Saturday, September 29, 2012






We sold over $3000 worth of books which gave me lots ofmoney to buy books for the library.  I showed the preview trailer about some of the titles and I think that helped too.  Anyway, I got a whole big bin full of new books!  YAY!!!!!


Friday, September 28, 2012

FRIDAY FICTION: NINTH WARD by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Ninth Ward is a gorgeously written coming-of-age novel set in New Orleans 

during Hurricane Katrina.

Twelve-year-old Lanesha lives in a tight-knit community in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward. 
She doesn’t have a fancy house like her uptown family or lots of friends like the other kids on her street. 
But what she does have is Mama Ya-Ya, her fiercely loving caretaker, wise in the ways of the world 
and able to predict the future. So when Mama Ya-Ya’s visions show a powerful hurricane – Katrina – 
fast approaching, it’s up to Lanesha to call upon the hope and strength Mama Ya-Ya has given her to 
help them both survive the storm.


“An absolutely exquisite children’s debut by Jewell Parker Rhodes. —PATRICIA REILLY GIFF

Jewell Parker Rhodes is an award-winning author of adult fiction.
image description
Her books have won awards such as the American Book Award
and the Black Caucus of the American Library Award for
Literary Excellence.  She is the founding artistic director
of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at
Arizona State University.  Ninth Ward is her first novel
for children.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012



Product Details

The Feelings Book by Todd Parr 

(Sep 21, 2005)

Product Details

Todd Parr Feelings Flash Cards by Todd Parr 

(Aug 18, 2010)

Product Details

Feelings (Reading Rainbow Book) by Aliki 

(Jul 15, 1986)

Product Details

Product Details

Product Details

Product Details


"Don't Need Friends" Lesson Plan

Contributing Teacher(s): Julie Johnston
Grade Range: Lower Elementary (K-3)
Materials Needed:
  • Don't Need Friends by Carolyn Crimi
  • Handouts included in this lesson
Objective: Students will complete several performance tasks after reading 
Don't Need Friends, by Caroline Crimi, to check reading comprehension.
Instructional Strategy: Evaluating Student Understanding
Process Standards:
  • Goal 1.8 organize data, information and ideas into useful forms (including charts, graphs, 
  • outlines)
  • Time Allowance: 2 sessions at 30 min./session
    Description: Students complete several performance tasks after reading 
  • Don't Need Friends --Venn diagram,
    friendship, letter writing

    Classroom Component: The purpose of these kinds of activities is to check for 
  • comprehension—to see how well they are using inferring strategies and how well 
  • they can determine important information from the text. The performance tasks can 
  • be easily modified to other books.

    Students complete a "detail web," a "feelings" chart, a "problem" chart, a letter writing 
  • and a Venn Diagram based on this book about friendship.

    After reading Don't Need Friends, complete a "Detail Web" on Rat:

    Detail Web

    "Feelings" Chart

    How does Rat feel about Dog at the beginning of the story and at the end of the story?

    At the beginning of the story:

    At the end of the story:

    Venn Diagram

    Complete a Venn Diagram comparing Rat and Dog of how they are alike and how 
  • they are different:

    • Letter Writing

      Pretend that you are Rat. Write a letter to Possum describing what has taken 
    • place between you and Dog since Possum moved to another junkyard. You might 
    • want to include how you felt about Possum leaving, how you felt about Dog in the 
    • beginning and how you now feel about Dog. Use correct letter form with complete 
    • sentences, capitalization, spelling, and sentence structure. You may use a dictionary 
    • or thesaurus for help.

    • For additional information contact : 
    • Julie Johnston, (660) 327-5116, EMAIL:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Little Free Library

Isn't this just adorable and a great idea in a small trust-worthy rural town?

Monday, September 24, 2012


Jack Prelutsky

I've Lost My Hippopotamus

Jack Prelutsky

In 1940, Jack Prelutsky was born in Brooklyn, and attended Hunter College in New York City. Although he claims to have hated poetry through most of his childhood, he rediscovered poetry later in life, and has devoted many years since to writing fresh, humorous poetry aimed specifically at kids.

