Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I am a Close to Famous...Chef Wannabe

Close to Famous
I love cooking, and I love pretending that I am a chef!  I was immediately drawn to the cover of Joan Bauer's most recent novel, Close to Famous.  I wasn't disappointed.  It has a wonderful combination of baking and heartwarming friendships that help the main character, Foster, overcome many fears.

Foster McFee dreams of having her own cooking show one day just like her favorite Food Network Star.  For now, she has to settle for baking cupcakes for anyone who will take them.  Foster and her mom are running away from their problems in Tennessee, and they run straight to the town of Culpepper where they find friendship, dreams and almost fame.  


The Fooducate app is available for iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad.  It allows you to scan the barcode on a product, and it will give you the nutritional facts of the item. Your food is also given a grade, and sometimes I would rather not know!  You can also search a database if you do not have a barcode to scan.  It is very interesting to see the grade of foods that are normally advertised as natural or healthy.  The app would be a great tool for health or nutrition courses.

Happy eating...and reading!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Book-a-Day and My New Obsession

The last two weeks have been filled with wonderful staff development sessions that I have presented with my fabulous partners in crime and fellow middle school librarians Tamara Cox and Monique German.  We have had a wonderful time promoting librarianship and technology to the Foreign Language and Social Studies teachers in our district, attendees at the Upstate Technology Conference and administrators at the Upstate Technology conference.  

Now my summer can really begin, and I am so excited to read TONS every day!  The three middle schools in my district have a summer reading contest that we call the million page challenge, and we are determined to reach a million pages by the beginning of September. I was also inspired by the wonderful Donalyn Miller to participate in the #bookaday challenge on Twitter.  I began my first book on Saturday, and here is what I have read so far...

My newest tech obsession is Twitter!  Yes, I know it is not new.  I have had an account for quite some time, but until this week, I have not really used it.  I have been more of a Facebook girl, but my wonderful friend, Tamara Cox, taught me the ins and outs of using Twitter to create a Professional Learning Network.  I am making connections with educators across the globe, and I am finding wonderful ideas to use in my library as soon as we start back to school in August.  I also joined the #summerthrowdown, a reading competition between teachers and librarians.  I encourage you to read up on using Twitter to expand your PLN and try it for yourself.  Don't be afraid to sign up for an account, lurk, tweet, retweet and watch your follower count go up and up and up!  It is truly fun and rewarding!  If you decide to take the plunge...look me up @KHearne.

Happy reading and tweeting!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars 

by John Green
I read a review for The Fault in Our Stars, and it appealed to me right away.  I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in January, and I was afraid this book might hit a little too close to home.  But I decided to go for it, and it is one of the most perfect books that I have read in a long time.  I loved the characters, and I found so many quotable lines as I was reading.

Despite the experimental treatments she is going through, Hazel has never been considered anything except terminal.  She believes her story was written at diagnosis, and it did not have a happy ending.  Then, she meets a gorgeous plot twist at her cancer support group, and his name is Augustus.  Her story is getting ready to be rewritten.  What does the world have in store for Hazel now?

The Image Language

One of my colleagues posted the perfect web tool for this book.  It is called The Image Language and it lets you write a sentence using images.  If you type a sentence into the search box, it selects the first image that pops up in a Google search for that particular word.  I selected one of my favorite sentences from the book to write my sentence with images.  Hazel tells her mom, "I'm like a grenade, Mom!"  She tries to distance herself from people because she wants to minimize the casualties when she dies.  This seems like such an odd concept, but it will be at least understandable to those who have had cancer.  So here is the image sequence that defines my lasting ideas of The Fault in Our Stars.