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Showing posts from December, 2011

New Gadgets For The Holidays

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas and Holiday Season.  At this time of year, many new gadgets are unwrapped as gifts.  This year, three new gadgets arrived in my home just in time for the holidays and I thought I would share a little about each of them. Santa did bring my son a Nintendo 3ds this year.  Santa found a pretty good deal at Best Buy, as a $50 gift card was thrown in with the purchase of the hand-held gaming system.  So far my son loves his new gadget.  Not only does he love playing the games, he loves having his own camera to snap pictures everywhere he takes his gaming device.  I love the parental controls, which allow me to disable the 3D features (I worry about his eyes at such a young age).  I try to limit how much he can play in 3D mode.  I am a little disappointed with battery life, especially compared to the battery life my daughter's Nintendo DSXL has.  I believe the 3D mode eats up a lot of battery life.  I have noticed a longer battery life on

December Read of the Month Review

Earlier this month I selected Driving Home by Jerome Bettis as my December Read of the Month.  I was able to finish the book quickly, as it was a very easy read.  That may be my main complaint with the book.  It was almost too easy/simple of a read It was really not as "deep" as I would have liked.  I was looking forward to some deep insight into the amazing Superbowl season of 2005/2006. The book did have some good information and some amazing photos, however it was just not enough for me.  My dad received the book for Christmas from my mom and he told me he felt the same today.  There is just really not that much information in the book.  I did not even watch the DVD that is included with the book (I prefer my DVD sets that cover the entire season and playoff run).  My dad told me that the DVD was not that good anyway.  Sorry Bus, the book was kind of a let-down.  I did pick up a read for January (thanks to a suggestion from a reader of the blog).  I will share the title

Carlson Literacy Team Seeking New Books

Earlier this week I wrote about the Carlson High School Literacy Team's visit to Chapman Elementary School to read to elementary students.  Reading to the younger students in the district is only one of many tasks the literacy team takes on throughout the school year.  Another important task of the Carlson High School Literacy Team is collecting new books for incoming Kindergartners. Each year we collect new books aimed at young readers (ages 5 - 7) to provide each incoming kindergartner with a new book after their kindergarten screening in the spring.  The screening process can be overwhelming for a young child.  Students are put through academic, physical and social evaluations to determine if they are ready for the kindergarten curriculum.  I did not realize how much work was involved in the process until I witnessed it for myself when my daughter attended screening.  I really think it is nice that after such a stressful evaluation each student walks away with a new book.  I&

Literacy Team Visit to Chapman Elementary is A Success

I am excited to write about the Carlson High School Literacy Team visit to Chapman Elementary School on Tuesday December 13th, 2011.  On Tuesday afternoon I traveled to Chapman Elementary School in Rockwood with eleven Carlson High School Student Council Members.  We were invited into seven different classrooms at Chapman, reading to classes ranging from Young 5's to third grade.  We arrived at Chapman to read to our first class at 12:30 and everything went very well. Four to six readers would go into each room and read to a small group of students.  Some of the high school students brought their own books to read and also read books selected by the elementary students. The Chapman students also enjoyed asking the Carlson students questions about life at the high school.  Before moving onto the next classroom, Carlson's Celebrity readers provide each Chapman student with a bookmark and eraser. I enjoyed walking between the classrooms to see the excitement on the faces of

The Carlson Literacy Team Is Off and Reading

After months of planning the Carlson High School Literacy team will be making our first visit to read to elementary students at Chapman Elementary School this week.  I will accompany a small group of Carlson High School Student Council Members to Chapman Elementary Tuesday afternoon.  We have been invited to read in six different classrooms.  The Carlson students are very excited about reading to students at Chapman.  If this event is a success the plan is to branch out to all four elementary schools within the Gibraltar School District. I am also very excited about this project.  I look forward to seeing the excitement in the eyes of the high school and elementary students.  We are bringing gifts for every student we will be reading to.   I plan to bring my camera and snap some photographs.  Keep your eyes open for a blog post sharing the highlights of our visit later this week.

Looking to The Bus For My December Read of the Month

I had an amazing weekend to start the month of December.  My father and I traveled back to his hometown of Pittsburgh to visit family and attend the Pittsburgh Steeler/Cincinnati Bengal NFL game on Sunday 12/4/2011.  This was my first trip to Heinz Field to see the Steelers and we had an amazing time.  It was a beautiful day on Sunday and the city of Pittsburgh was alive in black and yellow.  The Steelers dominated and my father and I had a blast enjoying downtown Pittsburgh.  Savoring Another Steeler Victory Upon returning home, I realized I needed to find a December Read of the Month.  After my Steeler filled weekend, I decided to pick Driving Home by Detroit's own Jerome Bettis.   This book has been on my "to read" list for a while, so this past weekend I finally pulled it from my library shelf.  This autobiography follows "The Bus" on his final NFL season which ended in storybook fashion in Ford Field for Superbowl XL.  I look forward to reading about

November Read of the Month Review

It took the entire month, but I did finish Libba Bray's Beauty Queens.   I enjoyed the book (4 out of 5 stars on my Goodreads.com review).  The book is clearly aimed at teenage girls, since nearly all of the main characters are female teens.  The plot revolves around a group of teen pageant contestants that survive a plane crash on what they believe to be a deserted island.  Nearly the entire novel takes place on the island.  The reader follows along as the girls struggle to survive and get off the island. The novel pokes fun at much of modern society (reality television, health and beauty products, pageants and even some political commentary).  I found myself laughing numerous times while reading the book.  The book is quite long for (close to 400 pages in hardcover) yet it was still a quick read.  I just had difficulty finding time in what is a busy month for me at home and at work.  One of the best qualities of the book was the character development by Libba Bray.  She spends