Thursday, January 30, 2014

Snow Days = Reading Days

With an unexpected 2.5 days off of work and school, it was the perfect week for reading while curled up in a chair with a dog and a blanket to keep me warm. I finished Scarlet, book two in Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles. This series is a scifi/modern day fairy tale/dystopian mashup that is packed with action and romance.  Now I can't wait for my copy of book three, Cress, to come in at my local public library.

Maira Kalman's latest picture biography, Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everythingis beautifully illustrated and full of important (and sometimes quirky) facts about the life of our third president.  I like this quote from TJ: "I cannot live a life without books". 

Based on student recommendations I read Lisi Harrison's The Clique  (OMG - girls can be so mean!) and am in the middle of Alvin Ho #1: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look. We just added Alvin Ho to our beginning chapter books section and the boys especially are very excited.  One student is already on book number 3! 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

New Year, New Blog?

Well, it has happened.  After almost three years, lots of reading, many research papers, and much help from my family and friends, I have graduated with my Master of Library & Information Science and have a pending South Carolina State Teaching certificate.  The next step is finding a position as a school media specialist.

Transitioning from a graduate school focus, this blog will discuss books, apps, and tech tools. Eventually it may evolve again to reflect my life as a newly minted school media specialist. But not yet...:)

After six books and over 300,00 words, I finally completed all of Michael Grant's Gone series. Set in a California beach town in the aftermath of a nuclear powder plant accident, this series is full of richly developed, memorable characters (Whip Hand anyone?). Whether hero, villain, or a mixture of both, no one leaves the FAYZ unscathed. I would love to see this series brought to the big screen. Gone has become one of my go to titles for those students that have already read other popular dystopian series such as The Hunger Games or Divergent.

Catching Kisses is a new picture book by Amy Gibson. The story follows kisses as they are blown and fly off with the wind around our country. I especially enjoyed Maria Van Lieshout's striking retro style illustrations of various U.S. cities and the game in recognizing the places in the book.

Current favorite apps: Haiku Deck and Smore. Haiku Deck is super simple to use and creates very visual, striking presentations. Streamlined alternative to PowerPoint. Smore is for digital flyers, newsletters, invitations, and much more. It is intuitive to learn and features modern fonts and backgrounds. I have made Smores for school drop ins, yard sales, and professional development presentations.