Monday, March 31, 2014

In Like A Lion And Out Like A Lamb...

March started out so busy and hectic and since our spring break from school we have all eased right back into the swing of things here.

This week in the library we read several books and  worked on Weather charts and making connections to the weather. In Kansas, we tend to see more severe weather. Over the years I have come to find that our young ones, here at Kennedy, tend to be more frightened by the loud siren than they are by the weather. We discussed the siren and just how loud and scary it is for some of us. I explained, when I hear the siren, I immediately think that the siren is an alert, telling me to get safe. The only reason it is so loud is that people far away need to hear it too.

With the crazy, windy, weather we had this week, discussing weather in the library and Mr. H. also, talking about tornado alerts and going over tornado drills, reminding students what they should do to be safe, where they are to go during a drill and then actually having and participating in a tornado drill the students seemed very well prepared and all did a great job.

Our fact of the week
Also, came from the weather we discussed in Kindergarten.

Our spotlight book
Mole and Baby Bird  by Marjorie Newman
Is a wonderful story about spring, friends and difficult choices.
A must read!

Speaking of great reads I have been on a roll with my tbr (to be read) pile. I finished 4 books over break. I finished up When Crickets Cry Charles Martin as I left for spring break.
I finished my current book When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin. Let me say this is a wonderful story. I was hooked after the first chapter.
This story takes place in Georgia and Martin's writing style envelopes you in the south. This is a love story, a medical mystery and an inspirational and spiritual epiphany. With charming characters and plot twist that will keep you flipping the pages.
Then I started my spring break with Every Day by David Levithan
Romance aside, this story is about people ... All kinds of people in all kinds of scenarios, with different lives and in different environments. It's a wonderful book about what it means to be human. With that being said, this book is not for everyone.

I do not want to give away anything in this book...which makes this review difficult. To summarize:
This book and the writing has a very different feel to me than other books.  Every Day definitely had me hooked. This YA book is a must read, I would love to hear your take on it.

I'm not sure how to start describing "A", the main character. "A" doesn't have a gender, he's not male and he's not female. "A"  leaps each day into a new or different body kind of like a quantum leap. "A" definitely is one of the more interesting characters I have read about, I adored him. The way he felt, the way he thought about things. The way he had reconciled with the life he was leading. He was so unique!

Rhiannon, on the other hand took me a little longer to warm up to.  I started to understand their relationship as it grew and progressed. I was disheartened for both her and A, because waking up in a different body every day makes is impossible for them to be together after all.

This book deals with a lot of difficult and emotional themes as we get a taste of A's lives. With some of them I was definitely feeling very touched. And I loved how David Levithan's book was open to any kind of love.

Overall, Every Day by David Levithan is a beautiful, touching and unique story with a tinge of science fiction. I would recommend it to anyone I know. I'm sure you won't be disappointed by this lovely story.

 The next story I read was actually a memoir called Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan
I selected this book because I loved Kelly's first book The Middle Place & was equally as drawn to Glitter and Glue.
 This story tells the tale of the six months Kelly spent as a nanny for an Australian family whose mother had just died. She was a twenty-something with no thoughts of motherhood, and a barely-acceptable relationship with her own mother, but now - as a grown-up - she traces the beginning of her life as a mother to that experience. She weaves in her own mother's voice throughout, setting down in print those direct quotes we all hear in our heads all day long.

My mother is not like Kelly's, and our relationship is not like theirs, but the core message is universal: Our mothers shape everything about us, and we don't begin to understand (or even fully appreciate) them until we fall in love with and begin to raise our own children.  A wonderfully written memoir take the time to read it you won't be disappointed.

For me I remember thinking after my 1st child was born, If I am loved an ounce as much as I love this child, I am truly blessed.

