Friday, September 13, 2013

Book Places Sign

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I made this sign for my library this summer.  It turned out really well and was very cheap.  If you are handy, I highly suggest you try it!  I'm sorry I didn't take step by step pics but I will try to explain it the best I can.  I used old fence boards that someone was throwing out for the pointed sign places.  I downloaded all the fonts I wanted from And typed up all the places in the fonts that coordinated.  I have an artsy friend who did all the lettering for me but really, I was going to use a projector and just trace it on to the boards myself.  Then I painted the words black and sealed it with polyurethane.  That made it darker so I sanded the boards, and repainted the letters.  I bought a $3 sample of black paint at Home Depot and didn't even use half of it for the entire project.  Then I bought a fence post for another $4 at Home Depot and had them cut it for me there so I knew it would be a straight cut.  I painted it black and measured how many boards I had and how wide they were and the spacing between them, etc... I put finishing nails on the post where the boards went and then drilled corresponding holes in the boards so that the sign disassembles and can be moved easily.  Then I made a base like you would put on a Christmas tree to help keep it stable and not fall over.  And there you have it!  This was not a super easy project, but I think anyone with a brain and a drill, and just a bit of artsy skills can get it done. :)

I know it looks really dark in the pic, but it doesn't look that dark in real life.  The places I used are: 100 Acre Wood, Hogwarts, Narnia, Whoville, Camp Halfblood, Mr. McGregor's Garden, Wonderland, and Yellow Brick Road.

No No Never Box Kindergarten Lesson

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One thing I like to use to teach Kindergarten about taking good care of their library books. I made the No No Never Box out of a shoe box and then put the following items in there:

Plastic dog bone
Tiny baby doll
Tiny toy bathtub (or a picture of a raindrop)
Toy ice cream cone
Tape dispenser

Each one has a rule to go with it and I have some ruined books that I keep to show examples of what happens when your dog eats your book, when your baby brother or sister gets your book, when your book gets wet and starts growing mold, when food gets on or in a book, and when someone tries to fix a book on their own (the pages inside were taped upside down).

It's great and they totally freak out when they see these books that have been destroyed.  Hopefully it sinks in...

Pete The Cat Pre-K Storytime

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So I know there are a million zillion cutesy ideas out there for Pete The Cat, but this one is easy and fun if you are introducing him to a group of Pre-K kiddos.  I have a big huge Pete that I put on the easel, we read the story, sing his song, and change out his shoes.  Fun!

I Took My Frog To The Library Kindergarten Storytime

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I have done and tried many orientation lessons for Kindergarten but none seems to work as well as the book, I Took My Frog To The Library by Eric A. Kimmel.  It's kind of an oldie, but works perfectly.  I go through and read the story to them.  In the book, a girl brings all these different animals to the library and they all do something wrong.  After the story, we talk about all the animals and I display a picture of them on the easel as we discuss them and their library manners. Here is a list of the animals and what they do and how I relate it to a library rule:

Frog jumps on the checkout desk and scares the librarian (Rule: We walk in the library and leave running and jumping for recess or P.E.)
Hen lays an egg in the library (Rule: Sometimes we might bring something with us to the library-like a jacket-we need to remember to take it with when we leave.)
Snake sheds his skin on the picture books (Rule: Keep your library books clean.  Wash your hands before you pick it up and also cover your sneeze while reading.)
Giraffe reads over everyone's shoulder (Rule: Don't get up from your spot and wander all over the library.)
Hyena laughs too loud during storytime (Rule: Laughing is ok, but we should use a quiet laugh and quiet voices in the library.)
Pelican hides the dictionary in his pouch and no one can find it. (Rule: If you check out a book, bring it back.)
Elephant wrecks the library because he's so big. (Rule: Even though you aren't as big as an elephant, sometimes we knock things over on accident.  It's ok, just remember to pick it up.)

Wheels On The Bus Pre-K Storytime

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The first storytime I do with our PPCD (Pre-K special needs class) is Wheels On the Bus.  It's simple, it's engaging, and it's familiar.  I have a big laminated school bus that I put on the easel.  Then we sing each part of the song while I turn the pages and I let them come up and put the different pieces on the bus (wheels, wipers, driver, people, horn, baby, and parents).  Then once everything is up, we go back to the beginning of the book and sing it all again.

Book Tasting

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I got this super awesome and wonderful idea to do a book tasting in the library with my 3rd and 4th graders from here:
I love love love this lady (Mrs. Lodge's Library) and her blog is FANTASTIC!  She has tons of ideas that I think are brilliant and love to use in my own library.  This is one of them.  I have the class come in and talk about what it means to taste something.  Then I tell them they are going to take a taste of a book...and they look at me weird because they know where those books have been...
But once I explain it, and they get it, it goes really well.  Every time.
With 3rd graders, I picked easy chapter books that don't circulate very often and put them on the tables for them to look through.  My main goal there was to show them that there are other books to check out besides Captain Underpants, Wimpy Kid, and Junie B. Jones.
With 4th graders I assign them to a column of shelves and give them a shelf marker to peruse their assigned spot.  I think it is good for them to concentrate on one specific spot and really look at what is there.
Both grade levels did great with this activity and in every class, there is always someone who either found a book they thought was boring or uninteresting on the cover but after reading the back they liked it, or they found a book with a cool cover that didn't seem very interesting to them once they read the back. This is also a great lesson in not judging a book by the cover.