Sunday, October 30, 2016

Late Night in the Library- October

I LOVE being in the library! Now, granted.. it is overwhelming, but an overwhelming in a good way. My brain is constantly moving, I am constantly learning, and I am constantly finding one more thing that I love about my new job.

During this summer I was inspired by one of our Irving Library sessions that Jennifer Larariviere gave. I loved so many of her ideas such as finding a just right book..but I also loved her idea about parent involvement with parent/child reading event.  She did hers during lunch time, but after conversing with my principal that wasn't really a feasible idea.  BUT.. I did come up with another idea! Each month I am going to have a late night in the library.  The library hours are currently 7:15am-3:45pm every day (well.. except Wednesdays it is 3:00pm) but I know that sometimes parents can't make it to the library during that time.  We had our first late night in the library to go along with Trunk or Treat.  Now, Late Night in the Library will not always go with another event.

The idea:
-have a read-a-loud
-have a STEAM activity to go along with read-a-loud

Invitation sent out to all the students (there was a Spanish version too) I used  Picktochart to make this.. I LOVE this program!

The book that I chose to go with this evening was Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman. I of course also scoured Pinterest for ideas on what our STEAM activity could be that would be fun, affordable and fairly easy. I came across this blog Fun with STEM: A "Punkin Chunkin" Catapult with Craft Sticks.  Thanks Heidi Songs for the great idea (and directions!) There are of course a ton of ways to do this activity, but I liked the ease of this one.
Materials needed:
-Popsicle sticks (7 per patron)
-masking tape
-we used candy corn pumpkins 

The Idea
Give parents and students a chance to work together.  Give parents a chance to sign up for a library card (and check out books with their student!) and of course share a story.  They also got to view the 50 pumpkins that were submitted to our first Book Character Pumpkin Contest.

I was super thankful that the specials teachers were there to help me out! Since people came in at different times, it was nice to have several areas set up.  I ended up reading the book 2 different times, with the 2 different groups that meandered through.  I also used a counter to count how many people we had come in.. we had about 70!!!  3 parents checked out 10 books.

Ideas for next time
I have the very high possibility of doing the next Late Night in the Library on my own, so now that I have done it once.. I know how to organize a little bit better.
-have station signs with directions in both English and Spanish
-Have materials in several locations

LOVED that I had Max help me out for this.

Next up.. October 31st is Texas Library Snapshot Day and my husband is SUPER excited to be the Guest Reader to 3 groups.  He of course will be reading Where the Wild Things Are.. and there will be a STEAM Activity go along with that as well.  The library will also be open for extended day until 5pm.  I plan to do 2 more read-a-louds that afternoon and STEAM activity for those that come.

Do you offer a Late Night in the Library? What different programs do you do? 

Sunday, October 9, 2016


This week began my first ever book fair! I am person that asks a ton of questions, but not always the the person to ask for help.  Being in this new position, however, I know I need help.. but often times I am still unsure how I need help.. and if you don't know how you need help, managing volunteers can be a little crazy!
I knew that I wanted to decorate.. and I just knew that I would have time to do it. But then, reality hit and my good friend Madden reminded me.. get these awesome parent volunteers to help!

But wait- before I go any farther- have you seen the AWESOME new layout of my blog? My friend Carrie (aka Heck Awesome) did an AMAZING job redesigning this blog and my Ideas from a Busy Bee! I mean seriously- go check her out @HeckAwesome and her website.  I am in LOVE with it (my blog is getting more hits because I keep looking at it :)

The theme for the Scholastic Book Fair this fall was Bookaneers where Books are the Treasure.  Did you know that you can shop online too (now, it doe get delivered to me.. but if you live in the DFW or Amarillo area.. I bet I can help you out.. I can't ship.. but I can deliver!)
Lots of pictures in this blog, but I wanted to share what I am going to do different for the next book fair
-have volunteers set up for preview time to help monitor students and offer help
-have volunteers set up books (thinking about having a book fair crew)
-have volunteers help with book buying by making sure that kiddos in line actually have money to spend. (which happens next week.. so I am sure I will figure out more ways to have volunteers help!)
-have volunteers help with check in and check out (still having regular check in and out times)

Party city had coins. I am part of the Book Fair organizer page and got this idea!

