Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Accessibility practice

This morning I began practicing some routines to help bring my portion of the ACS web site into ADA compliance. I added alt-text to selected gallery images, created plain text versions of some posted PDFs, enabled close captioning on my ACSLIB Youtube videos, and added plain text narration to an embedded video.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

So tell people!

A library services colleague recommended I read "Your school tell people!" I plan on doing that.

In the meantime, it lead me to this video series (hosted by a school superintendent), "Goin' Digital." In this episode he talks with the authors of the book (both school administrators). They offer ( at the 11:00-14:00 minute point) some pretty good opening examples of reasons to use Twitter and Instagram to connect with students, reinforce character programs, and "tell your school story before somebody else does, inaccurately."

Tons of good stuff going on in this building. We should tell the language of our times.

Reading Sets

I have been doing a little experimenting with the textbook feature of our OPALS circulation software. The idea of keeping an inventory of MS/HS ELA Reading Sets would be beneficial to both our own teachers and for inter-library loans. Logged a few sets I have in the library to test it out and made a form for the ELA department to consider.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Hockney here

I have been swept away by several of the huge multi-canvas, multi-perspective paintings in the David Hockney book we recently received.
Today at Elementary Morning Program while I was waiting to take Citizen of the Month photos, the view out the composite gym windows came pretty close to his articulated work.

Two more

I have now created five Bumps Creek ecology posters, one for each of my end-caps, for back-to-school in the Fall. I'm hoping they will give me a running start on science and history posters for the school hallways.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Another path to an authoritative source

I see that several book series now come with interior QR codes that lead to videos and additional information. That prompted me to create QR code labels for all 80+ of my Salem Press books that are also available online. One more way to meet my device-bearing students more than half-way.

P.S. I faked the login on this image.

One more config

While waxing the LibLab floor, we discover how easily the library-proper might accommodate 40+ at desks.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Volume 3

Our suite of Afton Arts publications for the year is complete with the arrival of the Spring issue, "Inside Out." Many thanks to Mr. Higby and Mrs. Franco for celebrating the achievements of their students.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Teaching tool

One of our most prized archive items (and one of the most, now, enigmatic), rescued from a closet during a building project, is an 7-foot long demonstration Slide Rule. Its home in our library is bridging the top of two tall book fixture where it serves as a rod for our green-screen drapery.

Yesterday as I sat down with a recent MakerSpace book, Tools: Extending Our Reach, I came a across an entry which sheds some light on this artifact. Although there is no indication of a manufacturer on our device, its dimensions, materials, and hardware match up to the example pictured in the text.  I would like to know if, similar to an observation in the article, our school received theirs free with an order of "twenty-four standard-size rules!"

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Notice: verb/noun

As our 7th grade ecology unit winds down, I think I have identified a ACSLIB poster-series for the school walls that will both inform the school community and perhaps plant the question, "why aren't our students making these?" #backdoorcommunication

Monday, June 5, 2017

Spreading the news

Here is a list of some of the articles I have shared with staff and students from my daily reads:

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Depth of learning

So I took the image of my StreamStats watershed delineation and made a Google earth overlay (.kmz, bottom of page) of it which reveals the terrain much better; aligning, very clearly, the perimeter of the basin with the crests of the surrounding landscape. #cooltool

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Our Tuesday library look

Set up part of the library floor for possible small group break-outs in MS Science. Cornered the center tables with colored masking tape so we can quickly configure groups.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Ah, May

Ah May, when a Mindstorms maker's mind turns to Indianapolis ...

A maze(ing)

Mazes: an architecture of "compression and delay." Here is a neat work-around using a maze.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sketching the Times

An inside glimpse of how the the New York Times comes to press was encouraging to me. Tom Bodmer, the NYT's creative director, always makes hand-drawn pencil sketches of the front page to visualize the how that layout reflects the intended focus of the news.

“I kind of know what this stuff is going to look like,” he said. “I don’t need to see the page in any higher fidelity in order to visualize it. I just need to work out the relative position of elements and scale — and that’s much faster with a pencil.”

Monday, May 15, 2017

StreamStats: delineating watersheds

To continue from my last post, here is the output from StreamStats from the USGS. Once you click on a point in your stream it "delineates" the watershed that feeds that point! So here is the Bumps Creek watershed and a sampling of the accompanying characteristics: drain area = 7.6 sq. miles, elevation change = 64 feet per mile, length of elevation contour = 40.61 miles, etc.


Just used the Model My Watershed at the WikiWatershed. I used the "free draw" to ballpark the area of Bumps Creek and it posts tabs about land use, farm animal estimates and soil hydrology. Pretty cool.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Your stuff

Recapping our exhibits of student work thus far this year.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Reflecting back

Made a pitch back in October to our new teachers and their mentors for using the librarian and library. This was my framing slideshow.  Happy to say that, through the year, the organizing teacher of that presentation took me up on almost every aspect of my talk. Teams of one, again. And, as my high school art teacher used to say, "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer."

Well done

Received a very nice thank-you poster from the 6th grade class that visited our WWI exhibition in April. Beyond their gracious gesture, I applaud the teacher who saw in our exhibit an opportunity to fashion a prideful writing assignment around a real-world experience where their writing effort carries actual meaning, not just the prospect of a grade. Well done.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


I have been an advocate of "making comparisons" as a tool for higher-level thinking when students engage in research projects. This month's Dig magazine reinforces that notion with its theme of parallel lives; comparing "different times, similar struggles" through the lives of two protagonists: Patrick Henry / Sojourner Truth,  Fulvia / Benazir Bhutto, etc.

What I learned is that this form was made famous nearly 2000 years ago by Plutarch in his Parallel Lives or Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans; the inspiration for this issue ... and for its continued use.

So how about end-of-the-semester Global Studies or U.S. History students reaching back into their year to draw some comparisons about "different times, similar struggles." That practice might help them identify similarities in future events.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Monday, May 1, 2017

One thing leading to another

A BOCES colleague introduced me to the HP Sprout today. I am neither here nor there about the tool, but where do I sign up to work at the school in their video?

Art @ Afton 2017 @ ACSLIB

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Tie in

Student art show in the library next week. Just in time to break out our new Cooperative Collection art and maker books.


Lunch at home

Out with my plate of hot pasta
to sit amid our fountains of daffodils

until I am distracted by
a racket at the creekside.

I approach, plate in hand,

until the green banks burst
in a shower of sparks -  mobs of

goldfinches deliciously arcing
out of the understory

and landing, glowing again,
hot on each branch.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

April is National Poetry Month

Write something that is entirely yours to keep and share.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hometown cool!

So my principal, who has been down to see our WWI exhibit (see earlier posts), sent me this link to the NYS Museum' s own WWI exhibit that opened April 15th : A Spirit of Sacrifice: New York State in the First World War.

Imagine my delight when I clicked on their link to images of selected artifacts and found several that are on exhibit in our school library courtesy of our Afton Historical Society! Cool!
New York State Museum,

Our exhibit samples: