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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Fun Fall Fiction and Non-fiction Freebies

I like to focus on the difference between fiction and non-fiction at this time of the year with my kinders and firsties which is great because there are so many great fall and Halloween books to read.

To go along with first grade's apple unit I use these 2 books to talk about fiction and non-fiction...

Using these books, we also begin to talk about character, setting, and plot.

For fun, I use these fun fiction books about fall and Halloween with my kinders...

Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds

These books are also great to use to talk about character, setting and plot.

I have made activity sheets to go along with each of these books and have bundled all of these into one fun freebie for you.  You can download it HERE.  Let me know what you think.

Happy Fall!

Monday, October 3, 2016

New Fall Bookmarks

If you follow my blog at all, you know how much my kiddos LOOOOOOOOVE bookmarks.  I try to make new bookmarks each month, holiday, or season, but I realized I didn't really have any just basic fall bookmarks.  So....

New fall bookmarks are here!

I created a set of 4 free bookmarks which includes 2 color and 2 black and white bookmarks for your kiddos to color.  You can download this FREEBIE  HERE.  Please let me know what you think.

I also created a set of 24 bookmarks which includes 12 colored bookmarks and 12 black and white bookmarks for your students to color.  You  can purchase this pack HERE for $2.00 in my TpT store.

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Where Did September Go?

It's already October.  I feel like I totally missed all of September.  It is such a blur.  I had to leave during the end of August, right before the start of our book fair for a family emergency.  I had to leave so quickly, I didn't even get a picture of the final set up before the fair started. However, I felt very blessed to have some wonderful co-workers and some great volunteers who ran the fair while I was out.   I was out for 6 days and it seems like it took me forever to get back to a routine.

Just as I thought I was about to catch up, the annual West Georgia RESA Technology Conference was upon me and I was out another two days with that.  It was a good conference.  I got to talk with my friend Shannon Miller and I even won a Keurig, although I don't drink coffee. But it's all good because the hubs does drink coffee and his birthday is coming up.

So I thought my luck was changing, but the next week I got two flat less than 12 hours!  But PTO brought cupcakes that day (my favorite!) and I got an email confirmation that I am registered for my favorite tech conference in November. That made the situation a little less stressful.

The awful back luck continued last week when a nasty viral infection struck me down on Tuesday afternoon. Hard.  I started feeling bad and within an hour I was down for the count.  Although it wasn't the flu, I can't imagine that the flu would have felt much worse.  Everything hurt and then came the sore throat, runny nose, cough, nausea.  I was a walking bedridden Nyquil commercial. I am starting to feel better today, which is good because I really do not need to miss any more work.

In between all the bad luck, I did manage to teach some classes including

Kindergarten and First Grade First Checkouts of the Year

Second Grade Library Centers
You can purchase a copy of the library centers I use HERE in my TpT store.

Third Grade Dictionary Skills
You can read about the Dictionary Dudes and download a free copy HERE.

Fourth and Fifth Grade Fiction Book Hunt with Aurasma
You can read more about the Aurasma book hunt HERE.

Fourth Grade Non-fiction QR Code Hunt
You can read more about the QR Code Dewey Hunt HERE.

So that was my September.  I really hope that October is less eventful.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

First Week of Check Out

As you may have read in my last post, the kiddos are loving our new theme for the year.

And I may like it just a little bit, too.

The kiddos were so excited to get into the media center to check out books last week.

As part of our orientation lesson, fourth and fifth graders completed a Reading Ninja Scavenger Hunt.  I had some requests on my facebook fan page to post the scavenger hunt.

Here is a picture of the version I used.  

I have several specialized areas in my media center that other media centers are not likely to have, so I created one that I hope is generic enough that anyone can use.  This is a FREEBIE for you.  You can snag it HERE and you can find a link to it on my FREEBIES page.

Although I did end up with a pinched nerve from holding up an iPad to scan Chromebooks for an hour and half on Wednesday, all in all, it was a good first week of check out.  I am looking forward to many more!

To see more of my adventures, be sure to follow me on Instagram

and like my facebook fan page.

If you're back already, how was your first week back?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Video Tour of Our Media Center

Even though my last post had pictures of my new ninja decor, it doesn't give you a real sense of what our media center looks like altogether, so I put together this little video tour.  Hope you enjoy!  =)

Here are links to the blog posts and products I mention throughout the video.

