Monday, September 24, 2012

October book presentation for 5th grade: mystery & suspense!

Fifth graders: are you ready to start reading your October genre book for Ms. Russell's class? We have a number of books waiting for you to choose from in the library learning commons - stop by anytime! 

Want to borrow something from the public library instead? This site lists fiction and nonfiction mystery books for preschool through high school: It's a Mystery!

Star Wars Day at your public library!

Check out this event coming up at the Newport Way Library! Doesn't that sound like fun?

Star Wars Reads Day - Saturday October 6th 1-3 pm

Celebrate! From 1-1:30pm bring your camera and take a picture with a Star Wars character, then at 1:30pm there will be a special showing of the animated Star Wars Clone Wars movie. One lucky participant will win the movie after the show. Winner must be present at the end of the show to collect their prize.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Happy (slightly belated) Roald Dahl Day!

Roald Dahl fans, take note! To celebrate the week of his birthday, the internet was full of virtual celebrations. Check out a few for kids as well as for parents and teachers!

One of my fondest elementary school memories took place in 3rd grade, when my teacher read us Danny, the Champion of the World, which remains my favorite Dahl title to this day (I even own the film version starring Jeremy Irons and his son, Samuel). It is one of the lesser read of his works, so if you have not yet ventured beyond The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, and so on, do give this one a try!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Exploring math through literature

A recent Wall Street Journal article, A Worksheet for Math-Phobic Parents, described the importance of the attitudes parents convey about math to their children - how many ways we can inadvertently undermine them or send the message that math is hard and not much fun. By contrast, incorporating talk about math into daily life will go a long way towards building both math skills and positive interest in math.

To that end, I wanted to share a few great math-related books and sites! Coincidentally a mom dropped by the library this morning to check out a book of math puzzles. Parents, you are welcome to use our school library as well - stop by and see what we've got!


  • G is for Googol: A Math Alphabet Book by David M. Schwartz
  • Mental Math Challenges by Michael L. Lobosco
  • Counting on Frank by Rod Clement
  • Amazing Math Projects You Can Build Yourself by Laszlo C. Bardos
  • Math Curse by Jon Scieszka
  • One Riddle, One Answer by Lauren Thompson
  • Pepper's Journal: A Kitten's First Year by Stuart J. Murphy
  • Super Sand Castle Saturday by Stuart J. Murphy

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September book presentation for 5th grade: nonfiction

Welcome back to school!

This month 5th graders will be reading a nonfiction book for their monthly book presentation for Ms. Russell's class. Qualifying books will have more than 40 pages that are primarily text, and will not be biographies (biographies are coming up later). Science books must have been published during or after 2007. No duplication is allowed (each 5th grader must select a unique title). Ms. Simeon or Ms. Russell may approve your book choices.
Books need to be selected by Monday, September 17th.

Students may stop by the library learning commons at any time to select an appropriate book from the 5th grade “genre of the month” shelf. If you prefer to borrow books from the public library instead, check out some recommended authors and websites below to get ideas. Make sure you evaluate all titles in terms of age appropriateness as well as whether they meet the parameters Ms. Russell has set!

Suggested authors:

Rhoda Blumberg
Russell Freedman
Sy Montgomery (please note that she writes for both adults and young people)

Suggested websites:

Classic Non-fiction from the TeenZone at KCLSThe Sibert Medal, an award for exceptional non-fiction given by the American Library Association (which also gives out the Caldecott & Newbery Medals)Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12 offers detailed annotated lists for those who enjoy science.The Cooperative Children's Book Center has numerous reading lists, many of which focus on non-fiction. Select first by grade level, then by topic.

Welcome back!

There is nothing like the energy on the first day of school. It was so nice to come to work this morning and see all the eager students pouring into the buildings! It's an exciting day for us teachers too, as the school year stretches ahead of us, ripe with possibility...

In our school library we have two very fun books that talk about what school is like in different parts of the world and this seemed like a fitting day to feature them:

Ellen Jackson's It's Back to School We Go! focuses on the first day of school in various countries around the world. Did you know that in Kazakhstan it is the custom for children to bring flowers for their teachers on the first day of school? Or that in Kenya the school year runs from January to November and children attend school 6 days per week?

Margriet Ruurs' My School in the Rain Forest looks at a variety of unusual schools in different countries, such as a floating school in Cambodia where children travel to and from school in boats, an online school in Egypt with students of a variety of nationalities, and a school run over the radio in the Australian Outback!