Friday, June 28, 2013

Library games!

I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought "I can do that!" This is the original post on Blog Hoppin' by Stacy Johnson. She's got a really cute blog over at

But, how to use it in the library.... hmmm

I also found the cutest game board on TPT by Rachel Parlett. Hmmm, again how to use this in the library? Maybe in  library center.... but it needed a game/activity.

Then I found these task cards on (Just do a search for task cards and you'll find tons of free ones.)

But wait I needed some cute and cheap game pieces. Now refer to original picture, but remember I'm the book lady! What if the clips were holding characters or some of my favorite books? Tada ----This is the Sara version.

Took pictures of a few of my favorite books, laminated onto black card stock and shazam! Ended up with a really cute and cheap center for the library. (FYI: I really liked the duck tape version better than the Scotch Expressions tape.)

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fun with Scaredy Squirrel

This week for my summer reading program I selected some of the new books that arrived the last couple weeks of school. I just saved them to display in August.

I read:

Dog Breath by Dav Pilkey   This is the delightful tale of Hally Tosis who has horrible dog breath. Her owners decide to get rid of her until one day, she saves the day.

Scaredy Squirrel at Night by Melanie Watt   Scaredy tries to stay awake because he's afraid he'll have a nightmare.

Scaredy Suirrel Goes Camping by Melanie Watt   Scaredy has issues with the idea of going camping. You know quick sand, mosquitoes, and the three bears!

Of course we had to do a little activity. The kids who have been attending my summer reading program range from 3 to 8 years old so I needed to find something simple but fun. I decided to have them make a Scaredy Squirrel mask.  I found the "How to draw Scaredy Squirrel" on Ms. Watt's website, but I didn't think my 3 year old's would like it. So I drew Scaredy and turned him into a mask.

click here to download from google docs

I printed the masks onto white card stock. Then the kids colored Scaredy. With the help of parents and grand-parents, we cut out the mask and removed the eyes. I cut slits in the sides to hold the ribbon, and here's the finished masks! I thought they turned out really cute.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


This is a first! Maybe I should have linked with "Tried it Tuesday"! Ha Ha... I'm linking up with Tori at Tori's Teacher Tips to find more great ELA blogs to read.

 I'm a K-8 Teacher Librarian who loves all things reading. When I'm not teaching library classes, I also teach computer lab for K - 4 and have Reading RTI classes with any grade that needs more RTI help. If you haven't switched over to Bloglovin yet DO IT! I love it. It's real easy and Tori has a great guide to get you started. (Even has instructions on putting the buttons on your blog!)  Head on over....

Happy Reading! and for today blog hopping!

It's Me, It's Me, It's a MINI - ME,

I'm so excited. I got a mini-me! Crystal Fox, aka Library Fox, created a mini Mrs. Brown. This should dress up my newsletters and notices going home with students. Now when I send those book bills home, I'll be sending a little me home with them. Maybe it will get their attention! I think I'll redo a few posters I have hanging in the library.

She's so cute! The reason for the sun, my former principal had a little fun with my signature on an email. Sara Brown, LMS. She thought it should be "Little Miss Sunshine". I'm usually a little too happy to be there jovial and animated. (Might be all those Dr. Peppers I drink! I really need to cut back. Maybe I should of had Crystal draw a whole case of DP by my feet....)

Happy Reading!

Monday, June 24, 2013

It's Monday and I'm reading .....What?

I have so many books to read it's hard to pick what to read next!  Oh, like I'm the only person with that problem. I read though my stack of picture books last week and honestly loved them all. The book about small game wasn't my favorite, but I got that for my little hunters... I have several of those. If I had to pick a couple stand outs, the first would be Twister by Darleen Bailey Beard, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter.

This is an awesome book about, well, a twister! It's definitely going in my stack for weather week in the spring. This one is beautifully written, "The monstrous howling shakes my chest and makes my insides shiver. Then, once again, it's silent." If you can't see the tornado from the wonderful wording, there are Ms. Carpenter's illustrations that are just perfect. This one is a keeper. LOVE IT!!!

I also recommend Wolf! by Becky Bloom, illustrated by Pascal Biet.

The hungry wolf visits the farm for some lunch but gets sidetracked when he sees the animals reading. (I soooo related to this one. I have missed, delayed, and even burnt supper over a book!) This one was just too cute. Wolf, of course, has to learn how to read. Can't be upstaged by a pig... Wolf! covers the whole process our kiddies go though when learning how to read. I can't wait to read this one for story time this fall...

