When was the last time you wrote a friendly letter? Did you write one to thank someone for a holiday gift? Recently, the second and third grade classes have been practicing writing friendly letters. In library class, we added some technology to the fun!
We wrote ”Storybird” friendly letters. We based it on the idea from the story, I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufman Orloff. Alex wants to adopt his friend’s iguana, and writes his wishes to his mom. She responds to his pleas in a series of letters back and forth!
After we read the story, we selected illustrations on Storybird, an online writing website. http://storybird.com/ Then we wrote our own friendly letter books. We hope you will enjoy reading them!
Have you ever written a Storybird?
What was it like to write online?
Today’s post is about dots. Colorful dots. Big dots. Small dots. Medium sized dots.
Seem like a crazy idea for a post?
Well, yes, unless you have read Press Here, an interactive picture book about how a dot can change itself everytime you turn the page.
“In this exuberant book, acclaimed graphic designer Craig Frazier does more than simply showcase a vast variety of dots, he encourages young readers to look closely at the world around them. Through his energetic images, the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Buttons are dots. Wheels are dots. Ladybugs have dots. And so do the fried eggs on your plate. Lots of Dots is lots of fun!” Text by Chronicle Books
On Twitter, I learned about the extraordinary work by the 82 year old Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, whose “Obliteration Room” is currently on display at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, Australia.
Yayoi started with a typical living room with the walls, ceiling and all contents painted white. Then she gave children brightly colored, adhesive dots in a variety of sizes to children to apply to whatever surface they desired!
These two books and the Obliteration Room gave me an idea.
Why not create our own dot book display in the library?
We could take dots and write titles of books we have read and staple them to our walls and ceiling! We will cover as much of the ceiling as possible while we are in our temporary library space.
Then when our school opens and the tractors and destruction equipment come to destroy the old building, we will see a rainbow of dots float to the ground as the ceiling collapses!
So, that’s exactly what we are doing! Our dot display is a celebration of reading! We have already coverd the bulletin board and the wall above it, and now we are up to the ceiling!
Mrs. Hembree has her own mini-dot display of the titles of books she has read in 2012. She has set a goal of reading 366 books this year, and students can track her progress on the lavendar dot display. It’s on the lower portion of the display.
Students and staff are writing the titles of books on dots. Any book counts whether you read it, it was read to you, you listened to it on an audio-book, or read it on an e-Reader. Reading is Reading!
So… What’s Your Dot? Every time you read a book, stop by and fill out a dot. You can take some home, write the titles on them and bring them back! Every time you walk in the library, it will look different as our dot book display grows! Join in…..it’s fun!
What do you think about our dot display?
What book have you already read in 2012?
Have you seen or heard about The Obliteration Room in Australia?
“Mrs. Hembree, what’s the new read aloud book?”
“Are you starting today?”
“We’re going to choose it?”
“Wow, okay, I’ll be there! Still at noon, right? Still on Tuesdays?”
On Tuesday, the Read Aloud Club Kids chose Bigger Than a Bread Box as their next choice for me to read during our read aloud recesses.
Bigger Than a Bread Box is the story of 12 year old Rebecca who is forced to move to her grandmother’s house in Atlanta with her mom and little brother while her mom tries to figure out her marriage. Dad is back in Baltimore along with all of her friends and everything she’s ever known.
Rebecca is angry, confused and alone when she finds a magic box in the attic of her grandmother’s house. A box that delivers her wishes. Like better jeans, and a new watch and new tennis shoes. She gets everything she wants, except her dad. Is having stuff enough to make Rebecca feel happy again? We will read Bigger Than a Bread Box to find out!
Watch the book trailer by Lily, age 12 who made the trailer with a Canon SD 1300 Digital Elph camera and iMovie.
But wait there’s more!
The kindergarten-3rd grade students are starting Read Aloud Tuesdays too! From 12:30-12:55, Mrs. Hembree will be reading a chapter book to the younger students. We have something for everyone in the cold, wet, wintery months!
The men and older boys always go on a Dragonquest each year, but Darek is still too young to go. When they come back with a Great Blue, the largest and fiercest of all the dragons, Darek discovers a baby dragonling in the Great Blue’s pouch. He decides to take the dragonling back to the fearsome Valley of the Dragons.
Dragonling is a moving and adventureful fantasy story, perfect for younger readers. It is my personal favorite for introducing readers to the fantasy genre.
So, remember, come on Tuesdays to the library for your chance to get out of the rainy, cold outside and into a world of books!
What would you wish for if you had a magic bread box?
What is the best book you’ve ever heard?
The Bulldog Readers wish you lots of reading happiness!
