Sunday, June 29, 2014

Story Time: American Folk Tales & States

                                                     American Folk Tales/ Tall Tales

One of my fourth grade classes is studying Folk Tales/ Tall Tales. The class visits the library twice a week. I chose three tall tales to read to the class : Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill and John Henry:

 Paul Bunyan by Steve Kellogg

 Pecos Bill by Steve Kellogg

John Henry by Julius Lester and Jerry Pinkney

I really wanted to show the class a movie or two of tall tales. I remembered Disney's "The Legend of Pecos Bill" from when I was younger, so I looked up the video. I felt it was inappropriate to show to the class. I do think that the John Henry video could work, I might use it later in the week. 
After I read the three stories above I asked the class to help me point out the states that each tall tale covered. I printed out a blank map (Like the one shown above) and the students helped me fill in the states for John Henry (West Virginia), Pecos Bill (Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona and California) and Paul Bunyan (California, Oregon and Washington). Here is a map of all of them (I also added Johnny Appleseed, which I want to read to the students, if I have the time).

I then turned the states activity into a competition. We read about the competition with Paul Bunyan and the steam saw and train and then the competition with John Henry and the steam drill. I thought it would be fun for the students to get into two groups and compete against each other to see who could put the states in alphabetical order the fastest. I handed out a map with each state labeled (the whole name, not just the abbreviation). Then I divided the class into two groups (they ended up breaking up into four groups, two was too many students to be heard). I gave them 10 minutes and then had one student from each group stand up and recite their list. The farthest anyone got was the M's (with a few mistakes). I was very impressed!
One student happened to know a state song (that I also knew) called "Fifty Nifty." I did not have her participate with the group. Instead she wrote down all the states she remembered (about 2/3rds of the song) and I looked it over for any mistakes. After the students had their chance to recite the states, I had her sing the song. I took over when she stopped at Ohio and finished the song. This is an awesome way to remember the states. It is not the typically known song from Animaniacs, I learned it in elementary school and I still know all the states in order. Here are the lyrics, you can find several videos of it on youtube:
"Fifty Nifty United States" by Ray Charles
Fifty nifty United States from thirteen original colonies;
Fifty nifty stars in the flag that billows so beautifully in the breeze.
Each individual state contributes a quality that is great.
Each individual state deserves a bow, we salute them now.
Fifty nifty United States from thirteen original colonies,
Shout 'em, scout 'em, Tell all about 'em,
One by one till we've given a day to every state in the U.S.A.
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut;
Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana;
Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan;
Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada;
New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina,
North Dakota, Ohio; Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina,
South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas; Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming!
Fifty nifty United States from thirteen original colonies,
Shout 'em, scout 'em, Tell all about 'em,
One by one till we've given a day to every state in the good old U. S. A.

Bulletin Board: Dive Into Reading!

Dive into reading this summer! Over the summer I am working as a teacher/librarian for a K-5 private school. For the library's bulletin board I came up with "Dive into Reading." Using ocean/diving/swimming themed books that the library had, I created this cute bulletin board.

For the fish/ sea creatures I googled "baby fish" "ocean nursery" "sea creatures" and I also looked at examples on Pinterest and Etsy. I drew some of the creatures myself like the octopus and crab. You might notice that a few of the fish are from Dr. Seuss books. I cut out all the fish and drew on faces using a sharpie. Then I cut out starfish, seaweed and rocks. I chose to cut out larger letters than the 4" punches that the school had available.

I used the following books, I found the cover images online and printed them out and then added a colors piece of craft paper behind each one:

Samson the Hot Tub Bear by Wendy Tokuda

                                                       Sea of Dreams by Dennis Nolan

Samantha the Swimming Fairy by Daisy Meadows

                                                   The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

Dark Day in the Deep Sea by Mary Pope Osborne

                                                The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

Fish for Jimmy by Katie Yamasaki

                              Junie B., First Grader: Aloha-ha-ha! by Barbara Park

Ladybug Girl at the Beach by David Soman and Jacky Davis

                                      The Seals That Wouldn't Swim by Steve Brezenoff

The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler

  The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen

Thursday, June 19, 2014

June: Books Into Movies Display

Book Into Movies Display! There are several YA books being turned into movies this year. This is a perfect opportunity to gain student interest. The last two years we have made a books into movies display that features all recently released as well as upcoming movies. Playing off of the popular "Call Me Maybe" song I created signage for the display, the keywords I made pink and the rest I left black. I also backed each word with a colored piece of construction paper:

