Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A New Challenge

For those of you who have not heard the news, I will be joining the librarian team at Mesquite High School (my alma mater!) next year, and I am SO EXCITED! I have loved every moment of my four years at Shaw Elementary, and it is REALLY hard to leave, but it's time to return to my high school roots. That means that I'm packing up the Red Reading Chair and will no longer be blogging as an elementary librarian. My husband helped me move the chair into our girls' playroom last night, and I want to create a reading nook for them over the summer. The chair has special meaning to our family, and I hope to write a post over the summer about its significance and also post pictures of the finished product.

Just because I'm making the move to high school does not mean I'm going to stop reading to kids. I have BIG PLANS about incorporating read alouds into the high school classroom, and I will start a new blog about that adventure when the school year begins, so I will still be sharing picture book ideas. I will link this blog to that blog, so I would love it if you continued to follow me on this new journey.

Thank you so much to those of you who have read and followed my blog this school year. I love the idea of this blog living in cyberspace as a snapshot of a year in the life of an elementary school librarian. I challenge you to start your own blog and share your ideas. We need to show people that school librarians do so much more than checkout books. We TEACH and make an IMPACT on our campuses each and every day.

I will be blogging throughout the summer on My Western Sky, my personal blog. I actually wrote a post about why I want to be a high school librarian, so you can read that here. You can also follow me on GoodReads and see my Summer Reading List

I hope you all have a wonderful, RELAXING summer full of lots of time to READ!!

Here's to Summer...

The Mad Dash to the End

So the end of the year is such a cake walk for school librarians. The children quickly return their books, and we wiggle our noses like Mary Poppins (or is that Bewitched?) and POOF--the books just magically go back to their spaces on the shelves. Our libraries are in perfect shelf order with all books accounted for, so that leaves us plenty of time to sit in our offices and paint our nails while we plan our relaxing summer vacations.

While you are cleaning up the Diet Coke that you just spit out while reading the above paragraph and wondering what alternate universe I live in, let me clarify: I AM KIDDING. For school librarians, the end of the year can be summed up in three words: CHAOS. SHELVING. REPORTS.

Here's a brief glimpse of how I've spent the last month of the school year:

I came back from the TLA conference at the end of  April and started setting up my THIRD Book Fair of the year (yes, I am crazy). It was the BOGO event, so I spent the week counting baggies of dirty pennies, unfolding dollar origami art, and trying to explain the concept of "equal or lesser value" to six-year-olds. Instead of doing a preview day, I made a power point for the teachers to show the kids in class. (I guess that's kind of like "flipping" the library...) You can see my power point (with math problems!) here.

The sign of a successful Book Fair: Empty cases

Our students bought over $4500 in books (they got double since it was BOGO!!), so they are stocked up for summer reading. I packed up the Book Fair and went directly into Children's Book Week. Our highlights were outside DEAR time, a book swap, and our annual book character parade.

Here's an Animoto video of our outside DEAR time:

Students were given  passes when they were "caught reading" in the hallways while on restroom breaks and also in the cafeteria during lunch.  I drew 5 winners each day to receive a free book. We also had our first book swap, which was a HUGE SUCCESS! Students swapped over 500 books! Here's another Animoto video of our book winners and book swap:

We ended the week with our annual Book Character Parade (can you tell I love using Animoto?):

It was finally time to start collecting all of the books from my 36 classes. Each class came in to return books so that I could talk with each student who still owed books and bribe them, I mean, discuss where that book might possibly be. (It seems that library books like to hide in the tops of closets and in car trunks.) Those students who turned in ALL of their books were entered into a drawing for COOL PRIZES. Two winners from each class got to choose a book from my FREE BOOK stash and FIVE lucky winners got to come to our DANCE PARTY in the library! I hooked up my Wii and had the winners for each grade level (25-30 kids at a time) come in for 30 minutes of dancing last Friday. It was SO MUCH FUN, and I danced all day with the kids (let's just say that I got my workout in for the day). I don't mean to brag, but I did beat a sixth grader who talked trash all week. He wants a re-match. He can't accept the fact that he got beat by Mrs. Bailey.

And here's one last Animoto video of our dance party:

I have been shelving like a mad woman and doing all of our end of year reports. Here are two stats that I am the most proud of:

  • In the 2012-2013 school year, the Shaw Library circulated 46,056 books!!!
  • In the 2012-2013 school year, 752 lessons were taught in the Shaw Library!!! 

And another exciting thing that happened over this past month was that Red Reading Chair won an E-award from Mesquite ISD. I am so honored, and I have loved sharing my ideas over this past school year. Thank you to all of you who have "followed," read, and supported my little blog.