Thursday, November 29, 2007

Harry Potter Personality Quiz

Don't know why I always take these things but I just can't resist.

This test is based on the principles of the Myers-Briggs Personality Typing system. The result of this quiz will tell you not only you personality type but also which major character in Harry Potter has the same personality type.

Not sure what the results mean but here they are:

Pirate Monkey's Harry Potter Personality Quiz
Harry Potter Personality Quiz
by Pirate Monkeys Inc.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A day with the techies

Today I spent the day at the Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference.  It is a great conference and I wish I could have spent more than one day attending.  I was on a panel discussing using mp3 audiobooks.  But I did get to attend the keynote speech, Tim Tyson.  I also went to workshops on digital storytelling and using moodle.  And I got to play with an iTouch.  Now I really want one.  Hey, Santa.  Are you listening?

Recent podcasts uploaded:

Washington : National Geographic, 2007
IL 5-8, RL 6.1
ISBN 1426300735
A long time ago, a civilization thrived in Mexico.  They were the Aztecs and had a rich and vibrant culture.  But they disappeared in the 1500s when the Spanish came to Mexico.  If they have been gone for so long, how do we know what they were like?  How do we know what their daily routines were or how they celebrated special days?  These are the things that archaeologists discover.  Find out how they do their job while you learn about the Aztecs.

Enderle, Judith Ross. SMILE, PRINCIPESSA
New York : Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2007
IL K-3, RL 2.6
ISBN 1416910042
Principessa's father loves taking pictures of her.  Every day he takes lots of pictures.  Picture of her laughing, crying, eating, sleeping.  Everything.  When her baby brother is born, Papa takes lots of pictures of him too.  But Principessa doesn't want to share the pictures so she decides she will never smile again and doesn't want her picture taken anymore.  Can anything change her mind?

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Learning about Connecticut

Over the holidays, many of us travel to other states to visit friends and family.  Why not do a bit of research on the history of the state before you go.  National Geographic has a series of books that tell the history of the states from settlement to the birth of the nation.  Today's podcast showcases the volume on Connecticut.

Burgan, Michael.  CONNECTICUT, 1614-1776
Washington : National Geographic, 2007
IL 5-8, RL 7.7
ISBN 1426300697
OK, you've been assigned a report on a state and you have Connecticut.  Where do you start looking?  You should start here.  Burgan takes you on a journey through the history of Connecticut from the first English settlers through the beginnings of the United States.  Using first person accounts and archival images, there is much to learn about this state.

The podcast can be accessed at:

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Penguins everywhere

Today's podcast is for a cute non-fiction picture book.

New York : Chronicle Books, 2007
IL K-3, RL 3.4
ISBN 081185664X
I love going to the aquarium and seeing the penguins.  They are just so cute.  And they walk so funny.  I love how they tend to stay in groups when the run around and when they dive into the water.  In this book, you'll see lots of activities that penguins enjoy.  And you'll get an introduction to the many different kinds of penguins.

I just read about this interesting way to cook a turkey.  I wonder how long it would take to do a 20 pound bird?


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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Of podcasts and elves and parties

Today's podcast is for:


Alexander, Elizabeth.
New York : Wordsong, 2007
IL 5-8, RL 6.7
ISBN 1590784561
Back in the 1800s, African Americans had few opportunities for education.  But one courageous woman defied the bigotry of the times and created a haven for young African American women.  Prudence Crandall opened her boarding school in 1833 with 20 students from many states who traveled to Connecticut hoping to find a better life.  Many of her students were freed slaves.  It was not easy for these girls.  They faced racism and the separation from their parents.  And the townspeople made it clear they didn't want them there.  The shopkeepers refused to sell them provisions.  The doctor refused treatment for the girls.  And people pelted the school with rocks, eggs and insults.  A year after the school opened, Miss Crandall was forced to close it down.  This is the story of Miss Crandall's
School for Young Ladies and Little Misses of Color.

Today we had a fun day at our annual family reunion.  Lots of aunts and cousins I only see once a year.  But these are the times to catch up on everyone's life and enjoy being part of a large Irish family.  Not too many liittle ones today.  My grandsons were two of the few.  My 4 year old grandson played musical chairs with the older kids.  They were great about letting him keep getting a seat.  But when the time came that he was out, it didn't even phase him.  He just went and got one of the chairs that had been taken away and had his own game!  Too cute.

This morning while I was baking for the party, we played with a cool web site called Elf Yourself.  It does just that.  Give it a try. We spent way too much time fooling around with it and laughing hysterically.  If you want to check out Mimi and her boys,   I ended up having two Aiden's just because it was funnier that way.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Podcasts resume

OK, I finally got my voice back.  I have never had this much trouble with a cold.  What happened to the old conventional wisdom -- colds are 3 days coming, 3 days with you, and 3 days going.  This one has been "with me" for over a week now.  Not bad enough to keep me from Black Friday shopping though!!  I will admit that I bought some things for myself instead of just buying presents.  I got new computer speakers -- pretty pink ones.  I also got a new photo printer.  I've been reluctant to buy one since I worry about how much the ink will cost.  But Staples had a door buster for $9.98.  Can't beat that!

Anyway, today's podcast is for Abdel-Fattah's wonderful book "Does My Head Look Big in This? 

Abdel-Fattah, Randa.
New York : Orchard Books, 2007, c2005.
Amal is an Australian-born, Muslim Palestinian “whacked with some seriously confusing identity hyphens.”  She is your typical high school girl.  She loves shopping, watching her favorite shows, IMing her friends, and boys.  But she also decides to wear the hijab.  This is a very personal decision that she knows won't be understood by many of the people she comes into contact with everyday.  Her headmistress is concerned because it isn't part of the school uniform.  Some of her classmates wonder if she is some kind of terrorist.  But she does have some supporters.  Her friends, her teachers and even a non-Muslim boy who wants to be more than a friend, all help her realize that wearing the hijab allows her to be true to her faith and herself.


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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

The masses are fed, the grandchildren tucked in, the kids asleep on assorted couches and chairs and now it's quiet time. I love the hubbub of the day but it is such a great feeling when the day turns to night and everyone is happy and well fed. I wish this feeling to everyone.

While we were waiting for the turkey to cook, my grandson Aiden and I took a look at the new website Lookybook. The site is still in preview but looks great. Lookybook's mission is:

to create a comfortable place where a curious and devotedaudience can search, view, talk about, and buy from a diverse and rapidlyexpanding collection of picture books. We intend to create the greatestopportunity for authors, illustrators and publishers to reach interestedconsumers and dramatically extend the life of their books.

Lookybook currently features over 200 titles and is growing daily. Our goal,by mid-2008, is to feature over 1000 titles.

I didn't know if Aiden, age 4, would be interested in reading books online. He does love to be read so I thought I'd give it a try. We ended up reading 8 books before I had to stop to get back to the kitchen. The site gives you access to the entire book -- not just a few pages. We really liked the selection and being able to grab another book as soon as we were finished. And also putting the book away if we didn't want to finish. The one problem I had was the size. I didn't see a way to enlarge the image and some of that print was pretty small for these old eyes. I need to play with it some more to see if I'm missing a full screen option. Aiden did ask if we could buy a couple of the books because he wanted to touch them.

When I had to go back to the kitchen, I set Aiden up on BookPals so he could be read to by a celebrity. He liked it but not for too long. At bedtime, he asked if he could have a real book instead of the "puter book". Gotta love it.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

We are in good hands

NH Representative Paul Hodes Reads at my library!

