Friday, November 3, 2017

Book fair

My brain has been 110% book fair this week!  It's crazy and all encompassing and totally amazing!  I loved seeing how excited the kids got and how eager they were to check it out.  The 5th graders were excited to help bring boxes upstairs so they could get a sneak peek at the books.  Every time the fair was open it was busy and there was energy in the air.  I love it!

5th grade helpers

Quick break to check out the books. 

They wanted to keep going and set up the whole fair, but I made them wait.  There were so many boxes!  I needed to peek through it myself first to figure it all out!

I think several kids wanted to spend the whole week in front of the shelves. 

The book fair was "closed" during library classes, but the didn't stop the kids from observing from afar. 

I tried teacher wish lists this year with some success.  I'll do it again next year with better promotion and visibility. 

The fair was in the library from Friday's Teacher Preview through Thursday morning, then a bunch of amazing teachers and volunteers whisked it down stairs and set it up again in the front lobby.  I am ever so grateful for all the support I got with this effort.  We were up and running again in the lobby by early Thursday afternoon, just in time for parents coming in for conferences.

Thank you all who came, visited, purchased, volunteered, schlepped boxes, supported my efforts, gave me advice, and put up with my exhausted mind this week!  It was amazing and I'm glad it's over.... until next year!

Except, PS, if you missed the fair, or thought of something else you want, you can order online through November 11th. Orders will be shipped, free of charge, to the school. If you're shopping for presents, leave me a note on the check out page and I'll make sure to get them to you discretely without little eyes seeing.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The book fair books have arrived!

I walked in this morning and found this waiting for me!  

I definitely felt heart palpitations.  Not sure if they were from excitement or pure terror at the amount of work ahead!  Let's say excitement. :)  Later this week I'll be setting up the book fair in the library and next week it will be open for business!  

Would you like to come check it out?  Maybe shop with your student?  Maybe help their friends find good books to read?  I'm looking for a few volunteers to just be available during student shopping times to help the kids shop.  There's no training or experience required, just come and experience the thrill with the kids.  Plus, you get an invite to the sneak peek book fair preview!  

Let me know if you're interested in helping out.  More information about the book fair will be coming home with your child on Friday.  

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

"Unplugged" Programming

This week we are working on programming in library.  We are defining the word algorithm (a set of instructions to solve a problem or complete a task) and program (an algorithm written/coded so a computer can read it).  

Second and third graders are playing a game where one person is the programmer/controller and uses a "program" (series of hand signals) to guide their "computer" (the other player) to the finish.  

Four and fifth graders are writing their own "unplugged" programs to guide their partners Automatic Realization Machine (A.R.M.) to complete the pattern.   

We will continue these activities this month, eventually moving to online programming using and/or Scratch programming.   

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Art / Library Collaboration: Shelf Markers

All grades are working diligently in art class, creating shelf markers to be used in library.  They are learning about patterns and design in art, while also creating a tool that (hopefully) they will be able to use for many years in the library.  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Battle of the Books

I am very excited to start a Battle of the Books program at Dothan Brook School.  I have seen a lot of ideas kicking around on the Internet and it took me a year to wrap my brain around it, but now I've got it and the kids are getting excited! 

We are going to do four rounds, elimination style.  Fourth and fifth graders will be working in pairs to convince the rest of their class that the book they chose is the best!  They are trying to convince the rest of the kids to read their chosen book. 

Round one, with everyone participating, will be to create a poster in art class that represents their book.  Posters will be displayed in pairs in the library and their classmates will vote on which ones make them want to read the book the most.  Winners will move on to round two.

Round two is to do a dramatic reading in front of their class, round three is to act out a scene from the book, and round four is to create a technology project. 

I have mentioned to the project to the kids a few times in the past few weeks, but gotten lukewarm response.  This week the kids are picking their books and the excitement is definitely building!  Fifth graders have picked their books and fourth will be picking later this week. 

Check out this silly intro I created using PowToons.  I've been showing each class at library time. 

This is a learning experience for all of us, but I hope everyone has fun!  

School busy

Oh my goodness, we are now a full month into school and I haven't updated this blog.  I started an Instagram account that does get more regular updates.  You can follow @dbslibrary for pictures. 

We have a lot going in the library!

We are reading.

Watching book trailers.

Doing magic.

Building amazing buildings.

Learning how to use the OPAC (online public access catalog)

Building tall towers.

And more building.  Those Keva Planks get a lot of use in the library!

Third, fourth, and fifth graders reviewed the Hartford Acceptable Use of Technology Policy and signed their names, agreeing to be Caring, Safe, and Responsible with school technology.  Grades 2-5 have been learning how to use the OPAC (online public access catalog) to find books they want.  PreK-1 have been learning the ways of the library, how to take care of a library books, and what the stuffies like to do (hint: snuggle and listen to stories!)  We have lots more coming up.  Reading, book awards, programming, readers advisory, robotics, Legos, and of course Keva Planks!  Oh, and reading!  :) 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Back to school!

School started this week and we have all been busy! I rearranged the library and added some decorations, which the kids have enjoyed finding. The fish had babies just in time to entertain the students (and make them ask questions about survival rates!)  It has been a great first week, with one more day to go!  I'm so happy to be at Dothan Brook School again this year and to see so many happy, smiling faces returning.

Welcome back!  Where will READING take YOU this year?

I moved the Dorothy Canfield Fisher book display this year. The more flexible locations allows for taller books and more kids to browse at the same time.  It's also a little more prominent and, hopefully, easier for the kids to find.  We will be doing a fun Battle of the Books with these books this year, so I'd love to get as many fourth and fifth graders as possible reading them.

Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Awards display

Fourth and fifth graders are starting the library year off with a QR code scavenger hunt.  They had to find 24 locations around the library, scan the QR code to find out the word for that location, then put the words in order to get a quote.  It's a fun activity with a Harry Potter quote at the end, but unfortunately the quote was a little above most of their heads.  They enjoyed the search though!  Next time I'll make my own version and use a different quote.  :)

Technology AND freedom to roam the library?!  Score!!  

This year the students and teachers have all been divided into five "houses," indicated by color.  I'm in the Blue house.  At our first school-wide assembly on Tuesday all of the kids learned what house they are in and then we did some fun activities with our houses.

Fifth graders finding their "house" assignments.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Scholastic Book Fair

After many student requests last year, the book fair will be coming back to Dothan Brook School!! The fair will be at school from Monday, October 30th through Friday, November 3rd, and open during parent/teacher conferences on November 2nd and 3rd. Students will have a chance to visit the book fair with their classes during that week and notices will be sent home with students closer to the time so you know exactly when they will be going. The book fair will also be open before school on Tuesday, October 31st for parents dropping off kids in the morning. Stop by and see what's new! Check out the Scholastic Book Fair web page for more information! Any questions? Let me know!

Friday, August 11, 2017

It's almost time for school!

Where did summer vacation go?! It feels like we went from "Last Day Love" to "Back to school" in a heartbeat! I'm excited to see everyone again though. We have some fun changes in the library this year. New seating, new books, and new activities. The 4th and 5th graders will be doing a "Battle of the Books" using the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award books. I hope everyone has fun with it. We will also be getting some Sphero robots in the library (for keeps, not just one loan!) and all of the grades will have some interactions with them. They are a lot of fun and a great way to get hands-on programming experience. We will be learning about digital citizenship, digital leadership, literacy, and robotics. We will read and play and learn and have fun! I can't wait.

You may have noticed an Instagram feed down the side of this page. I wanted to update the blog more frequently last year, but found it a bit complicated for quick updates. For this year I'll be posting photos regularly on Instagram and updating the blog with more detailed information every couple of days (or weeks...). Please take a minute to follow @dbslibrary on Instagram.

I can't wait to see all the kiddos again on August 29th! Enjoy the remaining days of summer.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Last day love

Hard to believe it's the last day of school.  I have so loved my year in the library and I'm thrilled that I get to do it again next year. <3

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The year in summary

I had a little fun with today!
What's Going on in the library? by Tessa Johnson

Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award Ceremony

I took ten lucky readers to the the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award Ceremony today.  The weather was perfect and we had so much fun!!  The ceremony was held at the beautiful Vermont Technical College in Randolph, Vermont.  We took a bus with the White River School librarian and students.

We arrived early enough to have snack in the sunshine before the ceremony.

Group photo on this beautiful day!

Snack and a book?  Yes, please!

Then we went into Judd Hall where the ceremony was held.  We claimed good seats up front, then headed to the book display to pick up some new books.  While the audience was arriving, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher committee had a display cycling through all of the books that have won the award over the past 60 years.  The kids were excited to see many favorites on the list!

Ten kids reading new books while waiting patiently for the speaker.  Best field trip ever!

The ceremony started with recognition for our own Harper Robinson who won the Dorothy Canfield Fisher 60th Anniversary art contest!  She was presented with two different autographed books and a certificate.  It was so nice that her parents were able to join us for the ceremony as well.

Harper (center) with Cass Mabbot, Youth Services Consultant (left) and Hannah Peacock, chair of the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award Committee (right)

The winner this year is The Terrible Two, by Jory John and Mac Barnett.  Unfortunately they couldn't be at the ceremony in person, but Mac Barnett joined us via Skype all the way from Oakland, California!  He was up early and he "even put on real pants for you guys!" (he said has he stood up to show everyone he was wearing blue jeans).  He spoke for a few minutes about the book, about working with Jory John, and about his last trip to Vermont.  He also read a passage from The Terrible Two.  He is a very funny and engaging person.

Then the kids got to ask questions.  We learned that he is having work done on the house and laughed at the contractors coming and going behind him.  We learned that he has a dog, who ended up hanging out in the car for a little while (windows down, no worries!) because he was too noisy in the house.

The kids had great questions.  They asked why he became a writer, to which he replied that he loves books, he loves reading, and he loves sleeping late!  They asked where he gets his inspiration and he said that it's important to figure out what you care about and then figure out how to make others care too.  He keeps a notebook with him and whenever he sees something inspiring or something that tugs at his heart a little bit, he writes it down.  They also asked what is his favorite thing to write about and the audience had a good laugh when he said that he likes writing about people messing up, failing, or doing the wrong thing.  He was a joker growing up and loved playing jokes on his mom.  Now he has fun writing about them instead.

The Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award Committee presented Mac Barnett with a painting done by a local Vermont artist (I didn't catch the name).

It's an award, homage to his book, and painting all in one!

When the ceremony was over we headed back outside for lunch in the sunshine and shade.  Then it was back on the bus and back to school - just in time for recess!!

The fourth graders

The boys

The girls, who were laughing so hard I couldn't get a good picture!

I think everyone had fun!  Most of them came back with a new book and a few funny moments to remember.  I came back with the same number of kids I left with, all in the same good condition, so I consider this, my first field trip, to be a success!!  I'm already looking forward to next year's ceremony!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Making comics

Last week 3rd and 4th graders learned about cyberbullying and being CSR online as well as off.  We watched a video, played some games, then the students were tasked with making a comic strip to illustrate the point.  I gave them the option of drawing one, or using the web tool Make Beliefs Comix! to make one online.  We were pressed for time, unfortunately, but they still came up with some awesome comics!

Students will have more time in library this week to work on their comic strips or create new ones.  I love seeing the ideas they come up with!