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.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Get A Job, Chicken Little!

I am still here!  Grad school, Book Fair, Disney, Testing, Inventory, and a Leadership Institute have kept me busy, busy, busy.

One of my favorite things that I do is collaborate with the other specialists.  We did a Career unit after realizing that students really do not know enough about careers.  The art teacher helped students explore careers that involve art.  They also learned about some famous artists.  The music teacher and PE teacher also explored careers in their fields. We explored a variety of careers in the library. We made an ABC book and a "When I Grow Up" book about careers.
When I Grow Up

The most awesome thing we did, was produce a career program for PTA night.  The kindergarteners did a Community Workers skit.  The first graders did a Career Day skit.  Originally, I wanted each grade level to do an adaptation of a fairy tale.  I wanted lumberjacks, construction workers, masons, interior decorators, and insurance adjusters to be new characters in The Three Little Pigs.  You get the idea.  All the snow days made planning difficult.  I insisted that we do at least one fairy tale with a fox in it.  I think you see where this is going.  The second graders did Get a Job, Chicken Little.  Okay!  I modified a skit that I bought on Teachers Pay Teachers

Chicken Little was a pizza delivery person, Henny Penny was a florist, Ducky Lucky was a landscaper, Goosey Loosey was a farmer, Turkey Lurkey was a billboard installer, and Foxy Loxy was a police officer. While delivering pizza to the school secretary, "something" fell on Chicken Little's head.  She needed to let the mayor know.  As she is joined by the other characters, they get pulled over by Foxy Loxy.   The principal came in at the end as the mayor.  The program ended with the cast and audience dancing to "What Does the Fox Say?"

Each specialist contributed to the program.  The music teacher provided music and songs.  The art teacher made most of the props.  The PE teacher taught the dance to every grade level.  I became a screenwriter and editor for a few weeks.  Each specialist played the role of director at some point. The students amazed us by learning the songs and lines in such a short time.  The only disappointment is that nobody recorded the program.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Where in the World Have We Been?

Our third graders read Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown.  We talked about what we would do and where we would go if we were flat.  I showed them some of the adventures of Flat Stanley that other students were able to witness.  The students decided to make flat versions of themselves, using the Cricut Everyday Paper Doll cartridge.  The students named the paper dolls after themselves. We had Flat Danny, Flat Amy, Flat Joey, etc.  They turned out so cute.
Playing With Paper Dolls
Flat Friends

Some students were able to get addresses of family members or friends.  We found addresses for some famous people. I also enlisted the help of some of my family and friends for the students who did not get addresses.   
This Flat Friend visited the White House.
We all got treats from Sweden.
The President told students that reading, writing, and math are important in his job and in other jobs.  He encouraged them to be curious and learn as much as they can.  We were thrilled to get a sealed letter from the President.

A friend of mine who lives in Sweden, sent our Flat Friend back in a big box along with postcards, flags, candy, chocolate, kronor, and other souvenirs. She also emailed me a slide show.  We learned that the students learn English in elementary school.  We also learned that a krona is equal to 15 cents.  Each student got a krona, some candy and chocolate.  I wanted to keep the chocolate for myself.  Our Flat Friend was not dressed for the weather in Sweden, so my friend made her a scarf.  Next year, we will choose our destination and then dress the paper dolls for the climate.

Some other places that our Flat Friends have been are; California, Arizona, Charlotte, NC (Home of the Carolina Panthers), Texas, Georgia, and Japan.  My friend in California took our Flat Friend to some exciting places. We got maps, brochures, and tons of pictures from California. He even got a chance to meet a Flat Stanley.  My sister took a Flat Friend with her to a real estate convention in Arizona.  He was very popular at the convention.  He was photographed with a group of super heroes and some "Things".  There was a request for our Flat Friend to start his own blog.  Another Flat Friend went to visit Cam Newton in Charlotte.  He returned with a letter, an autographed picture, and a fan card.  Our Friend who visited Japan, came back with postcards.  Our Friends who visited Texas and Georgia came back with pictures and post cards. We are still waiting for a few friends to return from West Virginia, Florida, Charlotte, and Belgium. I will be taking two Flat Friends with me to Disney World.

We will make a scrapbook after all of our Flat Friends return, and have a chance to be displayed. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Countdown to Disney

Since my grand-daughter found out that we are going to Disney to celebrate our birthdays, she has been telling people that we are going tomorrow.  My grand-daughter will be five years old in April.  I will be five times ten. ;)

On Pinterest, I keep seeing Disney countdown ideas.  There are some really cool ideas.  I like to put my own spin on the pins.
Really Cool
This is a Favorite
The teacher in me wanted to make this a "teachable moment" for my grand-daughter. The countdown chain is totally awesome, but I wanted my four year old to be able to see the numbers and make a connection.  While I cut out the Mickey Mouse silhouette on my Cricut, she put the numbers in the chart.  She said, "It's a lot of numbers."  I told her, "That's because there's a lot of days before we go."
She takes this stuff seriously
The numbers were in order when I gave them to her, but occasionally she would put the numbers in the wrong place.  I pointed out the pattern to her.  Whenever she would mess up, she would stop and look.  She knew something was wrong, but she didn't know how to fix it.  I would remind her about the  pattern.  It was funny when she got to 66.  She put it in upside down. I told her to look at the numbers around it, and she fixed it.
She found the perfect spot for the chart.
Now she knows that when all the numbers are covered, we will be on our way to Disney.  When she comes to my house, she can see how many days are left.  She is very familiar with our My Disney Experience page, so she will probably know if I haven't updated the chart.  I think I'll put stickers on the numbers to set goals for when to confirm the details of our trip, confirm car rental, pack, and other trip details that come to mind.

My next project will be to make a Busy Bag for her.  Later I will make an autograph book.