Finally, if you don't have The Plot Chickens by Mary Jane and Herm Auch,  GO AND GET THIS ONE!!! Can't wait to do a short story unit with my darlings this fall and I'm so going to read them this book.

Henrietta, the hen, loves to read and decides to write her own story. This delightful tale steps readers though the writing process.  (Would be a wonderful addition to a unit on elements of a story.) After Henrietta finishes her book, she has a little trouble with the publishing... It's just adorable. Can you tell I had some serious book love with this one?

This week I'll be reading:

Picture books (Easy books):

Don't Squeal Unless It's a Big Deal by Jeanie Franz Ransom, illustrated by Jackie Urbanovic
Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping by Melanie Watt
King Hugo's Huge Ego by Chris Van Dusen
Prairie Chicken Little by Jackie Mims Hopkins, illustrated by Henry Cole
The Boy Who Loved Words by Roni Schotter, illustrated by Giselle Potter
Fortunately, Unfortunately by Michael Foreman
Goldie Socks and the Three Libearians by Jackie Mims Hopkins, illustrated by John Manders
What Are You So Grumpy About? by Tom Lichtenheld
Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman
Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Jotto Seibold
Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed, by Emily Pearson, illustrated by Fumi Kosaka
Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
Just Ducks! by Nicola Davies

Non-fiction books

A Foot in the Mouth by Paul Janeczko, illustrated by Chris Raschka
Monet Paints a Day by Julie Danneberg, illustrated by Caitlin Heimerl
Galaxies, Galaxies! by Gail Gibbons
Farming by Gail Gibbons
Owl Babies by Martin Waddell illustrated by Patrick Benson

Keep Reading! (Summer vacation will be over before we realize.....)


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pigeon in the Library!

This week for story time I read "Silly Stories".  Is there any sillier than Pigeon? Well, maybe but I LOVE the Pigeon books. Mo Willems is such a talented author and illustrator!  I read Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! so we HAD to make pigeon hats. I saw the idea on Pinterest. My kiddies loved them. A couple sweet things posed for this cute picture.


I thought they turned out really adorable.

We also read The Outside Inn by George Ella Lyons, illustrated by Vera Rosenberry.  If you haven't read this one, it scores high on the cuteness scale (full of alliteration and rhyme).  Sample text “What's for snack? Slugs in a sack." Would be great to use with an animal unit, food chains....

We READ Where's Walrus? by Stephen Savage. If you call reading a wordless picture book reading... My preschoolers had a great time finding Walrus in the pictures while the K-2 graders did a little inferencing! I'm so glad I purchased this one last spring.

Next week I'm going to read some of the new books that arrived about the time school got out. Scaredy Squirrel is in the stack. Hmmmm, what to do with Scaredy? Should be fun!

Happy Reading!

Monday, June 17, 2013

So many books.....

It's a good thing I just love to read. I've got a huge list for this week. Fortunately most of them are picture books. I've got Bible School this week, so reading time is going to be at a minimum. I also really need have to weed a couple flower beds.

Standouts from last week:

I just loved The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.

It was TERRIFIC. When I first picked this one up, I thought I kids won't read this one. It's so long..... WRONG. It's half illustrations, but the story line is so engaging my students won't be able to put this one down. It didn't take long to see why this one was Caldecott worthy. In case you somehow missed this one, (I almost did) it's about an orphaned boy who takes care of the clocks in the train station in Paris. Well sort of. He's also a sneak thief who has several big secrets. If he wants to find out what message his father has left for him, he must repair a automaton (robot) and solve the mystery. I guess that's one of the reasons I loved this book. I just love great mysteries. My favorite author of all time is probably Agatha Christy.

I also have to mention Because Amelia Smiled by David Ezra Stein.

This is such a great story to use for cause and effect. It's wonderful. Amelia smiles and starts a change reaction that goes all around the globe. Oh the power of the smile. Mr. Stein's illustrations make this book award worthy. It just might be one of my favorite books from last year. It was just BEAUTIFUL!