Let me first say that I love, love, love James Patterson's books. I read them all! Second Honeymoon was my next read.Honeymoon by James Patterson and Howard Roughan, you definitely should, and before you read its sequel Second Honeymoon. Though Second Honeymoon is a quick, fun beach read, (maybe I liked the first one more because I was actually on the beach when I read it) Honeymoon was better, in my opinion.
If you haven't read

Second Honeymoon is about the search for two serial killers, one killing honeymooners and one killing men that have something in common, their name. Sarah Brubaker heads one investigation, John O'Hara, the other. Their paths cross during their investigations, and their chemistry enhances both their professional and personal lives. These two characters endure intense, mental and physical, events that at times seem almost too much, too exhausting, and too unbelievable. That being said, James Patterson has the gift of building a dramatic, exciting story using incredibly short chapters. You literally fly through the pages. I enjoyed the novel and I recommend reading it.

The book I am currently reading is called Innocence by Dean Koontz. I haven't read a Koontz book in some time. I do appreciate his work and I am eager to get started on this one, this evening.

I received an amazing gift from our Soldiers in Afghanistan. I was so shocked and surprised to receive an America flag and certificate from Operation Enduring Freedom.

The certificate reads: 
This flag was flown on October 10, 2013 aboard CH47F 10-08801 call sign "Mafia 36" on a combat mission in support of Task Force Fighting Eagles.  It bears witness to the relentless resolve that American Forces bring to each mission in order to bring freedom to the people of Afghanistan and deter future acts of terrorism against the United States of America. May this flag be an eternal reminder of the effort and sacrifice made by  the men and women of the United States military to keep our friends, families and homes safe from all who threaten America and our way of life.

Happy Reading,

Mrs. Shamhart

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Swap Updates....

Swap Days
This weeks post was inspired by the many blogger friends I have acquired
 parents, teachers and librarians alike.
I am super lucky to be part of a swap called SLANT Box

through this swap I acquire other teachers and or school staff from across the nation and we get to know each other and communicate, share our blogs and social networking etc.

Which I have my package ready for shipping and need to mail it out this afternoon just waiting for an address, yikes! So, I can post...

Well I was lucky enough to be selected through my swap partners blog (check out her amazing blog) to receive an app for our schools Ipads, whoop whoop! The best part is it is a reading app and goes along with the library perfectly. Kind of super stoked about this. The app is called Far Faria this app provides a story time experiences for children ages 2-9 with more than 600 + children’s stories to choose from, plus 5 new stories are added each week. The app opens up to a fairy tale world complete with different kingdoms to choose from (the kingdoms are all different genres of books)

Mt. Make Believe is one of the kingdoms that you can choose books from.  There is something for every child, from make believe to animals to fairy tales.
If you have the opportunity to try this app out you will be hooked.
After receiving the info on this app it made me think about all the apps that are out there and how hard it is to know which apps are most effective, fun, or recommended. This tends to be one of the things I most often see on blogs about technology, here lately. So, I went to my staff and asked for their recommendations and boy did I get some wonderful ideas... I will be sharing these wonderful apps with you at the end of the week.

My other swap through Chaotic Goddess Swaps was sooo much fun as well. It was such a great match up. First of all my coffee addiction shining through, was top priority. Also, being paired with another librarian, Kristen from The Book Monsters
 was awesome not to mention she is from the Chicagoland area which is where I was born and raised.
We really had a lot of connections and hope to stay connected for many years to come. Thanks again to Chaotic Goddess Swaps for another great match up.

I received her swap from her which was full of library swag as well as one of my favorite flavored coffees mocha swirl and an awesome library mug. Super excited to receive this swap and to get to know Kristen.

 Then I also received my amazing Ipsy bag this past week as well, kind of loved everything I got this month.
 Besides all of these wonderful swaps and things going on today happens to be my anniversary.
My husband and I have been married 26 years and I am grateful each and every day!

Happy Reading, 
Mrs. Shamhart

Sunday, March 23, 2014

March Madness in the Library...

It's kind of a crazy month in the library.
With a  Dr. Seuss celebration, wrapping up the end of the book challenge,
finishing up our writing assessments, Scholastic Book Fair and Spring break.
 What a month so far...YIKES!

A week full of Dr. Seuss, then making wish lists for our book fair and we read books from our book fair, as well.


Scholastic Book Fair

Mrs. Kim and I at the book fair

 Winter Read-a-thon 
Completed by a few more friends. 

