Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer Reading for Kids & Teens @ KCLS!

Last Wednesday a children's librarian from KCLS stopped by every K-4 classroom at OWS to talk to elementary students about the summer reading program. She also brought handouts for middle school that I distributed via advisors.

In case you need that information again, you can find out all the deadlines and download and print the summer reading logs here:

Dig into Reading for Preschool & Elementary
Beneath the Surface for Middle & High School

Both programs offer a chance to get fun prizes and be entered in contests!

Another fun opportunity for teens is the Reading Buddy program that gives teens a chance to help younger kids improve their reading. Check out the link for information on how to participate!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

5th graders' video book trailers!

Inspired by Julie Hembree, a local school librarian who shares wonderful information on her blog, I challenged our 5th graders to create video book trailers! In addition to inspiring their fellow students to read, they learned about searching via Creative Commons for images that are licensed for reuse (or creating their own), and thinking critically about what makes a book trailer memorable and enticing (how to select images, music and an Animoto template that evoke the essence of the book, include the right amount of text and say just enough to intrigue the viewer).

I was so impressed by the results - here are just a few to watch and enjoy!

Revenge of the Babysat

Summer of the Mariposas


Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer vacation 2013 reading list

Believe it or not, summer vacation is right around the corner! Here are some reading suggestions to keep you entertained...
For parents
The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory and Why Outsiders Thrive after High School by Alexandra Robbins – This book helps parents take a long-term view about social interactions and popularity and reminds us about the crucial importance of embracing and supporting those kids who are different. One day those differences may well be the strengths that the world most appreciates about them.

Harvard Schmarvard: Getting Beyond the Ivy League to the College That Is Best for You by Jay Mathews – A thorough, reassuring guide that will help take a lot of the stress out of preparing for and thinking about college admissions and help you find a school that provides the best fit to launch your student. Personally recommended to me as the best college guide by the admissions director at a prestigious liberal arts college.

Parenting without Borders: Surprising Lessons Parents around the World Can Teach Us by Christine Gross-Loh – A fascinating, comprehensive blend of research and practical advice that will prompt you to consider your own family’s culture, values and long-term goals. It is liberating to be shown so clearly how there isn’t only one “best” way to parent.

Picture books for all ages
The Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy – Sunrise Elementary School’s new librarian is a real dragon! No, really… But you’ll be surprised at who the brave dragon slayer is!

The Man from the Land of Fandango by Margaret Mahy – Mahy never fails to deliver a rollicking good time in her delightfully nonsensical books – not since the Cat in the Hat has a surprise visitor wreaked so much delicious havoc!

Mary Wrightly, So Politely by Shirin Yim Bridges – Mary is a polite little girl, but sometimes the world doesn’t appreciate her good nature! See how she solves a problem that comes up – by being polite and standing up for something that really matters to her.

The Tooth Mouse by Susan Hood – Did you know that in France people say that a mouse comes to take your baby teeth after they fall out? Little Sophie wants to take over when the Tooth Mouse retires, but will she be able to complete all the tasks and prove she’s up to the job? Pair this one with Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World by Selby B. Beeler!

Tsunami! by Kimiko Kajikawa – Inspired by the true story of Hamaguchi Goryƍ whose quick thinking in 1854 saved villagers from a tsunami, this book is notable for its incredible collage illustrations that vividly portray the drama of the events.

Chapter books
The Broken Tusk: Stories of the Hindu God Ganesha by Uma Krishnawsami (Grades 2+) – The author has done a wonderful job of taking oral tales she heard as a child and others she located through her extensive research, and making them into a highly readable volume! Those who know Ganesha or are new to his stories will find this book equally accessible!

Cork& Fuzz by Dori Chaconas (Grades K+) – Cork the muskrat and Fuzz the opossum are opposites in many ways – but that doesn’t mean they can’t be friends! This is the first in an easy reader series.

Lulu and the Duck in the Park by Hilary McKay (Grades K+) – A charming addition to the growing collection of high-quality short chapter books for young readers. This is the first in a series about Lulu who is “famous for animals.” See what her encounter with a duck leads to – and then check out the rest of the series!

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher (Grades 7+) – This is a powerful work of great emotional insight about dealing with grief, friendship and family. Jamie finds himself caught between his father’s prejudice and his best friend, Sunya, a Muslim girl, trying to be both a good son and a good friend.

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (Grades 5+) – One of my all-time favorite books, this story follows Delphine and her two younger sisters as they spend the summer of 1968 in Oakland with their mother and a group of Black Panthers in an example of the very best historical fiction.

School of Fear (series)by Gitty Daneshvari (Grades 3+) – Students who loved Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle will enjoy moving on to these fast-paced, humorous books about a school where children go to be cured of unusual phobias.

