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When the end of the year comes... continue with "All A Shore" .. I did this
once 14 years ago... I dressed in my "whites" and borrowed my husbands USPHS
(Navy style).. Captains dress hat and boards. (27 yrs now, 18 moves, 7
states and I still love being a military wife!) ...we did up a box with
ships sides and placed it on a cart... I went from classroom to classroom
asking that all books be on board by (date)... The first grade level to get
all of them in had a "Ship - Shape" party... and the Kindergarten (all 198
of them) won so we had a Beach party ... the fire department came and we set
up sand bags to form a small dam and then they flooded the grass area of the
playground.. the crew stayed and used their spray hoses for fun .. and for
one hour the playground was a beach... great fun but it might not work for
JR High.. or maybe they could come up with the play games for the lower


>As I've met people at this new school, several have told me "Welcome
        Cute idea!
>--Name classes by "decks"-1A, 2B, etc.
        I think this will be confusing for kids and teachers.
>--If the school has an Ellison or similar machine with some kind of
>nautical shape, cut shapes for each student to help with learning names.
>What is a good way to manage this?
        Unless you have a small school, don't worry about name tags - this will be
more hassle than it's worth. Use the dies for something else. I cut out
penguin shapes (you use boats, anchors, etc.), glued to a length of
construction paper (big pieces cut in thirds) and laminated these for
shelfmarkers. Put in a container (plastic shoebox) and have kids grab one
as they enter library.
        I also have personal shelfmarkers for the 1st & 2nd graders with their
name, room #, and their barcode glued to one end. Make each grade level a
different color. Laminate, then keep in groups rubberbanded together by
room. Distribute after story time and the kids use them to mark their place
on the shelf, then when checking out you simply scan their barcode, then
scan their book(s), and collect them at the circ desk. They get to know
their number by third grade. (Is this understandable? If not, email me if
you need more info).

I like working with a yearly theme and have done so for the last three
years, I think you'll enjoy being able to focus on day-to-day instead of
always coming up with monthly bulletin board themes.  I've included
somethings that have popped into my mind as I read your letter:

> --WELCOME ABOARD THE GOOD SHIP ... (ideas for names?) bulletin board--use a
        School name or mascot always helps promote school pride with the kids.
> cruise ship shape
> --Name classes by "decks"-1A, 2B, etc.
Since you have a K-9, I expect you have a lot of classes.  Just call
them passengers and there library card is their passport to reading.
How about your deck idea for labeling areas of the library.  Put signs
up and then maybe a poster that tells the kids, i.e.. Deck 1A is

> --If the school has an Ellison or similar machine with some kind of
> nautical shape, cut shapes for each student to help with learning names.
        I doubt the old kids will go for this.  You might use this idea for
labeling area though, or the computers--name the computers after famous
ships, i.e.. Titanic.

> What is a good way to manage this?
> --Things we will do while on our "ship":
>         Sail to new places and learn new things (Nonfiction)
>         Have recreational time (free reading, stories, games, activities)
>         "Surf" on the Internet
Call yourself the Cruise Director.

> That's my start--not too much yet but I think it's workable.  What else
> would work with this theme?  How long can I carry it through before it
> becomes quirky?  Any ideas you have would be wonderful!
Put up a world map and 'cruise' around the world through different
books, fiction and non.  Put a push-pin where you've been.  The Cruise
Director announces at the beginning of the library session where the
ship will be sailing to.  Time and computer hooked up to the internet
you can include a quick look at weather current weather conditions where
you'll be sailing to.

I like your idea and I think you can carry it off easily for the year.
Listen to the kids, they'll let you know what's exciting and where you
can go with this.

Just remember, you'll now have to be equally as clever next year!  So
keep that thinking cap on.  When an idea strikes me, I write it down and
then start to keep an eye out for supporting posters, knick knacks,
what-have-yous to go with.

Sounds good!  How about Info as a name.

Ooh, sounds like fun.  How about "Ports of Call" for highlighting various
country books.  Slip in a book about a landlocked country and give a prize
to the first student/teacher who notices and mentions that you can't sail

Welcome aboard the LMC (school name).  Many ships have (had?) those letter
prefixes--HMS, RMS, whatever, that actually mean something.

Land tours, or adventures ashore--folktales & fairytales and other
adventure stories?

When working in small groups at tables that might be like your dining room
table assignments.  And that makes you the cruise director.  And if you
have to collect fines you become the purser.

I think I'd better stop here--I'm pushing the quirky part.  It's tempting
to follow through with this idea in my K-5 library, but since I was
shipwrecked this summer in Alaska, I'm afraid my sense of humor could
really get going.  Ex.  We're shipwrecked--which book will you save?
You'll be put ashore on the beach where you just saw 9 black bears.  Where
is the information about bears?  What do you do if you see a bear in the
wild?  (Don't run because you're prey then.  Wave your arms and talk to the
bear--in theory he'll run).  Well, yes, we had seen 9 black bears, we were
told we'd be put on that beach, but ended up boarding little charter
fishing boats etc. and being ferried out to a big catamaran that had been
on a whale watching expedition.  Want to cruise with me?  My friends don't!

Welcome aboard the MYSTERY ship!  Never know where or what we will be
doing.  The world is at our finger tips!!!!

Welcome aboard the READING ship!

Welcome aboard the INFORMATION ship! Learn about ALL subjects in this

Welcome aboard the MAGIC ship.  We can go anywhere and be back in 40

I would find out what grade levels do as projects and then incorporate
that into the theme somehow.  That will get the teachers excited and
they will give you a bunch of ideas too.  Sounds like you have a good
start.  Good luck.

        I am new this year as well and I think your idea sounds great!  We
just lost a well respected and extremely organized M. S. to
relocation, but she was not very creative.  I am planning a theme,
too ("Take Flight...Read"), and have been told by more experienced M.
S. that one theme per year is plenty.  Maybe have a culminating
activity at the end of the year to work for. If you have a reading
incentive program, those reaching their goals might "cruise" to an
island for a "beach party".  Just a thought!

Sounds good Linda!  At least for the elementary kids.  Approach the Junior
High kids more like you would the Senior High.  You will lose them if you
try to treat them like the "little kids."  This is the prime audience for YA
literature.  I know that they look like babies to most of us over 35, but
they think they are very grownup.  You may laugh about they're antics in
private faculty meetings, but it is important that you make them feel that
you take them seriously to their faces.  You can have fun with them but they
have to think they initiated it.  Definitely lose the cutsey shaped name
tags, they will even begin to be a hard sell in 5-6, but most of those kids
will swollow it as part of still being in elementary school.

Linda Kramer
Elementary-Jr. High Media Specialist
Sibley East Schools-Gaylord Campus
Gaylord, MN

Linda Kramer
Elementary-Jr. High Media Specialist
Sibley East Schools-Gaylord Campus
Gaylord, MN

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