Jun 10, 2018

Summer Reading

Our district's Summer Enrichment program has been released to students and families. As always, our goal is to give students limited structured activities that will keep skills fresh without getting in the way of summer. I look forward to hearing the students share the great books they have discovered this summer.

For myself, this will be the first summer in 10 years where I will not be preparing for a fall graduate class. In place of academic texts and professional reading I plan to catch up on middle school fiction, graphic novels, and biographies. There are a few "adult" titles in the mix because they have been on the shelf too long and need to be read. Of course, this list of 45 books may shift as I visit the public library, explore NetGalley, or browse the bookstore. Some of these titles were recommended by students, colleagues, review blogs, or have been sitting on my bookshelf (physical and virtual) for way too long. There are also a few that I have "reading" for several years -- this is the summer they will be finished!

100 Cupboards
20000 Leagues Under the Sea
Bad Mermaids Make Waves
Belly Up
Brown Girl Dreaming
The Complete Horowitz Horror
Coraline Graphic Novel
Digital Citizenship in Action: Empowering Students to Engage in Online Communities
Disrupting Poverty: Five Powerful Classroom Practices
The Doublecross: And Other Skills I Learned as a Superspy
Essentials for Blended Learning: A Standards-Based Guide
Flying Lessons & Other Stories
Fortunately, the Milk
Gulliver's Travels
Hidden Figures: The Untold True Story of Four African-American Women Who Helped Launch Our Nation into Space
Hidden: A Child's Story of the Holocaust
Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong—and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story
The Innovators: How a Group of  Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
Invisible Emmie

Mrs Bond's favorite books »

Jun 3, 2018

2017-2018 Media Center Summary

It has been an exciting and busy year in the Media Centers. The below infographic provides statistics and general program highlights. What this graphic doesn't show are the conversations students are having about what they explore, read, and create. Our students are curious and willing work hard to satisfy that curiosity. It has been a wonderful challenge to keep up with elementary student needs for wide and varied information sources. Middle school students have been careful in developing search strategies and choose resources, putting in to practice the evaluation skills they learned in elementary school.

All that said, I am most encouraged about the new Student Librarians at the middle school. Due in large part to the efforts of these students, the middle school LMC has seen a tremendous increase in activity. This crew promoted the library through morning podcasts, lunch announcements, posters, and general word of mouth. While academic checkouts still ranked highest, fiction (especially historical fiction) saw a large jump in circulation. We are already planning how to use this momentum to further develop a community of readers next school year.

Mar 27, 2018

Fake Update Screens

There is always one computer in the lab that insists on updating just as students are about to get to work. Most of the time this update runs quickly and creativity and learning can proceed. Other times it seems as though the computer is rebuilding itself from within, using every minute of the period or class.

Then there are the kids who enjoy pranks, or those choose to use their great digital skills to avoid classwork. April Fools is coming. Are you ready?

FakeUpdate.net and FakeWindowsUpdate.com allow the user to make it seem as though their computer is installing updates (perpetually stuck at 0%). In a moment of desperation, the user can also make it appear as though a crash has just occurred (blue screen of death).  Geek Prank's Windows 10 Update is a little more sophisticated, it begins at 0% and slowly works its way through a very long update installation.

Quick way to check if this is real or a prank: All of these work through a browser in full screen mode. Simply press esc or F11 to return to windowed view. If that doesn't work, then it is very likely that the student is sharing your frustration with a slowly updating computer!

Nov 16, 2017

NJASL: Google Forms in the School Library Program

Hello NJASL! Are you ready to talk Google Forms? Today we'll look at how Google Forms and related add-ons can support library management, facilitate instruction, and help you stay organized. You may access the slide deck and links through the participate app or right here:

All links embedded in the slide deck can be accessed through this OneTab link.

Oct 29, 2017

My #OneSmallThing

Teacher2Teacher has a super simple activity that has the potential to positively impact your classroom or school in a big way: One Small Thing.

#OneSmallThing is based on the simple idea that a BIG impact comes from focusing on one small change at a time.

I get to see almost every student each week through library/media classes, classroom visits, or just walking through the halls. Every day I see students learning great things, persevering through challenges, and being kind to one another. I commit to sharing my students' awesomeness with their families!

Visit Teacher2Teacher to download an implementation toolkit that includes tips for success, suggestions for including colleagues, goal ideas, and templates.

Oct 17, 2017

Cool Tool: Bookcision

I love my Kindle. One of my favorite features is the ability to sync highlights across devices. Depending on my purpose for reading, I will often reorganize those highlights in Evernote so I can quickly refer back to the best ideas and practices.

Long ago I was able to see my highlights through the web browser, then copy and paste them into Evernote.  At some point Amazon restricted the ability to copy this content. Not wanting to retype my notes (I am a happy highlighter), and not finding a workaround, I went back to print books and post-it notes. Not the most efficient method for needs, but it was better than nothing.

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon Norbauer's Bookcision. This bookmarklet captures the precious highlights (with location) into a copy friendly format. Chrome users can also download the page as text, XML, or JSON. Notes are not captured, and in my experience have caused error messages.

To install, simply drag the button to the bookmark bar. To capture your highlights: open the book through Amazon Cloud Reader in your browser, click the bookmarklet.

Oct 2, 2017

International Top Spinning Day (October 11)

International Top Spinning Day is celebrated annually on the second Wednesday of October (Spinning Top and Yo Yo Museum). Here are a few quick resources to help you and your students celebrate this day:

Wonderopolis has a great article on What Makes a Toy Top Spin.

PBS Kids shares a simple Bottle Cap Spinning Top that would be a great addition for a makerspace.

Thrifty Fun shows how to make Penny Spinners with easy to find materials.

Looking for an extra challenge? Make your own origami spinning top: