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Tales of an Elementary School Librarian

Playing the Sorting Hat: Which Hogwarts house does The Pigeon belong in?

pigeon

A few months ago I speculated about which Hogwarts house Pete the Cat would belong in. (Spoiler: It’s Hufflepuff). Today, I am breaking my summer silence to sort The Pigeon.

Like Pete, I have a really strong hunch about where I think he’ll end up, but I want to be thorough. Being stuck in the wrong house would be terrible.

Gryffindor? 

Right away, I think we can cross Gryffindor off of the list. I can’t think of any indication that The Pigeon has any more courage than your average pigeon. The incident with the dog comes to mind. He really wanted a dog, until actually he got one. He was terrified. Nope. Probably not a Gryffindor.

Ravenclaw?

I dunno, I can’t think of any good reasons to put him in Ravenclaw either, unless you count that time he wanted to watch that documentary on birds? I think he was really just avoiding bedtime, though.

Hufflepuff?

Again, I don’t see any evidence for Hufflepuff, either.

Slytherin?

Bingo. The Pigeon knows what he wants, and he’ll do anything to get it. He’ll try to trick you, he’ll lie to you (No, your cousin Herb doesn’t drive a bus almost every day, Pigeon. Do you even have a cousin Herb?) He’ll use whatever resources are at his disposal (sadly, not many, him being a pigeon and all) to get what he wants.  In my mind, there isn’t much doubt.

Just to be sure, though, I took the Pottermore quiz, and answered the questions as The Pigeon would.

slytherin

Congrats on your new house, Pigeon. I think it will suit you. I hope they let you drive the Hogwarts Express.

Ps. Stay away from the owls.

 

 

 

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#ukulelesongFriday (Even though it isn’t Friday) Hot Potato

uke1

Hi friends! It’s been a little while. I don’t usually blog as much when school is out, but I wanted to share a song/game I like to do for my summer story times. (I have the library open on Wednesdays and I have a preschool and an elementary story time) The elementary age kids love this one. I tried it with preschool too, but it wasn’t that great. There was confusion and a lot of upset preschoolers when they got out.

Basically, I have the kids sit in a circle and pass around one of the library stuffed animals (they like to use the Pigeon the most). I play the Wiggles “Hot Potato” song on the uke with my eyes closed so I can’t see who is holding the “potato,” and I stop at a random point in the song. Whoever it holding the “potato” when I stop, is out, and we do it again until there are two kids left. For the last two, they pass it back and forth, until I stop and there is a winner. Every time, the kids ask to play it again, so I try to save time for one more game at the end.

Here’s a clip of what it sounds like when I play it on the uke. Imagine your beautiful singing voice instead of mine, please. 🙂

And here are the chords

C

Hot potato hot potato. Hot potato. Hot Potato hot potato.

A          G                       C

Potato. Potato potato potato.

Continue with “Cold Spaghetti” and “Mashed Banana”  and that’s it!

I hope you are all having a terrific summer!

Previous #ukuleleSongFridays

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

Apples and Bananas

The Washing Machine Song

Head and Shoulders Knees and Toes

There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea

Elephant Song (original)

Bumping up and Down in my Little Red Wagon

Ants on the Ground (original) 

Bop Till You Drop

The Hokey Pokey

Brush Your Teeth

The Silly Dance Contest

Shake My Sillies Out

Hands are For Clapping

The top ten circulated nonfiction titles of the 2017-2018 School year

It is officially the day before the last day of school! Woo Hoo! This week we’re looking at what books have circulated best in my elementary school library this year. Today we’re looking at nonfiction. I’m typing  this before looking at the stats, and I’m going to predict lots of Minecraft and Pokemon books. We’ll see if I’m right.

#10. The Ultimate Minecraft Creator

minecraft

Well, look at that. We’re opening things up with a Minecraft book.

#9. The Airport Book

airportbook

Yes! I love this book. It’s a great one.

