Monday, April 26, 2010

Flex Your Reading Muscle!

Ahhh, spring -- The time when flowers bloom, baseball starts up, thoughts turn to getting in shape for the approaching summer, and...reading! Oh wait, were you not thinking of reading?

Well, I hope you will put it on your to-do list! Although reading isn't exactly a muscle, it is a skill that needs attention to grow. Just as you invest time to exercise to make your body fit, you need to flex your reading muscle -- by reading -- to improve your mind.

There's good news too...There are so many reading choices! If a lot of time has passed since you last flexed that reading muscle, start out easy -- Try a magazine, a graphic novel, the newspaper. What matters is that you are reading. As mentioned in previous posts, maybe you can opt to download a book to an e-reader or listen to an audiobook.

Maybe you'll decide to get back into reading a novel. Have you ever read books by James Patterson ("Maximum Ride" series), Sarah Dessen, Laurie Halse Anderson? Want something different? Try The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

What about nonfiction? You might like reading about something to do with the environment, something about politics, sports, other.

Just as with exercise, you need to change it up. If you always read the same kind of thing, you're not flexing that reading muscle as much as you might. So, go out there and exercise -- your body and your mind! Kick up your reading, and you may be surprised how much you enjoy it!

One last thing...I'll be happy to make suggestions for you, if you're not sure where to start. Just ask!

Seriously, give it a try - You might surprise yourself!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Trying Out Google Docs

Do you love using Google when you need to look up something? Most of us do. Were you aware that there is SO much more to Google than just simple searching? Next time you go to, check out some of the other features that are on the same line as Web, Images, and Maps.

Google Docs is a suite of applications that includes documents, spreadsheets, presentation, drawing, and forms. As I learned in the webinar I participated in yesterday, the drawing format is new. Google Docs continues to evolve.

If you have not used Google Docs yet, it is (they are?) quite easy to use. You need to create a gmail (Google mail) account. You can create a document/spreadsheet/presentation/etc. and then invite others to view/edit your document. When you have a gmail account established, someone else can invite you to edit his/her document.

The best part of Google Docs is that it offers a collaborative webspace for creating and editing these various types of documents. Think of the possibilities! Whether for brainstorming ideas, planning lessons, drafting newsletters, tracking team statistics, or many other purposes, Google Docs is a great way to work together - collaborate - without being in the same physical space. Google Docs is web-based, and as such, it is available wherever you have Internet access.

I urge you to try out Google Docs!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

School Library Month

This April is the 25th annual observation of School Library Month! According to the American Library Association, "Every April school librarians are encouraged to create activities to help their school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school library programs play in a student's educational career. The 2010 theme will be "Communities Thrive @ your library."

In keeping with this theme, I am pleased to offer a presentation to the Board of Education and the NMHS PTO to showcase some of the Web 2.0 applications that I use and that I encourage our students and teachers to use. The presentation will be this Tuesday, April 13th at 7:00 PM, and we will meet in Room 240 - across the hall from the Library. Seating is limited, but I hope all BOE and PTO members will try to join me!

I hope you will agree with the statement made by the 2010 Spokesperson for School Library Month, award-winning young adult author Laurie Halse Anderson: "School libraries are the foundation of our culture, not luxuries.”

Whether the medium is print or online, school libraries are vital to the success of our students. Numerous studies and reports point to the correlation between student achievement and the presence of a certified school library media specialist in each school's library media center.

Please click on the following links for more information:


During School Library Month, please make every effort to learn more about our school's valuable resource, the Library Media Center. I am always happy to fill you in on the services we offer.