Tuesday, April 30, 2013

School Library Month Shelf Challenge 2013 - Part Five

I'm finally finished! I finished the W's over the weekend, but Ms. Smarty-pants wanted to do WXYZ. (I didn't want to stop in the middle of a shelf. hmmmmm.) The last of my W's ended with Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth. The title says it all. It was the sweetest thing. (I'm thinking that with my best southern drawl....) Great story to remind us to find our own beautiful things inside.

I have no X's so that one was easy. I have a few Y's.  My favorite Y author was hands down Jane Yolen. I just love her. I found a few that I hadn't read. Shame on me! Piggins was a hit with my love for great mysteries.  Miz Berlin Walks, oh my, just a great story about an elderly lady and death. The last of my Yolen finds was Grandad Bill's Song. Ok, I cried. This is a great story about dealing with the death of a loved one. I had to stop and think of my own granddaddy who died when I was in the 6th grade. I still have the best memories.

From the Z shelf I found Charlotte Zolotow's I Know a Lady. I'm pretty sure I've read this one before. It was still a great story. James Stevenson's illustrations were perfect. Don't know what it was with reading about old people today. Wonder if that's a hint. I turn 47 in a few days.....

I also rediscovered Harriet Ziefert's A Coat for Anna. Just a wonderful story about finding ways to fund those essentials in a tough economy.

Now I'm all excited about next years challenge. I think I'll do T, U, V..... Unless I can't wait and do them this summer. Having a key to the building is a such wonderful thing! Sometimes......

School Library Month Shelf Challenge 2013 - Part Four

Ok. I admit it. I forgot to post my blog this weekend. This is really from Saturday.

Oh, what one can accomplish after a good nights sleep! I'm trying real hard to finish my challenge this weekend. We'll see. I don't like to work on Sunday, but is reading considered work? I love being in the library. This morning I found or rediscovered the following:

I love Audrey Wood stories. When I find a title I don't have, I try to purchase it. I read/found Bright and Early Thursday Evening. I forgot I had this one. Ok I admit. It wasn't my favorite. I like King Bidgood's story so much better. I also had A Dog Needs a Bone! Loved it! It had cute rhymes and Mrs. Wood's excellent illustrations. I found I had a copy of Elbert's Bad Word. It's a keeper!

 I came across a good immigration story, The Memory Coat by Elvira Woodruff. It's about a Jewish family who leaves Russia to come to America. Great historic fiction. Beautifully done!

I have several of Jacqeuline Woodson's books. I loved Our Gracie Aunt. Sometime we have students in our classes who do have to go live with another family member for various reasons. Sweet story. Wonderful illustrations.

Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles is a must! Very powerful story about segregation in the South in 1960's.

Friday, April 26, 2013

School Library Month Shelf Challenge 2013 - Part Three

Yea! TCAP 2013 is history. Other than packing it up, we're done. I feel like singing "I'm so excited....." Now I can get back to library and reading. After a good night of sleep, I got a little progress on my shelf challenge  I found/rediscovered the following:

Our Granny by Margaret Wild  Love this book. From the illustrations to the delightful text, it proves not every grandmother is the same. Highly recommend this one.

I Went Walking by Sue Williams I forgot about this one. I ordered it a couple years ago. It would be great to pair with Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? Basicly, little girl goes walking and animals begin to follow. Really cute!


A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams  Another classic. There are just some books that are timeless. I love this story. This year we had a family recovering from a major fire. My kiddies could so relate to the story.

I am going to weed Jeremy Isn't Hungry by Barbara Williams. It hasn't checked out since I or the computer can remember. I have lots of other titles to take its spot.

 Let's see what I find tonight! (If I'm not too exhausted. It's been a long week.)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

School Library Month Shelf Challenge 2013 - Part Two

This has been a crazy week. I've been helping with TCAP testing. I counted booklets last week until my eyes were crossed! I did squeeze in a little reading last night. My "finds" ----

The first find I was excited about was Riptide by Frances Ward Weller. All I can say was BEAUTIFUL. I loved it. Wonderful story. If you don't have this one, I highly recommend it.

