Monday, September 30, 2013

Book Fair Prep and Brinner #IMWAYR 9/30/2013

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme began by Sheila at Book Journeys as a way to share what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and what is in store for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading. I first learned about it at Teach Mentor Texts. 

This week, I am breaking out the old Scholastic "What are you Reading? button as I prepare for book fair kick off this week. I have been viewing the book fair videos with kids and reading a few of the books that might be included in the fair. I haven't had a chance to open a single box from the shipment yet because of my hectic work schedule. 

Charlie the Ranch Dog by Ree Drummond
Our old friend, Charlie the Ranch Dog is back with "Where's the Bacon"
We all love Charlie and the kids recognized Ree Drummond as a person their moms liked to watch on TV. Me too. Remind me to order some of her Pioneer Woman cookbooks for the book fair. They are hot sellers!

Another old friend is Bear from the series by Karma Wilson.
I could teach a whole year of lessons just using her Bear books. They are so useful in teaching many different topics. Seasons, friendship lessons, hygiene, good health, and so much more.

Anyone want a new Wimpy Kid book? YESSSS!

We will be taking pre-orders for the newest Wimpy Kid book # 8 during book fair. Such excitement rolls through the school when these books arrive. Maybe I should plan a special Wimpy Kid Read In on the day they arrive.
I have one of those uber cool Greg Heffley stand up cardboard thingies in my library.

Cartoonists Team Up to help rebuild libraries!

Jeff Kinney (Wimpy Kid), Dav Pilkey (Captain Underpants), Lincoln Peirce (Big Nate) 
and Stephan Pastis (Timothy Failure)

Drawn Together: Cartoonist Benefit Moore Oklahoma School Libraries is a fundraising event where four author/cartoonists come together for the first time ever to raise funds for the Moore, OK school libraries. All of the funds raised during this 2-day fundraiser will be used to help rebuild the school libraries that were hit by the tornadoes on May 20th, 2013.

The special event is over but you can still purchase a T-shirt for Drawn Together. HERE
They have set their goal at 250 shirts, so far 58 have been sold.

MY Professional Development Reading:

On the advice of a my librarian friend who is working on her doctorate, I have started reading Readicide by Kelly Gallagher. Based on what I have read so far, I agree. Last year I witnessed exactly how the death of reading can happen very easily in a classroom. Students were not allowed to check out certain books from the library that were of high interest to them-graphic novels, I Spy, joke books, military history, world records and trivia books. These books were not deemed to be true "reading". I say "Baloney!" I love to read the same types of books and I do think deeply about what I am reading, learning, and sharing with others as I read. Most of these books involve social reading experiences. You don't read a joke book alone. You go out and share the jokes you have read with your friends. I Spy books are more fun when you can read them together searching for hidden items with a friend.

My favorite experience in my library last week was when a student begged me to let him read a book from my "to be cataloged" shelf. It was DK's Arms & Armor. Within minutes six boys were huddled around it reading and excitedly talking about what they were reading. This is the best type of reading-learning and sharing together. I understand it doesn't fit the definition of deep reading but this type of reading does have a deep impact on young readers and leads them into new topics for exploring and learning.

Readicide from Stenhouse Publishing

Read-i-cide n: The systematic killing of the love of reading, often exacerbated by the inane, mind-numbing practices found in schools.

Reading is dying in our schools. Educators are familiar with many of the factors that have contributed to the decline — poverty, second-language issues, and the ever-expanding choices of electronic entertainment. In this provocative new book, Kelly Gallagher suggests, however, that it is time to recognize a new and significant contributor to the death of reading: our schools. - See more at:

VIsit Kelly Gallagher's website to learn more about Readicide.

There goes the timer!

I am writing this the night before so I have to stop and go cook dinner, or in this case BRINNER! (Breakfast for Dinner) We love it. Brinner brings back great family memories spent watching The Wonderful World of Disney and eating waffles for dinner. Good times. Good Times.

