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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. I make quick decisions. I don't agonize over it. I pull any books that are suspect, beat up, butt ugly, dated illustration, dated cover art, and just not attractive - 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 how many times they were really checked out & make the final decisio 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 weren't moving. Our shelf space is limited & valuable real estate. A book has to EARN their way ont

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

Keep Calm and Read On

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Hello there dear blog readers and my Twitter / Instagram family and friends. Here's a kind of mirrored post that I put out on my Daring School Library blog for my kids, parents, and community . That post is pretty school and district specific but I thought I could post over here some resources from our national educational partners like PBS Learning Works, Capstone, PebbleGo, MackinVia, and Scholastic. Since our schools closed down last Friday companies have been very generous and forthcoming to provide FREE resources for our out of school kiddos. Seems like more are coming out every day. Please note that I a Middle Grades (ages 10-14) and Young Adult specific educator and not Primary or Elementary. There are plenty of great people out there for those little squiggles. Bless their hearts. Here's what I said: I’m not gonna lie, it’s kinda weird out there right now but I truly believe we’re going to be OK. Things will get back to normal. They always do. #History.

Musical Bookcases

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Here's a fun and easy to set up, book selection activity that you can basically do at the drop of a hat...or beat! (see what I did there?)  I am always looking for ways to beef up our circulation numbers, aka, getting more books into the hands of kids. I was wanting an activity I could ru before the holidays that was fast and fun with a very little preparation. I'm kind of lazy like that - especially right before the holidays. I've loved doing Speed Dating with Books. I've blogged about it here in 2017 , the year before in 2016 ,  and first in 2013 . But that activity takes hours to handpick hundreds of books, arrange on tables by genre or subjects, decorate with props and signage, and then afterwards re-shelve all those not chosen. This is a LOT easier! You only need 2-3 things: 1. Music (I used a boombox circa 1995) 2. Kids 3. Optional: Scratch & Sniff Bookmarks The scratch & sniff bookmarks are for the first 5-8 kids checking out books