Monday, August 27, 2012

Book Fair -- Buy one, get one FREE

If you are coming to Open House on Wednesday, August 29th, be sure to stop by the Media Center and check out the Scholastic Book Fair.

There are fun books for pre-schoolers, a lot of hardcover non-fiction, reference books, chapter books, picture books, posters and a table full of surprises you will just have to see to believe.  Star Wars, Titanic, Pokeman, 39 Clues, SkippyJon Jones, and lots of other favorites. A Ball for Daisy is one of the new titles I have not seen, but it was the 2012 Caldecott Medal winner.

While you are there, check out the "new" media center classroom. It sure doesn't look the same. We have different tables, and brand new walls that go all the way up to the ceiling to help keep the sound from the hallways drifting up and over into our teaching area.

Mrs. Nowak has done lots of preparation work to get it looking snazzy for the start of school. Nice work, it looks great! I'll remember my camera tomorrow and get a photo posted so anyone reading this can see.

Tomorrow the elementary staff will gather to start our first official day. We have new staff to meet, new materials to discuss and a bit more work to get it all ready for the Open House and student's first day.

Early to bed everyone!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Getting Ready to Start School

Well, the weather has turned. It's much cooler lately than it has been and the days are getting shorter, so that means school must be right around the corner. Way back in June it seemed like summer would be so long...I could get so much done...and I did! Two weddings, a family reunion and lots of visiting with friends and family; plus the time to read many great books and work outside in the sunshine. It was a wonderful summer!

With just two weeks to go before staff begin our work week, I visited the school yesterday and was able to participate in a discussion out in the school garden. Here is a blog featuring the work of
the AmeriCorps Farm-to-School volunteers and our fabulous local master gardeners at Helping Hands Garden. They keep so busy with the garden that the posts don't appear that often, but it goes back to 2007 when the garden was first started through the 4-H Afterschool program. That blog was my first attempt at documenting a project through blogging. I've since turned it over to those currently supervising the project, but it's still fun to check in to see how they are coming along.

I also got a chance to spend some time in the library office sorting and cleaning. The custodial staff is doing an incredible job of getting the building in shape for the start of school. I am excited to see the new space in the library media center all walled off and ready for classes.

Enjoy these last weeks of summer. See you in the hallways soon!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Picture Book Review

One of the joys of summer is having extra time for reading and reviewing books. The public library has a wonderful selection of picture books for elementary students. Here are my picks for this month.

First is Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy by David Samar and Jacky Davis, a Dial book published in 2009. Lulu and Sam are both at the playground. Lulu wants to play with Sam, but Sam isn't interested. This sweet story shows how the children decide by cooperating to find creative play they both enjoy.

For this next  book called Cock-a-Doodle Quack! Quack!  I am going to link to a marvelous blog by Leah Kulikowski, children's librarian at a Kansas public library, who has fantastic ideas for picture book story hours. Sunflower Storytime. It's a fun book for toddlers and anyone who likes to make farm animal sounds. Just looking at the cover makes me smile.

Finally, these two were my favorites about Skippyjon Jones, star of dozens of books, and his own website. Check out this link for tons of Skippyjon Jones fun. If you've never experienced these books by Judith Schachner about the 'Siamese cat turned Chihuahua' you are in for a treat!

I borrowed two titles: Skippyjon Jones and the Big Bones, featuring Darwin the neighbor dog, published in 2007 by Dutton. In this book Skippyjon Jones goes in search of Skipposaurus, a legendary dinosaur. Of course when he gets into trouble, El Skippito comes to the rescue, with a little help from other, of course! One of the many delights of reading these books are the poems like this one: 

"Oh I'm Skippyjon Jones
and I bounce on my bed,
'Cuz I  love to eat pickles
That tickle my head."

Published in 2006, Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble reminds us that "Skippyjon Jones did his very best thinking outside the box". Skippyjon Jones' mother warns him that what he's reading is TABOO, so off to his room he goes to jump and think about the forbidden 'Curse of the Cat Mummy' . Suddenly, Skippito Friskito appears and he's off to see 'Old Egypti-ito'. These books are always fun read-alouds. 

As Skippyjon Jones encounters 'King-Tootin-Kitten-Kabootin', I had to wonder if the author had ever watched the Three Stooges episode where they encounter 'King Rootin-Tootin'. Maybe it's just a good way to make a rhyme. 

Great fun -- highly recommended! Keep reading, just one week left to finish up the summer reading program at the public library.