STORY TIME! Egg theme!

*Links to books mentioned below are to my Amazon affiliate page! I use any money I make with these links to purchase books for my weekly giveaway! 

This school year, I am staying home with my toddler. There is a lot that I do not miss about getting up everyday and going to work, but one thing I do miss is story time. One of my favorite things about being a librarian is story time…it allows me to be creative and have fun and dance and sing (hmm – this just might be my favorite things about being human). Anyway…

Recently, I started volunteering once a month during family visitation time at our local juvenile detention center. This came about because I have always been interested in the children that are left at home after a parent or loved one is incarcerated. There is already some outreach happening via our public library at our local adult prison, so I decided to work with the school librarian and volunteer coordinator at our detention center to see how story time might fit in with the work they do (PS – the librarian at that school is awesome and is doing such amazing things with those students). The kids at the center range from 6th – 12th grade. Some of them do have their own children, but for the most part, I am working with younger brothers and sisters. The idea is I read stories to little brothers and sisters while the guardians visit with whomever is staying at the detention center. I have loved the times I have gone so far. The first couple of times, I just brought stacks of books and hung out with kids as they stopped by to see what I was doing. The last time I was there, however, I decided to come prepared with a full fledged, themed story time. I will definitely do that from here on out – it was a hit!

Because it is April and Spring and Easter weren’t too long ago, I decided the theme would be EGGS. During a typical story time, I would have some sort of flow and “schedule” in mind with the  books I read, but since this is almost one on one with kids as they come and go, I just kind of did what felt right at the moment.

Here is what I brought with me:

Books
Egg by Kevin Henkes (after reading, we had some fun with this free printable from KidLitCrafts)
First the Egg by Laura Vacaro Seeger
From Egg to Chicken by Ganeri (not linking because silly price on Amazon! – any nonfiction about eggs and chickens would work!)
Chicken’s Aren’t the Only Ones by Ruth Heller
Eggs 1 2 3 by Halfmann – I’m not so sure this one is in print anymore, but it’s great!

Games/Hands-on Fun
I had lots of plastic eggs that I got for pennies at an after Easter sale. We stacked them, we sorted them, we put them together and took them apart. They colored a free printable I found on the internet – I can no longer find the exact one I used, but any coloring sheet about eggs would work for this activity. This was a big hit. For sure bringing more coloring sheets and art supplies next time.

Songs
I brought a set of egg shakers. We sang and danced to, “If you are happy and you know it.”

We had so much fun! Cannot wait until next time!

VBF

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#SCReadIn2018 – SC Read In!

Last week, I had the pleasure of being the Master of Ceremonies for the 2018 South Carolina Read-In. This is not my first experience with this awesome event. In 2008ish, I was President of the South Carolina Association of School Librarians and as part of that “job,” I spoke at the Read-In. In 2015, I took my little with me when I was on maternity leave – she must have been just about one month old! I really love the SC Read-In!

It is a wonderful event. Basically, schools around the state (public, private, charter, day care, everyone) come together on the State House grounds to celebrate reading. It is always in April – perfect month since it is National School Library Month and the legislature is in session. The thought is if they see a big group outside, they will come out to see what the fuss is about.

This event celebrates READING and how FUN it can be to be a reader, but it also focuses on how IMPORTANT reading is and how CRUCIAL the school library and school librarian is in making reading a priority. In most cases, I would say the school librarian was the one behind getting the children to the State House. No small feat when you think about transportation, permission from parents, volunteers, t-shirts, etc.

The event starts with a parade through downtown Columbia where students hold signs that say “Kids Who Read Succeed.” Some students dress up as their favorite book characters, some hold banners to show the name of their school. Mascots are there (Mason from the Fireflies and Cocky were a couple that I saw) and there is a general sense of celebration and pride in the air as students gather. After the parade, there are remarks and entertainment of some sort. This year, there was a read aloud with Cocky’s Reading Express. The best part though, is after the parade, after the entertainment. Everyone breaks up into groups and spreads out across the lawn of the SC State House to eat lunch and READ. You walk around and see blankets, snacks, and all the books. It’s an awesome event and I hope you plan to attend next year! I know I will be there!

