I haven’t posted about school in forever. Well, it’s winter, so…we’re reading winter books in pre-k and kindergarten! It snowed this weekend, which makes this even more appropriate to post about. We are well into our novels in grades 1-6, we’ve been reading them since November. And I did a lot of various holiday stories with the little ones in the fall. Now it’s January, so we’re enjoying some snowy stories.
I read spooky and silly and atmospheric stories to everyone in the building this week and last week. October is one of my favorite times for read alouds, and having fifth and sixth grade is extra fun because I can read a few extra creepy things to them.
In the month since I’ve seen students for the first time, things have been super busy at work. I’m up to the 970s with weeding the nonfiction section. You can see above what I have left to do (left side) and what I’ve already done (right side). I still have to decide on shelf labels, but I will definitely hit my first big goal of weeding and shifting the nonfiction section by Halloween.
I’ve weeded a lot of books. And the vast majority of them were barcoded but never imported into our current library catalog. Not an exaggeration; on a cart of 200+ books I weeded this week, 10 were actually in the library catalog. I’m a little terrified of what’s left that’s uncatalogued. It looks like books were weeded but put back on the shelves. So that’s what’s currently giving me fever dreams. But things are definitely improving!
Oh, books. I love you, I love reading you, but I haven’t been writing about you for almost a year (except occasionally over at GeekMom). I still keep track of what we’re reading…for the most part. The list can be a little patchy, but it’s there. So I’ve decided it’s time to jump back into some book talking here in this space, and I figured I’d start with some of the things Hannah and I are reading together.
Mo Willems Season doesn’t fall on the calendar at the same time every year, but every Mo Willems Season is like Second Christmas to me. Everyone seems a little nicer during Mo Willems Season; a little wittier, a little more delightfully absurd. There’s an extra spring in my step the week I teach the kids how to draw The Pigeon. I am almost deliriously cheerful the week a new crop of kindergartners is introduced to Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie. And I always need to take a moment to collect myself during Knuffle Bunny Week, when Knuffle is passed on to the next generation. Elephant and Piggie, Cat the Cat, Leonardo, Amanda, Goldilocks. This year I have decided to extend the festivities into June.
What makes this year’s Mo Willems Season even more awesome is the fact that April is the 10th anniversary of the publication of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Mr. Willems’ first book. I know I’m down to the wire here with one day of April left, but I am still celebrating the start of the festive season during anniversary month. And there are some pretty great ways for anyone to be celebrating the big anniversary.
Like this new anniversary set, with smaller editions of 3 Pigeon books in their own bus box:
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.
So I’ve had this Dr. Seuss fabric for a while now, at least a couple of years. I have 3 different collections of Dr. Seuss fabric and have never thought of a great project for them. But I’ve been working for weeks with the PTA on Read Across America projects for tomorrow, so I’ve had Dr. Seuss on the brain. It was time to make Hannah a new play quilt (she’s been taking this one to her sitter’s all year) and I thought a lift-the-flap quilt would be really cool for her at this age. So I’ve been inspired, and I thought it would be a fun quilt to work on leading up to her first birthday.
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: