Love Your Library Month

 

Who says February in Seattle is cold, rainy, and dreary. Not in our library!

We are celebrating Love Your Library Month with a little fun!

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Go on a Blind Date with a Book – Everyday I put out 5-8 Blind Date books for students to check out. Each book is wrapped and has hints on the outside. Inside, there is a rating sheet where students can read the book and then rate their reading date. They make comments on the cover and how they liked or didn’t like the book. Return rating sheets are eligible for a daily prize.

Candy Guessing Jar – How many candies are in the jar? Combine the library and math and you get a fun guessing contest. Each day I pull a random guess slip from the container and that student wins one of the daily prizes. The Big Prize goes to the student who has the closest guess, without going over. The prize winner will be announced on March 2nd, Dr. Seuss’ birthday!

Why I love My Library – We also have a comment sheet where students can share why they love our library. Again, students who participate may win one of the daily prizes.

Love Your Library Bookmarks – We partnered with Mrs. Camp, the librarian at Benfer Elementary School in Klein, Texas for this activity. Her second grade classes made our students bookmarks and we did the same. Now they are in the mail and traveling to their new homes. This is the second time we have partnered with Mrs. Camp’s classes. Last year we shared poems during Poetry Month. Check out the acrostic poems on their blog.

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Lollygrams - The Books to Africa club is also selling lollygrams next week. All proceeds will go to purchase postage to send books to our partner schools in Africa.

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If you are looking for ideas you can use in your library check out the dozens of ideas on Pinterest. Nearly every student who has come to the library to participate in one of our contests has also left with a book! It’s a win-win Reading Month!

 

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Fundraising for Friends

Start the new year by helping our friends in Africa!

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January is the month when the Books to Africa club kicks into fundraising high gear. This is our 3rd year of raising funds to use for postage to send boxes of books to four schools in Ghana, Lesotho, and South Africa. Last year we earned $1665.00 and our goal is to raise $1700.00 this year.  Every penny…every dollar…we raise is important and will go to help some very needy children. There are four ways you can help!

 

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At the Multicultural Night we will be selling “stamps” at our Books to Africa booth. Every person who donates will have their name written on a stamp which will be displayed on our Books to Africa bulletin board near the library. We hope you will stop by our booth, see photos of the children we are helping and buy a stamp.

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We are also hosting a Friday Fun Night on January 30th from 7-9pm at NW Aerials. The cost is $15.00 per child and the proceeds from this fundraiser will also benefit the Books to Africa program. A purple flyer went home last week with the permission form. We had 60 children participate last year. Who knew jumping in a foam block pit could help raise money for reading?

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Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we will sell Lollygrams again! For $1.00 students and staff will get a 2″ swirl heart shaped lollypop and a Valentine’s card to be delivered to anyone they choose (at school). It’s a sweet way to support our program and help those in need.

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If you still want to help, but can’t make it to any events, you can always donate at school in our Books to Africa box in the library. Hopefully we will have enough money to send 20 boxes of books overseas. That will be about 1700 books we will be able to send.

If you would like to read more about the Books to Africa club, you are welcome to read older posts here, here, here, and here. The tab at the top of the page, also has a link to our older pages that has lots of information and photos.

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On behalf of our Books to Africa club and our friends in Africa, we thank you for your support! It takes a village to make a difference in a child’s life.

 

Every child deserves a book!

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Showcasing Creativity

 

I’d like to end the 2014 school year on a super high note by showcasing three students who have been doing some incredibly creative activities at home. It’s one thing to learn how to use a tool. It’s another to take that skill and push the boundaries to make something new and different. These students show creativity, innovation and dedication to their craft.
Meet Kayla

Kayla began coding two weeks ago with the Hour of Code week. She worked through the ice-skating with Anna and Elsa activities on code.org  first.

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Next she figured out how to create these drawings. Talk about incredible! What impresses me about these pieces is the colorful patterning. They are works of art!

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Meet Kaito
Many of our students participated in the PTSA sponsored art contest this year. The theme was “The world would be a better place if….. ” Kaito decided the world would be a better place if we had a clean earth. Using his Legos, iPad and the Lego stop-motion movie making app, he wrote, set up and filmed this movie. He inspired other students at our school to try creating a stop motion movie too.  Here’s a Clean Earth:

Meet Logan
The last student I would like to feature is the Rubics Cube King. Logan can solve a Rubics cube in record time. Hand him one and before you can say, “How did you do that?” – he is finished and the puzzle is solved. I just found out that he helps other people solve these puzzles by making videos. Thanks Logan for making this understandable!

If you know someone at school that I need to feature because they are doing something on their own time that uses technology or literacy (books), please let me know in a comment! Absolutely NO LAST NAMES!
Happy Holidays! See you in 2015!

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Celebrate Coding!

 

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This week is computer science education week and for the very first time, the Bulldog Readers are going to participate in the Hour of Code.

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What is Hour of Code? It’s an opportunity for you to try coding for yourself to realize that anyone can learn how to code!

