Sunday, May 20, 2012

Studying for NBPTS Tests

Yikes... The countdown begins to test day and although I have been doing my background reading, I am way nervous about the tests! And began tackling the studying. Ethical & legal tenets, collection development & information literacy. I have been reading the rubrics to understand what my essays must contain to achieve a 4, and researching notes to study... Now is the hard part...all the trapping memorizing! Several things I have put into practice from my studying is open access. Teachers really want kids to be choosing books at their personal level, or reading level, but really we r pulling away from interest also. Which is where they need to be pushed as well...not pushed, but allowed! The statement that kills me is when kids come in and ask, "where are your 3rd grade books?" yuck! Thank god I get to tell them that the library is not organized like that! It is by interest/ subject in Dewey and by author's last name in fiction! Or Picture books! Yucko to think that kids can only read leveled books! And at their level...never mind what their interest is! There needs to be a bit more balance:) Better get studying!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Parent Workshop

The parent workshop went well as we had a full library and had to bring in more chairs! The difficult part was talking over the kiddos! That was a bit hectic for me even though some school aged kids went out to the playground for a awhile. I generated a PowerPoint and an evaluation sheet for the workshop which gave good feedback as to what went well. Parents learned importance of kids choice when reading and the importance of talking about what they read with their kiddos. Also modeling reading with them! I would love to do a follow up regarding some good summer reads. And also get more parents in to check out books. I know it is nearing the end of the year...but I would love to get them in the computer and start off next fall with parents checking out on back to school nite! I am not sure how I will do this at both sites, but I really want to! The difficult part of the workshop was the flow with the second teacher who translated in Spanish... I felt disjointed in the communication. I did go thru a district translator at my other site and for some reason it seemed better. I am not sure why. I was glad to have a fellow teacher, good for the parents to make that connection, it just seemed awkward to me. Parent response sheets were positive, so maybe it was me. Since then I have had several families check out books:) exactly my intended outcome!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Parent Workshop

I am excited about my second opportunity this year to give a parent workshop, this time at a different school. I will be teaming with another teacher & she will be translating in Spanish to the parents. I completed a PowerPoint presentation around fostering a love of literature in the home & I also created the flyer and exit slip so that Ivan tell how we did with the presentations and anything else I can further answer. I better get those run off! The sign up slips are coming in as we speak to get a feel for how any will be in attendance.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Blogging as a "break"

I really should be typing more for my National Board Papers...but I am having writer's block!  I know that I have not been keeping up with this, because...well life has gotten in the way.  Let's see, someone has hacked into my bank accounts and I had to change EVERYTHING..accounts, direct deposits, bill flippin name it!  That was a pain and took up quite a few days to get everything correct...and I am still waiting for checks and such!  That ws two weeks ago and now my hubby just said someone got into his online account stuff too!  Kinda crazy b/c we have everything separate!

...and kiddos birthday party, baseball, karate, girl scouts, boy scouts...holy crap!  And to think I am working full time and trying to crank out papers for National I stupid or what!

Writing just isn't flowing...But, I did do a preant workshop at Lafy site and it went well...almost 40 parents...packet house!  I was nervous, but the PALMS translator made me feel did the parents!

Today at Whittier...I had a parent sign up to check out books!  Someone read my article:) YEAH!  Lots of good stuff going on there!  I loved reading jurgen's interview and telling him I read all about him and his work!  Worked with Bishop this week...really like it when her class comes b/c I feel like I am adding value as we discuss what they are working on and I can review in library.  As oppose to a dump my kids off and I will show up 5 min. late to pick them up b/c they are a "rough" group!  URGH!

Reading about elimination of librarians this week was not such happy news either!  Always comes around this time of year.  Even thouhght there is not a thing I can do about would think I would be use to it.  Guess it is b/c I think the district has gotten rid of most of the FAT in the budget, where the heck can they cut? sure is terrible. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Week

My kiddos school I just finished helping set up and break down breakfast (including my grandma's coffee cake)!  They are doing teacher appreciation this week.  They do something special kids made cards, tomorrow they bring in a flower and then room mom's make them into a bouquet, wed. something from a list of supplies for the teacher, Thurs. luncheon...etc.  Really making them feel special all week:)

Anyhow, I am going to get to work on my powerpoint for Fri. workshop.  I am a bit nervous, but it will help me plan.  Of course, Mark is leaving town on Thurs. night, so I am going to be driving like a maniac and getting up to work last minute before the presentation!  AHH...

