“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self." - Cyril Connolly

Monday, October 19, 2015

Library Time: Week 4

This week I discovered that September was "Children's Good Manners Month".  It is always a good time to discuss good manners. First, I asked the kids what manners are.  Then, we discussed different examples of manners and polite words to use: Please, Thank you, You're welcome. etc.)

Then we really discussed the importance of listening. While not a "manner" in itself, listening lends to following directions and being respectful.  I stressed the importance of following directions the first time they are given. I told them a story of my four-year-old and how I yelled for him to stop.  I needed him to stop running immediately.  He did not see the car in the parking lot like I did. Thankfully, my son did stop and the car passed by without incident.  This segued into our story for the week

September is Children's Good Manners Month

Listen, Buddy
by Helen Lester

The children really enjoyed this book.  They knew when buddy was not listening and wondered why he wasn't.  It led to some great conversations.  

My kindergartners got an additional book:

What Do You Say When a Monkey Acts This Way
by Jane Belk Moncure

This is a cute question/answer book from the Magic Castle Readers.

This is the only week that I actually discussed the Good Manners Month, but I reminded them as the month continued.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Library Time: Week 3

This week's holiday observance is National Dog's Day on August 26.  Let's just say that this was interesting. Since most of the kids have or have had a dog, I put about ten minutes in the schedule for stories. I noticed as the kids got younger, the stories got sadder.  I heard everything: how kids got their dogs, dogs jumping of students, dying dog stories, dog pooping and peeing stories, cat stories (from those wanting to share despite the fact they do not own a dog).

After their stories, I read two books:

The Great Big Scary Dog
by Libby Gleeson

This is a cute story about a little girl named Jen who is a afraid of the big, scary dog down the street.  With the help from her big brother and their friend, Diep, the put of a Chinese New Year's dragon mask and plan to go "scare the dog out of its wits". The dog that can't jump the fence or crawl under the gate is out on the path when the three children approach.  The dog ends up being more curious and friendly than big and scary, so the children remove the dragon costume to pet the dog. Jen is no longer afraid of the dog, and in return, the dog seems pleased to see them when they walk by.

This short story, despite the ill advice from the parents on how to avoid the dog, can help the children realize that things are not always as scary as they appear.


The second story almost wasn't read this week.  I told my first class of the week that I had another book picked out, but I thought it was sad and didn't want to read it.  The kids found the book and read it quickly (yes, it is that short and easy) and declared that it was NOT a sad book.  So, I decided to read it to my classes and take a vote

City Dog, Country Frog
by Mo Willems

No matter how I feel about the book, this book is an endearing story of an unexpected friendship between a dog and a frog.  They both share their "games" with each other as the seasons change until the time of winter. City dog mourns the loss of country frog during the winter season until spring again.  At that time, city dog finds a new friend in country chipmunk.  Believe it or not the reviews of this book on Amazon are pretty intense. Some debate the meaning of loss, friendship, whether the dog's is teaching a negative lesson by replacing a friend so easily or whether it is teaching a positive lesson by being open to finding friendships in unexpected places.

I, personally, didn't have time to debate that with my students, but I did take that vote.  I didn't count for accurate numbers, but the consensus overall from my kindergartners to my third-graders is that this story is both happy and sad.  I was proud of my little ones for being able to understand loss (whether they truly understood the frog had died or not), and for understanding the happiness of finding a new friend.  Guess I am out-voted on this one.

Books are linked but no compensation is received.  Just wanted you to know where to find them if you wanted them.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Library Time: Week 2

This week is already a little harder to find materials for all levels. EEK.  Nonetheless, I have discovered the following observances and holidays to discuss with my students.

National Aviation Week August 17-21
Observed the week of Orville Wright's birthday on August 19

I have chosen to read My Brothers' Flying Machine: Wilbur, Orville, and Me
by Jane Yolen

This book about the creation of the airplane told from the perspective of their sister, It is a great read aloud for the older ones (2nd and 3rd), but we stop and talk about it a little for the younger ones (1st and Kindergarten).  The pictures are simple, and the book itself is quite calming.

Tongue Twister Day: August 22

After the first book, if we have time, we talk about tongue twisters.  The younger kids get a few pages from Oh, Say Can You Say by Dr. Seuss

While the older ones get some tongue twisters 
from Six Sick Sheep 101 Tongue Twisters by Joanna and Stephanie Camenlson

So far everyone hasn't experienced the tongue twisters due to time, but everyone seems to be enjoying themselves.  

Books are linked to amazon, but I received no compensation.  Just wanted to let you know how to get a hold of them if you wanted them.

Library Time: Week 1

Part of my new position as Media Clerk is to read to the K-3rd grade classes.  I don't mind reading to the classes, but coming up with something that will be fun for all the grades is a daunting task. I let the teachers know I am willing to reinforce their studies for the week, but that would be four different grades!  That is a lot a preparation.

So, until I specifically hear from the teachers, I have decided to create my own "curriculum."

I would hope by now that everyone has heard of the website Brownielocks. If you haven't, it is a fun little website that has all kinds of observances and holidays for almost every day, week, and month of the year.  I am going to be using this website to guide my lessons.

After the first week of back-to-school books, I started looking for what to do.  Once I started, I discovered that August 10 was Paul Bunyan Day.  This fit perfectly with my third graders who had to read folk tales over the summer.  So we read The Bunyans by Audrey Wood.

This fun story continues the Paul Bunyan folk tale with the marriage of Paul Bunyan and Marie McIntie, as well as their two children, Little Jean and Teeny.  My students really enjoyed the stories and were fascinated that the landmarks like Mammoth Cave, Bryce Canyon and Old Faithful still exist.

I also discovered that August 15 was Best Friends' Day, so I read a sweet story called Herman and Rosie by Gus Gordon

Oh. My. Goodness.  I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this book.  I thought the story was sweet and simple and subtle and a wonderful message of friendship.  Herman and Rosie live in a busy city (New York) and love many of the same things yet they have never met.  They hear each other's gift of music, but just don't know where it is coming from.  After experienced sadness, they find their way to each other and a beautiful friendship emerges.  Even my kindergartners could understand why they became friends.

I think is I can continue finding stories that relate, I will continue with this.

Books are linked but no compensation is received.  Just wanted you to know where to find them if you wanted them.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

My (Current) Silly Obsession

When I was little, I collected pencils.  I loved pencils. Pencils with my name on it. Smelly pencils. Decorated pencils.  I didn't care as long as I could add them to the special box I had decorated just for my pencils. It is probably one of the reasons I have an affinity for school supplies.

As I got older, I moved from pencils to Sweet Valley High books.  I bought them all until publications exceeded my funds.  I had over 85 books in the series until I moved off to college. I so wanted to be Elizabeth Wakefield.

Now as a mom, I have tried to trim down on collections due to space and time and money. I prefer my collections to be my kids' drawings and art projects. 

Still, I have one thing that I cannot stop collecting for some reason: 

Food Network Magazine 50 Recipe Booklets

My mother-in-law subscribes to the magazine, and in each magazine there is a pull-out booklet. Each booklet has 50 recipes all with one theme. She graciously allows me to take out the booklet.  I LOVE these little booklets. They have all kinds of ingredients and recipes at all degrees of levels. Out of the 63 available booklets, I have 62.  I don't have the very first one: Toast Toppers. And in all honesty, I think I misplaced Holiday Cookies in our move, so if I don't find it soon, I will be on the lookout for that one, too.  To check out the pictures of the covers of each booklet, click here. Most titles are linked to the Food Network Magazine Recipe Index.

Deviled Eggs 

Party Punches 

Things to Make with Zucchini 

These booklets are the best.  I even look up the media kit for the magazine so I know what is coming up for the whole year. I haven't tired all of them, of course.  In fact, I probably collect more than I try out the recipes.

I am willing to buy the two booklets needed: Toast Toppers and Holiday Cookies.  Contact me for more info: caroltyner@yahoo.com