Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Friendship Book Club Celebration

Mrs. Peyton and I were sad that our 2nd grade Friendship Book Club came to an end yesterday! These kids were amazing readers, always responsible with their assignments, and were great strategists at Mancala!  We celebrated the end of Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie with pickle flavored popcorn, cookies (sans pickle juice!) and watching a video interview of the author, Julie Sternberg, on the library's 70" monitor!  

Monday, April 25, 2016

Earth Day Book Swap in the Library

Our Forest North Earth Day celebration was a blast this year, as always!  We had singalong karaoke, a Recycled Art Contest, a book swap (every FNE student took home a free book - for keeps!) and played Litter Bug tag. 

Students were encouraged to bring their own books at home that they were tired of reading, or were too easy for them, and swap them out for some new.  Some students just took home one new book, and some students took home dozens! We ended up giving away FOUR HUNDRED SEVENTY books today! Check out this video!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

RRISD Book Cart Drill Team Takes 2nd Place

Our "Alice in Wonderland" themed presentation fighting against censorship was a hit at the Texas Library Association conference!  RRISD won 2nd place this year. Mrs. Young and I were 2 of the 13 RRISD librarians who participated. We had a blast!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Mrs. Fournier Meets LeVar Burton

I had an incredible experience at TLA this year. I got to meet one of my biggest inspirations as a reader, teacher and librarian- LeVar Burton. When he first came out on stage at TLA as our opening session speaker, 1,000 librarians were thrilled as he invited us to sing! We all sang the theme to "Reading Rainbow" together. His speech was awesome, weaving in attributes of technology, reading, freedom to choose your own things to read, and his various projects throughout the years.
After his speech, people could go buy his new picture book and get them signed.  I got to meet LeVar Burton! It was truly a dream come true for me! I told him that he was a big reason why I was a librarian, and that my daughter, Harper, loves to sing the theme to "Reading Rainbow."  He told me to tell Harper that LeVar loves her!

Presenting "Bluebonnet 101" at TLA Conference

Another highlight of the Texas Library Association conference was presenting with the coordinator of the Texas Bluebonnet Award, Mary Jo Humphreys. We led a session on getting the Bluebonnet award to be a successful program at your school, how to do that, and how to make it part of the reading culture to increase reading in general at your school. We had so much fun and gave away 10 of next year's Bluebonnet books to our audience members!

Sat Next to Nathan Hale @Texas Bluebonnet Award Luncheon

I also attended the Texas Bluebonnet Award luncheon and was so excited to find out that I was seated next to Nathan Hale, author of Hazardous Tales series.  It was super fun to sit next to him and listen to Laban Carrick Hill & Theodore Taylor, the award winning author and illustrator, respectively, of When the Beat Was Born, Texas Bluebonnet award winner.  Nathan and I talked about how we can get him to visit Forest North next year and talk to our 3rd-5th graders!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Texas Library Association Conference 2016

Mrs. Young and I were so excited to attend the 2016 Texas Library Association Conference in Houston last week.  We missed Forest North a lot, but we came back energized with lots of new ideas about how to make the library even better for our students and staff!

I participated in a session called "Speed Dating the Bluebonnet Books."  Librarians pay to come to this session to raise money for the Texas Bluebonnet Award, and they get to rotate around about 20 tables, meeting authors or Texas Bluebonnet committee members to get background and programming ideas about the books.  They also get many of next year's books for free and can get them signed by the authors.  As an outgoing committee member, I showed up to help, but Doreen Cronin was unable to attend because of the terrible weather affecting Houston.  Suddenly, Doreen's publisher, Michelle, and I were in charge of presenting Ms. Cronin's book Chicken Squad, to all of the rotating librarians!  We came up with a short presentation and had a blast presenting it to tons of librarians!

