Unofficially, my day started at 6 with a run around Parliament Hill and along Sparks St. It was raining cats and dogs, so I got home drenched (the bus that splashed me at Wellington and Lyon didn't help, but, really, I was soaking already).... I planned it so I would run into the husband as he was leaving the house, so we had a "drive by" greeting on the street a few blocks from home (well, a walk and run-by, really).
This morning we had our family storytime at 10:30, which meant the usual crowd was around; we had lots of fun singing our stories today - all the stories I picked were songs, too! I'm pleased we have a good core group of 7-10 kids this "semester;" it can be hard to get regular #s here, since most kids are in daycare, but we're doing really well right now. It's nice not to sing ALONE.
I also spent some time before we opened setting up storytime, wading through e-mail, tidying the branch, calling a community partner re. a possible program, and various other things I have actually already forgotten. Sigh.
I was pretty nervous because Tuesday was the day of my special program, Coffee with a police officer. This is my brainchild (confession: stolen from Toronto Public Library!) and it was the first time we were trying it, so I was anxious about how it was going to go. I had visions of our friendly community policeman - Constable Marc - sitting around twiddling his thumbs. My plan was for it to be informal: not a "safety talk with a police officer," in other words, with him standing at the front of the room and an actual audience. My manager had the great idea to actually bring the coffee and the officer upstairs, into the branch, rather than the program room.. and that worked really well.
Most of the families who had attended storytime came up to say hello (the kids were really having fun examining the walkie-talkie), and many people dropped by for coffee and a quick word. We ended up with a core group of 10 people or so staying for a longer conversation; once or twice I intervened when I could see Constable Marc was being, well, monopolised.... I sat for a few minutes, but I was technically covering the Info desk, so I ended up back there. The good thing about doing this event upstairs was that I could see everything (and hear some of it) from Info. I heard the group talking about prostitution, vandalism, drug use, the concentration of social services in our neighbourhood, and road safety... So I think it went well!
By the time Constable Marc was ready to leave, I also had to go for lunch, since my colleague had arrived for her shift, starting at 12:30. I had 30 mins to scarf my salad (which is a salad I have sadly been picking at since Saturday-of-the-15-minute-lunch-break; I'm sure you're relieved to hear I actually finished it) before a Grade 3-4 class was arriving for their first visit of the year.
I missed my classes. I missed their incessant questions (one kid was poking me while I was helping another kid), I missed their funny answers to my "prompting" questions during booktalks... I booktalked and read to them for about 40 minutes, and then they went upstairs to choose books and check things out. In case you are interested, my booktalk is below; in smaller text are the phrases I use for discussion / prompting. I also read aloud My Dog Is as Smelly as Dirty Socks, which is a fun book about collage art and families, and a good beginning of the year icebreaker.
After they left, I took the second half of my lunch, and spent the rest of the afternoon on the Info desk so my colleague could prepare her booktalk for next week. I answered some reference questions, dealt with printer issues, and I also had to explain to an adult patron why calling me a b***ard was not "a joke" ("But that's how I joke with my friends!").
My two favourite questions of the day were about psychedelic poetry and books about mushrooms. And yes, that would be two separate questions; the latter was along the lines of "I ate some mushrooms yesterday, and boy did they make me sick...."
On the way out we had a security issue and I had to call the police. Hey, didn't I just see one of them this morning? By then, it sort of felt like years ago!
Booktalk: Grades 3-4
Alvin Ho: allergic to girls, school, and other scary things
This is the first book in the Alvin Ho series
What are you afraid of? [Spiders? The dark?]
The boy in this book is afraid of a lot of things, including:
- substitute teachers,
- girls, and
- school... especially talking at school!
Who here likes the Wimpy Kid books? Alvin reminds me a bit of Greg, because he’s funny and a little weird. He loves superheroes and he has:
- a brother named Calvin,
- a sister named Anibelly,
- a dog named Lucy,
- and a best friend named Flea.
Read from pp. 36-45 ...
Now, there are lots of other stories about Alvin’s adventures in this book. He:
- borrows his dad’s favourite toy and brings it to school for Show and Tell [do any of your parents have special toys from their childhood?]
- visits Miss Emily’s house [show pic. p. 98]
- Considers a dare [show p. 138]
First book in the Julian Rodriguez series
Do you have to do chores at home? What are they? [Washing the dishes?] What happens if you don’t do them?
8 year old Julian’s chore is to take out the garbage, and when he doesn’t, his mum sends him to his room…. To escape from his punishment, he pretends he is a space warrior being tortured by Earthlings, especially his Parental Units. The book is set up as if it is a report being sent back to Julian's “mother ship”
- the sections Julian writes are in computer type on white pages,
- the responses from the Mother Ship are in green computer type on black pages
- flashbacks presented in horizontal comic-strip style.
Miss Laney is zany!
Newest book (#8) in the My weird school daze series
Ella Mentry School is running out of money. You know how the students know?
- The math teacher’s desk is gone!
- Their new art project is to make postage stamps since there is one sheet of construction paper for the whole art class!
- The new teacher, Miss Laney, has her office in the bathroom!
The students decide to put on a play… With Miss Laney’s help…!
#6 in the Looney Bay All-Stars series
[What’s your favourite sport?]
The Looney Bay All-Stars are a sports team in Newfoundland. They play basektball in this book, but you might also find them playing hockey, lacrosse, soccer…. Reese McSkittles is the main character in the All-Stars books. He is working on a social studies project and he has made a sarcophagus….