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Monday, August 26, 2013

Getting Back At It

After three weeks back in school, I think we've finally settled into a routine and I've been able to catch up on a lot of projects.

Here's a quick catch up of what's been going on...

A few days before school started I was able to get my shelf markers finished.


It took longer than I thought to duct tape wrap 40 paint stirrers, but here are some tips I learned along the way in case you want to duct tape wrap your shelf markers, too.


It takes about 8 strips to cover the entire length, not counting the strips for the ends.



So far the tape is not sticking to the books. That was my big fear.  I thought I might use some Mod Podge to cover the tape if that ever happens, but so far, so good.


I created a new wallpaper for the iPads to go with the "Get Wild About Reading" theme and loaded them.  Making sure the iPads are completely updated and charged is next on the list.

I also was able to get some library centers up and running.

I am trying to get a bit more serious about library centers this year.  I am looking to Cari Young of the Centered School Library blog and author of The Centered School Library for great ideas.

  I also found some good ideas in this book which I purchased on Amazon.


I found some fun Styrofoam cups at Walmart and used a dry erase marker to write the last name of some popular authors.  Students stack the cups in towers in ABC order and then use the answer envelope to check their answers.


Since it's the beginning of the year, I thought it would be a good idea to put this center out for students to review good book care rules.  There are a couple of different versions that can be played based on grade level. I have one version that is matching picture to picture and one version matching picture to words.


This is already a popular center.  Students love being able to decorate their own bookmark.  I just put out some strips of paper that I had trimmed from another project and was just going to throw away. But the strips were the perfect size for a bookmark, so I decided to put them at this center along with markers, crayons, colored pencils and stickers.  The students love it!


I had a few puzzles in the back that I've not ever put out, so I thought I break those out this year.  Second graders seem to really like this center.


I purchased magnetic Scrabble pieces on Amazon and a metal cookie sheet from Walmart to make this center.  I hope students will make words based on the information literacy skill (ILS) we will be studying each month. It doesn't show in the picture, but I also have recording sheets for students to write the words they create so that they can turn them in.  I plan to give a small prize to the student who comes up with the most words that go with our ILS of the month.


And because I had been working so hard, I rewarded myself with some fun Cafe Press items.  Now my ride and my wardrobe is stylin'!  =)


And since you stuck with me through this whole post and are still a loyal reader even though I haven't blogged in forever...here's a freebie for you.  It's all the center signs featured in this post as well as a few of the "extras" needed to set up the centers.  Hope you enjoy!

What are some of your favorite library centers?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Oh. My. Word! Not Again!

I really shouldn't be surprised at how crazy the beginning of the school year is, but it always does surprise me.  And no matter how organized I am and how well prepared I am, something always seems to happen that I hadn't planned for.

Like me losing my thumb drive.  Yes. Again.  **sigh**  Let me just say that I did not have the best of technology days yesterday anyway.  My projector went out. The one I use EVERYDAY for just about EVERY class for orientations, which were this week. Then we had technical issues with Renaissance Place. And then I went to look for my thumb drive... and it was G.O.N.E.

You might remember that I lost my thumb drive around this time last year and I had vowed to make time to download and save so that nothing so tragic would ever happen again.  (You can read all about that fun little adventure here, if you're interested.)  Yeah, well, I was real good about backing up...until life got busy.  And having gone through losing a thumb drive once already, I was a bit on edge.  I really thought everything was gone, and unlike last time, I hadn't backed up in months.  I was really pushing my luck.

Well, PTL, some sweet soul found my thumb drive and turned it in. I had dropped it at the grocery store.  And everything was all there!  I was so relieved that I cried even more than when I first realized it was lost. And my husband, who was the one who went to retrieve it from the grocery store because I was a blubbering mess, immediately backed it up for me when he got home with it.  He really is my knight in shining armor.

So even though I am super busy right now, I was so stressed that I needed to do something fun.  So...I created another book return incentive bulletin board pack!

It is super cute!

I made it to go with K-8th because I've had several requests lately for higher grade levels.


Everything you need to make a cute bulletin board to encourage your patrons to return their books on time and in good condition...all for $1.75 in my TpT store.  =)


And as promised, here's a look at my finished Wild About Returning Our Books On Time bulletin board set:

Looks like I had for planned it to be there all along.  =)


And here's a close up picture.

The "Super Homerooms" pack is set up the same way.

So there you go.  My stress reliever.  Ahhh!  I feel much better.

And just because I am feeling so grateful, I have another freebie for you.  =)  It's a Lost Book Notice that I send home with students who have said that they cannot pay their fine for whatever reason.  It gives them the option to "work off" their fine during their recess times.


You can download your free copy here or click on the picture above.  It's in a Word format so you can download and edit it to fit your needs.

Hope the beginning of your school year is going more smoothly than mine.  =)