VBF

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#imwayr It’s Monday! What are you reading?! 4.16.18

*Links to books mentioned below are to my Amazon affiliate page! I use any money I make with these links to purchase books for my weekly giveaway! It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book! Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts are the smart folks behind giving It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus! Join me! 

Listening to: Last week, I started The Courage to Teach by Palmer. Started out strong, but then I just lost interest. Could be the narrator, could be one of those books where it is better to read the print edition then listen to an audiobook – either way, I stopped listening and moved on to Preschool Clues: Raising Smart, Inspired, and Engaged Kids in a Screen-Filled World by Santomero. This book is fascinating in terms of how a television program for children is created and brought to life. Santomero offers solid suggestions on finding quality children’s programming and what to do INSTEAD of watching television. Some of the information is stuff that teachers already know, but parents might find new and interesting. Great choice for Teacher Cadet programs, I think!

On my nightstand: Just started On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety by Peterson. I just started this one, but I am all in, so far. I have some anxiety. Not to the extend where I get panic attacks or cannot go about my day in a seemingly normal fashion, but there are times where all I am thinking about is whatever triggers my anxiety. For me, it is weather (floods, hurricanes, tornadoes – to be honest, my heart is beating a little faster just typing those words!). I am interested to see where this book goes. 

Reading with the toddler: Forever, we have been reading the same books over and over again at bedtime (What’s Cooking and Listen to This– I’m not sure who The Reading Unicorn is, but here is a taste of one of these books from YouTube). FINALLY, we are moving on! Repetition is SO IMPORTANT for a little one’s brain, but this mama needs some picture book variety – I think 6 months of the same two books is PLENTY of repetition! Now she is loving My Pillow Keeps Moving by Gehl Very funny book about an old man who keeps accidentally bringing home a dog instead of other things he is shopping for.

What are YOU reading?

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#imwayr It’s Monday! What are you reading?! 4.9.18

*Links to books mentioned below are to my Amazon affiliate page! I use any money I make with these links to purchase books for my weekly giveaway! It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book! Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts are the smart folks behind giving It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus! Join me! 

Listening to: I finished Emma in the Night by Walker. A bit confusing from time to time, but I think that was just because I was listening to it – more difficult to go back if you zoned out and forgot a character or something, but I was not expecting the ending, so to me – that’s a good mystery! Just started The Courage to Teach by Palmer on Saturday – not too far in, but am interested to keep listening.

On my nightstand: Should have been including this too these last few weeks! I always read before falling asleep at night and just about any print novel reading I do, happens at this time. Right now, I am reading one of my current KidLitExchange books, Dory Fantasmagory : Head in the Clouds. I love this series! So funny…cannot wait to share these books with the toddler when she is older.

Reading with the toddler: Toddlers are funny. See last week.

What are YOU reading?

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#imwayr It’s Monday! What are you reading?! 4.2.18

*Links to books mentioned below are to my Amazon affiliate page! I use any money I make with these links to purchase books for my weekly giveaway! It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book! Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts are the smart folks behind giving It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus! Join me! 

Listening to: I finished This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson and Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Living an Intentional Life by Casey last week. I enjoyed both, but This Book is Gay was my favorite of the two. Like I said last week, it should be in every public library YA collection and in every high school library…and probably in many homes with a teen or young adult. It is a book aimed at young adults about simply being gay – history, resources, what life is like for a LGBTQ+ person. Cultivate is a self help book for women who are just in the thick of life. I liked it enough to finish it…if you sit down with a devotional every morning, this book is for you. Right now, I am listening to Emma in the Night by Walker. Just started it yesterday – I want to keep listening! A mystery that already has me wanting more.

Reading with the toddler: My dad bought Beat Bugs All You Need is Love for the toddler for her birthday and she LOVES it. We tried watching Beat Bugs on Netflix once and she wasn’t into it (I was! I love the Beatles…like…a lot), but maybe we’ll give it another go.

What are YOU reading?

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#imwayr It’s Monday! What are you reading?! 3.26.18

*Links to books mentioned below are to my Amazon affiliate page! I use any money I make with these links to purchase books for my weekly giveaway! It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book! Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts are the smart folks behind giving It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus! Join me! 

