Library Events and Adventures in Grant Writing

Today I have decided to deviate a bit from the brain-based education research, and keep you updated about the changes I am making to our school library program.  This school year, I have switched from the elementary library environment to the secondary-level library setting.  I am loving every minute of it!

Some changes and events that I have implemented thus far:

  1. School library needs assessments:  I have designed an assessment for both the faculty/staff member and the student to assess their needs and interests.  This was a good way for me to quickly gather information about student interests, as well as what the primary purpose of the library has been before my arrival.  I’ve been able to gather information about where I need to immediately allocate some of my budget, including periodicals of interest to the vocational and technical education programs at my school.  To download a copy of both the student and teacher library needs assessments, please click here: Faculty library survey Student Library Survey
  2. An urban fiction book club: While my students come from a variety of racial and socioeconomic backgrounds, it was important to find a common ground that most of them share when reading for pleasure.  Time and time again, I noticed that many of the books that students choose to check out and read are in the recently dubbed “urban fiction” genre that is currently experiencing somewhat of a renaissance period in the world book market right now.  African American and Latino writers are bringing their works of urban teenage life to the forefront of American thought, and my students couldn’t be happier about it.  When we return from school, our urban fiction book club will be tackling “Lost & Found,” the first novel in the Bluford High series of books.  Next, my students have expressed interest in several Sharon Draper titles, so we will soon see who has written the next selection for our club.Green Apple on Books
  3. Breakfast & Books: “Breakfast & Books,” is an event that I started hosting when I first started my career as a school librarian.  No matter how big or how small your budget may be, you will most likely always be purchasing books in some format for your library.  When these books come in, prior to placing them in a display or on the shelves, invite your faculty for bagels, donuts, and coffee in the library to preview the books.  Stand each book up on the table and set an index card next to it with a brief summary or review.  Also be sure to include what ages/grades, school subjects, and genres can be associated with each title.  This lets your faculty know what’s new and available to both them and the students, as well as continues to foster positive school-wide library experiences.

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4.  Grants, grants, and more grants: There are a plethora of grant opportunities out there for the eager educator.  In terms of this holiday season, I will be working on two YALSA grants that involve the utilization of graphic novels, as well as the possibility of increasing student engagement with technology-based activities both during and after school.  While grant writing offers no certain guarantee that you will receive said grant funding, getting your organization’s name out there will only help to draw possible positive connections to you for your future goals.

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5.  A library planning committee: Now that we are off and running, we need to secure a vision for our school library program that will help guide us to make our planning decisions over the next several years.  I have invited all members of our community to take part in our planning committee, including, but not limited to: administrators, faculty members, staff members, students, public librarians from the community (opportunities for collaboration), and elementary/primary school librarians (creating less of a vertical organization and more of a lateral organization).  When meeting with your planning committee, always keep in mind the key tenet, “Our library is what we make it to be.”  Your vision should assess your library at multiple planning stages, including:  “What does our library look and function like now?  What would we like it to look and function like in one year?  Five years?  What are the biggest unmet library needs of our community?”  By keeping these thoughts in mind, you’ll be able to help drive the committee to make collaborative, decisive goals that clearly delineate where to go and what path to follow for the positive development of your library program.

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So those are my “Big 5” for right at this moment.  That is, of course, in addition to the brain-based learning research that is currently taking over our living room and kitchen tables.  Stay posted for an upcoming book review of Benedict Carey’s new book, “How We Learn:  The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens.”

Changes, Health, and Education: An Update

Many changes have occurred since my last blog post.  The biggest of these, of course, has been the brilliant, wonderful, awe-inspiring addition of our baby boy to the mix.  Throughout a difficult high-risk pregnancy (complete with cholestasis of the liver, daily blood thinner injections, and trips to the perinatologist), my husband and I were blessed to witness the miracle of life.  These welcome distractions brought about a multitude of changes, not being limited to:

1.

A complete change of perspective about the importance, and, often unexpected, circumstances that can complicate one’s own health.  I always preach the importance of safety, be it classroom or family, but, this time, the tables had turned.  I was the one who was not well, and, in turn, was worried constantly about the health of my unborn child.  Take care of your body.  Eat clean foods with low sugar and salt, as well as decreasing or altogether eliminating additives/artificial coloring and preservatives.  Your health depends on it, and, you, my friend, depend on your health.

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2.

Free time? What is this free time you speak of?  While the addition of a baby will not leave you with any extra minutes to your day, it is still important to try and find tiny slivers of the day where you can sit, breathe, and reflect.  My scrapbooking table runeth-over with projects left over from my pregnancy days.  However, I have found that coloring is my newest “make-due-with-the-few-minutes-you-have” meditation activity.  com has a plethora of adult coloring books like mandalas, stained-glass patterns, etc.  Time to bust out the Crayola products!

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3.

 My research interests. Professionally, this should be number two on the list.  I say number two, because, without number one, your health, not much is going to happen for you on the professional level. While my presentations on Common Core exemplar text utilization have been a great success, I have extensively exploring the classroom potential of discoveries in the field of brain-based education.  I am currently developing a marketable teacher inservice presentation, as well as distilling the essence of the presentation for a one hour presentation for this upcoming January’s “Lifelines” professional development day at Union University.

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4.

I’ve put my doctoral education plans on hold for the immediate moment. I have every intention of potentially revisiting these dreams in the future, but, for now, the focus is on health, family, and growing as professional teacher and librarian.  With that being said, I’m leaning strongly towards brain-based education doctoral programs.  God bless the fluidity of the internet and the potential for distance-learning courses.

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Check out my blog over these next few months for posts about brain-based learning, including book reviews, teacher and student handouts, article links, blogs to follow, and much more!

Miles to go, and forever grateful for this life!

Cheers!

Meg

Make a Deco Mesh Wreath

Living in the South, it is expected that there be a wreath on one’s door for every season.  In the summer, I’ve seen wreaths made of flip flops on my neighbors doors.  Tennessee Vols season?  Wreaths of white and orange.  So, when I casually mentioned to a friend that I wanted to decorate a bit for Hanukkah, she asked, “Why don’t you get a wreath?”  Granted, as my northern born-and-raised husband noted, “Wreaths are for Christmas,” it is automatically understood, that, in the South, wreaths are for each and every season and event imaginable in one’s life.  Thus, came my impetus to acquire a Hanukkah wreath.

Each year, the local private school hosts a holiday event full of vendors from local stores and craftspeople.  A highlight of the vendors is a craft maker who makes decorative mesh wreaths.  They are simply gorgeous, but are very expensive.  After looking up a tutorial and a trip to Hobby Lobby, I decided that I was going to venture to make my own wreath and save $50+ in the process.

Below are the steps needed to make a decorative wreath:

1.  Gather supplies.  You will need:

  • wire wreath form
  • two rolls of 60 ft decorative mesh in silver and blue
  • two packages of glitter pipe cleaners: one in blue and one in silver 2013-11-23 15.18.23

2.  Cut your pipe cleaners into strips of about three inches each.  Place pipe cleaners about 1 1/2 inches apart from one another on the wreath frame.

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3.  Take your first roll of deco mesh and pinch off about 6 inches of mesh.  Use the pipe cleaners to fasten the mesh to the frame.  This should give you a good fluffy “bubble” effect.  Continue to do this all around the frame.

2013-11-23 15.34.17 2013-11-23 16.35.38 .  Next, using the second roll of deco mesh and its matching pipe cleaners, fasten the deco mesh to the frame in exactly the same way, but make sure to put the second loops in between each of the first color’s loops.

5.  Fluff out mesh and add more as needed.  I decided to add two small silver birds to the wreath as a finishing touch.

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6.  Hang your wreath from your door and enjoy!

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For further information and another tutorial, please see:  http://www.clumsycrafter.com/2012/03/deco-mesh-wreath-tutorial/

Adventures in Book Fairs

This week, after many months of extensive planning, I am hosting a Scholastic book fair at our school. Although I’ve been a school librarian for going on four years now, this is my first adventure in planning and hosting a book fair by myself.
In order to host a book fair, I’ve learned a few things along the way:
1. Start planning as early as possible. I started planning our book fair at the beginning of August for a mid-November fair. The earlier you start planning, the more time you have to adjust to glitches that may occur along the way.
2. Contact your Scholastic representative. Your rep will be your lifeline to the entire planning and post fair business. Get to know your representative and start an open dialogue with them as soon as you know that you’re interested in planning a fair.
3. Promote your fair in as many ways as possible. From signs staked in the school yard to handing out order form flyers to students, try to spread the word about your fair. Your students will be excited, and, that, in turn, will make you excited about your fair.
4. Have plenty of space and tables. The sheer amount of books, pencils, erasers, etc. seems to have multiplied since I was in grade school. You will need to have the biggest space possible with at least 8 full size tables for book displays.
5. Utilize the online fair component. Items ship for free to the school and include a huge selection of books. The profits will be totaled in with your fair profits after the fair.
So, there you have a newbie’s tips for a successful book fair. Have a happy book fair!

Publish or Perish: My Adventure Begins

 

I have a predicament of sorts:  I would like to publish an academic book on exemplar texts and arts integration using the Common Core State Standards.  So what is the problem, you may ask?  Well, the market for educational academic texts is currently cornered by, well, academics.  That’s right, in order to find a reputable publisher in the educational realm, you need that omnipotent doctoral degree.  I happen to be one degree short, as I only possess a master’s degree.  I have seriously researched doctoral programs, only to discover that: 1) They carry a hefty expense, and 2) I have no desire to go into school administration, so the expense would not pay off in the end.  Blessed be the excellent and hardworking school administrators, but I am a proud librarian.

So what’s a librarian to do?

My husband has suggested that I write children’s books.  This would be a fabulous idea, if the children’s book publishing market was not in the state of decline which it is currently.  Your odds of having your children’s book published may, in fact, be less likely than being struck by lightning or winning the lottery jackpot.  So that’s a no.

The last type of book that I would be interested in writing is of the creative nonfiction genre.  That’s right, a personal narrative.  My first thought was, “Who on earth would want to read a book about my life?”  I’m a wife, librarian, scrapbooker, reader, teacher, daughter, and friend.  All of these topics have been written on a thousand times over.   So those are out.

Yet, hold that thought, the one topic that I have been searching for several months to find guidance and personal advice/information/relief is quite scarce.  That is, the conversion to Reform Judaism.  Firsthand accounts are rare, except for a spattering of blog posts and titles concerning conversion after marrying a Jewish spouse.  But what about a firsthand account of coming to Judaism, meeting/coming into a congregation, practicing Judaism in an overwhelmingly Christian South, and the list goes on and on?  Even if published anonymously, this type of text would be a great respite to those beginning their journeys or seeking to connect their experiences with that of another layperson.

So, here I am.  I’ve already written my chapter headings and have so many things to say.  I believe this book will flow from me easily, and, hopefully, help my fellow converts who feel called to Judaism.  I hope it is an inspiring text, an honest, raw, and spiritual text that lets others know that they are not alone.

And so I begin to write…

Classroom Management in the School Library

As another school year is in full swing, I have been busy implementing new behavior and classroom management rules and procedures in the classroom.  Some changes that I have found to be working and successful thus far:

  1.  Go over classroom rules and procedures from the beginning.  Have the older students write out each of your rules on an index card and sign it.  Keep it on file, because, if you have problems with behavior in the future, you can quickly pull it out and remind the student what he or she agreed to do while in your library class.
  2. Implement a positive behavior rewards system.  As with last year, I will be selecting an overall class of the week, as well as a female and male student of the week who exhibited exemplary behavior in library class.  This year I’ve made the following changes:  I am going to select a class from each grade as the class of the week to promote some healthy competition, as well as an overall class of the week.  The two students I select will be able to pick a prize from the treasure box, in addition to their certificates.
  3. If you have an electronic  Smartboard or iPad, use the www.classdojo.com website or app.  Award points to students who are on task, working quietly, showing leadership skills, etc.  Take away points for noisiness, misbehavior, etc.  Allow students to use points towards small prizes from the treasure chest.  Have students create a behavior goal and work towards it!
  4. Have a line competition.  I’ve found that if students come down the hallway off-task, then they are most likely going to be off-task in library class.  Always meet your students at the library door and watch them come down the hallway as a class.  Are they quiet?  Walking properly?  Thumbs locked behind their backs or books held correctly?  If so, have a bag with numbers 1-31 in it.  If all students are on task, select a student to draw a number.  This is how many points they will start the day with.  If they enter quietly and follow your directed expectations, allow them to keep the points.  If not, subtract as you feel necessary.  Repeat this for line up for dismissal.  Have students add up the points in their head.  Keep track of the points on a chart on the door.  The class with the most points at the end of the month will win a pizza or popcorn party.
  5. My treasure box will be multipurpose this year.  It will serve three functions: 1) As rewards for student of the week, 2) For students to accumulate Class Dojo points for good behavior, and 3) As a catalyst for students to redeem Accelerated Reader points in a “store” format where they can shop for rewards for doing well on their reading tests.

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A note about the treasure box:

I bought a pink three drawer cart from Target that I have divided into three sections:  Boys, Girls, and Both.  Each drawer has prizes that will appeal to that gender, or, the third drawer, both male and female students (Slinkys and Silly Putty, anyone?).  Keep your eyes out for sales to stock your treasure chest.  Claire’s had a 10 for $10 sale at the mall where I stocked up on little wallets, keychains, and Hello Kitty stickers for the girls.  For the boys, I made a run on the Target dollar section and clearance toy section.  Side Note:  No matter how great the deals, the price tag for the treasure chest can add up quickly.  For additional prizes, I plan on hosting two Scholastic book fairs this year to help fund the treasure chest, especially for the Accelerated Reader store.  Another idea to solicit library sponsors from individuals and local businesses.  I am still searching for interested sponsors for this school year.

What are your classroom management ideas for the school library?

Make Your Own Library Classroom Storytelling Stool

The last post dealt with making your school library appealing and welcoming for your patrons, the students.  Today, I am going to guide you through the steps needed to make your own personalized storytelling stool.  I got my inspiration from several classroom boards on Pinterest.  I made mine to fit with our new zebra with pink accents jungle theme in the library.

The entire project to make complete one of two stools took me about two days with the necessary paint coat drying times.  I purchased the two stools secondhand from a Facebook group that allows people to sell their gently used items.  I also recommend scouring your local Goodwill or Salvation Army thrift stores for paintable finds.  Both stools cost me $20.  However, if you already have a stool in your possession, then you can cut costs by half already.  Way to be thrifty!

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The supplies cost roughly around $30 for two stools, but this can be more or less depending on the embellishments that you want to add or subtract.  I went to Hobby Lobby and Walmart for supplies.  If you have a Super Walmart with an expansive crafting/home improvement section, then I recommend them for money savings.

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To make the stool exactly as I did, you will need:

  • 1 or more storytelling stool
  • 100 and 220 grit sand paper or 100/220 sanding pad
  • Krylon hot pink spray paint
  • Krylon Glitter Blast spray paint
  • Zebra print alphabet stickers
  • 2 packages of stick-on gemstones
  • One roll of painters tape
  • One wet workman’s cloth or rag
  • One pencil
  • One circular bowl or dish for tracing purposes
  • One acrylic paintbrush
  • Two small bottles of black acrylic paint in metallic shine
  • One paper plate
  • One feather boa in the color of your choice
  • Scissors
  • One can of spray adhesive

Note:  In the picture it shows two paint markers.  Avoid paint markers, as they really do not cover over the pink well when painting zebra stripes.  Live and learn.

To begin, sand the finish off of the tops of stools.  Use the 100 grit sandpaper or 100 grit side of your sanding sponge to start.  Then, using the finer grain 220 sandpaper, re-sand the tops of the stools again.  You should not be able to see any shine from any finishes or varnishes.  Then, using your damp workman’s cloth or rag, thoroughly wipe down the tops and any rogue sanding remains on your stool.

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Next, use your painters tape to wrap the legs of your stool.  I recommend taping at least 8 inches down from the bottom of the stool down the legs.

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Then, begin to apply your first coat of spray paint.  Try for even, graceful strokes vertically holding the can about 8-12 inches from the stool top.  You will need at least three coats of spray paint.  Allow for at least an hour of drying time in between coats.  I did the spray painting on one day and the acrylic painting the next to provide for plenty of drying time to let the paint set.

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The next step is to draw the circle in the middle of your chair for the name.  I used a bowl as a tracing pattern to provide a nearly-perfect circle shape centered in the middle of the chair.  Then, I drew the zebra stripes on to the chair using a pencil.

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Painting the zebra stripes comes next.  Note:  Allow yourself plenty of time and patience for this step.  It took at least three hours for one stool.  You need to hand paint each stripe with a generous amount of black acrylic paint in order to cover the bright pink color of the stool.  If you happen to be outside in the sweltering Tennessee summer heat while doing this, then have plenty of water to drink on hand!  Allow at least an hour for the paint to dry before proceeding to the next step.

Next, apply the zebra print letter stickers.  You can spell out your name, your grade, an inspirational quote, etc.

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If you want to make your stool really shine, now is the time to apply the Krylon Glitter Blast spray.  I used the silver color.  Make sure to shake the bottle for two minutes prior to spraying as directed on the side.  It makes for more even glitter.  I decided to spray the entire chair with the glitter spray, but the decision is yours.  It will dim the color a bit, but does add a fun sparkle.  To add more sparkle, use adhesive gems around the circle on the top.  Be sure your glitter spray has been given at least an hour to dry before handling the stool or adding embellishments.

