January! 2017 – 2018 School Year

We returned to school on January 5 from Winter Break and it has been fast and furious ever since! I posted the January Newsletter and Lion Cub plans, so you’ve had a taste of the fun.

This month, I have been busy doing a big push for our state book award program (we vote at the end of February for our favorite). Basically, I’ve gone around to classes that were interested and showed the video that our state book award committees made (watch picture book here and children’s book here). After that, I pulled books out for classes to sort through (I called it a book taste, but it was really a book look – there was no real organization to it, just looking through good books for a few minutes to see which ones they might like) and I read one aloud. I checked out all of the book award nominees for this lesson from my public library so that if a student wanted to check our copy out, they could. Most classes got to hear One Big Pair of Underwear because how can I resist reading about underpants?! For the fun of it, I also purchased these from Amazon and they were a BIG hit (get it?!). With Kindergarten and with many of the other classes that heard about the books, we will be reading them as they come in for checkout between now and voting time.

I completed another round of BINGO Book Talks to our 5th graders this month. This time I highlighted electronic resources we have at school they can use to find good books to read (TumbleBooks, EPIC!, public library online resources, etc.) I think that they don’t often think about a lot of those resources as being good for them. I think they think of them as more for younger students, but there are a lot of great upper elementary books on those resources, so I hope they check it out!

We wrapped up our first Mock Caldecott lesson with 2nd graders this month, to go along with the announcement of the actual Youth Media Awards. LOVED THIS! I will write about it in its own post, but I am totally looking forward to doing it again in the future. I even did a much smaller scale version with my USC students.

We have an intern with us from USC’s library school who started this month. I love hosting interns because I often learn a lot from them. Also, in explaining what we do day to day to someone who does not have first hand experience (yet) in a school library, I am forced to kind of reflect on and think about WHY we do things the way we do. I often find that interns ask a lot of great questions that make me think about the way our program runs. He’ll be with us through the month of February and a little into March.

My USC class is off and running…we are already moving into Week 4 with that! We’ve talked about the history of children’s books, award winners, and picture books. Next up is Easy Readers (Biscuit, Dr. Seuss, Henry & Mudge)!

Whew! Looking forward to what February brings!

Is your 2017 off to a good start?




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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1 Response to January! 2017 – 2018 School Year

  1. BobNoe says:

    I love seeing a mother librarian hard at work!

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