to HS and beyond.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Library Valentine's Day Toolkit

I'm gearing up for that time of year when pink and red make their once a year debut and the smell of roses and candy permeate the air.  Yep....it's time to decorate for Valentine's Day!!  

I thought of a few things I could do and started searching for library pick-up lines.  Some were great, some were not so great for public schools.  But I wanted something new, different, updated!  So taking some time to brainstorm, here are the library pick-up lines I came up with (snigger away because they ARE cheesy!) Most of the them are from my addled brain and the last few are commons ones found online.  

Makerspace so I can sit by  this beautiful angel

I can predict future library trends with you and me in it!

Reader’s Advisory Warning: You’re about to meet your soulmate!

I’m looking for true love and covering all my (data)bases to make it happen!

It’s Destiny that I’m going to Discover true love!

You make my heart go into Overdrive!

I’m looking lips(Mackin) good to capture your attention!

I’d like to (C)engage in some conversation with you

But wait!  There's MORE!  You can find even more cheesy goodness in this secondary toolkit I created, complete with two YA books posters, and all the pick up lines ready to print and use.  

I plan on using mine on the bulletin boards, to tape around the library, and even stick on cardstock sized bookmarks to put in the books ♥ ♥ ♥

Here's the link to the folder with everything in it.  And yes, please use this however you'd like ☺

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Sketch noting and the library

Technology....it has been mainstreamed into education and can manipulated in ways to accommodate any students needs and the projects they are working on.  It is the apogee of innovation of the 20th and 21st century. 

One very interesting partnership that combines manual creativity with technology is the art of sketchnoting.  What is that, you say?  Sketchnoting if a form of notetaking where students are asked to use sketches and creative elements to "write" information.    When once there was a time where doodling was considered wasteful, now these doodles and sketches, if directed on the correct path, can lead to better retention of information.
sketchnotes from booktalk
Think about it...when students take notes, they're copying the exact words right off the screen onto a sheet of paper or digitally.  It's rote work (remember these iconic words? "Buehler...Buehler...")

But with sketchnoting, a notetaker has to not only listen attentively to what is being said, but also translate that into images and words that reflect the information given.  Students are using multiple brain functions to capture information.  

So why aren't educators doing this more often?  I think there are two simple reasons:
1. No one is teaching them (it's still relatively new)
2. Students WILL push back on the idea (because they don't want to give up Easy Street notetaking)

https://www.slideshare.net/secret/DFr4kVPGi300JR
But with persistence it CAN happen and work well!  This summer, I put my skills to the test and brought a one hour sketchnoting presentation to a conference.  This was attended not only by teachers, but administrators and students too.  It was well-received, and I was equally gratified to know the students sitting in this presentation enjoyed learning the process as well.  

In a time when classes are now custom-designed with a rubric of information being taught at specific intervals and modules, sometimes, it's nice to break out and teach something totally new to students. It may not be in the curriculum, but the value of what sketchnoting can do is innumerable.  

Here is the presentation I created.  It isn't bulky, because it's such a hands-on experience, but look through it and challenge yourself to sketch the examples.  Then take it to the classroom!