Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Author Visit with PJ Hoover

Award winning author, PJ Hoover visited my district this week.  She came to my school today and presented to 5th grade. 

The 5th graders LOVED her!  She held their attention during her 45 minute presentation.  She talked about her childhood, her family, her 1st career as an engineer making computer chips for phones and such, and her love for science fiction and fantasy.

She talked about how her books have been rejected 300 times!  But she never gave up.  My favorite quote from her presentation was "Feel the fear and do it anyway."  I. LOVE. THAT. QUOTE!  It's going in my bullet journal!

At lunch time she ate with my book club members in 2nd-5th grade.  She gave them each an autographed copy of two of her books.  On a side note, she asked them if they loved to read.  A couple of them said no.  I'm over here like "um... why are you in book club then?" Then when she tells them she's giving them free books one of the students who proclaimed to not like reading  pumped his fist in the air and said "Yes!" and smiled real big at his buddy.  Crazy kids!  lol

After lunch was over two of my students stuck around.  She showed them how to get on her website and print an alphabet activity.  Both are students who need a little extra attention and she gave it to them willingly.

PJ was friendly, down to earth and a joy to be around.  She was easy to work with and easy to talk to.  I highly recommend her for an author visit!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Bluebonnet Voting Gone Wrong

I was very excited this year to create a Google Form and have my 3rd-5th graders vote for their favorite Bluebonnet book electronically instead of paper voting.

With the paper voting I had to tally the votes, count them up, and hope I didn't make a mistake.  I LOVE how Google is able to do all that for me.

It took me 10 minutes at most to create the form.  I hadn't used Google Forms in awhile so I had to remember how to delete the sections I didn't want and how add more options.  If I hadn't had to do all that I probably could of knocked it out quicker.

I told our tech department a few months back what I was wanting to do to make sure I could do this.  They sent me an Excel sheet organized by grade level with each students' email address so all I had to do was copy and paste the email addressess into the shared box and hit send.

Then this morning during library time... I reminded students how to log into their gmail accounts.  Students could get logged into their Google accounts but could not access their email. 

After lots of hair pulling, lots of "Hang on.  I know there's a problem.  Put your hand down.  I know.  I'm working on it," a phone call to the Help Desk, a text to the District Technical Support Coordinator (we go way back), and finally a phone call with her, I find out that we were breaking HIPAA because children under 13 aren't suppose to have email accounts.  So they were disabled.  The district is working on getting the setting to where our students can only email within our domain which will fix the HIPPA issue.

This afternoon our campus digital learning teacher and I will be sitting down to brainstorm how I can still do voting digitally.  Without having talked to her yet I'm thinking Google Classroom but I'm going to wait to see what ideas she has.

Although this activity crashed and it's not my fault, I still feel the sting of failure in this lesson.  I keep reminding myself that I am only failing forward and that we will get this figured out.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Currently, I am…
listening to… the faux virtual fire on my tv.

eating…nothing right now, but thinking about cooking black bean soup
needing to… cook said black bean soup
thinking about… cooking the soup. Lol
wanting to... stay warm and cozy on this snow day

feeling like… I’m a little chilly.

Currently, I should be…
listening to… students check out books in the library. 
watching… students check out books and go to stations. 
drinking…a sip of water
needing to… shelve books & help students find books
thinking about… my to do list
wanting to…make sure that I help every student the way they need help
feeling like… a rock star librarian 

Monday, January 15, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

For School:

I read January by Mari Kesselring to PK-2nd.  It's a simple book with facts about January like it has 31 days and we celebrate Martin Luther King on the third Monday.  With PK I do simple things like sing the months of the year.  With 1st and 2nd I ask what number goes with January and why the number 1 goes with January.

For Pleasure:

I'm listening to The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan.  A young librarian loses her job because they are closing all the libraries in her city.   She loves her job.  Loves pairing people with the right books.  She has to make some life changes.  She buys a van, moves countries, and starts selling books out of the van.  It's not the life she imaged.  It's much better.

I'm reading All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater.  I have a hard getting into some of Maggie's books at first.  Her style of writing can be so whimsical.  It's hard for my brain to adjust.  But once it does I can speed right through her books.  This books is like that.  It's about saints and miracles and pilgrims and a family of saints.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Five For Friday-Back to Work After a Break

1.  Monday I jumped out of bed ready to get back to work.  Ready to see my students.  Ready to get back into my routine.  Ready to see my teacher friends.  Ready to share books with my students and teachers.

2.  I woke up Tuesday and thought "Good grief.  It's only Tuesday!"  I used all my energy Monday.  Ha!

3.  Our students have been out of their minds.  Us teachers looked to see if it was a full moon.  It's not.  Maybe it's the cold weather?  Someone suggested there's something in the water.

4.  It's hard to come back to school after a two week break.  I'm glad we have Monday off.  That gives me a day to recover.  Ha!

5.  It's cold today!  I'm making white chili for dinner today.  I haven't made it in a long time.  I'm excited.

Thursday, January 11, 2018


I haven't been blogging as much as I use to.  I use to blog every week day.  But since about March 2017 that hasn't happened.

So I started thinking about why.

I think a big reason, maybe even the reason is because there was a big change in March in my work life.  Everything, every single thing about this change made me mad.  And being a professional I didn't think it was appropriate for me to put it all out on the world wide web for everybody and their country cousin to see.

With that whole situation filling up my brain there wasn't much else for me to write about.  Or maybe that's not true.  Maybe there was but I just couldn't focus on it.  I am bad about focusing on the bad and forgetting there are positives in my life.

Now that whole situation has been taken care of and I'm able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I'm trying to get back in the habit of writing every week day.  I do miss it. 

Here's to starting out 2018 on a new page!