Monday, November 30, 2009

Cyberbullying and Other Internet Safety Movies

My sixth grade students and I are studying internet safety and cyberbullying. We have taken part in the FBI-SOS Internet Safety Challenge and I have to brag. My sixth graders came in first in the state of Minnesota and fifth in the nation in the November contest. I'm very proud of the hard work they did.

Now we are taking what we learned and using xtranormal to make internet safety movies. The students have had a chance to play with this site and are enjoying the chance to make movies. 

I have made a quick sample to show the students some ideas.

The students are working in pairs to write their scripts and make their movies. When all the movies are finished, each class will vote on the two that they think are best and I will put them on our class web page.
Here is my sample:

Saturday, November 28, 2009

In My Mailbox (Nov. 29 edition)

This was a slow week for me until Saturday afternoon.

The only book I received was First Lord's Fury by Jim Butcher. I have been reading this series since it began. I am a big fan of his books about Harry Dresden too.

Codex Alera has been getting increasingly dark as the series goes on. I read the first couple pages of this one and put it down. I am much more in the mood for something lighter before I tackle this one.

Here is the blurb from Amazon: For years he has endured the endless trials and triumphs of a man whose skill and power could not be restrained. Battling ancient enemies, forging new alliances, and confronting the corruption within his own land, Gaius Octavian became a legendary man of war-and the rightful First Lord of Alera.

But now, the savage Vord are on the march, and Gaius must lead his legions to the Calderon Valley to stand against them-using all of his intelligence, ingenuity, and furycraft to save their world from eternal darkness

I also added a couple books to my Kindle this week.

Torn is the next in Julie Kenner's The Blood Lily Chronicles series. I also have Tainted for the Kindle. I haven't read it yet. Turned, the third in the series, is coming out at the end of December. I think I'll wait until I have all three before I begin. I have enjoyed Kenner's series about a demon hunting soccer mom and am looking forward to these too.

I ordered The Lost because it includes an Eve Dallas story - "Missing in Death" - by J. D. Robb. The rest of the book is just extra as far as I am concerned. I have read the second story by by Patricia Gaffney - "The Dog Days of Laurie Summer". It was OK. Basically, a workaholic mom suffers an accident and is in a coma. She comes back as a dog to interact with her family. Than manages to wake up as herself a changed woman. I am currently reading  I am currently reading "Lost in Paradise" by Mary Blayney. The fourth story is "Legacy" by Ruth Ryan Langan.

Just as a side note: I really like reading books on the Kindle. I just finished Torch of Freedom by David Weber in the print form and ended up with sore wrists. That 600 page monster required constant shifting around as I tried to find a comfortable way to both hold the book and see the words with my increasingly bad vision. The Kindle is a great size. It is much easier to hold or to put in position if I want to lay down and read.

The one advantage of buying the print book was that it also came with a CD that has a bunch of Weber's books on it. I see that I can download the Kindle versions of the books. I'd be able to have all of the Honor Harrington series in my hand. I should do that one of these days. I would like to read the first Honor Harrington again to see how Weber has changed as a writer.

Late afternoon additions:

Here are some other free books that I added to my Kindle this week.

The Twelve Liea of Christmas by Kate Johnson. This is a prequel to an existing series. I want to see if I like the author's style before committing to the rest of the series.

I added 4 books by Don Brown -- Defiance, Treason, Hostage and Black Sea Affair. The first three are in a series called Navy Justice. The last seems to be a standalone. If I don't like them, all I have wasted is a couple of minutes of download time.

I also added my very first cookbook to my Kindle since Amazon was offering it for free.

Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Entertaining should give me ideas to use my slow cooker.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fallen -- What Do You Think?

Elnice at Ellz Readz is giving away a copy of Fallen. It sounds like something I and many of my readers of paranormal romance would really like. You might like to visit her site and sign up.

Here is the product description from Amazon:

There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--and goes out of his way to make that very clear--she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

Sounds good, doesn't it?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

In My Mailbox Nov. 21

There were additions to my massive TBR pile in my mailbox this week.

