Thursday, March 29, 2012


Have you voted yet?

Children's Book Week is sponsoring the Children's Choice Book Awards. Vote online for your favorite K-2nd, 3rd-4th, 5th-6th, and Teen books, and illustrators. Teachers, librarians, and books stores can enter group votes, too! Voting ends May 3rd and winners will be announced live at Children's Choice Book Awards gala in New York city. Just click here to vote.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fun Day

I attended the West Georgia Media Consortium at RESA last week.  What  a great day!  It was kinda like a small convention just for MS in our area.  Lots of great ideas and resources were shared.  I wish we could do that every month.  We don't get enough time to share ideas with each other. I wish I had taken pictures, but I was so busy chit chatting and sharing ideas that I didn't even think about it.

Here are some of the things we discussed, though:

Common Core and resources for common core (got a few good websites to look at)
Benefits of using Google Docs
QR codes

I gave out a handout at the meeting that has a list of some great library/media center blogs, websites, Pinterest Boards, and more.  Click here to get the Google doc or click on the picture above.

And we wrapped up the day with a demo from a fun children's book author who does ventrilaquism.  His name is Ed Spruill.  He writes children's books with a character education theme.  I signed up to have him come visit my school next fall.  I think the kids will love the message behind his books and find him entertaining as well.  And he only charges for travel and lodging which can be split with other schools in the area who also would like him to visit.  You can find out more about him at

It was a super fun day.  I wish we could do it once a month.  So what about you?  Does your district provide any type of collaborative meetings/planning time with other librarians or media specialists?

Monday, March 26, 2012

What Are You Holding?

What's on hold in my Media Center?  That's the question that librarians and media specialists are being asked to answer and share in order to get a better idea of what kids are wanting to read. I thought I'd jump on the band wagon myself so here's a picture of the hold shelf from last week.  Paw print books are in the Wildcat Favorites section (favorite series titles).  You can read more about the Wildcat Favorites here.

Want to join in on the hold shelf fun?  Check out the dets on 100 Scope Notes.  

Monday, March 19, 2012

Exciting Opportunity!

You may have noticed that my posts have been far and few between lately. That's because I've been working on something exciting just for my fellow librarians and media specialists.

I've started a brand new COLLABORATIVE blog and I would love for you to be a contributor on it.  It's called...

I am inviting any public or school librarian to contribute on this blog.  Share what you're doing in your library or media center, link to an innovative library idea, freebie, or lesson on your blog, even join a linky party for TpT and TN stores.  My hope is that Sharing the Shelves will be a one stop shop for some great media lesson ideas, organization, book recommendations and anything else that might be helpful to those of us in the library field.  It's also a great way to drive more traffic to your blog.  That's just a little perk.  ;)  Check it out for yourself by clicking on the picture above or by clicking here.

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, email me and let me know.  I'd love for you to share your shelves.

jnase1 (at) gmail (dot) com

P.S.  You may have also noticed that I've also been playing around with a few items on my blog.  I was able to remove that annoying border around images and I am playing around with my signature. What da ya think?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Strange Things Are Afoot in the Media Center

Maybe it was the full moon this week or the whole Daylight Saving thing, but this week was totally weird. The kids were wild as could be, as was the weather.  Not that I don't enjoy warm weather, but it went from like 40 degrees to 86 degrees in a matter of days.  No wonder we're all sick.

Midway through the week, a DEMCO, Library Video Company, and Bound to Stay Bound order came in, but not everything was there. Only half the Bound to Stay Bound order arrived and 2 books out of that order were on back order...the first two books of the Hunger Games triology.  Of course the third book came in, but I really don't want to put it out yet.  Reading the third book first will ruin it for anyone who hasn't read the first two books.  *sigh*  Hopefully they will come in soon.  In the meantime, I am still waiting for my Permabound order to even process.  It was sent in on the same day as the DEMCO and btsb order, but it is much further behind in the process, I guess.  That's what I get for trying to order for the lowest price.

Then the strangest thing of all happened.  Random socks kept popping up around the Media Center several times this week.  No kidding...SOCKS!  Luckily I always have my camera with me so I was able to snap a picture of these strange happenings, cause otherwise, who'd believe me, right?