Today started out with a great program in the library. Americans for Campaign Reform held an essay contest for 8th graders and the three finalists were celebrated this morning. NH Rep. Paul Hodes and Stoneyfield Farms president Gary Hirshberg were the main judges. The three students read their essays "What I Would Do If I Were President". I was so blown away by these essays. I wouldn't be surprised if one of these kids did become president some day. Even if they don't, they will be doing something wonderful. With kids like this, we don't have to worry about our future. We are leaving it in great hands. Congratulations Ethan, Laurie and Morgan.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Strasser, Todd. Can't Get There From Here

Today's podcast is for Todd Strasser's book Can't Get There From Here

I had planned to record some podcasts today to get me through the week.  Unfortunately, I have a terrible case of laryngitis and sound horrible.  Believe me, no one wants to listen to me like this.  I was complaining to my daughter that I had trouble getting anyone to help me in the electronics store yesterday.  Acutally, it makes sense that no one wanted to be near me!!  But, here is the last pre-laryngitis podcast I have prepared.

Strasser, Todd.
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2004.

Why don't you just go home?  Can't.  Mother's new husband is still there.  Can't.  Mother threw me out.  Can't.  Don't want to talk about it.  Can't get there from here.  So here they are.  Street kids.  Trying to take care of each other when they can't even take care of themselves.  They are cold, dirty, hungry and hopeless.  Society doesn't care about them.  They are throw away kids.  But you will care about them by the end of this book.  Get to know Maybe and Tears and Rainbow and Jewel and the others as they form a tribe and try to survive on the streets of New York City.


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Saturday, November 17, 2007

ATN Reading Lists

Recent changes/additions to ATN Reading Lists wiki.  Check out all the pages at:

Page Date Author Comment
Noodlehead Yesterday 1:17 pm guest (
Books written in verse Thursday, 6:23 pm guest (
Earth Day Read-alouds Thursday, 5:29 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Earth Day, elementary Thursday, 5:27 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Capacity Thursday, 5:20 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Buddhism, Fiction Thursday, 5:16 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Boys, Teen Thursday, 5:14 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Books without clear endings Thursday, 5:12 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Body modification Thursday, 5:09 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Analogies Thursday, 5:05 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Afterlife Thursday, 5:02 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Afterlife Thursday, 5:01 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
ADHD Thursday, 4:56 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
3rd grade read-alouds Thursday, 4:53 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
2nd grade Thursday, 4:48 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Signal drummers Thursday, 4:43 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Seizures Thursday, 4:41 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Science, easy Thursday, 4:36 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Science fiction for young Thursday, 4:33 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Scary but funny Thursday, 4:12 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Drinking and Driving Wednesday, 3:46 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Covers - Crime Scene Wednesday, 3:44 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Clouds Wednesday, 3:41 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
clique Wednesday, 3:40 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Boredom Wednesday, 3:34 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Book care Wednesday, 3:28 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Book care Wednesday, 3:28 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Bad Day Wednesday, 3:25 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Apostrophe Wednesday, 3:22 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
If you liked Fallen Angels... (deleted) Wednesday, 3:19 pm booktalker2 booktalker2 Deleted Page
If you liked Fallen Angels Wednesday, 3:17 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
If you liked Fallen Angels... (deleted) Wednesday, 3:14 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Themes Wednesday, 3:09 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Absentee parent Wednesday, 3:08 pm booktalker2 booktalker2
Picture books - high school Wednesday, 6:21 am maryschwander maryschwander
Tall tales Nov 13, 2007 6:18 pm KristaKat KristaKat
Tall tales Nov 13, 2007 5:41 pm KristaKat KristaKat
Historical Fiction - 9th grade Nov 13, 2007 5:40 pm KristaKat KristaKat
Japanese folktales Nov 13, 2007 5:34 pm KristaKat KristaKat
Books written in verse Nov 13, 2007 5:29 pm KristaKat KristaKat
Gingerbread boy Nov 13, 2007 5:19 pm KristaKat KristaKat
Feminist fairy tales Nov 13, 2007 5:07 pm KristaKat KristaKat
Fantasy, Non-scary Nov 13, 2007 5:04 pm KristaKat KristaKat
Books that persuade Nov 13, 2007 5:01 pm KristaKat KristaKat
Adventure Nov 13, 2007 4:59 pm KristaKat KristaKat
American Children Classics Nov 13, 2007 4:51 pm KristaKat KristaKat

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Jordan as art

Digital Camera Fun
Created with - fun with your photos

This is a really fun application. Just upload a photo and choose a background! Here's my grandson Jordan looking down as a work of art. He just doesn't look happy! I'll have to let him out of the picture!

