Monday, February 10, 2020

Random Acts of Kindness Day

Random Acts of Kindness Day falls on February 17th this year.  Our school will be on mid-winter break that week so we are celebrating it early.  Here are some RAK freebies and a list of books to help you celebrate, too!

I created this little freebie a couple of years ago. You can download it HERE.

This freebie includes bookmarks in both color and black and white for your friends to color.

Also included are two activity sheets that help students think about how they can show kindness.

And there is also a colorful sign you can use to display along with your favorite books about kindness.  Here are some of our favorites:







We especially like THIS one!

And use Emily Arrows' video to go along with the book.

There are a ton of RAK freebies avaialble for download on TpT to help you celebrate this week. Here are a few I found:

Click HERE to download this freebie from the Reading and Writing Redhead.

Click HERE to download this freebie from the Bubbly Blonde Teacher.

Click HERE to download this freebie from Teacher Idea Factory.

And checkout all these fun ideas on my Kindness Pinterest Board.  So many ways to celebrate kindness!

How do you celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day?

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Favorite Book Series for Young Readers

Our media center is set up so that students can easily browse for books that they want to read and are able to read independently.

One of the sections in our media center houses our picture books (both fiction and nonfiction) that are on a K and 1st grade reading level. 

These are books that are marked with a large paw print (like our Wildcat Favorites) and then a small paw print on top. This section is where kindergarten begins browsing the shelves for the first time, but all grade levels still love to get books from this section.  And why wouldn't they? These are the books that most likely got them to fall in love with books.

These books are placed on the shelf in alphabetical order by author's last name, but occasionally I will place them on top of the shelf on a smaller "spotlight" shelf and may eventually make their way to the Wildcat Favorites section.  (see the post about Wildcat Favorites HERE)

To make locating a book even easier, I use Demco book stops label with the series, if we have at least 3 books in a series.  Since I began using book stops, students are much more independent when they are looking for books, which helps when I am stuck behind the circulation desk.

This is a current list of the fiction series books that are in the Junior Wildcat section in our media center:

Fly Guy
Berenstain Bears
Bad Kitty (picture books)
Eric Carle
Curious George
Lllama Llama
Amelia Bedelia
Pete the Cat
Margaret Hillert
Little Critter
Truck Town
Star Wars
Elephant and Piggie

What popular series do you have for your littles to read?  Do you have a special section for those books?

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Wildcat Favorites- Our Favorite Series

Since February is Love to Read Month, I thought I would share some of the series we have in our media center, beginning with our favorites.  When I first started as a media specialist nine years ago, my friend and more experienced media specialist Mary Dean, gave me a suggestion that has been one of the best ideas as far as book access goes-create a favorite section.  Her section is called gold star books and those books are labeled with a gold star on the spine, for easy shelving.

In our media center, this section is the Wildcat Favorites and are labeled with a paw print sticker.

When labeling the series, I try to place the paw print sticker at the top of the book, that way if the series is numbered, the number can go at the top of the book on top of the paw print.  This is  not always possible, as sometimes the sticker will block some of the title-which I hate. So in that case, the paw print sticker goes at the bottom. The color of the paw print doesn't matter.

Just like any section of a library, this section is fluid.  Series that were in the Wildcat Favorites when I first started may not be there any more and as new series become popular, those get moved into this section as well.  This is by far the most frequented section of the media center, and is usually where students head to first.

So that all students have a fair opportunity to check out their favorites, students may only get one book from a series at a time.  1st-3rd can get one Wildcat Favorite and 4th-5th can get two.  This is because 4th and 5th have a higher checkout limit as they don't have the time to visit the media center as often as the other grade levels.

Currently these books are arranged from early chapter books, to upper fiction, to middle grade fiction in alphabetical order by series title.  Here are the series that are currently located in the Wildcat Favorite section:

Everybody Chapter Books and Graphic Novels

Arnie the Doughnut Dog
Bad Kitty
Dog Man
Eerie Elementary
Rainbow Magic Fairies
Ivy & Bean
Judy Moody
Junie B.
Katie Kazoo
Kitty Korner
Lunch Lady
LEGO Ninjago
Magic Tree House
My Weird School
My Weirder School
My Weird School Daze
The Notebook of Doom
Owl Diaries
Ricky Ricotta

Upper Fiction Chapter Books

Captain Underpants
I Survived
Jewel Thieves
Katie Kazoo
Minecraft Adventure novels
The Never Girls
Stick Cat
Stick Dog
Whatever After

Middle Grade Fiction Chapter Books 
(reserved for 4th and 5th graders)

The 39 Clues
Artemis Fowl
Dork Diaries
The Genius Files
Harry Potter
The Heroes of Olympus
I Funny
Infinity Ring
Jedi Academy
Kane Khronicles
Last Kids on Earth
Middle School
Percy Jackson
Spirit Animals
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Wings of Fire

What are the favorite series at your school?

