Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Tuesday Tidbits for June 12, 2018

Well, one more week to go, but this will be the last Tuesday Tidbit for this year.

World's Fair

In case you didn't make it down to the green commons for the World's Fair - here are some photos:

Reading, Reading, Reading!

Reading Challenge Contest

Was it a success? Well, it depends on how you look at it. The challenge (see original blogpost) was to see who would read the most books - Students or Staff. I figured that if each person read an average of 2.5 books, the student total would be 4250 and staff total would be 550.

Well  - Staff beat Students by a mile, but neither group (as a whole) came anywhere near the average.

Numbers as of today:

Students: 551 (average of about .33 of a book per student)

Staff: 245 (average of about 1.3 books per staff member)

What does this mean?

Does it mean our students aren't reading? NO!
  • Maybe contests don't motivate students to read. Maybe having a great collection of books does!
  • Maybe students did read loads of books (which is likely) and didn't want to bother to fill out the form.
  • Maybe students forgot about the contest and I didn't publicize it enough. 

At any rate, the good news is that we had kids who regularly came in and filled out forms and we had lots of staff entries.

And our circulation statistics are strong - fiction circulation is way up from last year!

  • 1654 total Non-fiction SY17-18 checkouts- includes all non-fiction, reference, biographies, graphic novels and short stories
  • 2515 total Fiction SY17-18 checkouts - (last year's total fiction? 2044!)

Well, we won't repeat this challenge next year, but we'll think of something.

Hit me with ideas if you have them!!

What Are You Reading This Summer? Do You Have Recommendations?

I'm currently reading "Where Did You Go Bernadette, A Novel" by Maria Semple and I'm very much enjoying it!

First on my summer list is "Less" by Andrew Sean Greer. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and it Sounds hilarious!

What do you recommend? CLICK HERE to fill out the spreadsheet if you want to share recommendations and reviews for summer reading! 

DON'T Forget - Please send me an email or fill out this form to request book or video titles for the upcoming school year.

That's all folks!!

See you in the fall!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Tuesday Tidbits for June 4, 2018


Have you heard of breakout boxes and breakout rooms (also known as escape rooms)?
For those of you who haven't heard of them, breakout or escape rooms, are rooms in which a small group of people are locked in room (voluntarily). In order to escape the room, everyone must work together by following clues to figure out how to get out of the room.

A breakout box is similar  - but instead of escaping from a room, the group must work together to solve the puzzles and use clues to help them unlock the box. The library conference I went to last summer had breakout boxes and I have to say - it was a blast. The attendees formed several different groups and we were all playing against the clock. It was so clear that everyone in our group had different ideas, different strengths, and different approaches to solving the problems.

Breakout Rooms at EHS!

Students in Adam Krauss's U.S. history classes are creating breakout rooms based on essential knowledge from five units - the ethics of dropping the A-bomb, resistance during the Holocaust, teenage hoboes during the Great Depression, Cold War culture, and unrest during Vietnam.Together they're creating challenges for fellow students to figure out in order to advance to another room. It's a great way to harness collaboration and give students the space to exercise choice and express voice.

Students from Adam Krauss's U.S. History Class working on their Breakout Room in the EHS Library Makerspace!

For more information on Breakout Rooms, Escape Rooms & BreakoutEDU-visit:

Breakout Edu -
Breakout Edu is a company which was started by James Sanders after he had visited some breakout rooms and escape rooms.  

"In Breakout EDU games, players work collaboratively to solve a series of critical thinking puzzles in order to open a locked box. Each Breakout EDU kit can be used to play hundreds of games. Breakout EDU Games are designed for 8-15 players."

I'm debating whether I should order a couple of these kits to loan out. Let me know what you think. 

Here are some high school breakout edu games: https://www.breakoutedugames.com/high

Breakout Edu Hyperdoc created by Tracy Poelzer
 breakoutedu hyperdoc

Breakout/Escape Rooms
Looking for something fun to do? Breakout/Escape Rooms are popping up all over New England. Not necessarily an educational resource......

Below are just a few:

Portsmouth Escape Room
Portsmouth Team Building Escape Rooms
Lok'd Room Escap - Manchester and Waterville Valley

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Tuesday Tidbits for May 28, 2018


Did you know?.....