They Never Came Back by Caroline B. Cooney (Grades 6+) – What would you do if the FBI were after your parents, insisting they were criminals who embezzled a lot of money and then fled, leaving you behind? What if they were now coming after you?

Graphic novels
Drama by Raina Telgemeier (Grades 5+) – Drama: it happens in middle school both on and off the stage! Follow a group of friends through the ups and downs of a school musical production.

Explorer: The Mystery Boxes edited by Kazu Kibuishi (Grades 3+) – Seven different stories by seven different creators explore the concept of a box through mystery, humor, suspense and fantasy. There is something for everyone in this great collection

Hereville: How Mirka Got her Sword by Barry Deutsch (Grades 3+) – This graphic novel features an unusual heroine, an Orthodox Jewish girl who dreams of fighting monsters! Learn a few Yiddish words and find out how she cleverly outwits a troll!

Peanut by Ayun Halliday (Grades 6+) – It’s hard being the new kid at school, but even harder when you start off with a big lie: telling everyone that you have a fatal peanut allergy. Will this story help Sadie win friends? Or will she be exposed and have to face up to the truth?

To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel by Siena Cherson Siegel (Grades 4+) – A moving memoir about dreams, perseverance and dealing with the unexpected twists and turns of life.

The Book of Potentially Catastrophic Science: 50 Daring Experiments for Young Scientists by Sean Connolly – A survey of scientific progress from the Stone Age to the Hadron Collider, complete with experiments you can do at home to test some of the basic principles.

Max Axiom, Super Scientist (series) by Liam O’Donnell – Covering a range of science topics (ecosystems, photosynthesis, forces and motion, electricity) these books offer a clear and attractive presentation along with a glossary, a web component and additional recommended reading!

Outcasts United: The Story of a Refugee Soccer Team That Changed a Town by Warren St. John – This adaptation of a nonfiction book for adults aimed at middle and high school readers will inspire you with the courage of the young people starting a new life in America and the dedication of their coach who put her caring into action.

A Rock is Lively by Diana Hutts Aston – Gorgeous illustrations and engaging prose present a view of rocks unlike any of you’ve seen before in this lovely book for elementary readers.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Your life in six words...

Last year, 4th graders had so much fun writing their six-word memoirs that their work made it into SMITH Magazine's blog as Classroom of the Week!
This year I'd like to share a few new ones that especially tickled, moved or impressed me:

Fortune’s in you, not a cookie – Adam
Purple porcupines sing to my soul – Katherine
Dreams, I need them to live – Lily
There isn’t one key to success – Lucas
The wild unravels in my soul – Manami
Boys can like stuffed seals too – Nate
Snow under my feet, I’m good – Olivia
Amazing how much you can evoke with only six words, isn't it? What would your six-word memoir be?


Thursday, June 6, 2013

World's Longest Book Domino Chain!

Last week a group of dedicated folks at Seattle Public Library set a world record for the longest book domino chain! I showed the video to 3rd graders today, and one student asked for the link to share with her family. So I'm posting it here for all to enjoy!

Monday, June 3, 2013

It's spring and poetry is in the air!

National Poetry Month was in April, but that doesn't mean the fun has to end! Last week in 4th grade library classes students created book spine poems. The results were wildly creative and I've shared a few below - scroll down to check them out!

I'm also always interested in what my lunch recess visitors get up to; we've had everything from meetings of the Hamster Club to diligent, self-motivated efforts with homework to kids just relaxing with a good book or magazine. Last week two 4th graders stopped by, and by the time recess was over had written poems that were too good not to share.

Test by Sydney

I am going to ace this test.
Why? Because I am the best.
I'm really good at difficult math;
I'm the bst in mi clas at spllinge.
Can't you plainly see?
I've memorized geography
from Atlantis to Candyland.
I know how to read music
'cause I'm in our band.
I know how to use call numbers;
think of the book and it's there.
I know a lot of science;
like H20 makes up air.
I am going to
ace this test.
I got an F for Fantastic
now I KNOW that I'm best.

Untitled by Sofia

Never, ever chew gum
in your math class,
the teacher will find out
and it will be in the trash.

For I know for sure,
and you should too,
that the teacher will glance up
every time you chew.

She will be suspicious
and before you can spit it out,
your teacher will start
to scream and shout.

So here is
the number one rule,
never, ever
chew gum in school.

And, finally, some fabulous book spine poems!

Every Friday
I am NOT Going to Get up Today!
Double Trouble
And Tango Makes Three
Weirdos from Another Planet
Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat
10 Little Rubber Ducks