I found a pair of socks under a chair.

And I found a very dirty, smelly sock laying on the story time rug.

Still don't know who left them there or why.

Like I said, strange happenings in the Media Center.  But I tried to keep my sanity as best I could with an unusually full week of classes scheduled for Media lessons.  Don't get me wrong.  I was tickled pink that so many teachers signed up for a lesson this week and now I have taught all 2nd-5th grade classes about the Genre of the Month for this month...Biographies/Autobiographies.  I made a PowerPoint to cover the basics and had an activity to check for understanding at the end.  I even made bookmarks for the kids, cause you know they love their bookmarks.  =)

You can snag your copy of these bookmarks here or click on the picture above.

All in all, it was a good week.  I definitely felt like I earned my paycheck.  And I get to do it all again next week. Thank goodness Friday was a furlough day holiday, in my county.  I needed the day to recoup.  I also rewarded myself with a bag of some plain ol' fashioned deliciousness.

Yummo!  I didn't even check the nutritional facts so that I could thoroughly enjoy every chip.  =)

Next week it's all about research for third and fourth graders and I will be reviewing with second graders how to use Destiny to search for books in the Media Center.  I have found that many of them need a refresher course.  Tuesday I go to our system's Media Consortium to meet with other Media Specialists across the area. Super excited about this.  Lots of great stuff on the agenda.  Thursday I meet with my Media Committee to talk about Media plans for the rest of the year and I will wrap up the week with an AR party for the 3rd nine weeks.  I have a "Bug Carnival" planned to go with my "Catch the Reading Bug" theme for the Media Center this year.  I have only managed to get 2 parent volunteers to help me out, so I hope it goes smoothly.  I'll have to post pictures afterward, if I am able to get any. Chances are I will be busy running 2 or 3 carnival games at the same time if I can't round up a few more helpers.  Here's hoping.

In case your week is as busy as mine and you need a little pick me up, here are a couple of fun websites I came across this weekend:

Wimp Yourself is a fun game that allows you to customize a "wimpy" character to wimp yourself.  Cute!  This would be fun for the kids to do as a promo for the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.  There isn't a way to print out the characters, though.  Bummer.

Wimp Yourself

Here's me all wimped out.

Draw a Stickman is a website I came across a while back.  It was a fun site that allows you to draw pictures to go in the story, but the storyline didn't change so after using the site a few times, it got old.  Well, now there is a second episode!  Hopefuly that means there will be more episodes to come.  Check it out for yourself.

Draw a Stickman

Hope your week is a fun one!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spring Book Fair Update

The Spring Book Fair was a HUGE success! We raised about the same amount of money as we did in the Fall, which surprised me.  I didn't expect to sell as much the second time around.  We also sold out of items more quickly than we did in the Fall. I wish I could figure out what I did differently so that I can do it again next year.  ;)  I am very glad that we're located so close to a Scholastic warehouse so that our restock orders got here by the next day, and sometimes in the same day if I sent the email early enough.  I guess it was a good problem to have, though. 
The Book Fair arrived late Friday afternoon and it was to begin the following Monday.  Even though I stressed about getting things ready in a hurry, setting up took much less time than it did in the Spring.  Perhaps that's because I learned a few tricks from my first go round.

Moving the furniture around to make room for all the Book Fair stuff is always a pain, but a necessity.

With the help of one my wonder parent volunteers, we got the tables set up with table clothes and boxes laid out in the correct sections.

Within just a few hours the Media Center was in full Luau swing.

I even got the posters hung with without too much of a hassle this time.  I decided not to put out as many doo-dads during this Book Fair so that students might buy more books instead of "junk."  Yeah, uh, they still bought up most of the doo-dads, but at least I tried.

Something I did this go round that I didn't do last Book Fair was label books that were AR books using a file from the Scholastic Tool Kit.  I really think that helped students and parents pick out appropriate books.

The downside of that was that it took forever to look up the books and then to write them down on the signs.  I ended up only labeling the books on the shelves and not on the tables and sometimes a shopper would ask about a book on the table.  If I was running the Fair by myself at that time, I would tell the shopper that I didn't know if that particular books was an AR book or not.  That was a bit frustrating, so I am not sure if I will put out the AR signs again next year.

