Monday, March 6, 2017

I Do So Love LibraryLand a Librarian I am!

Did you like my little play on Dr. Seuss? I need to get better at blogging more than once a month! Of course this busy bee has been busy with everything! Destination ImagiNation season just ended. I had the 3rd grade team.. we stayed busy and I hope they had a good time (I know I did!)
This being my first year I haven't done the greatest at displays.. so I am trying to change that! I am very thankful for Teachers Pay Teachers right now. (I am not getting paid anything to promote these items, but I wanted to share what I used and where I found it)

Here was my Black History Month bulletin board for February.

Loved these posters that I found on Teachers Pay Teachers

For March, I found some great resources for posters on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Loved this set of printable posters from Teachers Pay Teachers

I found several great sets on Teachers Pay Teachers and put them into a book that is next to the display.  You can find them here and here.

During the month of February I wasn't able to schedule a Late Night in the Library, but I did have a modified Late Night in the Library during Open House.  Even better it was Read Across America Day. I purchased all of my library helpers a shirt that said Elliott Librarian Helper I Am.  They practice reading to students and each had a classroom to read to.  We had to reschedule our reading time to this week (they were really bummed.. but I think they will live)

During Open House I had a photo booth station set up with the theme Oh The Places You Will Go and of course I had a STEM challenge set up.  I loved this idea of Cat in the Hat Cup Stacking.  Easy peasy set up and clean up! Now, I have to admit I think the parents had more fun doing this than the kids (and I might admit.. there was some standing on tables and chairs.. and some parents put their kids on their back) I LOVED IT!! They measured and recorded how tall their tower was.  I love seeing the parents work with their kids.  It is my favorite part of Late Night in the Library

Easy set up 

A small tower
Photo Booth set up

Display outside my door

Newest bulletin board put up by our awesome parent liaison.  The pictures are photos of the new 2x2 and Bluebonnet books.

How did you celebrate Read Across America?  What do you do for displays and how often do you change them out?  I will blog again soon about the different lessons that have been going on in the library (4th and 5th grade Drama, LIFE text features, 2nd grade Nouns and so much more!)

Monday, February 6, 2017


I LOVE Libraryland! Have I mentioned that before? I have always been an avid volunteer, one that likes to try new things.. and I love connecting.  Now, is libraryland overwhelming.. it sure is! Another thing I love is learning from others (and having a space to offer to different activities is great as well)

The title of this blog is collaboration.. but when rethinking and writing it, I realize that the collaboration that I had with my art teacher was bouncing ideas off of each other.. and making sure the space was ready for various activities.  That is still collaboration..right??

Before I became a librarian.. I was already following some amazing librarians (some that I will actually get to meet in person soon!!!) So, one awesome librarian/tech facilitator Nikki Robertson posted this way cool picture that she had found (if you are the original poster of this.. would you please let me know so I can thank you for the wonderful idea.. and give you credit!)
How absolutely beautiful is this!
So, I talked to my amazing art teacher on campus.. and the conversation went something like this:
"Hey Mrs. R... want to work on something like this for the first of the year? The feathers can be students hopes, dreams, wishes and resolutions."
"Sure! That is great!"
A couple of weeks later.. Mrs. R approaches me and shows me the bag of beautiful feathers.
"Yes, Mrs. R.. these are PERFECT! How can I help!?"
"I am still getting feathers"
We decided to hang this up for science night (as what better time to talk about wishes and dreams)
"Hey Mrs. R.. what can I do to help with these wings?"
"Help me hang them!"

In other words.. I had nothing to do with this! (Well.. I did make the poster above the wings.. and I helped hang them) Seriously.. they are beautiful! She created a generic feather and then asked each student in the school to create/decorate their own and then combined them with this wonderfulness.These wings are right across the hall from the library, so I loved hearing the conversations that students had with their parents about their goals and dreams (and of course it was a perfect photo opp!)

Mrs. R. the rocking art teacher

At the beginning of January, Mrs. R. came to me and asked if I would like to help with a Chinese New Year Celebration.  She did tell me that there would be no glitter! (Side note.. I love seeing things being created in the library.. and I don't mind mess. HOWEVER.. I HATE using glitter.. that is the one thing not allowed)  Of course I said yes.. as the library is a great space to have people! We set a date, got it on the calendar.. and like before I asked what can I do to help.

