Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dr. Seuss Book Fair

I started preparing for a Dr. Seuss-themed book fair last year.  Although the snow has kept us from doing some of the activities that we planned to do, I still have high hopes that the rest of  our Read Across America/Book Fair events will be successful. 

My plan for the One Fish! Two Fish!.. All for Books fundraiser went great with the Underwater theme that Scholastic has for the spring book fair.

One Fish! Two Fish!..
We will be celebrating Read Across America during the week of the book fair.  I am looking forward to the main event when students and staff dress up as a favorite Dr. Seuss character.  I haven't decided which character I'll be.  I also don't know which character our principal will be, but donations will determine which character he will be for our Book Character Parade at the end of April.  The donations will fund our AR incentives. The original plan was to have a door decorating contest.  Students, staff, and visitors would make donations to the door of their choice.  The winning class would get a book fair gift certificate for each student and teacher.   

Who will our principal be?
I ordered posters and a stand-up from Upstart to decorate the media center.  I used a display board to make a Thing 1 and Thing 2 cut-out for a photo op.  I have seen some great props for Dr. Seuss-themed photo ops on Pinterest. Students will get one of the bookmarks that were also purchased from Upstart, when they buy books. 
Reading is Our Thing!

We Know a Thing or Two About Books.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Arctic Blast

The kindergarteners, first and second graders have been busy doing research about polar region animals.  The kindergarteners learned about four different kinds of penguins.  First graders learned about polar bears.  Second graders learned about a variety of arctic animals. 

First, I shared the signed copy of the book, One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo with the kindergarteners. While a small group of students learned about a penguin, the rest of the class was able to practice sight words and math skills with penguin themed activities.  Life-sized penguins took over the media center so students were able to get a better idea of the actual size of these “proper” birds.  They were able to use nonstandard measurement to compare the height of the five types of penguins displayed. Students loved doing yoga with Pedro the Penguin.  After groups of 4-5 students learned about one penguin, using PebbleGo,  they typed what they learned in an Animoto.  Some students displayed what they learned beside the life-sized penguin. Students also labeled a penguin. Thanks to Kindergarten Crayons.

Letter Match/Alphabetical Order -Cricut Create a Critter
Polar bears were the topic for the first graders.  First we talked about the Super 3 research process.  For the planning step, they used an ARE, CAN, HAVE graphic organizer to take notes.  Students used the links on the K-2 Symbaloo that I created for them, PebbleGo, and information that we learned from the book Knut: How OneLittle Polar Bear Captivated the World by by Craig Hatkoff and others.  Some students were able to dig a little deeper using QR codes to find the answers to questions about polar bears. Look for the Polar Bear QR Code Webquest at Emily Gibbons Teachers Pay Teachers store.   While students used their notes to do a report, one student at a time experimented with blubber.  One sentence from the completed reports was chosen for the student to type into an Animoto video.  Some students will present their information in a ChatterPix.  The students viewed the presentations and we discussed what we learned and how we felt about each presentation.  The review concluded our Super 3 process.  Students were excited to tell their teachers what they learned.
Polar Bears
Polar Bear at NC Zoo

The second graders learned about some interesting animals in arctic regions.  Using library books, magazines, links from our K-2 Symbaloo.  Students found as much information as possible to share with the class.  We did the same experiment as the first graders.  It was “cool” to see how blubber keeps the arctic animals warm.  One second grade class used the ARE, CAN, HAVE graphic organizer, while one class used a graphic organizer by Tiffany Reed, that required them to explain the anatomy (size, color, and appearance), habitat, diet, and interesting facts.  Some students used Animoto or Chatter Pix to present their information.  Others will present their information with a lapbook.   
Polar Animal Graphic Organizer

Blubber Experiment

I might use the life-sized penguins and lapbooks in combination with the Animoto videos and ChatterPix via QR codes for Digital Learning Day.  What are you doing for Digital Learning Day?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Batman Returns...His Books

After learning that Bat Girl was a librarian, I decided to change the name of my "dwelling" to the Bat Cave.  For Halloween, I dressed up as Bat Girl.  Pinterest has inspired the bulletin board pictured below.  It has caught the eye of students and teachers.

Data! Data! Data! Data! Batman!

I quickly put up the data because I didn't want it to look unfinished.  I plan to display an updated infographic each month. There are some things that I need to figure out first.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Weeding Has Begun

After getting some training, I am tackling my first weeding project.  While doing inventory, I noticed some really old and/or worn books.  I started wondering if these books were being checked out.  While helping a friend weed her library, I learned that by running a shelf list for the last three to four years, I could get a good idea of which books are being circulated.

When I got to the Hardy Boys series, I was stumped.  Because I don't remember ever checking out any of the series to students, I assumed nobody was reading the series.  I didn't even look to see if Hardy Boys was being circulated.  Since I hate to get rid of classics, I decided to keep them.  After someone on Twitter asked me if students are reading them, I reviewed the shelf list again.  A few titles were checked out at least one time.  When I looked at the history of those titles, I saw that students were checking out the books more than once.  That tells me that the students are reading the books.  The Nancy Drew series had the same stats.

The Hardy Boys Stay

In order to generate a renewed interest in the series, I will do a "Detective" display.  I will also get the students who have already shown an interest in the books do Book Talks.  I think I will use some of the skills, that I learned in my Media Production class this summer, to make the Book Talks fun by using green screen and props.

Other series that are not getting much attention are the American Girl, The Baby-Sitters ClubBoxcar Children, and Little House...  There are multiple copies of some the titles in these series.  I will keep one of each.  One goal is to put all the American Girl books together.  I will gradually weed the Baby-Sitters Club as I purchase the updated Baby-Sitters Club and  graphic novels.  I haven't decided what to do with the Boxcar Children, and Little House...

I hope to see students checking out some of the Ol' School books more. They need to know that there was life before Greg Hefley.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Updated Library Centers

Among my many projects this summer, one is to update some Library Centers that a good friend gave me.  She is hanging up her Librarian Hat and gave me some goodies.  Some of the goodies were some that she created or bought, but some were created long before she became a librarian.  After going through the goodies, I realized that some of the activities are very helpful, but they would not appeal to today's elementary students. 

So far, I have updated two versions of the Alphabetizing Author's Names.  I updated one for the Easy section and one for the Fiction section.   I want the students to be familiar with the alphabetical order of their favorite authors, so they can find books on the shelves.
Inside the folder
Oldies, but Goodies
Updated List of Authors  

I also updated the list of author names.  Students will recognize the new authors. 

21st Century Answer Key
I added a QR code answer key, but I also included the traditional answer key. You never know when the wifi might be down. Another reason for including the traditional answer key is currently we have one iPod for the students to use.  That leads me to another project that I will be working on - a Donors Choose project for an iPad.  Hopefully my first book fair will allow me to purchase one or two iPads also.