Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bluebonnet Selection Committee

Hi Eagles. Did you miss me? I missed you! I'll be back on Monday.

For the past few days, I've been hard at work in a conference room with my fellow Texas Bluebonnet Award Selection Committee members to choose the very best 20 books for next year's list. I've been taking lots of photos, but the only one I can reveal for now is my place card.

We've been reading hundreds of books in the past months to narrow it down to the most interesting, high-quality, fun books for 3rd-6th graders to read for pleasure. I have asked dozens of our students for their opinions on various books and topics, and I used all of it to vote for the ones I thought best.

We didn't always agree, but I definitely feel lucky to work with such a talented, smart group of librarians. Our list is amazing! I am so excited to reveal our choices at the Texas Book Festival here in Austin, October 27-28, 2012, downtown at the Capitol. It's going to be awesome, and I can't wait to see some famous authors, hear some great people speak about children's books, and most of all, hear the reactions when our celebrity announcers reveal next year's 20 nominees! See you there, Eagles, and until then, mum's the word. Trust me, though- you're going to love it!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Peyton, Fournier & Associates, LLC

Mrs. Peyton, Counselor, and I are excited to announce our new book club- Peyton, Fournier & Associates LLC (Lifelong Learners Club). Mrs. Peyton and I have recently read an amazing book called Wonder (R.J. Palacio) that we thought would be the perfect way to discuss ways that some of our students could work on reading and social skills. 

Mrs. Peyton, 8 of our coolest 5th grade students, and I are working together to read this book between meetings, and at our meetings, discuss the characters, plot and other features of the book and how it relates to our life. We're so excited as we start our journey together!

 Our first meeting was today during lunch. Students received a specially wrapped copy of the book (for keeps!), a small notebook and pencil to jot down their ideas, and we all wore a special sticker badge to celebrate our membership.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Texas Bluebonnet Award

The Forest North Library is excited to announce that the 2012-2013 Bluebonnet program has officially started! All 3rd-5th classes had orientations to the program last week, and every single book has already been checked out. Many quizzes have already been passed to boot! Students are motivated to earn their Bluebonnet dog tags, qualify to attend the voting Wii party, VIP Bluebonnet Breakfast, or the coveted position of Battle of the Bluebonnets competitor! Students only need to read 5 books to qualify to vote for their favorite. To come to the Wii party, 3rd graders read 5, 4th graders read 8, and 5th graders read 10. Some highly dedicated students who read all 20 get to wear crowns to the Bluebonnet voting party- check out the photo to see last year's champions! Classroom teachers are allowed to read one of the books allowed to their classes. Parents, mentors, family friends, etc., are allowed to read an unlimited amount of books aloud to their student. Students are NOT required to read the books independently, so feel free to help your student achieve their reading goals.  The library and FNE community work really hard to raise extra funds for additional titles of these books, but because of extremely high circulation rates, students may feel free to check out  Bluebonnet books from the public library, borrow one from a friend, or buy one at their local bookstore. Information about the nominated titles this year and recommended resources for each title are available on the TBA Website.

See you at the Wii party, Eagles, and keep reading!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fournier's Friends Recruitment Video

Thanks again to the amazing 2011-2012 Fournier's Friends student volunteer crew for their awesome job in this video! I couldn't have asked for a more talented, witty, sharp, fun group of kids! Miss you, buddies.

2012-2013 Fournier's Friends Selected!

I'm so excited to announce that we have a fresh, new crew of Fournier's Friends ready to work in the library this school year.  We had many applicants, and it was a very difficult decision to choose which students would get one of the spots. I considered whether the application was turned in on time, and whether or not the students answered the questions correctly on the application. I wanted to choose students who were already familiar with finding books in the library on a certain subject, how to put a hold on a book, and the sections of the library. After that, I looked at whether students were already involved in a lot of other activities, whether they have a history of being responsible with their library books, and what their teacher recommendation indicated.

Thanks so much for applying, and congratulations to my new crew of Fournier's Friends. Mrs. Dickinson and I are excited to see you at our first meeting!

In other volunteering news, thanks so much to Dondi Bradley, Steve Howland and Brittany Gonzales, three parents who have already logged multiple hours shelving books. We have had a staggering increase in circulation this month compared to previous years, and while this is great for our library statistics, it means we have even more books to get back on the shelves for our students. Thanks to these three parents, hundreds of titles are already ready for another student to read. I really appreciate your help, parents! This frees me up to be able to teach your students lessons about Language Arts, library skills & technology skills they need to be successful.