Everything Library

Monday, October 6, 2014

Library Spaces

As some of you know, our library has moved two times.  No, not magically.  We've boxed and packed and moved every single item in our library two times.  Whew!  The exciting part is that we're back in our original library space!  We spent a lot of time at our school's inception redesigning our library space.  Now, it's exciting to be back in that space and re-think how it will look eight years later.  Here are some before and after pictures with a few details...

I love the colors in our library.  Our color palette was inspired by Michael P. White's illustrations in the book, The Library Dragon.  As you can see, we had a lot to unpack this summer.  Mr. Victory and James built new bookshelves for our fiction section because our collection has grown quite a bit in eight years!  

Our maintenance man put up a magnetic board that I'm going to use as a parking lot for book talks written by our kids.  Anyone can write a book talk and add it to the board.  I also bought a few boxes of Command Hooks (the little bitty ones) and used them to hang the letters of the alphabet on my shelves in the easy fiction section.

These are holding up very well as you can see in the photo above (letter D in easy fiction section).  They are also great to use to hang small signs that signify our reference, biography, and special series sections.  These are great to have around!

I covered our reading couch in new fabric and our secretary suggested also covering it with a thin sheet of plastic.  That is really helping the couch to keep its color and the plastic covering cost just a few dollars.  I bought a few zebra pillows for reading and lounging.  The kids can get these out after they've checked out their books and sit and read.  They know to return the pillows to their special spots when they line up to go back to class.  I purchased by Captain America from Scholastic's School Resource Catalog.  Our Captain America now has a speech bubble that says, "Return your books here."  We don't have a bookdrop, so we have a large black book bin in front of Captain America where books are returned in the mornings.  The bookshelf to the left of Captain America is our graphic novel/comic book section.  We hung a poster of  Spiderman behind the books for effect.  

Our gutter bookshelves are one of my favorite additions to our library space.  Home Depot donated $50.00 towards the purchase of materials for our gutters.  The total cost for two nine foot gutters and all installation parts was about $90.00.  Our gutter bookshelves hold nonfiction books that need to be shown off!  Our city schools purchased the chairs (bottom right) for our kids to use when looking for books, sitting and reading, or even when they need a small tabletop.  The great thing about our chairs is they are also portable and can be moved around to be used wherever they are needed.

I used wrapping paper for the background of the bulletin board that is black and white.  I also framed my monthly calendar with an old black frame.  I purchased the individual letters that spelled out, READ, and painted a canvas board black and Mod Podged the letters on to the board.  We have lots of secondary lighting around the room that is used instead of the overhead lights.  I also have a whole wall of windows and I open the blinds a bit for natural light as well.

As you can see, the kids are right at home in our library space. 
The move was a lot of work, but it sure is
good to be home! 

Reading in the Schools Day

This year we celebrated Reading in the Schools Day by taking a step back in time.  When our school began, we used the story of The Library Dragon written by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Michael P. White as the inspiration to re-design our library space.  Now that we're back in our old school building, we thought it would be fun to re-visit the story so the kids know a little about the history of our library space.

  We also realized that the newest book, The Library Dragon Returns, had also been published.

With these amazing books as our guide, we began to plan our event.  Each of our teachers signed up readers to visit their classrooms for Reading in the Schools Day.  Our talented group of PTA volunteers helped to set the mood for the story in our building.  They sent home one dragon scale with each child to decorate as they wished.  The scales made up our very own library dragon that scaled the entrance of the school.  

Our volunteers took pictures of our kids reading beside the Library Dragon.  They created a bulletin board with all of the kids pictures that stated, "Reading Enchants Us."  This kids loved to see the principal, teachers, and fellow students reading on the board.
We also had each classroom design their very own shield that represented their class as readers. Our volunteers hung the shields down the hallways with tissue paper torches between each one. The kids loved all of the decor!

To top off the event, the illustrator, Michael P. White, visited our school and talked with each grade level about illustrating his books. The kids loved the illustrator's visit because they were asked to bring paper and pencil and they drew along with Michael.  It was a fantastic Reading in the Schools Day event!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Scholastic Book Fairs Insider August 2013

All For Books?  We're All In!

From baskets to buttons, we'll do anything to raise money for Scholastic's All For Books program.
Read this month's Scholastic Book Fair Insider for some new ways to implement this program and raise money to buy books for your classroom teachers or to give away to others as you wish!

Call Number Centers

This year I am changing my outlook on my lessons just a bit.  I would like to incorporate a center-based review of concepts that I have taught to my students about library skills.  I got my idea from Cari S. Young's professional book:  The Centered School Library.

  First, I am teaching a lesson with the whole group about a new library concept and the next time the class comes to the library, we are reviewing the skill with stations.  Here is what our call number stations looked like:

Our first station came from an idea from Pat Miller's Stretchy Library Lessons.  This station is called "Sticks and Stones."  I had all four children work together on the carpet for this station.  I bought cheap rocks at Big Lots and wrote easy call numbers on each one.  Then, I wrote the author's full name on a corresponding popsicle stick.  The students dump all of the sticks and stones out on the carpet and have to work together as a team to match the author's name to their call number.  If a team needs more of a challenge, see if they can also alphabetize the call numbers after they match them.

At our second station, students worked in groups of two at a pocket chart to alphabetize easy call numbers.  I tried to make the first call number sort pretty easy.  In the second sort, students had to alphabetize to the second letter and in the third they had to alphabetize to the third letter of the author's last name.

I called our third station: "Be the librarian."  Students worked in teams of two to alphabetize books on an actual bookshelf.  Our teachers have these in their classrooms and I just asked to borrow two for the week.  The books on the top shelf were already in ABC order.  Students had to take library books from the bottom shelf and alphabetize them correctly on the top shelf.

We called our fourth station: "Call number paper plates."  Students took a pile of paper plates and worked in teams of two to alphabetize them correctly on the floor from left to right.  If you want to try this with your whole class, you can give every child a paper plate and make the class line themselves up in ABC order correctly from left to right.  This is fun to do at the end of class.  I call it a "super challenge!"

At our last station, students used I-Pads to individually play an online game called Shelve-It from Mrs. Lodge's Library.  This is an amazing game!  The kids can choose to shelve easy fiction or nonfiction call numbers and they can choose three separate levels of play.  Each level has a different number of books to shelve ranging from three to eight.  This way, each child can play at their own personal difficulty level.  The kids LOVED this game.

Overall, I felt like our first stations were a success!  I used these for first and second grades.  If you have any ideas for other stations for call numbers, please post them in the comment section and share.  Thanks so much!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Scholastic Book Fairs Insider July 2013

This month's Scholastic Book Fairs Insider article is about getting your teachers on board for your book fair!  I've shared six easy ways to involve your teachers for your best fair yet!  Please add a comment if you have any other great ideas to share.  Thanks!