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Tales of an Elementary School Librarian

Author

Benji

I am an elementary school librarian in Montgomery, AL.

#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

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#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.

The Most Checked-Out Books of April

May arrived a few days ago, and I realized this morning that I never made a most checked-out books post for April. Better late than never, right?

#1. Sisters- 8 check outs in April

sisters

#2. Real Friends- 7 Check Outs

realfriends

The graphic novel auto-biography is in right now.

#3. The Pigeon Needs a Bath

pigeon

#4. We Are in a Book

weareinabook

#5. Pinkalicious and the Pink Drink

pink

I’m not sure where this one came from. It was just randomly very popular this month.

#6. The Wild Robot Escapes

wild robot escapes

If I had more copies of this book, it would have been number one. It’s got a pretty big waiting list.

#7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever

cabin fever

#8. Arnie the Donut: Invasion of the Ufonauts

arnie ufo

They’re still gobbling up Laurie Keller’s books. We had a stupendous author visit last month.

#9. Today I will Fly

todayiwillfly

#10. Minecraft Essential Handbook

minecraft

Suhprise, suhprise suhprise- Said in a Gomer Pyle voice

 

That’s it. Not much shocking here. I guess the Pinkalocious was new to the list.

 

#ukuleleSong Friday Jim Gill’s The Washing Machine Song

uke4

This is one that I just started playing this school year. The motions are pretty simple, the kids just stay seated and twist back and forth during the chorus. Sorry I couldn’t get a video in with kids demonstrating it. My world has been a been a little crazy this week.

Here are the chords:

I took a bath G CC G
In a washing machine G CC G
I took a bath G CC G
In a washing machine G CC G
So I could get D AA D
Myself really clean

G                                             C                      G
The washing machine is washing me clean
G                                             C                       G
The washing machine is washing me clean

I put in soap G CC G
Up came the suds G CC G
I put in soap G CC G
up came the suds G CC G
they washed out dirt D AA D
They washed out mud

G                                             C                      G
The washing machine is washing me clean
G                                             C                       G
The washing machine is washing me clean

It was just then G CC G
That it started to spin G CC G
It was just then G CC G
That it started to spin G CC G
And then I knew D AA D
The trouble I was in

G                                             C                      G
The washing machine is washing me clean
G                                             C                       G
The washing machine is washing me clean

G                                             C                      G
The washing machine is washing me clean
G                                             C                       G
The washing machine is washing me clean

I hope my mom G CC G
Doesn’t put me in the dryer G CC G

That’s it! Hope you can use it.

Previous #ukuleleSongFridays

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 Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes

uke4

Besides “Shake my Sillies Out”, this is probably the song I’ve been playing the longest. It’s simple and quick, and the kids love when it gets to the “super-fast” part.

I usually play it through four times. Twice at a normal speed, once super slow, and I end it playing as fast as I can.

And here are the chords:

C
Head and shoulders knees and toes, knees and toes
C                                                      G
Head and shoulders knees and toes knees and toes and
C                                F
Eyes and ears and mouth and nose
G                                                       C
Head and shoulders knees and toes, knees and toes

Previous #ukulelesiongFriday songs:

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

How I became trapped in a fictitious universe

What follows is a true story. For the past two months I have been trapped in a fictional world and was only just now able to get out. Please read what I have to say, and take heed, so that it doesn’t happen to you.

It all started when I got back from ALA Midwinter in Denver. After spending two years reading very seriously and critically, I was looking for something lighthearted, and preferably, something I had never read before. I had just received a copy of The Wild Robot Escapes a few weeks before it was due to be released (thanks to the kind publisher) but I wanted to wait a little while before reading something brand new.

My students have long been obsessed with the Warriors books. It’s a series about wild forest cats, who live in clans that frequently fight with each other. I had never read any of the books, and a particular student was encouraging me to. I figured, why not? It could be fun, so I walked over to the shelf and picked up the first one, Into the Wild.

intothewild

I must say, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. The critical part of my brain was effectively turned off, and I was reading just for fun, and it was that. It was fun. It ended on a cliffhanger, and a small part of me wanted to know what was going to happen next, but I wasn’t too deep into the Warriors universe, yet, and it wasn’t too hard to ignore that tiny, nagging voice.