Secondly, I found My Brother Needs a Boa by Anne Weston. I love good snake stories. My kids love good snake stories. Wonderfully illustrated.

And finally I found Hurricane by David Wiesner. I love Tuesday by the same author, but had not read this one before. It's a homerun.

Now to find time for a little reading today...... At least it's the last day of testing!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Test Prep?

Before the big TEST, I usually ask my teachers if there is anything I need to review during their library class. This year I think we are all reviewed/tested out. My  poor kiddies have taken benchmark tests, STAR Reading, STAR Math, and CRA tests (I think I left one out!) and now we want them to take the TCAP test.... I think you can guess what I think about that bad boy! Don't get me wrong, testing and gathering data is needed, but Tennessee is going a little overboard. (Be glad your state didn't get those "Race to the Top" federal dollars!) My students are sick of being tested. I had one teacher request this year for help and it was my 6 - 8 grade ELA teacher. Hey, right up my alley. I was just glad it wasn't the math teacher. Bless her heart! If the system wanted to torment me and the students, they could put  me in her classroom. The 8th grade math reminds me of my high school classes! I'll stay in the library. Besides I've got all these cool books. HEAVEN. My upper grade kiddies were having trouble with verbals and reasoning. So I made them some games for review. Yes, I make centers for 7th and 8th graders.  Sometimes they want to "play" with the lower/middle grade games. They're just BIG KIDS. I taught 8th grade before moving to the library. Love my uppers!

Of course I love all my students. There are times when I miss my classroom, then TCAP rolls around. LOVE'N THE LIBRARY. I laugh and say I get paid to read! We all know there is SO much more to the job. Speaking of which I'm going for more hot chocolate and getting my stack of books to read for my SLM Shelf Challenge. I'm a little behind this week.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Poetry and Puppets

My students love puppets! I purchased a few puppets back in the fall to put in a writing center. With the new Common Core Standards, which my district is implementing, I'm continually looking for ways to get my kiddies to write during library class. This last nine weeks, the students are writing puppet skits to preform for the K - 2 students. (I'll have to post pictures of those performances!)  To increase an interest in poetry, I read some poetry in several of my classes. It went over ok, but I wanted to kick it up a notch. I pulled out my copy of You Read to Me and I'll Read to You: Very Short Mother Goose Tales to Read Together by Mary Ann Hoberman. I have 3 of Ms. Hoberman's books and love 'em.

My students took turns reading and preforming the passages to their class. They had a blast! It's a start. Students are only going to develop a love for poetry if they are exposed to it with fun and engaging experiences.

And what did I hear as the left for the weekend? "Mrs. Brown, can I read some more from your book?" I love it that they left the library begging for more. :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

School Library Month Shelf Challenge 2013 - Part One

I found The Busy Librarian  aka Matthew Winner's  blog and love it. I decided to join Matthew and other librarians in the SLM Shelf Challenge for 2013. Honestly, the hardest part was choosing one section to read. The kids are all the time asking me if I have read every book in the library. Of course I have to say no.  When I first became a librarian, I really tried to read every book. It's extremely hard. Usually I read at least the first one in the new series as they arrive in my library. I'm going to admit I don't get every one of the new books read. GASP! I have to put my family first. (I have been spotted at sporting events and practices with books in hand!) My library is not as large as some of the other librarian's that I follow. My entire book collection is around 8500. With that in mind, I decided to read W - Z. I like doing things backwards just to throw people off balance.

My first "find" was Martin Waddell's Can't You Sleep Little Bear?. Love his books. I frequently read his Farmer Duck to my Kindergarten. I'm going to have add this adorable story about a little bear who's afraid of the dark to my students.

I also found a copy of The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward. It has a copyright date of 1952. It hasn't been checked for a long time. I can't find a last check out date on this one.  I remember this one from when I was a child. I guess it's time to weed this one. I may just take it home. Let me know what you think.

