Friday, November 16, 2012

Library Rules from the Black Lagoon.

Class rules are tiresome, boring, and quickly forgotten. It's too bad, too. Students should remember to be kind, safe, responsible, respectful, and silly as often as possible. 

So, taking inspiration from Mike Thaler's The Librarian from the Black Lagoon, our 2nd grades made up some new rules of their own. But be advised. Forgetting to follow the rules may result in some pretty sticky situations.
Displayed on the library office windows for all passing students to view.
  • Do not rip the pages out of a book OR ELSE you'll be locked in a dungeon!
  • Do not kick the shelves OR ELSE you'll be flattened by a pile of books!
  • Do not steal the books OR ELSE you'll be locked in a yard with a 3-headed dog!
  • Do not run OR ELSE you'll be stapled to the wall!
  • Never hit a classmate OR ELSE you'll be locked in a room with hungry gorillas!
Here's the how to make this easy activity a big success:
  1. Read aloud The Librarian from the Black Lagoon (of course) so the kids can have a sense of the horrible punishments a librarian could enact. 
  2. Let students brainstorm a list of basic, daily rules for inside the library. (Think book care as well as behavior.)
  3. Add on ridiculous OR ELSE clauses to each rule. Keep them appropriate, but silly. ("Sit in a tank full of spiders" is funny, but "Sit in a tank full of spiders who eat you until you die" crosses a line.)
  4. Post for the whole school to see, but don't let them in on the secret. 
Each of our four 2nd grade classes came up with unique rules.
As soon as a couple students notice the posters, reactions ranging from bewilderment to bawling with laughter will abound... and you just may get a couple new rule-followers out of it, too!

- Matthew

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book Fair Ideas

We just wrapped up our Fall Scholastic Book Fair last week.  The Fall theme was "All Star Book Fair."  I have to say, after completing two Book Fairs last year, I felt like I had the set up, run, and take down under control.

And I suppose that was a good thing, because the Book Fair was not delivered until the Friday morning the week before the Book Fair.  I didn't really want to spend the night at school getting things set up, so I closed the Media Center except for book returns and with the help of a parent volunteer, got to work setting things up.  By 3:30, everything seemed ready to go for the following week.

I tried to make decorating simply, quick and easy by simply carefully taping over the door decor I already had up so that I wouldn't have to take down and redecorate after the Book Fair.  It worked pretty well.

I used sports items to go with the All Star theme and traced "foam fingers" and megaphones onto bulletin board paper.
 Then I simply added some small cut outs of basketballs, footballs and baseballs because they were the easiest to draw and cut out.

Unfortunately, Preview Day had to be moved to Monday since the Book Fair was not ready on Friday.  I think this might have hurt sales a bit.  We made only about 66% of the sales that we made around the same time last year.  It was the end of the month, too, so that might have had something to do with it.

I was glad to see that less of the doodaddy stuff was bought this go round. I followed the advice of  Jenn Underhill of the Three Ring Library blog and made this board to display the junky stuff. 

Customers simply had to tell the cashier the number of the item they wished to purchase rather than digging through everything on the table.  Nothing mysteriously disappeared from that section either.  It did take me a couple of hours to put the board together, and I am not sure that it didn't negatively affect sales, but I realize the Book Fair is about getting books in kids' hands, not selling junky stuff, so I guess it was worth the effort.

If you're looking for some more Book Fair ideas, I've started a Pinterest board that you might like to check out.  There aren't a whole lot of pins on it, yet, but I do add a pin to it from time to time.  Check it out here if you are interested.

Do you have any great Book Fair ideas to share?