I still have to get books together for give-aways, have sign up sheet for parent circulation and get ppt ready!  Glad kiido are in school today!

Gotta get crackin!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Interlibrary loaning

...SA spent most of the past year or so new to me or out on maternity...I really didn't get the chance to be of that much service to her.  This year that seems to have changed, even though both of us are only there part time.  I have been able to gather books for her readers and interlibrary loan many items and I am so glad to be of this service.  Funny, Rm. 52, 51, 72, and Ms. Gomez...all interlibrary loaning!  I am so glad to be able to provide the service:)  It is so gratifying to be able to provide the books that teachers need though this service.  I just really wish that we could access the Destiny Catalog at home (thru Intranet) and be able to some of this from home as well!  Hopefully soon that will be available to us!

Working with ELL Coach

It is so exciting to work with Ms. Bishop this year!  I love the collaborative relationship we have started.  In a quick e-mail or a meeting in the copy room, we discuss student work, teaching points and a way that I can help supplement instruction to make library lesson more meaningful and match the learning in the classroom. 
First it was choosing "books at their personal level", then Non fiction text structures and features, to historical fiction and now elements of folktales. 

I really enjoy learning new techniques and strategies from her and I get giddy when I am able to supply her with books that serve as mentor text for her teaching points or for her students to read on their own.  It is what I love and miss from my days of teaching 5th grade with my colleaques in NY...that team teaching and sharing!  If I ever get displaced from my job, I would LOVE to be able to stay on at Whittier!  The learning philosphy, reading and writing, the active professional development...I love all aspects. 

I am so fortunate to be at so many ways! 

Fostering a Love of Literature

That will be the tilte of my workshop.  I want to combine creating a love for reading as well as tips and startegies for parents when reading at home with their kiddos.  I also want to promote parent check out in our school library by setting them up with an account on the spot and giving them a tour of the library.  This way they can check out book right then!  Also, I want to give away some books...draw them in with the promise of a free book to build their home library.

At Whittier I  will need to contact Russell to see what books she has left over from yers past of RIF, not current give aways...Looking at the master calendar is daunting!  There are so many items on the calendar...YIKES..I just need to pick a date afterschool!

At Lafayette I am giving it in the am when parents are available and I am gettign ready to roll on Feb. 17th!  Yikes. I am a bit nervous to have a PALMS translator and I get so nervous speaking to adults...the kiddos are easier!    I designed a flyer w/ tear off at bottom to be sure to get an approx. head count, plus asking for the grade level (s) of their kiddos so that I best meet the needs of the parents.  Wendy suggested an exit slip so that I can get feedback as to what wsa helpful and what other comments or questions they may still have.  I really like that idea.  I have a mom who is translating my flyer, oops..I need to get the exit slip translated too!

I feel like I have so much on my plate, but in a good way!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Target Grant

My principal and I are working on a Target Makeover sure would be great if we get it!  I would love to move the floor "wiring" to be able to get the phone away from where it is and to get some updated books added to our collection. The pics made the library look better than it actually is!!!

I also really need time to work on our collection and there never seems to be enough of it!  I spent some time over our last break weeding and discarding books and a little mending.  Between interlibrary loaning, searching for books to assist instruction, and merely organizing the shelves, cataloging comes dead last! 

I really need to branch out and get more student and parent involvement in the library, in order to free up time to catalog!  Well...I need to get moving.

I am giving my first parent workshop at another library on Feb. 17th..."Fostering a Love of Literature in the Home"  and am nervous as all get out!  I am busy getting my flyers ready, making sure I say the right thing to attract a decent crowd...then nervous about boring the heck out of them!  Part of the time I will also familiarize them with the school library and sign them up in the computer so that they can check books out for their kiddos.  I really need to advertise the school libraries at both sites...getting more books into the homes of our families!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Monday Holiday Frustrations!

