Hi Friends,

Can't believe the time has come to say good bye to sleeping in, forgetting what day of the week it is, no stress Sundays, and morning workouts. I still have 2 weeks, but I am speaking for all my teacher friends who have already returned. :)

I am so excited for this blog post. Almost as excited as I was when I revealed my home library. Did you see it? I literally lay on the floor and just stare at it. It makes me feel so joyful. #thelittlethings. Ok, back to today's excitement. I did my FIRST video. Omg! My heart is still nervous about posting it, but here I go....  Lets just say I'm not Jennifer Aniston, but hey it's my first video. I need to get some lessons! I will be sharing my favorite picture books and chapter books for back to school. There were a few books that did not make it into the video, but I will have pictures and links below.

{Building a Classroom Community}  
{Building a Classroom Community/READING}
{Building a Classroom Community}
{Building a Classroom Community}
{Building a Classroom Community}
Did you read my post about the author?
 {Language Arts}

 {Social Studies}
{Social Studies}

{Building Community}
 {Joke Books}
 {Realistic Fiction}
 {Realistic Fiction-Fables}


 {Science Fiction} 

Did you know this is Ramona Recommends' Book Club August choice? Want to learn more about our book club?
Would you like a list of all the wonderful books I just recommended? Click here and your wish is my command! I have provided a color and bw copy.

I wish you a wonderful school year and don't forget to "Open the Magic!".

What is your favorite book to read during the school year?

These links are through my Amazon Affiliate program

 Hello Friends,

Happy Tuesday! I have the BEST book to share with you. In the middle of July, I was scrolling through instagram under the hash tag #picturebooks and found a picture of cutie cutie pig.  Love the #picturebook  hashtag because I learn about so many books I don't have (and now want). I clicked on the picture and that is when I met Renee Galvin. Renee is author and illustrator of Chasing Monster Tales. This book is about a little boy and his big imagination. What do monsters, socks, and little boys have in common? Read this wonderful story to find out! I reached out to Renee and she sent me a copy of the book to add to my collection. Guess what! She sent me TWO books so I can give one away to a lucky reader. Enter into the giveaway for your chance to spread the magic of imagination.

 Such a sweet story to encourage kids to have imaginations and dream big.

Remember that cutie cutie pig I was talking about? That cutie cutie pig is in her newest book called "Stuck in a Muck" which will be out in September.  
Hi Friends!

Hello! I am SO excited to link up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made-It to share my BIG BIG library reveal. I almost couldn't make it and wanted to post earlier! ha I L.O.V.E books. Going to the library and bookstore as a child were on the top of my list. When I started to collect children's literature books, I never knew I would have the collection I have today. All of these books are kept at home. They go to school when I want to use them in a lesson (remember there is a picture book for EVERY standard). I also use them when reading to my nephew or sharing with my friends at Ramona Recommends! Are you ready for that number? Are you sure? You might want to sit down. Ok, I will tell you on the count of 3: 1....2....3....

Yes, I Ramona Recommends, love books so much that I need to buy at least 3 every time I walk into Barnes and Nobel. 
Let's get started. This is the before.... Oh I cringe at the site of these before pictures up on my blog. ha!

 It was OUT OF CONTROL. Books were having to be stacked because I did not have room on my shelves. When readers or friends would ask for recommendations, I would spend at least 15 mins looking for that ONE book. There was no rhyme or reason to my mess. When I started my first teaching job, my mom helped me organize my books by author's last name. That was back when I had about 600 hundred books.... you get the picture. This mess was driving me nuts, but I did not have the time or storage to fix it. UNTIL Summer 2014 :) 

The process started Sunday, July 27th. It took an in entire week for my amazing home library to be complete. First, I had to move some furniture around because I would be bringing two wonderful new bookcases into my office. Luckily, my mom offered to help. I love to organize, but sometimes I like a second opinion for the final layout. 

MY first two bookcases are from when my mom taught High School English, but they are NO WHERE to be found online. Then last October, I bought a foldable bookcase from Walmart. Oh! My! That was a D.I.A.S.T.E.R to put together. I still have nightmares. I looked everywhere online to find something I could pick up in store. I checked Office Max, Staples, Target, Walmart, Home Depot, and Bed Bath and Beyond. NONE of them had what I was looking for. Well some did, but I just wasn't digging the price tag of 250.00 dollars! Then after dinner on Sunday evening, I looked at The Containers Store Website and the magic gem showed up on the screen. Two Beautiful White Foldable Bookcases 28 inches long and... wait for it.... ASSEMBLED and IN STORE! Cue the Angels! They were a little bit more money than Walmart's brand, but THEY WERE ALREADY PUT TOGETHER and IN STORE... this lady was sold! :) 

On Monday, my mom and I drove up to the Container Store and purchased 2 of these pretties WITH a TEACHER DISCOUNT! :) 

Then came time to start moving books to couches, tables, and really anywhere besides my library area. Proceed with Caution......

I started with picture books because they take up much of my library. I organized my picture books by subject. That made most sense to me and it worked really well. Some of the subjects are: Math, Family, Friends, Holidays, and Food. I made stacks of all the different subjects on my office room floor.
As I progressed, I wrote on a piece of paper the different subjects. Then it was time to start placing each subject into my library. :) As I placed each group, I wrote  on my planning paper to help for labeling. 

Here is one section done :) 

Picture books done!

Now time for chapter books. I organized them by genre. There were a few books that I forgot their genres and used Scholastic Book Wizard
Then it was time to start organizing them onto shelves. Since I had taken most of my bookcase space, I bought plastic bins from Target to house chapter books. Chapter books house quite well in those bins because they are light weight. I started to put picture books in and they just keep falling over. 

I learned a lot about my own favorite genres from my organizational week. I heart historical fiction and girlie books! :) #notashocker

I wanted to create a bulletin board above my library that said, "Open the Magic". I also wanted to print some of my favorite picture book quotes for the board. I went to Paper Source and selected 4 sheets of gift wrap to use as my bulletin board. Then I ran by Lakeshore and picked up pink polka dot borders. I LOVE IT! Here is a sneak peek of it going up. 
So EASY to put up! I just measured my bookcase length. To help keep the paper straight, I put a small thumb tack at the top of each paper. Then I overlapped them about a quarter of an inch. Once the paper was up, I began with the border. Such a fun and different bulletin board. Once I am back in the classroom, I plan to do many mini bulletin boards with paper from Paper Source 

A library must be labeled! I created a labeling system for my library. I made pink cards for my picture books and green cards for my chapter books. I also added A-Z labels and VERY in-depth labels for each subject. Interested? It's in my shop!

 Check out my cute pink bedazzled "I'm Checked Out" stick. Funny story- I went to Home Depot and explained I was a teacher and asked for 36 sticks. The man looked at me like WOAHHH! But my smile persuaded his decision. BEST IDEA- I was trying to figure out how to label each section, but there wasn't enough room to hang each labeling card. My mom suggested the painting sticks and I taped (later-i'm going to super glue) the subject and genre cards to the sticks which are tucked into the bookshelves.

I finished my final library touch on Sunday, August 3rd,2014. I am so happy with my library makeover! I can't wait to do more amazing book recommendations starting in September! It is going to be such a fun adventure. Since photography is not my thing, I had my best friend come over and shoot a couple of pictures. I showed her a picture I had taken of the same shot- we both laughed- clearly she was needed and clearly, I will stick to education!

libraries, back to school. quotes, organziation

libraries, back to school. quotes, organziation

libraries, back to school. quotes, organziation

Here is a sneak peek at my office area too! 

 The adorable Starburst candy dish was made by my friend Beth at A Kindergarten Life for Me
The yummy pencil cookie was made my friend Megan from @bettiesbakeshop

Now time for a FUN giveaway! Thank you for all your support to Ramona Recommends. This journey has been such a wonderful experience, and I can't wait to keep on growing Ramona Recommends. Enter in below to win my Classroom Library Labels AND Winner's Choice -3 Sets of Melonheadz Clip Art! :)


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Do you have any questions? Leave a Comment! :)  
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