Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Share and Share Alike

In the past couple of days I have gotten a few, very sweet emails from other teachers and Media Specialists about the ideas and programs I have shared here on The Book Bug.  Although I do come up with a great deal of my own programs and ideas for the Media Center, I must admit that a few of the programs I am using in the Media Center are not 100% my original ideas.  I have borrowed from some wonderful, more experienced Media Specialists and tweaked their ideas into my version of their original.  I would like to take the time and acknowledge the creators of two of those ideas and explain my adaptation of them.

An idea which I have borrowed (or maybe maintained is the correct word for it) for the Media Center is Honor Books.

Mrs. Freeburg, the previous Media Specialist at my school, started this program. Books in this section are mostly paperbacks that have been donated by parents to the library. They are often times older publications and not in the best of condition, but rather than throw them out, they have become Honor Books.

Honor Books are not library books. They aren't barcoded or even stamped with the school stamp, although they are labeled on the front with an Honor Book label.

I don't keep up with who has them. Students are simply on their honor to return the book when they are finished.

Honor books are great for students who are repeatedly loosing library books and for students who have way overdue books. The Media Center policy is if you have an overdue book, you can't check out any more library books until you bring back the overdue book. If you have a lost book, you can't check out any books until the book is paid for or you have worked off your fine. Honor Books allow these students to still be able to have access to reading material until they can square up their library account. Honor Books are also great for new who don't have a library patron number yet.

One of my most successful project this year was also inspired by another Media Specialist.  There is a section in the Media Center I have labeled as "Wildcat Favorites."  The books in this section are the most popular fiction book series at my school.  (I use circulation stats and observations to determine which are the most popular.)  Our mascot is the Wildcats, thus the section title. 

The books in this section are in alphabetical order by the series title.

I have labeled each one with a pawprint sticker, which I got from the School Box, and marked them with (WF) in Destiny to designate the books as Wildcat Favorites for searching and reshelving purposes.

I adapted this idea from my good friend and fellow Media Specialist, Mary.  She has been such a big help to me this year, starting from this summer when she took a whole day out of her summer to help me begin to get the Media Center in good working order. In her Media Center she has a section of GOLD STAR books, which are favorite books of students at her school. She labels them with gold star stickers.  (You can check out her MC website here.   She really has some awesome ideas!) 

I have to say, the kids have loved the Wildcat Favorites section.  It is, without a doubt, the section that kids go to first when looking for a book.  It is so popular that I have had to limit the number of Wildcat Favorites that can be checked out at one time to one per student or there wouldn't be enough Wildcat Favorites for everyone to have even just one.

Here is a list of the series of books that I have placed in the Wildcat Favorites section:

The 39 Clues
Amber Brown
Amelia Bedelia
American Girl Series Books
Bad Kitty
The Bailey School Kids
The Berenstain Bears
Big Nate
The Boxcar Children Mysteries
Cam Jansen Mysteries
Captain Underpants
Curious George
Dear Dumb Diary
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Dork Diaries
Encyclopedia Brown
Fly Guy
Ghost Books by Betty Ren Wright
Gooney Bird Greene
Hank the Cowdog
Harry Potter
I Spy
I Survived...
Ivy & Bean
Judy Moody
Junie B. Jones
Little House on the Prairie
Magic Tree House
Marvin Redpost
Mercy Watson
Nate the Great
Pee Wee Scouts
Percy Jackson
Puppy Place
Rainbow Magic Fairies
Ready, Freddy
A Series of Unfortunate Events
The Spiderwick Chronicles
Sports Readers by Matt Christopher

Just look at these before and after pictures of the Wildcat Favorites section on the FIRST day the Media Center was open for check out this school year.  Wow!

I always love going to other Media Centers because I get so many great ideas when I visit.  And for a Media Specialist newbie like myself, I am soooooo appreciative to my fellow Media Specialists for their creativity and willingness to share.  Afterall, it benefits more kids that way. So in the spirit of sharing, I am sharing with you a packet for the Prize Buggy program that I came up with for my school. (You can read more about the Prize Buggy program on this post.)   Just click on the picture below to snag your copy of the Prize Buggy packet.  If you decide to download, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think.  I'd love to hear from you!

Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

It's almost Book Fair time...again!?

Where does the time go?  I can't believe it is almost time for the Spring Book Fair.  It seems like the Fall Book Fair just happened, but my calendar shows that the Spring Book Fair is only weeks away.  To gear up for it, I am evaluating what I did in the Fall., what worked, what didn't.  Here are some of the highlights from the Fall Book Fair.

The Book Fair arrived on a Thursday and I began the initial set up.  This really helped so that it was easier to know where I could tell parent volunteers to help set up.

Then I began decorating the doors on the outside of the Media Center to add excitement.  The theme was "Reading is Out of This World."  The doors looked like doors to a space shuttle.  I used tin pans I found at the Dollar Tree.

Here are the doors from the inside.  Teachers also helped by donating "spacey" items like the planet mobile you see here in the picture.

Tables were covered with Dollar Tree table clothes and then stacked in a pyramid style with books and other items.

 Book shelves were easy to set up. They just needed to be opened and then the posters at the top attached by sliding them up into slots on the back.  Easy, peasy!

The cashier table had all the "junky" stuff on it as well.   Although it is the best seller, I think I will put less junk out during this next Book Fair.

 The Art Club made pictures to help decorate the tables at the Book Fair.

 The hallway outside the Media Center made the perfect gateway to the Book Fair.  It was dressed up with stars and space ships made from gluing plastic bowls together.

The windows in the hallway were covered up so that the hallway could be dark for a special Reading Under the Stars night.  The Art Club drew the alien pictures.

Teachers volunteered to read at Reading Under the Stars night.  They read from books that were at the Book Fair as well as some of their favorite stories.  The lights were turned off and floor lamps were used for lighting. 

And Mrs. Letra from the planet Alpha-Bet showed up!

It was a fun time and I am looking forward to the Spring Book Fair next month.  The theme is "Book Fair Luau:  It's a Reading Celebration".  I foresee some palm trees and grass skirts in my future!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Book or Movie First?

My absolute favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

I read that book at least once every year.  My copy is falling apart, I have read it so much.  And I must say that I also enjoy the black and white movie version of the book. It follows the book very closely.  But not all movies do. So I want to bring up that old argument, is it better to read the book first and then watch the movie or vice versa?

Several years ago, I read the book Holes by Louis Sachar and really enjoyed it.  It was one of the best books I had read in a while.  Then the movie came out. I have to say that the movie followed the book fairly well and didn't disappoint.  Because of that I don't think it would have mattered much if I had read the book first or not. But this is not always the case.


Confessions of a Shopaholic was kind of the opposite experience.  One summer I really got into reading Sophie Kinsella and read all of her Shopaholic books.  This was the year before the movie came out.  In fact, I didn't even know there were plans for a movie based on the book when I was reading her books.  The movie grouped several of the books together, I guess to make it long enough, but in doing so, the movie left off parts that were in the books.  Disappointing. So maybe it is better to watch the movie before reading the book so you won't be disappointed.  Unless you're like me and read the books before you even know that there is a movie coming out for the book.  What's a book bug to do?

That same summer I decided to read the Divine Secrets of the YA-YA Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells. Aparently, this was the summer I was obsessed with Chic Lit.  I had actually watched the movie way before I knew it was based on a book .  In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admint that I like just about any movie with Sandra Bullock, so I might have been a little bit swayed by the fact that she was starred in the movie, but I really enjoyed the movie. I have to say that the book was not a disappointment either.  I felt that the movie stuck to the storyline well and I was pleasantly pleased with my movie first, then book experience.  Perhaps this was just luck, though, or the fact that the movie had good writers and directors.  Whatever the reason, I still stand in the book first camp.

