Saturday, November 9, 2013

What does the fox say?

My students love the song "What Does the Fox Say?"  I recently created a book display based on the song.  I placed all of our fox related books on top of some shelves along with a sign touting the song's title.  The kids went wild for the books and checked them all out within a couple of days!

Click on the picture above to download the sign for your media center!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Shelf Challenge 2013 Post #3

Well I completed the 2013 Shelf Challenge! I read all 124 books from the Ls in the everybody section of my media center. Completing the Shelf Challenge helped me to learn more about my collection. I discovered many new books I would otherwise not have read. My favorite authors from the Ls are Eric Litwin and Arnold Lobel. Eric Litwin's Pete the Cat books are favorite read alouds in the primary grades. Arnold Lobel's books invoke memories of storytimes from my childhood. When I pick up an Arnold Lobel book, I remember the smell of my elementary school library. Here is a link to the complete list of all of the books I read for this year's Shelf Challenge.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Shelf Challenge 2013 Post #2

My goal for the 2013 Shelf Challenge is to read all of the books in the L section of the everybody books in my media center.  So far I have read 49 books.  Here are some of my recent favorites.

It Wasn't My Fault
by Helen Lester
illustrated by Lynn Munsinger

Betsy Who Cried Wolf
by Gail Carson Levine
illustrated by Scott Nash

How I Became a Pirate
by Melinda Long
illustrated by David Shannon
Have Fun, Molly Lou Melon
by Patty Lovell
illustrated by David Catrow

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Shelf Challenge 2013 Post #1

My goal for the 2013 Shelf Challenge is to read all of the books in the L section of the everybody books in my media center.  So far I have read 24 books.  Here are some of my favorites.

Tell Me the Day Backwards
written by Albert Lamb
illustrated by David McPhail

Three Hens and a Peacock
written by Lester Laminack
illustrated by Henry Cole

It's a Tiger!
written by David LaRochelle
illustrated by Jeremy Tankard

by Tom Lichtenheld and Ezra Fields-Meyer

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Shelf Challenge 2013

I'm excited to participate in Matthew Winner's Shelf Challenge 2013!  Participating librarians select a section of our library to read throughout the month of April.  After much consideration, I have decided to tackle the Ls.  I emptied the first two shelves and brought those books home to read for Spring Break.  I'm looking forward to discovering some great new picture books!

(I left on the shelves two Pete the Cat books that I already have memorized and a second copy of Owl Moon.)

Story Laboratory Book Fair

It's book fair week!  This spring's Scholastic Book Fair theme is "Story Laboratory." I am so fortunate to have great parent volunteers to help set up and decorate.  They created an amazing robot, which we placed right inside the media center doors.

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 purchase books to add to classroom libraries.  I served guaca-moldy and chips, earwax salad (watergate salad), oozing cupcakes, fresh flesh roll-ups, read-ioactive (gummy) worms, and sludge punch to all of the staff members who came to the preview.  

Students came in for previews the next day.  They were greeted with with a message from the robot.  One of our custodians recorded a message using an app that changed his voice to that of a robot's.  I played the message for kids as they came through.  The message told the kids how to fill out their wish lists and to keep the books tidy.  The younger kids loved it and even the older kids had fun guessing whose voice it was.  

Yesterday, I overheard a precious conversation between two first grade boys about their favorite Captain Underpants book.  I love how the book fair excites kids about books and reading!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

2013 Reading Goal

After I set a 2013 reading goal for myself, I wanted to share it with my students.  I hope that sharing my reading goals will encourage my students to set their own goals and to read more. 

Around the same time I contemplated displaying my reading goal, I was inspired by this post from the Book Bug in which she shared a book goal chart she created for her media center.  I created a grid in Microsoft Word, added the numbers from 1 through 120, and then enlarged it using our poster maker.  I created a title in Print Shop and added it to the top, announcing my goal to students and staff. Each time I finish a book, I print a small picture of the book cover and add it to the poster. 

