Monday, September 10, 2012

Attention Getters!

I received a question on a listserv and thought many could use the answer: What I am looking for is a rhyme or song or finger play or hand clap that gets the kids to quickly transition into library and reminds them about appropriate behavior. Specifically for kids grades K-2.

My answer:

This is something I find really hard too, and have found a couple that work well:

Me: I'm ready for centers/listening/checking out, etc. Show me you are ready, (count back from 5). 
Usually they quiet down and know to listen. If they do not, TEACH them what "show me your ready" means - for me, it means sitting on our bottom, looking at me, without talking. In some classes, it's VERY specific, sitting on your bottom, hands folded, body turned looking at me, without talking (so they are not playing with their book or supplies/talking to a friend/etc). I've learned the hard way not to assume, and to explain EVERY step even when you think it might be silly. I also model everything, from laying across the table to sitting properly. (It's usually my exercise during the beginning of the year. =) 

Give me 5 - count down from 5, the students put up their hands like an air five, this works really well with older kids, as most of them do it in our classrooms.

Clap a rhythm, have them clap back for attention. 

I've heard tons of rhyme type things, but then they end up singing it ALL. THE. TIME. I used to like clap, clap, hands in my lap, but that's really only good for PreK. Some ideas - 

Whatever you use - PRACTICE, remember not only are you seeing 6 different classes, but those students see 5/6 different teachers too because of specials. Make your expectations clear, practice them so you can model and they know exactly what's expected, and if they don't remember, go over it again. It is WAY better to use a couple class periods on this than to constantly fight for their attention. This takes F.O.R.E.V.E.R. and by the time you get them where you want them, it's June =) 

Try using as much positive reinforcement as possible rather than negative, table 4 I see you are working very hard to be ready, you get 2 extra minutes on the computers, or can check out first, or whatever. I almost never use stickers/candy, mainly because it's messy, expensive, and the behavior goes away the second you're out of candy and stickers =) We also talked today about being "annoying" that some kids were purposefully being silly and wasting others time, and how that is not fair to our learning. It was really interesting to see the change in some kids attitude when they realized this. 

Also, don't be afraid to change it mid year, sometimes things get old/don't work, change it up! =) I used to be really afraid of this, but now if something is really not working, I change tactics the next period and reteach. Also take into account the day itself, if it's the Kindergarteners 100th day, they are going to REALLY hard to instruct. Relax and read a story together, etc. 

Some other things that may help is having EVERYTHING have a routine - teach them how to checkout, and what it looks like, where do they line up, how? what voice level do you use...etc. When working at the tables/computers/etc, what do they do? Have them make signs and take ownership of their routines. That way even if you don't have their attention, they will know what to do. 

Let me know what works, hope this helps =)

If you have other ideas, please comment and share!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back to School!

My amazing new library!

A collage of the first couple days:

The Welcome Bulletin Board:

What we do in the library:  
If you want to copy it, it says: 
In the library, we will learn information and technology literacy skills for research and reading!
We read a variety of books from various genres!
We learn about authors and illustrators!
We learn the organization of the library.
We learn how to research using the internet effectively, with evaluating tools.

And the pièce de résistance - my Owl fabric bulletin board! (Our mascot is the owl)

A close up of the fabric and border: 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Less. Boxes. Slowly. =)

Started cleaning out the boxes. A fellow librarian said to start with boxes, and start making categories. So far I put all the teaching books in one box, and all the school supplies for students in one box. See the before and after so far - Less Boxes Slowly. Only 55 to go!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Now an Award Winning Blog!

Holy moly! I was nominated for 2 awards by Oh, How Pintearesting! It is overwhelmingly teacher-y so I'm glad to be contributing a teacher-librarian lilt! Thank you so much Laura, this is so exciting! =)

So here are the awards:

For receiving the One Lovely Blog award, I have to:
1. Follow the person who gave me the award - done! 
2. Link back - Oh, How Pintearesting! 
3. Pass to 15 bloggers and let them know that they have received the award.

For receiving the Versatile Blogger award, I have to:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated me - done!
2. Include a link to their blog - Oh, How Pintearesting! If you haven't clicked by now (it's been posted 3 times now...) just go Oh, How Pintearesting! Plus we all love Pinterest! 

