Showing posts with label books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label books. Show all posts


Book Spine Poetry: Using the Titles of Books to Write Poetry

The Long Winter - Book Spine Poetry from

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I love poetry and writing poems is one of my favorite activities to share with students. It's important to let them know that inspiration can be found anywhere...including on the spines of their favorite books.

Above is a shorter version of a poem about this winter created from the titles of books found in our classroom. Here's the full version:
Book Spine Poetry from  Click for more images.

Let it snow

Snow bound, the long winter



If you have had a winter like ours (and chances are you have!), you may feel the same way!

Have your students try to come up with different combinations of titles to create a book spine poem. Even if the words don't quite fit, they can drop or add their own words to their creation and, presto! There's a new poem!

Poetry shouldn't be hard; it shouldn't be a chore. Allow your students to have fun with it and experiment. They'll remember poetry as a positive experience and won't be as reluctant to write later.

Game on! Have students use book titles to create poems -
Game On! Look at me!
Throwing smoke point blank
Gold dust
More than this

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Have students use book titles to create poems -
Thirteen reasons why, looking for Alaska
And the mountains echoed the call of
the wild
Blood red road caught at sea
Let's pretend this never

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Creating poems from the spines of books on
more than this
call it
lessons learned

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Book spine poetry activities from Mrs. Orman's Classroom
The eye
of minds

the valley
of amazement

gone girl

and the mountains

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Another variation of the first poem...
Book spine poetry from Mrs. Orman's Classroom. Click for additional "poems."
Let it snow 

Snow bound, the long winter




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Organizing Your Classroom Library: A Delicious Solution

Classroom Library Organization

I've been wanting to write a post for some time now about an incredible application to use for your classroom library circulation and organization: Delicious Library 2. There's so much to share about this application, I am sure I will never do it justice.

I wasn't asked to write this post or promote the product and I acquired the app like everyone can: I downloaded the free trial. But once I started using it, I was hooked; I purchased the $35 app shortly after (like...10 minutes after) downloading the free trial. I've been using it for a year and a half and still love it.

There's just one catch: it's only compatible with Macs. That works fine for me since our school is an Apple 1:1 school and all of our devices and computers at home are Macs.

Classroom Library Organization & Circulation: Delicious Library 2

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This is what I love most about it: you would think Apple designed the app themselves. It works seamlessly with all your other applications, like your contacts in Address Book, iTunes (it catalogs your music for you...automatically!), iCal, and more. 

And it uses your iSight web cam to scan in--YES, scan--your books, CDs, DVDs, or anything with a barcode on it.

Organizing Your Classroom Library

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If it can't read the barcode, you can just type in the title and it will search for the ISBN for you. It uses's enormous library of books to find the right one. And if it's not there, you can enter the information the old-fashioned way: typing it in. I've only had to do this with a few (less than 10) books that were either out-of-print or exclusive Scholastic Book Clubs books.

Organizing Your Classroom Library: Book Check-Out

Checking a book out to students is a treat, too. I have all my students in my contacts already because they email me at the beginning of the year then I set up a group in my Mail app. Their names appear automatically in the side bar. All I have to do is click on the image of the book and drag it to their name. It then assigns it to the student. Click on the student's name and you will see the book and the due date (default is one week, but you can change it by clicking on a different date). A red "late" notice will appear if the book is overdue.

You can also sync the app to work with iCal. Have your students subscribe to your iCal and they will always know when their book is due! No need for paper cards or reminders.

An added bonus that I haven't tried out yet, but plan to this summer is the sharing via the web option. You can share your collection on your website (or school's website) so students can browse your book shelves from anywhere. They'll also see if the book is available or already checked-out by someone.
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For a $35 one-time fee, Delicious Library 2 is a bargain. You don't need additional hardware to use it and you can even use it with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod.

UPDATE: They have an iPhone app (Called "Delicious Scanner") but it is only compatible with Delicious Library 3. More on that soon...

I'm not sure if this offer is still good or not, but last year the people at Delicious Monster were looking for teachers, librarians, or anyone involved in a non-profit organization for a giveaway of their hard-copy versions (the version on the site is a digital download). And there's no catch: they just want you to have it...FREE! I had already purchased the digital version, so I am not familiar with the hard-copy, but I assume it is the same. For more information, see their blog post about it (includes contact information): An Exciting Giveaway.

What do you use for organizing your classroom library and checking out books? Comment below to share your ideas.


