Friday, February 28, 2014

Book Swap

Back in December we held our bi-annual Book Swap and the books that were turned in for the swap were really great ones.

Picture books turned in

Just a few of the chapter books turned in

Non-fiction books turned in

Students who participated in the Swap were really happy with the books they chose.  And students who didn't participate are eager to participate in our next Book Swap.

We will have the next Book Swap in April, right after state testing.  If you're interesting in doing a Book Swap, you can download these free files to help you get started.  It's a fun and easy way to let your students get some great reading material. All it really costs is a bit of your time.

Do you do Book Swaps in your Media Center?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sweet Treats

Recently I made some purchases that were just too fun not to share.

While searching for some rainbow loom bands for my son, I came across these fun glasses that mount on straws and I just had to get some.  They were only $1.50 for a pack of six at Michael's.  They will make my morning coke just a little bit sweeter.

These fun Cat in the Hat earrings are going to awesome to wear during Read Across America week. I found them on IrisJane's Etsy shop.

I love wearing my book charm earrings from My Lady Crafts on Etsy. They really go with everything so I could wear them everyday if I wanted.

I have been searching for a good note pad to take with me to the Children's Literature Conference and I finally found one I love.  This personalize portfolio from Toggletails on Etsy is just too cute and it is plenty big enough to take lots of notes on.

I love how it arrived, too. It was almost too pretty to unwrap.

I haven't purchased these yet, but I love these Cafe Press t-shirts!  They would be so fun to wear on casual Fridays.

So what purchases make your media specialist's heart happy?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Oceans of Fun

We recently were on mid-winter break and so my family did some fun around the town outings.  One trip we took was to the Georgia Aquarium.

It was so much fun that I came back ready to create something "oceany." 

I actually had a request to make a media center decoration pack with an ocean theme, so it was perfect.

I filled this pack with tons of signage, bookmarks, passes, a bunting and even a calender...150 pages in all.  You can check it out in my TpT store by clicking here.

And the great news...Teachers Pay Teachers is having a sale February 27 and 28, 2014 to celebrate 3 million teacher sellers and you can get this pack and any of my paid items for 28% off...woohoo!  Many TpT sellers will be participating in this sale, so be sure to fill up your wish list to be ready for the sale.  Just enter promo code TPT3 at checkout.

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Georgia Children's Book Awards and Conference on Children's Literature

I am so excited!  I just got my email confirmation for the Children's Literature Conference at University of Georgia in Athens.  Last year was my first year to attend and it was so much fun!  I cannot wait to go again.


This year I signed up for an author workshop with Jennifer L. Holm, author of the Babymouse books.  I don't remember having the option to sign up for an author workshop last year, but I am very happy to have the opportunity to attend the workshop this year, and it was only $10 extra! Can't beat that.

I really wanted to present this year, but time got away from me so I didn't get anything ready in time to submit.  Proposals for presentations have to be sent in by like December and I certainly did not have anything ready back then. But it's something for me to work on for next year.

I am going to be presenting at our next Media Specialists Consortium for our area RESA, so maybe I can use some of that presentation for the conference next year.  We'll see.

Anyone else going to the Children's Lit Conference?  Maybe we can meet up.  =)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Book Repair

I don't know about you, but my Media classes didn't cover book repair very in-depth.  Book repair was included on the list of things that could be done to earn practicum hours and we had to make short descriptions of how to repair books, but I didn't get a lot, if any, hands on practice repairing books. So I had to teach myself.

Luckily, most book repairs are pretty easy...tape a torn page together, glue a loose spine.  But some repairs are a little more involved and take more time. Those types of repairs I had to research and then I had to purchase the supplies to make the repairs if I didn't have them already. Chances are I already had the supplies, I just didn't know what they were for. The previous media specialists before me was at my school for over 20 years, so I am sure most of the supplies I needed are somewhere in the depths of the media storage in the back. educate myself on book repair, I found some YouTube videos, because, less face it, who has time to read a how to on book repair and then try to figure out what the how to is trying to say?  A video is shows you as well as tells you, so to me, it's a much better way of learning book repair.  

The videos I found most helpful were from Sophia Bogel of Save Your Books.  She has made 24 videos on book repair that are fairly short and easy to follow.  You can find her videos here.