3. Include the award image in my post - see above
4. Give 7 random facts about myself - see below
5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award
6. When nominating, include a link to the blog
7. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated

7 random facts
1. I love Gilmore Girls.
2. I sew and pretend to keep a blog on it - It's Thread, Not String - mainly just fun to see some of the projects I've worked on. 
3. I've been mistaken for IT more than I've been thought of as the librarian. 
4. I love butterflies. 
5. I could eat cajun seasoning by itself. 
6. I am super nerdy and remember weird details and sometimes have to play dumb.
7. I am introvert and sometimes get tired of talking to people. 

15 other bloggers (I am combining as Laura did!) 
1. The Pithy Python (especially for this Unexpected Rapstar: Librarian
2. If you ever wanted your own avatar, or wanted to see what your head in a jar would look like, go to The Daring Librarian and try out the 20 different sites that can turn you into a cartoon! 
3. In time for Common Core implementation - Great Common Core Nonfiction 
4. Try out A Lemon Squeezy Home - one day I'll have time to make these! 
5. Librarianism Chronicles
6. How can I resist a blog that's called First Grade Glitter and Giggles??? Love glitter, giggles, and first grade! 
7. A blog on PYP - this is very specific to my new job and something I need to follow to learn more and be a better resource...PYP stands for Primary Years Program, and is part of the IB model of schooling. 
8. One more - PYP at Spicewood
9. More PYP - What Ed Said
10. So many ideas. Time Space Education
11. So going to ste, ahem, borrow these Kerilee Beasley =)
12. Last PYP, I promise - Teach Love
13. Great place for YA suggestions and new ideas
14. ... Something I googled and have yet to read. Thoughts?
15.Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie - I'm making this for boyfriend's birthday...but will have made it by the time this posts =) (FYI - it was delicious and a total surprise, and the look on his face was awesome)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

So. Many. Boxes.

I have realized that I need to get rid of some of my school supplies. I have 60+ boxes to go through and would love to get down to 20 boxes + 10 boxes of books. I have about 700 books plus about 30 boxes of various "stuff" - paper, craft supplies, crayons, office supplies, etc...Each box is a paper ream box. For anyone who has done this, what do you suggest? I need some kind of organizational system and a cheap one! I don't want to have to buy too many new boxes or other stuff. Also, I probably have about 2 weeks to do this...any ideas?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Learnist = Pinterest for educators

Many people love Pinterest (let's face it, you can spend hours looking at recipes, clothes, games, anything really)...can that format translate to helping educators? Take a look at Learnist - Grammar and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

AASL Top 25 Websites!

Great sites for teachers, or anyone who wants to collaborate

I like: Popplet -

And I would recommend to my teachers as it teaches Web 2.0 in 5 minutes or less! Sweet!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I may need to get an iPad just for this... StickPickApp! What other great teacher apps are out there that I should know about??

Friday, June 15, 2012

48 Ultra-Cool Summer Sites for Kids and Teachers

Great stuff!

Math games for kids, a PDF to Word converter, a Magic Tree House website, a Virtual Piano, Google resources, and so many other things! Time to start playing =)

P.S. I'm going to make the salad for dinner again, along with polenta and blackened chicken. Very excited about my food future!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Yippy! (.com)

Look up your favorite basketball star -

What did you find? Is it better or worse than what you can find on Google? Why or why not? Comment and let me know! =)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Salad > Pasta ???

The world may be ending. I made a salad so tasty, I almost didn't want to eat my pasta left overs with it. The salad was greens with a vinaigrette I made starting with Dijon mustard, whisked with Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and oregano, and a stream of olive oil. Then I sprinkled sliced almonds on top for crunch.  SO TASTY.

P.S. Don't worry...the world is not ending...about 20 minutes later, I ate my pasta. =)

P.P.S. I also want to try this one now. Broccolini Salad

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday Book Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

So I've wanted to write a book for about 10 years. Every time I have been thwarted by something. I am in grad school, but soon to be unemployed and thought, hey, this is as good a time as any. I've always wondered where to start. I thought I'd start with what I'm reading right now.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver is about a soon to be 18 year old girl, Lena, who is about to be "cured" of Delirium. Delirium is the disease of love. As I have read a story, watched a movie, or watched a TV show before, I'm assuming she will fall in love with the male character, Alex. I'm semi-interested in the story, but have already gotten a little tired of the same old story. Perhaps I need to start reading adult novels and not YA....I try to excuse it by saying it's part of my job.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Orange Triangle

Why orange triangle you ask? Well, I'm starting this blog to try to write regularly and eventually write a children's book. My first memory of reading is of a book that had a girl drawn in shapes, and orange circle and an orange triangle. Therefore, orange triangle.