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The last thing to do is add your feather boa to the bottom of the seat of the stool.  Cut the boa to the size of the circumference of the stool bottom and use a spray adhesive to stick on the boa.  Allow for the adhesive to dry before turning the stool right side up.

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Viola! You should now have your very own library storytelling stool.

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Other quick tips for the new school year:

Be sure to have a notebook and folder where you can take notes at faculty meetings and collect all of your papers.

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If you use erasable individual student whiteboards in your library (I do, a BUNCH), get heart shaped bath pads as erasers instead of old kitchen rags or tissues.  This will cut down on the mess, and students will love them!  (Notebook, folders, and bath pads can be purchased at the Dollar Store).

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Be sure to stay tuned for updates on school library decor!

Just a Touch of Zebra-Print and Your Library Space

Just as I have done blog postings in the past on my home work space, I need to assert that your actual school library space is even more important.  Obviously, function rules the day in the school library.  You want a library that can serve all of its patrons and allow for smooth and easy transitions from one area of the space to the next.  However, also equally important is that the space must be inviting to your patrons.  Your school library space must make students WANT to come to visit and spend time there.

This year, I’m sprucing up my space to make it a little more mine and a little more inviting for the students.  I’m changing out the usual bulletin board to make way for a multicultural board that features scrapbook style photographs of our students in action in the library from the past school year.  In addition, a coworker is helping to make new colorful draperies for the windows to replace the older, darker green plaid versions which currently hang in the windows.  I want to use the fabric’s theme to also cover the front and sides of the circulation desk.  Polka dots?  Zebra print?  Only time will tell what theme we decide to go with.  See pictures below for inspiration (note: not my library classroom.  Photos found on Pinterest).

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My husband has also gifted me with a crayon wreath that I intend to hang in the hallway on my office door to liven up our corridor of the building.  You can get a similar wreath for your library/classroom from the Etsy store TheWhimsicalWrenTN:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheWhimsicalWrenTN?ref=seller_info

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Ultimately, this is the space that you work in all day and it is also the space where you expect your students to do their best library schoolwork:  You both deserve for the library space to be cool and comfortable!

It’s Completion, Not Pefection

Some may say that librarians fall into many stereotypes:  bun-wearing, shushing, antisocial, etc.  The list describing the stereotypical librarian could go on and on.  Most modern-day librarians do not fall into the descriptors of the stereotypes that have been written or portrayed by media.  In fact, there was even a film made on the subject called “Hollywood Librarians.”  Read more about the film here:  http://www.journalgazette.net/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070923/LOCAL0201/709230322/1002/LOCAL

One librarian stereotype that I have fallen prey to in the past is the stereotype of perfectionist.  Many librarians are guilty of this quality, or fault, depending on how you look at it.  In fact, I had a graduate library school professor who always made it a point to say, “Remember:  It’s completion, not perfection, that counts at the end of the day.”  Our desire to search until we get exactly the right answer, the perfect lesson, and the pleased patron drives us to want perfection. 

And that is the reason for this blog post:  How I gave up on perfection and learned to settle for an evolution of things.

Throughout my career, I’ve learned that nothing worthwhile happens overnight.  A quality school library program takes years to build, and must have full participation of other stakeholders (students, teachers, administration, parents, and community members) in order to be successful.  I have been blessed to know that I have the full support of my educational community in building a library literacy program that both meets and exceeds the needs of all of the necessary constituents.  However, it is still a work in progress, ever evolving and changing for the better.

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One way that I have learned to let things evolve is through the art of scrapbooking.  As silly as it sounds, scrapbooking is a largely organic process.  When I begin a scrapbook page, I have a relative idea of what I’d like to see happen on the page, but, it never turns out to be that vision.  Instead, it evolves as I work on the page.  Accidentally cut the wrong size shape with your Cricut?  Use it as a background shape for your page.  You see, it organically evolves to something unexpectedly beautiful.  It’s a process I’m learning to embrace, just as a successful professional librarian image and school library program takes time and unexpected turns in a charming manner.

My advice:  Keep working towards building your professional image, your library program, and your life.  The unexpected may be the best that will happen to you. 

TASL CO-OP Part Two: Battle of the Books and School Library/Classroom Promotions

This is part two of four that I promised to write about the TASL CO-OP 2013.  This post will mainly deal with hosting a Battle of the Books competition and other library promotion ideas that you can include at your school library.

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I admit that I’ve been curious and interested in hosting a Battle of the Books competition this past school year, but really had no idea where to start.  This session changed that.  Below are key points when preparing for your Battle of the Books competition:

  • Collaboration is key.  Collaborate with other teachers in your building to find out what novels they are interested in reading with their class to further strengthen your team.  If you’re brave and are doing a multiple building competition, be sure to collaborate with the school librarian and teachers at the other building, as well.
  • The presenters recommended starting the competitions with the 5th grade and older students.  Some attendees said that they start their teams as young as 3rd grade.  You know your students best and what grade level starting competitions would be appropriate.
  • If you don’t have regularly scheduled library course classes, start a book club where students meet once a month to discuss the required reading books.  Since I have regularly scheduled library course classes with my students, I intend to read the books with each of the classes and implement the Common Core State Standards throughout our studies.
  • Here’s my favorite part:  If you or your students don’t mesh with the recommended reading list of the official Battle of the Books website http://www.battleofthebooks.org/, then create your own reading list of required books.  My biggest criticism of the official book list is that it isn’t very multicultural or inclusive of the interests of urban students.  We will be using the book sets that we’ve recently purchased to include more close reading strategies in the classroom.  I plan on selecting 5-10 required books.
  • Have a traveling trophy made for about $20 that the winning team or class can have displayed in their room until the end of the year.
  • Make a display at the beginning of the year to advertise and generate student excitement about the competition.  Your display should be colorful and exciting looking!
  • Have a minimum of 15 questions per book, and avoid very specific questions during your competition.
  • Have a local public figure or celebrity emcee as a question reader for your event.  You need to have two non-partisan judges.
  • Have each team make t-shirts or come up with a unified design for t-shirts for students to wear on the day of the event.
  • Start early so students have time to read or reread the books.
  • You may take turns having teams answer the questions or invest in a set of reliable buzzers.  One set that was recommended was the 10 piece set of buzzers from Affordable Buzzers that includes software.  It’s available on http://www.amazon.com/10-player-Pistol-Grip-24ft-wires/dp/B00BQ26YTM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1372009655&sr=8-1&keywords=affordable+buzzers for a little over $250.
  • Make programs for parents and community members who attend the battle.
  • Have a reliable and visible timer for students and the audience to see how much time is left to answer a question.
  • Students should not know what question is coming up next.  Keep them on their toes!
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I hope these suggestions will help you start a Battle of the Books at your school library, regardless of the grade level of the students.

Now, onto another popular topic:  School Library Promotions!

  1.  If your school library collects Box Tops for library funds, create a magnet to send home with every child to put on their refrigerator reminding the family to collect those Box Tops for school library funds.  Use fun fonts and graphics to keep this reminder of how important your child’s school library is front and center in the home.  Vistaprint makes great products:  http://www.vistaprint.com/category/magnets.aspx?txi=15187&xnid=TopNav_Magnets_Marketing+Products&xnav=TopNav
  2. In February, have a “Love Your Library” mini activity where students fill out heart cutouts with a reason that they love their school library.  Use these to select a student or two in a drawing to win a sweet candy prize.  Then, use the hearts to display on a Valentine’s Day bulletin board.
  3. Have a “Guessing Book” competition:  Wrap a chapter book up in wrapping paper and have students guess how many pages are in the wrapped book.  The student who guesses the closest will win the book!  (Note:  guessing jars and guessing book competitions are a great way to get reluctant readers more interested in library happenings).
  4. Host a World Book Night book giveaway.  This event will allow you to give away twenty free books.  Book levels that can be obtained are elementary through adult.  Find out more information here:  http://www.us.worldbooknight.org/
  5. For those of you who use the Accelerated Reader program in your school library, create genre or point paw tags to give to students who earn different levels of points.  Use http://www.cooketag.com/Tags/ to create fun tags that students can collect as they earn different point levels.  The tags can be made to resemble military ID tags, and students love to collect them on a chain to show off to their friends!  Another idea for AR users is to have a traveling trophy made that can go to the class with the top number of AR points each month.  While this goes on the inside of their classroom, also create a certificate that can go on the outside of their classroom door.  Let students be proud of their accomplishments!

I hope that you’ll consider using these promotions in your school library or classroom to help make our students lifelong learners!