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TpT Giveaway and Cyber Monday Sales November 26, 2017

Posted by Mrs. J in the Library in Fun Stuff.
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Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays! 

As we all start our holiday shopping and prepare for family gatherings, give yourself a break by purchasing some ready-to-go lessons for your library or classroom.  Teachers Pay Teachers is having a sitewide sale from Monday, November 27 through Tuesday, November 28.

Teachers Pay Teachers Cyber Sale - November 27th and 28th. Save up to 25% with Promo Code: CYBER17 | Mrs. J in the Library @ A Wrinkle in Tech

Everything in my store will be 20% off, except for my bundles which are already discounted.  When you use code CYBER17 at checkout, you get an additional 5% off the original price, for a total of up to 25% off!

To celebrate the sale, I’m giving away a $10 TpT gift card!  Click on the image below to enter with your email address, and earn bonus entries through social media.

Teachers Pay Teachers Cyber Sale 2017 Gift Card Giveaway! | Mrs. J in the Library @ A Wrinkle in Tech (more…)

2013 Learning Reflections and Some Goals December 30, 2013

Posted by Mrs. J in the Library in Ebooks, How to Be Brave, Reflections.
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Happy New Year from my family to yours!
Image from Pixabay

As the year draws to a close, reflection posts and new year goals/resolutions are the popular “thing” to do on a blog.  My take is a bit different: I’m listing the things I’ve learned to remind myself (and you my dear readers) that we’ve all accomplished a lot, and we should take pride in that.  I hope you’ll share some of the things you’ve learned this year in the comments!

Things I’ve Learned This Year

  1. How to think differently and critically about the library from a student’s point of view.
  2. How to incorporate and manage Nexus tablets into a school library program.
  3. How to be brave enough to start a makerspace without “data” that it will raise PSSA standardized test scores.
  4. How to convert and merge PDF files while preserving the integrity of links, images, and other media…plus how to make images from a PDF.
  5. How to effectively use Pinterest to promote TpT products, Issuu to make an ebook, and even a bit of Twitter to connect with other teacher-librarians.
  6. How to write better blog posts (at least compared to when I started this blog) and make said posts more useful to teacher-librarian readers.
  7. Most importantly, how to re-discover my passion for teaching when I was about to burn out amidst the ridiculous data-obsession that’s gripped every facet of education today.  It feels good to find a new lease on life in my profession.
  8. And much more I’m probably forgetting, because I feel REALLY tired sometimes!

Now for my mostly reasonable, practical goals for 2014:

  1. Keep my marriage strong…because without my husband’s amazing love, support, and dinner-cooking, I just couldn’t do all of the above things.
  2. Blog twice a month, and take my own photos!  Yeah, this will be the challenging one.
  3. Re-design my home office space.  It’s a disaster, and it’s NOT conducive to doing any work right now.
  4. Keep creating products on TpT, because I really believe librarians need ready-made things to teach 21st century skills.  We don’t have time to reinvent the wheel.

So what did you learn this year that you are really proud of?  Or what are your goals for 2014?  Post in the comments if you like, and I wish you all a very happy and blessed new year!

How to Be Brave: Simplifying Dewey September 5, 2013

Posted by Mrs. J in the Library in How to Be Brave, Reflections.
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I’ve written recently about my goal this year to be brave (or fierce), no matter what my district or the Department of Ed throw at me.  Though I’ve already had a few challenges with that this school year, I’m still determined.  I’ve started on the first major project for making our library more student-centered and user friendly.  I’ve getting rid of decimals in the nonfiction section.

Interestingly, when I mentioned my plans to the other librarians in my department (who I respect greatly and value their opinions), the response was mixed.  Some folks didn’t seen any harm in trying it, but others were so opposed that we had a vehement and quite lively discussion/debate about why they thought I was outright wrong in doing this.  The whole discussion was completely respectful and fascinating!

