Sunday, November 6, 2016

Learning Keynote


 Tuesday November 1st, 2016

     On Tuesday, I had an invitation for educators to go to the Apple Store in Oakbrook to learn about keynote for iPads. I just received an email that Apple is providing free education lessons for educators on certain days and times as well as various Apple locations. I am not sure how long they have been having educator workshops but I am glad to know about them now. There is no cost to join. LaSalle II Library has a set of classroom iPads and I am in charge of managing them. I admit that I knew about keynote but never really gave it second thought because I am use powerpoint and now google slides. However, I thought just go because you will never know. Keynote is very interesting. It is similar to powerpoint but built for iPads. I am still playing around with it. I like how you can use the pictures from your camera roll and easily insert those pictures into your slide. I also love how you can make pictures transparent. You can manipulate your objects on the slide. You can also use your finger to circle important things on the slide that you want your viewer to focus on. The presenter said that there is so much more to keynote than what he taught us. I would like to play around with it more and see if this is something students would like to use as a presentation option.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

BoxCar Children in Graphic Novel Form!

June 1st, 2016

I used to read the first book of The BoxCar Children to my second and third graders.  I only had The BoxCar Children in chapter book format. The students loved it! I used to love it when I was a kid but I was not sure if The BoxCar Children was still popular with students today. I was happy to find out they still are. So much so that i had to pull them out and put them in a section of the library so students in primary grades can find them more easily. However, I wished the book had more pictures! To my surprise, I found The BoxCar Children in graphic novel format! I was so excited! It has wonderful pictures and it allows me to finish reading the book at a much faster pace! I can ask my students to compare the two formats-the chapter novel format and graphic novel format. I have not read this to my students yet via the document camera but I will keep you posted. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Gum Girl!

May 31st, 2016

     The Gumazing Gum Girl by Rhode Montijo

I just started reading this book as a read aloud to my kindergartners, first graders. and third graders. I saw this book on another librarian's blog and thought I should add this book to the LaSalle II library collection. I thought it would pair up nicely with my invention book, called POP that I previously discussed in my blog. I thought they might pair up nicely as a nonfiction/fiction book. Many students loved the book, Pop , so much so that I cannot keep it on the shelf! So I decided to stick with the gum theme as students can relate to gum chewing. I thought I would teach about graphic novels/comic books and this book was a basic introduction to the design of graphic novels. I was nervous reading this out loud to my students because I never usually read a graphic novel out loud but this book was part story and part comic. Also, I never read chapter books (this one has eight chapters) because I do not have my students every day and it would take a long time to finish reading the whole book! However, I was pleasantly surprised as I read Chapter one to my students and when I  said I was going to leave Chapter two for next week, they were all like NOOOOOOOOO! I even had one student try to sneak a peak to see what would happen next in the book! I am so glad I purchased it!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Did you ever wonder how Bubble Gum was invented? Well, this delightful story tells you how!

Why did I order this book for the LaSalle II Library? I had ordered invention books for the library and I am always looking for books about inventions. I perused through other CPS librarian blogs and I saw this book on the blog! This book tells a great story about the man who invented bubble gum. It is a nonfiction book but it is told like a story which makes for a very good read aloud.

I also liked how the back of the book provides more facts about the man who invented bubble gum. It shows students that anyone can invent something. The book also provides interesting facts about bubble gum like how much bubble gum is sold daily.

The front of the book is so delightful and I hope it is sure to grab a student's attention! I now know who invented bubble gum! Do you?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016



I just ordered these CALLING ALL INNOVATOR books for the LaSalle II library. I used to have a set of career books but no longer use them because they are very outdated. These are so exciting because there is a big push for students to consider careers in STEM. I ordered 18 of these books in various careers of course. I am having students partner up with a partner since I do not have enough books. Some of the students can also utilize the kids info bits database offered through CPS and research careers and jobs. Students will use the books to research salary, education, license/certification and projected numbers of careers in that field. 
          The books give a lot of information so they would be great to use for middle school students. Every book is designed the same way. There is an interview with a top person in that field who gives advice to young people who are considering a career in the field. There are wonderful pictures and labels depicting how far we have come. 
      The books also have a glossary, timeline, and suggested resources for learning more about this field. Not only does it talk about the careers in general and famous people who have risen to prominence in their fields but how STEM skills were use to solve the problems in the past and how they are being used to solve today's problems!
     I am starting to use these books tomorrow with seventh and eighth graders and will keep you posted. I am most curious to see what kind of careers they pick!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Malala Yousafzai

