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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Slice of Life, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 357
1. Strange shelf-fellows

Love him or hate him, Melvil Dewey was the architect of modern library cataloging.  His classification system added order to the world of books like the classification system of Kingdom, Phylum, Species, etc., made sense of the biological world.

In most instances, Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) makes for easy non-fiction browsing.  Once in a while, however, it makes for some strange “shelf-fellows.”  Here are two  that you might enjoy:

Browsing the DDC 610s: Nothing goes together quite like Chiggers and My First Trip to the Dentist

Browsing the DDC 610s: Nothing goes together quite like Chiggers and My First Trip to the Dentist
© L Taylor

Browsing the DDC 640s: My Christmas Cookie Book and Flush: The Scoop on Poop Throughout the Ages - strange shelf-fellows indeed! (c) L Taylor

The Christmas Cookie Book and Flush: The Scoop on Poop – strange shelf-fellows indeed!
© L Taylor

What strange shelf-fellows are nesting on your shelves?  If you’ve got a great photo, I’ll be happy to add it to the post.

(Be sure to tell me whom to credit for the photo.)

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2. Thoughts on the CCSS

How ironic that the more fluid the study of math and science becomes, the more rigid becomes the study of language and literature…

Solve for x

© L Taylor

…in which math becomes form and reading becomes function.

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3. It’s Tuesday! Write your Slice. Share your Link. Give your Comments.

Please write your Slice of Life Story, share your link, and give at least 3 comments to other Slicers.

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4. It’s Tuesday! Write your Slice. Share your Link. Give your Comments.

Please write your Slice of Life Story, share your link, and give at least 3 comments to other Slicers.

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5. Slice of Life: What We Don't Know

If I had known when we set out for our fly fishing trip to Vermont that I wouldn't catch a single fish, I probably wouldn't even have bothered to try.

Don't get me wrong, the trip was not a failure. There was the otter, the kingfisher, the B&Bs, the Orvis Outlet Store, Niagara Falls. There are a myriad of moment-uous memories. Just none that involved trout at the end of my line.

That got me thinking about high stakes testing. I "fish" my heart out for the entire school year, and invariably, I don't "catch" much. And then I beat myself up.

Well, this year's going to be different. I'm not going to worry about the year as a whole. Instead of taking one big trip that depends on a single outcome, I'm going to slice this year up into 180 daily jaunts. Whatever good comes with each day (whether I aim for it, or it happens in spite of my intentions) will be the "trout" of the day.

I know this isn't a new way of thinking, but it finally makes sense to me. And I'm going to go with it.

Let's check back in a couple of months and see how it's working out for me.

Until then, I'll wish you tight lines, and be sure you watch your back cast.

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It’s Tuesday – time to share your Slice with the Two Writing Teachers Community. Here is a chart from last week’s Teachers College Reading and Writing Project August Writing Institute at Columbia University.… Continue reading

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7. Getting Organized

Image from creative commons reuse search "post its" - source Hyper Island FB

Image from creative commons reuse search “post its” – source Hyper Island FB

As summer winds down some public librarians are feeling thankful and school librarians are gearing up.  I have spent a considerable amount of time planning my year (and realizing that some of those plans will get sidelined).  Each year for the past several school years, I have tried some new organizational methods, but have yet to find something with staying power that smooths transitions and helps me in my day to day life.

I was excited when earlier in the summer #readadv had a chat on this very subject. How do librarians get and stay organized?  What is working for other people?  The storify for this chat can be found here.

It was interesting because folks definitely seemed to use a variety of tools – demonstrating that no one method works for “all the things”.  Being of a certain age myself, I have to say that there is an appeal to some of the analog methods and I am more likely to remember something if I write it down on a post-it than if I type it into my google calendar.  Now, don’t get me wrong – I live off my google calendar for the majority of my in the moment time, but when in comes to actual planning, I need something more visual.

Enter bullet journal.  Some folks have been talking about this on twitter and in blog posts for a while, and this is the method I have decided to experiment with for my overall planning of the school year.  The beauty of this system for me is that it seems infinitely tweakable to allow for my own idiosyncrasies.  I can color code, add post-its (and stickers!), dog ear pages, and blend as much of my outside of school life as my teaching life as I see fit.

I will check back in with you all later to see if I can make this one stick!

How do you all keep your library lives organized?

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8. Tuesday Slice of Life

Serve up your slice of life story today.

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9. A lesson in writing book reviews

I write book reviews.  I write them for magazines, my blog, my co-workers. I also spend quite a bit of time crafting them — tweaking this sentence, editing that.  Well, apparently, I’ve been doing it all wrong.  Perhaps it’s best just to shoot from the hip and tell it like you feel it, as the following children have done.