I put Into the Wild back on the shelf, and pulled out The Wild Robot Escapes and set it on my desk so I could start it on my lunch break. The foray into Warriors was fun, and I would at least have an idea of what my students were talking about when they discussed the books.

Then, two things happened. First, a fifth grader walked by my desk and saw the Wild Robot Escapes. 

“I thought you told me that doesn’t come out for a few weeks! Can I read it?” Of course, I gave it to him, and of course this left me without a book on my lunch break.

Almost immediately after that, a third grade girl brought in a stack of books, and set it on the circulation desk. I started scanning the books to check them in, and noticed the second Warriors book in the stack.

fire and ice

I made a decision then that would change my life for the next few months. I picked it up, and said “Why not?”  The small part of me that wanted to know what was going to happen screamed, “Yes!” It also said, “Spring break is coming up. Why not get the third book just on case you finish this one and don’t have anything else to read?”

I didn’t see myself having much time to read over spring break, so I said, “Whatever.” and picked up the third book and put it in my bag.

forestof secrets

Well, we travelled to Virginia to visit family, and we got some snow. The first half of the week, was nothing but lots and lots of snow, which of course, gave me some time to read.  I quickly finished the second book and started and finished the third.

Of course, the third book ended on a cliffhanger, and as soon asI got back to school, after spring break, I got the fourth. And the fifth and sixth.

This ended the storyline for the first series, and it should have been a perfect place for me to stop. I wanted to stop. I really did.  I had so many other books that I wanted to read. Then I read somewhere that Firestar had kits, and I kind of wanted to meet them. So I did. I moved right into the first book in The New Prophecy series, Midnight.

midnight

It seemed hopeless. I was stuck in a series, and I had no chance of getting out. I knew that the series continued on long past this point, and I didn’t see any way of freeing myself.

Luckily, this book wasn’t all that good. Not a whole lot happened, and it was mainly just setting up the action in the coming books. I did get to meet Firestar’s kits and they were cool, but I didn’t enjoy reading this book all that much.

A friend came by in the darkest moment and offered me a hand. Her name is Dory. You can read about her in this book.

dory fantasmagory

The newest book in her series ended up on my desk, and there isn’t much out there that I like better than a new Dory Fantasmagory book. This paired with the fact that I didn’t really enjoy Midnight all that much, helped me escape from the Warriors universe. It’s good to be out. I finished the new Dory book, and I got The Wild Robot Escapes back. (two students and one third grade class read aloud later) I am very much enjoying it.

I did grab this, though, and it’s waiting ominously on my nightstand.

moonrise

I’m ignoring it for now, but it is there. Waiting.

 

 

Book Review: Dory Fantasmagory Head in the Clouds

Dory

This is one of those book reviews that’s really hard for me to write. Because all I really want to say is “It’s flipping fantastic!” and then I want everyone in the world to take my word for it, and I want everyone to go out and by it, so Abby Hanlon can make millions and spend the rest of her life living in comfort while she adds more books to this fabulous series.

The Dory Fantasmagory series is one that I needed as a kid. I was very much  like Dory. My imagination took me to the most absurd places, but awesome places and knowing a character like Dory would have helped me know that I wasn’t alone, and that there were kids out there like me.

I read this one this afternoon, preparing to be a little disappointed. I mean no author can keep a series going this strongly for this long, right? (this is the 4th book) but there was no let down. Not at all. I found myself laughing out loud several times a page, and once again, I am in awe of Ms. Hanlon’s ability to appeal to my weird my sense of humor perfectly.

There was one other thing at the very end, (on the author’s bio page of all places) that made me very happy.

dory2

That next to last sentence: “Dory Dory Blacksheep was an ALA Notable book.” That was my committee! And not only that, but I was the one who nominated this book! I used my option of last-minute nomination, to get this one on our discussion list, after the list was already made (because for some reason, I waited until late December to read it) and I fought as hard as I could to get my fellow committee members to love it as much as I did. I probably didn’t have to fight too hard, though. This series sells itself.

Anyways, come one guys. Let’s make Abby Hanlon rich! Go out and buy the new Dory book. All the other ones too!

 

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