"I realized poetry was a means of communication, that it could be as exciting or as boring as that person or that experience."

After stints as a truckdriver, photographer, folksinger, and more, he is now the author of more than thirty collections of original verse and anthologies of children's poetry, including: Be Glad Your Nose Is on Your Facey And Other Poems (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, 2008); Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant and Other Poems (2006); The Beauty of the Beast: Poems from the Animal Kingdom (2006); The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983); Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep (1978), and The Queen of Eene (1976).

In 2006, Prelutsky was named the first Children’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. He lives in Seattle, Washington, and spends much of his time presenting poems to children in schools and libraries throughout the United States.

The New Kid on the Block by Jack Prelutsky and James Stevenson (Aug 20, 1984)

The Random House Book of Poetry for Children by Jack Prelutsky and Arnold Lobel (Sep 12, 1983)


The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury (Treasured Gifts for the Holidays) by Jack Prelutsky and Meilo So (Sep 28, 1999)

Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young by Jack Prelutsky and Marc Brown (Oct 12, 1986)

Be Glad Your Nose Is on Your Face: And Other Poems: Some of the Best of Jack Prelutsky by Jack Prelutsky and Brandon Dorman (Oct 14, 2008)

It's Raining Pigs & Noodles by Jack Prelutsky and James Stevenson (Mar 15, 2005)

Product Details

Something Big Has Been Here by Jack Prelutsky and James Stevenson (Feb 23, 2010)

The Carnival of the Animals (Book and CD) by Jack Prelutsky, Camille Saint-Saens and Mary GrandPre (Aug 24, 2010)

What a Day It Was at School! by Jack Prelutsky and Doug Cushman (Jun 30, 2009)

The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders by Jack Prelutsky and Petra Mathers (Mar 15, 2005)

A Pizza the Size of the Sun by Jack Prelutsky and James Stevenson (Sep 16, 1996)

Ride a Purple Pelican (Mulberry Books) by Jack Prelutsky and Garth Williams (Sep 22, 1997)

The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight: More Poems to Trouble Your Sleep by Jack Prelutsky and Arnold Lobel (Aug 21, 1992)


It's Halloween by Jack Prelutsky and Marylin Hafner (Sep 20, 1996)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

SUNDAY INSPIRATIONAL BOOKS: The Giving Tree with Lesson Plans

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

The Giving Tree
The Giving Tree is a children's book written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein. First published in 1964 by Harper and Row, it has become one of Silverstein's best known titles and has been translated into more than 30 languages.
PublishedOctober 7, 1964
GenresPicture book, Fiction, Children's literature
CharactersBoy, Tree

Book Description

October 7, 1964 1 and up2 and up
'Once there was a tree...and she loved a little boy.'
So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein.
Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk...and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave.
This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silverstein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another's capacity to love in return.




The Giving Tree Lesson Plans: Shel Silverstein (Unique Teaching Resources)

The Giving Tree: Mini Unit (Easy Fun School)
Lesson: Uses of Trees
Preschool Activities for The Giving Tree (eHow)
Trees (Mrs. Jones' Room)


The Giving Tree
The Giving Tree Adventure
"The Giving Tree" and Economy

My Elementary Library Routines, Policies and Procedures

Home  - This post refects the routines that I use on a daily basis.  To check out other librarians ideas and routines, double click on the blue titles.