Enjoy this selection of entertaining book reviews. All appeared online and were written (without byline) by children participating in New Jersey’s Collaborative Summer Reading Program, “Fizz, Boom, Read!”

“Most Honest”

SpongeBob Sqaure [sic] Pants
I hated it…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Don’t hold back, tell us what you really think!)

“Best Use of a Spelling Error”

Olivia The Princess
Natalie Shaw
It wasn’t the best book ever but it’s okay. I enjoyed it and it interested me a lot. I just can’t help to say I love that it retaliates to princesses and castles. I know kindergarten and 1st graders will definitely enjoy this magical princess book and the rest of the series. It was sort of challenging but with some help I can read it just fine.

(Take that, princesses and castles!)

“Sounds Kind of Creepy to Me”

Baby Unicorn
Jean and Claudio Marzollo
Read to me by big brother. I like that she lets all the other unicorns, even her father, touch her horn.

(I don’t know what to think about this one.)

“Yes, You can Judge a Book by its Cover”

At the Beach, Postcards from Crabby Spit
Roland Harvey
This book was funny because of the silly title!

(I’m guilty of choosing a book by its title, too!)

“Most Complimentary”

The Goose’s Gold
Ron Roy
I liked this book a lot. It was very real to me.

(What author wouldn’t appreciate this review?)

“Biggest Spoiler”

Two Bad Ants
Chris Van Allsburg
Those ants shouldn’t have made that decision. :(

(Guess I don’t need to read that one.)


I’d Really Like to Eat a Child
Sylviane Donnio
I like this one. It was really funny. This book is an 8.

(On a scale of 1-5, this one received an 8.  I’ll put it on my TBR pile.)


I hope you enjoyed them!  I’ll keep an eye out for other gems. :)

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10. Slice of Life -- Hemming

One of the jobs on Mom's to-do list for me last week was to hem a couple of pairs of pants for her.

I should back up to say that my mom was a Master Seamstress in her day, trained under the iron rule of her mother, who was a Home-Ec teacher. (Raise your hand if you even know what Home-Ec is...yeah, I thought so...) When Mom started to teach me to sew, we nearly came to blows. She is a perfectionist. I am a generalist. But she cared enough that I learn to sew that she bought me sewing lessons from a teacher who was a little less like her and a little more like me. I became a functional seamstress.

Teaching Lesson #1 -- If you are not the right teacher for a student, have the humility to find the teacher who can best teach that learner.

After we got the pants measured and pinned, I went to work. I wanted to do a really good job. I wanted to make Mom proud that I'm at least a functional seamstress, and maybe just a little better than that. But I was having problems. The legs of the pants were tapered at the bottom, so the hemming was turning out bunchy. Since I wanted to do a really good job, I asked for help.

Learning Lesson #1 -- If it's not turning out the way you want it to, have the humility to ask for help.

I didn't even have the question out of my mouth before Mom knew what the problem was: the tapering. She came and showed me that if I switched the pins from horizontal to the hem to perpendicular to the hem my work would lay flatter. Then she confirmed my suspicion that it would help to take bigger stitches. Then she left me to it.

Teaching Lesson #2 -- Give just enough help to get the learning going again and then get out of the way.

Hemming the second pair of pants when smoothly. I didn't have to cut any off, the fabric was more considerate, and I was back in the groove of hand-hemming. My stitches were quick and even.

Learning Lesson #2 -- Just because one task is frustrating doesn't mean that every task like that is going to be frustrating. Don't give up. Persevere when things get hard...but also remember to enjoy the feeling when things go smoothly.

Teaching and learning...and hemming pants. Good stuff.

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“Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver

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“Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver

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“This is our goal as writers, I think; to help others have this sense of–please forgive me–wonder, of seeing things anew, things that can catch us off guard, that break in on our… Continue reading

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14. Write. Share. Give. It’s SOL time.

      “This is our goal as writers, I think; to help others have this sense of–please forgive me–wonder, of seeing things anew, things that can catch us off guard, that break… Continue reading

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15. Wait, Where are You?: Directional Challenges at #alaac14

I like to think I’m pretty good when it comes to maps and directions. I’ve traveled a fair bit and I can usually reason my way through a new airport, on public transit, and downtown grids with just a few U-turns. But I think I’ve met my match – Las Vegas.

First of all, almost everything is hidden inside a ginormous casino! That really cool restaurant you read about on American Libraries Direct? Yeah, it’s smashed between a block of slot machines and the Rock of Ages Theatre.

