Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Changing Libraries

I just finished reading an article published in the August edition of American School Board Journal called "The Changing Library". In this article, the author talks about the impact that a library can have on a school. She gives examples of schools that were consistently performing on the low end academically, administrators decided to put more money and time into their school libraries, and the performance of the students drastically improved. I think it is really interesting to hear her perspective and how it matches with the content that is being taught in the LM program at UCA. Every administrator and library media specialist needs to read this article.....why then is it in ASchool Board Journal??? I certainly hope that at least one board member in every district in Arkansas receives and reads this journal. It is in this months edition. http://ursa.uca.edu/cp/tag.e3c40aa12a173824.render.userLayoutRootNode.uP?uP_root=root&uP_sparam=activeTab&activeTab=u11l1s26&uP_tparam=frm&frm=frame
This is the library link. It also has some fabulous pictures of school libraries around the nation that will definitely make an LMS jealous!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

AASL Top 25 Websites

What are the top websites for teaching and learning? AASL lists 25 of their top websites. Very interesting to me is the fact that social networking sites (social media) were listed inside this top 25. Since we have been discussing this in our reference course and even had an in depth question and article related to this, I was excited to see Facebook, Twitter, Edublogs, TeacherTube, and other social media as a part of that. The AASL chooses websites that "honors websites, tools, and resources of exceptional value to inquiry-based teaching and learning as embodied in the American Association of School Librarians" To see the whole list of websites and check them out (I am!) go to http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/aboutaasl/bestlist/bestwebsites.cfm.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Storyman

According to www.storyman.com, Neal Shusterman's newest novel is already receiving awards. I have loved every book I have read written by Shusterman. He uses such emotion and makes his readers think about what he has written and issues involved. Looking at his site, I learned that he is also a screenwriter, having written the movie PixelPerfect and is working on his own screenwrite of Everlost. Check out his website....btw....Shusterman is scheduled to be at our school (Mena) next year, I believe. Exciting!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


A really neat website that I was turned on to this last school year was visuwords.com. This site is a neat thesaurus like tool that provides kids with a variety of words linked together. By typing in one word, a plethora of new words appears. Students can determine parts of speech, synonyms, antonyms, definitions, etc. This is a nice tool to use when teaching students to be more specific in their writing.

Monday, July 6, 2009


I just found another neat tool on School Library Journal called Wordle at wordle.com. It is neat and fun! Basically you just plug in a bunch of words....I did the terms we use to build a narrative text anchor chart in my classroom. The program generates a word cloud for you. It can be personalized and printed out. I was really excited, though, because the article goes on to say how this can be a useful tool for teachers to use with students when brainstorming for ideas to research. One teacher said she used it to show students how many times they repeated certain words. Also, apparently emphasis words float to the top, so it helps kids see what should be the most important topics. I thought it was neat! Here is the link to the article http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6666671.html if anyone is interested.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hunger Games-The Movie

While reading an article in the June edition of School Library Journal, I learned that my favorite book and new series by Suzanne Collins will be made into a movie. The Hunger Games was a fascinating story line. It created an interest in my students that was phenomenal. I read it a total of three times during the school year and never got tired of it. Throughout the book I was amazed at Collins's ability to create vivid images in the mind of the reader. By using Katniss and her thoughts, the reader is able to feel and understand her every move and thought. After learning that this book would be made into a movie, I looked a little further on my trusty web and found that others have the same concerns that I do. It is impossible to make a movie out of this story that will be able to compare to the awesome story told in the book. I am never a fan of movies made from books. In fact, I think it is a reflection on the lack of creativity in Hollywood that so many movies being made today are based on novels.....but this book made into a movie is even more out of reach than normal in my opinion. Being able to grasp Katniss thoughts and feelings while putting the terribly graphic story line on the screen leaves me with the thought that there is no way this can be pulled off.