The display has generated a good bit of attention so far.  A group of incredulous third graders recently asked, "You like Lunch Lady too?!"

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Second Grade Common Core Lesson

I recently collaborated with a second grade teacher on a Common Core standard new to us.  The standard we taught was CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.2.6: Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud. 

When the students came to the media center, the classroom teacher read aloud Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner.  We discussed with the students the different voices she used to portray each character and how the voices helped us to understand which character was speaking in addition to making the story more interesting to hear.

Before the lesson, I created a video with clips of different characters.  The video included John Wayne, Grandma from Mama's Family, Tommy from The Rugrats, a drill sergeant, and Simon Cowell.  After reading Skippyjon Jones, we showed the video and asked the students to describe the voice of the character.  We discussed how the actor changed his/her voice to portray a character and how the scene would not have been as effective without the voice change.

The classroom teacher and I adapted several short stories from a book of reader's theater scripts in advance of the lesson.  Then we explained to students that they would be receiving one of the stories.  They would have time to practice the script before coming back to the media center to record themselves reading.  Before distributing the scripts, we talked about the characters in each and how they might talk.  The stories included The Three Billy Goats Gruff and The Three Little Pigs. 

The classroom teacher provided time in class for students to practice, and they returned to the media center to film themselves about a week later.  We gathered Flip cameras from other teachers and divided the students in groups of three.  The students took turns holding the camera and reading their stories.  The teacher then uploaded the videos to the class blog for parents to see.  The students enjoyed watching the videos and comparing the different versions of the same story.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Nick Bruel Author Visit

Author/illustrator Nick Bruel visited my school on January 16!  My students love his Bad Kitty books so much, they are almost always checked out.  As soon as I hung posters promoting his visit, our students and staff were buzzing with excitement!

Before his visit, I invited each class in kindergarten through fourth grade to visit the media center for a Nick Bruel storytime.  We read Bob and Otto, Who Is Melvin Bubble, and Poor PuppyWho Is Melvin Bubble is my favorite ever read-aloud!  My students roared with laughter during this book.
During his presentations, Mr. Bruel read his book Bad Kitty to the students.  Then he told students how his books start with a title and led them through a story writing activity starting with a title they generated and using their ideas.  Several of our students later brought me their drawings and stories, inspired from this activity.

Thank you to FoxTale Book Shoppe for coordinating Nick Bruel's visit to our school!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Book Tasting

Recently, I held a book tasting in the media center for my sixth graders.  These students often seem settled in their reading preferences and find it difficult to choose a different type of book.  I wanted to expose them to the many great books in our media center that they may not discover on their own.  The first step was decorating the media center to make it feel more like a fancy restaurant and less like school.  So I arranged the tables at an angle in front of the Promethean Board, which displayed the fire from  I put white (plastic) tablecloths on the tables.  Each table held a vase with poinsettias and two battery powered tealight candles.  Before each class arrived, I set the table with a place setting/recording sheet (see below) at each chair.  I also connected my iPhone to a speaker and played the Count Basie station on Pandora. 

As students arrived, I welcomed them to the Library Cafe and explained that would would be sampling some of the finest books our media center has to offer.  I led them to the tables and told them to seat themselves with people who would not get them kicked out of the restaurant and allowed students to seat themselves while I prepared the books.  I pulled the books from the shelves in advance and grouped them according to the needs of each class.  To serve the books to students, I placed them on a silver tray and brought them to students at their tables.  The kids loved being served, so I will definitely do this again.  But next time, I will have something on the table for the kids to do while they are waiting for their books.

Students were given directions to read the front and back covers and a page or two from each book.  Then they silently traded books with someone at their table.  After five minutes, students moved to the next table and sampled the books there.  As students found a book they enjoyed, they wrote the title and call number on the sheet below so that they could check the book out later.  I also encouraged students to add these titles to their personal lists on Destiny in case they lost them.

Students were given time at the end to check out books and many of them did!  I am hoping our students will continue to check out new books.