#8. The Minecraft Construction Handbook

construction

Here’s our 2nd Minecraft title.

#7. Star Wars Millennium Falcon YT-1300 a 3D Owners Guide

starwarsfalcoln

This book is actually pretty cool. As you turn the pages you see a different layer of the Falcon. It’s been pretty popular.

#6. Minecraft Combat Handbook

combat

Whoever decided to put these handbooks into little separate books instead of a great big volume was a money making genius.

#5. Guinness Book of World Records 2018 Gamers Edition

gamer2018

I should have kept count of how many times this book is read in-house and not checked out. It’s a favorite, and kids who didn’t bring their books back to school and don’t want to check out a new one, love browsing it.

#4. Guinness Book of World Records 2016 Gamers Edition

gamers

Now why would the 2016 edition check out more than the 2018? I’ll give you a hint. It has to do with the guy holding the pick axe on the cover.

#3. Pokemon Visual Companion

Pokemon

I swear I check copies of this book in and out every single day.

#2. Minecraft: Redstone Handbook

minecraft

One of these days I’ll find out exactly what a Redstone is.

#1. Minecraft Essential Handbook

minecraft

And there you have it, folks.  Out of the top 10, 6 of them had something to do with Minecraft. I’m waiting for this fad to pass, and for a bit, maybe it did, but this year has seen a resurgence.

I’ll leave you with my son and I singing about Minecraft and Pokemon books.

The Top Ten Circulated Graphic Novels of the 2017-2018 school year

I’m continuing counting down the books that my students checked out the most this school year. Today we’ll be looking at the graphic novels. The graphic novel section had a REALLY good year.  It was one of the most visited sections of the library, and it’s popularity seems to grow every year. (When I took over the library there there wasn’t a GN section, they were mixed in with the rest of the collection.) Anyways, these graphic novels were the best of the best this year.

#10. Hilo: Great Big Boom

hilo

The Hilo series has been doing great. My third and second graders love it.

#9. Roller Girl

rollergirl1

3 years and a Newbery honor later, this book is still rolling along.

#8. Swing it, Sunny

swing it

My students were clamoring for this book when Sunny Side Up first came out. “Will there be a sequel, Mr. Martin? There’s got to be a sequel!”  I was so glad to see Jenn Holm grant their wishes.

#7. El Deafo

eldeafo

Another graphic novel Newbery Honor recipient gracing the top ten list.

#6. Ghosts

ghosts

#5. Sunny Side Up

sunny side up

#4 Amulet: The Stonekeeper

amuletseries

As a series, Amulet has done better than almost anything else in the library (just Elephant and Piggie, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and now, Dog Man do better)

#3. Baby Sitters Club: Kristy’s Great Idea

babysitter

This should be called, “Raina’s Great Idea” or “Raina’s Publisher’s Great Idea” because bringing this series back in graphic novel format was pure genius.

#2. Sisters

sisters

#1. Smile

smile

Notice how Raina created every single one of the top 3 books (and #6)? She rules the graphic novel section with an iron fist, and I think it might be years before she’s dethroned. (If she ever is)

UPDATE: Somehow when looking at the numbers, I accidentally  skipped over Real Friends. it has been a powerhouse this year,and should have been on the list at number 4 in between Baby-sitter’s Club and Amulet. My apologies.

realfriends

 

 

 

The top ten circulated picture books of the 2017-2018 school year

I love these end the year lists. Travis Jonker just released the top 10 picture books that circulated in his school this year, and it lead to me ordering more than one book.  Here are the top ten books from my school library.

# 10. Knuffle Bunny

knuffle

This one kind of took me by surprise. It’s always been pretty popular here, but this year, for some reason it was top ten popular. I’m not complaining or anything. It’s a great book.

#9.  Llama Llama Home With Mama

llama

Ok, so we’re two books in, and I’ve been surprised twice.  Another picture book classic beating out a lot of newer books.

