Week 7 and #scflood

So, last week (Week 7) was a pretty normal week at school. 5th graders continued working on their games for the Global Cardboard Challenge, Kindergarten classes continued discussing Fall by reading books about our favorite Fall animal – the squirrel (I read Ol’ Mama Squirrel and then explored the Squirrel entry in PebbleGo with them). I sent out the October Learning Commons Newsletter and did lots of planning for upcoming events and programs. It rained the ENTIRE week, but I kind of like the rain, so I didn’t mind.

On Friday, the news reports of that rain started to make me nervous – it wasn’t going to stop and it was going to get worse…much worse. I went to the grocery store, I went to the gym, I started to obsess about the weather. The news reports were pretty dire, but everyone around me was like, “nope, nothing to worry about.” Our weather people are famous for getting it wrong – getting everyone all excited about major weather (snow, in particular) and then nothing happens. October is festival time in South Carolina and everything was cancelled, and on Saturday, the weather was still rainy, but nothing serious. Folks were like, “they did it again…where’s the weather that cancelled everything?!” Then Saturday evening/Sunday morning it became real. Somehow, I managed to sleep through the heaviest of the actual rain, but I have been glued to the television and to social networks throughout this whole mess and it is so heartbreaking to see the loss that has happened in my community. I am SO LUCKY that my house, my family, my belongings are okay. We don’t have anything to worry about and besides a TON of rain and having to boil  our water before drinking or cooking with it, we are okay. Many of my friends and community members, however, are NOT. I have never lived through this sort of disaster…it is heartbreaking. To check out some of the damage, you can go here and here. I am hoping to do some things to help my community in the next few days (I’m taking water to my local fire station; sending some gift cards to a group I know is in need; I plan to clean out the closet and give some clothes away; and I’m going to buy new underware and such and take to a local church accepting donations). If you want to help, here are some resources:

American Red Cross

An article from CNN that lists a few ways to help South Carolina (including Salvation Army, Red Cross)

Donate to Central Carolina Community Foundation

Contact local churches – I know many of them are accepting donations

Contact shelters – they have big needs. You can find a list of shelters here (don’t forget animals! Donations of dog and cat food are probably needed!)

There are groups forming on Facebook too – one that I am a part of is Irmo/Chapin Flood Relief

I hope you are all safe and sound!


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Book Talk Tuesday! 9.29.15

It’s Book Talk Tuesday!

Do you enjoy cooking or baking? If so, we have LOTS of cookbooks in our library! We have books with recipes from different countries and cultures as well as books with classic favorites! How about offering to make dinner for your family one night? Or baking something special for a friend? Check out a cookbook today and get cooking! You can find cookbooks in the 641.5 area in the non-fiction section of the library! 


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#imwayr It’s Monday! What are you reading?! 9.28.15

What Are You Reading? was first hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. If you’d rather follow folks who are reading books for grown ups, you should follow her Monday meme. I am  participating in the kidlit version of this meme (although sometimes I actually read books for grown ups).

In print: Finished Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight. Last week, I mentioned how it didn’t keep me hooked like Gone Girl or The Good Girl. That’s a lie. It took longer for it to hook me, but it got me! Now I’m reading Crenshaw by Applegate. 

Listening to: Maternity Leave by Halpern. I’m enjoying this one a lot…I think because I just got done with my maternity leave! I can relate! Fun fact about Halpern…her husband, Matthew Cordell, will be visiting my school in April!

What are you reading?


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Week 6 Global Cardboard Challenge

Week 6! I remember when I was in elementary school, report cards came out every 6 weeks…we are on a 9 week schedule now, but to think that it would have already been report card time “in my day.” This school year is moving by fast!

