Archive for November 2009

Display Case Envy

November 24, 2009

For the last few years, I have been bemoaning the fact that a fellow Hotlibrarytech has an awesome display case in his library and I don’t.  It is a lovely glass curio cabinet.  I confess, I have been guilty of coveting my neighbor’s display case. 

The curio cabinet was stored in his library, but apparently never used.  When he started at his new school, there the cabinet sat, dusty and unused.  But being the “HLT” that he is, he saw its potential.  These photos are from Halloween when he fills it with leaves, spiders, webs, scary books and even has a raven statue to sit on top.  The raven wears a sign that says, “Nevermore.”   Is he clever or what? 

Recently I stood in the lobby of my library eyeing the three empty glass display cases that are mounted to the wall. 
Basically I gave my self a good talking to….Okay, so the cases don’t have lighting in them…fake votive candles can fix that…so it isn’t free-standing in the middle of my library…I can always use that space for another specialized bookcase/display….the gears in my brain started turning and I got busy. 

Flash back – A few years ago, I had a display in the cases for Read Across America Week to honor Dr. Seuss’ birthday.   I added the library’s collection of Dr. Seuss’ books along with a stuffed Cat In The Hat and a Read Across America hat. My boss and I added our own Read posters featuring our children, reading. 
The display was up for…a while…actually a very long while….”How long have you been seventeen?” 
If there were Bulletin Board police, I would have been cited. 

But, you see I had lost my “Creativity Muse”. 
The next school year, for nearly ten months, the cases housed the Honors Spanish class project of “Day of The Dead” displays.  At the end of the year the cases were emptied and I vacuumned out the crumbs from the shoebox altars. 
The cases sat empty, covered with dust and fingerprints until one weekend during the summer I had an epiphany. 
Actually, I cleaned out my son’s room, and took his Dr. Seuss’ collection of books.  We had well over 35 titles and from what I understand, there are a total of 75 available from the good doctor.

I added my son’s books along with 3-D artifacts…the yellow Seuss border was stapled to the shelf edge. 

The 3-D items that I added to the case, I either had, or purchased them at Michael’s, JoAnne’s or the 99 cent store.  There are stuffed animals…the small Cat in the Hat was actually a cat toy.  Seriously, whatever you do, don’t tell my cat.  I hot glued 10 artificial apples together for Ten Apples Up On Top.  There is a large foam “A” for the ABC book and I managed to find a T-Rex for the Berenstain Bears and the Missing Dinosaur Hunt

Do you see the Green Eggs & Ham game in the lower right hand corner?  That belonged to my son. 
Don’t be envious.  Playing that game was like watching The Neverending Story – there is no conclusion. 

The center section is covered with black paper and edged with a new READ border found at Michael’s.  For the lettering, I used the Cricut Expressions machine and cut 4 – 7 inch letters out of white cardstock….(the same ream we used to made Turkey hands.)  Bragging – the photos are my boss’s children, my nephews and my son. 
I especially love the photo of my son, he is reading to his baby cousin on the kitchen floor of Great Grandma’s house. 

Next, I added my collection of fall/Halloween picture books at the bottom of the display.  Some are brand new; some  have been in our family for years.  If you have young children, you must pick up It’s Fall by Linda Glaser and illustrated by Susan Swan.  Don’t miss Fall Is Not Easy by Marty Kelley.  Also pictured is Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex, a parody on the famous book Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. 

During October, I added plastic jack-o-lanterns, two little LCD ghosts from Pic N’ Save, and lots of silk fall leaves.  The leaves were $1.99 at Michael’s for a 50 count package.  I absolutely love it when students stop and point out the books that they read as young children.

 Now it is November:  I have had these two mini Beany baby squirrels for years and never knew what to do with them. 


                                                                                                                                                           One of them cozies up quite nicely with The Kitchen Window Squirrel by Harold S. Longman, illustrated by Nola Langer.  (Glad I didn’t send that book to Rosie O’Donnell when she used to complain about squirrels on her talk show.)   Thanksgiving books join the fall picture books.   If you haven’t read Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende &
Harry Devlin to your children, borrow a copy from your local library. 