Of 6th graders and bibliophiles

I got to work with 6th graders on Tuesday.  It wasn't on a research assignment as I usually do.  This was for their reading projects. This is a great group of kids.  They come to the library every Monday to pick out books, read magazine, and just to be in the library.  We don't have "library time" in our school but these kids and their teacher have decided that they want to have a regular time.  This week we had no school on Monday so they missed their time.  But on Tuesday, I went to them with lots of ideas about projects they can do for their grade.  We looked at PhotoStory, VoiceThread, Animoto, videos, podcasts, vodcasts and even our old reliable PowerPoint.  There was so much energy and enthusiasm in the room.  The kids signed up for lots of projects and I'm looking forward to working with them during the rest of the year. 

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Blog Readability

Who have guessed? I took the blog readability test and I guess I must use some big words because it came out:

cash advance

Does that mean I use a whole bunch of fancy words?  Well, golly whompers!

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

A new booktalking tool?

I’m not really sure if I will use this in booktalking, but VozMe beta is a lot of fun.  This is a tool that converts text into audio.  Just drop in some text, click a button and, viola, you have an mp3 file.  The voice is rather robotic so it may be fun to use for booktalks about robot books. 

I've used VozMe to convert my booktalk for Robot Santa

What do you think?

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Ghost Girl by Ray

Today's podcast is for Ghost girl by Ray

I'm also working on a pathfinder for one of the teachers at school.  The lesson is on cryptids and other mysteries.  It's been a lot of fun tracking down websites about the Jersey devil and other assorted beasties.  I can't wait to see what the kids do for their projects.  They have a menu to choose from and having seen some of these kids in action, I am sure it will be great.

The tech ed teacher and I just had the kids doing wikis.  It was one of those unfortunate scheduling problems that I had to supervise a study hall during the class so couldn't work with the kids.  The teacher gave them the assignment the day before the lesson was to begin.  He told them what the pages would be and gave them the rubric.  He had expected to start lessons the next day.  But, several of the kids went home after they were told about the assignment and created their own wikis without instruction.  And they in turn taught mini-lessons to the other kids.  This is what it's all about folks.  These kids were so enthusiastic about the project that the teacher repeated it with his other classes.  If we do it again with an academic class, there needs to be a bit more structure but the tech ed class was dealing more with the technology.

The 8th grade general music classes created their decades radio shows during October.  Some were so good that we have decided to post them on our school podcast.  I'm just waiting for the files to be digitized and away we go.

I just love all the excitement over the web 2.0 applications.  It harkens back to 1995 when we first introduced the kids to the Internet, Powerpoint, Word and other computer technology that was so new to them.  It's great to feel charged up again.!

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

Fishbone, Gregory R. THE PENGUINS OF DOOM

Fishbone, Gregory R.
Austin : Blooming Tree, 2007
IL 3-6
ISBN 1933831030

Meet Septina Nash.  I bet you have never met anyone like her.  She is the 7th child of a 7th child which makes her rather special.  She also has purple hair.  Now that is what you would probably notice if she were in you class!  And now Septina has something very special to do.  She is helping the police find her sister!  Yes, her sister Sexta, has gone missing.  Has she run away or has something sinister happened to her?  Through it all, we meet many unusual characters from Septima's mother -- the famous skateboarder who makes a living selling lottery tickets -- to the dreaded Dr. Fignizzi, Septina's mortal enemy.  Where is Sexta?  And who are the Penguins of Doom?


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