"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Loved the Visit from That Fine, Fine Author

September 21

I tried.
Can't do it.
Brain's empty.
This is exactly how I felt yesterday, September 21st, the day Sharon Creech visited my school. 

Like Jack in Love That Dog, I tried, but couldn't do it.
I write to reflect, but found there were no words yesterday.  I thought of these lines.  You have to admit, the timing is eerie.

I was and am desperate to write now, but weekend obligations keep me from my writing, so, for the moment, I share a few photos and remind myself that there is always tomorrow...night, there is always tomorrow night.

Like a maestro, Sharon Creech created a symphony of story.

I loved watching my students faces and seeing their reactions.
...especially the one leaning forward in her seat.
...and seeing them eagerly raise their hands.

So, since I don't have the time to really write, I created a book spine poem!

Absolutely Normal Chaos

Hate That Cat
Fishing in the Air
Chasing Redbird
The Unfinished Angel

Love That Dog
Ruby Holler

The Great Unexpected
Granny Torelli Makes Soup

A Fine, Fine School
The Castle Corona.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Love This Fine, Fine Author

Sharon Creech, amazing author and all around wonderful person is visiting our fine, fine school this week! I am beyond excited...as are the classroom teachers...as are the students. 

This. Is. Big. Stuff. 

as Mary Lou would say, "Alpha and Omega, this is substantial sum and substance!"

OR...as Lizzie might say, "Well, Lar-de-dar-dar! Can you believe it? That fine, fine author, Sharon Creech is coming to visit our fine, fine school."

The signs have been hung.

The invitations have been sent.

The notices have gone home in backpacks.

The book orders have been placed.

Her new Website is being visited.

Books are being read!

This fine, fine school is very excited!

What a way to begin!  Mind you, we are only on day 10 of our school year.  Where shall I go from here?

I know!  I'll start a virtual book group with my school librarian colleague, Mr. Schu (you can see, us below with Sharon and another school librarian colleague).  Over the course of the year, students in our two schools will read and discuss three of her books.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Making Marks That Matter

International Dot Day is today, September 15-ish
It's a celebration of creativity, courage and community inspired by Peter H. Reynolds book, The Dot
Here in my library we've been celebrating International Dot Day all week.
Promoting this year's celebration with last year's art.
Last year, my students (grades 1-5) celebrated International Dot Day by making their mark, sometimes individually, sometimes collaboratively.  My favorite project?  The  Vashti~ish Dot Thoughts.

This year, I've taken a different approach.  I've been using The Dot to start a discussion about creating a library learning community. What has ensued all week is a great discussion about taking risks, being brave and paying it forward. I've been bringing this idea around to our library learning community and how we will help, support and encourage each other to be brave and take risks.  In the K class I started with one child and created a thread of one child helping another through the entire class. They loved this tangible example.
After this discussion, the students in grades one and four created a library learning community pledge.
For the first graders, I was their scribe and they each signed it with their unique mark.

For the fourth graders, I explained the process for creating the pledge - each student should choose a different color to add their own sentence about something he or she wanted to work on or their wish for our classroom community. I am excited to have these hanging in our library all year as a reminder about our learning community.
The kindergarten students "Made Their Mark" on their library cards -- each time they check out a book, they will remember The Dot and their promise to be brave, take risks, and help each other in our learning community.

The fifth graders took on "The Dot Heard 'Round the World" theme and created "Marks That Matter" -- Dot Thoughts that will be sent through a literacy program to other students across the globe.

The Dot translated by my students.

It's never too late to participate!

I wonder what next year's 10th anniversary of The Dot will bring...ten ways to make your mark? hmmmmm...stay tuned!

Friday, September 14, 2012

On Your Mark, Get Connected, Go!

There's still time to be part of this great celebration of creativity, courage and inspiration. You can start now and celebrate until it's 10th  anniversary!

Schools around the world are taking part in Dot Day celebrations.  Over 500,000 students have been signed up for Dot Day activities, whether they be within the classroom or reaching around the globe through Skype.

Feeling like you've missed the boat?  It's not too late.  Dot Day celebrations are continuing into next week.  Even better? The Dot can be used to inspire your students any day of the year

Looking for some great ideas?
The new Dot Club Website is a great resource: http://www.thedotclub.org

This year, we're thinking globally.  
We are trying to figure out how to be part of The Dot heard 'round the world.
My students wrote the word Dot in their languages.
The book has been published in many countries.

Get involved. 
Get connected. 
Make your mark. 
Make it matter.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Bigger Than a Bread Box...

I always loved this part of the description of a surprise gift, one which you had not yet set your eyes upon.

So...yes, it is bigger than a bread box...and smaller than a closet.  Hmm...not quite right. Bigger than a bread box and ... smaller than a couch. That was the expected, but completely surprising gift I received at 3:15 today. Friday. The end of the first week of school. The book order I placed in August arrived today. Today! This was no traditional book order. This was a very large book orderWhen will I find the time to process them? Looks like I need to find and train some willing volunteers!

Check out the best book order I have ever received. Really. Ever.
One Cart. Full. BOTH sides.
I think there are Newbery Books on this shelf...
Seriously...look at these titles!...
more on Wonder, Three Times Lucky, Bird in a Box,
The One and Only Ivan, Liar and Spy, Palace of Stone, Jake and Lilly, Mighty Miss Malone, Capture the Flag and the others in a later post!
I am rounding out some areas of the collection
that had been sorely neglected.
I know circulation is going to go up!
These readers have been waiting quite a while.
My choices and theirs -- filling out the book order with student requests.
Along with bring some new energy to my fiction section, I also ordered some great new nonfiction!
I love books that are puzzles! 
I already have a project in mind for this 1.
Tried to get my hands on Over and Under the Snow all last winter and spring.
These two books will not be on the shelves long.
I don't think I'll even have a chance to shelves these either.
And Poetry!  It's not just for April!

Incredible. Beautiful. Stunning.
I love found poems! 
Poem in Your Pocket Day, here we come!
Hoberman and Emberley. Awesome.
And Biographies! I love to share an inspiring story.

Excited to share this "local girl" with the 5th graders!
Inspiring. Incredible. Enough said.
So many cooks...so little time...
Fannie in the Kitchen has some competition!
No one does it like...Cheryl Harness
Sadly, I missed meeting Sy Montgomery last year.
Did I mention Graphic Novels?  No more empty shelves for me!
No more "Here yesterday...gone today."
Long time coming. Sidekicks and Owly!
Maye now there will be a Lunch Lady on the actual shelves...
two copies of each doesn't seem to do the trick.
Smile, Zita, Zebrafish and so much more!
And Picture books! Anyone want to make some Caldecott predictions?
The Academy Award wining film has been beautifully and skillfully
captured by William Joyce.
Our young school gardeners will easily relate to this wonderful story.
Two different takes on understanding the world around us.
Beautiful message beautifully illustrated.
A school wide favorite!
I'm looking forward to this author/illustrator study with my first graders!
And this author and illustrator study with my kindergartners!
I want to share this with all my students.
I am happy to be adding circulating copies of these books!
(read: I have these, but on my "teaching" shelf)
And...more will arrive in due course. This was the biggest order I had ever placed.  Bigger than a bread box indeed.

Happy Friday!