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Saturday, March 14, 2015

300th Post Celebration

300 posts?!  I can hardly believe that I started this blog only three and half years ago.  At the time, I thought it would be a great way to chronicle my journey as a school library media specialist.  I never dreamed that it would become a place to share and collaborate with other SLMS and TLs all over the country and even the world.  I have learned so much through blogging, made some professional and personal connections, and hopefully have shared something helpful, too.  It has been a fantastic journey and I am happy to be sharing it with you.

Here's a look back on the top five most popular blog posts thus far:

Helping Patrons Help Themselves
This was one of my earliest blog posts and has been the most viewed, too.  In it I wrote about how I want my students to be able to find the materials they need and want when they need and want them, and how I planned to accomplish that.  You can read the entire blog post HERE.

Parts of a Book, Good Fit Books, and Shelf Order
Shew! That is a title that covers a lot.  It seems that even a year later, I was still teaching patrons to be able to find what they needed and wanted, but also to find materials that were good fit for their reading skills.  Those are lessons that can never be taught enough.  You can read the entire blog post HERE.

Dictionary Skills
This is one post that gets a lot of hits around this time of year as we are all gearing up for state testing.  The lessons I posted about were so much fun for the students that I repeated them this year.  They kids didn't seem to mind. They had a ball.  You can read the entire blog post HERE and download your free dictionary skills activity pack.

Book Tasting Anyone?
I can't take credit for the book tasting idea. It was all over Pinterest and many other librarians held book tastings and blogged about it long before I tried it. It was just such a fun idea that I had to jump on board.  You can read all about my book tasting adventure HERE in this blog post and download your copy of the book tasting pack.

Figurative Language Activity
This is another one of the posts that gets a lot of hits around state testing time.  It also a fun lesson to do in April because it's National Poetry Month.  You can read more about this fun activity HERE.

And of course I have added many freebies to my blog over the years.  Currently there are over 100 freebies available for downloading.  You can click HERE to go to the freebies page and check them out.

To celebrate this milestone, I am throwing a TpT sale beginning March 17th and running through the 19th.  All paid products in my TpT store will be 20% off.  Thanks for following me on this journey that I hope to be on for many more years.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Read Across America 2015

It's March 2nd, which means it's time for Read Across America.  I guess I must have gotten a lot of rest during our snow rain day on Wednesday, because on Friday I got busy setting up and decorating for the week.

Here's what the Media Center looks like...

First I covered the tables in red bulletin board paper, but that looked too plain.  So I added I couple of stripes of white bulletin board paper. We'll see how well it holds up.  I might not repeat it again next year if it tears easily.

I also decorated the outside doors of the Media Center with cut outs I had made a few years ago.  I added a new poster I made this year to fill in the space at the top.  You can get a copy of that poster HERE.

Here are some close ups of the doors...

And some close ups of the decor above the doors...

I also set up some centers that I had used in previous years...

Here are the centers broken down one by one...

This center is no longer available from where I originally downloaded it, but THIS alternative ABC order game is free from Lil Country Librarian.

I made my own dictionary center for the older kids.  You can get a copy of the activity sheet HERE.

I got this center several years ago, but the one I use is no longer available.  You can find an alternative one HERE on TpT from Siging Elle for $3.00.

I also acquired these word searches several years ago, but you can find some alternatives HERE from Kendall Shubra for free or HERE for $7.99 from Steven's Social Studies Stuff.

New for this year is a center all about Dr. Seuss' life.  I purchased this center HERE from Kathleen Cool of Staying Cool in the Library.  I think it's going to be a great addition.

The puzzle center is always a big hit with the younger grades, so last year I purchased a few Dr. Seuss floor puzzles.  

This antonym center is no longer available from where I got it, but THIS alternative from The Can Do Classroom is available for $1.25.

I also made a thesaurus center to make it a little more challenging for the upper grades.  You can get a copy of the activity sheet HERE.

And I have the Reading Pledge taped to the wall next to the circulation desk so that students can sign it as they are checking out.

You can get a copy of the copyright friendly Reading Pledge HERE.

There are TONS of other great Seussy items available on TpT.  I just did a search for "Seuss" and THIS is what came up.  You could even narrow it down to just the free items and you would get a lot to look through.

I also decorated a couple of shelves and added Dr. Seuss books to it.

And because I was in a Seussy mood this weekend, I made a couple of new centers in a red and white theme.

This is a call number sorting center.  Help your students practice identify the Easy (aka Everybody or Everyone), Fiction, and Nonfiction call numbers using this center.  You can get this center HERE in my TpT store.

This is a shelf order center.  Help your students practice shelf order by having them place these call number cards in order.  Included are cards with different call numbers for the Easy (aka Everybody or Everyone), Fiction, and Nonfiction sections.  You can get this center HERE in my TpT store.

These centers would be perfect for Read Across America, but could also be used for Valentine's Day and even Christmas, but they are generic enough that you could use them all year long, too.

Both of these products will be 50% for all of March 2nd in honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday.

Here are my previous Read Across America Posts:

Some other fun Seuss resources you might like to check out:  

Happy Read Across America!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March Free Author Poster

This month's spotlight author is Mo Willems.

To download your free author poster, click on the picture above or click HERE.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sale Extended

Great news!  The TpT sitewide sale has been extended one more day!

That means those discounted products you thought you missed out on you can still get.  Woot! Woot!  Just enter promo code HEROES at check out to get up to 28% off. Click HERE to go to TpT or click HERE to go directly to my store.

Happy extended shopping!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Book Bindery

Over the last 3 years, we've acquired a good number of paperback books through our Scholastic book fairs with the help of Scholastic Dollars.  I love being able to get books from the book fair to add to our collection because I know these are books the kids will read since they are books that they buy from the fair.

Well, after six fairs, we had over 500 paperbacks.  I had intended to get them library bound a few at a time, but the budget never seemed to be there. Luckily our PTO graciously decdied to foot the bill for these books this year and now we have some fantastic reads in our collection.

The kids have been waiting for these books as they knew I was able to purchase books from the book fairs for our collection.  They began checking out these books yesterday and they were ecstatic.

We are going to write thank you notes to our PTO at one of our library centers this week.  I know the PTO will be happy to receive them.

We use the National Library Bindery Co of Georgia. They don't have a website, but you can get their contact information HERE.  We've used them in the past and were totally happy with the results.  You can read about one of our other big bindery orders HERE.

What do you do with your paperbacks?  Do you use your Scholastic Dollars to purchase books from your book fair (if you use Scholastic Book Fairs)?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Teachers Are Heroes Sale

Exciting news!  Teachers Pay Teachers is having a sitewide sale on Wednesday and my store will be participating!

Just enter promo code HEROES at check out and you will get 28% off any of my paid products. Many other great stores will be participating, too, so go ahead and fill up your wish list to get ready for some great sales.

 Happy shopping!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Fun

You may or may not know that I sort of have an obsession with purchasing clipart.  So of course I had to make something with my lastest purchases.  I've spent my last few days of mid-winter break making some fun signs and activities for St. Patrick's Day.  

I made some new shelf signs for book displays.  I used some cute clipart from A Sketchy Guy.  I love his fun leprechauns.  You can get these signs HERE in my TpT store.

And because my call number sorting center and shelf order center were such big hits, I decided to make them with a St. Patrick's Day theme.

You can get the call number sort center HERE in my TpT store.

You can get the shelf order center HERE in my TpT store.

All 3 products will be 50% for the rest of today.  =)

Happy Sunday!