Listening to: I am listening to two books right now – This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson and Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Living an Intentional Life by Casey. Really enjoying both. This Book is Gay should be in every public library YA collection and in every high school library…and probably in many homes with a teen or young adult. It is a book aimed at young adults about simply being gay – what that might mean, resources for advice, what life is like for a LGBTQ+ person. Cultivate is a self help book for women who are just in the thick of life – work, family, friends, faith. So far, there is some great advice about how to cultivate what matters to you in your life. Last week I finished Notorious RBG and just became even more enamored with Ruth Baker Ginsburg.

Toddler: Loving books by Jory John right now – Quit Calling Me a Monster cracked me up!

What are YOU reading?

 

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#SCASL18 Reflection

I think something might be wrong with me – I LOVE going to professional conferences! Especially my state organization’s annual conference. I may be a bit biased (I am a Past President), but the SCASL Annual Conference is always a good one to check out (FYI – 2019 will be in Columbia). The cost is reasonable, the sessions are top-notch, and there is something for everyone. This year, the conference was in Greenville, South Carolina and here is what I enjoyed the most.

Wednesday – Pre-Conference Day

I attended two sessions led by folks from the School of Library & Information Science. In the morning, I learned about online teaching with Dr. Lucy Santos Green. I taught my first online class for SLIS this semester and early on in the semester, I realized that I need all the professional development about online teaching that I can get! I’ve done a lot of online LEARNING, but online TEACHING is a whole other ballgame. The biggest takeaway from this session was the various ways for students to present projects online – I am excited to incorporate these tools next semester. In the afternoon, I went to Dr. David Lankes session, which was an update about SLIS and a brainstorming session about the needs that the library school can offer to practicing school librarians. I WISH I had gotten a picture, but one of the updates was about new hires…including ME! More on that in another post.

On Wednesday afternoon, I participated in the SCASL through the Years panel with several SCASL Past Presidents. Even though attendance for this session was low, I enjoyed learning about the history of the organization and hearing about others’ experiences as President. It is an experience you do not forget (or remember, apparently…we all needed help with dates, themes, and well…everything! Ha!)

Wednesday evening was one of the best things about a professional conference – dinner with friends. I think I learn the most by talking with my library friends at dinners, lunches, in the hallway, etc. Networking is the best part of any conference or gathering of like minded professionals.

Thursday

I presented Reigniting Your Passion…for Readingcheck out my post with links to slides and other information here. After my session, it was time for the keynote with Dr. Heather Moorfield-Lang. She is just awesome, you guys. Next up was Matt de la Pena talking about his books. I don’t think I have to say that it was amazing, because you know that already. The day wrapped up with another excellent dinner with more library friends.

Friday

Last day of conference and probably the day that I was inspired the most. The first session I went to was A Whole Lot of Movin’ and Shakin’ Going on in Middle School with middle school librarians Camellia Harris and Alana Lewis in Charleston County. I learned about some maker activities that they incorporate into their library program. My Amazon Wish List is SO.LONG. You guys, I am not even in a school library at the moment, but you’d think that by looking at my wish list, I have some sort of school based budget. Nope. What I loved about this session was the suggestions for application for maker activities into the classroom. Using a makerspace for students to create projects instead of just coming in and “playing” for half an hour. For example, one librarian shared how she uses Stikbots for students to show what they know about Ancient Greece (which is a project where maybe they would have created a diorama for in the past). There were just so many great ideas shared at this session. LOVED IT.

Next, I headed to Be the Change with Tamara Cox, Betsy Long, Pamela Williams and others who I admire a great deal. This session was all about making sure you look at your students and offer something for EVERYONE. We all know students (teachers, parents) need WINDOWS and MIRRORS in the books they read and the displays they see and this session offered practical tips for making that happen in your school library.

Last, I had to attend at least one Kitty Tripp session and she ended my conference with a great one about #BookSnaps! YAY! What I loved about this session was the idea of integrating other “snaps” into your teaching – #mathsnaps, #sciencesnaps, etc. Also, learning that you do not have to use SnapChat to create a #BookSnap – use whatever! PicCollage, Google Slides – anything where you can insert images and a Bitmoji will work! PS – I am in love with Bitmoji.

And, there you have it. My 2018 SCASL conference experience. Were you there? What was your favorite session? Do you love a good conference?

VBF

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