PBS has launched a new series and multi-platform initiative called "The Great American Read" that celebrates the joy of reading and the books that Americans love. PBS says that it conducted a demographically and statistically representative survey to determine the 100 best-loved books in America (7200 people participated in the survey). All 100 books were introduced/revealed in the 2-hour launch episode which aired last Tuesday and which included segments in which celebrities, authors, notable Americans and book talked about their favorite books. You can watch the launch episode here:

Beginning September 11, 2018, PBS will air five one-hour themed episodes and they will culminate the series on October 19, 2018, when they air the "finale episode" at which time the winner will be revealed.

How many of the 100 books have you read? Take the quiz!

I'm embarrassed to say that I've only read about 1/4 of the books on the list!

Have you ever read a novel which had a big impact on your life? Share your story online!

You can share your story by going to http://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/resources/share/ and submitting your story along and a photo, video or audio file. Your story may be selected to appear on the website.

Which one if the 100 books on the list is your favorite? Vote!

For more information, visit the PBS website for "The Great American Read."


I know --- it sounds blasphemous doesn't it? The past few weeks we've been weeding the 700's. Come take a look at the books on the cart and feel free to take some of them to leave in your classroom or to bring home if you'd like! These books have been through the M.U.S.T.I.E. test and for one reason or another, they failed.

Misleading (and/or factually inaccurate)
Ugly (worn and beyond mending or rebinding)
Superseded (by a truly new edition or by a much better book on the subject)
Trivial (of no discernible literary or scientific merit)
Irrelevant to the needs and interests of your community
Elsewhere - The material may be obtained expeditiously elsewhere through interlibrary loan or reciprocal borrowing. 

and - NONE of them have circulated in the last 10 years.  

I will be looking for some newer books to add to this category in the fall, so if you have any recommendations, please let me know!!

What types of books are located in the 700s? In the dewey decimal system, the 700s include the arts. For those of you who are dying to know, here is how the 700s break down:

700s - Generalities (philosophy and theories, galleries, education, history, encyclopedias)
710s - Civic and Landscape Art
720s - Architecture
730s - Plastic arts and sculpture
740s - Drawing and decorative arts
750s - Painting and paintings (museums)
760s - Graphic arts, printmaking & prints, postage stamps 
770s - Photography & photographs
780s - Music
790s - Recreational and performing arts

I did decide to retain some of the books even though they haven't been checked out in a decade. For instance, I thought I was going to keep "The Photo Transfer Handbook" because it had some good ideas for using images for fabric projects. But then I came across this nifty vest and decided that maybe it was time to weed this particular title!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Tuesday Tidbits for May 22, 2018


As I weed the VHS tapes I've found some interesting ones. Look at this video from 1994. Nearly 25 years old!

And check out this one. Really? The role-differences between women and men was beginning to fade in 1987? Really?


Our 3D printer has been working overtime and we're loving it. I don't know if you remember, but back in September, Beth Kaputa was interviewed by the New York Times for an article on how teachers were teaching about the events that occurred in Charlottesville last summer, which centered around the controversial removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee.

Beth Kaputa, teacher in Exeter, N.H.:
“I teach World History to ninth graders in New Hampshire. This year we will expand our discussion of whether conquistadors should be celebrated or vilified by discussing monuments.” Kaputa said. But she isn’t jumping right into discussions of monuments as they relate to the events in Charlottesville. 
“I didn’t want to do something in the first quarter because the kids are young and they are coming into a new school.” Kaputa was wary of moving into something she said could feel too political too quickly. 
She’s hoping to move into those discussions in the second semester, when the class will focus on the age of exploration. “Then there will be enough time for the dust to settle to talk about issues and put them in a historical context.” (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/28/learning/lesson-plans/teachers-charlottesville-curriculim.html)

For the assignment, the students are charged with helping the UN plan the commemoration of Cortes's expedition and conquest of the Aztec Empire. As one part of the project the students are required to design a commemorative coin. The coins are designed using Tinkercad software and printed with the 3d printer. As with every 3D project we've run into a few design and/or technical issues, but overall it's going great.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Tuesday Tidbits for May 15, 2018

Summer Reading

Every year the English Department puts together a recommended reading list for summer reading for students. We have most of the books on display.There were a couple of titles that we didn't own (Camp So-n-So and You're Welcome Universe) so I ordered them and they should be in in a week or so.

Here is a link to all of the books  - If you know any students who would like to take any of these home for the summer, have them stop in and we'll make arrangements.

Flume Award Nominations

What are the Flume awards?

