Ms. Nancy's Library & Technology Blog

Empowering students with books and technology

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coming up on winter break…

December 6th, 2014 · No Comments · Art, Educational Web Sites, Joke of the Day

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

…and you know what that means. Lots of time for the kiddos to get bored. Maybe a trip to the library or bookstore is in order. Or perhaps some websites where they can have fun and learn a little something along the way…

Here are a few of our favorite sites we’ve been exploring in computer lab:

* The ultimate virtual Rube Goldberg machine

* Speaking of Rube Goldberg, this video is always a hit.

* How about some math? (IXL)

* Maybe a little more math? (FunBrain)

* Or perhaps some reading? (Starfall)

* Or a story or two, read by actors? (StorylineOnline)

* Maybe some vocabulary would break up the regular routine? (Free Rice)

How about a joke of the day? (The principal told us this one.)

What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?

Frostbite!

If you have any other ideas for fun, educational websites, please leave me a note in comments. Have a good December, everyone, and a lovely winter holiday when we get there.

– Mrs. R

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Tech Class this week…

November 11th, 2014 · Comments Off · Computers, GeoQuest

We have a short week, but will be working on our IXL math program, keyboarding, and perhaps a little geography.

Here is a post I wrote last year about my favorite app, MindSnacks. (No, they don’t give me a kickback for the promo.) (But they should!)

See everyone tomorrow…

– Mrs. R

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies!

October 16th, 2014 · Comments Off · Recipes, Thank yous

(Photo by Food Librarian)

This recipe courtesy of our own lovely and helpful Ms. Kmetz-Gonzalez. Try this out with help from your parents or a grown-up, kids.

Happy Halloween!!

– Mrs. R.

Pumpkin Cookies

Preheat oven to 350.

Add each ingredient in each column as given. Then add column 2 to column 1.

Column 1:
1 cup Crisco shortening
3 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups pumpkin (15 oz can)
2 tsp. vanilla

Column 2:
5 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. cinnamon

Add 2 cups chocolate chips (preferably milk chocolate ones).

(If you prefer, you can substitute 2 cups of nuts or 2 cups of golden raisins.)

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (not mandatory, but they come out great this way) or spray with nonstick spray. Drop a heaping tablespoon of dough per cookie onto the sheet… you can get around 15 cookies on a large cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 – 12 minutes (in my oven, 8 minutes was plenty… adjust for your own oven).

Makes around 6-7 dozen cookies.​

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“OK, enough questions for now.”

October 7th, 2014 · Comments Off · Education

That’s what I often say to my students, and no, I’m not proud of it. I wish we could answer every question, for hours on end. But sometimes we need to get to work and the questions (comments, shout-outs) are derailing us.

Then I read this quote, from NBA player Jason Collins:

“…I’m happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, ‘I’m different.’ If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand.”

Sometimes when you ask a question, there are three or four other people in the class wondering the same thing, wanting to share something identical, or similar, but they are maybe too shy to raise their hands. So you’re asking it on behalf of the group. Other times, you’re the only one who has that particular question, and that’s fine, too.

Kids, keep asking questions, and I will keep answering (or doing my best at attempting to answer) them.

What are we working on in computer lab this week? I’m working them so hard. Seriously. Even the littles! We’re keyboarding (Typing Agent and DanceMat Typing), we’re working a bit in Google Docs, we’re playing Wild Kratts on PBS Kids, we’re doing the practice questions in IXL, my favorite math program. (You can log in as a guest and do a fast 20 questions or so before it boots you out.)

Short week this week — students have Friday, Oct. 10th, off (staff development day).

Be well, learn a lot, play hard, have fun…

– Mrs. R

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Safety at the ocean & whatever happened to Pixieland? Plus Google Docs & some very pretty pictures

September 22nd, 2014 · Comments Off · Art, Education, Misc., Writing

This week’s lessons:

This time of year, and again in the spring, I talk with the students about sneaker waves on the Oregon coast. (Warning: That video may be a little intense for the younger kids; you might want to preview it first.) My family loves the beach, and in spite of safety warnings, knowing about sneaker waves, and being, by nature, pretty cautious people, we were almost taken down by a sneaker wave last spring. So sharing this video, which aired last fall, is a sort of community service from our family to yours. Fall and spring are when the coast is the most unpredictable, so let’s be careful out there.

Now on to something a little less serious.

Pixieland was a fun amusement park, near the town of Otis, just outside of Lincoln City, where we went when I was a kid. It was open for a few years, then disappeared. What happened behind the scenes? I always imagined it was like a story from the vaudeville theater that was at the park. “You must pay the rent!” “I can’t pay the rent!” or something like that. My sister and I were always trying to pick out the exact location when we drove by. This video (which is from 2011) answered all of our questions.