Second, the signage is bad. It’s like trying to figure out Library Congress (at least for this Dewey loving librarian) using signage translated from another language by a robot. The name of a restaurant won’t be on the sign, “Some restaurants are that way. Some restaurants are that way.” This is ploy to get you lost on the casino floor so you gamble. Resist. RESIST!

Finally, there are a lot of distractions. Flashing lights, dinging bells, blaring music, larger-than-life show posters, people in crazy outfits, the list goes on. It can be difficult to keep your target in sight!

Maybe I’ll figure out the trick to navigating this flashy, overstimulating world soon, but in the meantime I think I’ll be doing a lot of “accidental exploring!” Viva Las Vegas!

0 Comments on Wait, Where are You?: Directional Challenges at #alaac14 as of 6/27/2014 12:03:00 PM
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16. It’s Time for the Tuesday Slice of Life Challenge

Welcome to the Tuesday Slice of Life Challenge! Did you know that there have been quite a few newcomers in the past few weeks? Take some time to spread the love by visiting at… Continue reading

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17. Jumping into June

June is merely a few days away, and for many of us, this brings the start to our most anticipated time of year: summer reading club. What plans do you have for yourself and your libraries to make this the best summer reading program yet?  At our community branch library, we have some goals that will start our summer reading club off on the right track.

(Image provided by Thinkstockphotos.com)

(Image provided by Thinkstockphotos.com)

Jump into it – Our summer reading program is the busiest few months of the year for us and demands our full attention.  During these final days of May, we focus on preparing and finalizing our other projects. We have a branch staff meeting with all our employees from every library department within our building to review the logistics of our summer reading club. Our summer reading program is also presented to all staff in our library system during our Staff Development Day. By discussing the logistics of the program at staff meetings, we are able to best promote our services to our customers, and we can jump forward into implementing these summer activities on the first day of our club. When we all focus our energy and resources on our summer reading program, we ensure we have the best club possible for our customers.

(Image provided by Thinkstockphotos.com)

(Image provided by Thinkstockphotos.com)

Understand the purpose – We know that summer reading matters! In our competitive society, however, it’s easy to focus on the figures associated with children’s summer reading programs without always incorporating the valuable reasons behind why we do what we do. One goal we can take to heart is to communicate our mission to those in our communities who are unfamiliar with all we have to offer. We make sure that all staff members, especially circulation staffers, are familiar with the details of our summer reading program so they can share the value of our club with customers as soon as they enter the library. When we share our work with others, whether it is through the briefest conversation with a patron when he or she is checking out materials or reaching hundreds of people during an outreach event, we can emphasize the value of our summer reading clubs to those around us.

Need to make the most of it – We plan our summer reading programs months ahead of their scheduled dates to ensure we are able to fully publicize our club. By organizing and coordinating our hundreds of children’s story times and events, we are able to maximize the various activities we offer during our reading program. By having this fully functional schedule of events planned months in advance, we are able to serve those day cares and camp groups who need to schedule their programs early due to their own publicity and transportation needs. All this prep work we complete ahead of time will help us meet the demands of our summer rush at the library and to fully enjoy all the hustle and bustle that this time of year has to offer.

Expect the unexpected – If there’s ever the time to expect the unexpected, summer is that time. As customers’ scheduling needs change, it’s easy to feel stuck to our previously well-developed plan. A little focus on flexibility is critical as we promote summer reading to our patrons. How do we minimize the chaos that inevitably comes with unexpected groups and congested libraries?  We have staff members scheduled as rovers who are able to provide additional support to patrons, so customers receive the assistance they need when they are browsing the collection without joining the line at the reference desk.  Staff members can also be called from the office area to help when needed. Going with the flow and adopting an open mindset is the key to ensure we best adapt to the needs of our patrons.

What are your plans as you transition into summer reading club and jump into June? Please share in the comments below!


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18. Is science funny?

Is science funny?

Before school lets out for summer, I will make twenty-three visits to local schools to highlight summer programs. This year’s theme of science, Fizz, Boom, Read! ©, is a programming delight, but it posed a dilemma for me. I always share a funny book on my visits. Titles by Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett, and Amy Krause Rosenthal are my usual outreach companions of choice. This year, however, I needed something “sciency,” something I won’t mind reading twenty-three times, something that will crack up 2nd and 3rd graders.

Hmmm… what to read, what to read…

And then I found it.

“Hey, kids! Want to learn about Archimedes’ principle?”

