Sunday, January 22, 2012

Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults

Just finished going through the entire list since 1999 and wholeheartedly agree with the following OUTSTANDING picks:

"The Last Book in the Universe" by Rodman Philbrick - Jeremy Davies narrating
"A Northern Light" by Jennifer Donnelly - Hope Davis narrating
"Pirates" by Cynthia Rees - Jennifer Wiltsie narrating
"Anansi Boys" by Neil Gaiman - Lenny Henry narrating
"The Wrong Hands" by Nigel Richardson - Euan Morton narrating
"Before I Die" by Jenny Downham - Charlotte Parry narrating
"Bloody Jack, Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary 'Jacky' Faber, Ship's Boy" by L.A. Meyer - Katherine Kellgren narrating
"I Am the Messenger" by Markus Zusak - Marc Aden Gray narrating
"Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher - Joel Johnstone and Debra Wiseman narrating
"Nation" by Terry Pratchett - Stephen Briggs narrating
"The Adoration of Jenna Fox" by Mary E. Pearson - Jenna Lami narrating

Ideas from Jan/Feb 2012 American Libraries

Sister libraries: I love the idea of partnering with another school on projects and collaborating on ideas. However, since most school libraries are staffed by a single (and often not even full-time) person these days, it might not be that practical in terms of site visits and classroom observation.

Privacy issues: Joseph Janes points out that Facebook is increasingly being used to sign in to other services ... what are the implications for your online identity?

Copyright issues: Neal Starkey calls for copyright reform: putting the "fair" back in "fair use." I just barely touched on the issue of intellectual property with my 5th graders last week. In this digital age, it's a much thornier issue now than it used to be. Who "owns" an e-book?

Digital Learning Day: Scheduled for February 1, this event is "designed to celebrate innovative teaching practices that make learning more personalized and engaging, and encourage exploration of how digital learning can provide more students with more opportunities to get needed skills to succeed in college, career, and life."

Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults: I didn't know this list existed! Although I've listened to many that I think should be included ... Where was "The White Darkness"? Or "Jellicoe Road"? Separate post for the ones I was happy to see on the list.

Creating displays: Alan Jacobson recommends adopting a "Red Box mentality" ... patrons don't tend to get excited about his (and my) thoughts that "displays can be used to highlight the dark corners, the neglected, the otherwise obscure gems, with librarians affording patrons the serendipitous discovery of a new favorite ... "

World Book Night:
"A giveaway of one million books to underserved readers across the United States on April 23."

$ave $teve: Financial literacy is literacy too!

Graphic novels: On the waiting list for "Graphic Novels in Your School Library" by Jesse Karp. Here's an article he wrote back in August about their value. We don't have that many at Halliwell ... I just bought Amulet 2-4, and several kids are already on the waiting lists for those. I need to add more to the collection, but I need to learn more about the ones for upper elementary v. high school.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What's For Dinner?

So after spending an evening last week winnowing down reams of recipes I have collected - but never made - over the past several years (including 5 years' worth of pages torn out of cooking magazines while monitoring the culinary landscape from the PR department at Johnson & Wales), I read this story in the New York Times yesterday:

And it got me to thinking ... home ec should be as important a skill covered in schools as literacy and mathematics. Cooking is scary if you don't think you know what you're doing! My everything-from-scratch mom taught me some basics (I was a reluctant student at the time), but I was a strict by-the-recipe girl until enough sessions with professional chefs at J&W (one of the perks of my job) showed me that you don't always need measuring cups and spoons. Or even the ingredients on the list.

It took until I was 30. That ain't right.

As of this week, my new mantra is courtesy of Edouard de Pomiane (I think I came across this via a link in the NYT story comments, but now I can't find anything of the sort):

"The first thing you must do when you get home, before you take off your coat, is to go to the kitchen and light the stove. ... Next, fill a pot large enough to hold a quart of water. Put it on the fire, cover it and bring it to the boil. What's the water for? I don't know, but it's bound to be good for something."

Oh, and this Eggplant "Pasta" is what I made for dinner tonight ... it only took me a few years after printing it out:

Good thing I had that water boiling, because the eggplant shrank down, and we needed some pasta pasta to supplement. I have missed cooking dinner since school started ... working two jobs and being a first-year teacher hasn't left a lot of time for kitchen experimentation.

Photo credit: massdistraction via flickr

Sunday, January 1, 2012

I Never Heard That Before in My Life!

While working on an inventions project with my third graders, I realized that they had never even encountered some of the inventions (Polaroid camera) or the items they replaced (record albums). Good lord, I am old.

I will be showing them some of these videos when we get back from vacation.

Put the needle on the record!
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