Monday, December 26, 2011

PIE--An amazing book!

I just finished reading PIE by Sarah Weeks.  I first heard about this book at a Peggy Sharp workshop in November.  As a first-year librarian, I didn't know anything about Peggy before attending her workshop, but quickly figured out when she blesses a book, it's a really GOOD book!  PIE just happened to be one of those books, so I bought it at our book fair.

This is the point where it makes sense for me to give you a summary of the book and then tell you why I liked it so much.  But, others have already done that, and I agree with the hype surrounding the book.  So, I decided to include some links for you to explore.

Click here to read Chapter One of PIE.

If you want to read a plot synopsis and reviews from School Library Journal, Kirkus, and more, click here.

Sarah Weeks has a fun blog.  Click here for the blog's home page.  Click here for a fun blog posting by Weeks about PIE.

Scholastic has a great interview of Sarah Weeks.  Click here to read it.  Thanks to John Schu for posting this.  By the way, if you don't follow him on Twitter, you really should.  He's @MrSchuReads

Here's a review from the YA Librarian Tales blog.  Follow Sarah, the author of this blog on Twitter @whtabtpineapple

If you haven't read PIE, you should definitely head to your local library and check it out!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Letter to Teachers From Santa

I found this on Twitter and had to share it (thanks for posting, @mrandrewlindsay).  This is Santa's letter to teachers called "10 Reasons Why Teachers Must Be Magic."  Click here to read the article.  Definitely a must-read.  It's witty, fun, and is a great reminder of why I love life as an educator!

Monday, December 5, 2011

more Twitter info

Twitter programs
Computer-Tweet Deck
(you CAN download this on school computers)
Smart Phone-Tweet Deck, Hoot Suite

My # recommendations

Blogs and Twitter

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lady Gaga & Leadership

I raised a few eyebrows when I ordered Lady Gaga: Singing Sensation by Sarah Tieck for our library a couple months ago.  I didn't order the book to stir up drama, but wanted a book that would hook students.    Actually the book is well written, and provides insight into how Gaga started her career.  It's a hot ticket item in the library, and we can't keep our Lady Gaga book on the shelf!

I recently read an article called 12 Most Overlooked Leadership Nuggets from the Artistry of Lady Gaga by Shawn Murphy.  He actually nails these leadership lessons, which include:
  1. Have a cause
  2. Passion
  3. Know when to ease up
  4. Know your craft
  5. Befriend competition
  6. Surround yourself with talent
  7. Encourage
  8. Fame is a monster not worth chasing
  9. Stay relevant
  10. Controversy is exhausting
  11. Costumes leave us suspicious
  12. Reinvention
Make sure to check out Murphy's explanation for each leadership nugget.  You may be surprised by what you learn!  I also found another short article worth reading called "Lady Gaga and Leadership."  If Gaga's quote in that article doesn't define humility, I don't know what does.

I was pumped when I heard Gaga was going to have a Thanksgiving special on television.  While I loved her interview with Katie Couric, my favorite part of the special had to be her performance of "Hair."  I love how Gaga discusses bullying in the introduction. 

Actually I'm starting to learn just how much Gaga is working to stop bullying.  Here's one article in the Washington Post about Gaga sending an anti-bullying video to a student (via @markbrumley).  Another
Washington Post article discusses Gaga's Born This Way Foundation.  When I went to the foundation's website, I smiled when I read the following:
The Born This Way Foundation’s goal is simple, to foster a world where youth are empowered, humanity is embraced, and individuality is encouraged.

This global effort starts with today’s youth. By empowering and inspiring our young people to promote bravery, tolerance, and acceptance, we can change the way people view those who are different from them.
Not only am I a fan of Gaga's music, but I'm also a fan of the leadership lessons we could all learn from her!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Out of the mouths of babes!

This week was full of cute moments that were too good not to share!! 

Monday the library divas hung some holiday decorations.  One was a fireplace made out of bulletin board paper. Later that afternoon it was pretty wild with lots of students coming and going.  I looked over and saw two first grade students sitting in front of the fireplace flipping through books and discussing their findings.  I just had to smile.  The fireplace is so warm and inviting--who wouldn't want to sit in front of it and read?!?  I only wish I would have taken a picture of the two students as they were reading!  It definitely has to be one of my top 5 favorite moments in the library this year!  This week it has been fun to watch students' reactions to the decorations when they came in.

Glitter on the decorations seems to attract lots of attention.  This week it looks like a glitter ball exploded all over the library.  Beside the fireplace is a Christmas tree filled with sparkly ornaments.  One Kindergarten student has been fascinated with the decorations.  Tuesday I was walking into the library as she was leaving.  Here's the conversation that occurred:
"Miss Stuck, you have glitter on the floor."  -student
"Yep, but it's ok.  It just came from the decorations on the tree.  The glitter falls off of them sometimes."  -me
"I know, because I rubbed them ALL OVER!!!"  -student
As the student told me this, she proudly held up her hand to show me all the glitter on her hand.  I can't decide which was more precious--seeing all of that glitter or seeing the smile on her face because she was so proud of herself!  I tried not to burst out laughing as I reminded her that our hands need to stay off the decorations--otherwise all the glitter will fall off and they'll be plain and boring.  Love this kiddo!

Monday I wore a shirt that says "Santa's Little Helper."  It was a Black Friday deal from Old Navy.  We had a fire drill and I was holding one of the doors open for students.  A 2nd grade class walked by and saw my shirt.  When they came back in the building, one student asked if I'm really Santa's helper, and I said yes.  Then students started saying things like, "Hi, elf" and "Miss Stuck is an elf!"  Finally I told them I was a princess elf.  Now they think I'm watching their behavior and reporting back to Santa.  It's good to be an elf!

My reading babies have made a lot of progress this quarter, and continue to crack me up. This week I got a couple of creative answers on their tests.  The first student had to use the word hatch in a sentence.  He wrote, "The egg had a crack on day one.  On day two it hatched.  Cool!"  Gotta love his voice in this sentence!

Another test question asked students to explain how they figured out the meaning of the word bask.  One girl wrote, "I know what bask means because I used my schema.  I thought when my mom lays in the sun."  What a great answer for a first grader!  By the way, I changed the spelling of the two students' answers, but didn't change any of their words.  Can you tell we like using the word schema instead of background knowledge in class?

Stories like the ones above remind me why I love my job so much!