Running both a school library and an Innovation Precinct, supporting creative thinking, prototyping and product making, means I am always on the lookout for new educational resources to engage my students. When I was offered the chance to try Spintronics, I jumped at it. I am a massive fan of the Turing Tumbles, which are made by the same creators of the Spintronics.
There is lots to love about Spintronics, so let’s beak it down.
Do you love Lego? How about your school library users? I bet they love Lego. If you are like me and love having hands-on activities in your school library or makerspace, you probably want to have some Lego. But it can be extremely expensive and hard to buy in bulk. I had the incredible Mel from St Joesph’s Nudgee College recommend Bricktastics to me and I am so grateful she did.
What is Bricktastics?
Bricktastics is an Australia company that sell second-hand Lego. The buy and source pre-loved Lego, sort it into packs and then sell it. They cater specifically to education settings with their bulk packs, and donate to education and children in countries who need it. They have also launched their own Bricktastic Bricks. While based in Australia, they do ship internationally.
Canva for School Library Staff – Getting Started
Working in a school library is busy. Never a dull moment and a job that can see you doing everything from sharing the new resources you’ve just catalogued, writing a newsletter, posting to social media or creating displays. To get everything done, we need great tools to help. If you are looking for an online tool that will help you manage all the above plus so, so, so much more then you need Canva in your life.
What is Canva?
It might be easier to tell you what Canva isn’t than what it is because it does so much! Every time I use it, I learn about a new tool or feature. But basically, Canva is an online graphic design platform. Using the online platform, you can create anything, with templates for everything from social media graphics to resumes, posters and websites. Canva is also a publishing tool – it allows you to plan and post content to social media channels, share with others for online collaboration or will print products for you. Did you know that Canva was started by two Australian design students? Their goal was to make design easy and accessible for everyone. You can learn more about Canva here.
If you work in a school library like I do, you are probably always on the look out for tools and software that make your life easier. When I am limited in time but want to achieve big things, I need great resources to help me get things done. That’s why I jumped at the chance to trial and review Visme. I was provided with four months access to a business account in exchange for an honest review. I’ve looked at this platform from a school library staff member’s perspective.
What is Visme?
Visme is an online platform for creating graphic designs, presentations, documents, charts and survey results, videos and anything where you need to combine great design with visual communication. You can find out more about Visme here.
Her One and Only – Becky Wade – Bethany House – Published 3 May 2016
Gray Fowler, star NFL tight end, is being pursued by a stalker, so his team hires a protection agency to keep Gray under the watch of a bodyguard at all times. When Gray meets Dru Porter, an agent assigned to him, he’s indignant. How can an attractive young female half his size possibly protect him?
But Dru’s a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt. She’s also ferociously determined to uncover the identity of Gray’s stalker. And she’s just as determined to avoid any kind of romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past. But the closer they get to finding the stalker, the closer they grow to each other. As the danger rises, can Dru and Gray entrust their hearts–and their lives–to one another?
Her One and Only concludes the Porter Family series. This is the perfect book and the perfect end to a perfect series. Her One and Only is fun, romantic, nostalgic and breaks all the old romance novel clichés. As the last book in this series it is nice to reconnect with all the past characters, see how Bo and Meg are doing, check in with Ty, Celia and their brood of kids and catch up with Jake and Lyndie. Meg and Bo play a substantial part in the book, but ultimately it is Dru and Gray’s story that, rightly so, grabbed my heart.
Dru Porter is one tough heroine. She’s smart and not afraid to let everyone around her know it. Youngest Porter sibling, former Marine, and now executive protection agent, she can more than hold her own. And she’s going to need to when she takes the post as Gray Fowler’s bodyguard. Gray is a star NFL player, rich, determined and very used to getting his own way. Well, he hasn’t met Dru yet. Continue reading
Sins of the Past: A Romantic Suspense Novella Collection – Dee Henderson, Dani Pettrey, Lynette Eason – Bethany House – Published 3 May 2016
Three Novellas from Bestselling Authors
In Dee Henderson’s “Missing,” a Wyoming sheriff is called to Chicago when his elderly mother goes missing. Paired with a savvy Chicago cop, the two realize her disappearance is no accident, and a race against the clock begins.
Dani Pettrey returns to Alaska with “Shadowed,” introducing readers to the parents of her beloved McKenna clan. Adventure, romance, and danger collide when a young fisherman nets the body of an open-water swimming competitor who may actually be a possible Russian defector.
Lynette Eason’s “Blackout” delivers the story of a woman once implicated in a robbery gone wrong. The loot has never been found–but her memory of that night has always been unreliable. Can she remember enough to find her way to safety when the true culprit comes after her?