There were a lot of other videos that I found so I compiled a Pinterest board of these videos for easy access.  I also pinned linked to helpful websites and blogs about book repair.  If you're interested, you can see my Pinterest board here.

Do you have any helpful tips about book repair?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Fiction Book Tasting

Coming back from Christmas break, I thought it would be a good time to get my patrons excited about reading so I decided to do a book tasting with the fourth and fifth graders.  You might remember from this post, that I did a non-fiction book tasting with fourth and fifth grades last year. And this post tells about the book tasting I did with first grade and second grade this year.

We've gotten a lot of great fiction books in the last year that I haven't really highlighted as much as I could have.  A book tasting was the perfect opportunity to do just that as well as point out some older books in our collection that are really great but often get over-looked because the book covers aren't as current.

I organized students in groups based on their reading level.  I then went through the fiction shelves and grabbed books on that reading level of various genres that I thought students would like.

I set up the tables with the books and candles and serving tray, just as in the past.

I used the 4th-5th grade book tasting PowerPoint in this free book tasting pack to introduce/review what a book tasting is and then we got started.

First I had students fill out a bit of information about what their interests are.  This will help me when picking books to suggest to them in the future as well for future book orders. I have updated the book tasting packet to include this new version.

Next, I had the students do one book with me, step by step filling out the book tasting menu and then I let them do the other books on their own.

Afterwards we talked about how or if their opinion of the book changed from just looking at the cover, to actually opening the book and reading it.  We also talked about the saying "Don't judge a book by its cover" and how they felt it was true or not based on the books they "tasted."

They seemed to really enjoy the lesson and many of them checked out at least one of the books they "tasted."

If you're interested in how other TL/SLMS have done their book tastings, you might like to check out these blog posts:

Mrs. Lodge's Library: "Book Tasting"  (This is the blog post that the book tasting menus are based on.)
The Unquiet Librarian: Book Tasting posts
Barrow Media Center "Book Tasting"
Miss Liberry Teacher "Book Tasting"
Tree Frog Blog  "Welcome to the Book Tasting"
Liquid Literacy "Book Tasting"

I have put together a book tasting pack that you can use should you decide to do a book tasting.  It has PowerPoints for 1st-5th grades as well as book tasting "menus" and worksheets for 1st-5th grades.  The 1st grade "menus" and PPTs could be used with K if you have high readers.  You can get that pack here.

Have you tried book tasting or a version of it and if so, how did it go?

UPDATE:  I was a guest on Jocelyn Sams' Elementary Librarian's podcast and I shared all about my book tasting experiences. You can listen to the podcast here.  I had so much fun and hope to be a guest on her podcast again soon.  =)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Media Center Organizational Ideas for Non-fiction and Fiction Sections

Just a quick post of some organizational ideas I use in my Media Center.

I recently purchased a big batch of these babies to help organize the non-fiction section a little bit better and to give better signage for the lower readers.

I then went through each non-fiction section and used the book-stops to separate subject categories and added a label to make it easy to spot those books.

I created a non-fiction book helper based on this product from Kathryn Garcia so that my book-stops have the same pictures as my non-fiction helpers.  I did purchase this product, but realized after a few weeks, I needed to customize it based on the most popular non-fiction sections of my Media Center.

Since adding these labels and introducing the non-fiction helpers, I have seen an increase in non-fiction check outs, even from the younger students.  And I've had a decrease in questions like "Where are the basketball books?  Where are the snake books?  Where are the books about planets?"  It has been a sanity saver.  Kathryn really is a genius for thinking this one up. Stop on by her TpT store and check it out. She has lots of other great library products, too.

In our fiction area, we have a lot of books in a series, but not all of them are numbered on the spine, or the numbers are rubbing off.  I have a lot of students who like to read books in a series in order.  Sometimes it really does matter if you skip a book.  I wanted to come up with a uniform way to label books in a series.

So I purchased some of these little fellas. Well, just the white ones, and in 1/4" size.

I didn't want to crowd up the spine with a larger label, so these small circle dots work perfect.  I wrote down the series number of the book, and adhered it to the spine of the book.  Now all of our books in a series are numbered and patrons are happy to be able to find the next book in their favorite series.  It also helps make shelving easier.

Do you number books in a series?  If so, what method or types of labels do you use?  Do you have any special organizational tips to share?