Books About Town

How would you like to sit on this bench?

 Catherine Monaghan

 

Sitting on the bench in London, England is one of our blogging partners. Mrs. Monaghan runs the fabulous classroom blog A Room with a View from Middleham, England. She and her family visited London this summer and sent us a photo for our reading blog because she thought we would like one from another country! She said she was thinking of us as she and her daughter went on a book trail hunt!  They went on the Books About Town hunt for benches hidden in different parts of London.

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Here is what Mrs. Monaghan wrote to us:

Artists had been commissioned to illustrate benches to depict a book or author – and you could follow a map trail around the city to discover them – mainly in parks and leafy spaces. Needless to say we whiled away many happy hours obsessively searching!

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The first picture is not very good but at least I remembered to get a book out! The last one is my favourite bench… thought you’d like a little quiz to see if you can guess it!

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Now the challenge is of course to figure out which book this bench depicts.  Talk about a puzzle. I think I am going to need help!

Who can help me figure this out?

 Can you help me please??? Do some research, with your parent’s permission of course, and figure out what book is featured on the bench. Then leave a comment on the blog and let us all know what you found out and how! Maybe you think you know it in your head. You still need to do research to verify your idea. Please, please, leave us a comment and give us all the scoop on the mysteriously, colorful bench! Inquiring minds want to know!

Thank you so much Mrs. Monaghan for sharing these fabulous reading photos from London, England. We hope you will also visit Mrs. Monaghan’s blog A Room with a View as well. They have just started school again for the 2014-2015 school year and always have great posts to read.

Happy Reading!

Mrs. Hembree

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Is that a Frog?

Honestly, I don’t know how Mina and Penny do it, but they always have memorable photos! Last year they featured a certain countryside landmark of toilets and Captain Underpants. I challenge you to find that photo from last summer!
This year the girls are back with some camping, tents, books and a FROG!
Thanks for making me laugh!

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Welcome Back Readers!

It’s the first day of the 2014-2015! Woo-hoo! I hope you are as excited as I am.
We already have so much to look forward to. September 6th is International Literacy Day and September 15th is International Dot Day. Both days celebrate the importance of reading and creativity throughout the world.
We also begin year 3 of our Books to Africa reading partnership program. Our first fundraiser is Thursday at our Back to School picnic! There’s so much to look forward to this year!

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How Do You Burp in Space?

Have you ever wondered how the astronauts do normal things in space?

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Kaito has the perfect book to answer those questions! I can bet he would like to meet Chris Hatfield to ask him this question and more. Who is Chris Hatfield you ask? Kaito, do you know?

Recently Miss Y, one of our librarian friends in Australia, drove seven hours from her home to Canberra to meet Chris Hatfield. Sadly she was not able to get a photo of a book signing with him, but she sent us this photo with some other astronauts and a blog post about her visit.

miss y and astronaut

Last year I followed Canadian astronaut, Commander Chris Hadfield on
Twitter while he was on the International Space Station for 5 months.
Each day he would tweet incredible photos of Earth that allowed us to see
our planet in a new way. He also made videos of what life was like living
on the space station and he also sang and played guitar with Canadian
children to from space for Music Monday. You can read about this on our
LRC blog.
http://http://smotlrcblog.edublogs.org/2013/01/31/commander-chris-hadfield-at-the-international-space-station/

Commander Hadfield has written a book called ‘An Astronaut’s Guide to Life
on Earth’ that I have read a few times now! He decided to become an
astronaut at 9 years of age and worked hard to make his dream come true.
When I heard he was visiting Australia for the first time I knew I had to
hear his talk called ‘The Sky is Not the Limit’. I booked tickets to see
him in Melbourne where I live and also in Canberra which is a 7 hour drive
from Melbourne and both times he was truly inspiring! Sadly I didn’t get
my book signed, but I did find two ‘astronauts’ in Canberra for a fun
photo.

Commander Hadfield has a new book coming out in October called ‘You are
Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes’ with photos he took from the Space
Station. Mrs Hembree and I are both very excited to hear he is also
working on a picture book with the wonderfully creative Peter Reynolds -
we can’t wait until it’s published!

When Commander Chris Hadfield visits Seattle make sure you go and see him.”

Thank you so much Miss Y for sharing this post with us! We will have to be out the lookout for when Commander Hatfield comes to the Seattle area for a visit. I can’t wait to see what he does with Peter Reynolds! Thank you Kaito for your photo! It was perfect timing to receive two photos about space and astronauts this week, especially one from another continent! Now we have photos from Australia, Europe, North America, and Africa.

 

 

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They’re Up and Down

From the top of the Seattle wheel, to Yellowstone, to readers hanging upside down, we have a fun selection of photos to post today.
Yesterday I heard lots of stories about where our readers were during the summer. I know it’s going to be a busy weekend as the last of the photos arrive.

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Jabba’s at Ft. Flagler

The best part of the Super Summer Reading program is seeing where students have been reading during the summer. Today’s update features Adele who went camping with her family at Fort Flagler State Park.  The fort was built in 1897 and was officially closed as a fort in 1953. After that it was turned into a state park. The cool part about this park is there are so many things you can do! It’s a great place to bike, build driftwood forts and READ!
adele drift wood

adele fort

adele with Jabba

Thanks for the photos Adele! It looks like you had a great time with Jabba!

 

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Where are They Reading?