What better way to launch a new year of reading than with new books? The first group of books was purchased with funds from Reading with Rover.
Reading with Rover donated $250 to our school toward purchasing books for reading. It was their way of thanking Mrs. Daly and myself for our commitment to Reading with Rover with our dogs Jett, Silas and Reese. I spent my portion of the money on new library books!
I couldn’t forget our older readers, so they got a new stack of books too!
Who knows? Maybe one of these will become the next Newbery Award winner for 2011!
Have you read any of these new books already?
Which one do you want to check out?
Do you have any suggestions for us to buy?
Where have you been on Tuesdays at noon?
We have been in the library for Read Aloud Tuesdays!
Since early November, the intermediate students and I have been reading Inside Out and Back Again by Thannha Lai. We come in, take our shoes off, find a comfy place to sit and relax for 30 minutes of reading time.
This book is told in verse and relates the story of Ha, a 10 year old Vietnamese girl who is forced to flee her beloved Vietnam when Saigon falls at the end of the Vietnam War.
With her father off at war and not heard from, the family decides the best thing they can do to survive is leave for America.
They end up in Alabama, where Ha and her family slowly adjust to life in a very different country, where she is treated with open hostility from the other children at school and neighbors near them.
Her poems are achingly true to life and capture the anguish of leaving home, learning a new language and the anger she feels during this transition time.
As each week passed, we often stopped and spontaneously discussed historical references and questions we had. Questions were free flowing and the answers weren’t always easy to explain or understand, as any question about war can be. Still Thannha helped us appreciate the beauty of her Vietnamese homeland…and of papaya!
Ha’s love of papaya was woven through the novel like a golden thread. Since most of us had never tasted or even seen a papaya, we had some for our last reading.
I have never bought or cut up papaya before, so it was a completely new experience for me! The inside has lots of round brown seeds. It almost looks like caviar! Then the fruit is a reddish-orange color and sweet. Our papaya wasn’t completely ripe, so it probably didn’t taste as wonderful as it should. Still, we had fun trying it out to see why Ha liked it so much!
It was a sweet and fitting ending to a very special book! Now we have a new decision to make. What should our next Read Aloud Tuesday book be? If you have an opinion, leave a comment and let me know!
What do you think about Read Aloud Tuesdays?
Do you like tropical fruit like papaya or mango or kiwi?
What book should we read next?
Finding a perfect book to read is as easy as looking in a …..
Our early chapter book readers don’t have any trouble finding books to read because we have them all in baskets where they are easy to find! Like Junie B. Jones? Find the basket? Like Magic Tree House?
Find the basket! It really is easy as one, two, three!
In class we also have done lessons on all of the easy chapter book series available in our library! Using a worksheet with only some of the letters of book series typed in, students had to sleuth out the answers!
By the time everyone finished the paper, they had found all of our early chapter book series. We have over 20 different series to choose from! Now when someone says, “I need a good book“, we all respond, “Look in the baskets!”
What is your favorite early chapter book?
How do you have your books arranged in your library?
Leave us a comment and let us know!
Thanksgiving is only days away and we have been reading some of Mrs. Hembree’s favorite Thanksgiving Day holiday books in the primary classes.
Tuyet is dismayed when her Vietnamese/American family wants to eat duck for Thanksgiving Day dinner. When she returns to school after the holiday, she soon realizes that many families don’t eat turkey at Thanksgiving either! Tuyet realizes matters is spending time with family and friends, not what food they eat. Nominated for the Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award for 2012.
Thanksgiving Is by Gail Gibbons provides information about the origins and meaning of Thanksgiving in America, and describes many of the symbols and traditions associated with the holiday, including feasts and parades. (Follett description)
A group of schoolchildren go on a field trip to Farmer Mack Nugget’s farm. When they realize that the fat, and friendly turkeys are about to become Thanksgiving dinner, they rescue them from the dreaded ax. Dav Pilkey’s story always generates some Thanksgiving laughs.
Check out these original Thanksgiving stories!
The fourth grade students have also been in the Thanksgiving spirit! Ms. Holder, Ms. Lawson and Mrs. Raffel’s classes each wrote a class turkey story, some with original illustrations. I think you will enjoy the creativity of these funny turkey day stories!
What is your favorite Thanksgiving story?
Have you every written a Thanksgiving Day story or poem?
What does your family like to do on holidays?
In kindergarten we have been doing an author study about Lois Ehlert. She writes wonderful stories that I love to read in the fall. After we read the books, we talk about the book-to-book connections we can make between the two books. Kindergarteners are great at making book links! They can tell you that both in both books, Lois Ehlert uses a cut-out technique. They can also tell you that she uses a collage technique in her illustrations.
