15 September 2015

Stroud Night at the Library

September is Library Card Sign Up Month and the elementary schools in my district are partnering with our local public library to host A Night at the Library for each elementary school. Our night was Tuesday, September 8 and it was a big success. Despite a rainy afternoon, we had several families come out. 

There was a guided tour of the children's department, a raffle to win a goodie bag, opportunities to sign up for a library card, and time to explore and have fun with friends and family. We had several families who got their first library card and checked out books. It was great to see students of all ages bonding over their love of reading, tinkering with gears and puzzles in the play area, or exploring educational games on the computer. 

One of my goals this year is to do a better job at promoting activities hosted at our local library. There's a LEGO group, chess, bedtime stories, puppet shows, and much more. Plus, my students were excited to learn they weren't limited to checking out just 2 books at a time like they are at school. At our local library, the limit is 50! And they were excited to learn that it's not just books that can be checked out, but also DVDs, books on tapes, and even ukuleles. 

What are some ways you partner with your local library? Share ideas in our comments.

10 September 2015

The Day Drew Daywalt Came to Visit

Drew Daywalt visited my school last week. And it was awesome. Drew is the author of The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home. If you're not familiar with the books, they're about a bunch of crayons who write letters and postcards to a little boy named Duncan. Some of the crayons are fed-up with their workload, others are frustrated at being ignored, and one has really bad map skills. There's even a naked crayon and another crayon who complains about being used to draw bear poop. You can see how these books would appeal to young children, right? My students absolutely love his books; they can't hold their laughter in when we talk about the naked crayon. So, when I heard about a chance to have Drew visit my school, I jumped on it. 

We prepared for the visit by reading both of Drew's books and doing a few related activities. Kindergarten and first grade students drew pictures and wrote sentences about their favorite parts of the books. Second grade students wrote a letter to Drew asking him a question or sharing their thoughts on the book. Some even pretended to be one of the crayons when writing their letter. We decorated our library with giant crayons and put up the students' work on all the walls. Drawing seven foot crayons took a minute, so even though Drew is gone, those decorations are staying up all year long. 

Drew was great with the students. He brought along a few crayon "characters" to share with the students and much to my students' delight, he had the naked crayon with him. After reading both of his books, he answered questions from students. One question that many students had was about future books and we were all happy to hear that there are plans to continue the crayons' adventures. Will you favorite crayon character be in the sequels? Perhaps. Word on the street is that at least crayon from the first book and at least one crayon from the second book will be in the next adventure. He also talked about the process of writing a book, how long it can take to go from the idea stage to being published, and where he came up with the idea of the naked crayon. 

The really nice thing about Drew's visit is that it was so easy to pull off. And that's thanks entirely to the absolutely amazing people at Avid Bookshop, our local independent book seller here in Athens, GA. I don't know all the details of what happens behind the scenes, but I'm thankful to have such an awesome resource in my town. If you get a chance to have Drew come speak at your school, GO FOR IT! You won't regret it. 

Here are some more photos from the visit:

Drew signing books

Drew talking to the students before reading his books

Green and Blue Crayon welcoming visitors to our library

Purple and Red Crayons are pals