12 Great Books for Gift-Giving (12/12/12)

12 Great Books for Gift-Giving

Happy holidays! Have you finished your holiday shopping? Or started it? I have to admit we have no presents under the tree yet. This is a busy time at school (as you all know) so I'm always one of those last-minute shoppers. If you have any book-lovers on your list, here's some great books for gift-giving. I included a mix of young adult, contemporary, and a classic thrown in, as well. (Images courtesy of

For The Hunger Games fan:
1. The Panem Companion by V. Arrow

For anyone (especially those that like tear-jerkers):
2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

For females who enjoy dystopia love-triangles:
3. The Matched Trilogy Box Set by Ally Condie

For the conspiracy-theory fan:
4. 11/22/63 by Stephen King

For fans of The Giver:
5. Son by Lois Lowry

For those who love suspense-thrillers, with some twisted reality thrown in:
6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

For Gary Paulsen (a.k.a. adventure, survival) fans:
7. The River by Gary Paulsen

More for The Hunger Games fans:
8. Blood Red Road (Dustlands, book 1) by Moira Young

and the sequel to Blood Red Road:
9. Rebel Heart (Dustlands, book 2) by Moira Young

For the Divergent fan:
10. Free Four: Tobias Tells the Divergent Story (Kindle edition) by Veronica Roth

For Stephanie Plum fans:
11. Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich

For anyone (especially those who appreciate the timeless classics):
12. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Worth mentioning:

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (This deluxe pocket edition is so cute.)

The Chaos Walking Trilogy (Kindle edition) by Patrick Ness (Includes The Knife of Never Letting GoThe Ask and the Answer, and Monsters of Men)

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (Don't expect a book like Harry Potter, though!)

Threat Vector by Tom Clancy

Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by James Patterson

The Mortal Instruments Box Set: City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

Finale (Hush, Hush series) by Becca Fitzpatrick 

For more suggestions, check out my pinboards on Pinterest for book lovers:

Do you have book suggestions? PLEASE post them below! :)
Happy Holidays, Friends!

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The Best Book Boards to Follow on Pinterest - Celebrating Banned Books Week

Find great book boards to follow on Pinterest!

Today kicks off the ALA's annual Banned Books Week, which celebrates our freedom to read.

To begin the celebration on my blog, I thought I would post my favorite book boards on Pinterest. You'll find contributors from all over the world sharing the books they love, ultra-cool libraries, and anything related to books. There's very few advertisements or self-promotion; these are just great book boards to celebrate reading. And with the weather turning cooler, some of the book nooks are just downright cozy-looking!

Check out my picks for the top 5 book boards to follow on Pinterest:

1. Book Community Board - a place to discover and appreciate books. Started by Jellybooks with over 1,600 contributors and 16,000 pins.

2. Junk Bookshop (books and more...) - of the library... - inspiring books (bookshelf, joke, etc....). Started by  Flynn "Knihovna" Carsen with 50+ contributors and over 13,000 pins.

3. Book Club -  Contributors pin their favorite adult and young adult books. Started by Kari O., with 380+ pinners and 2,270+ pins, you are sure to find some good reads here.

4. The Librarian's List: All-Time Favorite Books A list of our most beloved books created by librarians for librarians and the world! Started by O'Fallon Public Library with almost 400 contributors and 375+ pins.

5. Banned Books - "As they say, censorship causes blindness. We think it's important to honor Banned Books Week (9/30 - 10/6) all year round." Started by Random House Books with 11 contributors and over 100 pins.

Other notable boards or Pinterest users relating to books include:
Bookish News & Fun - A fun group board for book bloggers (reviews not posted here, though).
Literary Art 
All Things Books - This is my personal board of favorite images relating to books. I especially like the cozy reading nooks and amazing libraries from around the world.
Bernardsville Public Library
Friday Reads - If you look to Twitter on Fridays to see what people around the world are reading (#fridayreads), you can check out their Pinterest boards now, as well.
Scholastic - More about their boards in my next post...

Next up: The best book boards for young adult literature.

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I Know What You Read This Summer

I Know What You Read This Summer - Have students post books they read for other students to see.

I've decided to switch my old "Good Reads" board space up this year. I use that space to encourage students to suggest books to their classmates. It allows them to see what their friends are reading, rather than just having me suggest books. It's also more meaningful coming from their peers. In addition, they get a chance to contribute to the classroom "decor" (if you can call my room having "decor"). Students LOVE writing on white boards. I have no idea why, but even my seniors enjoyed the opportunity to write on the board.

So I made this sign for that space: "I Know What You Read This Summer." I am sure that someone before me probably came up with this parody of the novel/movie, since I Know What You Did Last Summer has been around for years (1973 to be exact). But you are welcome to download this poster for your own classroom. You can take the image file from here, or download it in my TpT store for a larger, better quality PDF file.

I've posted some classroom pictures on my Facebook Page and will add more on here when I have the board up. :)

What do you do to encourage students to read? Please share with us!

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