Saturday, February 18, 2017

Weekly Reading - Winter Street Trilogy

     I read all three in this series and I wish  there would be more! They were in order Winter 
Street, Winter Stroll, and Winter Storm.  Elin Hilderbrand's stories are magical and brings you right in with the characters and the setting.
    The focus is on the Quinn family and most of all it members have their own issues and problems. There are twists and turns  in this family saga. Head of the family is Kellely Quinn and his second wife Mitzi, not to be outdone by the Margaret Quinn , his first wife and mother to the first three grown children. Kellely and Mitzi run an Inn on Nantucket Island .Their son is Bart.
     You'll just have to read this engaging family story- you 'll want to read all of them if you like family stories. Now I am going to seek out some more of Hilderbrand's books  because I am believing they will be just as good.

Winter Stroll (Winter Street)

Thursday, February 9, 2017


  The previous MS librarian( she is now in the HS, our Dept Chair) developed livebinders which are on our library webpage for several of the projects that the teachers needed resources for. Putting them on the webpage makes it really easy for students  when doing these projects.

  The livebinders  and the sites that are included on them  are determined by age level, topic and what the teachers want the students to find out or what information the students need
They can go to the livebinders and get the information they need for the task at hand.

  I have also developed  a few new livebinders  for newer projects  that teachers have asked  me for I will continue doing this as it helps students focus on information needed. It also helps them see what a reliable source looks like.

See my post on livebinders from  5/23/2013. Wired Wednesday- Tech Tools

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Weekly Reading- Fever

   Fever  by L.H.Anderson is another winner in my book. In fact, it appears on many award lists . Ms Anderson won the Margaret A Edwards award in 2009 . This award is given by the ALA for Historical fiction for teens and YA's

   Mattie Cook lives and works at her families coffee shop with her mother and grandfather in the late 1790''s. When the yellow fever breaks out, Mattie's world becomes more intense. Her mother falls ill, so Mattie is sent away  from the city. Her mother does not want her to get the fever.

  She and her grandfather go to the country but the fever is everywhere. MAttie is thrown into being  more grownup and resources in order to survive both her and her grandfathers sickness. She just wants to go back to the city and find her mother.

  Based on real events, Ms, Anderson brings the year 1794 and the epidemic in Philadelphia to life.  You can put yourself in Mattie's shoes as she travels back to the city to open the coffee shop and find out what happens to  bring her life back to almost normal,

Product Details

Friday, February 3, 2017

Teaching Databases

    When is the best time to teach students how to use databases? Last year I had fixed classes and I taught the databases  in isolation.( when there is not a specific purpose the use)  This year I am teaching the databases in an as needed basis. When the students have a research project or something they need to find out for their content teacher, I work with the class  and determine when to introduce/ review the ease of use of the databases that we have available.

    For example, at the beginning of the year I worked with the FACS teacher ( Home Ec in my day) to  develop  a major unit on researching a possible career. I placed the career resources on the library web page, There was a career survey , and specific sites that she wanted them to use. These were not actually databases but government sites  that we wanted them to use. 

   The language teachers did  research projects . So I showed the student  the Culture Gram database . This database madd their project extremely easy.

    I find that teaching students  databases when the are needed  for a project much more effective  for students  to actually leann about them and then USE them in their search for information.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Weekly Reading- Bella at Midnight

   Bella at Midnight/ Diane Stanley is a story of an  girl who becomes a knight and a princess by the end of the book. Isabella's other dies  when Isabella is only days old. So she is sent to a cottage of a wet nurse. Her Father does not want anything to do with her because of the reminder of her  mother , so continues to stay in the lowly cottage even under protests from  her aunt.

   Her best friend is Julian who was also cared for by the family for a while His Father  is the King , but he is the last  one of 4 brothers.  Isabella and Julian  go  their  separate ways when it they are older because Julian is of royalty , although Bella still cares for him deeply. They are reunited in rather unlikely way to come to a very satisfying conclusion  of the story.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Weekly Reading-Listen to the Moon

  I have been  doing a lot of reading. One of my favorites was Listen to the Moon ( M. Morgurego) .  This is the amazing story of the author's grandmother who 'came out of nowhere'.   ' Lucy"was rescued  by Alfie and Jim Wheatcroft and taken to their  home on the islands by Sicily.

She is loved  and taken care of , even though she is found with a blanket with  German words on it. This is during the time of the beginnings of WWI. Traumatized by something or someone , she does not speak for the longest time.
Alfie ( the son, who is  a couple years older than she) makes the most progress with her, She listens to him and he can tell that she understands what he is saying. He protects her at school.

 The doctor is also supportive of the Wheatcroft. Mary the wife and mother dotes on the girl and loves her like the daughter she never had. The town is not so good to the family, because the girl is believed to be German.

The story unfolds slowly  as 'Lucy'  gets better, A piano, a German, and time bring the story to a very satisfying conclusion, I just wish there was another book so we can see what happens next.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

February Bulletin Boards

      Now it is time to think about February and what to do about the bulletin boards.   Here are some ideas :

We love to Read!- Give pink or red hearts  to students and have the write their favorite books. Students can write I Love...   and give the title and their name. Place on BB with letters of slogan on top in black letters - Can use a light background and heart /scallop edges.

Black History Month- Place pictures of famous African Americans . You can number them, Give some clues under each one. Students can use references or online sources to find out . Students can give guesses in to you- At the end of the month, place names under each one.

Tech tie in- Tweet a sweet Book! Give students an enlarged note. Place a cute bird on each side of the BB- Students can write their favorite titles on each note and then placed on the BB.

Presidents Day- You  can do this similar to Black History Month.( Use presidents that students do not know) Or you could place some presidents  and have students find little know facts on each person.

Fiction to Film: Scan covers of books that you have in your library that have been made into movies.  Place the slogan in the middle and the covers around. A slogan to add  would be: Have you read these?