Here are my reasons for simplifying Dewey to whole numbers:

  1. I’ve stealthily been shortening the decimals to whole numbers on all the new books for the second half of the school year.  It hasn’t impeded students’ ability to find a book in my professional opinion.
  2. Students don’t learn about decimals until at least 3rd grade.  I want students to use the nonfiction WELL before that.  I let kindergarten and 1st graders check out nonfiction, especially with the Common Core 50/50 fiction/nonfiction expectations barreling down the tracks.
  3. The main point of the Dewey Decimal System, or METIS or any other system of organizing books, is to make them easy to find and use.  I think sometimes we forget that.  If we can make it easier to find a book or audiobook, more students will find what they are looking for and consequently spend more time actually reading and learning.
  4. If a student goes from the Spring Ridge library to another library that uses the full decimals, they will still have the basic skills to find a book.  A number still denotes a topic.  567 is still dinosaurs, with or without the .9 after it.
  5. And finally, I’m not going to change all the call numbers myself.  I’m having Mackin do it for me for $300.  My collection has just over 12,000 titles.  I can think of much better uses of my time than sitting at a computer editing copy records in Destiny one at a time.  Some very clever computer programmer will write some code and change the call numbers for me, plus the price is right.

As I said, the discussion was fast and furious, and while they did bring up some good points to consider, my esteemed colleagues didn’t deter me from continuing the process.  I will be making some accommodations for some of the larger nonfiction sections:

  • Animals (596 through 599), Sports (796), and History (973 or so) will get some large signage on the shelf using magazine files to denote the different sections.  Animals will be divided by type…insects, mammals, etc. and sports by the most popular.  I’m thinking of using recycled video cases or thin magazine file boxes if I can get my hands on some.  I might have to break down and buy something for this, though.
  • I will continue to have an “easy nonfiction” section where to books are loosely divided into subjects and where I don’t care about the order they are in.  Kindergarten and 1st grade students use these books before moving to the “big nonfiction” section later in 1st grade.

    easy nonfiction section

    The “easy nonfiction” section has several loosely organized sections: health, science, animals, holidays, biographies, careers, and places/geography. I don’t worry so much about Dewey order for these books, because I want to make it as easy as possible for young students to access nonfiction.

  • More signage is definitely needed, including signs for the beginning of each Dewey hundreds, all with pictures!  Here’s the start of what I have in mind…

    nonfiction sections

    I added pictures to the Dewey hundreds signs to make them more helpful to elementary students.

The clincher for me, though, is a question my wonderful husband often uses to convince me to do something new: What’s the worst that could happen?  Indeed, how bad is it really to try it?

It’s not the end of the world if I end up changing all the decimals back.  More work, yes, but a different outcome does not mean a failure for the experiment as a whole.  On the other hand, if simplifying Dewey makes the library less daunting and more usable for even one student, I think it’s worth a shot.

TpT Newsletter Promo – 1000+ visits! April 8, 2013

Posted by Mrs. J in the Library in Ebooks, Nooks, Reflections.
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I’m totally honored that Amy at Teachers Pay Teachers (affectionately abbreviated TpT) included my store in this week’s 10 Free Downloads newsletter, and consequently, this little corner of cyberspace was visited over 1000 times today!  Wow!  Talk about overwhelming and exciting!

For the many new visitors to my blog, I am going to be perfectly honest: This is not a promote-my-TpT-products or post-a-freebie-with-comments blog.  In fact, besides that little button on the right, TpT doesn’t appear in my posts very much.  My blog is about ebooks, ereaders/tablets, and libraries.  To be more specific, it’s about my adventures in implementing a Nook ereader lending program at the K-5 elementary school library where I teach, and the many helpful hints I’ve learned and would like to share with the wider blogosphere.

Someday perhaps I’ll do more integration with TpT and this blog, but I am very wary of doing too much self-promotion and turning off the librarians and media specialists who read my blog strictly for the information.  I have long-term brainstorms of putting together a freebie on TpT of all the resources needed to create an ereader program, but there are many more product ideas in my head that are more developed, so that idea is really on the back burner.

Until then, I hope that if you stopped by and found my blog information useful, you’ll hit the follow button, or add me to your RSS reader of choice.  I can’t promise I’ll post often or even regularly, but I try my best to post VALUABLE and useful articles and tech tricks for those of us who are working in and around the very messy ebooks/ereader/technology landscape.  Thank you for visiting today!

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