Ms. Nancy's Library & Technology Blog

Empowering students with books and technology

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

hey, kids, what’s new?

May 24th, 2017 · Comments Off on hey, kids, what’s new? · Author! Author!, Book Geek, Education

In case any of my former students drop by this blog… I’m teaching preschool at the moment. It’s kind of awesome, because even though you’re thinking to yourself, Self, the babies! They’re soooo cute. Aw, fingerpainting. Playing with the tactile table (ribbons, pasta, plastic marbles). Raising butterflies. Taking naps.

They are not babies.

They’re important, fierce, smart and on a mission. So don’t get in their way, man.

Hope y’all are well. Have a great summer, we’re almost there 🙂

Ms. Nancy

ps here are five of my top picks for preschool books 🙂 Bon appetit, not-babies!

“Bread and Jam for Frances,” by Russell and Lillian Hoban

“When Sophie Gets Angry — Really, Really Angry,” by Molly Bang

“Corduroy,” by Don Freeman

“The Lion and the Mouse,” by Jerry Pinkney

“Frederick,” by Leo Leonni

Comments Off on hey, kids, what’s new?

knock, knock. who’s there? 2017, y’all…

December 8th, 2016 · Comments Off on knock, knock. who’s there? 2017, y’all… · Art, Book Geek

lake of fog

“lake of fog”
Photo by Steve Rawley

Look, blogs are dead. They’re a thing of the past, and that’s okay. Facebook and all the other social media crap is alive and well and who’s archiving your stuff? Not you. Whatever.

But sometimes someone randomly stops by here and takes a look, and I want them to find something yummy. An Easter Egg, as it were.

So here’s a pretty picture by Steve, and some writing from me.

2016 was not a great year, for a lot of reasons, and I’m not the only one out there who is hoping for more from 2017.

So peace, love & Bobby Sherman, and I hope your world is everything you hoped it would be.



Comments Off on knock, knock. who’s there? 2017, y’all…

hello, Harbor Seals!

April 14th, 2016 · Comments Off on hello, Harbor Seals! · Art

Hope you’re all having a nice spring. Suddenly… it’s almost May!

The Salishan Spit colony

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Comments Off on hello, Harbor Seals!

spring is on the way

February 3rd, 2016 · Comments Off on spring is on the way · Art


(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Comments Off on spring is on the way


January 27th, 2016 · Comments Off on winter · Art

Bear Lake

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Comments Off on winter

TumbleBook Library & Storyline Online

October 12th, 2015 · Comments Off on TumbleBook Library & Storyline Online · Author! Author!, Book Geek

Shaft of light

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Would you like to read a book by the sea? Or perhaps on a computer, in a warm cozy room?

My students and I are very fond of the TumbleBook Library. (Storyline Online is another good one for virtual storytime.)

You can access it by going to Beaverton City Library, then click on Programs and Events > Kids > Little Kids > Stories.

(Hint: They have stories on there for big kids, too, and books in Spanish, Korean, Chinese and other languages. Search under “Language Learning.”)

Have fun!

— Mrs. R

Comments Off on TumbleBook Library & Storyline Online

poem + pic

September 26th, 2015 · Comments Off on poem + pic · Art, Author! Author!, Poetry

toy boat toy boat toy boat

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

“The Secret of the Sea”

Ah! what pleasant visions haunt me
As I gaze upon the sea!
All the old romantic legends,
All my dreams, come back to me.

Sails of silk and ropes of sandal,
Such as gleam in ancient lore;
And the singing of the sailors,
And the answer from the shore!

Most of all, the Spanish ballad
Haunts me oft, and tarries long,
Of the noble Count Arnaldos
And the sailor’s mystic song.

Like the long waves on a sea-beach,
Where the sand as silver shines,
With a soft, monotonous cadence,
Flow its unrhymed lyric lines;–

Telling how the Count Arnaldos,
With his hawk upon his hand,
Saw a fair and stately galley,
Steering onward to the land;–

How he heard the ancient helmsman
Chant a song so wild and clear,
That the sailing sea-bird slowly
Poised upon the mast to hear,

Till his soul was full of longing,
And he cried, with impulse strong,–
“Helmsman! for the love of heaven,
Teach me, too, that wondrous song!”

“Wouldst thou,”–so the helmsman answered,
“Learn the secret of the sea?
Only those who brave its dangers
Comprehend its mystery!”

In each sail that skims the horizon,
In each landward-blowing breeze,
I behold that stately galley,
Hear those mournful melodies;

Till my soul is full of longing
For the secret of the sea,
And the heart of the great ocean
Sends a thrilling pulse through me.