Here is a new clip from Oregon Field Guide about the gray whales we see occasionally. Be prepared — the captain really loves whales.

More, more, more: We’re also spending a lot of time in lab on Google Docs, learning how to put together presentations (similar to PowerPoint), create documents (for stories, poems, letters and songs) and build our own websites! Kind of awesome, really, to see the kids use this amazing learning tool. They’re memorizing their usernames and passwords, so please ask them to share those with you and show your their files. They will need Google Docs for middle school and high school, too. As long as they are with our school district, this will be their cloud storage. I do encourage the students to create a second personal Google Docs account. They can share/send their files to that account and have a back-up, in case they change districts or just want to have an extra parking spot, so to speak.

Enjoy your week! And here, have a few photos ;)

– Mrs. R

Pelican squadron (that’s what a flock of pelicans is called, for real), heading back to Depoe Bay.

Purple & green!

Yaquina Head Light

Can you see him?

(Photos by Steve Rawley)

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What We Are Working on in Technology Class This Week:

September 17th, 2014 · Comments Off · Art, Computer Geek, Computers, Education, Educational Web Sites

Passwords.

Passwords for our typing program, passwords for Google Docs, passwords like “please” and “thank you” that can take you so far in life.

Passwords. How to memorize them, where to store them, and the importance of not sharing them with others. Another safety tip: If you get an e-mail from someone you don’t know, don’t respond to it by e-mailing back, don’t click on any links they might have sent, and don’t forward to friends.

Those spammers — they are tricky.

We are also having fun with our our favorites, ABCya and Starfall. Coolmath is still a big hit, too. Too much blinky & flashy on that one, though — hard on the eyes.

More next week.

The End

ps — here’s a picture for you!

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

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back in school!

September 3rd, 2014 · Comments Off · Art, Computer Geek, Educational Web Sites

Hello, everyone!

I love the start of a new school year. Love, love, love.

If you’re wondering what we’re up to, check Student Source — the site went through a makeover this summer and the students and I are having fun discovering some old favorites and lots of new stuff, too. Start with “Type” and go to the keyboarding games.

If you’re new here, you can also check all of last year’s entries, starting with September, 2013, and look at all the links and lesson plans, because that’s where I’m going. I love to re-do lesson plans, build onto them and go, go, go. It’s like this picture, see? You think, Argh, that is impossible, that mountain, this is never going to work! Then you’re halfway there, all the way there, halfway back down, looking up at it and thinking, That wasn’t so bad. That is life, baby!

Have a great week.

– Mrs. R

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

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Charlie!

August 30th, 2014 · Comments Off · Author! Author!, Book Geek

For those of us who love Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl’s classic, here is a sneak peek at what might have been… The Dahl estate has just released some “insider info” on a lost chapter, additional characters, etc. (There’s a cool Quentin Blake video linked on that page, too.)

The book celebrates its 50th birthday in October. Time does fly.

Enjoy your weekend!

– Mrs. R

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Is this how you’ve been spending your summer?

August 28th, 2014 · Comments Off · Art, Book Geek, Computer Geek

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

That photo is old, kids, do you like it? My husband took it when he was a kid, of the neighbor kids and his sister. See? He’s been a photographer his whole life! He found something he liked to do and he’s stuck with it. Me? I like to write, read and teach.

What do you like to do? Maybe you’ll do that when you get older, too. Even if you can’t make money from it, you can still have fun. My writing has never paid much, but I do it when I have a chance and that’s good enough. I try to write something every single day.

Right now I’m writing…

1) this blog post
2) a new novel (a young adult book, for teenagers)
3) in my journal
4) a grocery list and…
5) I need to write some letters and cards to family and friends

Well, that’s enough writing for now, don’t you think? Are you aware that school starts again next Tuesday? Yes, I agree, it seems like school just got out last week. But we will have a good year, I know it :)

Leave me a note if you think of it.

Best,

Mrs. R

ps — maybe Mr. Rawley will tell us a little bit about his old camera that he used to take these pictures? That would be cool. I’ll ask him. If you click on his FlickR pages, you’ll see a bunch more. His family thinks it’s neat that he still has these photos after all these years. I do, too.

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jokes for you!

August 12th, 2014 · Comments Off · Art, Book Geek, Joke of the Day

How do you catch a unique rabbit?

Unique up on him.

How do you catch a tame rabbit?

Tame way.

Are you having a good summer? We are. We just listened to “What Would Joey Do?” by the incomparable Jack Gantos. The author did the reading, and we listened to it in the car on CDs from the library. Next up: “Where the Red Fern Grows,” the classic by Wilson Rawls, and “Maniac Magee,” by Jerry Spinelli. We also listened to Christopher Paul Curtis’ “Bud, Not Buddy,” which is one of my new favorites.

Have a great week.

– Mrs. R

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

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