Monday, May 25, 2015



Matt Miller (@jmattmiller) mentioned to me in a tweet last week that I was in his most recent blog post.  
I was surprised but so delighted to click over to his blog and find my name listed in as a nomination in his #TwitteratiChallenge:

  1. Sherry Gick (@LibraryFanatic) – She’s got to be the coolest school librarian (err, media specialist … what are you exactly, Sherry???) there is. She’s constantly redefining a space in schools that can stagnate without attention or thrive in a new model. She’s a runner and she has a super abundance of energy.
Wow!  Reading that brought a HUGE smile to my face and reminded me that even on days when it feels like you're beating your head against the wall at school, you can still be making a difference.  Also a great reminder that you never know who's paying attention to what you post online!  Sharing is definitely caring and our Twitter PLN is the very best.  Thanks Matt!  You know I'm a huge fan of yours!

So what is the #TwitteratiChallenge?  

I had to check it out for myself!  

After searching the hashtag on the Twitters, I also visited @TeacherToolKit's blogpost here.
Here's what I found from @teachertoolkit:

"In the spirit of social-media-educator friendships, this summer it is time to recognise your most supportive colleagues in a simple blogpost shout-out. Whatever your reason, these 5 educators should be your 5 go-to people in times of challenge and critique, or for verification and support."

The rules:

  1. You cannot knowingly include someone you work with in real life
  2. You cannot list somebody that has already been named if you are already made aware of them being listed on #TwitteratiChallenge
  3. You will need to copy and paste the title of this blogpost and (the rules and what to do) information into your own blog post (from here.)
What to do?
  • Within seven days of being nominated by somebody else, you need to identify colleagues that you rely on and regularly go-to for support and challenge. They have now been challenged and must act and must act as participants of the #TwitteratiChallenge
  • If you’ve been nominated, please write your own #TwitteratiChallenge blogpost within seven days. If you do not have your own blog, try @staffrm
  • The educator who is now (newly) nominated, has seven days to compose their own #TwitteratiChallenge blogpost and identify who their top five go-to educators are.
So without further ado, here are my five nominations for the Twitterati Challenge i.e. my TOP FIVE GO-TO EDUCATORS:

(okay, maybe a little more ado...)

Five fun facts about all five of these phenomenal people:  
  1. I met every single one of these lovely individuals on the Twitters FIRST.
  2. I've since met all 5 of these people in person!  
  3. I consider each of them absolute dear friends as well as my go-to-educators.
  4. I can ask any of them for help any time and they would all be willing to lend a hand.
  5. The five of these people in a room together would be more awesome than I can ever imagine.  It's never happened before...I've been together with different variations of up to 4 of them, but never all 5.  This. Must. Happen. (There's a possibility this may happen at AASL in November! Fingers crossed!)
  6. I could write PAGES about every single one of these people -- how they've inspired me, buoyed me, supported me, made me laugh, and about their overall amazingness but basically I'm just thankful to call them friends.
Okay, 6 facts... (Hey, it's MY BLOG!)

  1. Matthew C. Winner - (@MatthewWinner)    If you know me, or follow me on Twitter, you know Matthew is my all-time go-to-educator.  We've talked about being #edusoulmates on his podcast and to anyone who will listen.  Matthew has made me a better Teacher-Librarian.  This year we haven't had the opportunity to collaborate very much, but we continue to support each other and always have an ear and idea or two to lend to the other.
  2. Jonathan Werner - (@MaineSchoolTech) - Jonathan never ceases to amaze me with his technology knowledge and his endless energy!  We've started calling each other Batgirl and Robin for reasons yet to be revealed... He's the only LITS (Library & Instructional Technology Specialist) I know and I hope that I am even half as great at my job as he is!
  3. Kathy Burnette - (@theBrainLair) - Kathy also lives in Indiana but we're not close together geographically.  I greatly value her opinions and knowledge as a fellow teacher-librarian.  I also know that if I want the truth and no punches pulled, she's the one to give it to me.  She never fails to make me smile with her deadpan wit and sarcasm.  I hope to be just like her if I ever grow up.
  4. Tiffany Whitehead - (@Librarian_Tiff) - Tiffany rocks the library world.  Period.  She is known and well-respected across the world in the TL community.  Her moniker, "The Mighty Little Librarian" is accurate!  She is a force to be reckoned with and knows her stuff!  Constantly sharing with her students, staff, and the TL community, Tiff is the TL everyone wants to be!
  5. Nicholas Provenzano - (@theNerdyTeacher) - While not a teacher-librarian, in his heart of hearts I think he really is.  Nick is an awesome English teacher who has an amazing way of viewing the world around him:  both students and teachers.  He brings a refreshing voice to education that is thoughtful, witty, smart, and always inspiring. (NerdyCast 4Ever!)
So there you have it... my Twitterati list!  If you're not following all of them on Twitter, please fix immediately!  