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A lot of people think that coding is something that other people do. They think it’s too hard, but really it’s not. It’s all about problem-solving and logic – really important skills that you can use anywhere. So join in at home!  Go to Hour of Code and try the tutorials. You can also go to the Bulldog Reader Online Catalog and view the coding games there. Earn a certificate and joins the tens of millions of students around the globe who are part of the largest learning event in history!  Here is President Obama kicking off the 2014 event!

Please also remember that we are a finalist in the Best Library Blog category in the Edublog Awards. Voting closes December 15th. Click on this link and give us a thumbs up!

 

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Edublog Award Finalist

We have some exciting news!
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The Bulldog Reader Blog is a finalist in the Best Library Blog category!

Voting is now open and we would love your vote!

How to Vote

You vote as follows:

1.  Go to the Awards Category you want to vote on using the links above.

2.  Click on the  Thumbs Up icon on the blog, website or person you want to vote for.

That’s it! If you aren’t already logged in to list.ly, you can do so using a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+ account. (Unfortunately you have to be 13+ to have an account, so students please encourage your family and relatives to vote.)

3. Vote by 11:59pm EST on Monday, December 15th. (Check
in your timezone here
.)

I have linked each picture to the Edublog Voting Category. Click on the picture and it will open a new window for voting. We also hope you will vote for some of our blogging buddies too! The links are below.

Best Library Blog

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Best Class Blog

yollis

view

Best Student Blog

miriam

sarah

Thank you for all your support!

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Building the Epic Castle

It’s been an engineering creation zone in the library lately.

3D Magna Tiles

3D Magna Tiles

The MagnaTiles are the most popular item in our Makespace area. Sometimes huge castles are built using every tile available.

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Today a group of students documented the process for building one of their MagnaTile castles, using the Lego MovieMaker app on the iPad.  I received the iPad last spring after one of my Donor’s Choose projects was funded. 

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This Lego app simplifies the process for making stop motion movies.  At recess all I had to do was open the app, hand over the iPad to the students and get out of the way.

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They quickly set up the photography station and worked together to build this castle. In about 20 minutes they had their castle built and movie created.

Here is the building of the “Epic Castle.”

Now I’m wondering what other kinds of stop motion movies will be made in the coming weeks!

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Thank you for your service

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Today is Veteran’s Day.

This national holiday is a day honoring all veteran of the armed services. A veteran is a person who has served in the armed forces: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Navy or Marines either in peace time or during war or conflicts.

This year we honored some guest veterans at an all school assembly. The students gave them handmade cards, and we sang songs and thanked each person numerous times for serving their country.

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Veterans recognized at school assembly. Photo by Julie Hembree

As they gathered at the front of the school, my mind wandered off. Looking at these men standing in front of the school children, I wondered who they were and what were their stories.

I thought in honor of Veteran’s Day, I would share one of their stories. Like most veterans, his story isn’t written down in a book or featured in a magazine. Yet, he has great stories to tell if you sit down with him to listen and learn. My father-in-law, Mr. Buell Hembree was one of the men standing in front of our gym. He’s been to every Veteran’s Day assembly since I’ve been at our school and is proud to represent the veterans, and especially the submariners of World War II. He served on the USS Pogy in the south Pacific during the Second World War.  The USS Pogy was a submarine. When you think of a submarine, you might think of one of the modern ones that are bigger than two football fields.

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http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/08266.htm

However, in those days, submarines were small and cramped. There wasn’t much room and it was easy to feel claustrophobic in such tight quarters sailing underneath the surface of the ocean. He’s told us that two men could stretch out their arms and touch either side of the submarine. It was THAT small.  His bed was a pull out bunk. The crazy part was that it was above two torpedoes. No fancy sleeping quarters in those days!

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Buell Hembree explains what it was like to be on the USS Pogy.Photo by Julie Hembree

Despite the danger of serving on a submarine, Mr. Hembree loved his work on the USS Pogy and the years he spent in the USS Navy. He came home safely and spent the remainder of his working years designing interiors of planes for Boeing.

Buell and Joe Hembree get ready to fly to Washington, DC for the WWII honor flight.

Buell and Joe Hembree get ready to fly to Washington, DC for the WWII honor flight. Photo by Julie Hembree

In October, he was flown with 28 other World War II veterans ages 92 to 96 on a free Honor Flight to Washington, DC, our nation’s capital where they could visit and reflect on the memorials build in their honor. His son and my husband, Joe, was his guardian and helped him and the other gentlemen on the trip to ensure they would have the best experience possible. For Veteran’s Day, here are a few of his photos from his honor flight.