Over the Thanksgiving break last year, I decided to read the Hunger Games triology by Suzanne Collins.  It took me awhile to get on the Hunger Games bandwagon even though the books came over a year ago.  Maybe I was a little afraid to read such a popular book because of the whole Shopaholic book/movie experience, but I also just didn't think the books would be that great.  I mean, the premise is kind of gruesome...televised "games" that pit kids against each other fighting to the death for the amusement of the rest of the country?  But I have to say, those were some of the best books I have read in a very long time.  I cannot wait for the movie that comes out on March 23.  I just hope it doesn't disappoint because the books were A.W.E.S.O.M.E.!!!


Since I enjoyed reading so much over Thanksgiving, I decided to read some more over the Christmas break and settled on The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  I actually received the DVD for Christmas, but since I subscribe to the read the book first theory I didn't want to watch the movie until I had read the book.  My sweet husband bought me the book for my birthday so I read it over the break and then watched the movie.  I have to say that I am glad I read the book first.  There were little things in the movie that I would not have picked up on if I hadn't read the book first.  And the movie left out large parts that the book covered so I don't think I would have gotten as much out of the movie if I had not read the book.  There were parts of the movie that I thought were better portrayed than in the book, but for the most part, I think the book was better.  In fact, I am surprised that the movie has won so many awards.  But then, I am a book bug.


Book first or movie first, in the end, I would recommend that you do both, no matter what your order preference is.

*I'm an affiliate for things I've bought or used personally.  If you click through any referral links (if included), at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you make a purchase.  Thank you for your support in this way.

Media Center Stations for the 100th Day

I recently came across a blog/website that tells of making centers in the Media Center. (Here is a link to a wiki about Library Centers: I think this is a great, albeit, ambitious idea.  So I thought I would ease into the idea.

The 100th day of School is quickly approaching.  I thought this would be an easy introduction to Media Center stations with a 100th Day activity at each station.  There are tons of 100th Day ideas floating around.  I thought surely I could come up with 4 or 5 stations that I could do with Kindergarten and First Grade classes. Well, as it turns out, I came up with 10 and I've created a whole packet to go with these activities...46 pages in all!!!  You can find them on Teachers pay Teachers, if you're interested.  Click on the picture below to go there now.

I took a few pictures of what the activities look like when set up.  I am actually going to be doing these activities with K and 1 classes on the 101st day of school because I don't teach classes on that day.  So the pictures show the activities with 101 instead of 100. The actual packet is for the 100th day, though.

Station 1:  100 Ladybug Dots

Students decorate a dot and glue it to the ladybug until the ladybug has 100 dots.  I used bulletin board paper to create the ladybug.

Station 4:  ABC/Numerical Order

Students use the word or number cards and put them in alphabetical order or numerical order. There are 100 of each type of card.

Station 6:  100 Names

Students sign their name on a 100th Day poster that says "We are 100 days smarter!"

I made direction "tents" to go with each station.  Here's how to get the "tents" to stand up.

Cut out the station "tent" signs leaving the top and bottom edges.

 Fold those edges down.

It will look like this.

Then tape a large notecard on the inside edges to make the bottom of the "tent."

This is what the final result looks like.  The "tent" will stay up better if it is made this way.

In addition to these activities, I thought it would be fun to keep track of all the books the students check out this week, so I am going to have them write down the name of the books they check out on a paper book when they come for their lessons.  These "books" will be put on the MC doors throughout the week until we reach 101, since I am doing 101st Day activities.  Here are pictures of the door:

You can snag a copy of the book slip here.  Just click on the picture.

I am going to do these activities on Friday.  After all the creating and planning, I really hope things go well.  I will let you know how it goes.

Just curious...are you planning anything special for the 100th day or 101st day of school? Do you do Library Centers?  I'd love to hear your ideas.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Search and Hold Slips

Just a quick freebie post. I made some Destiny search and hold slips.  It was something that I had on my to do list for a while to make and I was finally able to get around to making them.  Maybe you can use them, too, especially if you are a MS and use Destiny for your online catalog.  Just click on the picture to get your copy.  =)