Ursula Vernon, author of Hamster Princess
Cassie Beasley, author of Circus Mirandus
Josh Lieb, author of Ratscalibur
Joel Ross, author of Fog Diver

Monday, April 18, 2016

Library Appreciation Week

4/11-4/15 was Library Appreciation Week at Forest North, and part of National Libraries Month across the United States.  The national theme this year is "Libraries Transform." Students at Forest North each wrote on a paper butterfly how the library transformed them! We had some beautiful, touching responses about how the Forest North library transformed them as readers, learners, and as human beings.   

Our 3rd grade team led the charge to make us feel appreciated here on campus, and boy, did they accomplish that!  Mrs. Young and I got showered with sweet notes, treats, and love. We are so lucky to work at such a wonderful campus! #bestjobever

Unusual Reading Spot Photo Contest

It's here- the Unusual Reading Spot Photo Contest is in our 6th year!  Check out some of our older winners!  Below please read our flyer with more information about entering the contest.  The top 10 winning entries will be enlarged to poster size and framed and hung on the wall for all of next school year!  All entries must be emailed to the library by Friday, May 13th, at 3:00 pm, because the judges will be choosing the winners that day!

Feelin' Groovy Book Fair 5/2-5/6 - Volunteers Needed!

The library is seeking volunteers for our Feelin' Groovy Book Fair 5/2-5/6!  Can you help us set up, pack up, or run a cash register?  Sign up to volunteer here!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

5th Graders Study Graphic Novels

5th graders are making their own Lewis & Clark graphic novels!  To get ready to do this, they needed to learn why graphic novels are important, useful, and what the best ones contain.  Check out this presentation for more information:

RRISD Free Laptop Program!

Does your family have a working computer at home?  If not, be sure to come up on 5/17, 5:30-6:30 to get a free laptop computer from RRISD to take home.  We will check out the computers on your child's library account with a limit of one per family.  At the end of the school year, students are allowed to keep these devices at home forever, and they will be taken off of their library account.  We will check them onto their account, and provide training on how to make them work.  Students who qualify for free or reduced lunch can also receive vouchers for a $10/month home internet plan. 

Please join us and stay after for the PTA meeting!  We can't wait to give out free laptops to our Forest North families!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Vetter is Better

In case you didn't know, library assistants aren't afraid of anything.  They just aren't!  


4th Graders Study Text Features

4th graders are hard at work this week studying text features and how they support the main idea of various nonfiction texts. We focused on an article from "Time for Kids" magazine about testing and talked about why the author included each one.

Check out more specifics on what we studied in the slideshow below!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Library Appreciation Week

I tell myself every day how lucky I am to have the best job in the world, but it's never better than during Library Appreciation Week.  Students are writing why they're inspired by the library on little books, and putting them on a shelf designed by our amazing 3rd grade team. Thank you for organizing the school to shower us with love, 3rd grade teachers!  It makes us feel so good!

This book comes from a special student and made me cry, in the best way.  I will treasure it always, and it makes me so sure of who I want to be as a person, an educator, and a librarian!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

5th Grade Book Club Members Voracious

Mrs. Peyton and I are so impressed with the members of our 5th grade Book Club. We are having such a good time together reading "The War That Saved My Life" by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. This is a very special book you won't want to miss.

These readers are positively voracious.  They're very responsible with their books, follow the rules we made together, and on top of all that, have the most insightful discussions. 

They don't miss any of the subtleties of this book, and handle the issues within the text with compassion and grace.  The protagonist, Ada, is born with a club foot, and spends her life confined to a small London apartment with no running water or indoor plumbing, abused and neglected by her mother who is embarrassed by her differences. When WWII begins, children are encouraged to go to the countryside to avoid getting bombed.  Ada's mom forbids it, but Ada still sneaks onto the train anyway.  What is life like for her outside of the apartment?

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Fournier Featured on RRISD Website for National Libraries Week

I'm so excited! I was featured on the district website for National Libraries Week!  Check out my interview reprinted below:

In celebration of School Library Month, Round Rock ISD will highlight district librarians all week, showcasing the essential role libraries play in transforming learning.

