Library Ramblings

from an elementary school librarian

Gearing up for Monday @ ISTE June 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — librariantiff @ 3:20 pm

It’s Monday morning and I’m expecting great and wonderful things today! I’m having such a blast meeting people whose blogs and tweets I follow. I feel like I’m meeting celebrities!

Yesterday’s kickoff with Mario Armstrong was GREAT! He did a great skit-like presentation on the forces that we have to battle when implementing technology in schools: the Locked-Net Monster, the Abominable  No-Man, the Dollar and Cent-ataur, and the Mediogre.

Right now, I’m in the Changing the Climate session by Will Richardson. He’s talking about how far we have to do to have education catch up to where it HAS to be with technology and global/environmental awareness. It’s powerful stuff! We have so far to go, but IMAGINE where we can go!

More later 🙂


Reporting in from ISTE 10! June 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — librariantiff @ 6:08 pm

I am very excited to be here in Denver for the ISTE 2010 conference! I know I have been a terrible blogger lately, but I’m going to try to make up for it this week. My favorite computer teacher and I flew in to Denver on Thursday and have spent the last few days sightseeing. We went to a Rockies game, toured the US Mint, visited Red Rocks amphitheater, Buffalo Bill’s gravesite & museum on Lookout Mountain, and went on the Denver Microbrew Tour. It’s been such a great trip!

Now it’s time to gear up for the conference. We are in our hotel room preparing ourselves for the overwhelming things we are about to experience. I’m having anxiety about all of this — I know there’s so much to learn and I want to do it all but know I can’t.

Here are a few photos to enjoy from our trip so far:


Long time no post! June 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — librariantiff @ 3:59 pm

I know I’ve been MIA for a while. I’ve been recovering from packing up and moving out of the library. Last week, I took the GRE and got the score I needed (YAY!). This week, I started my Masters program at NSU. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with getting started in my program — I’m taking two classes this summer.

That’s all I’ve got for now…my brain is pretty much mush. Hopefully I’ll have a thoughtful blog post soon 🙂


5 x 3 x 3 May 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — librariantiff @ 11:54 am

I love lists. So much so that I’m reading a book called “The Checklist Manifesto” at my assistant principal’s recommendation. I’m not very far into it, though, so don’t think this post has anything to do with this post. The end of the school year is for reflecting. And this year with the upcoming pack up and renovations, I thought I should do my reflections a little early (ie – before I completely go nuts). So here are three lists: my top 5 library accomplishments for the year, 3 personal accomplishments, and 3 things I’m looking most forward to doing.

Top 5 Library Accomplishments for 09-10 School Year

5. Numbering the Shelves

I got tired of being asked where the Junie B. Jones books were 50 times a day. I’m constantly fielding questions like that while trying to check out books and do 3 other things at the same exact moment. I teach 2nd and 3rd graders, who mostly understand the fiction/nonfiction concept, but teaching them to use Destiny and locate their own books is a task that I’m not sure they’re ready for. Even if I taught them, they’d still ask me where Junie B. was. So I numbered the shelves. Where are the books about dogs and cats? Nonfiction shelf # 19. Judge if you want, but it works wonders for me!

4. Yearbook

This was my second year to make the school’s yearbook and I am so unbelievably proud of the final product. It’s award-winning quality, in my humble opinion. My husband designed the cover, and it’s amazing. It’s got great pictures along with little write-ups, quotes, and fun facts. From cover to cover, it’s very consistent and cohesive. My rep is going to use it for her sample. Tears were shed over this book, I have not sold enough copies to break even, but I am very proud of the final product — which will be arriving at my school today!

3. Video Creations

This is a broad item, but I’ve come a long way with both creating videos myself and helping students and teachers make them. Making morning announcement videos, informational videos about reading promotions, using a Flip, collaborating and teaching PhotoStory for a Haiti project, and creating class poetry videos were all great experiences despite any bumps in the road along the way.

2. Book Club

Seeing the excitement that the students have about being part of the after school book club has been one of the most rewarding experiences of the year. The program has been such a success. Read more about it hereherehere, and here.

1. Read Around the World

The Read Around the World program has turned out even better than I imagined. Having students ask for help finding new genres of books has been my greatest pleasure this year. I can’t help but smile every time they ask where the bee-ograpbies are. Read more about it here.