School begins in only one more week! Can you believe how quickly the weeks have flown by this summer? It must be going quickly because so many students are having fun traveling and reading! Here are our latest Super Summer Reading photos from some our Bulldog Readers.

audrielle google

audrielle pixar

Audrielle has some reading moments at Pixar (photo 1) and at Google Headquarters. Does anyone know in which state those famous businesses are located?

fiona dc

Fiona is near one of the most famous American monuments. When I saw it last September, it was covered in scaffolding as it was being repaired from earthquake damage. Now it’s nice a beautiful again. What monument is this and where is it located?

mack lego2

mack with great white

Mack with Triton

mack lego movie set

It might be a bit more difficult to guess where Mackenzie is in these photos. There are some hints, and if you are a Legos fan, then you probably can figure this out quite easily. Where in the world is Mackenzie?

I hope you will leave a comment and let us know where you think our guest readers are in this post! Even better – leave a comment and send in a photo! Only a couple days left before the deadline!
Keep reading!
Mrs. Hembree

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Reading Alaska Style

Mr. Hembree and I just returned from a seven day Alaska ferry cruise from Bellingham, WA to Skagway, AK and back. The M/V Columbia had no internet or cell phone service as we were in very remote areas along the Inside Passage of islands between Washington and southeast Alaska.
We had plenty of time on board and off to read!

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Picture Book Genre Project: Part One

We’re doing it again!

picture bk genre

We converted our intermediate fiction section to a genre style a few years ago. You can read a post about the project here. I also wrote an article for Knowledge Quest and have presented at the Washington Library Media Association WLMA annual conference on the topic. More of our district libraries have converted. Circulations are soaring and kids are READING!

Now I have a new project in the works. I forgot to mention it in my Happy Anniversary post that listed my goals for the year. Instead of five goals, I really have six. The sixth goal is to categorize our picture books into a genre style shelving system. Mary, one of the other librarians in our district worked on this project all of last year, and when she told me about it, I knew it was the answer to our problem.

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What problem you may ask? Despite all the book displays on top of the shelving carts, many of my students still have trouble finding a book they want. They read a book about trucks, animals, colors, shapes – you name it, the topic doesn’t matter. Then they come to me and want to check out a book one just like that one. In a 30 minute class of k-2 students, where we have 10 minutes of checkout time, I get swamped by students who need help. I’m frustrated by too little time to help each student individually, while I also need check out books to the other 27 students waiting impatiently in line. Many librarians have lots of adult helpers, but I don’t always have that luxury. There are many classes where it’s just me and the kids. What’s a frenzied librarian to do?

HELP WANTED!

 

I need to make it easier for younger students to find the books they want. I need to use the genre shelving system with the picture books too!

Simple. Easy. Kid friendly. And why didn’t I think of this earlier?

When I converted our fiction section in 2008, it wasn’t something that was being done on a large scale in school libraries. In fact, after asking my principal for his blessing, I didn’t tell anyone about what I did for over a year. At the time, I was a new librarian, and I was fearful of the backlash and criticism. Although it’s more common now, at the time, the idea was fairly radical. I had no idea if it would work, but my hunch was that by making books easier for students to find independently, they would check out more and READ more. The rest is history. Genre shelving our fiction section was a huge success.

This time it’s different. I’m not waiting and I’m no longer worried about what other librarians might say. I plan to document the process as we move along with photos and advice. I’m starting small this time. I haven’t figured out all the categories yet, and I’m okay with the ambiguity. The categories will work themselves out as I look at what others have done, ask my students for their advice, and do my research. If sharing my process helps other librarians, then all the better.

To launch the project, I did decide on three major categories: Art, Concepts and Favorite Characters. Last spring, I asked one of my trusted parent volunteers to look through our shelves for books about concepts – math, ABCs, shapes, punctuation, colors, etc. She pulled those books off the shelves and put them in labeled piles. I already had a major art section with story books about art and artists like Katie Meets the Impressionists or Picasso and the Girl with the Pontail.

katie-meets-the-impressionists

These books had been shelved together previously, so all I had to do was find the right shelf and change the call number. I decided to shelf the Art books near the Concept books since they seem like related topics to me.

Each book in a genre section is marked with a colored tinted label that goes over the call number. You can look at the shelf and see visually on the spine that the books go together. I did the same thing with my fiction books. This photo below is what our intermediate sports section looks like. You can see the green call number covers on the spines. I get the covers at Demco.

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I’ll use similar colors for our primary books so as a student transitions from the picture books to intermediate books, the color system will be as close as possible. After each book is labeled,  I scan it and change the call number. We use Destiny and the photo below show how I added the category in the call number and in the sublocation. If I don’t want to pull each book, I can make the changes on Destiny, run a report on the sublocation and give it to a volunteer. Then the volunteer can pull the books on the list, mark them, and reshelve. When I have a shelf ready for the new section, it’s easy to scan the shelves, pull the books by color and shelve them in their new home.

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I also decided this would be a perfect time to begin an inventory. If I was going to touch each book, I might as well get an accurate inventory of the books in our picture book area.

picture bk inventory

Like I said, I’m starting small. I don’t even have official signs yet. Large sticky notes mark the new sections for the moment! I only have three categories in progress right now. Through the course of the year I will add more categories, using student suggestions. I’m doing this conversion for them, and their voice needs to be a major component on how we proceed. When I have photos of a completed shelf, I will post them.

If you have questions or have suggestions because you have already been through this process, I hope you will share them in a comment. Let’s work together to make our libraries the vibrant places our students need.

 

 

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