Monday, April 20, 2015

Diving Into Some Books!

So, I'm all set up and ready to go for our school's very first Buy One, Get One Scholastic Book Fair!  Since I have my first one from the Fall under my belt, I feel a lot more confident with this one!  Our past week of practicing matching the money amounts went so great!  My K and 1 students were more or less matching numbers, while my older ones were having fun running around the library on a scavenger hunt to find those same numbers to match up!  All in all, it was a success on all levels, and as I told my older ones (when I got the "do we have to do it?" comments), it was good practice for the coming week.  As soon as they started it, they had a lot of fun and I got a lot of "awws"  when I told them they had to stop for checkout. (You can see my earlier post about the "matching" game).

So, after my things were delivered on Tuesday, and I felt I had the utmost strength in NOT going through every box like it was Christmas, I had the idea to set up on Thursday afternoon to do a preview day on Friday.  The flyers that are sent home for the BOGO fair are small and not very detailed, and this way I figured the students could see what was here to buy.  After getting the blessing of my resource team, our Preview Day went really well (and I might do it for the Fall fair from now on) as each class got a "walking preview" of the Fair ("looking with our eyes, not our hands") either at the beginning of Resource or the end of their Resource time.  It also helped build excitement for the Fair with the kids.  My students, after their walk thru, were in our Story Room where we did our lesson on "fractured fairy tales" (Mo Willems style) to keep them engaged.

I wanted to do a theme this time and decided on "Diving Into Reading", where students created different sea creature crafts.  Fortunately for me, our Spring Break was at the perfect time so I could come in and decorate.  This past week, the kids really had some positive comments about how the library was decorated with their artwork!  I'm glad they got to see it before the cases and things were put up.

So, today, the Fair officially starts and I have a feeling I'll have kids outside the door for "Open Library Time" with eyes wide and money in hand!  Good thing I have my library helpers this time around (and I will definitely start that program earlier next year!).  My helpers (4th and 5th graders) are helping with little ones finding books as well as working "security" to make sure nothing gets pocketed without getting paid for!  They are most excited!

I also created gift certificates with an ocean theme for those of our students (nominated by staff) who might not have money to come to the fair and purchase a book.  These are ready to go and in envelopes in the teachers' mailboxes!

So of course I took pictures of the grand display today (before little hands start scavenging thru!) that I thought I'd share!  My fingers are crossed that this fair will go smoothly and each child will end up with at least one book to take home!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Buy One Get One: Preparing Students for Book Fair!

So our school is hosting our first Buy One, Get One Scholastic Book Fair.  Being that this is my second book fair of the year, AND my second one as a Library Media Specialist, I wanted to make sure my students were prepared to understand what this means!

I, at first, thought it would be a difficult concept for my little ones.  I wanted to create an activity that would help them understand the whole concept. Then, after putting up the posters around the school the week before Spring Break, with even my fifth graders asking what buy one/get one was (and when I told them, they were like COOL!), I realized it's an activity for each of my grades!

So, today I created this activity which is a "Around the Room/Library" type activity since the kids think ANY write the room/count the room/scavenger hunt is WAY COOL.  We haven't done one since February with African American History Month, so they're ready for a new one!  (I really need to create some more, like for Women's History Month, etc.  Summer to do list!).

I had racked my brain for different activities, not sure what I wanted to do, and then realized once I started creating, I actually had 4 activities in one!  Check it out!

Students need to match amounts, just like they would do with books at the book fair.  I'll be reading selections to do with money and responsibility this week, from Alexander Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday to The Go-Around Dollar to The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Money.  I try to read selections available in our library for students to check out, or I might have borrowed my family's Dave Ramsey Junior children's series! :)


Thinking I had Spring Break to come up with a "cool" activity for my kids, I spent the week before Spring Break with an Ocean Theme, having the kids create different crafts and learning about different species.  After all, it's my second book fair and I wanted to theme it somehow!  After Monday, I realized that I need to plan better and talk with the Art Teacher about having them do crafts in HER room that week, because lesson/book + craft + checkout did NOT equal enough time!

But, we got through it.  It gave me an excuse to get on Pinterest and get creative.  Plus, the kids LOVED learning about the different animals.  Now, I have a huge stack of sea creatures waiting to decorate the library!

So I wouldn't overload on one animal (we do have 744 students!), I split some of the grades up on their animals.

PreK/Special Needs:  Read Rainbow Fish and decorate a fish with foam stickers.  My older Autism class read about lobsters and created those (thanks to the 3 assistants who travel with them!).

Kindergarten:  Jellyfish and Sea Stars.

First Grade:  Crabs and Divers (because someone needs to explore the ocean depths!)

Second Grade:  Sea Turtles and Stingrays

Third Grade:  Octopus and Sea Horses/Dragons (I originally was going to do the swirly paint with them, then after trying to do a sample the weekend before realized a) too messy and b) took forever to dry!  They just colored templates I found and had a great time doing it!  Not too much opportunity to color in third, so they enjoyed it!).

Fourth Grade:  Sharks - they created "shark jaws" and of course, had to decorate and have "bloody teeth" and "gums" and some even had a fish caught in the teeth!

Fifth Grade:  Jellyfish - but we did recycled jellyfish, so a  little different than the K classes.

I hope to a) be better at posting (sorry, March!) and b) post pictures of the finished decorated bookfair.  I was supposed to use this week for Spring Break to start decorating and, well, between dr appointments, family trips, and one lazy day....oh, and getting caught up in reorganizing my nonfiction section (neverending task), it didn't quite get done!