Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Gingerbread Men Loose in the Library

I've had the best week at work!

This is what I did- first i created 21 places/stuffed animals  for the kids to "visit" on their search. In addition there was a starting code on their table(me holding the speech bubble with the QR code in it) and an ending code on their gingerbread man. I wrote a script for each code.  Each table scanned 5 codes, so that was 35 script items. I used to record the audio because it has a "save as QR code" option. Super easy to use! I used a google doc to save all the codes in one place. I labeled the codes, which comes in handy when kids get "lost". I tell them to make sure they are only scanning codes with their table number - this was really helpful for 2nd & 3rd grades. Then I cut and mounted the codes on construction paper, and hung them around the room.  I also had my 5th grade shelf elves make foam gingerbread guys.I read "Gingerbread Man Loose in the School". Then I told the kiddos that 7(1 for each table group) gingerbread men were lost/loose in the library. They used the iPads to scan the codes to find the gingerbread guys (that were hiding under the crayon baskets all along). They started with a code on the table, went to 3 locations and back to their table. The hunt lasted about 7-10 minutes. I borrowed 5th & 4th graders to help kindergarten. (Huge help!!!) It was like MAGIC with the little ones..."how did he get there??" Prep time was about 3-5 hours, but that is for 22 classes. It has been so much fun...can't wait to create something for 4-5 with the Bluestem Award Books. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

5th Grade Story by Disney App Success

  I wanted to share the project I did with a group of  5th graders yesterday afternoon. We used Story by Disney – a FREE app to create a digital storytelling project of library rules. It took 27 minutes start(brainstorming rules) to finish(watching what we created). I did not do it during a regular library time (we are atill on a fixed schedule), the teacher came in with his class during one of my open times. The teacher stayed with the class and handled the management of the class while I did the tech teaching part. It was a great collaboration. The kids had a great time and I can already think of “a million” other things to do with the app. My next mission… to get the app on ALL of the iPads in the library AND to get us new adaptors to use our iPad 4s with the projectors. **watching the finished project is DIFFERENT in the app vs on the computer with the link- the link “show” is MUCH better than watching it in the app!!! 

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

If you haven’t picked up a copy of “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” by William Joyce, you should!!!!!!!!! It is awesome. There are two apps from Moonbot Studios that are awesome that go along with it. Today I’ve been playing around with these two apps with the kids. The IMAG-N-O-TRON app (app 1) needs the physical book to work. I believe it is an app that works with augmented reality. (Wish I would have went to more sessions on this at IETC, but I was too busy listening to Kevin Honeycutt.)  I have the iPad hooked up to the lcd project so the kids are seeing what I’m seeing. You act like you are taking a picture of the book page and then things start to happen like words jump off the page and books fly around. The app also knows which page you are on and reads the page to you.  There are pages that tell you to “look around” and you angle the camera around the room (at the kids) and all of a sudden they are part of the page with books flying around or Mr. Lessmore flying through the room. The quick animoto video shows screen shots of what it looks like with the book expanding off the page and into the library with the kids.


The other app, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, is very similar to “Rocket Learns to Read” app that many of us used last year with the Monarch book. The app will read the story to the kids and there are things to do on each page to make it interactive – you can make the tornado swirl, play a song on a piano keyboard, open books, make books fly, etc.


William Joyce’s “short” film inspired by the book won an Academy Award, and the film is part of the second app (you can watch the short on youtube, but this one is commercial free).


The first app is.99 and the second app is 4.99. Well worth EVERY PENNY I paid for them. I’ve been using it with all grade levels today and every class LOVED it!




App 1 - IMAG-N-O-TRON: "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" Edition by Moonbot Studios LA, LLC



App 2 -The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by Moonbot Studios LA, LLC


One last plug for William Joyce – book 4 of his Guardians of Childhood book came out last week, is called Sandman and the War of Dreams ( I think). Can’t wait until Friday at my B&N bookfair to pick up a copy. I LOVE the series and highly recommend it to ALL!!!!!


Saturday, November 23, 2013

So Many little time to Blog about them!

