Thursday, July 31, 2014

It's Coming Whether I Am Ready or Not!

Yep, that's right.  The school year is almost here - August 13!  Yikes!

I thought I'd share what I've been busy with these past few weeks that I've neglected my blog, new Facebook page, new Twitter account, etc.  (and here I always thought summer was the time to start these things!!!).

I've been working on displays in the library and am anxiously awaiting some acrylic sign holders for the signs I've made (which I promise to take pics of later -with the "complete" design).

Excuse the tables on top of the shelves - carpet cleaning.  Our fiction shelves were crammed tight!  Books were floating on top and yes, I know that things would loosen up once checkout starts, but still.....
Since we are a relatively new school (opened in 2010) we still had some empty shelves, so to lighten the fiction section's load, I took out numbered series and it really cleared up space!  I didn't know what a difference it made visually until a teacher came by and she noticed we had the Redwall series (which I guess when shelves are crammed, it's hard to see).

Here is where I put the series books....I tried to do higher series on one side and lower reader/interest series on the other side.  There's still some room to grow as we add to certain series (and maybe pick up some new ones!).  I'm going to use the rounded shelf markers from Demco to highlight the series and put the picture on each one so students can find them easily.  Again, I realized the difference it made when my 7 year old realized we actually had a full Disney fairy series (but since they were by different authors, they were spread different places!).

Okay, moving on to actual displays.  The pyramid is Playmobil.  I earned a grant from them several years ago for the Egyptian set and even though I'm not second grade anymore, found it still comes in handy!

Found a use for some of the posters I saved!  I've always loved my space one :)

I have to admit, it took over 5 hours to straighten up the nonfiction area!  Last year, our elementary librarians lost their assistant, so we had parent volunteers in helping shelve books, help check out books, etc.  That, or the transportation and animal books, in particular, had an epic battle!

My mystery spotlight. :)  I don't have a separate mystery section because other than series, I'm not sure if it needs one (or I have room!).  Plus, it's elementary, so I don't see a huge need.  However, I had these cute bulletin board characters that in the past have been "Grammar Detectives" so now they're living a new life by focusing on some of our mystery stories!  I used to have cute little footprints that went along with it, but will need to replace them with something else...again, it's also waiting for a sign!

I'm a sucker for teaching math with literature, and I was so excited to find so many cute math books that I am more or less highlighting these to share with the teachers as we hold our back to school meetings in the library.  (There's a method to my madness!).

So, I've also been working on different signs for the library, as well as Dewey signs.  I want to get them up and in place before I'm offering them publicly (just to check myself that I like what I did without changes!).  However, here's a sneak peek!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Christmas In July!

I've been hard at work getting ready for my new life as a Library Media Specialist!  I've been working on a "We're Wild for Reading" for a year theme to start off our year in the library.  I also want to do different themes for each month of the year.  Recently, though, my focus has been on combining my 16 years of classroom into the library (and yes, I have purged purged purged and shared!!!).  The next thing on the list is to clean up the library (shelves, decorating, etc) and then work on lesson plans, themed centers for PK-5, and....well, that's probably enough considering school starts August 13!!!!!!

So, how are you getting ready for school?  Walmart and Teacher's Notebook want to help you out!  Keep reading below (and I promise I will be sharing more soon!).

Teacher's Notebook is doing a special promotion that starts THIS Friday!  I'm joining in with my entire store being discounted 25% off! 

 Click on the picture to visit my shop!

Another great deal....if you haven't heard about it through Walmart.

This is from their site:
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – July 21, 2014 – For the first time ever, Walmart is offering teachers across the country 10 percent savings on classroom supplies. The retailer announced the teacher-exclusive savings event as data shows 53 percent of teachers received less in funding last year. Walmart has donated more than $20 million to U.S. educators in the last five years.
Teachers who shop at Walmart stores during its Teacher Appreciation Week, July 25 to 31, are eligible to receive a Walmart eGift Card for 10 percent back on nearly 15,000 products – everything from pencils and glue to classroom décor.
“On average, teachers around the country spend about $1,000 readying their classrooms, and half of that comes from reaching into their own wallets to make sure students have what they need,” said Steve Bratspies, executive vice president, general merchandise for Walmart U.S. “We’ve had a commitment to supporting teachers in the communities we serve for many years. This program is one more way we’re helping lessen the cost, increase support and set teachers up for success.”
The savings process for teachers is simple:
  • Shop Walmart stores for classroom supplies.
  • Visit by August 15 to register receipts by entering teacher’s school information and receipt transaction code.
  • Savings on eligible items from select departments* will be delivered on a Walmart eGift card via email within 14 days of submitting the receipt online.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Am I A Teacher Hoarder?

Went into school - first time since our last teacher day - and started sorting through my things.  Bad news is - 95% of it is MINE!  Some of it, I can leave for the next teacher.  Other things, I'm trying to scrutinize and leave for my team members to use.  Most of it, though, I'm looking at and either can't part with it or have that "I MAY be able to use this next year."  My goal though is if I DON'T use it next year, then I'll "donate" to my fellow teachers!

Just to give you an idea of what I'm working with:

So far, one metal cabinet, my desk, and the shelf above the coat closet are clear.  I'm HOPING to be done by this Friday, since I know whoever is coming into my former room will be anxious to move in!  Well, I can't move my things just yet, but can at least have them in a pile by the door!

The other news is that I have finally set up a twitter and facebook page!  Woo woo!  While I may not be celebrating in Vegas this week - so jealous of those that get to go (my husband said NO WAY was I going near slot machines!) - I'm trying to feel productive!

My facebook page is (because "Whatdoesthefoxread" was taken!).  As for twitter, I am @doesthefoxread (because I ran out of room!).  I'm hoping to get these up and running soon.  I "tweeted" for my first time tonight!  Not sure if I'm going to use it solely for school at this point, or connect it to my teacher blog. 

The other thing I've managed to accomplish (while biting my nails waiting to hear about this "new position") was a "Sunny Days" Math and Literacy Centers!  Right now, I have it on sale for $3.50 on TPT, so you might want to check it out!  It's 5 math and 5 literacy centers with a summery sunny theme.  I created it for end of year Kindergarten/beginning of year first and lower second grade students.  I hope you'll check it out!  Click on the link or title picture below to see more.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

What Does the Fox Read?

Our school mascot's the fox - it's a gray fox named Fletcher, but honestly, it seems any fox will do for the kids.  When the song, "What Does the Fox Say?" became popular, it was a definite hit and came close to being a theme-song for our kiddos!

So, tweaking it a little bit, I have a new name and soon, thanks to LeeLou Blogs, a new look to my blog!  While I can't quite reveal what my new title is, I'm super excited about it!  I just dread going into my classroom of 16 years worth of things and having to empty it out!  Yikes!  I hope to go in tomorrow and will try to take a picture of everything piled to the ceiling (and yes, my custodians laugh at me every year, or just shake their heads and walk away!).

So, here's to new beginnings!  I hope to blog more soon! :)