Week 26 – my LAST WEEK (for now)!

Week 26 was a whirlwind – it was my last week before maternity leave and a short week for students and teachers (there was no school on Friday). Somehow, we got everything in…I think!

Kindergarten – 5th grade voted for their favorite South Carolina Picture Book Award Nominee and South Carolina Children’s Book Award Nominee. The NPES winners are That is NOT a Good Idea! by Mo Willems and Third Grade Angels by Jerry Spinelli.  State winners will be announced at the Annual SCASL Conference in just a couple of weeks!

5th graders wrapped up Harlem Renaissance lessons with a “cafe.” We ate red beans and rice, cornbread, and lemonade while we looked at pictures from the past month, listened to music from the Harlem Renaissance, shared poetry students had written, and looked at the murals each class made last week. I think this unit was a success!

5th grade Media Technology learned about Garageband on the iPads. They will continue that learning into next week.

I hosted two more “book tastings.” A 4th grade teacher wanted a Picture Book Book Tasting. This is my favorite one to do, I think. Once students get into about 3rd grade, they seem to want to move out of the Everybody Fiction section (that is what I call my picture book section) and they only want to check out chapter books. I LOVE picture books and there are SO MANY that are better for older readers than for little guys and that’s what I tell my upper grade levels when they do things like Book Tastings. There were lots of picture books checked out afterwards, so hopefully, they will continue checking them out. I also hosted another Non-Fiction Book Tasting for a 3rd grade class. Book Tastings are like Musical Chairs, except instead of the kids moving, the books move. A good way to introduce new books.

I Skyped South Africa with two 5th grade classes this week. I signed up to be a part of The Traveling Rhinos Project over the summer at ISTE. This project’s goal is to share with students information about endangered animals, in particular, rhinos. It is hosted by Karen Stadler and is a very cool project. We hosted one of five stuffed rhinos. My 5th grade teacher taught her students about endangered animals earlier in the school year, so she revisited that lesson and students did a little bit of independent research to come up with questions to ask Mrs. Stadler during our Skype. We spent about 20 minutes with her on Wednesday morning. It was informative and I think the students really got something out of it – they asked lots of good questions. The plan is for them to brainstorm some things they can do to help the rhinos. Our rhino has been sent on to the next location…I’m interested to see how long this project goes on for!

I sent out my March newsletter and got ready to say good bye (for now) to my school family! My last day was Thursday…I am now on maternity leave, which is strange! There is no baby (yet), but she is going to come any day now. I’ll still update the blog, but it may turn into more of a “mommy blog” than a lessons/library blog. I do have a long term sub coming in, but she is a retired librarian and I did not really leave “lesson plans” for her for each week…she knows what she’s doing, so I’m not going to be doing weekly lesson updates here. Also, I’m not sure how interesting what I’m doing for the next few months is going to be to others (sat on the couch and nursed, listened to my baby cry, watched my baby sleep…that’s about what I’ll be doing, right? This is my first time!)…but, stay tuned!





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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2 Responses to Week 26 – my LAST WEEK (for now)!

  1. Su Woollett says:

    All the best for your time with your new baby Valerie! I know you’ll treasure it and be a fantastic mum (that’s mom to you! Here in NZ we say mum!) I really enjoy your blog and you’ve given me lots of great ideas and sites to look at. Thank you!

    Su (kiwi librarian)

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