The basket holds the rest of the artificial apples not used for Ten Apples Up On Top.  Pinecones are an easy decorating accent….actually all I have to do is walk around my campus and find dozens…of course, I could also find live squirrels, but I doubt they would be very cooperative or sit nicely in the display case!




Snowflakes behind the Orange Curtain

November 23, 2009

Years ago when I was first starting out, I couldn’t think of what to do for high school holiday bulletin boards.  With elementary boards you can have such cute themes…but the high schoolers don’t always appreciate cute little animals dressed in snow gear. 
My students and I put up a Christmas tree that was donated by a previous tech.  When she left the job, she didn’t want to take the tree with her.  I dutifully put it up every year, but between you, me and everyone in Cyberspace….it’s a pain in the to assemble. 

So – what to put up for December? 
I started with a background of black paper and added a cute Mary Englebreit poster that we had bought.  In case you cannot read it, the quotation is:  “A Book is a present you can open again and again.”
Then I was stuck for the rest.  I looked over to my desk where the Christmas cards I had received from faculty and student clubs were displayed. 
Students love to be included on bulletin boards.  I added Christmas cards from the cheerleaders, the boy’s basketball team, ASB, the Special Ed department gathered around the afore mentioned tree.

The motif on a few of the cards was that of snowflakes….a fairly safe decoration for a high school that resembles the UN during the Peace talks. 
Do you remember cutting out snowflakes from white paper in grade school?  I do.  The teachers would hang them from the ceiling and add them to the bulletin boards….little did I know at the time…3rd graders were free labor. 

Go to Google and type in:  “mini snowflakes” – click on this link: 

You will find hundreds of different snowflakes for your students to cut out. 
The library assistant who helped with this project this year was disappointed when she was finished.  She really had fun discovering what each snowflake would look like like when she was done cutting them out.
I attach the flakes to the board with just one staple so that it sways a bit when someone walks by. 
Makes it look a bit like it’s snowing.   
(My reader in Denver has just uttered the phrase…”HA! you don’t know what snow is!”) 
I just realized that this example looks a little skimpy on the snowflakes…my apologies. 
More photos of the snowflakes next week.

You’re Never to old for Turkey hands!

November 16, 2009

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Do remember when you were in school and it came time for November’s craft?  I do. 
We made turkey hands.  The teacher helped cover those little hands in brown tempera paint and we pressed our hand to a white paper plate.  After it dried we added the face and feathers.  Some kid’s turkeys were more elaborate than others; some of us were crafty, even back then. 

One year, I decided that my student assistants were NOT too old to make turkey hands.  Surprisingly enough they did not do the “teenager eye roll” thing at me. 

I went to Michael’s and got fall shades of Delta Ceramcoat paint and white card stock that I had since my greeting card making days.  The students mixed up paint on a paper plate and dipped their hands in it.   Then they made their “print” on a piece of white cardstock.    After they were dry, they traced around the finger “feathers” with a bright color marker and wrote their top five favorite books along each feather/finger.  It was fun to see which books were my student’s favorites.  I used the Creative Memories large oval template cutting system to cut off the excess white cardstock.  The boys prints didn’t have much to trim! 

The bulletin board was covered with brown paper and accents of yellows and oranges. 

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I discovered a cute fall border in one of the storage drawers for the edge of the bulletin board. 
Pilgrim mice…does it get any cuter? 

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Typed a quick font title on my computer. 

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I put the cardboard cut out turkey in the center of the board. 
The turkey was purchased at Hallmark in 1983….really, I’m not kidding, maybe you can see it here for yourself….

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I placed the title above the turkey cut out…my student’s turkey hands went around the the cut out.
My students were very proud of their turkey hands.  They would bring their friends into to the library and point out their hand print.  Of course, they were secretive about it….didn’t want Mrs. Hot to know they really loved the project. 
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 This student  is serving in Iraq.

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This one is in nursing school. 
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This one is going to graduate from CSUF soon – she wants to be a teacher.

I enjoy looking at the hands every year. 
Sometimes my little turkeys even come back to the nest to visit. 
Makes me proud to see how far they’ve come. 
Happy Thanksgiving.

