Sunday, September 29, 2013

All I can say is Nooooooo!

I was just talking to a teacher friend of mine online the other day.  I was asking a question in a Facebook group about how I was planning to do centers and how I should try to make them work in our 1 hour library time.  She was totally surprised that I would have my students for a whole hour.  I couldn't understand it at first, but then she explained that in her school, the students have 15 minutes in the library to pick out their books and they HAVE to checkout the FIRST book they touch!

WHAT?!?!?!?!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?

Can you tell that this was upsetting to me?  Ladies and gentlemen, this is one of a million reasons that you should NOT have an aide or para-professional running the library without a Library Media Specialist to guide them! 

Among those reasons is this...  I teach!  I don't just sit behind a desk and check out students when they need a new book. (But I somehow find time to do that when I do manage to sit down for a minute!)  I teach ELA skills, information skills, 21st century learning skills, research, literature appreciation, genres, drama skills.... well, you get the picture. 

It has become common practice to relieve librarians of their duties only to replace them with an aide.  I have so much respect for para-professionals...  Don't misunderstand that.  They do most of the things we do with MUCH less of the pay, BUT...  they aren't teachers or librarians.  There's a reason we all go to college to do our jobs.  If we let this kind of thing slide, how long will it be before schools, with all of their budget crunches these days, start putting para-pro's in charge of classes instead of teachers?  I know it might sound far fetched, but if certified librarians can be let go to be replaced by aides, it could happen eventually. 

Here's more food for thought.  If we don't teach these students to love the library and books, how long before our local government is run by former students who see no need for our public libraries?  I know that many think e-books are going to take over, but I still feel that there will be a need for libraries... and if we teach the love of books, well, an e-reader will NEVER replace the printed word.  Do you really want books to go out of style?  I can't imagine never feeling the pages of a book under my fingers again... that satisfying thump that a book makes when you've read the last page and you close it for the final time.  You just don't get that same feeling from finishing an e-book. 

Don't get me wrong... I love e-books, too.  They have their place.  I read on my iPad often... but it just isn't the same. 

Love books, love libraries and love your librarians.  Without all of those things, I certainly wouldn't be who I am today. 

What do you think?  Why do schools need librarians?  Or if you think schools would be ok without one, please tell me why... I want to know even if it does break my heart. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Giveaway and a Busy Week!

Oh me... I just finished up my book fair.  If you don't happen to be a librarian and you are reading this, that is Librarian (yes, that's a language... really!) for "OMG, I'm exhausted." I totally meant to take pictures of the madness, but I forgot because of all of the madness! Everything else in life has to go on standby while the book fair is on.  I figured it up and I spent a minimum of 60 hours actually at school this week.  That doesn't include the time spent at home working on stuff for school.  lol... so...  I'm thinking I have a right to be tired. 
In other words, if you are waiting for me to finish a mini me... it didn't get done this week.  ;-)
Ok... So on to the good stuff... 
My friend, Tammy, over at Dots of Fun is having a giveaway. 

There's some super cute clip art available from some great artists in the giveaway! You need to go over there and enter!  Oh and there's a set from me in there too!  It's this one.  :-)

I hope you had a great week & have a restful weekend!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My Classroom

I am always seeing everyone's cute pictures of their classroom.  Well... I decided that I'm going to post pictures of my classroom even though my classroom happens to be a library. :-) There's still a lot of things that I would change after 10 years, but overall, I love my library and I think my kiddos do, too!  I certainly hope so.  That's what I strive for all of the time.  After all, if we don't teach them how fun reading can be when they are in elementary school, when are they going to learn? 

The view from what I call "the Non-Fiction side" of the library.
Notice the center column?  It's a neat design element, but boy does it get in the way sometimes.  My predecessor built "tree house" out of foam around it.  It's cute, but I so wish I could have a reading loft around the column.  I've been trying to find someone to con into building it for years, but alas, I have had no luck.

Our Non-fiction section

Our puppet curtain and storytime area. 

Our 5 computers... complete with their antique monitors.  :-)
In the background you can see the back side of my picture window decorations. 

The slightly messy biography section.

My extremely messy circulation desk. :-( Oh well, it's messy because I'm hard at work!

The fiction section and a great view of my wooden tables.  They've held up pretty well for 21 years.

The picture book section.  My favorite.  Notice all of my stuffed animals?  Oh how I love my book character stuffed animals.  :-)
Up until last year, all of the walls in the library were gray.  I'm NOT a gray kind of girl... so I begged and pleaded for several years to paint my walls.  I finally got permission.  I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.  I love the change it's made.
Back to my picture window that I mentioned.  I redecorate that window several times per year for seasons, book fairs and other special events. I meant to take a picture of it, but I forgot.  Maybe I'll remember to do that tomorrow and have more than one blog post per week for a change! 
I was just contacted by a librarian in the same state as me and she thanked me for my lesson plans that I have been posting.  I won't say that I don't enjoy making some extra money, but helping others out... that's the best part!  I am so glad I started this adventure! :-) It makes my heart happy to know that I might be making life just a little bit easier for others!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New stuff posted to TpT and Custom Art

Did you miss me? ;-) You probably haven't had anyone to talk your leg off lately, so you might have!

Seems like the weeks are flying by! We're already over 5 weeks into school! My kiddos are learning all about using the library. This week we're learning how to use the library catalog in 3rd through 5th. (For those of you who aren't librarians, that's the computerized version of the card catalog.) My 2nd graders are learning about biography. K & 1st are learning about settings & characters. It's a busy week, but that's normal & the way I like it! That's why the time flies by! Anyway, for the librarians out there... Here's the new things in my TpT store for you this week. Check them out & see what you think! As I have every week since school started, I'm posting my lesson plans on TpT to save you valuable time to spend with your family and my lesson plans are editable in case something I'm doing doesn't fit your resources or needs.  ;-)

Library Lesson Plans Week 6
Don't be lost like an Easter Egg, Learn to Search the Library Catalog!
Learning about Biography and Autobiography
Freebie- After Reading Worksheet- Draw the Setting and Characters

Now for the second part of my post: Custom Art.  You guys probably already know about my Mini-Me's.  They are my most popular clip art item in my store.  The picture below is from Renee's blog Mrs. Mathis' Homeroom.  I totally love the adorable cards she made with her Mini's! :-) It makes me so happy to see these popping up everywhere! :-)

If you've blogged about your Mini-Me and how you are using it, please send me a link! I'd love to post it here for others to see!
I've also been collaborating with Christi over at Ms. Fultz's Corner on a few of her blog designs.  Here's a couple of screen shots of the latest ones! Christi does a fabulous job, so if you are in need of a new design for a blog, hit her up! (She did mine!) 

This is my favorite custom art that I have done!  I love this header!  The colors, the car, the sunset... I love it all!  I'm so proud of this one! :-)

I hope you are having a fabulous week!  It's flying by.... I can't believe tomorrow is Hummmmmp Dayyyyyyyyyyyy!  (I love that commercial!)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

So glad we are out of school tomorrow...

Phew... maybe I can get some clip art done since I have an extra day off!  I have been so busy working on mini-me orders, doing stuff for school and trying to keep up with lesson plans that I haven't finished a clip art set in what seems like FOREVER... I've also been somewhat non-existent here on my blog and I have a million things to do here at home.  I'm tired of feeling like I complain all of the time... I don't mean to!  I'm totally blessed by everything that's happened since I started blogging, but there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day!  If you have the secret for making it all work, would you please share it with me?!?!? 

At least we had fun in the library this week!  I handed out call numbers and had the kiddos running all over the library in order to find their place on the shelf.  Their favorite part was the app I have on my iPad that I used during the whole thing.  It's called Schoolbell... and it was only .99! When they found the correct spot, I let them push the green button... and it would make positive sounds. (My personal favorite is when it plays part of the hallelujah chorus. lol) If they weren't right, they had to push the red button... and it would make sounds like a foghorn.  They seriously thought it was hilarious!  :-)  Since I allowed them to correct themselves there was also very little room for much embarrassment.  It wasn't about being perfect, it was about being able to use the library effectively!  They really did pretty darn good! (I've got to remember to take pictures of this stuff!)

Also, in case you missed it, I just posted some cute little FREE goldfish the other day!  I made them for a bloggy friend and I thought I'd give them away hoping to make you smile with the snack that smiles back.  lol

For all of you librarians out there... I also posted Week 5 of my lesson plans.  It's all about Patriot Day and talking about 9/11 in non-scary ways as much as possible.  I hope it will be of use to you! 
I also plan to have a 500 follower giveaway soon.  I just passed that mark this week on TpT, but I haven't had time to set up a rafflecopter yet.  If you've hung in there with me and you're still reading, comment below and let me know what you'd like to see me giveaway!  I will take all comments into consideration!  :-)
I hope you're having a GREAT looooooooong weekend!