The Flume: NH Teen Reader’s Choice Award was created in 2005 in response to a New Hampshire teen’s request to have a book award geared towards high school students. This award is a state-wide venture led by a collaborative effort from school and public librarians. Each year teens nominate titles, published within the last three years, they think deserve to be recognized. Librarians narrow the group of titles to a shorter list. Teens then vote for the winning title from that list.

As with the above list there are two books that we don't have, but they should be in next week. They are How Dare the Sun Rise by Sandra Uwiriniyimana and The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

The nominees for 2019 are:
(CLICK HERE for a list of all of the books we have in our collection).
  • The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
  • The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • How Dare the Sun Rise by Sandra Uwiriniyimana
  • Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
  • One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus
  • Scythe by Neal Shusterman
  • Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld
  • Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Click here for the FLUME 2019 Brochure and Click here to view the website

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Tuesday Tidbits for May 8, 2018

New Classroom Video On Demand Titles

To see the entire list CLICK HERE. Don't forget that you'll need to use bluehawks for the username and password.

Treasures of the World

Since 1972, hundreds of natural and cultural sites across the globe have been declared UNESCO World Heritage sites. The Treasures of the World series communicates important stories about the heritage of humankind through images of unparalleled vividness, conveying the most significant information about areas around the globe including Oceana, Sub-Saharan Africa, Northern and Western Europe, Southern Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Central and Southern Asia, Eastern and Southeastern Asia and Western Asia. Each Series contains several episodes. 

Inside Science 

Teens 101 Series 

Intelligence Squared - Debates

What do We Need for Next Year?

What resources do you need for teaching? What do the students need? What book suggestions or recommendations for staff or students should we have that we don't already have?

I welcome, and depend on, your input. Below is a form for you to fill out. I'm out of money for this year, but I typically put in my first book and video orders in late August. If you have any suggestions or recommendations PLEASE fill out the form and let me know. You can also email me, but it would be helpful to have everything in one place for ease of ordering.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Tuesday Tidbits for May 1, 2018

New Books

Our second to last bunch of books have just come in! Students reading Sarah Maas, Rick Riordan and Victoria Aveyard will be happy to see additions to those series. Basketball fans will appreciate  "Reboud," Kwame Alexander's prequel to "The Crossover"  - as well as a new non-fiction title called "All the Dreams We've Dreamed, A Story of Hoops and Handguns on Chicago's West Side."

There are some new titles and new authors as well. 

Also, you must have heard that they arrested the Golden State Killer after 40 years, right? Well we have the book, "I'll Be Gone in the Dark," by the late journalist and writer Michelle McNamara, who died in April 2016 and who spent much of her career writing about the unsolved murders. Unfortunately, she died before the book was finished. 

CLICK HERE to take a look at the full list.

Podcasts for Teens (and the rest of us)

I recently came across a short list of Podcasts recommended for teens. Below are some interesting podcasts that would be appealing to teens as well as adults.



Many of you have heard of the StoryCorps podcast. StoryCorps' mission "is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world."  StoryCorps’ archive features more than 75,000 interviews which are housed at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. 

I've listened to some of these in the past and they're very touching. I didn't realize though, that when you access the podcast on the internet, you can search by location, type of collection and/or year. 



Radiolab is a radio show and podcast weaving stories and science into sound and music-rich documentaries. As with StoryCorps, you may have heard of, or listened to, this podcast. I have listened to several episodes and I have very much enjoyed them. Radiolab as won awards “for their investigative use of radio to make science accessible to broad audiences.” 

Radio Rookies

Real stories by New York City teenagers take listeners inside their lives and their communities in this Peabody Award-winning youth journalism initiative.This is a podcast that I've never heard of but it looks great. WNYC gives students the tools and training to tell their own stories. Teens in these episodes talk about sexism in the workplace, abusive relationships, immigrant issues, foster care and more. The website also has links to educator resources and offers educators an opportunity to obtain a curriculum “Radio Rookies: The Basics of Audio Journalism” which teaches students to do interviews and make their own radio stories and/or to use Radio Rookies stories as a teaching tool.


"Mouthful is a youth-centered podcast from Philadelphia Young Playwrights, an arts education non-profit dedicated to cultivating the voices of young people. Each week, we dig into the themes and ideas at play in a dramatic monologue written by a young person. We listen to the monologue performed by a professional actor, talk to the young person about why they wrote it, and then journey out into the community to broaden the conversation. Mouthful places young people at the center of important conversations, adding their voices and perspectives to the discussions that surround our daily lives at home, in the workplace, in the news, and in the community."