Friday, September 18, 2015

Flexible schedule, ISO of Geisel and what's up for the weekend!

I'm completely exhausted.  I should really be in bed right now.

It felt like a long week.  Not bad just non-stop and here's why.  I am one of the fortunate librarians with amazing administrative support so I can run a completely flexible schedule.  This is how I can run a 10 week Newbery unit with fifth graders and how I can start a Mock Geisel project with first graders (more on that later!).  And do month long author studies with kindergarteners.  But it doesn't come without a slight price and that's happening right now with what I call, "Library Boot Camp." For about 10 sessions per grade, I run library orientation.  It builds each year for each grade it is very different.  In kindergarten, we spend time familiarizing ourselves with the library, the rules, taking care of books and the computers.  By second grade, we are learning how to navigate the online catalog.  In third we explore all the databases we have and by fourth and fifth we are really sharpening our research skills so we can dive right in when the projects begin.  Needless to say, it's a crazy time of year, but it's so worth it.

I also don't do the same thing every year.  I take our author, or a theme (last year in first grade it was "Scaredy Squirrel" and this year we are all about Sarah Weeks) and base the boot camp activities on that theme.  Fourth grade boot camp was all about PIE.  For example, look up "pie" in World Book.  Fifth grade was all about HONEY.  Look up "honey" in Grolier.  And since we are all about collaboration this year, the kids are spending a lot of time working together, already in the first two weeks of school.
First graders exploring Pebble Go in Boot Camp.

5th graders reading Sarah Weeks's "Glamourpuss" to answer a boot camp question on theme.

More 5th graders reading a picture book by Sarah Weeks

And MORE fifth graders with a Sarah Weeks book

All of the fifth grade teachers read HONEY as a read aloud this week.  Everyone finished yesterday!  Mrs. Harris loved it!

If you have a flexibly scheduled library and cover your library skills a different way, I would love to hear about it.  As for now, I will keep my boot camps going and one day look forward to a nice long nap.

So, an exciting thing happened to me this week.  I got published as a "Guest Blogger" on the ALSC blog.  And in honor of that, I wore my ALSC bracelets today to school.  I'm searching far and wide for some collaborators, a book list, anything related to the Geisel award.  I've gotten a few bites, but I was really hoping for more.  Maybe more people will read the blog over the weekend.

Here's the link to my post:

No rest for the weary--My 9 year old son, Zack, and I are headed to the Princeton Library's Children's Book Festival tomorrow ( We're going to meet his friend from sleepaway camp and hang out with a lot of our friends.  Zack is especially excited to introduce his friend to Jarrett Krosoczka, who will we travel miles to see.  Zack even has a big "Lunch Lady" poster that Jarrett sketched for him framed and hanging in his room.

Sarah is supposed to be there so I hope to see her and have time to tell her how pumped the school is about her May visit.  Jerry White (The Thickety) will be there as well as many others.  My kind of slice (all puns intended) of heaven right there. But I should really get some sleep so I can be up and ready to go tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. This is the best age to start creating habits to assist libraries.
    Javier Santovenia, teacher and librarian