...and because I am a librarian, I am compelled to provide Brinner resources:

The Kitchn: (yes, that's how they spelled kitchen) 10 Ways to Eat Brinner

Best Ever Pecan Waffles with Bacon
Image and recipe from: Small Kitchen Chronicles

Happy Reading Ya'll

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Car Full of Librarians Have the Best Day Ever #IMWAYR 9/23/2013

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme began by Sheila at Book Journeys as a way to share what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and what is in store for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading. I first learned about it at Teach Mentor Texts. 

This week has been full of the best kind of professional development. On Tuesday, I watched and listened to Kevin Henkes introduce his newest book on a School Library Journal webcast. On Friday, I took part in great take and share conversations taking place in cars while traveling out of town with nine amazing librarians. Our long day trip was fantastic! I picked up wonderful resources and tips at the 20 @ 20 Library Resource Round Up in San Antonio. I met authors Alexander London and Carmen Tafolla and listened attentively to their heart warming keynote speeches where they shared their writing journeys. I got to meet a member of my Twitter PLN- Cari Young aka @myschoollibrary as she presented a session on library centers and through it all, I kept up with the helpful and informative daily conversations on Twitter. 

Last week was Dot Day Celebration Week and what fun we had!

After reading The Dot last week, we read Press Here to continue our Dot Day Celebration. Every class got so excited when the rainbow dot page appeared. On the same day, our students had witnessed a double rainbow on their bus ride to school and it had been the talk all morning. 

My  personal favorite was Let's Give Bot the Chicken Pox!

Step 1: Read Boy + Bot.
Step 2: Let kids decorate and cut out dots to put on Bot.
Step 3: Give Bot the Chicken Pox with dots.
Step 4: Have fun

During Dot Day Celebration, we learned about the art of Pointillism and Obliteration art. ECDC kids created their own unique dots and then did their best to obliterate the library. The ECDC Train and Bot were the two favorite places to "make their marks".

I also read Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes. Can you guess why?
It turns out that there are dots on every page.

School Library Journal Kevin Henkes webcast

I very much enjoyed this months School Library Journal's webcast with Kevin Henkes as he introduced his newest book-The Year of Billy Miller. It sounds just perfect for my library. 

Take note: School Library Journal is offering more FREE webcasts with outstanding authors. The next webcast entitled Non-Fiction Book Buzz takes place on Wednesday, September 25 at 3:00 p.m. EST. Take a look and register HERE

For a look at upcoming webcasts with authors you don't want to miss click here: SLJ Webcasts

I also read these Kevin Henkes books to PK and Kinder this week. 

#Virtualbookclub Turtle in Paradise 
Join the conversation on
Monday, September 23 at 9 p.m. EST

I have been enjoying re-reading this Jenni Holm book. It was one of my favorite books nominated for the Texas Bluebonnet Award.

Visit my 2011 Bluebonnet Book Club page: Turtle in Paradise

Now that a movie has come out based on the book, I have been re-listening to Austenland by Shannon Hale. I just wished the movie would come to my area. I guess I will have to wait to purchase the DVD because that decision is already made. I loved the book, and the movie trailers look terrific.
To learn more about Shannon Hale's book and view the movie trailer Click Here

I hope  you have had as lovely as a week as I have had. Happy reading!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Dot Day, David, and Turtle 2013 #IMWAYR

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme began by Sheila at Book Journeys as a way to share what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and what is in store for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading. I first learned about it at Teach Mentor Texts. 

Of course we are reading The Dot and celebrating DOT DAY!

It's funny how a one day celebration of creativity can stretch out into three weeks of fun and learning. Every student from the PK 3-year old class to our sixth graders have now listened to the story of Vashti's journey into discovering the artist in herself. 

We have been searching for dots, creating our dots, and obliterating our library with dots! We are even covering Ame Dyckman's Bot with Dots! (picture will be forthcoming=Think Boy + Bot + Dot). We are calling it "Let's Give Bot the Chicken Pox" and covering our giant size Bot in dots. 
Here is our good buddy, Mr. Bones, the Library Watch Dog reading The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. Way to go Mr. Bones!

One of our favorite reads this week:

PK 3 year olds are still having to brush up on good behavior expectations for school. They are having a hard time transitioning to life within a school routine and have a tendency to just get up and walk around their classroom when the mood strikes them. I decided I could help their teacher out by sharing one of my favorite stories with them- No David by David Shannon. As we read the story, I encouraged students to tell me if David was showing good behavior or naughty behavior. This is always a hit with the little ones.  Personally, David freaks me out a little with those sharp fangs. 