This time after we read the stories, the kindergarteners got to do something really special in art class with Mrs. Lustgarten! They made library to art connections by making their own leaf men!
They also learned a new words like called ”frottage”!
Frottage is when you take a piece of paper and a crayon and rub over a textured plate.
Here are their awesome kindergarten Leaf Men!
Have you ever read a Lois Ehlert book?
What do you think about our kindergarten leaf art?
Have you ever used the collage or frottage technique in art?
Thanks to a generous grant from the Lake Washington Schools Foundation, our library has
118 new, blazing hot books!
If you are a younger reader, you are going to love, love, love these books! Every new non-fiction book had to pass Mrs. Hembree strict wow criteria questions.
Is it a fun book to read?
Is it an exciting book to read?
Is it action packed?
Here are the new car books to select from. No boring books in this group!
To go along with our math focus at school, some of the new books are math related.
“Crunch, crunch! The farm’s horse loves munching apples.
Can you predict which color of apple the horse will eat next?
The horse has six red apples and two green apples.
Is it more or less likely she will pick a green apple?”
So, what do you think the answer is? Find out inside the book Pigs, Cows, and Probability!
I know a lot our students love joke books, so I added more to our collection! Here’s a sample from the Jokes about Bugs:
“What did the bug say after it hit the window?
If I had the guts, I would do it again.
I also bought a new series called Easy Magic Tricks. These books teach you how to perform magic tricks with playing cards, coins, straws, balloons, and more! There are plenty of ideas here to challenge our budding magicians!
Not all of the books are fact or non-fiction books. We also have some new everybody picture books for our younger readers. They are housed on a special shelf too!
It seems like there are never enough Star Wars books in our library, so look at the new ones we’ve added!
This group of books includes early chapter books that are both fun to read and a little bit longer than the usual picture book. These are perfect for our readers who are ready to read chapter books.
Ten more Backpack Buddies have been added to our expanding Backpack Buddy collection. Inside each backpack is a book, a matching puppet, a journal and instructions on what to do. They are a super fun way to practice reading at home!
If you check out one of these books from our Bulldog Library, I hope you will let me know what you think about them! You can leave a comment on the blog or you can tell me in person! I am even hoping some people what to give me a review on film with our new Flip cameras! Imagine that….YOU can be a Bulldog Reader Star!
Our LWSF grant is also featured on the Lake Washington Schools Foundation Spotlight page! You can read the full article here.
What do you think about our new books?
Which ones do you want to check out?
Leave us a comment and let us know!
Picture Book Month officially began yesterday, November 1st!
Picture Book Month is according to their website, “an international initiative to designate November as Picture Book Month, encouraging everyone to celebrate literacy with picture books. Founder, Dianne de Las Casas (author & storyteller) storyconnection.net, and Co-Founders, Katie Davis (author/illustrator) katiedavis.com, Elizabeth O. Dulemba (author/illustrator) www.dulemba.com, Tara Lazar (author) taralazar.
Why designate a month to picture books?
You may be wondering why devote a month to picture books. Don’t we all love picture books already? The answer is simple. With the birth of eBooks, iPads, Kindles, Nooks and other online reading devices, many feel traditional printed picture books may be on the way out.
Founder Dianne de Las Casa decided it was time to celebrate picture books in their printed format so she created an initiative to designate November as “Picture Book Month”. A number of authors, librarians and leaders in the literature community came on board and spread the word. Every day in November, there will be a new post from a picture book champion explaining why he/she thinks picture books are important. You can visit the website from the link here.
Let’s celebrate the beauty of picture books!
Everyday in November, we will read a picture book in the Bulldog Library! We love picture books already, and this is just an extra incentive to remember and share why we love them.
To launch the month, yesterday I read Alphabeasties and Other Amazing Types by Sharon Werner. This book is an illustrated alphabet book for early readers that composes images of animals using only the first letter of its name.
I am using this text with our first graders as they learn how the Everybody section of our library is set up in ABC order by the author’s last name.
The kindergarten students will celebrate our fall colors with the picture books by Lois Ehlert! Every fall we do an author study of Lois Ehlert and how she uses cut-outs in her books! In addition, Mrs. Lustgarten, our art leader has planned an art project so go with our fall leaf picture book unit!
I hope all of our readers will pledge to read a picture book a day for the month of November and beyond! I know I will be enjoying immersing myself in the books that transformed my reading experience from when I was a very young child. I hope you will join me!
What is your favorite picture book?
Will you join the pledge to read a picture book a day in November?
Leave us a comment and let us know!