Attention Signals - I use a set of chimes when the kids are getting to loud and ask them to freeze when they hear it.  It immediately quiets the room and then I can quietly tell them what I need to say.
Bathroom Procedure - I have a sign out sheet and a boy/girl pass.  I usually let only 1 student leave at a time.  They put up 1 finger to indicate they need to go and if it is okay, I point 1 finger back at them.  That way, if I am reading a story, they don't have to interrupt me.
Book Care - In the lower grades we discuss books that are damaged and I show them lots of examples.  Then I bring a "First Aid Book Kit" and put lots of things in it and take them out, (one at a time) and we discuss them.  Here is my list.
1. Book tape:  for ripped books and only I repair books.
2. Gum:  It's best not to chew gum while reading but if you do, remember to put it in the wast basket.
3.  Food:  I bring a jelly sandwhich and let some drip on the book for dramatic effect.
4.  Rubber Ducky:  NO reading while in the tub.
5.  Soap:  Wash hands before reading.
6  Baby rattle:  Don't let your little sis or bro get ahold of your book.
7.  Dog bone:  Keep your book away from animals.  (Then I show them the books that dogs had chewed on.)
8.  Scissors:  Never cut a book.
9.  Glue:  Don't try and repair books yourself.
10.  Pens and markers and crayon:  Never write in a book that isn't your own.
Choosing a Just Right Book - We look at the cover, the number of pages, the 5 finger rule, (how many words do you miss on the first page, over 5 and it may be too hard, but you can STILL try it if you want to).  Maybe Mom or Dad could read it to you.
Check In - As they enter the library, they return the books they are finished with.  I hurry to check them back in as they are browsing for books.
Check for Understanding -
Check Out - Kinders get to check out books when Christmas break is over.  The first graders can check out one book for 1 week. The 2nd-6th graders can check out 2 books for 2 weeks with one renewal.
Class Appreciations - Applause for great behaviour or special recognition.
Computers/Laptops - After teaching them how to look up books using the 4 computers we have, then I allow the older grades to look up books.
Discussion Protocols
Entering the Library - Quietly
Exiting the Library - In a line, quietly, and not with their nose in their book.
Library Centers Procedure - I haven't done many library centers yet, but plan to.  Listening centers, magazine centers, worksheets related to an activity, drawing, writing, etc....  The best web site for this is
Partner Work - So far it hasn't been a problem to have them pair up to do work, but I almost always allow them the option to work in groups of 3 or work alone.  This helps those who may feel left out.
Place Books on Hold - I don't allow it.  It's a BIG hassle.  I buy a few extra of the ones that are most popular.
Renew a Book - They may renew a book for an additional 2 week period.
Storytime - I read a story or book to each class as often as time permits, or a read a portion of a few books to "peak" their interest.
Transitions - I ring my chimes and ask for them to freeze while I give very explicit directions.
Using a Shelf Marker - Teach by modeling it, over and over.  If a child EVER uses a book mark as a weapon, I take it away and they don't get to check out a book that day.
What to do if a book is damaged/lost - Don't panic, the parents need to pay the replacement cost.
What to do if you may not check out books - They should bring a book to the library.  They may read another library book or can do a center I have set up.

SATURDAY SERIES: 10 Best children's book series for grades 4 to 6

A great series can turn a reluctant reader into a life-long book lover. Here are our top picks to transform your older elementary child into an enthusiastic bookworm.
By GreatSchools Staff  (I agree with many of these picks, but would not have included the Cirque du Freak, by Darren Shan, just a bit too freakish for my tastes.  However, if it gets a child reading, great.  In addition, I would add the "American Girl's Series, the Sister's Grimm series, and 49 clues series, and the Percy Jackson series, or for that matter, anything by Rick Riordan.)








Artemis Fowl

By Eoin Colfer
Our favorites: Artemis Fowl, The Arctic Incident, The Eternity Code

Perfect for: Kids too jaded to be entertained by old-fashioned fairies and elves.
The hook: Artemis Fowl is no regular kid. He happens to be an evil genius — a criminal mastermind with high-tech toys — and all but 12 years old. Delve into the murky underworld of fairies, elves, and other sprites as they battle Artemis in his relentless quest for the fairyfolk's pot of gold.

Peter and the Starcatchers

Ages: 7-10
By Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Our favorites: Peter and the Starcatchers, Peter and the Shadow Thieves, Peter and the Secret of Rundoon

Perfect for: Pirate-lovin' kids looking for swashbuckling on the high seas.

The hook: The first three books in the series chronicle the spellbinding prequel of how a boy named Peter became the Peter Pan of J.M. Barrie's classic tale. Each page — particularly in the first book — is riveting. All along the way, Peter and his friends encounter an incredible cast of characters, including flying crocodiles, vicious mermaids, and even Zeus and Michelangelo.


