Ms. Nancy's Library & Technology Blog

Empowering students with books and technology

Ms. Nancy's Library & Technology Blog random header image

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

September 22nd, 2014 · No Comments · 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)

→ No Comments

What We Are Working on in Technology Class This Week:

September 17th, 2014 · No Comments · Art, Computer Geek, Computers, Education, Educational Web Sites


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)

→ No Comments

back in school!

September 3rd, 2014 · No Comments · 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)

→ No Comments


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

Comments Off

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.


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.

Comments Off

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)

Comments Off

joke of the day + a pretty picture for you

July 31st, 2014 · Comments Off · Art, Joke of the Day, Music

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back?

A stick.

Good one, yes? I’ll be at a new school next year and I am super excited about that! But I will miss my former students. Thank you all for a great year. I know that none of you are even slightly ready to start thinking about the 2014-2015 school year, but believe me, all of your teachers and school staff are getting prepared, and we are looking forward to seeing all of you!

“See you/ in September/ see you/ when the summer’s through…”
– old song that’s from before your time, kid

Comments Off

joke of the day

July 11th, 2014 · 2 Comments · Art, Joke of the Day

Wanna hear a joke about pizza?

Never mind, it’s too cheesy.

Happy Friday, everyone!

– Mrs. R

Fourth of July on the Oregon Coast, 2014

(Photo by Steve Rawley)


Fun, easy, no clean-up science projects…

July 9th, 2014 · Comments Off · Research, Science & Math, Student Work

…because you know you’re looking for something to do. Here are ideas for 11 fun science experiments.

Kids, please check with your parents first.


Mrs. R

Comments Off

the view from here

July 2nd, 2014 · Comments Off · Art

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

This is the view last week from Devil’s Punchbowl, and across the way you’ll see Cape Foulweather, all fogged in. I think it’s gorgeous, no matter what the weather. We had relatives with us and went to the observation deck and the gift shop, where you’ll find the best view. Not the day we were there! You couldn’t even see the ocean, it was so socked in. Wait, look, waves? Look close in, we told them, OK, right there! Ah, ocean!

Then whoosh — a bald eagle flew by, close in, then… gone and off into the fog. Very cool surprise. Eventually the fog rolled back out, and there was the ocean.

Hope you’re enjoying your summer, with all of its surprises.

Comments Off