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Showing posts from December, 2015

The Power of the Amazon List

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I have 2 Amazon accounts. One for school that's tax exempt and tied to my P-card, and one that's personal that I established in 1998. The professional one is where I buy stuff for our Library Media Center and I recently found out it was really easy to make a list of  items on an Amazon.


List Power
When I first wrote the $350 Makerspace Starter Kit blog post I created a graphic that showed all the stuff I got to create it, hoping to help out those who didn't know where or how to get it started! But even though that graphic was BIG & colorful, it wasn't clickable! I can do better!

A better list is an Amazon shopping list, and I even started it in August (see above) but I didn't finish it until I was prompted by an email request from a blog reader to create a Coloring Book Shopping list and BAM! It was easy peasy! 

So, I thought I'd share with you how you can make one, too! These lists are powerful because you can share them with an administrator, your PTA, o…

Questions About Coloring & Makerspace

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Reader Mail Bag!
I get questions ALL the time from our dear PLN & blog readers! Mostly through Twitter and sometimes through email. Let's answer this one I got this morning about my recent Zen of Coloring & Makerspace Starter Kit blog posts!

Gwyenth, Congratulations on your blog award! I looked at your blog, and I am intrigued by your coloring corner post. Can you please share with me a list of the books you bought for coloring purposes? Did you have copies made of the ones the students wanted to color? What kind of pencils did you purchase? Please share how you advertised it to the students. Did you have in a corner or have the students as for the materials? I don't want my materials to walk off? What are your best practices?Also how can I subscribe to your page,so I know when you make new posts? One last question, what do you think about having board games and cards the library? Any ideas on which ones to purchase if you do This? Thanks for all of your help! I appreci…

The Zen of Coloring

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There's a NEW! feature in our Library Media Center Makerspace area!
It's Coloring!
I have to admit when I first heard about how coloring books for adults and teens are all the rage, I was a bit skeptical. Then I saw the beautiful new coloring books with loopy, fabulous, mesmerizing line drawings and I was sold! I also just really like the smell of a new box of Crayons! Like PlayDoh, they smell happy. Don't judge me.

I then did some research on the Zen of Coloring and found out that teens find coloring very relaxing, meditative, and stress relieving - perfect for middle school! I also think in this world of multi-tasking, coloring keeps our hands busy and let's our mind wander free- it's also related to another hot topic mindfulness. I know that when I'm in a group setting without technology, say a staff-meeting, a conference, or a lecture, I find myself doodling and making line drawings. Always have - do you?


What to Buy
So, I got permission from my principal a…

Love More, Hate Less

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In this turbulent time, I think it's important to remember that racial and religious tensions in our glorious United States have always been challenging!

The diverse and bright multi-cultural threads that makes up the warp and weft of our rich American tapestry have always included people who have risked everything to come to our shores with the hope for a better life or were forced here against their will, and ultimately made the best of it.

We've always been hard on each successive new wave of cultures (Welsh, Scottish, No Irish Need Apply, Jewish, Polish, Russian, you fill in the blank) we keep adding them into our fold. Not always easily or with grace as the video from 1945 starring Frank Sinatra embedded below will attest.

Let's please remember this when rhetoric gets out of hand. I'm really not comfortable talking politics or religion publically - my Mama taught me you don't discuss politics or religion at the table or dinner parties - and to me, So…

Teaching Good - Branding Evil

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For a few days last week ALL my branding went to the DARK SIDE.. and I'm not talking DARTH I'm talkingCthulhu.

Deep GEEK Disappointment! 
After a deeply felt personal geek disappointment I changed the graphic design of my branding of the last few years from Doctor Who and the Tardis ….to, to, what!? 


I don’t want to go deeply into how and why I am ditching Doctor Who (for now) but it involves some disappointment with the latest series, the latest doctor, and a couple vainglorious individuals.  So, let's just say: Basically, I’ve soured.

Teaching Good
Branding EVIL
Why am I telling you all this? Branding. People have asked me "why and how do I brand myself or should I?"  And it's a hot, interesting, and controversial topic that I sort of struggle with. I had a quick Twitter convo about this (OK, I butted in!) with Dean Shareski & George Couros recently. The controversy and opposition over branding - because I don't think they see it as a GOOD thing for the…