Monday, November 25, 2013


I've been using Pinterest for a while to identify and save quilt patterns, recipes, teaching ideas, and other things I was interested in. I never thought about saving quotes until Polly Farrington put up her Pinterest quotes. What a great idea. I'm going to have to do more with Pinterest now.

Friday, November 22, 2013


I'm learning to use tweets. I set up an account several years ago, but never really used it. I'm still really awkward at finding people to follow and posting my own tweets, but I hope that will bcome easier as time goes on. I went way over on the number of characters when I sent my first tweet. My biggest problem is that I do not have a smart phone. I'm trying to do tweets from a computer and a tablet. I may need to rethink my tech choices.

Friday, November 15, 2013

AASL Hartford

   I've been attending a wonderful AASL conference in Hartford, Connecticut. I attended one session on library apps and was pleasantly surprised that AASL now has compiled a list of best apps for teaching and learning. 100s of apps were screened and only a few were chosen for this inaugural list. These apps were not all free. Making the list are Bats: Furry Fliers of the Night, All Gore- Our Choice, Cinderella from Nosy Crow, Shakespeare in Bits- Hamlet, Fam Bam- Got to Have Music, Science 360, NASA, Operation Math, SimplePhysics, Tinkerbox, EasyBib, Dropbox, Evernote, Schoology, Socrative, Ansel and Clair's Adventures in Africa, Barefoot World Atlas, Brittanica Kids: Ancient Egypt, My Congress, News-O-Matic Daily for Kids, Educreations, Toontastic, Kidblog, GarageBand, and Videolicious.
The team recommended also looking at other apps by the same creators.
   These apps are for all age levels. Some are appropriate for home use. I can't wait to spend some more time with these to see how I can incorporate them into my library program.

Friday, November 8, 2013


As I looked at other blogs, I realized that I never wrote an introductory post. I'm a school librarian at Millard Hawk Primary School in Central Square, New York. I've been at MHP for nearly 15 years. Before that, I was the librarian at St. Paul's Academy in Oswego, New York for eleven years. My journey to this point has been circuitous, but I am so happy with this career. I graduated from Cornell with a degree in wildlife management, but quickly realized that I neede to be home with my family. I began taking graduate education courses at the College of William and Mary, in Virginia. When we moved to Oswego, I completed my education coursework at SUNY Oswego in 1986. I started working at St. Paul's in May 1986, first as a reading teacher and later as both a reading teacher and librarian. I completed my MLS in 1998 through Syracuse University. In May 1999, I began working at MHP and have stayed in this place through three principals, five superintendants, and numerous curriculum changes. Just last year a full comuter lab was added to my library domain. I also oversee a guided reading collection of 13,000 books. Right now my collection is 26,850 items. Inventory takes longer and longer, but my (retired) husband has been wonderful about doing that while I continue to teach. My real delight is getting children to love reading and want to share their interests with other students. I want children to be able to answer research questions, especially on their favorite topics. To that end, I am always looking for new ways to engage children with their learning. This course promises to provide some of those tools.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Blog app?

I'm looking for advice on a blog app that could be used in a computer lab for second grade students. I want to be able to ask questions and get student responses as a formative assessment. I've seen such an app at meetings but don't have it in my links yet. Any advice on what works well?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Beginning Cool Tools for School and the CNYSchool Library Conference

   Today begins a journey into more Web 2.0  tools for my library. It also was a wonderful day at the Greater Central New York School Library Conference. Jennifer LaGarde was the keynote speaker and inspired us all with her words of wisdom. Some favorite quotes from the keynote include "kids and teachers are the collection, not the books" and "Dewey is not a life skill". LaGarde suggests making our sources more available to students through new ways of shelving, making our labs into "inquiry centers" where students generate many questions, and making ourselves indispensable so that we don't become obsolete.
   Much of the rest of the day focused on IPad apps. I have downloaded many suggested apps today and look forward to spending time learning more about Qrafter, Chirp, Pic Collage, Skitch, Screen Chomp, Videolicious and Colar Mix. I know there are more on class handouts, as well. I especially was interested in ways to use Google Earth with Chirp and Pic Collage. The ability to find a map, take a screen shot, edit it and show it to a class in a few minutes is appealing.
   Finally, Bill and Banna from Riversend bookstore presented their yearly list of best books. They always have titles that are not available anywhere else, are thought-provoking, and are beautifully written. This year was no exception. I did not get a handout, but look forward to getting the complete list and purchasing some of the titles for my students.