53 of our first graders turned in completed Challenges.
I am so proud of all that participated.

I finished my current book When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin. Let me say this is a wonderful story. I was hooked after the first chapter.

This story takes place in Georgia and Martin's writing style envelopes you in the south. This is a love story, a medical mystery and an inspirational and spiritual epiphany. With charming characters and plot twist that will keep you flipping the pages. 

This is a must read, I'm so glad I put it on the top of TBR pile. I am going to be reading this spring break and  hoping to try to make a dent in this pile.

Spring break!!!

Also, I want to get the raised garden tilled and fertilized. Hoping I wil be able to start planting next weekend. I want to get everything laid out and ready to go. Here is my garden from last summer. 

Each year I add a new aspect to it. This year I will add a bench and extend it About 6 More feet.
Between my garden and my TBR pile I hope to stay very busy!
What I intend to look like this spring break.
With St. Patricks day around the corner I feel like I miss my sweet home Chicago a little more than usual. 
This is a photo of the Chicago river dyed green. I miss the celebration. 
Here is a photo of my yorkie "Hermione" in her St. Paddy's day outfit from last year.
Have a fun spring break, a happy St. Paddy's day and get all of those little things done you have been meaning to get too, I sure will.

I also, plan on watching Leap Year one of my favorite movies in honor of the St. Patricks Day celebration!
Happy Reading
Mrs. Shamhart

Monday, March 3, 2014

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

This week in the library we are enjoying Dr. Seuss stories and an author study, as well. I absolutely love Dr. Seuss and after a week of sharing it I am speaking in rhyme. I will be posting some of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes and pics throughout this weeks blog. Two of my favorite quotes because both of them encourage thinking!!!
I have to say this week of celebrating Dr. Seuss and his many accomplishments is one of my most favorite weeks of the school year. The quote above is one of my most widely used quotes in the library. I like to remind my friends that we need to think and imagine when we read but also, each and everyday with all things we do, before we react.

 I love reading Dr. Seuss, I love dressing up like a cat in the hat, I love the visit from the Cat in the hat and listening to him retell his infamous story.
We enjoyed finding out facts about Dr. Seuss like this one, which is our fact of the week.
Our spotlight book for the week is my all time favorite Dr. Seuss book:
Horton Hatches the Egg which I read aloud this week. I simply love this story.

This is the door Hannah (my high school aide) created for the Seuss celebration and for the library.
Thanks a bunch Hannah it turned out great!!!
We had a wonderful time getting ready for the arrival of the cat in the hat. We were all super excited,
Teachers and kiddo's alike!

 Waiting for The infamous Cat in the Hat!!!

 The Cat in the Hat reading his own story!

My first grade friends finished up their graphic organizers in the library this week and they did a super job. I can't wait to see their finished book reports. See a sample of the finished graphic organizers.

I have several friends who have turned in their Book Challenge winter-read-a thon!!!!
Wahoo! I am so super proud of all of you. I can't wait to see how many more start to roll on in.
Here is a picture of the friends that completed the read-a-thon this week and the Dr. Seuss goodies they will earn...Yahoo!

 Congrats to the friends who completed the challenge.
I am super proud of each and everyone of you.
Here are the prizes they took away.

I finished my current book Three Wishes by Lianne Moriarty. I am so happy to say that I have finished my 5 books for the Read-a-thon too. I have read The Apartment by: Greg Baxter,
The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty, Always Something There To Remind Me by Beth Harbison,
Starry Night by Debbie Macomber and the latest Three Wishes By Liane Moriarty

I loved this book! Cleverly written, Three Wishes made me laugh, cry, and it made me reminisce about my daughters and my relationship with my mom.  It definitely falls into the category of Chic-Lit. Yet, that doesn't limit the action in this story.

You should definitely pick this book up if you like suspense, a heartwarming story or good laugh.

My next read is called When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin. Everyone in my book club and several others through this blog have recommended this book. I finally, got it from the public library after being on hold for sometime. It is a big book( it says 352 pages but the print is small) this one may take me a while.

Happy Reading,
Mrs. Shamhart