Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Book Fair is here!

Joy! Joy! for every girl and boy.
Destination Book Fair:Read Around the World is here.

Ms. Murphy is frantically running both the book fair and the library.
God bless Mrs. Torres, a parent volunteer, who is donning the super hot and sweaty "Clifford, the big red dog" costume. Clifford is so loved by kids of all ages. Even the college kids that I work with were asking "where is Clifford, is he here?" I will have to see if Clifford can make a special "college visit". You simply never outgrow the book fair. It brings out the kid in everyone.

Scholastic also provides some amazing resources for librarians, teachers, parents and kids on their web site. I have been projecting a giant Captain Underpants with his cape flying behind him on one wall of the library. Alternately, I have also projected some video clips of author interviews from books that I have been promoting as good reads. My book fair is very customized and I promote both the Texas Bluebonnet nominees and the Texas Lone Star Reading list. I design my fair to appeal to the tastes of pre-schoolers up through middle school students, and I also bring in many teacher resources to help pre-service teachers start building their collection of teaching materials. It is an exhausting experience and although I have been considering canceling my spring 2010 book fair, I know in my heart that I will somehow pump myself up again and prepare to run 'Book Fair Diner" with just as much excitement as I am doing now.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Girl Who Could Fly

The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester
Awards: Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year; Booklist Editors' Choice; Utah Beehive Book Award Master List

Piper McCloud was born into a no-nonsense Lowland County family. Actually, while most children were born into the world, Piper "floated" into the world. Piper is not your average girl. She has an itch-an itch to fly. She closes her eyes, thinks of blue sky, and tells herself she is lighter than air and then she flies! Things are fairly smooth until the town picnic when Piper's secret comes out and she is quickly whisked away to a special high tech security learning center to join her new classmates who are just as talented as Piper in their own ways.

This is a sweet tale of a warm hearted girl who is happiest when she is among the clouds (as in Piper McCLOUD) The characters' names tend to reflect their personalities. There is Dr. HELLion who lives up to her name and a shrinking girl named Violet. The learning facility just happens to be named I.N.S.A.N.E. but that's all I can say.

This book was my "lunch break" read and I looked forward to it each day. I highly recommend The Girl Who Could Fly. It will have you wishing for the itch to fly.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Catching Fire!

Weeks of anticipation have finally ended, today I purchased a copy of "Catching Fire" by Suzanne Collins and read the first two chapters while leaning up against a wall at Barnes and Noble. I tried to be frugal, waiting patiently for my local library to make a copy available, but they were taking forever! I really just went in to B and N to get a sneak peek, but the book got really interesting, and the next thing I knew cha-ching! Another book for my over-crowded shelves. It will be displayed next to my Twilight series. I love the comparison between Bella and Edward and Katniss and Peeta, or maybe I should say Gale.

While I was waiting for the novel to come out, I did some background research and found the following resources. I can hardly wait for bedtime to crack open my book and see how life is in District 12, after the Hunger Games, is turning out for Katniss and Peeta.

Official web site of Suzanne Collins

Link to the Suzanne Collins interview on Scholastic's web site.

The Hunger Games games Play Tribute Trials or Trail by Fire

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Summer's Over. School has begun!


Summer's over. School has begun!" This is the rallying cry our school district adopted for this year. We are getting our students back into the swing of things and are not accepting any excuses for a slow start back into learning.

I arrived very early on the first day of school in order to greet students with a welcoming smile as they trudged through the door decked out in new back to school clothes and backpacks. One cutie- pie must have a parent who is a teacher, because she cheerfully shouted out, "Summer's over!" I laughingly answered her with, "and school has begun!"

Our school has been trying to sort out complicated schedules making adjustments for fine arts, library, drama, motor development, etc. A principal's job is not to be envied. I have nick named our principal "Santa Claus" this year because she has a knack for getting the necessary funds to purchase the tools and resources that allow us the freedom and creativity to design a solid curriculum for our students. I had hoped for one microphone headset for the library so students would be able to create digital book talks and pod casts. Santa Claus purchased four microphone headsets and a plasma TV for library presentations. The cool tech guys are my new heroes since they scrounged up a scanner for the library. I am no longer teaching in the dark ages.