I do teach about MLK jr. Day and Presidents days in Feb. but what really is frustrating is when we have a holiday and everyone is off, why do I have to hear the complaining by teachers when I come back! I don't make the calendar and you had the whole day off! The kicker is when someone says" can't you take my class today!" I can't make Tues a if I had that power! Now if a school was scheduled, they don't really miss because I go to that school the very next Mon, which in turn pisses those Mon people off ....god forbid they were the ones who missed then they would be ticked! I make it equitable for all by equally dividing up the days....honestly it is super annoying to hear about the damn day off when no one was there! You did get your had the whole flipping day off....god, I wish I could tell them that, but I don't and smile and tell them I will see them next week! Yuck! Chronic complainers! I only work 50 percent at each school and I want to tell them how damn lucky they are that they only hav one classroom to run! Jerks...complaining about a stinking 25 or 45 min. Time frame....not like it was that their kids were missing out on instructional minutes or the fact that we are collaborating on some great project....nope!

Ok, enough ranting! Gotta get that crap off my chest though! I don't know how principals do it...dealing with adult baby-whiners! Really! I could never be a principal I would implode!

So, studying for National boards last night paid $45 so they could go to a movie night and I could get some work done! ....just about killed me to send the damn check for $1400.00 for the retakes! Honestly $350. A section for a 30 min. Test and to submit a paper! Crazy! Ranting again!

Trying to figure out how to write about my accomplishments over the last 5 yrs....grr! Does getting my family life back on track count? Nope! Well, at least that is good! Oh crap! All I am doing is complaining ! Bit stressed Mark has been gone for 10 days and I have been getting up at 5am peeling the kiddos eyelids open, white knuckle driving to work to get there on time and then rushing to karate, soccer, basketball while making dinner getting homework done, packing lunches...holy crap, no wonder I fell asleep with. The kiddos!

I better get an attitude adjustment! God I am whining! I really do have a great job and great family! And I am super happy to be doing what I enjoy doing!

I am getting a storyteller for my kids PTA for an author week at their school. I am planning the week, but like in the fall I realize I am the chair for the committee, which really meant that I am the committee...yikes! Hoping that changes this spring! Thank goodness I picked the week and I will be off from work...however all my paper stuff is due!

Oh well...feeling better! Gotta get going with girl scout cookies selling posters and cub scout meeting stuff...I am in charge of mtg. Next week!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Parent survey & teacher survey

I want to poll the reading specialists and Cotsen mentor as well to see what they believe would be most beneficial for parents in our school community. I have also think book give a ways to those in attendance would be good. Should kids attend as well?

Teacher survey

I am contimplating a teacher survey regarding a parent read aloud workshop. So far I have been visiting sites regarding parent workshops and I am finding the same question... Focus on love of reading and establishing print rich, environment or fluency & comprehension strategies for parents to try at home. My principal at Lafy said she'd like me to focus on the first then we can take it from there w/ another workshop.... I need to ask Ed what he would like my focus to be. Sometimes I think it would depend on my audience ( grade level of students/ parents) and of course teachers desire and principal as well... I also want to incessant # of books available to kiddos $ parents at home thru before &after school circulation.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I am really glad I joined SSC since it will be a good way for me to become more involved in my school community. I have always felt welcomed and valued as a staff member, yet not being at a school 5 days a week totally bummed me out! I went from being an intrical part of the staff ( management chair for MANY yrs, SSC member, Safe & civil school member, etc. to zippo in 2 yrs! Really, it is my own fault that I have been not involved...and I am glad I am finally starting to take a more active role! Stop the pity party and make the most of my good situation! I work with a great staff that has the same reading and writing philosophy that I was schooled & trained in and taught in NY and that is huge! I am so lucky to be a part of most of their training and share in their enthusiasm for crafting lessons... Lucky!

I want to build the parent check out program and really need to get the word out of the kind of revives I can provide. We have lots of kiddo that do not have many books in their homes nor at able to visit the local library and I need to reach out to my parent & student community!

Today at the SSC mtg. The Wizard News...something like that was mentioned and I love the idea of having a library where I can publish info. To the families! What a great way to reach out and tell them what Whittier library has to offer their family!