Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Once again, I went a little crazy with the paint & pumpkins - this was done for the story Miss Fiona's Stupendous Pumpkin Pies by Mark Kimball Moulton- I read it for story time and I gave out spider rings!

I am dressed as a pirate today (left over from last years Dress Like Your Favorite Book Character day) and it also happens to be that my son matches me. Pictures to come tomorrow.

the best costume at my school today - a kindergarten teacher dressed as Shrek - green make-up and all - he looks great!

Monday, October 29, 2007

there is JOY in Mudville

image from The Boston Herald

in case you haven't heard -

The Boston Red Sox are WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!

I guess the curse is REALLY over! I just wish I could fly to Boston for the Parade!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

How COOL is this!!

My sister just e-mailed me about a book, not unusual (I am a librarian after all) but this is about a book by an author who grew up in the same small town as we did and in her book put many references to said town. Of course when I heard who the author was I was like, HEY I think I know that name - and sure enough, a few mouse clicks away and I realize that Sara Beth Durst is a kidlit blogger also! I KNEW I had heard that name before.

The books is called Into The Wild - and now I am DYING to get my hands on it. Of course my local bookstores do not have it in so I am off to Amazon - I am SO excited to read this book now.

Here are some reviews, one by Jen from Jen Robinson's bookpage and Betsy from Fuse #8.

Check out Sara's blog from this week, she is visiting schools in "our" town, she went to my old elementary school on Monday and is visiting my old middle school on Friday. Who knew our small little hole in the wall town would one day be in a book!

oh..and GO SOX!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Could I ask for a better Birthday Present?

photo from The Boston Globe

Red Sox vs Rockies in game one of the World Series tomorrow night, which is also my thirty-something birthday- ok, well a better gift would be to get to GO to game one, but I guess I will just be content to watch it on TV.


Dictionary Dash

I love it when I can make the Dictionary FUN for kids - and yes, I actually have kids ASKING me in the halls when they can play "that cool dictionary game" again.

The game is called dictionary dash and it is a way for me to make learning about the dictionary and practicing using the dictionary fun for the kids. I take the students vocabulary words and/or spelling words for the week. I go ahead and look them up in the dictionary ahead of time and write down the page number I find it on and the guide words on the page where I find the word. Then, I type up the words in this cool program that goes along with our Smart Board - the program has a "window shade" that I can pull down to reveal words - so I type out the words I want them to find and below that I type in the page number and guide words. I have the kids start with their dictionaries closed, then I "reveal" the word and the mad dash begins to find the word in the dictionary. When they find the word, they are suppose to put a finger on the word and raise their other hand. I call on them and ask them to give me the page number and the guide words. I reveal the answer to see if they get it right, and if they do *sometimes* I give them a prize (usually a piece of candy). The kids get SO into it and they love finding the words. As we go through the game I point out things like where the pronunciation of a word is in the definition, how they find out how to make a word plural etc..

I started doing this lesson this week with grades 2 & 3 and it has not only been a hit with the kids, but the teachers have loved what I am doing too. I told the teachers that have signed up for this lesson to make sure they sign up again and around the holidays I will do a holiday word version of dictionary dash.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Miss Spider

This was my art project for the weekend - can you GUESS which book I am reading for story time this week?
And I am so proud of myself - I used a craft pumpkin so that I don't have to do this again next year OR have to clean up the mess of a rotten pumpkin!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Blog Action Day 2007

Today is Blog Action day, here is a little bit about the day:

On October 15th, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind. In 2007 the issue is the environment. Every blogger will post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic. Our aim is to get everyone talking towards a better future.

You can find out more about the day by clicking here.

My post on the environment is going to be about Saving the Ocean. I grew up spending my summers on the coast of Massachusetts on Cape Cod. The ocean is MY special place, all is right with the world if I am looking at the ocean (so HOW did I end up land locked in Atlanta, who knows!) But I do know that our oceans worldwide are in danger. Pollution is rampant and what people and companies throw into the ocean is just sinful (and pretty GROSS!)

Here are some websites dedicated to saving our oceans:

Saving Our Oceans documentary film: A documentary about the state of our seas and the issues of disappearing fish.

Save the Bay: A group dedicated to stopping pollution in Narraganset Bay in Rhode Island

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute: WHOI is the world's largest private, nonprofit ocean research, engineering and education organization.

Save Our Sound: Our goal is to protect Nantucket Sound in perpetuity through conservation, environmental action, and opposition to inappropriate industrial or commercial development. The Alliance supports formal designation of Nantucket Sound as a marine protected area.

I thought I would make the "day" last a little longer and post some children's books on the subject of "saving our oceans" later this week.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Teachers At Sea

A good friend my family is embarking on a journey at sea with the program Teachers at Sea. She is keeping a blog about her journey. Check it out here.

She is a 5th grade teacher in Truro, MA (on Cape Cod) and she has done some really neat things in her career. A few years ago she was part of a team from weather bug that chased tornadoes in the mid-west. I would love to have a teacher like Megan.

I believe she is out to sea for five weeks. I can't wait to read about her journey!

Check out the Teachers at Sea website for more info. on the program.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Story Time: James Marshall

This is why I LOVE the kids lit blogger world! Susan at Chicken Spaghetti reminded me that the late author/illustrator James Marshall’s birthday is this week just as I was trying to decide what to read at story time this week with my Kindergarten and 1st grade students. SO today in preparation of reading a James Marshall story I stumbled upon some great sites about James and his life.

This site is maintained by his sister and includes some pictures of James and links to other sites about James Marshall and his work.

This site is SO cool. It is an archive from Horn Book with interviews of authors that appeared on NPR in 1986. In addition to the James Marshall interview, there are interviews with Robert McClosky, Rosemary Wells and a review of The Polar Express by a group of students in Wayland, Massachusetts.

Saturday, October 6, 2007


what a game last night - Manny pulling it out with a homer in the 9th inning to win. The team is up 2 games, one more win and they win the series.

And of course, who can't be just a little happy that the Yankees lost last night and are 2 games in the hole in their series.

Baseball in October, another reason why October is my favorite month of the year!!

Watching the game on TBS last night, all the promo's featured a song and pictures of my man, Jon Bon Jovi - ahh - could life get any better???

Funny Blog post about Librarians

Thanks to Susan at Chicken Spaghetti for the link to this blog post about loving librarians. Although I did have to comment about the author's comments on stereotypical librarian dress - I am happy to report I do not own comfy clogs, wool skirts that go down past my knees (but I do have some kicky wool mini skirts) or reading glasses on a chain (but I am sure as I get closer to that 4-0 number I might be getting myself a really COOL pair!)

My real question is, when will that old librarian stereotype finally be retired??

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

What makes a book a book?

One of the things that I struggle with every book fair is what the kids buy from the book fair. The book fair ultimately helps me, for every dollar someone spends at the book fair my media center receives money from the sale. Money that I will convert into author visits or more books for the media center. It doesn't matter if someone spent $10 on good, quality books or $10 on pencils and a Pokemon book - BUT - as a media specialist, it makes me CRINGE every time I have to ring a student up and all they have bought is "junk". I think what makes it worse for me are the things that parade as "books". Pokemon books and comic books (NOT graphic novels, but books like the Simpsons). Books written after TV shows such as Sponge Bob and Fairly Odd parents. I guess you can call me a book snob, but you can spend $3.99 on a Sponge Bob book or $3.99 on a Magic Tree House book or Charlotte's Web. I guess in the end, both books have words and if a child is actually READING the books and not just looking at the pictures, it is a win-win, but STILL, how many people claim that reading a Strawberry Shortcake book when they were nine changed their life??

I try and steer the students toward "good" books, things that *might* just change their lives, but I guess all a teacher can do is lead their students to water and hope that they take a sip.

I for one do not purchase "character" books for my media center. I have noticed that their are some Nickelodeon character books in my media center now, but I can assure you that there will be no more purchased, at least while I am there. Of course, I do have a HUGE collection of Captain Underpants books, and for some reason, I don't mind those as much, maybe because there is not a Captain Underpants TV show?