Three of my favourite romantic suspense authors all in one book?? Sign me up!!! Sins of the Past is a collection of three romantic suspense novellas. All three stories are based on something that has happened in the past impacting current events and they bring together plenty of action, suspense and romance.
Missing – Dee Henderson
Missing is a wonderfully insightful and exciting look at working a missing persons case, one that is very personal. Police chief John Graham’s mother has been reported missing. He teams up with Lieutenant Sharon Noble to help locate her. It’s a frustrating and emotional time for John, but he enjoys working with the enigmatic Sharon. The focus of this story is definitely the case. Details, interviews, clues and time lines, it’s like being dropped into the middle of an active crime scene and it’s very interesting. As always with Dee’s writing it is also very enjoyable to read. This is the first time I have read a novella by Dee and was pleased by the balance in timing, and the mix of family, crime solving and romance is also perfect. The story never felt rushed or cut short. The romance develops slowly and sweetly, with the delicate hand that Dee Henderson always turns to her love stories. Very enjoyable. Continue reading
What You Left Behind – Jessica Verdi – Sourcebooks – Published 4 August 2015
It’s all Ryden’s fault. If he hadn’t gotten Meg pregnant, she would have never stopped her chemo treatments and would still be alive. Instead, he’s failing fatherhood one dirty diaper at a time. And it’s not like he’s had time to grieve while struggling to care for their infant daughter, start his senior year, and earn the soccer scholarship he needs to go to college.
The one person who makes Ryden feel like his old self is Joni. She’s fun and energetic—and doesn’t know he has a baby. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to keep his two worlds separate. Finding one of Meg’s journals only stirs up old emotions, and Ryden’s convinced Meg left other notebooks for him to find, some message to help his new life make sense. But how is he going to have a future if he can’t let go of the past?
When I started this book I knew it was going to be devastating. I mean, look at the summary! I liked that it was raw and heartbreaking but was pleased that it was equally hopeful.
The Night We Said Yes – Lauren Gibaldi – HarperTeen – Published 16 June 2015
Before Matt, Ella had a plan. Get over a no-good ex-boyfriend. Graduate from high school without any more distractions. Move away from Orlando, Florida, where she’s lived her entire life.
But Matt—the cute, shy, bespectacled bass player who just moved to town—was never part of that plan.
And neither was attending a party that was crashed by the cops just minutes after they arrived. Or spending an entire night saying “yes” to every crazy, fun thing they could think of.
Then Matt abruptly left town, and he broke not only Ella’s heart but those of their best friends, too. So when he shows up a year later with a plan of his own—to relive the night that brought them together—Ella isn’t sure whether Matt’s worth a second chance. Or if re-creating the past can help them create a different future.
When I first picked this book up I stopped reading after just a few chapters. I wasn’t enjoying it and the resemblance to Last Year’s Mistake, which I has just finished and didn’t enjoy, was too similar. In the interest of giving The Night We Said Yes a fair chance I decided to continue reading at a later date, which I have now done. I still didn’t like it all that much, but I did finish it and I did like some aspects.
Fall Line – Tudor Robins – Downhill Series #1 – Published 11 June 2015
Everything’s forward. Those are fifteen-year-old Chris Myers’ words for the year. The next gate, the next race, his spot on the district ski team; they’re all his for the taking. Except training is such hard work. And then there’s Jenna – the very opposite of hard work – gorgeous, curvy, and into partying. Into Chris. Instead of moving forward, Chris is sliding back. Slower times, worse results, and his best friend, Tilly, drifting away.
“The thing you want is right in front of you,” Tilly said. Now Chris just has to figure out what that thing is – and how to get it – before it’s too late.
I really liked this book. The snowy crisp world of skiing is the perfect backdrop for a best-friends falling in love love story. With a likeable and realistic male teen lead, great mix of sport and romance and friendship and family, this was a very enjoyable book.
Truest – Jackie Lea Sommers – Katherine Tegen Books – Published 1 September 2015
Silas Hart has seriously shaken up Westlin Beck’s small-town life. Brand new to town, Silas is different than the guys in Green Lake. He’s curious, poetic, philosophical, maddening– and really, really cute. But Silas has a sister– and she has a secret. And West has a boyfriend. And life in Green Lake is about to change forever.
I initially picked this book up because of the cover. That gorgeous, beautiful cover that only gets more beautiful and more meaningful with every page I read. This is an outstanding debut, charming, funny, unbelievably moving and a deep sort of soul searching.