Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday FUN

It always seems like a race from Thanksgiving break (which for us is a whole week) and Christmas Break (which starts December 20th for us this year).  BUT this year since Thanksgiving was so early, it seems like I was given a few extra days to celebrate in the media center.  I am lucky to work in a district that allows holiday celebrations and decorations.

My "Grinch" book character tree

My story time this season is The Mitten and The Hat by Jan Brett.  Even though our Library looks very Christmas festive, I like to use non-specific holiday books for my story time.  The students are decorating white mittens (like the ones in the Mitten) and I am using them to decorate the library!

The Mitten bulletin board

I am also (as Mr. Schu says) "paying it forward" and having a book give away.  I am calling it The Twelve Days of Books and I am giving 4 books away everyday.  To enter, the students must leave me an entry form in the boxes I have in the media center - and they must include the name of a book they recently read and a short review of it.  I am planning on reading many of these reviews on our morning announcement show.

And finally, this year I attempted to do something I saw last year on Twitter and Pintrest - a book tree.  I am pretty proud of how ours turned out - now I am hoping that it STAYS this way until Winter Break!  I think my next task is a book menorah for the library!

Happy Holidays!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dot Day 2012

I look at this blog and the fact that I have not posted ANYTHING since January and it makes me sad, but also makes me realize how crazy my life has been. I would promise to update more, but as they say, life gets in the way!

BUT, I wanted to share the video from our two weeks of Dot Day celebrations in the Rock Springs Media Center.  My kindergarten, first and second grade students had a great time watching the book The Dot on our BookFlix subscription, then I read to them Peter Reynolds companion book Ish.  The students then created their own Dots using paint, markers or crayons.  We put the dots up all over the media center - it is a palace of DOTS  in here right now- and it looks FABULOUS!

Check out the Animoto video of our Dots.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


We have been blessed this year with a VERY mild winter, even for Georgia (knock on wood) so this year my unit on SNOW is even more exciting since I don't think we will see much of the real stuff this year.

My books this year are  Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner and Under the Snow by Melissa Stewart - these books go GREAT together and I love when I can read some great picture book non-ficiton to the students.

For our story time activity we make SNOW.  I purchased Insta snow from Steve Spangler Science (I love this guy!) and this is where the fun begins.  I talk to the kids about what real snow is made of and then I tell them that since we can't make real snow in the library that we are going to use insta snow. I talk to them about how insta snow is a chemical (sodium polyacrylate) and that it is called a polymer. We talk about how when I add liquid to this it will have a chemical reaction and change into snow (I get more in depth the older the class is). Then we experiment - I add insta snow to two clear cups - I add milk to one - which results in what I like to call Massachusetts snow - it is sticky (it is stuck in the cup) and yellow. I then add water to the other and you can see it instantly puff up into white fluffy snow (Colorado snow). The reaction of the kids is awesome!  Then I tell the kids they are going to experience a chemical reaction in their hands - each student comes up to my "lab" table and I make snow in their hand (see the video above). 

This is by FAR my most popular story time - I have done it with my usual story time classes (grades K-2) but also with all of 5th grade (they are studying chemical and physical changes), all of our special ed self contained classes (they love it for sensory lesson) and some 3rd and 4th grade classes.  I'm exhausted, but it is such fun seeing the reaction of the students - when you can get 5th graders excited about ANYTHING, I call that a good day!

bucket of snow
I'm still crossing my fingers that this is the most "snow" I see all winter!!