Five for Friday Link Up

This has been a great week, so it's a perfect day to join in a Five for Friday link up.  I am joining Doodle Bugs Teaching.

1.  I'm an IRA Blogger

So excited to announce I have been asked to blog for IRA.  My first post is about my favorite thing in the world:  Kindergarten Writing.

Click HERE to read my first post for IRA.

2.  The Book Room

I have taken on the monumental task of our book room.  I am so blessed to have a wonderful book room.  Unfortunately, the book room hasn't been inventoried in a while and has a few issues.  Follow my work in the book room on this blog.

3.  Pre-A Staff Development

I am scheduled to give a staff development all-day workshop for my school system the 8th of July.  I am putting it together in between everything else I'm doing.  I seem to thrive on pressure.

4.  Yoga

I was supposed to start back to yoga this week.  One of my favorite people in the world talked me into a 7am yoga class at our local YMCA.  She promised she'd help in my book room, if I went.  I DID!  Here's the funny part:  the class was cancelled.  I think it was God's way of letting me ease into this exercise thing.  Sooo...we went to Panera, had breakfast, then worked in my book room.  Now I have to go next week...I owe her.

5.  Seattle Sounders v. D.C. United

I am leaving at 5 am tomorrow morning to go to Washington, DC (by train) for a MLS game.  It's not crazy enough at my house with World Cup Mania, but this soccer family is going to see the game as part of my 17-year-old's birthday.  His favorite team is Seattle and there is no way this Virginia family can go to a game in Seattle.  We were thrilled they were scheduled to play in DC this summer. So off we go!

There's my Five for Friday!  Have a great weekend!


Book Room Makeover - Summer Week #1

Phase 1

I have to be strategic about the Book Room Makeover, so I decided to tackle the boxes.

First, I am checking the books against the existing inventory.  I'd say 95% of the inventory had to be corrected.  Not only am I counting the books, I have to make sure they are in bags of 6 or so.  I'm also assigning the books to boxes.

After I have counted the books, I'm checking the inventory to make are all the books are leveled appropriately.  During the Level D inventory yesterday, I found 9 books out of 180 titles (approximately) that were mislabeled by 1 or 2 levels.  The front of the box will have the library pocket and a label of the box contents.  )I don't like the labels on the boxes, they weren't big enough, but it's all I had and thought I could live with it.  I can't.)  I will redo the labels on the A boxes.


It's a slow process, but I feel like I'm making progress.  Here's an example the new books.

book room

The Check-Out

The check-out process will be with index cards, not clothes pins.  The teacher will take the bag from the box and add their index card to the pocket on the front.  When they return the books, the box number is listed on the bag.  They'll replace the bag and put their card back in the storage pocket.


Stay Tuned for more!!!!


Book Room Makeover

Welcome to the Book Room

First let me say, we have a great book room at my school.  It contains leveled readers, big books, books on tape, materials for our gifted program, teacher resources, teacher books, and a collection of old materials.  It is a full-sized classroom turned into a teacher resource room.

Problem #1 - Book Order

Last summer, my first summer as a reading specialist in this school, wasn't the summer to tackle the book room.  I decided it would best to see HOW the book room worked for the teachers.  Unfortunately, there are problems.  The clothespin method is used for check-out.  Then, when the teacher returns the books, she finds her clothespin, replaces the books and returns her clothespins to the box with her name.  In my mind, the first problem with the book room is the order of the books.  The books are in order from right to left, even though the door is on the left side.  Check out a close-up of the picture above to see the problem.  Not a big problem, but it's odd to me.  We also have gifted materials along the back wall AND on a book shelf on the right side of the book room.  We have math materials on the back wall and on a shelf area after the leveled readers.  We have teacher materials for centers, remediation, and enrichment any where you look in the book room.

Problem #2 - Labels

The next problem are the actual book boxes.  The book boxes contain labels for box contents.  They are peeling and missing.  This makes returning the books especially hard.  Alphabetical order is you can see in the picture.

Problem #3 - Old Materials

Another problem is the extra "stuff" in the book room that isn't used...EVER.  Notice the SRA box - there are 5 more.  We also have several samples from textbook adoptions of the past (1 social studies kit, 1 math kit, and old materials from our reading adoption).  From the looks of the dust, they are just taking up space.

Problem #4 and #5 - Books on Tape and Big Books

Finally, we have probably 100 books on tape and probably 200 big books that are used sporadically.  The books on tape are in a rack with several buckets.  They are on top of each other and not easily accessible.  The big books (14 racks full) are down the left side of the room on top of bookshelves, in the front of the room at the beginning of the rows of leveled readers, and half-way down the right side of the room.  Thankfully a past reading specialist alphabetized the books and sorted them as fiction or non-fiction.

A Summer Makeover

This summer I am tacking the book room.  I'll take you through the process with me.  I am switching from the clothespin method to an index card method.  I'm going to try and rearrange the book room to move similar materials in the same area to help the teachers see all the materials available to them in one spot.

If you have ideas about the book room, let me know.

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