Lion Cub Story Time! MUSIC!

Last week was Lion Cub Story Time! I read books with a MUSIC theme (although, it was calling for snow in our area, so a “snow” theme would have been better, but oh well…next time!)

This is actually the second time I’ve done a music theme for Lion Cub Story Time, but the first go around was years ago, so it was new for these kiddos…so easy and so fun. Basically, you can sing any song, do any dance, and it fits with your theme. This is a good time to go through your music teacher’s stash of instruments too! Here is the handout we gave to parents.

For Zin! Zin! Zin!, we actually watched a few mintues of it on BookFlix…only has much as their attention could handle. Our craft was tambourines out of paper plates and beans and our snack was fruit snack MEDLEYS (get it?!). With the music instruments, I had them laying out while kiddos came in and looked around, but we also had a little bit of a dance party in the middle of story time where they got to pick an instrument and dance. I selected Billy Jonas’ Who’s Gonna Make Our Music as our dance party tune.



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SLIS 325 – Children’s Literature Autobiography

I am excited to be teaching Children’s Literature again at USC, starting this week. I’ve taught it for years, but took a break to have the baby. Now that she’s almost two, I’m ready to get back to it! She may even make an appearance in class…my first assignment for my USC students is always to write a “Children’s Literature Autobiography.” I want students to write about their experiences with reading – good, bad, whatever. I have never written one about myself, however. So, here is my Children’s Literature Autobiography. Mostly written as a model for my students, but also because I love thinking about how I became a reader. Your reading life is important and interesting. Here’s a little bit about mine –

I remember reading as a child in little flashbacks…it was never really a THING or EVENT or something I was pushed to do, it was just something that I did. I remember my grandfather reading Italian Folktales to me before bed when he would visit and I remember how sometimes, he’d fall asleep reading to me and I would still be awake waiting for what would happen next! I remember my dad taking me to the public library each week to get stacks of whatever books I wanted. I remember visiting bookstores with my mom and buying Babysitter’s Club books. I remember reading The Littles in 4th grade with Mrs. Lee and LOVING THAT BOOK SO MUCH. I don’t remember too much about my reading life in middle school or high school, which makes me think I didn’t have much of one. Except for 11th grade, when Mr. Raven introduced me to The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird. That kickstarted my reading back into high gear and I sort of never looked back from there. In college, I bounced around from major to major, but was always taking English Lit classes – Postmodernism (LOVED), Victorian Writers (UGH), and a whole class dedicated to F. Scott Fitzgerald, which was amazing. But, nothing hooked me like the Children’s Literature class I took with Dr. Dianne Johnson. This class was held near my house in Irmo, for some reason, which was one of the reasons why I signed up for it, I remember. My MOM would drop me off and pick me up for this class (not sure why…college?!?! If you knew my mom though, this is not a surprise). From the first day of that class, I was IN LOVE with the literature. I had not read a picture book in a long time. I was working at a bookstore at this time, so I’d flip through the picture books or other books in the kid’s section and think they were cute, but I never gave much thought to them. But, after taking that class, I was obsessed. I think a large part of it was Dr. Johnson’s voice, to be honest with you. I could sit there and listen to her read books all day long. But, she really showed us that this literature is important. After her class, I knew my career focus was going to be something with children’s books. From there, I ended up in Library School and to what I do now. I read children’s books because I love them and I think they are important. I also read books geared towards young adults and kids in middle school. I read poetry and books for adults. I read LOTS of board books and books about the potty, at the moment (to my toddler). I share the books I read via social media. I’m on Goodreads and share pictures of the books I read on FB and Instagram. I am constantly recommending books to friends and family and seeking recommendations from others. I am passionate about reading and want others to share my passion.

As for what I want to see in SLIS 325 this semester – I want my students to be engaged. I want them to leave my class in April with a better understanding of Children’s Literature and with a love for books. I know life gets busy, but you make time for what is important. Make reading important. As future classroom teachers, you MUST be a good reading role model. If you do not like to read – start liking it. I hope this class helps you do that. Even if your love is not Children’s Literature, my hope is that you will find the books you will love to read so that you can share that love with your students. Classroom teachers are some of the most important folks in a child’s life and they will look up to you. If you enjoy reading, chances are…they will too.



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January 2017 Newsletter

Check out the January Newsletter for my Learning Commons!


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2016 – 2017 School Year! Wrapping Up 2016!

I think I’ve gotten off on my weeks, so instead of saying here is Week 16 – 18, I’m just going to say, here’s the rest of 2016!

December flew by…at school and at home with all of the holiday activities during school and after school. Such a fun month, but I am glad it is a new year! My last post pretty much described all the school stuff – gingerbread man stories and hunt, Hour of Code, Sphero fun, etc.

