Saturday, August 15, 2015

3 Days Down....

For some reason, several years ago, our calendar changed so that we'd start on Wednesdays.  It has since stuck.  I've never quite decided if I like it or not.  I know it's great for the little ones, who are exhausted by the 3rd day. The bad thing is, they come back forgetting all those procedures from the first 3 days!!!

This year, my back to school was soooo much smoother than last year.  I have decided that last year, I was still in my "teacher/classroom" brain, so the centers and activities I did with the kids that first week (which did NOT include checkout due to a flub in the system) was not going to work this year.  Sure, I had a few who enjoyed the usual back to school/get to know you activities but let's be honest here.  Most did not, because it was something they had already done in the classroom and were not expecting out of a resource!

So, this year, after year one under my belt, I felt more confident coming in.  I took those back to school copies I had leftover from last year and handed them out to classroom teachers.  I was determined students would check out the first day, despite the fact that after the "Destiny Rebuild" our central tech person did, I could not look up names, only student numbers (and that included teachers too, yikes!).  It took a call to Follett to get that straight and guess what?  It wasn't on my end!  However, it's fixed, so that makes me happy!

To tell the truth, it almost felt like we had been on a short break and picked up where we had left off - just in different classes and grades.  I was really touched when students came up to me and told me they missed coming to library, or were happy it was "library day."  I made it through the now-not-shocked Kindergarten behavior (or lack of it).  THAT was an eye-opener last year!  Gentle voice and many times repeated directions! :)

So, what did I do this year?  Well, I did the usual "back to school/library/book themed" read alouds.  Then, to go over book care and library procedures, I thought it would be more fun for kids to see a funny video than just listen to me.  It went over really well with the K-3 kiddos that I did it with!  You can see them at our "Primary Foxes" wiki page.  For Kindergarten, I found this cute cookie monster video visiting a library for the first time that inspired giggles, as well as a video some genius made that starred "Emily" and what to do and not to do with your library book at home!  That's on the "What's a Library?" page {here}.  For grades 1-3, I used the "Taking Care of Our Books" page and the firsties watched Skippy Jon Jones, second watched the Pigeon and third watched Al and Scaredy Squirrel {here}.

After, students checked out and were able to choose centers once they found their book (the Kinders didn't do that since by the time you explained everything, there was maybe 10 minutes left to choose a book!  I just had them sit down and look at their book after checking out).

For 4th and 5th, I got inspired and created a QR Code Scavenger Hunt.  I figured it was a fun way to review library procedures, book checkout, sections of the library, etc.  I only did 6 questions, but it did take them some time.  We're going to go over answers for the next rotation because some of them were bound and determined to find out the answers to all!  I called a pause to the hunt to check out books, then they could resume if they wanted to.  This was the first time I'd used QR codes in the library, so scanning with the iPads was a definite highlight!  I had to remind some of them to stop and WATCH the video/powerpoint to find their clue/answer to the question!  They just wanted to keep scanning. :)

I have to admit - I'm now an addict to Powtoons, SafeShare, and QR codes!!!!!

So, I'll finish out this rotation on Tuesday, and our next theme will be reviewing our online catalog (Destiny) for grades 2-5, and meeting Pete the Cat for my Kinders and playing with 5 little monkeys with my firsties (we learned the songs last year, so they'll enjoy the revisit!).

Oh, and before I forget - a freebie!  Working on my emergency sub plans, I had whipped this up last year (warning - on teacher/classroom brain), but after looking at it today, I realized that for a sub that doesn't know how to use the computer to check out, it would work out well.  It's making its way into my emergency sub folder.  Feel free to check it out {here}.

And, just because I realized that this post looks kinda boring with no pictures - here's Cookie Monster being THAT STUDENT.  hee hee :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

It's Back to School Time!

Oh my  - day 3 of back to school and this is the first time we've been able to work in our rooms!  Of course, being in the library, that included cleaning up after the Monday meeting that was held in here - stray cups, pencils, highlighters, a bag of tomatoes (???) get the idea.

So, after laminating for teachers, I'm able to finally do some things for me as I look over last year's plans and revamp because I am the type of person who can never teach things the same way twice! LOL  Of course, last year, I was a naive classroom teacher coming into the library, so my idea of centers and activities for the kids was a bit, well, naive.  So, not doing the "get to know you" activities this year that I still have a ton of copies from last year (maybe there's some teachers I can donate those to!).  I had also naively thought I could create a book for each class (so I could learn names I didn't know) by using a cute photo booth.  Yeah.  744 kids.  It didn't happen and fortunately none of the kids thought any more of it!!!

So, I found two things I wanted to share for the beginning of the year!  One is a book care packet that I used with all my classes to talk about how to take care of books.  With fourth and fifth, I just used the poster as a review, but I used the activities for my PreK-3 classes.  They seemed to enjoy it.  I made enough of each sorting activity so that each table could work on it, then check out books. After, they colored bookmarks that stated they would take care of their books.  That was the start of the demand for bookmarks with cute clipart to color.  So I went ahead and posted what I created last year and saved in a "bookmark" file (I'm sure there are some in other files, but I haven't pulled those out yet!) as a bookmark bundle.  I will definitely add to it, and there's everything from Avengers to Minecraft to Monster Trucks to biography/famous people to....well, you get the idea!

So, if you're interested, head over to my TpT store to check these things out by clicking on the pictures below!  I hope to be sharing my behavior plan that I did last year soon as well!