Friday, January 25, 2013

Adopt a Book

I borrowed this idea from a fellow SLMS in my county...Adopt a Book. When I weed books, I pull some that I think students might like to take home. These books are usually those that are falling apart because they are really popular with the kids, not because they have been sitting on the shelf being eating by dust and mold. But sometimes I put weeded books that are outdated on the Adopt A Book shelf and those are snatched up, too. I'd much rather have those books being read than sitting on a shelf collecting dust, so I'm happy to have them adopted.

I used some of my Scholastic Dollars earned from the Fall Book Fair to order a small book shelf and created a little sign to advertise the books that are up for "adoption."

The first day I put out these books, all the books were gone by 8:00am. Seriously! The word spread fast!

If you'd like a copy of the sign I made, you can get it here or click on the picture above.

What do you do with your weeded books?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Project 365: Teacher Librarian.

365 Project is photography project, you take 1 photo each day for a year on a subject of your choosing and share it with the world. (from 365 Project blog)

So many of my friends participate in some sort of 365 Project that I felt compelled to see what I was missing. It turns out... a whole lot of fun and connecting and sharing. I made it a personal goal this year to keep a photo journal of my life as a teacher librarian.

- Powerful, visual advocacy tool for my library media program
- Opportunity to participate in a shared experience with other educators
- Flex my creativity muscles with daily photo assignments while also improving my photo-taking abilities
- Photo journal of the year does the remembering so that I don't have to
- Time

Imagine your principal asking how your program has positively impacted the school and you being able to point him/her to a photo journal capturing a staggering array of activities and experiences, all in bite-sized easy to browse morsels. 

Compelled? Captivated? Want to dip your toe into the proverbial Project 365 pool and see if the water's ripe for a swim?

Here's a tool kit of what you need to get started:

  1. Create an account on 365 Project. It's free and will take seconds to set up. This is where you'll upload your photos
  2. Follow your own inspiration or use a photo challenge list. I'm sticking with Venspired's "See the Great in Education" project. CaptureYour365 also has a great list for those looking for more general photo assignments.
  3. Download photo editing tools to realize the potential in your images. My go-to favorites for the iPhone or iPad are XNView FX and SnapSeed and both are absolutely free. You could even use Instagram or forego photo-editing altogether. 
  4. Find a network to keep you motivated. Whether you're sharing images on Facebook, on your blog, through the 365 Project site, or otherwise, staying connected will help you stay motivated throughout the whole year.

January photo challenges from
January photo challenges from
May the rest of your year be filled with images of discovery, victory, insight, and joy.

- Matthew

Monday, January 14, 2013

Alphabet Labels

I've been doing a little more organization in the nonfiction section...weeding, tidying up, etc.  Maybe I've been preoccupied with non-fiction because it's the Genre of the Month.  Whatever the case, I am feeling like it's really starting to look better.

Last week I worked on the biography section.  I've seen some alphabet dividers on Demco, or maybe it was another library supply site, but I thought I would try to save money and make my own.

I used PowerPoint to create my letters.  Then I printed them off, laminated them, cut them out and adhered them to some free paint sticks.

If they work out well, I might make some for the 500s to divide up some of the animals and maybe also for the 600s.

If you'd like a copy of them, just click here or on the picture above.


Monday, January 7, 2013


Have you heard of this wonderful website?  It is fantastic and it's free!  NetGalley is a place where teacher librarians and others in similar professions can search for and request advance digital copies of books to read and review for free.  It's a great way to preview books before you buy and to get an idea of what new books are out there.  I just joined over the weekend and already have 12 books waiting for me.  You can download the books to your Kindle, iPad or Android device as well as to you computer. They seem to be delivered as documents rather than books, but I am not picky.  I'm finding it to be a great resource!

Try it out and let me know what you think.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Pinterest Inspired Library Display

Recently, I was inspired by a library display I saw here on Pinterest.  My students are obsessed with mustaches this year, especially the sixth graders.  Our sixth grade reading teacher has a sign in her classroom that says, "I mustache you a question but I will shave it for later."  They LOVE the word play in it!  So I purchased a package of black cardstock and downloaded the mustache shape for my Silhouette digital cutter to create a display similar to the one I saw on Pinterest.  A bonus is that the kids can use the mustache as a bookmark.  Here are the results.