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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Manners in the library?

This year I posted for teachers my lists of the books about the first day of school and new beginnings. Many teachers took over my past activities such as putting lip stamps or heart stickers on the hands of new kindergartners (The Kissing Hand by Penn) and my postcards with buttons glued on by students along with my handwritten note to parents that "I like their child" (I Like Your Buttons by Sarah Marwil Lamstein). So how could I read a story the first week of school to every kindergarten class that would help them learn how to sit in a storytime situation, allow active participation and give me the chance to teach something about the library?

Fortunately Picture Window Books came to the rescue with their new "Way To Be!: Manners" series and the book "Manners in the Library." Simple phrases, not too many words, clear up-to-date examples of apropriate library usage, and the repetition on every two page spread that "He (or she based on the page) is using good manners." Every child picked up the pattern, chimed in, learned how NOT to shout, and came to value positively the phrase "good manners." The teachers asked that I hurriedly order all the books in the series because of the positive effect this had on the class.

Our school is implementing a complement system using large buttons. I carry a large container of these buttons around and look for opportunities where students are using their good manners and new friendship skills so I can award the buttons. Since teachers cannot award their own students and most of the teachers are so swamped that they aren’t remembering to distribute these, I have become a popular person known for recognizing good behavior. Not bad for our first day of story time (6 prek/K classes on the Wed. after school started Monday).