Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hey there - just checking in and asking a couple questions.

I hope all you other 23 Thingers are enjoying the almost spring - let's all hope that we are done with the snow!

I remember seeing that 23 Things was worth 12 contact hours (CEUs) and I was wondering who I contacted to get the certificate for that? Anyone out there have the answer? Please let me know.

I find that as the end of the school year draws near I have less and less time - I am sure I'm the only one! Ha! Ha!

I am looking for ideas for ways to encourage readers in middle school and above. Let me know if you have any ideas - tried and true or otherwise. Thanks in advance.
(Here is an idea I wanted to share (again) with you all): Timberwolves Read-to-Achieve program -- check it out for next year - it was amazing!

I miss the pressure of the 23 Things deadline - I always found time to get on and blog when I had a schedule of "Things" to do - I guess I will have to try harder to make blogging higher on my priority list.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Spotlight on Books ~ 20th. Anniversary Seminar

Greetings all! I am pleased to report that I was successful in arriving in Grand Rapids in time to attend the Spotlight on Books seminar! I was able to meet many wonderful people who also braved the blizzard. Meeting D.J. MacHale was the driving factor (that and my 4-wheel-drive Jeep) in my desire to go to the conference, but I was equally impressed by all the presenting authors/illustrators.

The speakers were all great - so much talent and insight!!!

Jim Trelease came out of retirement to speak two separate times - "WOW!" he is truly inspiring, I can't wait to try out some of his ideas.

Mary Casanova was there - I didn't know she has an entire mystery series - I had to get them all! She too was both interesting and inspiring.

Debra Frasier told us about illustrating her books and about the summer reading theme that is based on her birthday cake book. She shared with us the process you go through to write and illustrate a story and how valuable your editor is. She says anyone can write - you just have to start.

D.J. MacHale, the author of the Pendragon books, made it too. I was excited to meet him and tell him how much my reading club students and I love his stories. What was extra cool - was that I was asked to do the introduction for him at the seminar! I was honored. I was the only person there that had read everything he has written, so they asked me to tell the group about his books and introduce him. It was great!!!

I also was fortunate to sit with the author of the Marion books, Brook Berg, during the dinners. That was awesome too -

Thursday, April 10, 2008

It's a super snowy Thursday night and I'm stranded!

Greetings 23 thingers! I am on my way to the Spotlight on Books conference in Grand Rapids, MN -- but the weather is awful - freezing rain!!! I am excited to get there tomorrow though - weather permitting. I have high hopes of meeting D.J. MacHale and having him sign my books and the books for my reading club kids. Being stranded gives me the opportunity to blog when I have been struggling to find the time to do so.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Thing 23: Final Thoughts.

L A S the t from droylsden market

T Pewter Ransom Font H i DSC_1316 G
Okay ~ this is Thing 23: I am sad to even begin the last thing because, although I know it's not over, it will be different from now on. After I finish this thing I am on my own. No one giving me ideas on what to check out - well, not in a list like this has been. I have to be a self motivator - with the help of the groups I have become a part of - which will make all the difference to me.

  • My view of technology is different than it was before I started 23 Things. Now I have a much more broad view of what is out there and what I can do with it. I feel more confident about my ability to not only work with the programs we have covered, but with programs that I maybe have never seen before and also with students who have grown up with these programs and are making a point to learn all they can about technology.
  • One of my favorites is the Library Thing. This was not new to me, but I have found many more uses for it and have two lifetime accounts now. I also enjoyed the flickr thing. The spell, image chef, and big huge labs. The uses for these programs in the library and with my reading club are endless. I am glad to have learned about them.
  • Reading the comments and the newsletters was helpful. I checked other blogs and commented on a few, but my most constant contact during 23 Things was with my co-worker who was also working through 23 Things. It was a blast to chat about how different things were working for us and have someone to listen when I was struggling with a thing. I talked about 23 Things with everyone too - at home, at work, out with friends; so many people ask me if I have finished yet - I can't wait to tell them yes! Talking to people about 23 things actually led me to meeting a few others who were also working with the program.
  • Take-aways that surprised me: I have been surprised each time I have worked on a thing at the various uses them. I have taken something away from each and every thing that was part of the program - even if what I took away was that I was pleased to have learned about it, but will not choose to use it very much.
  • Improve on the program: I don't know what could be done to make it better. There were a few small things - like the link in thing 21 that didn't work - but with each thing that was a bit of a struggle there was someone commenting to help everyone else out. It all worked smoothly. I say - great program. Perhaps you could offer one for teachers.
  • I am hoping that another program like 23 Things on a Stick will be offered in the near future. I would definately participate. I have talked to so many people and I am sure that quite a few of them would join as well.
  • My learning experience in one word or sentence: 23Things on a Stick has been an eye-opening, positive experience for me.

