Archive for March, 2009

New Books!

New books arrived at the library yesterday afternoon.  Check them out on display near the window in the fiction section.  The new books include:

A Little Friendly Advice, by Siobhan Vivian
When Ruby’s divorced father shows up unexpectedly on her sixteenth birthday, the week that follows is full of confusing surprises, including discovering that her best friend has been keeping secrets from her, her mother has not been truthful about the past, and life is often complicated.

Wish You Were Here, by Catherine Clark
On a free-wheeling bus tour of the West with assorted family members, senior citizens galore, and one boy her age, sixteen-year-old Ariel writes postcards to her maybe-boyfriend and others while trying to cope with the effects of her parents’ divorce.

The Great Call of China, by Cynthea Liu
When Chinese-born Cece learns about the S.A.S.S. program to Xi’an, China, she jumps at the chance.  She’ll be able to learn about her passion, anthropology, and it will give her the opportunity to explore her roots.

Unbelievable: A Pretty Little Liars Novel, by Sara Shepard
Four girls living in a wealthy suburb discover the identity of a stalker who has been sending them shocking text messages, and uncover the mystery of who killed their childhood friend.

The Boyfriend Game, by Stephie Davis
Trish would be completely freaking out over varsity soccer tryouts if it weren’t for the new student, Graham, who’s helping her practice.  He has the most amazing green eyes, curly brown hair, and perfect legs.


FindingDulcinea and Librarian’s Internet Index

Feeling overwhelmed by the mass amounts of information available on the internet?  Having trouble sorting through the good and not so good sites?  Google just not doing it for you anymore?

These sites will help.

Librarian’s Internet Index (

“Librarians’ Internet Index (LII) is a publicly-funded website and weekly newsletter serving California, the nation, and the world.
Every Thursday morning we send out our free newsletter, New This Week, which features dozens of high-quality websites carefully selected, described, and organized by our team of librarians. Topics include current events and issues, holidays and seasons, helpful tools for information users, human interest, and more.
You can subscribe to our newsletter by email or RSS, or read us on the Web. We have close to 40,000 subscribers, many from our funding state of California.
You can also search and browse our website for the best of the Web. We have over 20,000 entries, also maintained by our librarians and organized into 14 main topics and nearly 300 related topics.”  
Taken from the overview at:

You can do a keyword search, an advanced search, or simply browse through the directory for reliable sites.  


FindingDulcinea (

I’ve just reccently found this resource.  “FindingDulcinea selects and annotates credible, high-quality and trustworthy Web sites, saving time for both the novice and experienced user.” — Taken from “site tour” at

With the mission “to bring users the best information on the Web for any topic, employing human insight and methodical review,” FindingDulcinea can help navigate through the TONS of information available on the Web.  Take a tour of the site:


I think the best part about these two sites is the sites they link to and the content provided have been compiled by humans, not through a simple keyword algorithmic search.  With the right keywords, searching through FindingDulcinea can be like working with a Reference Librarian.  And with the right path through LII, you can be sure the information you are looking at is solid, reviewed sources.

And we have a READ poster winner!


Congratulations to Ryann and Emily on their READ poster.  They won by just over two dollars.  Second and third place posters were neck and neck with a twenty cent margin between them.  Chris had second and Amber, Nadia, and Katie had third.   Places 4-12 went as following:

4.  Kellie, Olivia, Devonne, and Bret

5.  Team Staff

6.  Mrs. Dran

7.  Dawn, Katie, and Justin

8.  Haylee and Landrew

9.  Mr. Allison and Mr. Weaver

10.  Andrew

11. Tiffany, Britten, Valerie, and Amanda

12.  Courtney, Casey, and Jessica

Congratulations to everyone and thanks for supporting Teen Tech Week @ your library!

Keep your eye out in the library for the winning READ poster to be posted this week in the library.

Kristen named Hopewell HS 2009 Texting Campion!


The texting contest was a success!  8 participants texted it out, but only one could be the champion.  Participants and moderators crowded around the screen near the stacks to see what would be the phrase.  Everything had to look exactly as it did on the screen, with punctuation and capitulation’s, etc.  After a few practice rounds, we got into the competition and the bottom two were eliminated.  The final round was Ms. Rice v. Kristen.  The phrase was: “AbcDefGhiJklMnoPqrStuVwxY and Z.  Now I know my A-B-C’s, next time won’t you text with me?”  Ms. Rice was first, however, she had a few errors.  Kristen got it through with only one error to beat Ms. Rice for the championship.  Congratulations!