Reading this week:

The Plot Chickens by Mary Jane and Herm Auch
A Poke in the I by Paul Janeczko, illustrated by Chris Raschka
Previously by Allan Ahlberg, illustrated by Bruce Ingman
Wolf! by Becky Bloom, illustrated by Pascal Biet
Tigers: World's Largest Cats by Amelie von Zumbusch
One Tiny Turtle by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Jane Chapman
A Fine, Fine School by Sharon Creech, illustrated by Harry Bliss
Rain Rain Rivers by Uri Shulevitz
Who Will See Their Shadows This Year? by Jerry Pallotta, illustrated by David Biedrzycki
Twister by Darleen Bailey Beard, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
Read to Tiger by S. J. Fore, illustrated by R. W. Alley
April Fool! Watch Out at School! by Diane deGroat
The Graves Family by Patricia Polacco
The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein illustrated by Mark Pett
Chickerella by Mary Jane and Herm Auch
How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky, illustrated by S.D. Schindler
Plantzilla by Jerdine Nolen, illustrated by David Catrow
Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen, illustrated by Dan Hanna
Miss Moore Thought Otherwise by Jan Pinborough, illustrated by Debby Atwell
Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith
Frida by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Ana Juan
Cowboys and Coygirls Yippee-Yay! by Gail Gibbons
Small Game by Janet Gurtler
Nursery Rhyme Comics published by First Second
How Chipmunk Got His Stripes by Joseph Bruchac and James Bruchac
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose! by Lucille Colandro
Leaves by David Ezra Stein

Hey, most of them are picture books. As long as I don't go crazy over the illustrations, I should make it though the stack!

Happy Reading!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Learning With My Library Ladies

Today Yesterday I hosted my district's summer in-service for the librarians. It was so exciting to see everyone and discuss ways we could incorporate CCS into our library lessons.  Of course we also discussed hot topics like weeding and using e-books in our collections.

Our morning session focused on centers and small groups in our library classes. I highly recommended Debbie Diller's books:

Other books that were suggested included the CafĂ© Sisters, Smarter Charts (this one might be more for our teachers?) and of course we talked about Cari Young's book, The Centered School Library.


All of these are available on Amazon and Follett's Titlewave. (Yes, many other places also. Those are the two I shop from the most!) 

I had to show my girls my favorite places to get centers and center ideas. (TeachersPayTeachers, TeachersNotebook, and Proteacher. A couple of the ladies didn't know about Proteacher. It's another great source for free materials. You do have to register, but it's FREE! I love getting task cards there and use with game boards in my library classes.


Of course we talked about storage and other issues with centers. Many of us are K - 8, so yes, storage is a big issue if you want to make/use centers with all classes. :)
I had to show off my new toy. We're not allowed to use the laminator at school during the summer. (We're under an energy program. Hey, if it keeps the librarians, art and music in our schools then we follow any suggestion from Central Office!) I went to amazon and found/purchased my latest toy. Now when my boys (menfolk) are watching ESPN I can stay in the room with them and work on my things.

I'm in love with my new toy. My boys think I have a new addiction. (I am trying to cut back on Dr. Pepper!) I had to show off some of the projects I've made. My favorite might be my new dry erase boards. I laminated black cardstock. Bought some neon dry erase markers. Make sure you get the ones that say they write on black. Not all neon markers will do so. I found a pack at Wal-Mart for $3.98 or so.

 I was so excited with my boards. Sorry about the glare. I tried turning off the flash but then it was too dark... You get the idea.

Our afternoon session was full of ideas for non-fiction and cool posts I had found on teacher blogs that I follow. My goal was that everyone left with a little something to make them a better teacher librarian and of course KEEP 'EM READING!

Happy Reading,

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Roosters in the Library!

Today was the second week of my summer reading program. This week the theme was "Country Time". The stories were all about life on a farm. I started off with Cock-a-doodle-doo. Creak. Pop-pop. Moo  by Jim Aylesworth, illustrated by Brad Sneed. It's such a cute story about a family's day on the farm. This one is full of sounds for the Kinders to repeat for me. (Onomatopoeia those of us who love big words!)
We also read Chicks & Chickens by Gail Gibbons. I just love her books. This was a great little non-fiction book.  It tied into the craft activity. I had everyone create a rooster. (I got the idea from Pinterest.) Even the grand-daddies had fun.
The last book for the day was Thunder-Boom! by Shutta Crum, illustrated by Carol Thompson. We've had so many thunderstorms lately this one was perfect. I highly recommend getting this one if you don't have it.

The farm books we didn't get to, but I love: 
Barn Dance by Bill Martin
Night in the Country by Cynthia Rylant
Duck, Duck, Goose by Tad Hills

Happy Reading!

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Book a Day Keeps --- Boredom Away!

Last week I finished all my books except the professional category. It's to be savored not rushed!

