Summer

The year is winding down and kids have summer on the brain. I admit my inner kid comes out and even I find it hard to start new project here in the library. Maybe that’s ok. Reflection on this last year maybe it’s ok for me to take a break. This year we have had three very successful book fairs (even though one was cut short because of an evening snowstorm), we have fine tuned our genrification of our fiction books, we have decorated both labs to match their name, Green and Blue and have added almost 500 new titles to our collection. We run Battle of the Books for our 8th year, with over 40 participants.

With summer vacation only days away the last project I need to do is share a summer reading list. So find a tree with shade and a good old fashion glass of lemonaide, pick a book from the list and enjoy!

 

5th and 6th Grade Summer Reading List

7th and 8th Grade Summer Reading List

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It’s Time for Christmas Music, or Library Raps

The tradition in my family is the day after Thanksgiving we can start to play Christmas music. This weekend all the car radios were set to that one station in the cities that play Christmas music from now until Christmas, the Christmas play lists are started on the computer and new to our Christmas music tradition we find the Christmas play lists on Pandora and Spotify (there is a lot of debate going on in my family as to which one is better).

During my drive in to work today as a I was singing along with It’s a Holy, Jolly Christmas, I realized just how important music, all music, is to me.  I’ve always known that studying music improves academics, all you have to do is Google music and test scores and you get 52,000,000 hits to prove it.

Most of my favorite assignments that I teach deal with music. I recently had 5th grade create rap songs about the library. The amount of energy that was flowing in the lab as the writing process was happening was electrifying!   Because of time constraints they only had 2 class periods to write, rehearse and film their raps, no time for editing. I’ve included a couple, the rest are on the G drive, if you are lucky enough to have a student here.

Enjoy and may music and all its benefits always be a part of your life.

October is Bully Prevention Month

What a great class!The first thing we cover in Media and Tech is Internet Safety, our digital tattoo and cyber bullying. After my lesson my students ask if they could make anti-cyber-bullying videos. It’s not in my curriculum and sure it put us behind a few days but there is nothing like a student lead project to inspire real learning! Enjoy!

Stay tune our next set of videos are on illegal downloading.

QR Codes and iPads

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The school year is in full swing and I’m so happy to have a 5th grade class again. We have a full iPad cart (30 iPad 2) and I decided to take advantage of it. I gave the 5th graders QR codes and iPads, 60 minutes of engaged students doing a library scavenger hunt at the end of the day!

We also use the ipads for Moby Math for all grades and we are finding new uses for the iPads all the time.

My Favorite Tech Tools and Social Media Sites

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With the 4th of July over my thoughts start drifting toward the start of school. We all know that school supplies will start filling the shelves at our local stores and students will soon get their registration information in the mail. As I get ready to start thinking about back to school I was thinking of all the tools I use to help me be a better teacher and a healthier person.  So here is my top 10 list:

  1. Morning Coffee–No not the one you drink it’s an add on to Firefox. With a click of a button I can open all the sites I access on a daily basis. I can even program each day, for instance, on Sunday I don’t have my bank come up because there would be no new information
  2. Facebook–I like to keep people up to date on what my dogs are doing.
  3. My-cast–remember? I use to want to be a meterologist
  4. MyFitnessPal–I have this as a short cut on my tool bar and as an app on my phone. I have tried many food trackers but this one is my favorite. I especially love the fact that I can scan the bar code on what I have eaten and it load the information for me.
  5. Evernote–This is a great tool to keep all your online articles and note in one place. The trap with Evernote is that if you don’t organize your stuff it’s like a virtual pile of papers on your desk. It can get very cluttered.
  6. Cozi– I mainly use the list feature I hate getting to the store and losing my list. This works great with families because you can assign To Do list to your kids.
  7. Fridge Pal– this is a new app that I just started to use. It helps you keep track of what’s in your fridge and when it will expire
  8. Scout is a navigation app
  9. Google-I would be lost without my gmail, and Google calendar
  10. WordPress– How could you see this wonderful blog with out it

I hope you get a chance to explore some of these tools and feel free to share with me some of your favorites.

Ah, the Lazy Days of Summer…

Summer is in full swing with it’s heat and storms. Last weekend was pretty exciting and not in a good way. I don’t think I have ever seen this much damage from one, no make that two storms. Even though it was a little tense during the storms I still find the fascinating. There was a point in my life where I wanted to be a meteorologist. When I was young I had numerous weather kits where I set up rain gauges and weather vains. There was a time when I knew all the different types of clouds and what they meant. What happened? Well in college I had a student job at a library and I discovered a new love <3. So the next time the weather prevents you from being outside here is a link to a whole page of links to weather games. Since you are stuck inside you might understand why the weather is doing what it is doing

Games & Simulations about Weather, Climate & the Atmosphere

Oh and here’s a link to Amazon for weather kits, who knows maybe meteorology will become your passion.

SUMMER!!!

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Even though our weather is not very summer like kids are out for summer! I’ve noticed much more activity on my street now that schools are on break. There is just a relaxed feel to the day.

The beginning of summer is always filled with with such promise. Plans that were made under winter skies are being carried out. Bike racks are being added to cars, tents are being aired out and campers are being brought out of storage. When you go off on your adventure take a notebook and keep a journal or is that old school? Should I have said make sure to bring your charger for your smart phone or device and post your pictures as you go along.

As for me, I’ll be walking my dogs and working in my yard, nothing makes me happier that happy puppies and dirt beneath my fingernails.


Wisconsin State Parks

Bike Trail Information

Evening Walk

Expanding

We are a growing library that gets a lot of use. In order to keep up with student demand we needed to bring in more shelving. We were fortunate that the high school was downsizing so we were able to get two matching sets of shelves to expand our collection.

The first section to take advantage of the new shelves was our graphic novel section. This has generated a lot more interest in our graphic novels.graphic novel shelf

Next we brought the Professional library out from the backroom so teachers have better access to the material. Lastly we moved the audio books out from behind the circulation desk so students have better access. audio professional shelf

Reaction from students and staff has been positive. We are always working to improve our library to benefit our patrons. If you get a chance stop in and check them out.

Thanks to the students that help assemble the new shelves.student

Put Your Summer Into Overdrive!

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Charles M. White Library SP WisOne of the things about growing up in a small town, and yes I consider Stevens Point, Wisconsin a small town, was you were never more than a bike ride away from the public library. I remember the ride in vivid detail, riding to the end of Heffron St, crossing Business 51, aka Church St , riding through the Shopko parking lot to get to Water St and taking that down town, a few more turns and I was there. The only time I minded was on those really hot days, the ones where you were exhausted by the time you got the end of the driveway. I didn’t have the option to go online and use Overdrive. What’s Overdrive you ask? Do you have a Kindle or iPad or the Kindle app on your phone or other mobile device? Great, then you can use Overdrive.

Overdrive is our eBook collection, you can access it by clicking this link. Once you are in Overdrive if you have questions check out the Help section, it really is informative. If you are having problems loading eBooks to your device check out the helpful videos at the end of the help section.

Oh, you are going on a long trip and get car sick, me too. Your public library also has Overdrive and they have audio books, problem solved! Wisconsin Digital Library You will need a public library card to use this site.

Summer Reading List

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Every year growing up I looked forward to the summer reading list that was provided to us on the last day of school. I would read through the whole list from top to bottom as they were available at the library. I remember fondly laying under the big pine tree in my backyard with Muffet, my cat, and being transported to India or Narnia. The tree was the peak of a triangle the other two corners were the clothesline and the vegetable garden. I loved this because it meant that my mom was close by so I could always share with her what I was reading. By high school the lists became less important to me as other things became more important. Now as an adult I long for the carefree days of reading books under the pine tree.

This year instead of giving you a canned list off the internet I went through every book in the middle school library and have created a list of my old favorites and new favorites, I’ve even thrown in a few books I’d like to read. I certainly don’t expect you to read all 50 but why don’t you shoot for 10. Find your pine tree and have a great summer.

Summer Reading List