I have such an amazing PLN of educators on Twitter. There are so MANY names I didn't mention but this is my top 5. Everyone needs go-to people like them.

I hope you have the opportunity to meet any or all of them in person... each of them have truly been life changing peeps (tweeps?) for me!

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Sky Painter!

The Sky Painter by Margarita Engle is one of the most absolutely beautiful books!  The gorgeous poems combined with the lovely illustrations (by Aliona Bereghici) make it a book you immediately want to share with others.  It's a natural for sharing this month for poetry month, but I have a feeling you'll love it so much you'll want to share it now as well as early in the fall with your new students!

Summary from GoodReads:

The Sky Painter: Louis Fuertes, Bird Artist

Louis loves to watch birds. He takes care of injured birds and studies how they look and how they move. His father wants him to become an engineer, but Louis dreams of being a bird artist. To achieve this dream, he must practice, practice, practice. He learns from the art of John James Audubon. But as Louis grows up, he begins to draw and paint living, flying birds in their natural habitats.

Louis Agassiz Fuertes (1874–1927) is now known as the father of modern bird art. He traveled with many scientific expeditions all over the world. His best-known works—paintings for habitat exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History in New York—are still beloved by visitors today. His art helped to encourage wildlife conservation, inspiring people to celebrate and protect the world of wings.

Poems by Newbery Honor–winning author Margarita Engle and illustrations by Aliona Bereghici capture the life of Louis Fuertes and the deep sense of wonder that he felt when he painted the sky.

When it arrived in the mail, I immediately had to share a peek on twitter via vine:

Intrigued?  Want to see more?  Check out the book trailer below:

About the Author:

Margarita Engle is a Cuban American poet and novelist whose work has been published in many countries. Her books include The Poet Slave of Cuba, winner of the Pura Belpré Award for narrative and the Américas Award; The Surrender Tree, a Newbery Honor book; Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian, a Kirkus Best Book for Children; and The Lightning Dreamer, Cuba’s Greatest Abolitionist, winner of the 2014 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Young Adult/Children’s Literature. Margarita lives in California, where she enjoys bird-watching and helping her husband with his volunteer work for wilderness search-and-rescue dog training programs. To learn more, and to download a free activity kit for THE SKY  PAINTER, visit:

Blog Tour: 

Follow along on THE SKY PAINTER blog tour!

Mon, Apr 20
Library Fanatic
Tues, Apr 21
Kid Lit Frenzy
Wed, Apr 22
Unleashing Readers
Thurs, Apr 23
5 Minutes for Books
Fri, Apr 24
Teach Mentor Texts
Sat, Apr 25
Booking Mama
Mon, Apr 27
Tues, Apr 28
The Children's Book Review
Wed, Apr 29
Cracking the Cover
Thurs, Apr 30
A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust
Fri, May 1
Archimedes Notebook


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Happy book birthday by mouse & frog!

This morning Gretchen Welk and I had the privilege of celebrating Deborah Freedman's new book:  by mouse & frog WITH author and illustrator Deborah Freedman herself!

We listened to her read the story (and show the delightful pictures) and also had the opportunity to ask questions.  Mrs. Welk's Firsties had great questions.  (I really want to look inside that drawer at your house, Deborah, and explore all the little books you've made!

 Enjoy the tweets, vines, & pictures below from our time together.

Thanks again Deborah Freedman -- we LOVE your books!
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