Monday, November 14, 2011

Gobble Gobble!

As soon as Halloween was over, the kids asked how the shelf marker bucket would be decorated next. My awesome aide Christina created our little turkey friend in no time! (But refused to pose with him despite my best efforts...)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sunshine State Young Reader's Award Books

If you aren't reading this year's Sunshine State Young Reader's Award nominees already, what are you waiting for? More than 50 of my elementary students have already read 3 or more of the SSYRA titles, which makes them eligible to vote for their fave in the spring (and eat pizza at the Pizza Voting Party)! I'm so proud of them - we've never had this many students eligible so early in the year! And if you like this PictureTrail flick I posted, you can make your own here. It's free and it's easy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Invisible Smelly Stickers

I so wish I had thought of this ingenious idea.  I have to give credit where it's due: my friend (and an amazing 1st grade teacher) Lauren Adams brought this idea to our school, where I quickly stole it and use it every day in the library.  Its invisible! It's smelly! (In a good way!) And it's a sticker!

The kids often ask me where I buy these invisible smelly stickers, and I always tell them that I buy them at the Invisible Smelly Sticker Factory. But I'll tell you a secret: I buy them at Target. And the Dollar Tree. And I get them from Santa.

I have the students put a hand on their head and I put a little dot of smelly sticker on it. They last a longgggg time, and they're about $1 a piece. Hello affordable!  I have accumulated many scents (as you can see), and when one dies that the kids really like, I'll replace it.

My experience is that a kid will do just about anything for an invisible smelly sticker. Kindergarteners will actually be quiet and pay attention for 30 minutes if they think they can be my Invisible Smelly Sticker HELPER.

I know that some of you reading this are thinking this is a great idea for elementary kids, but older students will think it's dumb. Think again! I have middle school and high school students who ask for a sticker, too.

Btw, today's "flavor" was chocolate. Big hit.

Sunday, October 16, 2011



Found this great idea on Pinterest, via, and knew we had to do this to our shelf marker bucket in the library.  My friend Cori, the school nurse's assistant, gave me the gauze and suggested the bandaid for the mouth.  :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

What took me so long?

It's my 5th year as a school librarian, and this fall I planned my 9th book fair at school.  I don't know why it took me so long to figure out that putting all the pens, pencils, pencil sharpeners, erasers, and other "toys" on a display board was the way to go!  Doing this accomplished 2 things: it took the focus off the "toys" and put it on the books (score!); and it kept the "toys" out of little hands who couldn't buy them.  A great side effect of this was that my blood pressure stayed low because I didn't have to watch this stuff like a hawk as I did in the past.

Disclaimer: this took me about 4 hours to put together. I borrowed a piece of peg board from my dad, covered it with white butcher paper, and then poked holes through the paper where I wanted to hang the items. I used kite string to tie the items to the board, because that's what I had on hand (free = good).  For my next book fair, I'm going to buy a piece of peg board, paint it white, and hang the items with clear plastic ties.  Now that I know the idea worked, I don't mind putting a little money into the project, especially since the peg board will last several years.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Summer Refreshment

At the end of last school year, I was standing in the middle of the library looking around, and I realized I was bored. Not with my job, but with the way the library looked. And I know that if I'm bored with something, the kids are definitely bored with it.

One of the challenges of a library in a K-12 school is creating an environment that makes everyone (from kindergarteners to seniors) feel welcome.  I try not to cute it up so much for the elementary kids that it turns away the high school students.  But I want it to be bright, colorful, warm, and fun, too.

So I decided to do a beach theme; I bought adirondack chairs for the book nook, and then decorated with kites, beach balls, shells, and fishing nets. One of our awesome high school art teachers printed a panoramic picture of the beach in the Bahamas to go in the book nook. Our awesome biology teacher loaned us some seashells and coral to complete the display.

I created a bulletin board for our principal to "hang 10" as the students earn AR points.  The kids love it!  Please notice the beautiful crests on these waves, made lovingly by my mother.

On another bulletin board, closer to the computers, I put up the names of the most frequently-used databases, and the instructions for logging in.

And of course we needed something beachy to hold the shelf markers!

Over the front doorway, I hung 10 beach balls from the ceiling.  I'll take a picture next week and post it.

Every librarian needs parents like mine who will spend a week helping me shop, design, assemble, and hang all these cool decorations. Poor Dad was on a ladder for three days straight hanging pictures, kites, beach balls, and this awesome Cat in the Hat with balloons.

End result of this little refresher: bye bye boredom!