This week, 5th graders started working on their games for the Global Cardboard Challenge. We have been participating in this event as a school for the past few years (I think it has only been a “thing” for 4 years). It’s so fun and the creativity of our students is amazing to watch. Each 5th grade class came to the Learning Commons this week for an overview of the challenge. After showing them Caine’s Arcade and explaining our theme (this year, a FAIR!), students got to work. First, they brainstormed and sketched out their idea. Then, they picked up the cardboard they needed from my supply. I also had out toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, tape, scissors, some MakeDo stuff, etc. After getting their materials, they got to work! It’s loud and messy, but they are enjoying themselves and doing lots of learning and collaborating. They will continue to work on their projects until the Global Cardboard Challenge, which is on October 10 “officially.” We will be putting their games out for others to play on October 9.

With my Kindergarten classes, I used BookFlix to read a fiction and non-fiction book about Fall. We watched Fletcher and Falling Leaves by Rawlinson and checked out books. After everyone was checked out, we read How Do you Know It’s Fall? by Herrington . I chose Fall as my theme because that’s what they are doing in the classroom and the first day of Fall was this week!

I finally put out my copyright stuff for teachers. This year, I created a quiz using Quia for them to take.

We had our first Lion Cub Story Time of the year! This month’s theme was ABC. Here’s what I did:

Nametag – Letters

I have an easel by my story time area. One side is magnetic, so I had some of my magnetic letters up so that kiddos could explore before story time started.

We kicked off story time by singing the ABC song.

I read If Rocks Could Sing by McGuirk

We did the “Alphabet Beat” action rhyme that I found here.

I read Z is for Moose by Bingham

Our craft was easy – they wrote the first letter of their first name on a piece of paper and then traced it with stickers, stamps, etc. Under the letter, they wrote their full name.

Snacks were Scrabble Cheez-Its!  Cute, right?!

I hope you had a great week!


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Booktalk Tuesday! 9.22.15

It’s Book Talk Tuesday!

Makerspace Moments (a time for students to visit our library’s Makerspace) started last week and we have had lots of makers come to the Learning Commons to show off their creativity! Did you know that we have books in our library that will inspire you and show you how create everything from musical instruments to duct tape wallets! ? We even have magazines like Yum for Kids and Make magazine that will inspire you and give you step by step directions on how to make almost anything! You can look for the magazines in our magazine section and find books in the 745.5 area of the non-fiction section in our library!

Happy reading!

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#imwayr It’s Monday! What are you reading?! 9.21.15

What Are You Reading? was first hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. If you’d rather follow folks who are reading books for grown ups, you should follow her Monday meme. I am  participating in the kidlit version of this meme (although sometimes I actually read books for grown ups).

In print: Still working on Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight. Doesn’t keep you hooked like Gone Girl or The Good Girl, but still good stuff!

Listening to: I really liked Baby Knows Best by Solomon. It made a lot of sense. I’m now almost finished with For The Love by Jen Hatmaker. OMG. I love her.

What are you reading?


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Week 5 #dotday

One of my favorite weeks of the year! This was the week we celebrate The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. As always, we had a lot of fun.

Our fantastic art teacher got started a couple of weeks ago, and each grade level did a dot, inspired by a particular artist. They are now on display in the Learning Commons and they are awesome.

2015-09-11 14.58.28

I went kind of simple for Dot Day this year and instead of having different “centers” for kids to rotate through, I had one thing for them to do. I laid out a bunch of CDs (some were old ones that we don’t listen to or old software that has long been downloaded) and sharpies and told them to decorate a dot. We are going to display these on a display table in the library and maybe hang some by the windows. It was so easy and I think students enjoyed it just as much as some of the other activities I’ve had in the past.

With my Kindergarten classes, I read Press Here by Tulle and we participated in the Annual OREO Stacking Challenge (which I like to call the Dot Stacking Challenge for our purposes!)

We also kicked off Makerspace Moments this week. Our Makerspace is in a conference room in the library. Each month, I spotlight an activity that students can do if they come to the Makerspace. This month (and into October), the focus is on cardboard (in honor of the Global Cardboard Challenge). Each classroom teacher gets 3 passes and they can send students during MSM times (Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7:30 – 8am) to create. We had a big group this week! I hope it keeps up!

Next week, we kick off our Global Cardboard Challenge fun with 5th grade and I cannot wait!

How was your week?


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