Saturday, October 27, 2012

Book Fair Fun

It's book fair time! This coming week the library will be hosting a Scholastic Book Fair and the kids and staff are so excited! 
Hosting a book fair is a huge job because, for starters, it doesn't magically set itself up. In fact, it takes a lot of work to get a book fair ready, as one of my 5th graders reminded me last week. My book fair was delivered on Monday, and on Tuesday this student poked his head into the library. Here's how our conversation went:

Me (looking up from my computer): "Huh?"
Me: "Don't worry, I've got it covered. Now get back to class!"

That thrill over a book fair never seems to go away. Even adults get excited at the mere mention of the the event! Friday afternoon some of my wonderful library volunteers and PTA moms helped me unpack and arrange our school's fall book fair. I think it looks really good. Take a look! 
(Cue the "ooohs" and "ahhhs"...)


I have a big smile here because this was a posed completely spontaneous picture to show the joys of selling items at a book fair. I'll be the first to admit that hosting a book fair is not always sunshine and lollipops. Allow me to present the photo above as exhibit A--note the non-cluttered cash register table--very nice, right?! By Tuesday it will be covered with stacks of books and miscellaneous items to put away because people either: a.) changed their minds about what to buy, or b.) couldn't afford them in the first place. This table will also be littered with a collection of random papers, book fair flyers, sticky notes, trash, and pens. (Speaking of pens, the Murphy's Law of Book Fairs holds that they will mysteriously disappear the exact moment someone needs one to write a check.)

Exhibit B--no long lines of restless students and stressed-out parents here yet, but come Monday morning this place will be a zoo! And let's not forget about clueless kindergartners who can't count money but are laden with baggies full of pennies and nickels. You don't see them in this photo, but they are sure to make an appearance! 
Don't get me wrong; there are many things I like about the book fair. I enjoy the smell of brand-new books and the thrill of finding awesome stories to share with my classes. However, the best part of having a book fair is seeing so many kids get pumped up over books. All the hard work and effort put into running a book fair is worth it when a student says, "Yessss! You have the book I want to read!" 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Library Characters

I'm ba-ack! It has been a while since my last post and my only excuse is that I'm finding it a challenge to juggle family activities/schedules, work responsibilities, and blogging stuff.

Our library has had a few visitors since the beginning of school! One surprise guest in September was Miss Lotty, a.k.a. the Library Dragon!
Yep, she sports a dragon tail and stylish beehive hairdo!
If you're not familiar with the story The Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy, it's about a librarian named Miss Lotta Scales who is hired to guard the books at an elementary school. She starts out as a real dragon by not doing story time or letting the students even touch the library books. Of course, by the end of the story she transforms into Miss Lotty, a more kid-friendly librarian who allows the books to be checked out and even introduces story time in the library! A sequel book, Return of the Library Dragon, was recently published and I feel certain my students will be seeing more of Miss Lotty in the near future.

 Jumoke the baby gorilla continues to make occasional appearances at our library, but most of the time she is "napping" in the back office. Almost every class wants to know where she is and when they'll get to see her again, so to preserve my own sanity this past week I told them that she was away visiting a zoo! Who knows, that zoo trip may turn into an extended stay...

Last week's story Porkenstein, by Kathryn Lasky, brought out my inner scientist/inventor persona:
This is a great Halloween story that I read to pre-k through 4th grade classes. After the story, we had fun with science experiments. Please note that I use the word "science" loosely here, as the experiments involved water-filled beakers, cake sprinkles, an old TV cable, and a singing pig stuffed animal! Suffice it to say that I probably won't be awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry any time soon.

That's all of the library characters for now, friends. I'm signing off but am determined to do a better job of keeping up with the blogging world from now on. Who knows, maybe my next character will be called Super Blogger!