Weeks 14 and 15 – Book Fair! STEM Safari! Thanksgiving!

Week 14

During Week 14, (November 18 – 22), we had our Scholastic Book Fair set up and when Book Fair is in town, that is pretty much what my life at school revolves around.

I did do a couple of “pop in” lessons during the week in classrooms – a book award book talk with a 3rd grade class and a book fair promotional mini-lesson with a Kindergarten class who missed out during their regular Related Arts time. Of course, I still had my 5th grade Media Technology class (they are working on creating Book Trailers with iMovie), but other than that, all of my brain power was focused on BOOK FAIR!

In my Week 13 post, I wrote about what I do to promote Book Fair.

Here’s what happens during Book Fair:

*My teachers have a fixed 15 – 20 minute checkout time each week. That’s when they bring their class for library book checkout. During Book Fair week, we do not checkout library books, but teachers still bring their classes at that same time. Students who bring money can shop; students with no money can fill out a wish list and maybe come back later on in the week, if their folks send them in with money. The Book Fair is ALWAYS open, so as long as a student has teacher permission (and money), they are welcome.

*Kindergarten still comes in for their full 45 minutes during Book Fair week. I have a conference room in the library, and I use as my “classroom” during Book Fair week. I get them in there and give them a behavior lesson about how to “shop” at Book Fair. We have volunteers who help the little guys fill out their wish lists. As students finish their Wish List (there is only enough room for 5 items on the Wish List, so it does not take too long), they come back to the conference room. I had a Book Fair-related coloring sheet and books for them to explore.

*Speaking of volunteers, we have a wonderful PTA with a “Volunteer Chair.” That person’s job is to gather volunteers for certain events. All I have to do is tell her the times I want people and how many people I want and she gets them. Awesome. My volunteers wear aprons so that students know who is there to help.

*I wrote about my Teacher Preview last week. At the preview, teachers fill out their classroom Wish List. I have boxes for each teacher with an envelope on it that they put their Wish List in (the “wish list” is actually little slips of paper for each book they want). Parents find the book they want to purchase, buy it at the register, and then stick it in the box.

*We do participate in All for Books. This program asks students and parents to donate their change. We use the donations to purchase books for a local organization called Happy Wheels.

Week 15

This was a super short week because of THANKSGIVING! I’m thankful that the break is finally here!

On Monday, my 5th grade Media Technology class completed their Book Trailers. On Monday and Tuesday, I helped many classes go through a QR Code Scavenger Hunt that was part of STEM Safari. STEM Safari is a yearly event at our school. It is sponsored by the Wonder Den, a committee of teachers who plan STEM-related events throughout the school year. I am on this committee, so I helped plan the events for STEM Safari. The QR Code Scavenger Hunt was just one event. Students go around our school and scan QR Codes that ask them STEM related questions (Kindergarten and 1st grade did their hunt on Monday). Most of STEM Safari happened on Tuesday, such as a large group presentation for each grade level. This year, Dr. Doug from Blue Marble Science came. He brought in lots of things for students to explore, observe, and ask questions about (shells, a duck head, a snake, etc.). After students listened to Dr. Doug, they had some sort of investigation in their classroom – 5th graders did an egg drop, another grade level made a tornado proof house, and another did a marshmallow launch. Our Related Arts teachers (Music, Art, PE, Computer Lab, Spanish) did Team Building activities throughout the day with students. The whole day was lots of fun!

So, now I am getting ready for Thanksgiving with my crazy family. I hope you have a WONDERFUL Turkey day and that you are relaxed and refreshed for December!

Gobble, Gobble!



About Valerie Byrd Fort

I live in South Carolina. I am passionate about libraries, books, and reading. I am also a mom. This is my blog about those things.
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