Look at all of those books!

Changed the circulation desk into a pirate ship.  These parents did a great job!

Had another parent change the doors into the library into a pirate.

Had donuts and juice for staff members on Wednesday morning while they made their wish lists.

You can't go wrong when you have the chance to dress like a pirate!

This weekend is a 3 day weekend, so Saturday I had a chance to attend an author visit at the 
South Irving Public Library.  A couple of weeks ago, I had my first ARC (advanced reader copy) of a book delivered to the library! Gertie's Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley is the book I can't wait to delve into this long weekend! But super fun to actually meet the author.  If you think the name sounds familiar, her sister wrote Circus Mirandus

Look at these fun cupcakes!

I bought a copy of the book for the Elliott Library! You know I can't pas up a selfie with anyone.  

Saturday, October 1, 2016

#DotDay16 and #PoweredLibraries

Okay, I realize that I am about 15 days late to posting about International Dot Day.  Right now I am gearing up for my first ever BOOK FAIR!!!

This year International Dot Day fell on the same day as #poweredlibraries it was a perfect meld!

Now, you know I have been celebrating International Dot Day for at least 3 years (this was either my fourth of fifth year) What is International Dot Day? International Dot Day is based off the book The Dot by Peter Reynolds. It is all about a teacher encouraging a student to make her mark and see where it takes you.  You can easily search Twitter and Instagram for #dotday #dotday16 for a ton of great posts! I mean, how can you not love a great story with a great message!  This was my first Dot Day to celebrate as a Librarian.. and guys, my heart was SO HAPPY!!!

The students and staff were invited to wear dots to celebrate the day.  I also drew random names to those participating for a book at the upcoming book fair.
This is only half of the staff that participated in wearing dots

I know that many schools do things during the school day, but I love offering our Dot Day activities after school and inviting families to join in.  Our event was 3:30pm-5:00pm and we had over 50 people participate!  I of course want more.. but even if it was just one student, that student got the opportunity to participate and create.  As I said, since #DotDay fell on the same day as #poweredlibraries I wanted to make sure to infuse even more technology into the activities.  In the past we have had an augmented reality station and a couple of others, but I was excited to add more stations! Now, I could NOT have done all of this without great volunteers.. and an AMAZING Art Teacher!

Check out the pictures below to find out about our 5 stations!
Before all the Dot Day madness!

We brought in tools this year! This station each participant got a metal washer and could use a metal stamper to stamp out a 4 letter word.  Once stamped we put on ribbon so participants could wear it is a bracelet or necklace.  If they wanted to, they could also paint their washer using nail polish.

CD sgcraffito station. Mrs. R spray painted cds black and then participants could scratch out various designs. Check out more instructions here

Making your Mark station.  Each participant grabbed a dot and decorated it.  Then using the Chatter Pix Kid  app they took a picture of their dot and then had it it talk about how they would make their mark.

Polka Dot Pinwheels.  Participants made their own pinwheels and then decorated with dots. (okay, I might have had an anxiety attack at this station when I saw a container of glitter being dumped :) 

Each participant was asked to take one slide on a Google slide and using only circles create a story. I loved this website on How to Write a Dot Day Poem.

Not to bad of a program at all! In looking back at it, I know that there a couple of things that I would like to change.
-Make sure to have one volunteer at each station just to answer questions.  Although we only had 5 stations, and we had volunteers that were around, I need to be more structured.
-Spread it out a bit.  We had held this event in the cafeteria the last few years.  The library is a little bit smaller space, but I sure do love it!
-Have an elmo set up so when I did read The Dot I could put it on the big screen.

I can't wait to start planning next years stations!

From the collaborative Google Slide