I got these to read and donate to my HS Media Center.

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George
Crocodile Tears: An Alex Rider Novel by Anthony Horowitz
Betrayals by Lili St. Crow

Crocodile Tears went right to school. I am a few books behind in the series and I have eager male readers who really want this one.

I will be reading the other two because I am caught up on those series. I hope to get a lot of reading done during our Thanksgiving Break. I already have most of my Christmas shopping done and can avoid the stores on Black Friday.

I also got some new adult books:

Torch of Freedom by David Weber
Blood Game by Iris Johansen
The Queen in Winter (because it contains a story by Sharon Shinn)

I got Blood Game and The Queen in Winter through Amazon Marketplace. The two of them cost less for new "used" books than the Weber book. I should have waited for the Weber but I really want to see where this story arc is going.

I also added a book that I recall fondly to my shelves this week after being reminded about it on one of the LibraryThing groups that I follow.

I am a big fan of The Sherwood Ring which is also by Elizabeth Marie Pope. The group says this one is even better. I know that I had read it in the past but didn't own a copy. Now I will have a chance to see if I like The Perilous Gard as well as I liked The Sherwood Ring. And it only cost $5.99 for the hardcover. I really like Amazon Marketplace!

This has been a sort of slow reading week for me. I finished Nora Roberts' Bed of Roses and Shannon Hale's Book of a Thousand Days. Now I am deep into Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater. I should finish it today or tomorrow if I can just get off the computer.

New Books at DEHS

A bunch of new books arrived this week at the HS Media and I can't decide what I want to read first.

Some of the books that looked really good to me were:

Hush, Hush by Becca Fittzpatrick
In the Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Ice by Sarah Beth Durst
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Intertwined by Gina Showalter
Leviathen by Scott Westerfeld
Million Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet by Reif Larsen
Sent by Margaret Peterson Haddix
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

I had reserves on a bunch of them even before they left the book cart when we stacked them to get them ready for circulation.

I think I have decided on Going Bovine by Libba Bray largely because of this video interview. I just read the first page of the forward and laughed out loud at least three times. But I don't know how she can make a book about a boy dying of mad cow disease funny. I have to find out.

It looks like it will be a fun weekend of reading (after I get my homework done.)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New Books This Week (Nov. 15)

This was a big book-buying week for me.

Here are the books I added:

Ice by Linda Howard is for me because I am a long-time fan.
Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater will be donated to the HS after I finish it. I really liked Shiver and Lament and am looking forward to this one too.
Alphas by Lisi Harrison will be donated to the HS unread. Amazon had a 4-for-3 deal and the kids like Harrison.
Blue Moon by Alyson Noel will be donated. I have heard good things about it and plan to read it first.
Evermore by Alyson Noel -- ditto
The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima because I heard good things. This will also be donated.

I also had to have the other books by Cinda Williams Chima. So I bought the boxed set that includes The Dragon Heir, The Wizard Heir and The Warrior Heir.
When the King Comes Home is by Caroline Stevermer. It was published a while ago and somehow I missed it. I have read her other College of Magics books.

I also added stuff to my Kindle:

These were all available for free (and who can resist a free book?)
The Christmas Bus by Maggie Carlson
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
Paradox by Rosemary Laurey
The Keeper by Sarah Langan
Urge to Kill by John Lutz
The Pawn by Steven James

More free titles!
The Hunters by Jason Pinter
Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon (I have it in paper already.)
A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton (I also have this in paper.)
By Reason of Insanity by Randy Singer

I actually paid for the last four. I read T. A. Pratt's online storybowl story titled Bone Shop and bought his books instead of contributing to that project. It was a prequel to this series about Marla Mason.
Spell Games by T. A. Pratt (Book 4)
Dead Reign by T. A. Pratt (Book 3)

Poison Sleep by T. A. Pratt (Book 2)
Blood Engines by T. A. Pratt (Book 1)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

New Books This Week (Nov. 7)

Here is what I have added to my Library this week.

First the books:

The 39 Clues: In Too Deep by Jude Watson -- This was fun. I'm enjoying the 39 Clues series. I had to read it fast because I already have a list of students who want to read it at school.