Freebies Page

Library Centers (proudct  on TpT)
Get Wild About Reading Library Centers Freebie
Super Reader Library Centers Freebie

Ninja Themed Library/Media Center Pack
Ninja Themed Book Return Reward Bulletin Board Set

Non-fiction Shelf Helpers and Demco Bookstops

Prize Cart

Honor Books and Wildcat Favorites

Inspirational Posters (seen in video)

Book Tweet Door

If you saw something you liked, you can more than likely find it in the Ninja Themed items my TpT store.

And good news!  I am extending my sale through today.  So yay!

Happy Reading, my Reading Ninja friends!

Monday, August 22, 2016

New Reading Ninjas Theme for 2016

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen pictures of my new theme for this year...Reading Ninjas!

I had some requests for more pictures of my decor, so here you go!

I used our poster printer at school to make the signs in my Reading Ninja Library/Media Center pack larger.  I also used the poster printer to enlarge some of  Krista Wallden's clipart to make the sign above the door. I love how it turned out.

Read about the non-fiction shelf helpers HERE on my blog.

At my school, we recognize the boy and girl in each 2nd-5th level with the highest number of words read in AR books each month.  K doesn't participate in AR until the end of the year if there are any students that are ready and first graders participate as they are ready, but only for practice.  I delete their quizzes at the end of the year so that they can start fresh in second grade. 

I hope to have this pack posted soon.  So much to do at the beginning of the year!

I ran out of Velcro to finish up this bulletin board, so...

I am going to try using a chart this year rather than the Velcro signs to see how that goes.  If it works well, I will add that option to my Book Return Reward Bulletin Board sets.

K-2 students use punch cards to receive a prize. They read 5 books and turn in their punch card at the end of the month.  I collect them when they come for their scheduled media center time at the end of the month and those who have completed their punch card choose a prize from the Prize Cart. The teachers make sure that everyone gets their punch cards complete.  3-5 students have 5 specific types of books to read in order to get a prize, 1 picture book, 1 genre (changes each month), 2 chapter books of their choice, and one free choice book.  If they choose to take an AR quiz on their books, they can write their score on their bookmark, but that is optional.  3-5 graders are responsible for keeping up with their reading and asking their teacher to sign off on their bookmark before turning it in for a prize.  I have been doing the Prize Cart for six years and the kids love it.  It helps encourage those who don't really care about AR or who may not do well with AR to read and still get rewarded for it.  Prizes on the Prize Cart are mostly doodads from Oriental Trading, but I also have some extra book check out coupons as well as 15 minutes of quiet reading in the media center coupons.

In the goodie bags I included a $5 gift certificate to our fall book fair coming up in a few weeks, an extra book check out coupon, a coupon for 15 minutes of quiet reading time in the media center, some pencils, stickers, erasers, bookmarks, and some other fun goodies.

I have been wanting a way better organize my library centers so when a colleague was giving away one of her cubbies, I snagged it.  I got the bins from the Dollar Tree and I made the signs to go on the front of the basket.  Now I have a nice, neat place for all of my centers and it intrigues the kiddos when they come into the media center.

Of course I had to make new library center signs to match the new theme.  Hopefully I can get them posted for you soon.

You can find many of these signs as well as other goodies in my Ninja Themed Libary/Media Center Pack on TpT.  You can check it out HERE.

Here are some preview pages of what this pack includes:

You can find the Library Ninja Book Return Reward Bulletin Board Set HERE on my TpT store.  (I realized when I started printing everything to hang in my media center that this set has "Library Ninja" and my other set has "Reading Ninja" so I changed it on the sign that I hung in my media center to match because that bothered me.  I know it might bother some of you, too so I am going to try to get make a pack with a Reading Ninja theme that goes with the big Library/Media Center pack, but my to do list is very long right now.   I hope to get to it soon, though.)

Here are some previews of what is included in the Library Ninja Book Return Reward Bulletin Board Set:

As you can imagine, it took a long time getting all of these signs created, printed, laminated and put up around the media center.

And the good news is, you can get these ninja signs for your media center, too at 28% off today!  Just use the promo code OneDay at check out.  Click HERE to go to my TpT store.

The kiddos really seem to like the theme for this year so it was worth all the hard work.  Of course it helps that their media specialist is a little cray cray and likes to dress up.

But it must run in the family because my youngest likes to dress up, too.  =)

Hope you and your little reading ninjas have a great school year!