Trekking through the wilds of library instruction, management, and fun!

Sep 9, 2016

Library Grand (?) Opening

I got a little excited about the new school year! Our library is unattached from the main buildings, and this was how I decorated one entry. I suppose it wasn't technically a "Grand Opening," but a sign like that would look a little less exciting if it just said "Opening," right?

Feb 1, 2016

Bookebration: Game Day!

It's the end of the quarter, so that means that all of my students who met their A.R. reading goals get to attend the Bookebration! Last time we danced, and this time we'll play - board games, that is. I am truly looking forward to seeing my loves interact with one another and non-digital entertainment!

I can't assume that all of my students will know how to play the games I make available to them, so I plan to begin by sharing these brief tutorials before we get started.

Boggle - Part 1
Boggle - Part 2
Boggle - Part 3
Boggle - Part 4
Boggle - Part 5
Pop-o-matic Trouble 

Jan 14, 2016


Hope you enjoyed the session. Here is the link to our presentation: Captivated Presentation

Yours happily ever after,

Nov 10, 2015


One of the most enjoyable, cheap and easy things I've used as a reading incentive is a bookebration. As the name may suggest, this is a party to celebrate students' reading accomplishments. I took the idea from a presenter at our SCASL conference many years ago and have hosted quarterly bookebrations ever since. Each quarter, students who meet their individualized A.R. points goal while maintaining an "average % correct" of 85 or higher are invited to attend.

What began as make-and-take craft and game parties evolved into dance parties using the Wii and Just Dance games. I would move the tables and chairs out of the way, project the dance videos, bring in everyone who was invited, turn off the lights, close the library and DAAAAANCE for 45 minutes. I usually had about 150 -300 qualifying students, so I had to host multiple bookebrations during the week.

Last year was my first year as a middle school librarian, and I considered it a "honeymoon period." I left as much as possible in place, as I was following in the footsteps of an excellent predecessor! So, I held off introducing the A.R. program I'd been running at my former school. It had been successful there for years, but I wasn't sure it would transfer well from an elementary school to a middle school. I missed it terribly though, and this year I couldn't resist! So here I am on the eve of my first middle school bookebration, anxious about how it will be received and eager to compare their experience to my elementary students' experience.

At the middle school level, the students seem to be a bit snobbish about...well, everything...including what they'll dance to. So instead of using Just Dance this time, I've decided to create a playlist based on their requests. Included are some tutorial videos so that all of us have a chance to learn the steps. I also added a few wild cards. I tried really hard to find "clean" videos without adult language and that would be fall in line with our dress code. Enjoy!

Warm Up (LOL)
Watch Me (Silento's Tutorial)
Watch Me (Group)
Watch Me (Dance)
Hit the Quan (Dance & Step by Step)
Wobble (Tutorial)
Gobble (Dance)
Dlow Shuffle (Steps & Dance)
Cupid Shuffle (Tutorial)
Cupid Shuffle (Dance)
Sid Shuffle (Dance & Tutorial)
Happy (Tutorial)
Happy (Dance)

Aug 4, 2014

Easing Into a New Library Position

Changing districts, schools, and school levels isn't easy, and the many details involved with moving my family allowed me to push thoughts of how to execute the transition to the "back burner." However, I finally reached a point this week at which I was able to begin my new adventure! If you find yourself in a similar situation, let me share my how I eased into the unfamiliar waters of a new position even before school begins!

1. School Website
One of the easiest and most important tasks was to publish my profile, create classes, and set up a library web page. In my case, I'm following a master librarian, so I simply modeled the classes and web page information after what she already had in place. K.I.S.S. mentality, folks. It was also interesting to look through the files available to employees.

2. School Board Manual
I wanted to make sure I was aware of anything pertinent to my position, so I searched the online school board manual for terms such as "librarian," "media specialist," etc. I printed everything I found for easy reference later. 

3. Calendar
I need a year long calendar of library events, even if it's tentative. Unfortunately, I've spent the last eight years building such calendars for elementary libraries, and I'm not familiar with what should be included in one for a middle school library. So I'll soon be perusing the calendars for other middle school libraries to get ideas. I expect to receive a school calendar soon, and that will help me nail down dates. 

4. Move In
This week I'll move my things into my new library. Is that essential? Probably not, but I believe I'll feel more at home, and that sense of belonging is something I've missed since I moved out of my old library a couple of months ago.

Okay...that's a start. And that's all I need for now. Easy does it...

Yours happily ever after,

Apr 12, 2014

A Happy Shift

By God's leading, my husband recently accepted a new position a few hours away from our current home. This will require many adjustments, such as selling and buying homes, transferring schools for my children, AND a new position for me, too! I'm happy to announce that this fall I'll be a MIDDLE SCHOOL media specialist! While I've taught in a middle school, all of my eight years as a librarian have been in an elementary school, so I'll soon be broadening my focus a bit on my Pinterest boards and in my posts here. I hope you'll be around to help me and celebrate this new shift in my life with me!

Yours happily ever after,

Mar 19, 2014

Pencil Sharpener Giveaway (CLOSED)

A while back, I received a pencil sharpener to try out in my library. It did not disappoint!!! You can read my full review at 

Regrettably, the picture doesn't do it justice, but hopefully you can see the elongated tip of that pencil. It's just BEAUTIFUL! Seriously, it elicited exclamations every time I tried it. It became entertaining - what else could I sharpen? It was so much fun to watch my colleagues' faces when I demonstrated it for them.

If you're in the market for a new pencil sharpener, I highly recommend this one. It's available in red, green, blue, black and pink from Classroom Friendly Supplies for $24.99 with FREE shipping within the United States. You can also enter to win one...

DISCLAIMER:  I received one of the pencil sharpeners mentioned above for  free in the hope that I would review it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal  Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Yours happily ever after,