You’d never figure that to be a crowd pleaser, but, it isI tried it! I don’t usually pitch particular books here, but What Floats in a Moat? written by Lynne Berry and illustrated by Matthew Cordell (2013, Simon & Schuster) begs to be shared this summer. It is a silly, funny, rhyming tale of trial and error as Archie the Goat and Skinny the Hen try to cross a moat in a barrel that is in turns full, empty, and finally, just right. If there is a more fun way to learn about Archimedes’ Principle, it surely involves actual water! In fact, an entire program could be built around this book if you had a tub of water and a few film canisters or other barrel stand-ins. If you’re looking for a funny and entertaining way to incorporate science into your visits or programs, this is it.

There are hundreds of entertaining and informative science-themed picture books, but sometimes, you just want to laugh.  Is science funny?  It can be.

If you know any other funny science books, please leave a comment.

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19. #alaleftbehind

2014 ALA Annual Conference

 (image ALA.org)

This is not the first time I’ve found myself #alaleftbehind, but the more I think about, it this is probably the best time to be in this situation.  Think about it.  Before the prevalence of blogs, smartphones, twitter and the like, librarians who weren’t at conference might have had to wait for official publications to be mailed to their homes.  There would be no way to react to or participate in what was going on.  But now, we can follow hashtags (#alaannual, #alaleftbehind, #alsc to name a few), we can read Cognotes, follow divisional blogs and the blogs of our librarian colleagues.

Admittedly, I may feel a pang or two as I see the photo feeds of far flung friends of mine enjoying each other’s company.  However, I do know that they will be live tweeting sessions I would have attended and are likely to be microblogging as well.  I know that I can send questions about presentations out into the world, and will likely get answers quickly.

Technology certainly has made being #alaleftbehind a little bit easier!

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20. SOLS and an Invitation

Write, Share, Give

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21. Slice of Life Tuesday

“With every story, I began to form myself from the inside out.” ~Dani Shapiro, Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life I love this quote from Dani Shapiro.   Each Tuesday,… Continue reading

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22. Summer reading – one for all and all for one

One for all and all for one

Ah, summer…  Kids reading,

StateLibQld 1 115956 Woman and child sitting on the beach at Sandgate, Brisbane, ca. 1907

teens reading,

Woman reading at the beach

adults reading…  

Woman reading on the beach

Wonderful … and yet, I have a complaint.

(photo credits below)

I’ll begin by stating, unequivocally, that I am a fan of the Collaborative Summer Library Program and I mean no disrespect to the people who contribute countless hours to its planning.  A themed summer reading program is fun and invigorating, adding variety and inspiration to the summer season. This year’s theme is science. When I visit schools and tell  kids that we’ll be focusing on science this summer, they erupt in excitement. Science is fun. Science is cool. They’re thrilled.

When they arrive at the library with their families, however, they’re often more confused than excited. When confronted with three different programs (kids, teens, adults) with three different slogans they’re unsure. They often register for the wrong program.

What does this mean?” “Do I sign up for this, too?” “It’s not the same for her brother?”  “I’m an adult. This isn’t for me.” “How does it work again?

I believe that it’s time for one slogan for all.  If we want to promote family and community reading and cohesiveness, let’s have everyone on the same page. Sure, contract with different illustrators for age-appropriate graphics, but make it easy and give the program one name.  Surely we can come up with a slogan that will appeal to the masses. Right?

Next year’s slogans (all good ones, BTW) are already set in stone; but for 2016, I’d like to see one for all and all for one!

Your thoughts?


(For another commentary and chance to weigh in on CSLP, read Liz Burns’ post, “In Defense of CSLP” at A Chair, A Fireplace, & A Tea Cozy.)


Photo credits:

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23. How does Comic Artist David Daneman Create “The DaneMen” Web comic series

If you’ve ever perused the online web comic community Tapastic.com, you’re sure to have seen the slice of life webcomic “The Danemen” featuring the DaneMan himself. The silent (word-less) comic transcends language through the use of visual queues that brings drama and comedy to the viewer. It’s like watching a classic Chaplin act and waiting for the finale, which never disappoints and is almost always unexpected.

In the video below, David shows us his work process and how it defines his unique style. Make sure to take notes, and don’t forget to support his Patreon campaign so he can make comics until the end of days!




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24. A Year of “Slice of Life” in the classroom.

It’s finally summer in most school districts, and every teacher I know seems to have closed the classroom door to daily school life…and opened another to summer relaxation, reading, and PD (I am… Continue reading

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25. Share your Slice of Life Story

Share your Slice of Life Story today

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