Sunday, December 9, 2012

Eric Litwin Author Visit

On Monday, December 3, Eric Litwin of Pete the Cat fame visited Indian Knoll Elementary School.  Our staff and students enjoyed his performances!  He sang songs from his CDs and of course treated us to his Pete the Cat stories.  Mr. Eric kept all of us entertained from the beginning to the end, using lots of call and response and audience participation techniques to engage us.  Here are some pictures from our groovy afternoon with Mr. Eric.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Picture Book Month

It's Picture Book Month!  Schools around the world are celebrating the importance of picture books this November.  At my school, we are holding a Picture Book Challenge.  Students are encouraged to read as many picture books as they can and record the titles on the lists below.  There are two levels of participation.  The first level earns students a bookmark.  The second level earns a certificate and a chance to be entered in a drawing for prizes.  All entries are due in the media center on November 30.  In addition, we are promoting picture books on the morning announcements each day.  And there is a display in the media center of our staff members' favorite picture books.  With this display, I posted Charles Ghighna's wonderful poem "Piles of Picture Books."  We look forward to reading and discussing new and old favorite picture books this month!

Monday, October 8, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading? 10/8/12

I went a *little* Babymouse crazy last week!  These books fly off the shelves of my library.  And now that I have read half of the series, I can see why my kids love Babymouse!  The series is full of books, cupcakes, sleeping in, and imagination.  What's not to love?!

1.  Babymouse: Queen of the World
Queen of the World! (Babymouse Series #1)

2.  Babymouse: Our Hero
Our Hero (Babymouse Series #2)
3.  Babymouse: Beach Babe
Beach Babe (Babymouse Series #3)

4.  Babymouse: Rock Star
Rock Star (Babymouse Series #4)

5.  Babymouse: Skater Girl
 Skater Girl (Babymouse Series #7)

6.  Babymouse: Monster Mash
Monster Mash (Babymouse Series #9)

7.  Babymouse: Dragonslayer
Dragonslayer (Babymouse Series #11)  

8.  Babymouse: Cupcake Tycoon
Cupcake Tycoon (Babymouse Series #13)

9.  Babymouse: Mad Scientist
Mad Scientist (Babymouse Series #14)

10.  A Very Babymouse Christmas
A Very Babymouse Christmas (Babymouse Series #15)

Thank you to Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts for hosting this fun meme!

Monday, October 1, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading? 10/1/12

Of course I have read Charlotte's Web many times before.  However, this time I am reading it to my first grade son.  He adores it as much as I do!
Charlotte's Web

Thank you to Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts for hosting this fun meme!

Monday, September 24, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading? 9/24/12

Here are the books I read and loved last week!

1.  Smile by Raina Telgemeier

2.  Gingerbread Man Loose in the School by Laura Murray and illustrated by Mike Lowery
The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School

3.  Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead
Liar and Spy

4.  The Monsters' Monster by Patrick McDonnell
The Monsters' Monster 
Thank you to Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts for hosting this fun meme!

Monday, September 17, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading? 9/17/12

I am currently reading Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.  I participate in a children's/young adult literature book club for staff members at my school.  This book is our October pick.  The unusual vintage photographs captured my attention right away but the story line is haunting and fascinating.

Thank you to Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts for hosting this fun meme!

Friday, September 7, 2012

All Star Book Fair

It's book fair week at my school!  Book fair week brings such excitement to the whole school.  It's a fabulous literacy promotion, and I love to see our kids passionate about books!  My media center is on the main hall of the school, and the book fair often causes a pile up in the hall when kids stop the line to stare at the decor!

This fall's Scholastic Book Fair theme is "All Star Book Fair."  To generate excitement, I asked our staff members to bring in a picture of themselves playing a sport when they were young.  These are displayed outside the media center.  The kids (and staff) love guessing which sport their favorite teachers played.

I set up the book fair with the help of many parent volunteers.  We assembled two tailgating tents, and the coaches lent us a volleyball net to display posters.  Another media specialist in my district created and lent us a trash can trophy, and we displayed that at the front of the media center.

After we set up, I held a teacher preview after school.  During this event, teachers are invited to check out the books and create a wish list for families who would like to purcahse books to add to classroom libraries.  To encourage teacher attendance, I served ball park food: mini hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, pretzels, and canned soda.  As the teachers arrived, I gave each an All Star Teacher gold medal (eight for $1 at Dollar Tree).  To display their wish lists, I took the teachers' photos wearing their favorite team gear and Photoshopped the teachers into their team's stadium.  The photos attract attention to the wish lists, and parents usually buy more books from the lists.

Today, student scame in to preview the books at the book fair.  We  younger students make their wish lists.  We also had a Grandparents Breakfast this morning, and many of the grandparents brought their grandchildren in afterwards.  Book fair week is wonderfully rewarding, if incredibly exhausting!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Decatur Book Festival 2012

Labor Day weekend brings one of my favorite events of the year - the Decatur Book Festival!  Held in downtown Decatur, thousands of book lovers unite for two days to celebrate books.  I especially love hearing and meeting the authors at the children's stage.  This year, I made the trip with two media specialist friends.  We met all of the authors below.  In addition, we attended a panel discussion about the importance of picture books led by children's book historian Leonard Marcus with Mac Barnett, Chris Raschka, and Laurel Snyder.

Kevin Henkes led the opening parade with Lilly from Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse.  He read his new book, Penny and Her Doll.

Patrick McDonnell was next.  He signed The Monsters' Monster for me!

Karma Wilson's new book is Bear Says Thanks.

Peter Brown read from his new book Creepy Carrots (written by Aaron Reynolds).

Jarrett Krosoczka is the author of some of my students' favorite graphic novels: the Lunch Lady series.  He signed Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute for my son.

Mac Barnett discussed the process of publishing a book.  He is hilarious!

I can't wait to read Joan Holub's Goddess Girl books!

Author Shannon Hale, author of Princess Academy, told funny stories of doing interviews to promote her books.

Rebecca Stead had great advice for young writers.  She told kids they aren't going to receive a letter like Harry Potter did, telling them what they are going to be.  She was a lawyer until just a few years ago!  So kids should pursue their interests, including writing.  I'm reading her new book Liar and Spy right now, and I love it!

Three hot and tired media specialists, ready for dinner at the Brick Store Pub!  We can't wait for next year!