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Comments Off on poem + pic

Off to a new adventure…

September 5th, 2015 · Comments Off on Off to a new adventure… · Art, Author! Author!, Book Geek, Libraries

Capax Infiniti

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Hello, students and anyone else who is reading this,

I am happy and I am a little sad, too. I’m leaving one school for another — from computer lab to library and computer lab — starting next week.

You kids at my old school — you’re great students. But you know this already, because I told you so all the time, am I right? I’m right. You are fantastic, and I will miss you so much. But you come and find me here, leave me notes, and I’ll send you notes back, OK? (Your e-mail does not show up when you leave a comment; only I see that.)

Note to my new students: I’m really looking forward to getting to know you! I’ve heard that you are a cool, smart bunch, too. Yay!

I just missed my library work too much. (That’s what most of my background is in.) But I do love computers, too, especially when we’re using them for reading and writing. That’s how I’m writing this blog post right now, as a matter of fact! Ha. This way I’ll be able to teach half the time in the library, half the time in the computer lab. That works for me.

So we will talk soon. Thanks for everything.


Mrs. R

Comments Off on Off to a new adventure…

Happy summer, everyone…

June 25th, 2015 · Comments Off on Happy summer, everyone… · Art, Educational Web Sites

Moon in cancer

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Here are some fun websites to play with over the break. See you in September!

— Mrs. R

National Geographic Kids

National Zoo

San Diego Zoo

San Francisco Zoo magazine




Comments Off on Happy summer, everyone…

Hello out there, fellow philatelists!

April 26th, 2015 · Comments Off on Hello out there, fellow philatelists! · Art

Let’s talk about art projects, because they’re part of learning, too.

I’ve been collecting stamps for years. Stamps can be quite beautiful works of art. A few weeks ago I found two tins of postage stamps (some of them old, dating back to 1947) that my paternal grandmother saved, and some that I had saved, too, because she taught me to look for stamps. My grandma loved her stamps — I have her collection in a great book. She gave it to my dad, then it was passed along to me. Anyway, it’s fun to look through. My own kids have never taken to it, and that’s fine. It seems so old-fashioned now, I get that.

(Or “vintage,” as I prefer.)

I’m always looking for new ways to educate/entertain/engage my students, and when I came across those tins, and some construction paper, and lined paper… Well, there you have it.

I spent some time constructing little books out of the construction paper — all different colors, so that made it fun. I stapled 6 or 8 sheets of lined paper inside, found some glue sticks and scotch tape, and we were ready to go. (The stamps — most of which included the postmarks — were already trimmed and ready.)

This turned out to be one of the best lessons I’ve ever come up with, and it cost me nothing in supplies; I already had everything on hand.

I had enough stamps for two classes, and hello, I’m no fool. I wanted someone who would share my goofy joy in stamp collecting. Hi, 3rd graders, let’s get going on this fun project.

* We practiced saying “philatelist” and it is really fun to say. Philately! One of the world’s most popular hobbies! I had to dial the lesson way back once I realized that many of them weren’t familiar with the following terms:

1) postage stamp
2) cost of postage stamps
3) postmarks
3) “snail mail”
4) stamp collecting

Seriously. We do so much by auto-pay now, e-mail and texting, the kids aren’t really sending/receiving much mail, seeing letters appear in the mailbox at home, any of that. So we talked about penpals, too. I explained that “real” stamp collectors (like coin collectors) go for the uncirculated items, in pristine condition, and that no, glue and scotch tape aren’t recommended. (Acid-free paper, collections kept in boxes, inside safe deposit boxes, etc.) Smart kids — right away they wanted to know, Are these worth money? How much? And started looking for the oldest ones. I told them that they are welcome to go to a stamp/coin dealer and talk business, but that I’ve always been in it just for fun.

I suggested that they ask their parents, neighbors, grandparents, teachers, anyone, really, to save stamps for them, if they’re interested in collecting them. They each got to pick out five stamps from the tins, and we ended up with enough for both classes, plus a few extras. They decorated the covers, showed them off a bit, and really, it was super fun. We also talked about some of the things they like to collect, including (but not limited to):

Coins, rocks, dolls, video games, shells, agates, toys! and now, stamps.

One of the boys asked me if he could have a blank book and stamps, since he missed school the day we had the lesson. One of the 5th graders heard about it, and requested books and “starter stamps” for himself and his 2nd grade sister. One of the girls asked me for an extra book, “I already filled mine up!” Please bring it to show me, I asked her, and she did.

It’s just beautiful. Lovely stamps from around the world. Where did they all come from? I asked.

Big smile.

“My grandpa!”

Some things don’t change.

Have a great week.


Mrs. R

Comments Off on Hello out there, fellow philatelists!