Learn more about Forest North Elementary School Librarian Kristen Fournier:
Why did you decide to become a librarian? 
I wanted to be a librarian to share my passion for reading. I love building a culture of books and sharing my enthusiasm for reading with everyone I know! I am constantly recommending and lending out books to my students, colleagues, relatives, neighbors and friends. It’s my favorite thing!

What is your favorite part of working in a school library?

My favorite part of being a school librarian is programming. Celebrating reading and encouraging students to get involved in our school community can be so fun and positive. Lately I’ve started a Ukulele Club with our music teacher, where students have their own grant-funded instruments, and a Comic Book Club with an FCC teacher, where we drew and wrote our own comics, made video reviews a la “Reading Rainbow,” and took home comics donated through our partnership with Titan Moon Comics.

What are you reading right now?

Right now I’m reading “Hamster Princess” by Ursula Vernon with my second grade book club. It’s a funny version of the traditional Sleeping Beauty story that points out some of the silliness of the original tale, like, were those vines growing everywhere really necessary? And what do they do to property values? We’re having fun with it!

What is your favorite childhood book?

My favorite book as a child was “The Egypt Game” by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. I loved how you could go anywhere you wanted if you used your imagination, and how the kids worked together to make their own version of Egypt in an abandoned storage building. I wanted to make my own Egypt Game!
What is one thing you want people to know about your campus library?
The Forest North library’s Texas Bluebonnet Award program is being featured at our state Texas Library Association conference in April. Bluebonnet is a statewide program that encourages students to read five or more high-quality books of all genres, which has very high levels of participation at Forest North. We do it big, with multiple celebrations that this year included manicures, video games, chocolate fountains and flying drones! Some of our third, fourth and fifth grade teachers and students were interviewed about how and why they participate and regarding our school reading culture to give advice to other librarians across Texas.

2nd Grade Friendship Book Club Plays Mancala

2nd grade Friendship book club is going swimmingly - most of our members, in fact, couldn't help it, and they went ahead and read the rest of the book!  Since we're so far ahead, we took a week to play mancala, a game featured prominently in our book "Pickle Juice on a Cookie" by Julie Sternberg.

For fans of her book, good news- there are two sequels, both available in your Forest North library!  Come check them out today!

Friday, April 8, 2016

RRISD Launches "Pop Up" Libraries This Summer

from the RRISD website:
“Reading is the most influential factor related to summer learning,” said Ami Uselman, RRISD director of library and media services. “Our goal is to get books in the hands of our students that need them most in an effort to prevent any loss of academic skills during the summer.”

Round Rock ISD staff, students and community members are invited to donate gently used books for the district’s Summer Pop-Up Library and Mobile Makerspace, which will travel across the district this summer as a “read and return” library.

All RRISD campuses will begin collecting gently used books starting April 11 as part of the Summer Pop-Up Library and Mobile Makerspace book drive.

The Summer Pop-Up Library and Mobile Makerspace will begin the first full week of June and run until August 1. The library will visit parks, public areas and apartment complexes in the east and west side of the district one day each week. A mobile makerspace will also travel throughout the district once weekly to bring hands-on creative activities to students.

“Reading is the most influential factor related to summer learning,” said Ami Uselman, RRISD director of library and media services. “Our goal is to get books in the hands of our students that need them most in an effort to prevent any loss of academic skills during the summer.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

2nd Grade Book Club "Nerd" Badges

Sometimes, your 2nd grade book club insists you make them "Book Club Nerd" badges. When this happens, you do it, of course.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

RRISD "Hip Hop Librarians" Practice for State Competition

The RRISD "Hip Hop Librarians" have been working since winter break to get ready for our entry in the Book Cart Drill Team State competition at the Texas Library Association conference.  We practice late in the evenings and write and record our songs on the weekends to get ready for this celebration of libraries and reading! I write the songs with some of my fellow team members, and do all the singing and rapping myself!  We have two new members this year, featured in the very front of this photo, including Forest North co-librarian Mrs. Young!  We're hoping to defend our state title and win the competition again this year.  Fingers crossed! Check out some of our older performances in these videos below: