Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cleopatra Visits the Reading Oasis

Last year at this time, I was nervous about my first Book Fair.  At the end of the Book Fair I got sick, but had to make sure everything  was packed up and my bookkeeping duties were completed.  This year, I got sick right before the Book Fair was delivered.  I'm pretty sure it's a sinus infection. 

My volunteers this year range in ages from four years old (my grand-daughter) to 50 something.  I paid student volunteers with "Book Fair Bucks" to help me move chairs on the morning that I expected the delivery.  I wasn't positive about the delivery date, so I let my adult volunteers know to be on stand by.  The first shift of helpers were kindergartners and 1st graders.  They were so excited and so cute.  The last shift were fourth graders.  They were able to see how excited the librarian gets when that truck with Clifford on the side, pulls into the parking lot.

Two of My Wonderful Volunteers
When I pressed send on my phone, my adult volunteers sprang into action quickly.  Setting up the Book Fair this time went so much faster than last year.  The first two days of the Book Fair were pretty slow.  My volunteers didn't see much action until the first Family Event.  That is also when Cleopatra made an appearance to promote the Book Fair's theme. One volunteer had fun building a pyramid with the Book Fair's bestseller.  I apologize for the quality of the picture.  My four-year old volunteer is better at putting books in the bags than she is at photography.  I can't even begin to thank my wonderful volunteers enough. 
Cleopatra in Front a Pyramid of Popular Books
Cleopatra will be joined by Santa Claus for the Family Event on Thursday. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Library Projects and Jan Brett

First, I must give a shout out to Karen Whiteside at Creative Classroom for mentioning my blog.  I get so many awesome ideas from other bloggers.  It makes me happy to know that I can contribute something too.  Thank you Karen.

Next, It has been forever since I've had a chance to blog.  Grad school is no joke!  I have been trying to get some projects up and running with each grade level this year.  So far the second graders' Symbolic Monarch Migration is successful.  One first grade class was able to plant tulips for the Journey North Tulip Test Garden.  Third graders have created their "Flat People", but we haven't been able to mail them yet.   Fourth and Fifth graders had to put their projects on hold for a little while, until the Book Fair and Christmas activities are over.

Meanwhile kindergarteners have been working on an Animal ABC book. The students came up with a list of animals for each letter of the alphabet.  Then they choose which animal they wanted to write about.  I wrote out what the students wanted to say by making the letters just like they appear on the keyboard.  I used a long black horizontal line to represent the space bar. It made the one to one correspondence easier for the kinders. While I help four students at a time, the other students play an Alphabet/Animal matching game, build words with Legos, and play Candy Land.  I recently purchased a letter matching game from Teachers Pay Teachers that is perfect for kindergarteners. I will add this to a center to help them recognize upper case and lower case letters.

L is for Llama

First graders have been doing an Author Study with Jan Brett.  We have read Hedgie's Surprise, the Mitten, and Who's That Knocking on Christmas Eve. The students researched hedgehogs and used a tutorial by Jan Brett to draw a hedgehog.  Jan Brett was nice enough to send me teacher packet of activities for some of her books. It included a really cool tote.  I was able to see Jan Brett at Quail Ridge Books and Music in Raleigh, recently.  I bought two copies of Cinders: A Chicken Cinderella. I got autographed book plates for the books that I bought.  I really enjoyed hearing about how she came up with the idea for Cinders... and some of her other stories.
Teacher Packet from Jan Brett

Me with Hedgie

Jan Brett and One of Her Silkies

Jan Brett with Her Drawing and Book

The second graders are using Wixie, Blabberize, or Animoto to present information about insects.  One class will use Wixie to make trading cards.  Another class will use my account to create a Blabberize.  This should be fun.

My resource for 5th grade's Revolutionary War project will be available after Christmas.  Fourth graders' NC Native American project will also need to wait until after the winter break.  Currently the fifth graders are reviewing genres and Big 6.  The fourth graders are reviewing Dewey and Big 6. We did a Genre Sort Activity.  The students really liked using the iPod to self-check with QR codes. 

I will post about the Book Fair later.