It has been way too long since my last Blog post! I have been reading like crazy and am happy to FINALLY update all of my readers!

What I have finished reading since my last post:
Dark Hills Divide - this was a book that I put down for about a month. I finally picked it back up, and boy am I glad I did! I really liked it, and can't wait to read the other books in the series! 
Spirit Animals by Brandon Mull- I LOVED this book! I really liked the 4 main characters, and I really enjoyed the story. I'm looking forward to book 2, but I'm a little worried because it is by a different author. 
Stranded by Jeff Probst- Many of the girls had been chatting about this one after the book fair. To be honest, I was a little skeptical reading something that the host of the hit tv shoemw "Survivor" wrote. Wow! This book was pretty great. I really enjoyed it!
The Girl & the Seven Theives- this book was given to me by my favorite book vendor. It was a book I was thinking about, and was glad I read it. It is a modern day Snow White story set in New York. It is a great read for girls in higher grades that might not be reading at grade level. The overall story is familiar with a twist. 
Cheesie Mac is not a Genius or Anything- I was finally able to check this out from the JRT library! It is a great book that is on the Bluestem list this year. I think boys will love this book! It is filled with humor, and laugh out loud moments! :) 
Words in the Dust- A student suggested I read this one. I'm so glad I did. I saw the author speak at an Anderson's Author Breakfast. I loved the story he told, and I enjoyed talking about the book. 
Emily's Fortune- LOVED this! I'm going to  have a really hard time picking my favorite Bluestem this year! Boys and girls will really enjoy this fast paced adventure! 
White House Christmas Mystery by Carol March- I ordered this with my Scholastic Dollars after my book fair. It was a quick read and I enjoyed it. I like that the author has a website for a technology tie-in. 

What I'm reading now--- I'm so excited that I'm finally reading Terror Cove by Christopher Krovatin!!! This is the second book in the Gravediggers series. I was "dying" to read it! :) I'm already three chapters in and I love it! The action starts on page 1. I think readers would be ok if they didn't read book 1 first because the author reminds the reader of what happened in book 1. 

What I'm still reading to my son- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. We are over 75% through it, hope to finish by Christmas and move on to book 6. 

Well, there you have it! That is what I have been busy reading since my last update! :)  

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Another Great Week of Reading!

Oldies but Goodies that I read since my last post:
Shakespeare's Secret -Elise Broach- Loved this book! I really liked all if the twists and turns as Hero tries to solve the mystery of the missing diamond. 

Loser by Jerry Spinelli
I really liked this book until the very end. The end was a bit lackluster for me. I can think of many other ways I would have liked this book to end instead of the way that it did end. 

Out of  my Mind by Sharon Draper
Loved this book so much that I read it in one day. I even brought it with me to Longhorn and read while I waited for my dinner to be served. It was fantastic! Opened my eyes to new possibilities that I didn't think of before! Awesome book! 

Waiting for the Magic by Patricia MacLachlan
Such a sweet book!  I loved the animals  in this book! I know this is going to be a hard book to keep on the shelf at my school. It is on the Bluestem list this year and it is a pretty quick read! 

What I'm reading now:
Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy 
I saw Trent Reedy speak at an Anderson's Breakfast a few years ago about this book. It didn't end up on my "must read" list until a student came into the library and book talked it to me. I'm about three chapters in and I'm enjoying it. This book is on the Caudull list, and I'm sure my 4th & 5th graders who want to participate in the Caudill program will want to read this one! 

What I'm reading to my son:
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
We have just gotten to the part where Umbridge has banned Harry from Quidditch FOREVER! Oh my!!!! I "almost" forgot how much I dislike that woman! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Great Book Break-Up

Up until very recently, I would never think of "breaking up" with a book. However, the more I read, the more I have learned to value my time as a reader. I always tell the kids to give it at least 2-3 chapters before giving up on a book. Some books really do take a little longer to get going. Over the past few weeks I have "broken up" with several books. Reasons for my great book break ups recently were couldn't get into the story, characters were not very interesting, poorly written, knew I wasn't going to buy it for the JRT Library within a few chapters, etc.   Despite the many books I didn't finish this week, I did FINISH and ENJOY:

Marty McGurie by Kate Messner
This would be a great read aloud to a third grade class. It has a GREAT fairy tale / fractured fairy tale tie in!

Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
Another great read aloud for 2nd and 3rd graders. I loved this because it is funny like Junie B. Jones but a little more mature. 

Al Capone Does my Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
LOVED this. It was not at all what I expected. Great historical fiction for boys and girls! Really loved reading about life for the children living on Alcatraz.

Star in the Storm byJoan Hiatt Harlow
Another 5 star book! I loved her other book called Thunder from the Sea. I really loved this one because it was kind of a nail biter! I couldn't put it down because I HAD TO KNOW what was going to happen next!! 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Back to Work

Over the past two and a half weeks I have been making the transition back to work and fighting a sinus infection. I haven't had a TON of extra time to read or write about what I have been reading. I'm hoping now that I'm starting to feel better and get back into the routine that I'll be reading and posting more!

What I've recently finished:
I just finished Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko.  I know this book was written "a long time ago" in 2006, but I never got around to reading it back then. I heard that the third book in the series was coming out this August, so I finally decided to read it. I was really glad I read it because it was great. I'm looking forward to reading the next two books in the series to find out what happens next to the kids who live on Alcatraz! 

I also finished reading The Gecko & Sticky: Villain's Lair by Wendelin Van Draanen. I'm always on the look out for great read "transition" chapter books. I call them transition chapter books because they are great to read aloud to second and third graders who are ready to listen to longer books, but might not be ready to tackle the whole book by themselves. I liked this book because it was full of action and was funny! I think the boys will really enjoy the main character and LOVE the villains! 

What I'm reading now:
The Land of Elyon Book 1: The Dark Hills Divide by Patrick Carman. This is also an older book (2005), but I really LOVED Carman's Floors books, that I wanted to read more by him. 

What I'm reading with my son:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Sunday, August 11, 2013

"PIE" and other books that make me hungry!

I just started and finished reading PIE by Sarah Weeks today. It was a delicious read! Loved every minute of it and found myself craving apple pie by the end of the book. It is on the Bluestem Award List this year and I will be getting extra copies of this one for the JRT Library because I think the kids are going to gobble it up just like I did! This got me thinking about other books in the JRT Library with a baking theme.
My favorites include:
Picture books about Baking:
Ameila Bedelia’s First Apple Pie  by Herman Parish  E PAR
Ameila Bedelia Bakes Off by Herman Parish  E PAR
Froggy Bakes a Cake  E L
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman E PRI
Enemy Pie by Derek Munson  E MUN
Fancy Nancy and the Delectable Cupcakes  by Jane O’Connor  E O
Splat the Cat Takes the Cake by Amy Hsu Lin  E S

Chapter Books about Baking:
Bliss by Kathryn Littlewood F LIT
A Dash of Magic: A Bliss Novel by Kathryn Littlewood F LIT
Julia’s Kitchen by Brenda Ferber

Friday, August 9, 2013

What is Erin the Librarian reading week of August 4-10

Yikes! It is already Friday and I'm just now starting to type out my blog post for the week!! It has been a little hard finding time to read this week. I spent two days getting my library ready for the coming school year. I also helped out at our back to school registration day. It was great talking to all of the students about how they spent their summer vacations. Plus...I've been trying to make the most out of my last full week of Summer Vacation, boating, biking, movies, and more! 

What I'm reading for work:
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein
I loved this book. I hadn't heard anything about it from my usual sources. I picked it up because it was on the District 203's Battle of the Books display at the Naperville Library and the cover was really cool. I enjoyed reading this book about 12 students who win a contest to stay over night at the new library in town that was designed by a famous game maker, Mr. Lemoncello. I loved all of the "Easter Eggs" in this book. What is an "Easter Egg", you ask? It is a hidden reference. In this book all of the "Easter Eggs" had to do with games and books. I LOVE to play games, so I really enjoyed all of the game references. I thought the characters were believable and fun. Both boys and girls will really enjoy this book. It was a little like MVP + Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets the library. I am hoping that Chris Grabenstein continues to make more stories about Mr. Lemoncello's amazing library!