Super Brain Quest made it's way back to the Fair again.

This time students had to guess how many "fruit" slices were in the guessing jar.  It always tickles me to go through the guessing as I get both ends of the spectrum from 20 all the way to 1,000,000.   Guess we need to work on estimating skills.

This Book Fair, we did a luau theme.  I used the free files that Scholastic provided on their chairperson toolkit and created some cute decorations.  I also bought some decorations from Oriental Trading as well as borrowed a few from others at my school.  The decorations seem to come together much easier than it did last time. And I think they turned out cute. Take a look and see what you think.  =)

This is the Media Center entrance.

And here are the doors on the inside of the Media Center.

We also did a Coffee House Poetry Night to bring the night crowd out to the Book Fair. 

I decorated the hallway outside the Media Cetner to give it a Coffee House feel.

Teachers and students were invited to share their favorite poems throughout the night.  Everyone could come and go as they pleased to the Book Fair.

I even got in on the luau fun by dressing up. The kids thought it was hilarious.  I'll do anything to get more books for our Media Center.  LOL

The teacher's wish list board got in on the luau action, too.

Because our Book Fair was the week before Valentine's Day, I tried out an idea some other Media Specialists in my county had done/were doing...Valentine Grams.  Parents and grandparents could buy a book from the Book Fair on the sly and write a special Valentine message to their child. 

I then wrapped the book and the treat up with the note and it was delivered to on Valentine's Day.  It was kind of popular...about 70 students got Valentine Grams and there were only 2 small issues that came up.  One Valentine Gram disappeared...still don't know what happened to it.   I ended up apologizing and refunded the money to the parent. Another one got delivered to a teacher instead of a student, but the teacher happily gave the book to the student and all was well.  I will probably attempt Valentine Grams again, but I think I will keep better track of who bought what book for whom.  Live and learn.

One of my favorite things that we did this go round was ONE for Books.  We collected donations throughout the week and then used those donations to let students who didn't get to buy a book from the Book Fair, for whatever reason, get a free book.  We collected over $187 and anyone who gave money got to put their name on a "shirt" and then put that "shirt" on the ONE for Books display in the hallway. 

By the end of the week, the display was full.  I ened up doing a drawing of the names to give away the posters I displayed during the Book Fair since Scholastic doesn't want those back.

We collected over $187 and 44 students were able to get any book they wanted from the Book Fair. We made up the difference with the Scholastic Dollars that we earned.  I had tears in my eyes as those students walked out with their "purchases."  I heard them saying things like "This is the best Book Fair ever!" and "Yes!  This is so awesome!"  All the hard work was worth it to hear the joy in their voices.  But I am glad that the next Book Fair isn't until November.  I am Book Faired out !

Monday, March 5, 2012

Feeling Honored

Wow!  When I went to check out my blog today I found out that two lovely ladies had nominated my blog for the Lovely Blog Award.  Well, that just made my my whole weekend!  It's so nice to be recognized by other bloggers that you think are lovely, too.

I want to thank Sonya from the Library Patch and Heather from Beg, Borrow, and Teach! for the nominations. You gals are super sweet!

So, here are the rules for the One Lovely Blog Award:

1)  Link back to the blogger who gave it to you.


2)  Follow the person who sent it to you.

Double check.

3)  Pass the award onto 15 other bloggers.

This one is a toughie since there are so many wonderful blog and this award has been going around for a while.  I tried to pick out blogs that I haven't seen awarded this one yet because I love every blog I follow.  I came up with 10.  Hope that it doesn't negate the award, but here are my picks:

Sharing Kindergarten
Pitner's Potpourri

The Daring Librarian

Mrs. Reader Pants

Life in the Library

Eliterate Librarian

The Book Butcher

A Media Specialist's Guide to the Internet

technology rocks. seriously.

Melonheadz Illustrating

Stop by and check out these blogs.  I find so many great ideas and freebies to add to my teaching files from these blogs and you are sure to as well.  After all, they are lovely.