Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown

I'm a little embarrassed to say that I have never read Flat Stanley - until today. In my mailbox this afternoon, I found a large manilla envelope with my very own "Flat Stanley" to visit with me this week. So, of course, I had to read the book first before I could get started with this project!

Stanley Lambchop was flattened by a falling bulletin board on a day that forever changed his life. His parents and brother were surprised, but they kept a positive attitude and made Stanley feel comfortable and loved. Stanley really wanted to visit some friends in California, but it's too expensive to fly or take the train. But since Stanley is flat, he can fit in an envelope and travel through the mail, which is exactly what he does.

And so began the Flat Stanley Project. Teachers, students, and Flat Stanley lovers all over the world have created their own Flat Stanley adventures! Mrs. Turner, a fourth grade teacher at my school, is keeping the project alive with her own class - which is why I received that Stanley-sized envelope in the mail today! Her students created their own flat people and kept a journal for two weeks. Now it's time to set their flat friends free to visit with someone else for a week. I'm so happy to be chosen! My Stanley will travel to Chicago with me over the weekend, walk along the river, go to a carnival, see some fireworks, maybe do some shopping, and much more! I'll be sure to post pictures after our vacation together. :)

P.S. So, you know how there's an app for everything? Yep, Flat Stanley has his own app too!


First days of school!

We're back! School officially started on Wednesday for students in grades 1-5 and half of kindergarten. Today was the first day that we had all students in attendance at the same time since kindergarten only had half classes on Wednesday and Thursday. We did our PBIS Walkthrough this morning so that students could learn the expectations of being Respectful, Responsible, and Ready in all areas of the school, including the library. It was a busy busy morning, but I was SO happy to get to see every single student in the building!

This week, I only got to meet 9 of my classes. I will meet the rest of my classes on Monday and Tuesday. The first week back is always about expectations, introductions, and getting comfortable in the space and as a community. Here are some of the books I read to get students excited about reading and the library:
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End of Summer Reading

Are you ready for school to begin? In just a couple days, students will be back through our brand-new doors, and the school year will be underway. But I'm not there yet. Yes, I'm planning and unpacking and cleaning and making sure that everything is ready for this first week of school BUT I'm also taking a little time to enjoy these last bits of summer this weekend. And that means, of course, that I'm catching up on some much-needed summer reading.

I had a miles-long list of books I wanted to read this summer, and I knew I would never get through all of them, but one that I really wanted to read was Ida B. The fabulous Ms. Carr recommended this book to me one day last year, and she didn't have to say much besides "you'll love it" for me to want to read it. So, finally, many months later, I found it in our work-in-progress library and read it last night.

Ida B... And Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly Save the World) by Katherine Hannigan
published 2004 by Greenwillow Books

Ida B is a lively, precocious girl. She lives on an orchard farm in Wisconsin with her mother, father, cat, and dog, and she has big plans to enjoy her life to the fullest. Every day is an adventure - she makes friends with the trees and talks to the brook (which really does babble) and has a positive attitude that made me grin. But during one of her conversations with the trees, Ida B learns that she is about to fall on hard times. She refuses to believe it, but the trees don't lie. Her entire life is about to change, and Ida B needs to decide how to deal with it. Will she make the best of a difficult situation or will she harden her heart to the people who love her?

I love (love love) Ida B! She is a pure, true, honest soul. She's not perfect, by any means, and she makes some poor decisions, but she learns from her mistakes and tries to make things right.

I'm so happy I read this book when I did because it inspired me to start this school year with a bang. Ida B has some very distinct school experiences first as a five year-old who's never had to follow so many rules and later as a fourth grade student who might actually like school after all thanks to her wonderful teacher Ms. Washington. I sure hope I can be as nurturing, thoughtful, and creative as Ms. Washington! This is one book I'll be recommending to all of our incoming 4th and 5th grade students. :)

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