#8. Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great

unicorn

This one has always been a hit. The circulation went WAAAY up last year when Bob Shea visited our school, and I guess it never really died back down.

I don’t one to spoil anything for anybody, but one of the characters in the new Penderwicks book, Penderwicks at Last thinks that this is the funniest book ever written. I must say that I agree with the sentiment behind the statement. It is very funny.

#7. Sofia the First: The Secret Library

sofia

It’s hard to beat a Disney princess, even an underage one.

#6. Frozen

frozen

It’s nearly impossible to beat out two full-grown Disney princesses.

#5. Number One Sam

numberonesam

This was another pleasant surprise for me. This is a really great book. I’m glad my students like it too.

#4. Arnie the Donut

arnie

I’m not surprised in the least bit about this one. I maybe even thought it would be higher on the list. Laurie Keller came to visit in March, and she brought the house down.

#3. Creepy Pair of Underwear

creepy

This would have probably been my guess for number one. It was extremely popular this year.

#2. Pete The Cat: I love My White Shoes

Pete

Pete missed the number one spot by ONE checkout this year. ONE! And the hard thing is, one of my students lost one of our copies of this book back in September. Like an athlete injured in his or her prime, Pete will spend the rest of his days wondering what might have been. If only if that extra copy has stayed in circulation.

#1. The Pigeon Needs a Bath

pigeon

I honestly don’t know what it is about my school and this book. My students consistently check it out, and it’s almost always in the picture book top 10. I’m not really sure why this one is more popular than the Pigeon’s other books, but it is. By far.

That’t it! There will probably be more lists coming soon.

#ukulelesongFriday Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

fivelittlemonkeys

My friend, Rex taught me this very interesting version of “Five Little Monkeys.”  I like to use it with this flannel board set that I purchased on Etsy a few months ago.

F                                                                                                    C
Five little monkeys jumping on the bed one fell off and bumped his head
F                                                          Bb
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said
F                                    C                       F
No more monkeys jumping on the bed

F                                                                                                            C
No more monkeys jumping on the bed. No more monkeys jumping on the bed
F                                   Bb
No more monkeys jumping on the bed
F                                     C             F
That’s just what the doctor said.

Four little monkeys….and so on.

Sometimes I like to play it in G.

G                                                                                                 D
Five little monkeys jumping on the bed one fell off and bumped his head
G                                                           C
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said
G                                  D                       G
No more monkeys jumping on the bed

G                                                                                                          D
No more monkeys jumping on the bed. No more monkeys jumping on the bed
G                                 C
No more monkeys jumping on the bed
G                                    D         G
That’s just what the doctor said.

Happy Uking!

Previous #ukuleleSongFridays

Apples and Bananas

The Washing Machine Song

Head and Shoulders Knees and Toes

There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea

Elephant Song (original)

Bumping up and Down in my Little Red Wagon

Ants on the Ground (original) 

Bop Till You Drop

The Hokey Pokey

Brush Your Teeth

The Silly Dance Contest

Shake My Sillies Out

Hands are For Clapping

#ukulelesongFriday Apples and Bananas

uke6
I’ll be honest. I prefer a rambunctious movement song to a quiet, sit down sing-along, and I think the kids do too, but sometimes you can tell it just isn’t going to work out on that particular day.

That happened to me this week. I was planning on playing “Bop Till you Drop” for a kindergarten class in between stories, but I could tell it was headed for disaster. It was one of my bigger classes, and the kids were a little wild. (It’s May. There are like two weeks of school left.)  I could tell there would be a few kids not keeping their hands to themselves.  Instead, I called an emergency audible and played “Apples and Bananas” for them.

I don’t know why they like this one outside of the general silliness. There aren’t any motions, and to me, it’s kind of redundant, but the kids genuinely seem to like it, and it’s better than doing no song at all, which is where this story time was headed.

I just sway back and forth while I sing and play, and they usually do as well. It’s one of those few songs where most of them sing along at the top of their lungs.