I love this activity: Texas teacher Michelle Ayala took her Kinder class on a hunt for David in her school. Naughty David left his messy paint splattered hands all over the school making it easy for kids to track him. Ms. Ayala's Kinder class was determined to locate David and explain the best way to be a good student in school before he did something crazy like climb up up above the white board. Oh no, too late! Read more about here at: Kinder Fun

Book Club Read:
Turtle in Paradise by Jenni Holm
Want to join the fun? Read Turtle in Paradise and join us on Monday, September 23 at 9 pm EST/8 CST. Use the hashtag #virtualbookclub on Twitter to connect with fellow readers. 
Summary from Common Sense Media
When her mother gets a job as a housekeeper for a rich woman who will not abide children, 11-year-old Turtle is sent to live with her relatives in Key West. This all happens during the Great Depression, and no one is living too high off the hog, especially the Conches. However, a place is made for her, and her cat, and they all make do. Turtle pitches in with the group of boys that include her cousins and their friends, fishes for sponges with Slow Poke (who turns out to be her dad), builds a relationship with her grumpy grandmother, searches for treasure -- and finds it.  In the end, she learns important lessons about what having real family means, and that life often does not have a "Hollywood ending," even when it turns out.

Visit my 2011 Bluebonnet Book Club page: Turtle in Paradise
Visit the Jenni Holm's website to hear what inspired her to write Turtle in Paradise. 

I like this book trailer for Turtle in Paradise but the music is all wrong for the era. 

Turtle in Paradise activities:

This activity comes from Kids Blog
In this story Turtle finds a map. If you like maps and the idea of following one to find something, give these a try.
You can use the Map Machine to make your own map.

  • National Parks Service **Reading a Map** Activity & Quiz
  • National Geographic **Map Machine**. Enter your address and the machine will show you a road map of your neighborhood, satellite view of your neighborhood and sometimes a bird’s eye view too. Cool!

Happy International Dot Day (week) go forth and read for fun!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Reading for Pleasure Puts Kids Ahead in the Classroom

These two kindergarten students are exerting their power of choice to read before the school day begins. My school keeps book boxes outside of each classroom in the mornings for free choice pleasure reading.

This morning one of my #PLN members (personal learning network) sent out this tweet which caught my interest so I clicked on the link and read.

The data was gleaned from a longitudinal study that began with 6,000 children by the 1970 British Cohort Study and is believed to be the first to examine the effect of reading for pleasure on cognitive development over time. You, of course, have already guess the results. Reading for pleasure aids in academic success in the classroom. The most wonderful thing I took away from this article was that this group of children who read for pleasure and increased their academic success are now older with children or even grandchildren of their own. This means they are influencing a new generation of readers and beyond. In summary, encouraging children to read for pleasure will aid their success in school.

How can we encourage children to read for pleasure? We give them: 
The Power of Choice

Any person with a brain in their head knows that you can't force a person to read and simple love it. The intrinsic value found in reading has to come from within. The connection that a reader finds in a particular character or topic is what will drive their level of passion to read.

Pleasure Reading

I have pushed hard in my school for encouraging the library to become the place where students and their families may select books for the purpose of pleasure reading. A place to find and read high quality fiction for the sake of how a good story makes a person think and feel. A place to find resources and "how to" books to begin learning something new and interesting. A place to discover information about plants, animals, machines, space, and people who have made their mark on the world. A place where the book collection is carefully cultivated to fit the needs of the school's population and manged by a librarian who cares deeply about providing the highest quality resources for school and home use.
A place where kids and families can explore, discover, and revel in literature that expands their hearts and their minds.A place to feel inspired, invigorated, appreciated, and joyful knowing that whatever you choose to read is accepted and respected.

The Power of Choice is my library motto. This video clip of Mel Gibson from Braveheart sums it up well for me. Think of all the people over the course of history who have fought and died simply for our right to embrace the freedom to have access to literature and learning. I, for one, am most grateful.





Here's hoping your day will be lovely and full of new adventures.