Monthly Archives: June 2013

All the Books…

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ImageI have spent the day walking up and down the stairs of my 3 story townhouse, moving books and other things around.  My goal for this year is to get everything where it should be, then to get rid of what is not necessary. I haven’t finished my mission statement yet, but I figured it couldn’t be “to get rid of all of the crap I have hoarded over the years.” But it actually is sort of going to be that… More later.

Right now, I am just corralling all of the things I have in separate areas. After I have done that, I am going to really get to work. The first thing I have done is to organize most of my books. I love books. I have kept books from childhood. I have bought books for projects, for my students to read, and for study. When I am in Mexico, I buy books. I have an Amazon Prime account, so you know I have a problem.

I have gotten a little bit better. I check books out at the library, and listen to books on CD in the car. But, sometimes, even though I am listening to that book, I have to buy it. Either I have to know what is going to happen next, and don’t want to drive around Atlanta one more time… Or I decide that the book is a keeper and I have to own it.

I have a couple of places where my books reside. One is a large armoire that has been in my family for years. It is a pain in the TAIL to move, especially to put together. This is a piece of furniture meant to be disassembled and reassembled for transport, so I don’t know why it is so difficult.

But it is beautiful, and it holds a lot of books. Mostly cookbooks and diet books. I am going to rid myself of many of those. I added one milk crate because there are a couple of gaps. There are knick knacks. I put some file boxes at the bottom. It looks good. Now I have room in other places for more stuff.

One other thing: the doors are not hung properly, and they don’t close. I solved that, finally.have 3 iron finials in the shape of fleur de lis. They are keeping it closed for Imagenow.

The other place I have books is in the closet of my upstairs guestroom. This is where I keep most of my children’s books. I have YA novels I bought to interest my older middle school students in reading. I have my collection of folk tales and all the story books I could find about La Llorona. I have books from my studies in Oaxaca, as well as picture books in Spanish and Mexican indigenous languages.

ImageTwo collections have not realised their potential as of yet. I have both the Magic Tree House and the Time Warp Trio Series, because I had an idea about using them to help my students do research. You would be surprised at how many of my ELL students favor these books. I usually encourage them to read something more age appropriate, but then I thought I might work with it. I was able to stop myself from buying all of the You Wouldn’t Want… Series from England, but only because I had not used the other books yet. The project has not happened yet.

I also have a dream about students researching famous Spanish-speaking people and creating a Day of the Dead shrine about them. I have a large collection of children’s books about people like Frida Kahlo, Antonio Gaudi, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, etc. that I have been keeping for that purpose. It hasn’t happened yet.

Both of those are things I plImagean to remedy this year. Wait and see.

Finally, I have a stair chest in my bathroom with a small collection of childhood favorites, such as my Marguerite Henry classics and my Trixie Belden series. I also have other books in there… And, yes, I have wondered if a bathroom is really a good place to keep books.

So, there you have it. I have come out of the closet about being a book nut. Interestingly enough, the books are back behind closed doors. Oh, I have another small collection of craft books and magazines in my studio downstairs, but they are not ready for prime time yet.

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Quote Generators

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Quote from The Girl Who Owned A City

While I am getting back into the rhythm of writing in my blog, I am finding it difficult to figure out what to say, what to post, and how to post it. I invested in a consultation with Kathy Cano-Murillo (AKA The Crafty Chica) this month. I have wanted to get back into making things and selling them on the internet, and I so admire her style and her enterprise. So, when I saw that she was launching Crafty Chica Consulting, I signed up immediately. Even my horoscope reading that day was on board with the decision. I will be sharing more on that process as time goes by.

What I am here to write about today is the amazing world of quote generators. I, along with many others, am addicted to Pinterest. Among my several boards, I have one that stores inspirational quotes. While perusing them to come up with my mission statement, I found that a few of my favorites were missing. For the time being, I just wrote them down in my journal. The quotes are pretty obscure, so I figured I would never find them online.

The quotes of which I speak come from a book called The Girl Who Owned A City, written by O. T. Nelson. According to the Wikipedia article, it is “a post-apocalyptic book about leadership, survival, and ownership.” At the beginning of each of the three parts, there is a quote from Lisa, the heroine of the novel. I am fond of all three quotes, but the one in part three is the most compelling to me.

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My first creation using a Quote Picture generator.

 

I have a copy of those words in my office, typed into Microsoft Word or PowerPoint and printed out. But, when trying to come up with an image to include with my post (a Crafty Chica recommendation), I wondered what to do. First, I tried the new “quote” option in the WordPress menu. That was unsatisfactory, but I didn’t know if I wanted to do a whole Photoshop project in order to make a quote poster.

So, good little Googl-er that I am, I just did a little searching. Sure enough, there’s an app for that. So, I spent (probably too much) time giving Lisa that quote space that she deserves, using QuotesCover.com. There was a little bit of trial and error, and I haven’t added a watermark with my website on them yet, but I am working on that. In case you are interested, here are the Top 10 EASY ways to make picture quotes for Facebook and more

This morning, when I went to print the two I had made to tape into my paper journal, I was hit with an idea. This year, I will be teaching Language Arts again (6th grade ELL), and I am determined to hit the ground running with reading. I also will be teaching 6th grade social studies to my ELL students. I have already come up with several uses for these generators. Luckily for me, my school system has invested in color laser jet printers, which are shared by groups of teachers.

  • The first would be as an activity for students to complete when reading a novel or biography. Students would create a Quote Cover for their favorite quote from the novel. Of course, there would probably need to be a tutorial, a rubric, and an explanation of why they chose that quote. I feel that it is important for children to know that important lessons can be learned from reading. This could also be used when studying famous people in history.
  • I also like to teach idioms and sayings in my classroom. In Spanish, there is a whole series of sayings called dichos. Dichos are Spanish proverbs or sayings. They are similar to US proverbs in that they impart wisdom and express a common sense truth by revealing aspects of human nature and culture. I used to have a series of posters that I created using the book Folk Wisdom of Mexico/Proverbios y dichos mexicanos by Jeff Sellers. Students could make their own dicho posters, in Spanish and in English
  • Finally, I would like to kick start my writing program by using an old favorite: Get Ready to Write by Karen Blanchard and Christine Root. This book takes students through a series of writing exercises. The topics covered are about the student’s family, interests, activities, and life. By the end of the book, students will have created and published a book. I think that a personal statement or favorite quote would be a great addition to this exercise.

I had a lot of fun creating my quote posters using QuotesCover.com. There are five different formats to choose from. I used the “Google+ cover” generator, and then I think I used the “E-card” format. I was not able to use the “For Prints” option. Once I chose a format, I stuck to the basic editor, which allows you to scroll through choices in text and color formats. I went a little bit farther, by changing the color schemes and playing with the line and dot pens. One thing I found frustrating was the inability to use my apostrophe key for contractions. Maybe that’s an incompatibility with Firefox.

Now, when I went to save my quotes, I found that the Google+ generator gave me a file to save that could not be opened with my computer. Instead, I used my SnagIt editor to download the graphic as a jpeg image. The E-card format was easier to download, but I used SnagIt as a backup anyway. My next task will be to create my third quote with a picture background. I will include that in my post as well.

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Quote generated using one of my collage images as the background.

 

Please let me know if you have every used this tool in your classroom. I can already see myself making classroom rules posters for the beginning of the year…