F                                               C
I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas
C                                                F
I like to eat, eat eat apples and bananas

I like to at at at apples and banahnahs
I like to at at at apples and banahnahs

I like to et et et epples and benenes
I like to et et et epples and benenes

I like to it it it ipples and bininis
I like to it it it ipples and bininis

I like to ot ot ot opples and bononos
I like to ot ot ot opples and bononos

I like to ut ut ut upples and bununus
I like to ut ut ut upples and bununus

I like to oot oot oot ooples and banoonoos
I like to oot oot oot ooples and banoonoos

I like to art art art arpples and banarnars
I like to art art art arpples and banarnars

I like to eat eat eat apples and bananas
I like to eat eat eat apples and bananas

Happy uking everyone!

Previous #ukuleleSongFridays

The Washing Machine Song

Head and Shoulders Knees and Toes

There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea

Elephant Song (original)

Bumping up and Down in my Little Red Wagon

Ants on the Ground (original) 

Bop Till You Drop

The Hokey Pokey

Brush Your Teeth

The Silly Dance Contest

Shake My Sillies Out

Hands are For Clapping

Playing the Sorting Hat: Which Hogwarts house would Pete the Cat belong in?

Petesorting

Have you ever met one of those people who ask you what Hogwarts house you claim before they even ask you where your from?  Well, I’m one of those people. I like my friends and colleagues all neatly sorted into Hogwarts houses.

Today, I was chatting with a 3rd grade girl and we were sorting all of the Warriors cats into Hogwarts houses. She laughed and said, this is fun sorting all of these Warriors cats, but what about Pete the Cat?

I immediately knew that there was a blog post there (I didn’t say it would be a good one). Maybe even a series of blog posts.

Which Hogwarts house would Pete belong to? My gut immediately said Hufflepuff. He’s pretty hard working in Pete The Cat Saves Christmas, and he’s pretty loyal to his new friend in Pete the Cat and the New Guy, but I mainly lean towards Hufflepuff because he’s so chill. He’s the most laid back kid lit character out there. It’s impossible to phase that guy.

There’s no inclination that he would be in Slytherin or Ravenclaw? He doesn’t seem too ambitious or studious.

But what about Gryffindor? He’s very brave in Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes and also in Pete the Cat Saves Christmas. What if my gut was wrong?

I asked the 3rd grade girl, and she told me I was overthinking it. She said Pete is very obviously a Hufflepuff.

I was conflicted. I didn’t want to put Pete in the wrong house!

The Sorting Hat doesn’t just take someone’s characteristics into account, otherwise Hermione would have been a Ravenclaw, Tonks a Gryffindor and Peter Pettigrew a Slytherin (seriously, though. How DID that guy get in Gryffindor? Did the Sorting Hat have too much firewhiskey that particular day?) So there’s something more there than just looking at personality traits.

I decided to settle it once and for all by channeling my inner Pete and taking the Pottermore Sorting quiz. I answered all of the questions as best as I could as if I was Pete the Cat.  Of course, the result was Hufflepuff. I should have just trusted my gut.

huffle

What I’m reading to the Kids this Week

Every once in a while I rediscover a book that I love, but had kind of forgotten about. This week, for some reason, I remembered this one.

pie

I sat at the circulation desk and just admired the terrific illustrations, and the excellent poems. I chuckled at the silly dogs and their antics. It’s amazing how Patricia MacLachlan can really make you feel like you know these dogs with just a few well-written lines.

I happened to be reading it right before I made lesson plans for the week, and I immediately decided to scrap everything else I had in mind, and made it a school wide read aloud for the 1st through 5th graders

It was perfect for this time of they year. Summer is right around the corner, and a lot of the kids are a little more antsy and distracted  There hasn’t been any of that this week. Every class has been attentive and excited about this book.  It’s a special one. My only regret is that I didn’t think of it a week or two ago since April is poetry month and all that.

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