The space is how I helped (and help somewhat monitor the stations)
The Chinese New Celebration ran much like the Late Night in the Library.  It was an extended time with several stations set up.  I read a short story in the middle of the time, but the hightlight.. the Dragon Dance!

-Rooster stamp
-Paper lanterns (like this idea.. but of course there are tons of ways that you can make them)
-Chinese Plastic Spoon Dancing Dragon (like this idea, but did it with plastic spoons, string and paper pieces)
-Chinese drum (much like this idea)
-Write Happy New Year in Chinese (this was a super cool station because she had put out thin paper and brushes with the black paint)

The art club students ran the stations, and we had over 30 attendees for a Friday afternoon.  These art club students are also the ones who did the Dragon Dance.

We are already talking about next year for this!  We are going to do the Dragon Dance to end the day.. but before the event starts as almost a parade to the library.
Did you celebrate Chinese New Year?  How do you collaborate?

Upcoming blogs-
-how my lesson plans are evolving
-February happenings (I just finished my first actual display!)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

LITE UP 2017

It has been back to school with a bang! Started the year of with library helpers (y'all.. I have libraray helpers!!) Late Night in the Library.. my next round of classes started (2 this semester, 2 in the summer and 2 in the fall.. and I am done!) and my first official Library conference as a Librarian!

I was super excited to attend the LITE Up  2017 conference. Not only attend, but I had a chance to present!

Before I go any farther, I first have to say I am so lucky to surround myself with amazing people that inspire me to be a better librarian. (of course I don't have updated selfies with Skye and Heather.. and SO many others to name) Maybe that will be an upcoming blog.. inspiring selfies (I recently bought a shirt.. yep spent money on it.. that said No Selfie Control) okay.. I digress. 
Seeing these 2 weekly keeps me going!!

My mentor, Renee, asked if I would like to co-present Library Outreach- Building a Community of Readers.  How could I say no!  I was even more excited to see that the keynote was going to be Shannon Miller. I know Shannon.. follow her on social media sites, have seen her before.  The LITE Up Conference was the first time for me to hear her give a keynote.  I was so inspired by all of the things that she did in her library, and the voice that she allowed her students to have. I loved that she reminded us "Anybody can make a difference in a students life."  It was so powerful to listen to her stories of the students that were making big changes because they were given a chance to have a voice.  I walked away from the keynote with my head spinning... right into our session.

Loved hearing Shannon speak!

Renee and I had a chance to share how to build a reading community outside of the four walls of the library.  It included how we reach teachers, students, community members and more.  You can check out our presentation here. During the presentation... there were several times that I almost forgot to change the slides as I was taking my own mental notes of all the things that Renee does!

Not only did I get to see great presentations, I actually had a chance to talk to the different publishers. Many of these publishers and vendors I had met at the first of the year when I had NO CLUE to what they could do for me.  Now with a better understanding of Library Land... the vendors were much more interesting.  It was an amazing day of learning!  The LITE Up conference was so well organized.. and it did not disappoint. Now I am gearing up for Bluebonnet voting (okay.. I know that I am a little behind) and the TXLA Conference.  

P.S. When Renee and I were planning our presentation.. we started brainstorming a Meet Me at the Library- more coming soon!

What are your favorite conferences to attend? How do you vote for Bluebonnet winners?

P.P.S. The Brandenburg Library (where my mentor is the amazing librarian) is up for the Follett Challenge! Take a moment to go vote for their video.. I can't wait to see what they do next!

This was exciting to see in our district newsletter!!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Late Night in the Library-January

What the What! I made it through the first semester of library land! If only I could write down all the stories (because.. man there have been some funny ones.. and some are not for the faint of heart!)
One of the first days back.. I was feeling pretty cute (wearing all my new LuLaRoe) I said good morning to a kiddo in the hallway.  She replied back with a good morning and then a compliment of I look like a librarian! I asked her if that was good or bad.. and she responded.. good you just look like an elementary librarian with all the layering.  My wondering.. what did I look like before?
On the first week back we hosted our Late Night in the Library to get ready for the upcoming science fair.  I forgot to snap pictures of my awesome counterparts Madden and Poe (which I can't believe.. I mean.. I love a selfie!) We set out resources for science fair projects, logged computers on to Science

I only had 2 stations up and running this time.. I blame it on the fact that I actually took the whole break off! The two stations were uber easy to set up as they only required index cards, tapes and scissors.
Index Tower

Can you fit inside a index card
The first station was Index Tower.  Patrons were asked to build a tower as tall as they could be using only 3 index cards.  These towers had to stand for 30 seconds before they could get measured.  Once measured we added the height on our dry erase board.  I LOVED watching parents work with their students.  It makes my heart SO HAPPY!!!

