Saturday, February 2, 2013

2 Surprises in the Library

Hi friends!

Are surprises a daily part of life in your school library? Me, too! Sometimes I think I'll get to school early and get more work done, only to be greeted by teachers waiting at the door for me. Oh my!

This week I had a couple of surprises that were bigger than usual. My family specialist peeked into the library and asked me to come into the hall to look at something. Hmmm.... It turns out that the local Walmart was getting rid of a display, and she thought we might want it in the library.

Legos? Of course we want it! This is a store display of Lego Friends that's about four feet wide and two feet deep. As you can imagine, I had to think of a way to turn it into a library center.

So we made an I Spy game out of it! On the clipboard, students write and draw objects to look for in the Lego scene.  I wrote the first entry to give them an idea of what to do.

(Can you read that last entry? "gumball mising?" You can say it out loud or tell from the picture what it is. Don't even get me started on spelling!)

My second surprise was a living one!

I had ordered a snake from our educational service center, but it was supposed to arrive next week, for Chinese New Year and the year of the snake. Also, I thought having a snake would be okay because they feed it before it arrives, and I won't have to feed it while it's here. But...

He needs fresh water too! And his newspaper has to be changed! *gulp* He is a corn snake, and not poisonous, but he does have little fangs.

The students LOVE it! I displayed snake books on the table with our snake, and there are no more 597.96 books left in the library! Next week I'll display picture books and chapter books with snakes in them.

Both surprises turned out to be delightful. Our students can hardly wait to come back to the library for their next visit. Some of the teachers are a little squeamish, but I've changed the water once, and the snake didn't move a muscle. It's all good.

Have you had any surprises in YOUR library lately?


  1. WOW are you a brave girl!!! No snakes for me - we have hermit crabs, who are rather boring as they sleep all day! Ha! I actually put a little sign in the tank that says "Shhh - crabs reading!" and a few tiny book covers from a catalog...what conversations students had about that!

    I ♥ the Lego display and am kind of a wee bit green over it! Lol!

    I also ♥ this blog!!

    1. Thanks for all the hearts, Angie! (How do you make those, by the way?)
      Are your hermit crabs permanent pets? What do you feed them? I (heart) the "crabs reading" signs!
      Our snake figured out how to slither in between 2 sheets of newspaper, so he's difficult to see. I wish I could have seen him separate 2 sheets of newspaper without any fingers!

  2. This is amazing! I am a new librarian in MD and love the idea of temporarily bringing in live animals for the students! Where did you get the snake from?

    1. Hi SGreaves!
      In Texas, we have regional service centers that provide resources for school districts. We can go to their website and order a live animal. They deliver it and pick it up 2 weeks later. If you don't have something like that in Maryland, I wonder if a local pet shop would loan you a critter if you put up a "sponsored by _____" sign? Or maybe you know somebody who knows somebody who has a critter? I am borrowing chicks from a teacher's farmer friend in a few weeks.
      I highly recommend live animals to engage students!