By R.L. Stine
Our favorites: The Curse of Camp Cold Lake, Say Cheese – And Die Screaming!, The Wizard of Ooze

Perfect for: Older elementary schoolers who want to be scared out of their wits!
The hook: This series of 62 phenomenally popular horror novels have made R.L. Stine the best-selling children's author in history. For a reason: Every tale is a spine-chilling thriller, but certainly not for the faint of heart.

Maximum Ride

By James Patterson

Our favorites: The Angel Experiment, School's Out Forever, Saving the World

Perfect for: Older kids (6th grade and up) with a taste for high-octane sci-fi.
The hook: Fourteen-year-old scrappy and sarcastic Max leads a band of flying, gifted, and genetically-altered friends in page-turning adventures. Bred as mostly human and part bird, the teen heroes battle wicked predators called Erasers in their attempt to save the world.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

By Jeff Kinney
Our favorites: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Rodrick Rules, The Last Straw

Perfect for: Older elementary schoolers and tweens who appreciate the dark humor of middle school trauma.
The hook: At his mother's insistence, an adolescent boy records his life, in all its banal and painful detail — from being forced to wrestle in P.E. to having his house TP'd by high-school bullies. A simple, yet artfully conceived graphic novel. (Skip the movie, it doesn’t stand a fighting chance.)

A Series of Unfortunate Events

By Lemony Snicket
Our favorites: The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, The Wide Window

Perfect for: Older kids who appreciate humor in evil adults, miserable orphans, and extravagant vocabularies.
The hook: No child has ever endured more bad luck than the three Baudelaire waifs. Over the course of the 13-book series, they endure relentless misfortune at the hands of their vile uncle, the malevolent Count Olaf. At times, it makes for almost unbearable reading, but Snicket's tangy sense of humor and masterful command of three-dollar words keep you wanting more.

Little House

By Laura Ingalls Wilder
Our favorites: Little House on the Prairie, Little House in the Big Woods, Farmer Boy

Perfect for: Girls and boys (ages 7 and up) curious about simpler, albeit tougher, times.
The hook: An American classic, this nine-book series has been the first history class for many an American girl (long before the American Girls historical book series was born). The “through-a-white-girl’s-eyes” perspective has its critics; Ingalls Wilder’s depiction of savage Native Americans has some old-school racist chestnuts. But the children’s canon offers nary a replacement for the closely-observed, tedious and at times grueling daily life of a frontier family. In short, it’s one of those series that will teach your child a lot while she gets sucked into the story.

His Dark Materials Trilogy

By Philip Pullman
Our favorites: The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass
Perfect for: Older readers drawn to an epic (and eccentric) story of good and evil.
The hook: The main heroine, Lyra Belacqua, along with Pantalaimon, Will, and a band of other brave souls, have been entrusted to save the universe. It's nearly impossible to put down each of the trilogy's three books that create a fantastical alternate reality your child won't forget.

The Chronicles of Narnia

By C.S. Lewis
Our favorites: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Magician's Nephew, Prince Caspian
Perfect for: Readers, eight and up, drawn to illusive symbols and magic.
The hook: Sure, they may have seen the movie already, but even so, this seven-book series — which deftly combines the supernatural and reality — is a classic that has influenced children's literature for a half century. The protagonists, children from the real world, are magically transported to Narnia, where under the wise guidance of the lion Aslan, they play essential roles in shaping events in this alternate world's fate (a powerful fantasy for any child). In each of Lewis's page-turning books, all crafted in masterful prose, Narnia's very fate hangs in the balance: Will good win out over evil?

Cirque Du Freak

By Darren Shan
Our favorites: A Living Nightmare, The Vampire's Assistant, Tunnels of Blood

Perfect for: Kids ages 10 and up drawn to dark, twisted tales filled with eccentric characters.
The hook: Macabre, funny, and action-packed, this series follows a traveling freak show with wolf-man, snake-boy, Larten Crepsley, and a giant spider. 






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