Archive | June, 2011

What a year. Here’s to the next one!

28 Jun

With only one more day to go at school this year, I have been dreading writing this post. My contract this year was only a maternity leave coverage and I am so sad to be leaving the school and having to move on. But exciting news is that I have a forever home to move on to. I’ve been given a continuing contract in an elementary school library and I couldn’t be happier (that’s a lie… I would be happier if I could stay right where I am now but since that’s not possible, I couldn’t be happier to go to my new school).

I was considering ending this blog before I knew about this new blessing in my life but now that I have a new library, I can just keep going with it! And the most exciting thing is that the library will be going through a full renovation and I will get to help with the redesign! Be still my beating heart. I have already pinned some images on Pinterest (my latest love). I can’t wait to see how many of these I can get into the new library.

Books don’t grow on trees… or do they?
I love the idea but I’m pretty sure that a wheel on the bottom would be trouble!
Book art. Easy, breezy, beautiful.
Animal space holders for when kids are choosing their books.

So, yes, it’s the end of the year and summer is coming up but I’m not done in the library. There are many more exciting blessings coming in my life and I can’t wait to share them all!

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Our magical library elves

16 Jun

Like Harry Potter has house elves to keep everything running, we, in the library, have library elves. They prefer to be known as library monitors but I think of them as magical, like elves, so library elves they will be. Our library elves are a dedicated group of nine who come in to the library for one shift a week and do shelving, shelf reading, book pulling and other little jobs that we may have for them. Their help this year has been invaluable!

To say thank you to this little bunch, we put together small gift bags for them. These gift bags had a $15 Chapters gift cards (how appropriate), some candy and a little message from us in the library. While I had a hundred other things to do the weekend that I put these together, I thought that it was the least that we could do to make the small thank yous look like a big deal. Enter Adobe InDesign. I made little bag toppers for each of the bags with the title “Your help has been so sweet!” and a little personal thank you message on the back. After packing in 29 jellybeans, 7 gummies and a gift card, I sealed the top of the mini Ziploc-style bags and stapled a bag topper on. A simple process for a well-deserved and special thank you.

At the end of the school year, these bag toppers may be something that can help you make that simple thank you a little bit sweeter!

Download your here!

iAppreciate

7 Jun

While I haven’t made use of this idea this year (being in the library and all), I still think that it is an idea worth sharing.
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For Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, it can sometimes be a challenge to find a craft or gift idea that elicits enthusiasm in the students (especially if you teach older students). This idea is guaranteed to be one that kids will love and parents will enjoy for many years to come. (And, I mean, legitimately enjoy. Not like how my dad enjoys his best dad ever thug life sized necklace on yarn or my mom enjoys her symbolic rock family with oversized googly eyes.)
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Have your class practise reciting a poem about families, love or the importance of caring. Once they have mastered that, film their recitation. Each student should then prepare their own piece that they would like to say to their parents. It can be in the form of a poem, speech or song that they would like to sing on camera. One at a time, the students will be filmed performing their original piece.
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Next, it is off to the editing room! iMovie is an example of a video editing program that you can use to splice the bits of the video together to create individual montages for each student. Many of the students may even be able to do this step for themselves (little geniuses!). Each child’s video will begin with the poem read by the whole class and then move on to the portion created by the parents’ own child. These videos can be emailed to parents or burned onto DVDs and sent to the parents as a video reminder of the love and appreciation that their children have for them.

Library Subway Art

6 Jun

 

I have a good friend who loves subway art. I think she squeals everytime one of her favourite blogs puts up new subway art to download. And download she does! So, Desiree, this one is for you…

Of course, I had to balance that quote with a serious book quote as well.

Want to use this art in your library (or home office/reading nook/etc)? You can download the pdf here: Library Quote Subway Art

I wanted to put it up in the window of our library but I didn’t think an 8.5 x 11 would have much impact. After a bit of rigmarole I uploaded my jpg of the file to www.blockposter.com and converted it to a printable poster. Since Block Poster creates a chopped up version of your file that you can print on multiple sheets and tape together, I had to be aware of pixelation issues but in the end I found a happy medium between a large size and a clear image. I am quite happy with the results! There is a good reason why Block Poster could be a teacher (or librarian’s) best friend. Fast and easy poster creation has never been so simple (or so cheap!)