Nightlight by The Harvard Lampoon -- I enjoyed every melodramatic page of Twilight and want to see this parody.

Kindred in Death by J. D. Robb -- The series of futuristic mystery romances are on my "must buy must read immediately". This episode was as pleasurable as the previous ones. I like Eve's sense of justice and the romance between Eve and Roarke.

An Enchanted Season by Nalini Singh et al. -- I'm not really a big fan of novellas but I like these authors and the genre.

These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer -- This is one of my favorite of her books. I have an old paperback edition but wanted this new edition. The cover illustration, trade book size, and quality paper make this a keeper for me.

New for my Kindle this week were:

Bound for the Holidays by Mackenzie McKade was free. I'm not a big fan of the genre and haven't read her but the price was right.

Magic in the Shadows by Devon Monk is the third in the series. I have the first two. I read the first one and have the other two for my Kindle. I didn't love the first one but want to see if I like the others more.

Winter Kiss by Deborah Cooke is also in a series. I did read and enjoy the others. I'm looking forward to starting this one.

Blaze of Memory by Nalini Singh is the next in the Psy-Changling series. This one concentrates on the Psy. It was a good story about a Psy woman who was tortured and brainwashed to kill the leader of Shine (an orgainzation that helps the Forgotten). He discovers her and knows that she could harm his organization and can't be trusted but they fall in love anyway. We learn more about the past of the Psy in this one. It is a good read but almost requires reading the others first. Not a good introduction or stand-alone title.

This has been an unusual week for me. I have already read four of the nine new titles I received.

So what did you get this week?

What will Dan and Amy do next?

Are you a fan of the 39 Clues books? The most recent (book 6) was released this week and I couldn't wait to read it. This one is In Too Deep by Jude Watson. Dan and Amy are in Australia and, as usual, they are in lots of danger from other Cahills as they search for the clues that will make them the most powerful people in the world.

Here is a brief blurb for the book: A hint from their parents’ past puts Amy and Dan on the trail of secrets their grandmother Grace would NEVER have wanted them to know. Awful memories begin to crowd in on Amy, just as her enemies circle closer. How far would she go to protect Dan? How much of a Cahill is she prepared to be? Perhaps Grace was right – some secrets are better left buried.

If you like the books, you should also check out the website where you can go on missions and play games. There are also prizes to be won.

There was recently a webcast with five of the authors that gave students a chance to solve problems like Dan and Amy and win a clue for the 39 Clues website. Take some time and see if you have what it takes to be an Advanced Agent!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

New This Week (Nov. 1)

Here are the books I bought this week:

They were:
Anne Fadiman's "Ex-Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader" (because I read about it on LibraryThing and was fascinated)
Katrina Michaels' "Midnight Reflections" (because the blurb and the blogs I read said it was good)
Roxanne Rhoads' "Eternal Desire" (because I read her blog and want to check out her fiction)
Nora Roberts' "Bed of Roses" (because I love Nora)

Joanne Harris' "Runemarks" (to be donated to the HS Media Center)
P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast's "Tempted" (to be donated to the HS Media Center)

I also added these books to my Kindle this week:

 These are:
"Unbreakable" by Sydney Somers (free book)
"Magic in the Blood" by Devon Monk
"Rosemary and Rue" by Seanan MacGuire (free book)
"The Bride and the Beast" by Teresa Madeiros
"Witch and Wizard" by James Patterson (free book)

These are:
"Never After" by Laurell K. Hamilton et al.
"Grave Secret" by Charlaine Harris
"Tainted" by Julie Kenner
"The Untamed Bride" by Stephanie Laurens
"Dark Stranger" by Susan Sizemore

"Bound to Shadows" by Keri Arthur

Thus far this week I have only had time to read "Tempted" by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast and "Bound to Shadows" by Keri Arthur. I am currently reading "Never After" - the anthology led by Laurell K. Hamilton and "Demon Ex Machina" by Julie Kenner (because I needed to start another book while my Kindle was recharging.)