It’s The Simple Things

Do you ever have moments when the universe comes together to let you know you’ve chosen the right path and you’re in the right place at the right time? Today, I had one of those days. And it was a beautiful reminder that came at exactly the right moment.
I was going through some end-of-the-year notes and came across this little gem…
Dear [Becky], You have reawakened the SHA library! You have planted excitement about books and reading in our children! You have introduced new authors and titles to our family. We are so grateful that you have come to SHA! Thank you for a great year! Have a wonderful summer!
Whether you’re a banker or an electrician, a scientist or a… school librarian, my hope for you is that, from time to time, you experience this realization. Sometimes it’s clear as day, but other times it’s a quiet whisper, so be sure to listen closely…

Author Study Brainstorming

After passing my very last math exam needed for licensing (yaaaaay!) today, I am now thinking I better get started on planning for the year. Now, one might ask why I feel the need to do curriculum planning at 11:30 at night on the 23 of July? Ummm, well… Your guess is as good as mine. Like I said to a teacher friend the other day, “And to think, people say we have summers ‘off.’ Ha!”

In my late night crazy brain, I have decided to organize my primary lessons a little differently this year. Last year I tried to plan my lessons thematically, based on what was happening in the school, as a whole, and what was being taught in the classroom. While I still plan to continue on that path, I would also like to attempt to incorporate regular author studies into my kindergarten, first and second grade library lessons. There are various authors and illustrators that I think all young readers should be exposed to and I thought this would be a great opportunity to create that exposure. But, therein lies my conundrum… There are too, too, too many to choose from.

This is only after one session of brainstorming:

Ezra Jack Keats
Audrey & Don Wood
Mercer Mayer
Mo Willems
Lois Ehlert
Jan Thomas
Tedd Arnold
Frank Asch
Marc Brown
Don Freeman
Tomie dePaola
Helen Lester
Rosemary Wells
Maurice Sendak
Margaret Wise Brown
Jonathan London
Laura Numeroff
Cynthia Rylant
Eric Hill
Jan & Stan Berenstain
Jan Brett
Joanna Cole
Barbara Cooney

Leo Lionni
Arnold Lobel
James Marshall
Robert McCloskey
Dr. Seuss
Chris Van Allsburg
Vera B. Williams
Jane Yolen
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Jack Prelutsky
Jon Scieszka
William Steig
Sandra Boynton
Kevin Henkes
Beatrix Potter
Shel Silverstein
Alan Katz
Robert Munsch
E.B. White
Eric Carle
Mary Pope Osborne
Barbara Park
Steven Kellogg

Sigh. Too many books, too little time.

And just because they’re too wonderful not to share:


Monster Book Bags

My summer break is not at all a break… It’s a flurry of crafting and sewing and making deliciously healthy meals. It’s the best kind of “break” I could possibly imagine. This project started as a birthday gift for one of my favorite three-year old monsters. He is a big fan of monsters and a big fan of reading (yaaaay!), so I wanted to combine the two into a fun birthday gift.

I purchased this adorable downloadable Library Tote Bag pattern from Shiny Happy World on Etsy.
The best part about the pattern? The darling little library card pocket inside of the bag.

I ended up wanting to make bags for a family of little kiddos and so I started “mass producing.” The first bag I made (the lime green one), I followed the pattern exactly, but because I was making so many, I wanted the pattern-cutting process to go faster, so I changed the dimensions just a bit. So as not to give Shiny Happy World‘s pattern for free, I’ll let you buy it on Etsy and then make your own adjustments.

 Getting everything laid out
 Assembling the inside pocket
 Assembling the outside pocket
 Putting it all together
 Adding some google-y eyes
 Assembling the handles
 Finishing it all up
 Before flipping it inside out
  And viola!
Aren’t they adorable?
Now, on to the next project…

Summer of Reading

Summer of Reading
With school ending, many parents ask, “What can I do to keep my kids reading this summer?”
 Below you’ll find resources, both locally and nationwide, to encourage reading over the long summer break. Check out local libraries, bookstores, recommended summer reading lists and information just for parents!

Seattle Public Library: Kiddos of all ages can keep up with their reading, earn prizes and attend free programs throughout the Seattle area.
King County Library: Earn badges online and keep track of the books you’ve read with this cool chart! Stop by any King County Library location to get started!
Everett Public Library: The Everett Public Library offers summer reading programs for both children and teens, with a suggested reading goal of 24 hours.
Sno-Isle Library: Enter to win a new bicycle by participating in the summer reading program at Sno-Isle Libraries.
Pierce County Library: Kids win prizes for every five hours they read, including a free pass to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium or Northwest Trek and a Round Table Pizza coupon.

Do you need book suggestions for summer? Check out UW Bookstore’s site. Earn cool prizes and get your All Access Pass!
The Elliott Bay Book Company is hosting its summer reading program. All kids between the ages of 6 and 14 are invited to help recommend some great books for other children.

The Feed Your Brain Summer Reading program at Half Price Books, for kids ages 14 and younger, includes reading at least 15 minutes a day (or getting read to, if your kids are still learning).
Earn a free book AND find all the latest book recommendations at your local Barnes and Noble!
Do you want to help break a reading world record? Visit the Scholastic Summer Reading site, log your minutes and help to make history!

American Library Association
Grades K – 2
Grades 3 – 5
Grades 6 – 8
New York Public Library
Grades K – 1
Grades 2 – 3
Grades 4 – 5
Grades 6 – 8

San Francisco Public Library

The Horn Book
Overview List
Picture Books
Middle School Fiction & Non-fiction

Education World
1st Grade
2nd Grade
3rd Grade
4th Grade
5th Grade
6th Grade
7th Grade
8th Grade

    Overview List

Seattle Public Library
Coming soon!