Top 3 Personal Accomplishments This Year

3. Bought a MacBook!

Isn’t it beautiful?! I just love it! And how about that BookBook? I’m so happy I made the leap.

2. Taught Myself to Knit

I’ve been wanting to learn to knit. So over Christmas break, I went to the public library and got some knitting books, went to the store and got the equipment, then got on YouTube and taught myself to knit. I’ve done a few scarves and learned the basics. I even made this precious pair of baby booties for a family friend who is expecting. Impressive, huh?

1. Learning to Dance

My brother and I have been taking dance lessons. So far we’ve done beginning and intermediate East Coast Swing and we are in our second round of Country Two Step classes. It’s something I have so much fun with and I look forward to dance class all week long. Maybe it will even help with my (lack of) coordination!

Top 3 Things I’m Looking Forward To

3. Developing our School Ning into a great tool for PD

2. Starting Grad School this Summer

1. ISTE 2010 in Denver, baby!!!

So what are your 5 x 3 x 3??


End of the Week Update April 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — librariantiff @ 11:35 am

It’s been such a great, BUSY week!

Wednesday’s workshop on using Google Reader went GREAT! Here’s a shout out to any of my coworkers who are now following my blog — you guys ROCK! I’m going to try to follow up with everyone who attended within the next week or so and help them with any post-workshop issues/anxiety they may have.

Yesterday was Book Club meeting number two. As you know, we were reading Harriet the Spy. I saw a few of my kids kind of struggling with the book. For 2nd/3rd graders who are just a little above their reading level, it’s a pretty tough read. I started thinking about the better choices I could have made and stressed myself out about it. I didn’t know what to do and was talking to a fellow Book Club teacher who suggested I let the students cast a secret vote and make the decision. So that’s what we did. 7 to 1 they voted to make the switch to shorter books so we could read more. I told them they could keep Harriet until the end of the school year if they still wanted to read it without having to rush, and a few wanted to do that. Next year, we will cast our vote at the first meeting of each session – I like giving them the choice in the matter.

So now we’re reading A Good Night for Ghosts by Mary Pope Osborne.

My kids are absolutely bonkers for Magic Tree House books. This is by far my favorite because it takes place in New Orleans! I did this one with my last group as well, so I knew exactly what to do for the book’s intro. We read the picture book If I Only Had a Horn by Roxane Orgill and illustrated by Leonard Jenkins.

It’s a story about the childhood of Louis Armstrong and is the perfect introduction to this MTH book. Then we watched a few videos of Louis playing music and singing. Giving the students that background before reading the book makes for a much richer reading experience.

I’m off to school – day 5 of writing our William Blake style poetry. Pray that my hopes and dreams for next weeks recording process go as planned!


Book Club Round 2 April 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — librariantiff @ 6:57 pm

Yesterday, we kicked off round 2 of our after school Book Club. We have a whole new group of students who are just as excited as the first group! This will be a 4 week session (still meeting twice a week)  since the school year is quickly coming to an end.

This session, my group is reading Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh.

For our first meeting, my crew made Spy Journals so they can observe the world around them just like Harriet.

Their journals looked so cute. I had one student come back this morning and show me what she’d written in her journal. I love the enthusiasm of 7-9 year olds…it’s infectious! I’m planning to have the students create a comic based on Harriet, and maybe a song or poem too. Whatever we do, we will have loads of fun.


Librarian Tiff’s Top 15 iPhone Apps April 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — librariantiff @ 1:18 pm

A coworker just got an iPhone and was asking for my recommendations on apps. Here’s my list of my favorite 15 free apps.

1. MobileRSS – for your Google Reader

2. Facebook – Addictive, so beware!

3. ShopShop – for your grocery shopping list

4. CheckPleaseLite – tallies tips, divides checks

5. Echofon – for twitter

6. Goodreads – keep up with books that you’ve read, good source of book reviews

7. Pandora – free radio

8. YellowPages – phone book/location finder

9. Yelp – similar to YellowPages but has good customer reviews

10. Urbanspoon – for when you don’t know where to eat

11. AllRecipes – kind of like urban spoon but with recipes

12. Now Playing – movie times

13. Shazam – can figure out the name/artist of a song that’s on the radio

14. KAYAK – flight info/last minute travel deals

15. ISTE – quick links to their resources

Now it’s your turn to share…what are your favorite apps?