It's hard to believe, but my book fair starts on Monday. There's still some logistical kinks to work out that are giving me really odd dreams (like the one I had two nights ago, where my third graders stormed the library, holding credit cards to pay for their books, and the internet died) and some minor moments of panic, but it'll all work out in the end. At least, that's what I keep telling myself.
I'd asked for our book shipment to be moved to Wednesday after realizing that if they came Thursday, I'd only have a day to set up before a holiday on Friday. They came late in the day, but luckily just in time for a community volunteer and two mothers to arrive to help with setup, which made the whole process go more quickly. I'd already begun unpacking when they arrived, and between the boxes, the three long tables rustled up and my two usual round ones, the easels and the books, we were quickly running out of space to move. But, many hands make quick work, and by six p.m. all the boxes had been unpacked and stored, books placed in easels and on tables, and we went home satisfied and pleased with our work.
Yet, as we worked, I noticed that for a K-8 fair, there were surprisingly few materials for the K-1 crowd, which annoyed me. I made a mental note to complain about it later to my Scholastic rep, but thought nothing more of it. By the time I arrived home at 7:30, I had begun to feel tremendously unwell, so much so that I delayed going in the next morning until 11 a.m. I arrived feeling feverish, congested and achy and walked into the library to find that four more boxes had arrived. Here were the missing materials, only now I had to figure out what to do with the fact that I had four more boxes, no more tables, and no more space. To say I wanted to burst into tears is an understatement.
Luckily, I realized that the slots that divide the easels into four could be removed with a little effort, and so I set to work. I then began paring down the number of books on display, leaving out a few copies for the older students' books, but generally opting for only one or two per book for the younger kids. I worked throughout the afternoon, rearranging again and again until finally, at about 2:15, I got the last books placed. Granted, I then had a giant pile on my desk that needed to be put into the closet for storage, but at least the book fair was in order. With the help of a student volunteer, I soon got those cataloged into an Excel file and stashed away (they will need to be organized somehow so that I can easily distribute them for purchase, but I'll cross that hurdle on Monday).
I am nervous about how the displays will hold up when the students come to look at them on Monday, but I'm hoping that some creative arrangements with the teachers will minimize the issues. I've still got signs to make (since Massachusetts charges a 6.25% sales tax and I don't want kids to come in short when they make their orders, I'm writing price tags for the books that include sales tax), but I will say that for now, the book fair looks pretty darn good.
My name is Ms. Bery. I am a PK-8 library media specialist in the Boston area. In addition to being a certified school librarian, I am also certified in instructional technology, and have a strong interest in exploring and integrating technology in new and exciting ways in the classroom.
I am also a 2016 PBS LearningMedia Local Digital Innovator, and a 2015 recipient of the Massachusetts School Library Association's President's Award.
Check out the Sandbox for apps and websites I've found useful in supporting student learning and creativity. I also review children's, middle grade, and young adult books on Instagram.
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