February 23, 2016

The 7th graders at LaSalle II were reading the novel about Malala, called I am Malala and many students loved reading the book. Their teacher was teaching them how to annotate it while they were reading it. I did not have any books about Malala in the library and thought it was important to students to learn about her. I wanted a book that was more concise and students would better understand who she is. This book is from Scholastic and is called Rookie Biographies. Many students do biography book reports and this book would be a great addition to the biography section in the library!
     It is a great nonfiction book because there are captions underneath the pictures, table of contents, Fast Facts, bold face words, a timeline, a glossary and index! There is also a map so students have an idea where the events in her life are taking place. These are all perfect for a parts of a nonfiction book lesson.
     In addition the pictures in the book seem to be photos of Malala and the events in her life which can lead to a discussion with students about what they think is taking place. Finally, there is a poem about Malala as well as a little blurb telling students how they can make a difference too.

* Did you know? She was named after a young hero called Malalai.
* Did you  know? Malala also wrote a blog!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Do you know everything about HIBERNATION?

February 22, 2016

     The kindergarten teachers at my school do a hibernation unit now and they have asked me if I
have any hibernation books in the library. I only had one or two and they were not books at the kindergarten level. I resolved to get hibernation books for them and via this grant, I did!  I am so excited to share these books with the kindergarten teachers and other teachers at my school who might be interested. I ordered the book, " Do Polar Bears Snooze in Hollow Trees?" by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Todd Ouren. This book is part of the Animals All Around Series. I do not have any Animals All Around Series books in the library and wanted to check them out. I love this book! This book also provides a glossary, website references as well as titles of the other books in the series. 
 I learned quite a few facts that I did not even know. 
       * Did you know that raccoons snooze in hollow trees? They hibernate in small groups in hollow trees.  

* Did you know that a wood frog turns into ice to hibernate during the winter?



Monday, February 15, 2016

Books on Various Dogs a hit with Second Graders!

I ordered seven books on different kinds of dogs. It is a request from my primary students that I get a lot! I only have books like how to take care of my dog. I have books on cats and every other animal except dogs. 

I wanted to use them but did not know how. I wish I had ordered more so that I would have enough for students to research the books on their own.  Since I only had a few, I started the labrador retrievers book. I read the book to them and they filled out information they learned about the labrador retrievers like size, color, and how to take care of them. 

They loved the book! My only wish is that the book was bigger so they could all see the pictures and captions. The students were just ooohhhhing and ahhhhhing at the cute pictures of the labrador retrievers. 

I visualize my end project in the form of mini books. They are going to keep all their information about the different dogs we read each week and then they will make their own pocket mini dog book using the information they learned

Awesome Invention Books!

February 10, 2016

Today, I finally was able to use my new invention books that I ordered! I realized I was lacking in a wide variety of books about inventors and their inventors. I had a few in the biography section like Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell but I wanted more and ones that were lesser known. For example, the book on who created video games and basketball were big hits with my students!

At first, I really did not know what to blog about. Now that I had a visual plan about how to implement the books,  I am excited to blog about them.

I used them with my sixth and seventh grade students.

At first, I spread all the books out so the students can pick one out that they were interested in. I used the first graphic organizer below. They seemed to really have trouble with the clouds on top.

Then for the next class, I decided to use a new graphic organizer and that was a big hit!

Half of my class used the books as I only had about sixteen books. The second half used the CPS databases like kidsinfo bits to pick their own invention/inventor to research. The students did a wonderful job and were sharing their books and information with each other.

This took about a couple weeks to finish as then the two groups had to switch. If they did not have ipads last time, then they did the ipads this time and vice versa.

I asked my students which did they prefer to use: the books or the ipads.

They said the books which totally SHOCKED ME!

It was great to learn that the books I ordered are a big hit with my students!