We need something nice.

Alright, my knitting friends. It’s time for something positive. Why not join this #free #RechargeKAL and make a #shawl with @kateheppell. Let’s talk about this, not ‘that’ (whatever horrid thing is happening in your world right now), okay? Cheers!

Kitty Knits

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired. I’m so, so tired. It seems like every day the news just gets worse and worse and my heart breaks again and again. From the increasingly racist tone of political campaigns and the dehumanisation of migrants, to the senseless killings of LGBT (mostly Latin@) people in Orlando and of British MP Jo Cox, who fought for the rights of women and of refugees.

This is my way of trying to get through it and you’d be more than welcome join me. This isn’t about replacing political action, this is about giving you (and me) something nice and soft and warm to recharge our batteries with so that we are stronger to face the world and all of the hate and bile it wants to throw at us.

Welcome to the Recharge Shawl Mystery-ish KAL.

Why a KAL?

Well, I was already…

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Reading Is Its Own Reward: Summer Reading and the 7th Annual #Bookaday Challenge

It’s coming, friends. Are you ready for the 7th annual #summerreading #bookaday #readingchallenge with #DonalynMiller?

Donalyn Miller

I cleaned the season’s first melted chapstick out of my car yesterday. Summer must be around the corner. Time to check the expiration date on last year’s sunscreen and buy some new flip-flops.

Our bleak winter weather lasted too long, and I’m hungry for the sun. I long for the first day that’s so hot I can feel it warm my bones. I look forward to summer’s easy-going vibe, too. Released from the confines of winter clothes and school calendars, summer feels lighter. More freedom. Fewer rules. Although I travel quite a bit during the summer, the pace seems slower—more relaxed. As a mom, I’m relieved that our lives won’t revolve around Sarah’s high school schedule for the next few months. The Millers can gravitate back to our nocturnal natures—staying up too late watching movies and eating kettle corn.

Summer liberates my reading and writing life, too. I indulge in…

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10 Simple Ways To Use Google Cardboard In The Classroom.

This post is a great intro to Google Cardboard. I would mention that students should remain seated while using the headset. The “walking” mentioned in the post is virtual.

#EdTech4Beginners

I really can’t describe how amazing this technology is.  You have to get one and see for yourself!
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What is it?

Google Cardboard is a virtual reality headset which immerses you in the video or picture so you can see a 360 degree view of an image or video.  Put on the headset and you are instantly inside the media.  Turn your head and look around to see in all directions.
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How do I set it up?

First order Google Cardboard.  There are some cheap versions (around 10$) and expensive ones (around $70).  I would advise a mid range one.  Next download the Google Cardboard App (available on the App store and Google Play).  After it has downloaded, load the App and choose what you wish to view.  Finally open Cardboard, secure your phone into the device (check it is positioned correctly) and look into the viewer.  And it really…

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Spherical Concentric Layer Cake Tutorial

Ah, cake! Earth Day 2016 falls on Friday, April 22. Wouldn’t this be a grand way to celebrate?

Cakecrumbs

This tutorial will show you the most basic and least equipment-heavy way of baking the concentric layer cake as seen in both the Earth cake and Jupiter cake. You can stop at half way and just make a hemisphere cake, or make two hemispheres and join them into one as in this video.

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How big you make the cake is up to you. For the Earth cake I baked the largest layer in a 2 litre pudding basin. As the Jupiter cake one was for a tute and not for a group of people, I only baked it as big as a 1 litre pudding bowl. There’s no other reason why I baked the sphere smaller – you can make it as big or small as you like.

Let’s begin!

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Dear Google, You Should Have Talked to Me First

Couldn’t have said it better. #readforpleasurenotpoints #iheartpicturebooks #kidlit #teacherlibrarian #iteachtoo #librariansrock

teach from the heart

Dear Google,

I wish you’d talked to teachers like me before you made that $40 million investment in Renaissance Learning.

I’ve seen the damage Accelerated Reader can do.

I witnessed it for the first time when I tutored a struggling 5th grader…eighteen years ago.

He hated to read.

He hated being locked into a level.

He hated the points associated with the books.

But more importantly, he was humiliated when he didn’t earn enough points to join in the monthly party or get to ‘buy’ things with those points at a school store full of junky prizes.

I’ve seen kids run their fingers along the binding of a book, a book they REALLY wanted read, but then hear them say, “But it’s not an AR book,” or “It’s not my level.”

I’ve watched them scramble to read the backs of books or beg a friend for answers so they can get…

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Book Review: 3/5 Stars, ‘Letters to Leo’, Amy Hest

Letters to LeoLetters to Leo by Amy Hest

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3/5 stars. Letters to Leo chronicles the life and times of a fourth-grade girl through letters she writes to her dog, Leo. I’m not head-over-heels in love with it, but it would appeal to some readers. The target audience seems to be middle to upper-middle class city girls who are cared for by au pairs and have the means to take their dogs to the groomers. Or, with those who dream of that sort of lifestyle. As expected with this writing format, the artwork is filled with hearts, flowers and pictures of Leo. The chapters were short and written in diary format. It would make a good addition to larger public or school libraries, but if budget is tight I’d hold off and select another title with potential for a wider reach.

View all my reviews

NaPoWriMo 2016: Day 1, ‘A Foolish Lune’

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A Foolish Lune
by Kimberly Bower

Be on guard today
April’s fools
All come out to play.

A lune is a poetic form consisting of 3 lines with a 5-3-5 syllable pattern. An alternate form counts words rather than syllables.

Photo credit: Instagram @vib_shukla

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