What I'm reading with my son:
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Now that we are into book 5, my son is REALLY invested in the story and begs me to continue reading each night. I have a funny feeling that we are going to get through this book a lot faster than Goblet of Fire. My son has seen all of the movies, but this is his first time reading (me reading them to him) the books, so he is interested in all of the changes and the parts that were left out of the movies. I'm so excited to be sharing these books with him!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What is Erin the Librarian reading week of July 28-Aug.3


My most exciting news for this post is....
I FINALLY finished reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire to my son! On Monday we were having a "turn off electronics" kind of day, so I pushed through and read for about two hours to get it done. It has been our little tradition to read the book and then watch the movie. We started watching it, but my son got a little frustrated with ALL the changes. I turned it off, and promptly began reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. 

What I read since my last post for work:
Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls
I really enjoyed this book! It made me cry... a lot! It is about two boys who have Leukemia. During my years as a teacher I have had students that have Leukemia. I'm still on the fence if I will purchase this book for my elementary library.

Starbounders by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
I LOVED their Familiars Series. I normally do not enjoy the Sci-Fi genre. However, since I enjoyed the Familiars books so much, I decided to give it a try. This is the second time this summer that I have TRIED SOMETHING NEW AND ENJOYED IT! :) The non-stop action was great, and it will appeal to both the boys and girls in my school. Zachary, Ryic, and Kaylee are all students at Indigo-8, a school to train youngsters from around the galaxy how to protect it. When the three are punished and sent to on a cleaning mission and find themselves in the middle of a plot to destroy Earth. Will they have what it takes to save the planet?

Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies
This was a great book! Evan and his younger sister Jessie have a contest to see who can earn the most money selling lemonade before the school year begins. I enjoyed this Bluestem book so much, I'm ordering the rest of the series. 

Jake and Lilly by Jerry Spinelli
I must have been on a brother/sister kick last week. This book was fantastic. Jake and Lily are twins and it is about the summer that they "grow apart". Lily has a difficult time "losing Jake", but with the aide of her hippy grandpa, she finds herself and learns that Jake isn't really gone.

What I'm reading for myself:
TV Guide: Comic-Con Edition. I'm enjoying reading about what will be happening on my favorite shows this fall!

What I'm reading with my son:
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

What to start next?? These are the books I came home with from the library this week:
The Gecko & Sticky: Villain's Lair
One Dog and His Boy
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
The One and Only Stuey Lewis

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What is Erin reading... week of July 14-20

The last few days have been too hot to do anything outside, so I've been able to do a lot of reading!

For work:
I finished "The School for Good and Evil" by Soman Chainani. Overall, I'd have to say that I enjoyed it, but I found it a little mature for my elementary school library. I don't think I'll be ordering it. 

I also finished reading "Jake and Lily" by Jerry Spinelli. I really enjoyed this book about twins. Jake and Lily have that special twin connection. They can finish the other twin's sentence, feel when their twin is in pain, and don't even have to search for the other twin in a game of hide-and-seek because they can sense where the other one is hiding. However, what will happen to their special twin connection when Jake and Lily get their own rooms, and Jake starts hanging out with other boys? I really enjoyed this book and I think boys and girls at JRT will also like it!

I just started reading "The Lemonade War" by Jacqeline Davies. I think this will be the perfect book because it begins at the very end of a very hot summer. That is just the kind of weather we are having here in the Chicagoland area. I'm excited to read this book from the Bluestem Award List! 

With my son:
Yes, we are still reading "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"! However, we are getting closer and closer to the end!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Forgot to mention...

I did finish the Gravediggers book by Christopher Krovatin. I really enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. I can't wait to talk it up to my scary book readers!  :) I was also super excited when I Tweeted him @ChrisKrovatin and he not only favorited my Tweet, but he Re-Tweeted! Looking forward to more books from Christopher Krovatin!

You can follow me on Twitter @Butterfli820
What is Erin Reading Week of July 7-13

I was on vacation last week and PLANNED on reading a lot more than I did. However, I did read something for myself on vacation.

For work:
The School of Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
I follow Harper Collins Children on Twitter @HarperChildrens. They have been talking this book up a lot on Twitter, so I decided to read it. I'm about 1/4 of the way through it. It is about two girls who have been kidnapped to attend the School of Good and Evil to become characters in Fairy Tales. I'm really enjoying the twists and turns of this book! Can't wait to see how it ends. 

Little Wolf's Book of Badness by Ian Whybrow
This is on the Bluestem List. This a great book for reluctant readers as well as our 2nd graders who are ready for chapter books! I love the humor of this book. and the illustrations are great! Although this book is on the Bluestem list,  I'm looking forward to recommending this to a certain 2nd grade teacher who is always on the look out for a new chapter book series.

Reading with my Son:
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I know...I know... we are still reading this. It is a LONG book, and it is summer! My goal is to finish it before July is over! 

Reading alongside my Son:
Gregor the Overlander Series by Suzanne Collins. Collins wrote the Gregor Series before she wrote the Hunger Games. I read the series several years ago and LOVED it. My son is reading it now on his own, and I've started reading it, so we can chat about it. I am loving it now as much as I loved it the first time I read it. :) 

Picture Books I'm really excited about ordering for the new school year:
Splat the Cat: On With the Show and Splat and the Cool School Trip by Rob Scotton
Pete the Cat: Wheels on the Bus by James Dean

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What is Erin Reading? Week of June 23-June29

This week I'm reading:

For work:
Cicada Summer by Andrea Beaty - This book is on the "Illinois Reads List". Cicada Summer has been on my "Must Read" list for ages. I'm glad I finally picked it up! I really enjoyed it. The main character becomes mute after an accident. I have worked with mute children during my teaching career, and it was interesting to read about a child who decided she didn't want to talk.  I'm looking forward to talking this up to the 4th and 5th graders when we get back to school. 

Christoper Krovatin 
Gravediggers:  Mountain of Bones by  Christopher Krovatin - At the time of this post, I was about 50 pages into this. I had the chance to meet Christopher Krovatin at the Anderson's Author Breakfast. He is speaking about Gravediggers in the picture to the left. Scary books are not my favorite genre, however, Christopher Krovatin was such an interesting person to listen to,  I decided I needed to read his book. So far it is great! I'm really enjoying it. I have a feeling that the boys and girls will enjoy it as well. 

Finding Zasha by Randi Barrow - I really enjoyed Saving Zasha, so I decided to give this one a try! I'm about a chapter into it and I like it.

With my son:
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Yes, we are still reading this! :) This summer has been really busy for us with swim team and we haven't had a much time to read together as we do during the school year. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

What is Erin reading this week - June 16-22

This is what ERIN The LIBRARIAN is reading this week!

With my son:
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

For work:
Bud, Not Buddy by Christoper Paul Curits
I LOVED Bud, Not Buddy! As I was reading I was making guesses about how it was going to turn out. I was so happy with the ending of this book.  This book is on the Bluestem List this year. I have a feeling there is going to be a very long waiting list for this one!
EllRay Jakes the Dragon Slayer by Sally Warner - I think my beginning chapter book readers would enjoy this realistic fiction chapter book. I thought it was going to be a fantasy book from the title, but as I read I learned that the dragon in this story happens to be a bully. The story had a good message about bullying.

For myself:
The Jean Nidetch Story: An Autobiography (Jean Nidetch is the woman who started Weight Watchers.) This book was very inspirational to me as a Lifetime member of Weight Watchers.

No wonder Erin needs so many book marks!

Erin the Librarian LOVES Alligators!



Here are some of the great books the JRT Library has about Mrs. Preder's favorite animal, the alligator!

The Three Little Gators -- 398.2 KET
Alligators -- 597.98 MUR
Alligators and Crocodiles -- 597.98 GIB
Gabby and Gator -- 741.5 BUR
Gator -- E CEC
Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator  -- E WIL
The Underground Gators -- E CAS