Wednesday, May 15, 2013

It's Time For Summer Reading!

For the past two years, we have offered a parent workshop about summer reading in our library.  The workshops are a great way to educate our parents about the resources that are available to them to keep their kids reading over the summer.  Our parent workshops are organized by our amazing guidance counselor, Ms. Filtness.  This year, we decided to make our theme an ice cream theme.  The picture above shows the items we are including in the packet to send home with the parents for each child.  The fancy packet, with labels created by our own amazing music teacher, Mrs. Shepherd, included:

a big white envelope with a label we printed off with our fun theme, the school's name, and the year of the program,

a Scholastic Storyworks magazine,

a summer reading is cool bookmark,

an ice cream cone reading log (students write title of book and color scoop any flavor they'd like-15 scoops included in book),

summer reading popsicles made out of Mike and Ike's candies and toothpicks,

a free milkshake coupon from our local Reeves-Sain soda shoppe and

a reading BINGO game with tickets that parents can fill out with rewards for reading in different places this summer.  We found this great free resource from the Happy Home Fairy site.

At our parent workshop, we will share our favorite local as well as online summer reading programs.  I've also pinned the best resources on my summer reading board on Pinterest.  Visit my website to try out some great sites for online storytime this summer as well.  The following information is included in the handout we provide to parents:

Local Summer Reading Programs

Discovery School
Bring your summer reading booklet back to school for a special celebration this fall!

Linebaugh Library
Summer reading logs will be available starting June 3rd

Barnes & Noble
Journals are available and can be turned in starting May 21st

Discovery School Summer Reading Links

Summer Reading Pinterest Boards
Fun ideas to make summer reading more interesting, book lists, incentives, etc.

Read Kiddo Read
Book lists sorted by age and type of book.  Very comprehensive list with popular suggestions!

Good Reads
Share book recommendations with your friends and join virtual book clubs.

Common Sense Media - Essential Books for Kids and Teens
Browse 150+ titles by age and category

Online Storytime
Online alternatives for enjoying some of your favorite books and discovering new ones too.

The Lexile Framework for Reading
Find the right book for your child by using their unique Lexile number.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Scholastic Book Fairs Insider May 2013

Be sure to check out this month's Scholastic Book Fairs Insider article!
This month my article is about brainstorming new ideas early for your upcoming book fair.  This article also includes a ready-made list of ideas to consider when you are planning your Fall 2013 fair for the Reading Oasis theme.  Hope you enjoy!  Post a comment if you have any other great ideas.

Monday, May 6, 2013

School Lunch Superhero Day!

On Friday, May 3rd, we celebrated our first-ever School Lunch Superhero Day!
As you can see, our school principal and lunch ladies enjoyed an extra-special lunch in the library.
Jarett Krosoczka, author of the Lunch Lady graphic novels, decided to implement this special day for our school lunch superheroes!  He even started a Pinterest board and has a website dedicated to sharing ideas and materials for this special event.

Our kiddos learned about the Lunch Lady comics in the library and wrote letters to the ladies who work in our cafeteria.

We even played the Lunch Lady Legends video game by Random House for Kids.

I interviewed our lunch ladies and shared the interviews with the kids.  It was a nice way for the kids to learn more about the ladies who serve them every day in the cafeteria.  Many students mentioned things they learned from the video interviews in their letters.

For the meal, we made special place cards for each of the ladies.
Our student council wore vests and served each of our school lunch superheroes.
The ladies really enjoyed their special day and we will definitely do it again next year!

Be sure to purchase the new Lunch Lady and the Video Game Villain book for your library!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Mapping the Library!

This might seem like a really random time of year to share this lesson, but something made me think about it today.  I was re-hanging everything that had to be hidden or covered during TCAP testing.  As I happily hung the maps of the library back up, I was reminded of this lesson and how much I enjoy it.  

At the beginning of the year, I teach everyone about maps.  Maps help us find what we need.  Kindergarten students need a map of the school so they can find the library.  My other students know how to find the library, but it is my job to help them find the books and neighborhoods in the library independently.  A great way of helping the students get acquainted with the library is having them map it themselves!

First, we start off by learning about why we need maps.  Two of my favorite books to use are:

My Map Book by Sara Fanelli and

Mapping Penny's World by Loreen Leedy.

Next, we talk about how the library has neighborhoods just students live in neighborhoods!  Each neighborhood has different call numbers on the spines of the books so the students can find what they are looking for quickly and easily.  This is a free lesson from the SMART exchange that I like to pair with this lesson for my kindergarten and first grade students.  I've edited this lesson a bit and added a picture of my neighborhood and house with street address using Google Maps so we can talk about neighborhoods and addresses (call numbers) in the library.

My older students enjoy mapping the library on their own.  I give them choices of different kinds of candy:  Skittles, Hot Tamales, peppermints, Lemon Heads, and Mike and Ike's work well.  We talk about cardinal and intermediate directions and the neighborhoods in the library.  Each child has a blank template that I've created on my SMART board and walks around the library and labels each bookshelf with its correct neighborhood name:  B for biography, E for easy fiction, F for fiction, etc.  Then, each student gets to decide how they would like to use each type of candy as symbols on their map designating different neighborhoods in the library.  They also have to include a map key that shows what each symbol means.  Students receive their candy to label their maps when their sloppy copy has been completed and checked.  The hardest part about this lesson is hot gluing the candy down on the maps, so you might want to have a parent or assistant on hand to help  you glue the candy on the maps.  Here is what some of our finished products looked like:

You can also laminate student maps that are completed without candy if you wish.  I hang these around the library for other students to use as a reference if they need help finding materials.

Time For Inventory: Want to get all of your library books returned?

Whew!  The end of the year is always a stressful time in the library.  All of my student library books are due next Friday so I can begin running inventory...the act of scanning everything in the library with a barcode!  Fun times.  It is always quite a task getting all of the library books returned.  I found a post on Pinterest today that I think will help out this year.  The idea came from the Ruth Borchardt Elementary Library.  The librarian displays end of the year numbers for her students and faculty to view in the library.  Here is a picture of the display in their library:

I absolutely LOVE this idea!  Instead of posting the numbers in the library, I think I will announce the totals daily on the morning announcements and e-mail the numbers to our teachers as well.  I am going to encourage our teachers to use this opportunity to have their students write their own word problems using our data.  Hopefully, it will get the kids thinking of how important it is to return all of their library books and get some math practice in at the same time.

Nancy Jo Lambert, the librarian at Ruth Borchardt Elementary, has some great resources on her edublog and I'm excited about learning more from her!