At home (where I never stop being a librarian), we counted down to christmas with books (25 books to Christmas…you can find lots of cute ideas about this on Pinterest – I love it and I think each year will get a little more fun. I plan to do it…forever. Ha!) and we did lots of regular ol’ holiday fun – visit with Santa, time with friends and family, etc. I did attempt potty training during the break, but that didn’t go so well. There is a great book about it I read though! If you are in this time of life with me, check out Oh Crap! Potty Training  – it’s great. Makes a lot of sense and seems completely doable…if your kiddo is capable and I just think my little one isn’t quite there yet. Did you know there are TONS of potty books out there for kids? I checked out just about all of them from my public library and some are just too silly…but a few of our favorites are Potty, Once Upon a Potty, and A Potty for Me. I haven’t watched any of the DVDs we checked out yet though. I’ll let you know how those are soon…

2017 is going to be a BIG year…we have lots of events planned in the Learning Commons, including our 100th Day Celebration for Kindergarten, World Read Aloud Day, Digital Learning Day, Reading Patrol, JJK author visit, AND MORE! We have lots of fun planned at home too including another trip to Disney, a move to a new house, AND MORE!

I hope you had a wonderful and relaxing break, readers!

Happy New Year!


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2016 – 2017 School Year! Weeks 14 – 15!

Happy December!

This month is SO BUSY…at school and at home! Here’s what has been going on at school!

Gingerbread Man – I’ve been reading gingerbread stories to Kindergarten classes and we will go on our Gingerbread Man QR Code hunt next week. You can read more about this on a previous blog post here.

Hour of Code – This week is Hour of Code Week and we have been doing a LOT of computer programming at NPES! Depending on when the classroom teacher signed up for her lesson, the Digital Learning Coach and I have been coding with iPads (using the Kodable, LightBot, and Tynker apps); laptops (using the Kodable website and the Hour of Code website); and Spheros.

Makerspace Moments – I mentioned a post or two ago that I wasn’t getting any customers…well, I finally have some kiddos coming in for Makerspace! We are focusing on Spheros this month and maybe that is the trick…do something teachers are really interested in (the other “spotlights” have been cardboard challenge and fingerknitting….kind of lame, now that I really think about it).

We hosted Lion Cub Story Time last week. I read gingerbread stories, since that is what I am doing with Kindergarten. Here is the sheet that I gave to parents to take home.

Our school district had it’s first ever Family Code Night on December 5 and it was so fun. I hosted a Sphero workshop. From the looks of things that night, I think a lot of Lexington 1 kiddos will be getting Spheros under the tree this year 😉

How is your December shaping up?



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December Newsletter!

Check it out!


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2016 – 2017 School Year! Weeks 12 – 13!

It’s Thanksgiving break! How’d THAT happen? Since it’s the holiday to share everything you are thankful for…let me start with that. I am thankful that I get to work part time so that I can spend time with my little one. I am thankful that I get to work part time so that I can spend time with my students and continue to do what I love professionally. I am thankful for my people – we have an excellent nanny. I have fantastic support at my school with another part time librarian who is there when I am not and an absolutely outstanding library media assistant, who fills in the gaps for both of us. I have great mommy friends and librarian friends. I am thankful to my husband because he works hard full time so that I can work part time and for all of the love he gives to our little girl. I’m thankful for my dad and my in-laws and I’m thankful to my mom, even though she isn’t here anymore. I’m just a big ball of sappy THANKS. I’m a pretty lucky girl.

Here’s what’s been going on in my library –

We just wrapped up another year of inventor research with 5th grade. They created a Facetalk video about their inventor. This year, we uploaded the videos to Padlet so that they would all be in one spot for sharing. This made it easy to get their videos off of the iPads, but due to some Padlet issue, teachers could not just press play and watch the video, unfortunately. They had to download before they could play them, so that was a bummer. I still feel like it was easier than what we’ve done in the past (which has been to have the kids sign in to Google, upload, sign out…sometimes we’ve had them scan a QR Dropbox…but, sometimes that didn’t work…we’ve done all kinds of things). We are not one-to-one, which complicates things a little bit. You can checkout one of the Padlets with videos here.

I’ve started a Mock Caldecott lesson with my 2nd graders. We are reading 20 books that have Caldecott “buzz” and we are going to try to predict the winner. So far, I’ve done an introduction lesson with each class. I went over the Caldecott Medal and talked about how it is selected each year. Then I said we were going to see if we could predict the winner by reading and rating books and then watching the announcement in January. I’m excited! We are using this list and at some point, we are going to chat with friends from other schools who are also reading the same books. We are playing with FlipGrid to do that. We’ll see how it goes!

In my MakerSpace, I had planned for finger knitting. I have gotten NO customers yet this school year though…so, I need to revisit my plan for this year. Next month, we are doing Spheros, so I think there will be more interest, however, I think the time of day is bad for folks? I work in the afternoons this year, so I moved MakerSpace Moments to 1:30pm (for the past couple of years, MSM has been in the morning right before the day really gets started…our tardy bell rings at 7:40am and the first classes go to Related Arts at 8am…I had it 7:30am – 8am and had lots of customers). I thought the 1:30pm time would be a GREAT time because no one has Related Arts, everyone is done with lunch, etc. But, it clearly is NOT a good time (or, are they just over MakerSpace?)…stay tuned…sometimes you just know something isn’t working and you have to revise. It’s time to revise!

What’s going on in YOUR library?



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