Thing 22: What did I learn today?

I always say, "Every mistake makes you smarter" but I like "What did I learn today" too.
I have learned so much working on 23 Things on a Stick. I haven't been successful right away with some of it, but have learned something each day I worked on it, and I am pleased to say that I have been successful in the end of each thing. I definately have my favorites, as well as those that I don't think I like as well.

Time: now there is a concept! I think that it takes more time than I expected to work on each thing, but now that I am familiar with each thing and have chosen my favorites it will be something that I can devote 15-30 minutes each day to and be happy. Of course, there will be days when I spend hours playing around with some of the new technologies I have found out about through 23 Things. (Good to know that it will be considered improving my skills at that point!).

You can do it: This has been great! I was so in the dark with technology and I didn't even know it! Now I can go out knowing that even if I haven't tried it before - I will be successful in the end, I will just work through it. I also have a support system now in the people I have met through the 23 Things program.

The Tools are Fun: Yeah! The tools are fun. This program - even when it was challenging - have been a lot of fun to work through. I love the picture programs and the spell programs and the like. I have thought of so many uses for them, both at school and at home.

Keeping Informed: This part of the program is huge! I have three teenagers of my own and work in a school that is grades 6-12. I need to make sure that I don't fall behind technologically speaking - thank goodness I found 23 things and dragged myself into the techno world these kids thrive in. Now I can have conversations with students (and my kids) about technology that they use regularly and I don't sound like I'm out of it.

Support: I have already mentioned that I am thrilled that I have the support system that I have built with 23 things. I plan to maintain my blog and this support group.

Thing 22:
1. Resolution to maintain my blog.
I am excited to have my blog - I can't wait to work on it. I am hoping to be able to be on-line 15-30 minutes each day, but I know that there will be days where I am unable to get to my blog. With that in my, my resolution is to maintain my blog as much as possible; one entry per week at a minimum. I am hoping to get some of the students to start blogging with me about the reading club at our school. We will see where it all goes...
2. Ask yourself everyday, "What did I learn today?"
This is a great idea! I just heard a quote today about how as long as you are learning you are young and that you only get old when you stop learning - that isn't exact - but you get the idea - it was from Henry Ford, I heard it from my friend Kathy. I am hoping that I can incorporate this idea into my daily blogs (I am still hoping to be able to blog daily).
**I added a number of the web sites and blog spots from the list to my blog spot along with a few author sites that I enjoy. I didn't add them to my RSS aggregator, but I plan to check them when I check the author blogs so I didn't want to add yet more feeds to my aggregator.

Nancy Pearl - Reader Advisory

Just wanted to comment ~ I went to "Reader's Advisory with Nancy Pearl!" at SELCO in Rochester, MN on Monday, March 31, 2008. It was a great session! I learned a lot, validated much of what I have been trying to do in the lines of suggesting books to middle and high schoolers, and got to meet Nancy Pearl too! The reason I felt I had to comment here in my blog about this experience is because I met some 23 Thingers there! I was thrilled! Mrs. G - thanks for the comment about my Jeff Smith video, I was so pleased that someone else had watched it. Thanks to the folks there at SELCO for getting this going too. I am enjoying learning about all the opportunities that this project has presented.

Thing 21: 23 Things on a Stick Ning Badge