Monday, January 27, 2014

Storybook Pumpkin Patch

Way back in October while I was in class at UNT (so glad that's done) I was talking to one of my librarian classmates. My friend had found the cutest little pumpkins decorated like book characters on...you guessed it...Pinterest! The pin came from Cari over at librarylearners.com. Here's the link to our inspiration. Storybook Pumpkin Patch Thanks Cari!
Being a new librarian, these events tend to scare me a little. Don't ask me why, but you just never know how it's going to go down with the students and staff. It turned out to be a huge success!
Cari had some rules that applied to the pumpkins and so we followed suit since she had done it before and knew the many things that could go wrong. She even had a link to a flyer we could send home with all the directions for the kiddos to follow while creating their pumpkins.
The kids had a few weeks to bring in their pumpkins and they went home on the 31st of October. The event was wonderful with a few things I will do differently next year. Man, my phrase this year has been... "you live and you learn". I've been doing A LOT of that this year! Hopefully, I can continue saying that for the mistakes I make next year, and the next year, and the next year... For instance, while the acrylic paint looks amazing, pesky children like to scratch it off. So I think I can solve the problem next year by putting them up on a higher shelf. Also, I think I need to stress a little more that they must be a storybook character. I had a few t.v. characters (adorable btw) roll through. I accepted them and made a mental note for next year. All in all this will most likely be an annual event at Black Elementary!

Sadly, I lost a lot of my pictures on my old phone. I managed to salvage a few thanks to our Facebook Page!
I'll leave you with the few pics we managed to keep!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Book Fair, Book Fair!

In October I held my very first Scholastic Book Fair!(I know I'm a little...well...a lot late in posting) I am also proud to say that out of all the years Black Elementary had a Book Fair this one was in the top 2 for bringing in sales! I am proud! I think the students are really enjoying the new library and all the bells and whistles that come along with it!

I am probably not the first to put it out there, but the Book Fair is A LOT of work! I learned a few things the hard way, while also having some great advice and help given to me by some of my fellow librarians and friends. (Thanks to Tracy, Blaise, Linda, Bob, & Amanda) There is no way I could have accomplished it without them!

For all you newbie librarians like me, take note to start setting up the Friday before (maybe at noon?). I did NOT do this and will next time. I pulled a late Friday nighter setting up! Not my idea of a hot date!
Also, keep the books with legos, pens, jewelry, and other toys close to the register and maybe just one  copy out and the rest behind the register. These little trinkets are likely to find their way in to the pockets of children and with out the cash to go with them... and sadly, the book is left behind.

My mentor, Tracy, had the brilliant idea of having a second register sent! First thing Monday morning I called Scholastic and they sent me another the very next day. If you can order it before your Book Fair arrives that will save you the trouble. (I have one or two volunteers that I trust to run the register in case I am unavailable.) Having the second register helped tremendously! It was especially helpful on the day we had "Muffins with Mom" like event, only we called it Breakfast with the Bobcat (our school mascot). Lot's of moms stopped by to grab a few books and it alowed for shorter lines and wait time to check out.

If I haven't told you before, Pinterest is one of my best friends. Using the search terms, "book fair" brought in a exceedingly abundant amount of ideas! The first place prize for "Book Fair Pinterest Project" would have to go to the junk boards! You know all the junk Scholastic sends? The pens, pencils, erasers, bookmarks, etc... Well, having a tri-fold foam board display or corkboard of some sort to pin up an example of all the junk is a great idea for displaying it and it's price. These little items also tend to find their way into the pockets of the kiddos...less the cash, of course. So find a way to display each item and hide away the others until the kids are set to buy it.

Here's a shot of one of our 5th Grade teachers selecting books for her Teacher Wish List. The wish list is an opportunity for students and parents to buy a book for a teacher's classroom library. I had a basket for each grade level which included the books from each teacher's wish list. In the end I used scholastic dollars to buy a book from every teacher's wish list if there were any left. I think it's important to keep teacher's classrooms library fresh and this is a great way to do so. 

I wish I would have taken more pictures of the book fair but, I think my head was spinning too fast for me to remember. Maybe next time...I learned a lot during this Book Fair. But, I know there is so much more I can do be a pro. BOGO Book Fair is coming up in March. Eek! (you can determine whether or not that "eek!" is an "eek!" of excitement or fear) I'll never tell...