To entice the students even further I created a QR code that links to the movies trailer. Each book, that has a trailer available, showcases a QR code on the front cover. Here are some of the codes (you may want to check to see the links are still active):

I then created signs to display on the shelves. The first sign just told gave the display title along with some movie posters:
The second sign gave the title and explained about the QR codes:
The third sign I made smaller 5" x 7" and it was just a common saying that I am constantly saying/hearing:
On the lower shelves of the display I put books that were being turned into movies, yet their trailers were not released yet. I called these "coming soon":
I also added stars to the coming soon books with their projected movie release date:
The display is a lot of fun, please feel free to use any of the signage/ QR codes.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Cataloging: Genre-fying Our Fiction Collection (Part 2)

I am happy to say that we have now finished the genre project in the Upper School (High School), the process is still ongoing in the middle school, but we should be done next year. Here is how we went about finishing:

Once we had entered genres for about half of the titles in the catalog we put some parent and student volunteers on labeling. I printed out a new shelf list that showed the new call numbers with the genres on them. Started with "A" our volunteers began labeling. We played with the best way of completing this task. In the end having a cart available in the aisle and pulling books off one by one turned out to be the preferred method for the volunteers.

There are several choices for the labels on the books and we pursued each of them. I really liked the idea of using plain white labels or even cut pieces of paper and then purchasing colors label protectors. However, we did not want to have to reprint all our spine labels, we needed a solution that we could add to the books we currently had. I took the time to research pre-made genre labels from Demco and The Library Store. We came to the conclusion that most of the images on the labels fit elementary and middle schools more than high schools. I then chose to create labels myself using well known icons for each genre, yet when we printed them and tested them out on our current books, it covered up a lot of the title and/or the author. I then created skinny labels that just had the name of the genre. I used different fonts to try and portray what the genre was about (for horror I used a spooky looking text...). We then took the genre labels with the images I had made and the genre labels with just the text to our Library Advisory Board and let them vote. They chose the version with just the text. This worked out well because on the majority of our current books we could fit the genre label below the spine label and not cover more of the book than necessary.

I found some small, skinny labels from Planet Label. We went with a pack of Pastel colors and a pack of Brilliant colors. This gave us 12 colors to choose from (we only have 10 genres). I was also able to download the label template from the Planet Label website and then paste in the genre text image I had created. The labels we used are here. The colors we assigned to the genres are as follows: Adventure: bright yellow; Dystopian: lime green; Fantasy: raspberry; Historical: light yellow; Horror: greyish green;  Mystery: light grey; Realistic: greyish blue; Romance: neon pink; SciFi: neon blue; Sports: neon orange. Here are the text files if you want to use them for your project:

We decided to put the genre labels at the very bottom of the spine for each book. If an older book had a spine label that was too low, for the genre label to fit, then the volunteer would pull the book and I would reprint the spine label. This way when you look at a shelf of all one genre they line up with each other.

Moving the Books:
Once the cataloging was complete we moved on to moving the books. Before any book was moved I ran reports in Destiny. I ran an individual report for each genre so I knew approx. how many books were in each genre. I then went through the shelves and estimated each could fit 20 books on a shelf. I printed out a floor plan of the library and wrote in where each genre would go. It seemed like we would not have enough room so we made the decision to move where our graphic novels were located and that allowed us to open up an extra bookcase.
We then started by moving all the realistic books to the now empty graphic novel bookcase. Then we slowly pulled smaller genres off the shelves and put them on carts and a temporary bookcase that we rolled in for the moving process. Once most of the genres were off the shelves we were able to get the rest moved into their correct places and then add back in the ones we had pulled. We did run into a few issues when books just did not fit as we planned, but being flexible made the process go smoothly. With tons of help from the student volunteers we had the moving done in days!