Next I "discovered" Hungry Hen by Richard Waring. Very cute little story about a hungry hen who eats and is being watched by a fox. Has a surprise ending. (Hint: Hen doesn't get eaten!)

The last of my stack included several of Rosemary Wells's books. I enjoy her McDuff books. McDuff's Wild Romp was one I didn't remember reading. It was as great as her others. If you haven't read a McDuff story, McDuff is a Westie (West Highland White Terrier). In this adventure McDuffy has a run in with a troublesome cat! Aren't they all? Terrific find!

I'm all excited about what I'm going to find next. I'm going to tuck a handful of books into my bag for the baseball game this afternoon. I can read between innings. :)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Calling all Librarians!

If you haven't checked out Cari Young's blog, The Centered School Library, you are missing out on a great site. I have found lots of great ideas to use in my library. Cari is currently putting together a master list of teacher librarian blogs. Now we can quickly find other librarian blogs in our state or across the globe. To get your library blog added to the list, see Cari's link for teacher librarian blogs by state. I can't wait to meet new librarians and maybe touch base with some old friends.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Dear Diary....

Doreen Cronin has become one of my favorite picture book authors. I just love her "Diary" books. I read Diary of a Worm and Diary of a Spider to my second graders this week. They loved them! I knew they would.

Ms. Cronin's works inspired my class to create their own "diaries". They had to compile two stories because they couldn't agree on one critter for the class project. No problem - two books are better than one!  The Diary of a Snake and The Diary of a Dog were finally finished today during library time. It took a couple library sessions, but I think they turned out great. I created  cover sheets and bound them for their classroom. My students love making books for their classroom libraries.


Other diary favorites of mine or my students are as follows:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney
The Dear America series various Scholastic authors
My America series various Scholastic authors
Love that Dog by Sharon Creech
Dork Diaries by Rachel Russell

Other great books that can be used to teach dialogue are
With Love, Little Red Hen by Alma Flor Ada
Dear Mr. Blueberry by Simon James
Amelia's Notebook by Marissa Moss

New Books

I'm so excited! My principal walked in today and told me he needs to empty the Title account for this year. (In my school system, if you don't spend it you lose it!!!) So OF COURSE I told him no problem. Fortunately I keep lists at Bound to Stay Bound and on Follett's Titlewave. Now all I have to do is decide which list to submit. Oh the joys of having fast money to spend. I feel like I'm on a game show. At least on this one, we all win! This is as good as having a 30% off coupon for Kohl’s on a Kohl’s cash weekend!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Library Centers , Test Reviews, and TPT

It's that time of the year again. TEST TIME. As my teachers prepare their students for the state test, I try to reinforce what skills I can for them during library classes. My upper grade students just finished a poetry unit. Last year I created some mix and match cards on types of poetry to collaborate with their ELA teacher. So I jazzed them up a bit for this year. Ok, I admit the decision was based on TPT. I've been so inspired by all the cool finds on TPT. I have to admit now I rate my own literacy games for cuteness and effectiveness. So for me, TPT has made a positive impact on my library activities. You can find my Poetry Mix and Match cards on TPT for free.

During Spring Break I had an encounter with bronchitis! Fun, NOT. Since I didn't feel like doing any spring cleaning, I created my latest library center game - Spine Sort for Non-fiction. I just posted it in my TPT store if you are interested in a copy. It made a good addition to my Fiction and Easy spine sorts I created back in the fall.

Knowing my love of TPT, I went to TPT for some ideas to help with skills requested by my teachers. To help with cause and effect I purchased Cause and Effect Literacy Center by Klever Kiddos and I used Cause and Effect Task cards from Rachel Lynette. I just love her task cards. I think she has them for any topic. I'm slowly purchasing all of them. To help with sequencing I found Yvonne Dixon's Jack and the Beanstalk Sequencing Activity. It's been a big hit.

Tonight after I finish blogging, it's back to TPT for word games. My 4 and 5th graders are struggling with synonyms and antonyms. Of course I'm going to my favorite resource, TPT!!!

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