It’s Summer, Alright!

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

I loved today. Such a great summer day, and a great unwind after some stressful work times. Tuesday is my last day of work, so I’ve been closing up the library, saying my goodbyes, packing up and hauling home all of my personal work stuff. That has occupied a lot of my thoughts the past week, so today was a really nice respite. At this point I am mentally done and gone, I just need the days to physically end.

Hannah had her last Saturday morning baby swim class today (it is as adorable and fun as it sounds). Then we stopped at a flea market (meh), and she had a giant nap at the nail salon while I got a mani/pedi. She woke up and played with my phone, staring lovingly at a picture of my mom and then holding the phone to her ear to try and talk to her (she was a HUGE hit with all the ladies). We swung home to pick up Adam, headed to Jersey Shore BBQ in Belmar for lunch, checked out the rebuilt boardwalk, and made a detour to Battleview Orchards on the way home for the very first day of sour cherry season. Score! My family’s coming over tomorrow so Adam can try out his new grill, I might make a pie.

Pigeon Pictures!

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Here are some of this year’s crop of Pigeon drawings! I think I have done this activity every year since I became a librarian.


Dr. Seuss Day!

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Saturday was Dr. Seuss’s birthday, and last Friday was Read Across America at school. I made paper bag Cat in the Hat hats with all the K, 1, and 2 classes during the week. I worked with the PTA president to put together some fun prizes for a Dr. Seuss door decorating contest. I sent out Dr. Seuss trivia all week. It was a great week for books, and it was also the first time in my current district that I’ve tried working on school-wide programming for Read Across America. Last year I was on maternity leave by now, and the year before that it seemed like teachers really did their own thing. So I haven’t been in the spirit since my last big program 3 years ago. It was great.

I brought back the paper bag hats this year in all of my K, 1, and 2 classes throughout the week.

I do love these hats. It was also Pajama Day.

I ended up with smaller bags than past years, but I improvised.

The teachers got pretty into the door decorating contest, too. This is the door that one for 4th grade.

I did a Dr. Seuss bulletin board for March, but I went very minimal.  There were so many cool doors and decorations all over the school that I just wanted some simple, colorful quotes in a Dr. Seuss font I downloaded.


Friday, February 22nd, 2013

We’ve had quite a rash of snowstorms since the new year, with none of them turning into snow days. Which is just as well, since a snow day at this point will mean a longer school year in June–we’re still making up days from Sandy. But, I still have winter snow fever. So a few weeks ago I read these two stories to my kindergarten and Multiply Disabled classes:

Then I showed the kindergartners how to make paper snowflakes. Once in a while, it’s not the worst thing in the world to make the library a bit of a mess.


Drop Everything And Read

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

So my first year teaching I wanted to have a game for my 2nd graders to explore the library and discover new books. I’ve blogged briefly about this game before. We spend a lot of time in second grade talking about how we choose our books, how to find summaries on the backs and inside the dust jackets of books, and basically just how we find the books we like. I do another activity called “Judge a Book By Its Cover” (I talk about Drop Everything and Read in that post). Judge a Book By Its Cover came in real handy this year when my 4th graders started Wonder; they remembered the 2nd grade game immediately and understood what I wanted them to do.

Anyway, I concocted this version of Musical Chairs for the library, and I called it “Drop Everything and Read.” Yes, I blatantly took the title of my game from this. But, I actually mean it a little more literally.

The kids walk around the library with their shelf markers, moving constantly just like in Musical Chairs. The game is exactly like Musical Chairs, really. When I yell out “Drop everything and read!” the kids must immediately use their shelf markers to pull a book from the closest shelf to them, drop to the floor, and start reading it. From any page, or from the summary. I time them, then they stop and put the book back and start again. If they don’t use their shelf markers (like the two students above), they are out. If they talk, they are out. I tell them my job is to catch them and get them out, their job is to stay in the game.

If the kids find a book they want to check out this way, they put it at their seat and keep playing. We check out 2 books at a time in second grade. And if they forgot their books, they can play the game but have to put every book they pick back on the shelves. Kids find a lot of treasures this way, and we always play the game after we’ve spent a good month talking about book selection and personal choice.

I felt like posting these photos I took of us playing recently because this game is always such a hit with the kids. They practice using shelf markers, they learn about keeping the shelves neat, and they discover books they might have otherwise overlooked. Did I mention that if I catch them hovering around their favorite books they can also be out? They have time at the end of class to look for whatever books they want, but while we’re playing the game they have to keep moving. It has to be a random book they drop and read. No dashing across the library to grab that book they really, really wanted. We save that for checkout time at the end.

Maybe I’ll play this with them next week.