So.. the second station was a flop.  I am going to chalk it up to me not being completely prepared.  On stations like these.. I don't make samples as I want the students and parents to work it out. I usually still try to make one so I can then help as needed.  This one.. I should have made but didn't.  The object is to cut an index card so you can wear it.  See the website here for more ideas. I did have one family cut it so it was a headband.  I also had a couple of other students create hats :)

There were 29 people that came to this cold Late Night in the Library!
All of the measurements

An awesome cap a student made

Measuring their tower
At the end of this month I am working with our art teacher and we are going to have extended hours on a Friday to celebrate Chinese New Year.  Bluebonnet voting is this month. I am also attending my first librarian conference as a LIBRARIAN! I will be going to Lite up Conference on the 19th. I am even co-presenting with another amazing librarian!

This semester is going to be a busy one with more Late Nights, Destination ImagiNation, TXLA.. and of course 2 more classes at TWU (omg.. classes start next week!)

Here are the station signs I used (Have I mentioned I love Canva)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

December Happenings

Tis the season to be super busy in real life, and that is the same for libraryland as well.  This blog is a slight picture explosion, but I just had to share!

At the beginning of December I invited students to share their holiday traditions.  3 were turned in.. not only are they BEAUTIFUL.. they made great decoration in the library! (in January I inviting students to build snowmen!)

I loved the bulletin board that Mrs. Gamez made (she made several to spruce up the library) and I do have to admit I was pretty pleased with my booktree and fireplace that my husband helped me make.

On the Thursday before we got out for break the library was HOPPING! We had kinder Polar Express, New Bookstache Party and Late Night in the Library.
How can you not be excited to wear PJs all day

The kinder students come into the library led by a train conductor.

Couldn't get through a day without these ladies (this was after a slight trainwreck0

PTA provided hot cocoa and candy canes for our bookstache party

I mustache you who is the best ITS.. it is this awesome woman right here!

After our Bookstache party I picked up and prepared for our December Late Night in the Library.  I have gotten more organized!  Since one of our pumpkins won money from Irving Schools Foundations, that is what is funding our Late Night in the Library! For this Late Night I had stations set up (and there were about 93 people that came!!) The captions have the links to where I got the ideas (but of course I made them my own) I am also attaching my station information pictures. I try to have enough materials for 125-150 people.

Things I learned this time-
-Stations are much better and spread out.  It was much more organized.
-This Late Night happened after a music program.  I like that it was attached to something, but I want to make sure that if I do attach it to something it does not take away from the other event.
-I am going to start using my new library helpers for this!
Jingle Bell Maze- patrons created mazes for a jingle bell to go through. I do believe this was my favorite station!
Jingle Bell Maze

Binary Code Ornament.  I did ask each person to only make one that was 4 letters long. Of course I did have a couple of patrons that made her whole family.
Binary Code Ornament

Create a tree that can stand on its own using one piece of paper and no more than 3 pipe cleaners.
Tree idea and Tree idea here

This time we made snowball catapults.
Snowball Catapult we also did it for pumpkins in October.

Getting ready for Santa

Binary code ornaments

Jingle bell maze

Texas Santa passing out candy canes

Loved that my family was able to help with this!

Library helpers raiding our new book cart!
Guess what else I did... I trained my library helpers! I got them signed up, created a Google Classroom and taught them some basics of the library.  I can't wait for next semester! This last week I also ate lunch with 2 fabulous librarians (Renee and Christine) and we came up with #NTLIMB a place for North Texas Librarians to share their ideas and resources! Are you a North Texas Librarian and want to be part of the page, let me know!

Here are my station signs and information:
I added hashtag information too! If you are wondering how I made these or my newsletters.. Canva and Picktochart are my FAVORITE!