A special thanks to Mrs. Boots and Ms. Meyers for moderating.  Also, thanks to all who came out to support their friends and watch!

Question of the Day: Thursday

Today’s question of the day was “What do you spend most of your time doing online?”  A lot of the responses are similar to yesterday’s questions, “What is your favorite Website?”  However, there are a many sites that did not appear in yesterday’s answers.  Take a look:














There will be one more question tomorrow, be sure to stop in and put up your answer!

New Books — purchased with library fine money


Thanks to everyone who returned their books late this year, I was able to purchase 7 new books for the library with the fine money.  It was fun to go shopping at an actual book store for the books, as opposed to shopping online or via catalog.  The titles are currently on display on the display shelf on the fiction wall in the library.  Stop in and check one out today!

The titles are:

Slam, by Nick Horby — From the author of High Fidelity, A Long Way Down, and About a Boy, this novel is about fifteen-year-old Sam Jones.  He’s gets his girlfriend pregnant and his life of skateboarding and daydreaming about Tony Hawk changes drastically.

Scat, by Carl Hiaasen — From the author of Hoot and Flush, comes the tale of Nick and his friend Marta who decide to investigate when a mysterious fire starts near a Florida wildlife preserve and an unpopular teacher goes missing.

3 Willows: The Sisterhood Grows, by Ann Brashares — From the author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, comes a new story about three close friends from Bethesda, Maryland.  Ama, Jo, and Polly spend the summer before ninth grade learning about themselves, their families, and the changing nature of their friendship.  Check out an interview with Brashares:  

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Blue Like Jazz:  Non-religious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality, by Donald Miller — The subtitle says it all.  Miller is witty, clever, entertaining, and honest is his postmodern portrayal of Christian spirituality.

Forever, by Judy Blume — A traditionally banned book, this novel tells the tale of two high school seniors who believe their love is so strong that it will last forever.

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, by Ishmael Beah — This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s.  Children have become soldiers of choice.  In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers.  Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives.  But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived.  Ishmael Beah, now 25 years old, tells how at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence.  By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts (Publisher description).  If you don’t feel like reading this book, check out our Audiobook copy of it (AUD 92 BEA).

City of Ashes, by Cassandra Clare — This is a replacement book for a lost copy.  In this novel, Clary continues trying to make sense of her swiftly changing life as she becomes further involved with the Shadowhunters and their pursuit of demons and discovers some terrifying truths about her parents and others close to her.

Question of the Day: Wednesday

qofd wednesday

Today’s question of the day was “What is your favorite Website?”  Here are some of the answers:  



Homestar Runner






















Thanks for all your submissions!  Check out the pages you don’t know and find some new favorites!

Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for another question of the day!

Question of the Day: Tuesday

qofd tuesday


Do you have an account on…


Facebook   IIIIIIIIIII (11)


YouTube   IIIIIIIIIII (11)

Twitter       IIIIIIIII (9)

Delicious    II (2)

Other: My Year Book: II (2)


I got a lot of questions today asking about Delicious.  I’m actually surprised that many don’t use delicious!  In sort, it’s social bookmarking.  You tag sites with whatever tag you see fit.  Essentially, you can have the bookmarks you have on your browser on any computer if you just save them to your delicious account.  Check it out for yourself at  

Question of the Day: Monday


qofday monday

To help celebrate Teen Tech Week, there is a Question of the Day posted in the library everyday this week.  Today’s question of the day was “What is the BEST movie adaptation (book turned into a movie)?”  

Here are the responses:

Harry Potter

The Outsiders

West Side Story

Of Mice and Men

The Chronicles of Narnia


Memoirs of a Geisha

Into the Wild

Romeo and Juliet

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Freedom Writers

The Cat in the Hat


The Princess Bride


Thanks to everyone who took the time to answer today!  Remember to stop back in tomorrow to throw in your 2 cents on the technology based question of the day — also, you can look forward to the answers being posted here everyday.  Happy Teen Tech Week!

Thinkfinity: A Teacher Resource



What is Thinkfinity and how will it benefit me?

About a week and a half ago, I attended a Thinkfinity training at the BVIU and want to share this wonderful resource with you!  Thinkfinity (previously called marcopolo) is a site of free educational resources sponsored by the Verizon Foundation. 


