Posts

FReadom to Read

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Book Display • Books • Resources • Rant   Two blog posts in a row about our Library being a Safe Space for our LGBTQIA+ kiddos. Why? Because we're aggressively passionate about being allies to our kids. Also, the news is chock full of alarming examples where parents, school districts, and communities are NOT supporting the freedom to read. The democratic freedom to give ALL kids the choice to find books without censorship or barriers. It boils my blood! Why does it seem like we're going backwards with FREADom to read? So, I wanted to give you (dear reader!) an example of our Pride Month book display, our list of Fiction books, and how we promote it to our kiddos. Most of this post is copied from our Daring School Library Blog , Instagram posts , & what I shared through our Canvas community announcement. One of my most respected Library friends, Laura C. Davies (LOVE her!) who I met when I was keynoting the ASTE Tech Conference in Anchorage Alaska had this to say on my In

Don't Label Me: LGBTQIA+ Ally

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Our Middle School Library in Laurel, Maryland has been a loud and proud Safe Space and Ally for ALL of our  LGBTQIA and Neurodivergent students for years. We have purchased every well reviewed, requested, intriguing, and middle school approved fiction and non-fiction book on these topics. I daresay we have one of the largest collections around! We have Safe Space signs around, a rainbow narwhal (pictured above) and groupings of books on display all the time. I have also blogged about our support of our diverse communities. Dear Queer Teen - It Gets Better! - 2012  Create a Safe Space - 2018 BUT... I have strong opinions about putting a Genre label on these books. I am really cognizant that some of my Middle Schoolers are curious or questioning to learn more about but aren't ready to out themselves. To their peers and to their parents. This is yet another reason I'm against Genrefication. I know, among some of my other Future Ready Librarians this is a controversial topic. 

Fun with Jigsaw Explorer

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This is a fun online game to bring kids together in the classroom, with 1:1, teams, or through virtual learning. Students do NOT need to join the website or share any personal information! Jigsaw Explorer offers a variety of free puzzles. This site also allows players to engage in games with others so that classes, friends and family can collaborate on the same puzzle from different locations. Solving a jigsaw puzzle as a group also encourages participation & conversation. "Try the Jigsaw Explorer an online shared jigsaw puzzle! You can control the number of pieces and playing is just drag and drop with a satisfying click. Choose from daily, weekly, and mystery puzzles." There’s also a search feature towards the middle of the page. How to: Choose your favorite puzzle. Click Play this Puzzle. Click the people icon for the Multiplayer option Add your nickname that will identify you to the other players, then click Create Game Link. Copy this game link & share with

I'm Exhausted. But We Got This.

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    I saw this on my Twitter feed and it struck a chord.  Caution: The following is a pep talk and a whole lotta personal opinion. Every teacher on my end of the hall is burnt and over it already. Every single one of us. Being forced to teach in a pandemic, wondering which kids will bring it, who will get it, what will happen, and will I take it home. This is worse than online by parsecs. https://t.co/zJfxFje4aN — Doug Robertson (@TheWeirdTeacher) October 3, 2021 At first I answered this way. Proper exhausted. I thought it was just me. https://t.co/ZmHHyXPXsI — Gwyneth Jones (@GwynethJones) October 3, 2021 But then, after a few hours of thinking about it, and a 2 hour Sunday nap  - I added this: Although I agree with this, and I am exhausted every weekend, our kids need us! This might not have been what we trained for or expected but if not us, then who? Let’s step it up we got this! #ExtraNapsOnWeekends — Gwyneth Jones (@GwynethJones) October 3, 2021 So yeah, I&#

Do You Know About Secret Bitmoji's?

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Did you know about Secret Bitmoji's? Well, I just stumbled over them this summer and WOW! Cool! Are these new features or something we just missed? Since Bitmoji never talks to me -- and I've Tweeted and Instagrammed them over and over for years and nothing......I guess this is a new feature? The ability to make a Bitmoji with just about any word.  I found this in the weirdest way, I was searching for a picture of an orchid -- because my Dad got my Mom & I orchid plants and I was asking how hers was faring. I found ALL these cartoons with the word Orchid -- but no pictures. Like why????  What was funny, it wasn't a cartoon of an orchid, it was just the word. I tried it again and got a different set of cartoons.    Then I realized, wait..... it's just the word. I know, I'm slow sometimes - don't judge me.  So of course I tried my name See that little pencil on the top? That means it's going to write out what you put in!    There are also other handy Bitmo

Swipe Right Weeding

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OK, here's one way I weed. Go Tinder. Get a book cart and travel around (Fiction or NF) and look at the books. Be surface. Be superficial. Be judgey.    Be FAST.  I make quick decisions. I don't agonize over it. I pull any books that are suspect, beat up, butt ugly, feature dated illustration, dated cover art, and just not attractive - I know, harsh. They're not people. SWIPE Left. Put them on the left side of cart shelf. Then, with titles I'm on the fence about, put them on the right side of the cart shelf - then go and check those books on PAC to see how many times they were really checked out & make the final decision. I will re-read a blurb here and there and the first couple pages if I'm really on the fence. I'll be honest, I got rid of a LOT of historic fiction a couple years ago. They just weren't moving. It pained me to get rid of the American Girl series, once so popular & an easy read - but they just weren't moving. And now feel a li

It's Time to Clean Up Your App Life

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It’s Time to Clean Up Your App Life Unused apps on your phone can do more harm than simply taking up space. We’re using our personal devices like our phones and our tablets more than ever during distance learning. But did you know that unused apps are not only slowing you down but may also be a serious security risk? Inspired by an article in Popular Science , I’ve cleaned up and cleared off nearly 2GB of stuff I really didn’t need.  Bye bye Flappy Bird! “A report last year found that the average person launches roughly 9 apps per day and interacts with roughly 30 apps over the course of a month.” If you have an iPhone: Go to settings > General > iPhone Storage and it will give you an option called “Offload Unused Apps,” which automatically deletes apps you don’t use regularly. It will also show you Apps you have NEVER used. If you can’t remember what an App does, why not just delete it? It was pretty easy to do and only took about 5 minutes to save a lot of space & secure m