Yes, the book fair is coming - in a month, to be precise. Now, I've never run a book fair before, and my school hasn't had one in over five years, so there's no precedent to rely on. I'm starting from scratch and flying solo, which is both exhilarating and a little terrifying.
Though Scholastic is wonderful at providing everything you need, my situation is complicated by the fact that I'm only at school two days a week. That means I have about six days of actual work time (in between teaching a full load) to get everything off the ground and organized. Throw in standardized testing and organizing a parent night, and there's a lot to be nervous about, but I have to hope for the best. I've resigned myself to the fact that I may well have to put in unpaid time to get this off the ground, but I'm committed to making this a success for my students. The ones who know we're having a fair are SO excited, and I owe it to them to make this a great experience.
I plan to make full use of Google Docs to engender collaboration between myself and the members of my committee, which should hopefully help (and cut down on the number of emails I have to send my principal). I'm also grateful for the help of the 5th grade homeroom teacher, who has volunteered to give up part of his planning time to help me.
The fun part of the book fair is that it allows my creative side to run wild. Pictured are the 100,000 reading minutes challenge bookmarks from Scholastic's website. I'm challenging our students to read (the equivalent of 20 minutes/student/day), and if they reach 75% of the total (though they're being told 100% for obvious reasons), there will be a teacher vs. student quiz show. I also plan to work some math skills in by asking students to estimate the final tally and maybe some other guessing games. There will be a 'match the teacher to their favorite book' display on the bulletin board, and I plan to utilize a third bulletin board that's gone untouched since my predecessor left to have kids do a "periodical table" of books read (another Scholastic idea).
The day of parent night, kids will dress up as their favorite book character. At the parent event that night, I'm running with a "fair" theme - popcorn, light dinner, games like a beanbag toss, face painting, a photo booth (idea shamelessly stolen from The Centered School Library), a costume show by the kids, and maybe a talent show. It'll be a lot of work, but if I can pull this off, I think it'll be an exciting, memorable event for the entire community.
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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