To-do List: Part 2

Whew!  Buchlady’s been very busy;  too busy to post much recently! What I have been doing is steadily chip away on my summer to-do list.  (I have actively worked on or completed all but Instagram at this point.  Blogging keeps me accountable!)   I added a few other PD opportunities as well.  Google’s MOOC on Power Searching techniques was great.   I don’t know if the course will be archived and available again, but in the meantime here’s a helpful slideshow with many of the same tips.  Thanks for the tweet about this, @Aunty Tech!  I also attended Michelle Luhtala’s edWeb webinar about Google Apps in the library.  EdWeb archives their webinars.  Michele’s was part of their Emerging Technologies PLC and you can join the community and then search for it here.  Others are forthcoming.


Grandpa Green and Seurat

Don’t you love it when things sort of collide in a good way?  This morning I was doing some web searches for a pinterest board I’d like to do for Vermont’s children’s choice award, the Red Clover Award.  One of this year’s titles is Lane Smith’s Grandpa Green, which you probably already know is about how a grandpa uses/creates topiary to capture the memories of his long life.  So in a search for “topiary” I discovered this marvel…and a close-up.  And what famous artist and painting did we study last year and re-create in caps?  You got it!

So this year when we talk about topiary and Grandpa Green we can also reflect back on what we learned last year.  And the students will appreciate the workmanship of the topiary, having re-created the painting in another way.  Cool times two!

Buchlady’s Blog turns 2!

Today is this blog’s second birthday.  Woohoo!  I have written just over 120 posts and I’m looking forward to another year of blogging.  I’ve learned a lot along the way and added new friends to my PLN.  The blog keeps me accountable  (if I say I’m going to do something in a post I know I have to do it!)  It’s been a great way for me to share resources with all of you and if you’re reading this I hope you’ll come by again.


Newbery Challenge: Ginger Pye

The fun, contemporary art work by Arthur Howard on the updated cover of Eleanor Estes’ book Ginger Pye had me all excited to read this one.  Sadly, I felt cheated!  Once inside the book, the illustrations were the original ones by the author and I’m sorry to say they missed the mark.  Very primitive by today’s standards.  Admittedly, perhaps not as much of a problem, though, for chapter book readers.

I so wanted to like this book.  And I did, basically, imagining myself back in elementary school.  This is the type of thing I did like to read on a summer afternoon under the tree in the front yard.  But there were too many things about it that today’s students simply can’t relate to.  Probably best if read with an adult who can appreciate its context and explain lots of the details (trolleys, tramps, etc.)  It does harken back to a simpler time….

Handy Lists for You!

For the past six weeks or so, Betsy Bird over at Fuse #8 has been conducting a poll to determine the top 100 picture books and chapter books (according to her followers).   If you missed reading the daily posts describing each book in the top 100 countdowns, the folks at SLJ have promised to put them into some handy lists for us.  Register to receive the email with PDF here and then use the lists for parents and teachers and students for readers’ advisory.

It was nice to see Charlotte’s Web in the number one spot for chapter books, particularly since this October is the 60th anniversary of the book’s publication.  It’s been a favorite of mine for a long, long time.  Want to read another great book by E.B. White?  A book written for adults?  Try One Man’s MeatWhite’s collection of essays about being a gentleman farmer in Maine.  Excellent!


Summer PD: Join Google’s MOOC!

Google recently announced an opportunity you may be interested in.  Become your school’s expert on Power Searching in Google by joining their MOOC (massive, open, online course).  The class will consist of six 50 minute sessions, some of which are interactive. The  course is free and if you complete it all Google will issue you a certificate.

Registration is open now, and the first class will be rolled out on July 10.

Newbery Challenge Update: Onion John

Finally, summer’s here and I can get back to the Newbery Challenge.  I finished the 1960 winner recently (Onion John, by Joseph Krumgold) and here’s my rating:

3 of 5 stars for the writing

2 stars for relevance for today’s students and my ability to “sell” it to 3rd graders  (I’m in a K-3 school)

Up next:  Ginger Pye


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