Friday, January 31, 2020

Sites to Order "Bookish" Tees

Over the years, I've collected a lot of "bookish" tees.  I thought I would share some of my favorite sites to purchase these fun tees from.

Out of Print is one of THE BEST sites to find "bookish" tees. They offer licensed tees of characters like Elephant and Piggie and Harry Potter as well as a "book nerd" collection and a library collection.

A fairly well-known place to order tees is Cafe Press.  They offer a wide variety of designs and styles, but those styles don't stick around forever, so if you see something you like, you have to get it right then.

Here are some of my favorite purchases from Cafe Press. You may or may not be able to find these now as I purchased them all several years ago. But there are still many fun designs to choose from.

A few years ago, I came across Elementary Library Mama on Instagram. She has an awesome librarian tee shop that offers many different styles and colors. The one pictured above is one of my favorites.  I often wear it on Fridays for Makers Club meetings.  You can find it HERE.

Erin Flanagan of Erintegration started a new tee company last year called Digital Identiee.  Her shirts are technology based, but if you have a MakerSpace in your library/media center, you might enjoy her tees.

This is one of my favorites.  You can find it HERE on Etsy.

Happy Noodle Designs is a newer company I found on Instagram that offers a ton of cute teacher and  "bookish" tees, and they often offer a discount if you are following them on Instagram.  You can find their store HERE.

One of my favorite sites to order tees from isn't even a literary company.  TeeTurtle has an awesome collection of licensed tees- everything from Disney and Star Wars to Marvel and Deadpool.  And many times they have characters shirts that show a love a reading. These tees are a great way to start a conversation about reading with your students who are fans of some of these characters.

I got this Belle shirt from TeeTurtle. This design is no longer available, but there is another version. You can view it HERE.

What are your favorite sites to order bookish tees?

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Lots of Fun Ways to Celebrate Reading in February!

I can't believe it's almost February already! There are so many ways to celebrate reading in February.  Here are just a few that things that I've done in the past.

I always try to decorate the media center each month with a theme. These fun book signs are perfect for Valentine's Day and they are FREE in my TpT store. Click HERE to download them.  I would love your feedback on them.

My kiddos LOVE, LOVE, LOVE bookmarks, so I always make sure to put out new ones each month. You can snag some free Valentine's Day bookmarks in my TpT store HERE.

Or if you want more variety, you can purchase this bigger pack HERE.

Sometimes I like to have my kiddos practice shelf order. These fun red and white shelf order and call number centers are perfect for that.  They also work for Read Across America centers. 

Last year, I started celebrating Love to Read Month and created this fun pack to help with that.  It includes bulletin board ideas as well as center ideas and signs.  You can purchase it HERE in my TpT store.

Here's a picture of a bulletin board I created last year to highlight the best loved books in our media center for the year.  The signs (minus the pictures of the books) used to create this bulletin board are included in the Love to Read Month pack.

Some of the centers included in the Love to Read Month pack include this ABC order center that comes with directions and an answer key...

An I Spy center that comes with directions, an answer sheet and words you can print and hide in bottles of colored rice...  (To see directions on how to create an I Spy bottle, click HERE.)

A Book Words center that includes directions and an answer sheet (you will need to purchase extra items for this center including magnetic letter tiles and a metal cookie sheet)...

Create a bookmark which includes a direction sign, just add coloring tools and strips of blank paper...

And Name That Book which comes with a directions sign, guessing slips and a sign for the top of the jar that the book scraps are placed in.  For this center, you will need to shred pages of a weeded book and place them in a clear container.

And checkout my Pinterest board full of other fun ways to celebrate the love of reading during February.

How do you celebrate reading in February?