Standouts from last week are:

The Lost Stories by John Flanagan. It was part of his Ranger's Apprentice Series.  I  have to admit I just loved these. My teenagers got me hooked on them. If you haven't read them it's like Lord of the Rings for middle school. In this one there are all these wonderful short stories about characters you meet while reading The Ranger's Apprentice series. Readers gain further insight into Halt and Will's journey to become rangers.

Minerva Louise and the Colorful Eggs by Janet Morgan Stoeke was a delightful story about a hen who finds colorful eggs in the garden. Yes, it's an Easter story. I'll definitely be reading this one to my Kinders next spring.

With my Nerdy Challenge for the week I plan to read the following:

Chapter books:

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Quest For the Spark by Jeff Smith

Picture books: 

A Day With No Crayons by Elizabeth Rusch
Because Amelia Smiled by David Ezra Stein
Rocket Writes a Story by Tad Hills
Ollie's Easter Eggs by Olivier Dunrea
Where's Walrus by Stephen Savage (Yes, I know it's a wordless picture book. I'm going to read the pictures!)

Non-Fiction Books:

Sarah Gives Thanks by Mike Allegra
Seymour Simon's Book of Trains

Professional Books:

Still reading Literacy Work Stations: Making Centers Work by Debbie Diller. (I just have to finish this one!) If When I get it done, then I'll start: Practice With Purpose: Literacy Work Stations For Grades 3-6 by Debbie Diller.

I guess you see my theme. I'm trying to learn more about centers and how I can use them more effectively in my library classes.  I'm definitely stalking blogs and reading your posts about center time.

Keep reading!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Critter Corner at Story Time!

This week I started my summer reading program for the kids. I open the library on Wednesday's from 10 - 2. At 10 we read, then check out books. Each week I have a theme for story time. This week the stories were all animal stories. Together we read:

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon. I love this story. It's a great fictional bat story that can jumpstart inquiries about real bats. We had a great discussion about bats and the bats that live in East Tennessee.  Even the moms had questions. WONDERFUL!

 The Frog With the Big Mouth by Teresa  Bateman. This is just a cute story about a little frog in the Amazon that can't keep bragging. I love the illustrations by Will Terry. They just make this book terrific. 

I finished story time with Three Hens and a Peacock by Dr. Lester Laminack. My kids laughed themselves silly. Of course it didn't hurt that I was being goofy when we were reading this one. Being me, I pulled out a peacock feather and we took turns trying to strutting around the library. If you don't have this one, get it. It's a wonderful story about everyone's own importance.

The kids all took home a bookmark to color. (Next week I'll laminate them. Can't get crayon in the books!) I used Cari Young's Summer Reading bookmarks and  Printable Bookmarks by Chrissy Beltran  - both were free on TPT!

Next week it's Country Time in the library. Now I just have to come up with something fun and crafty for them to do. To Pinterest I go!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Working on Vacation?

As librarians one of the most important things we do is READ. So when we go on vacation and take books to read are we working? Some could think so, but I just like to read. I fell in love with books as a preteen and still love them as a 40 something.  (We won't discuss the exact number! It's way too close to the big 5 O.....) This weekend my family traveled to Fontana, NC. Some families go to the beach; my family prefers the mountains. I don't mind either way. I'm going to hang out and read at either place!

For my Nerdy Book Challenge, my list for this week is as follows:

Chapter books:

Big Nate: Genius Mode by Lincoln Peirce
Empty Envelope by Ron Roy
Dork Diaries: Tales from a NOT-SO-Smart Miss Know-it-all by Rachel Renee Russell
Bluestar's Prophecy (Warriors series) by Erin Hunter
The Lost Stories (Ranger's Apprentice) by John Flanagan

Picture books:

Bunny's Easter Egg by Anne Mortimer
Minerva Louise and the Colorful Eggs by Janet Morgan Stoeke

Non-Fiction Books:

Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell
Ghoulish Ghost Stories by Joan Axelrod Contrada

Professional Books:

Still reading Literacy Work Stations: Making Centers Work by Debbie Diller.
There's a lot to digest in this one.

It's probably an odd assortment, but I'm reading though my last book order!

Last week I read Notes from a Totally Lame Vampire by Tim Collins. It was a different read for me. I kept thinking the whole time. "This is what would happen if you took Greg from Diary of a Wimpy Kid and combined him with a vamp from Twilight!" The middle kids will love these books.

My favorite picture book from last week was Emma Kate by Patricia Polacco. It was such a sweet story about an imagery friend. Loved it. Will definitely use this one with my Kinders next fall.

Happy Reading!

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