Christmas Bulletin Boards

November 15, 2009


To everyone who is looking for Christmas bulletin board ideas – I see all those Google search item terms…I know you are looking for fresh ideas for the coming month and holiday. 

Let me finish presenting my Bulletin Boards on a Budget at CSLA next weekend, and then I promise to share several Christmas ideas with you!

CSLA – November 2009

November 11, 2009


The theme this year is “Embrace the Serendipity of Learning.”

If you happen to find yourself at the California School Library Association convention (CSLA for short) this November in Ontario, California, I hope you’ll stop by and visit me and my Bulletin Boards On A Budget display in the exhibit hall at the convention center.  I am looking forward to sharing ideas and fun displays with you.

See you there.  : )
Mrs. Hot

Thanks to the internet and CSLA for the illustration.

New Moon Bulletin Board

November 8, 2009


I have been neglectful in sharing some of my many Twilight series of boards and displays.  With only 10 days left until the movie premieres, it is not too late to put up a display to encourage your students to “Read the Book, See the Movie.” 

image 4 There are many places where you can find suitable posters/photos for a New Moon display.  Hot Topic, Target, Wal-Mart and my personal budget friendly spot…the Internet. 

     In five minutes I can find and save 15 – 20 photos to use, that all have the principal’s seal of approval. 

     If you are printing photos be sure to have good photo paper and enough color ink. 

Wait until you see the photos for Breaking Dawn….I will have to censor that board! 

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     I am a big fan of ribbon…and with red satin ribbon being featured on the cover of Eclipse… 

     I use it often on the Twilight series boards.  Michael’s is the place I go, although you may have a better option.  
     I found this ribbon on sale for $1.99 for the spool. 

     Remember the lettering:  Whether you are lucky enough to have push-pin letters, die cuts from Ellison, or a Cricut…don’t forget your title!  I saw this idea at Borders

image 5     A 3-D addition that I am fortunate to have, are old movie projector film reels. 

     I don’t know where you can find these ancient artifacts these days…
perhaps on an archeological dig somewhere….but two ideas come to mind. 

     1.  Ebay or 2.  Go to the teacher who has been on campus the longest and see if you can rummage around in their storage room/closet. 

     If your school has a theatre or media room, check the cabinets for hidden treasures. 

     As you can see I used the red ribbon to substitute for the film, but I have even used exposed 35 mm film and old film strips in displays.

While you are at Michael’s, pick up this picture frame kit idea that I have turned into a count down calendar.  image 8

Hope this post gives you some good ideas to create some excitement in your libraries for the premiere of New Moon.

Only 13 more days – New Moon

November 6, 2009


We have a count down going in my library.  New Moon is less than 2 weeks away. 
The students come in to check how many more days on a calendar I made. 
They stand at the counter, not to check out a book, but to find out if I am going to see New Moon.  They want to know where am I going to see it, and do I have my tickets already…the questions go on and on. 

I am thinking of going to Garden Walk in the land of the Giant Mouse.  The theatre there is opened only to people 21 and older.  I might actually get to see it with out teen age girls screaming at Taylor without his shirt on…and Rob…ahem…there’s certainly a lot of Rob showing…if Rob was at school, I’d have to write him a detention for indecent exposure. 

More importantly, the students are anxious for my quiz to come out on Monday. 
Yes, the HotLibraryTech has written a quiz for New Moon.  I wrote one for Twilight as well.  Of all the entires for Twilight, over 150, we only had two perfect scores. 

Starting Monday, students can pick up a quiz, written from the book.  They then have 4 days to return it to me.  Two girls came in today, all shy.  “We have a question about the quiz,” they said, practically in unison….the choir director would have been proud.  “Do we have to take the quiz here in the library, or can we take it home?”  I told them they could take it home, it’s due on Friday.  “Are you going to make it a ‘open book exam’?” I asked.  When they walked out the front doors, they dissolved into polite little giggles.  Today, by the time announcements were over and student lunch had begun, the campus was ‘a buzz’ with excitement. 

The grand prize is two tickets to the premiere of New Moon on November 20th. 
Am I cool or what?  Maybe it will negate the fact that I have written 10 detentions this week for cell phone use.