October Honor Flight gathered at Seatac, photo by Joe Hembree

October Honor Flight gathered at SeaTac. Photo by Joe Hembree

Veterans honored at the World War ii memorial in Washington,DC. Ohoto by Joe Hembree

Veterans honored at the World War II memorial in Washington,DC. Photo by Joe Hembree

Buell Hembree at the President Roosevelt Memorial. Photo by Joe Hembree

Buell Hembree at the President Roosevelt Memorial. Photo by Joe Hembree

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Veterans are greeted at SeaTac on their return home. Photo by Margaret Howell

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Each veteran was given a handmade Quilt of Valor to keep.Photo by Julie Hembree

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One of the Quilt of Valor volunteers signs Buell Hembree’s quilt.Photo by Julie Hembree

  Today, tomorrow or anytime in the future, I hope when you see a veteran, you will stop and thank them for their service to our country. These women and men have made huge sacrifices for us and deserve our thanks. “Thank you for your service” means so much to so many. If you know someone in your own family, talk to him or her and find out their stories. They will be glad you care.

 

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November is Picture Book Month

 

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November is Picture Book Month and once again the Bulldog Reader Blog is a Picture Book Ambassador. Picture books are the most important books written. Why? Because they help children start their love for reading. Think back to when you were young and reading with a parent, family member or maybe an older brother or sister. What were you reading together? I bet it was a picture book. One of my earliest reading memories is sitting with my grandmother as she read Go, Dog, Go to me. I loved the photo of the dog party up in the tree and wanted to be in the tree with my own crazy hat.

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To support the importance of the picture book, we are celebrating them in the Bulldog Library and throughout the month of November. Each grade will be learning something new about picture books and the school will be filled with photos of students holding their favorite books. You can celebrate at home of course too. Visit the Picture Book Month website where you can read posts written by the 2014 Picture Book Champions.

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What is your favorite picture book? Check back soon to see some staff and student favorites. In the meantime, please leave us a comment about your favorite picture book and why you like it.

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Books Shipped to Africa

Look what we sent in the mail!

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On Wednesday we sent our first shipment of books to our partner schools in Africa! Four boxes of books began their journey from our school to Ghana, Lesotho, and South Africa. For the past few weeks we have done fundraisers to raise enough money to pay the postage for these four books to books.

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By the end of October, we raised over $350! That’s enough to send books overseas.

2014 fundraising poster

Then our students signed each book and make cards to insert into each box. In the past, our Books to Africa was only for students in grades 3-5, but this year it has expanded to all grades. Anyone can come to our meetings on Tuesdays and participate.

2014 books and cards

We have been working with these schools for the past two years. We send books to Mrs. Adei in Akosombo, Ghana, Mr. Malakane in Lesotho, Mrs. Dunstone  and Mrs. Ragophala in South Africa. Sometimes people ask me why I this project. There are lots of reasons, and you can read the history of this project here, and here, and here, and here. However, the ultimate reason is that I believe that all children deserve books and the only way that can happen is if we help.

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I think it is also important for us to learn from each other.  I hope to visit some of our partner schools next summer. I want to make this trip a learning trip. With this blog, I hope we can open up conversation between the students at our partner schools and ourselves. What do we want to learn from each other? What are you curious about? What do you want to know? What books to do you love to read?

I hope you will leave a comment and let us know. To leave a comment, press on the conversation balloon next to the title of this post. That will open a comment box. Type what you want to say, fill in the requested information, and push post comment. I moderated all posts to make sure they are appropriate for our blog.

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Just Say No to Bullying

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What do orange cookies, an enormous Green Giant statue sporting an orange toga, and Ellen DeGeneres wearing orange on national TV have in common? These are all ways people have celebrated Unity Day, a national event developed by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center to show support for students who are bullied. This year, students, schools, organizations, businesses, and communities across the country will wear orange in support of Unity Day on Wednesday, Oct. 22.

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This includes our Bulldog Readers! We will be showing our support by wearing orange at school on Unity Day on Wednesday.

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Everyone can take a step toward ending bullying, which is why this year’s theme The End of Bullying Begins with Me is so powerful.

“Unity Day is a great time to send an orange message of solidarity against bullying,” said Paula Goldberg, PACER Center’s executive director. “We encourage everyone to come together in schools, communities, and online to unite against bullying. When we stand together, no one has to stand alone.”

Besides wearing orange, we will be reading bully prevention stories and handing out special bookmarks in the library.

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There will be a special display of books for students to check out as well. Can’t stop by? Here is a list of wonderful books you can find at your local library or bookstore. One book I will definitely be reading this week is The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig.

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Trudy Ludwig is a Pacific Northwest author who wrote her first book My Secret Bully after her own daughter was bullied by her friends. Visit Trudy Ludwig’s website for more information.

“Choose Kindness” is part of Disney ABC Television Group’s efforts to create a bullying prevention campaign to encourage kids and parents around the country to help put an end to bullying by choosing kindness. Club Penguin has teamed with 14-year-old Alex Angelo, host of Radio Disney’s “Saturday Night Party” with Alex Angelo (Saturdays, 8:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. PT), who is a big supporter of the bullying prevention cause. Watch Alex’s video as he shares the message to “Be Heard” and stand up against bullying.

*All photos and portions of the text of this blog post came from the official National Bullying Prevention Center press release. When you visit their website, you will see lots more information including stories, videos, resources, and ways you can become involved.

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How does wearing orange help prevent bullying?

What anti-bully or choose kindness books are your favorite?

Leave a comment and let us know!

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