Content partners sites include:  

ARTSEDGE, EconEdLink, EDSITEment, Illuminations, Literacy Network, ReadWriteThink, Science NetLinks, Smithsonian’s History Explorer, and Xpeditions.  


Contest partners include:  

American Association for the Advancement of Science, International Reading Association, National Center for Family Literacy, National Council of Teachers of English, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, National Council on Economic Education, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Geographic Society, ProLiteracy Worldwide, Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.


From these content partners, you have access to free educational resources that  range from standards-based lesson plans, students & teacher materials of online, interactive and printable materials, and partner-reviewed Web links.  


There are a few ways to search through the resources at Thinkfinity.  I think the easiest way is through the main search that searches across all resources on the right of the homepage. I suggest putting in a search term, define a grade range, and leave everything else to “Search All” to get the best results. 


While at the training, I had the opportunity to search through Thinkfinity for resources.  I found a lot of sources that I thought would go wonderful with our curriculum that I wanted to share with you.  


For 9th grade English teachers that require students to read Night by Elie Wiesel, there are a few different resources I wanted to share:  

 “Using Technology to Analyze and Illustrate Symbolism in Night” through ReadWriteThink — “Literacy learning is no longer limited to books; to be truly literate, students need to investigate and use technology in the classroom.  This lesson for middle and high school students explores the use of symbolism in Elie Wiesel’s autobiographic novel Night.  After learning about symbolism and discussing its use in the book, students create visual representations using’s Literacy Graffiti tool.  Students then express their response to the symbolism in teh book by creating a photomontage using images from multiple websites about the Holocaust and text from survivor stories, articles about hate crimes, and Night.”  (Overview of lesson from ReadThinkWrite)

“Using Student-Centered Comprehension Strategies with Elie Wiesel’s Night” through ReadWriteThink — “Working in small groups, students use reciprocal teaching strategies as they read and discuss Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night.  Everyone in the classroom takes a turn assuming the ‘teacher’ role, as the class works with four comprehension strategies: predicting, question generating, summarizing, and clarifying.”  (Overview of lesson from ReadThinkWrite)

“A Guide to Night.” through ReadWriteThink — This source is not a lesson plan, but more or less a beginning worksheet to use with students to introduce the book and bring up discussion before students get into it.

There are many more including video clips, biographies of Elie Wiesel, and extensions to get students thinking about the importance of the Holocaust still today.


Resume writing is a necessary life skill.  Thinkfinity has some great resources both for teaching it and for student use:

 “Resume Writing Tips” through ReadWriteThink — A list to pass out to students of general tips to make their first resume writing experience a bit less stressful and simpler.  The tips include things like “Don’t write in the third person (s/he) but don’t overuse ‘I’.” and “Be honest.”

“Writing Resumes for Fictional Characters” through ReadWriteThink — before having students create their own resume, why not have them practice writing one for a fictional character?  

There are MANY more resume resources (mostly through ReadWriteThink) that are both lesson plans and other tips pages for student use.


Looking for a creative way to teach Algebra?  The resource, Illuminations is specifically resources for teaching math.  Here are some fun ways to teach algebra to students:

 “Bagel Algebra” — “A real-life example – taken from a bagel shop, of all places – is used to get students to think about solving a problem symbolically.  Students must decipher a series of equations and interpret results to understand the point that the bagel shop’s owner is trying to make.”

“Trout Pond” — “This investigation illustrates the use of iteration, recursion and algebra to model and analyze a changing fish population.  Graphs, equations, tables, and technological tools are used to investigate the effect of varying parameters on the long-term population.”  This unit contains 4 lessons.

“Dirt Bike Dilemma” — “Students discover the algorithm for solving linear programming problems and gain conceptual understanding by solving a real-world problem and using graphing calculator applications.”


How about spicing up a Chemistry lesson here and there?  Here are some resources I thought were interesting:

 “Frosty the Snowman Meets His Demise: An Analogy to Carbon Dating” through Science NetLinks.  The purpose, “To develop the idea that carbon dating is based on gathering evidence in the present and extrapolating it to the past.  Students will use a simple graph to extrapolate data to its starting point.”

“Toxicology 2: Finding the Toxic Dose” through Science NetLinks.  The purpose, “To expose Brassica rapa seeds to varying concentrations of a toxicant.”

There are of course, many more links that may be more in line with what you’re teaching students right now!


Those are just a few sources.  Please make you way to to check out all of the free resources available to you!  And, as always, stop by or e-mail me if you’d like to get your students into the library to collaborate on a lesson!

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