And the Winner Is….

dark Fires


On Thursday, the Cuddly Koalas and Dark Fires teams met to face off for the final round of the Battle of the Books competition. In the last battle, the teams answered 20 questions. It was stiff competition. The teams matched each other point for point and were tied until question 20. I don’t think I have ever seen such a close completion. The very last question broke the tie, and we had a building winner – DARK FIRES, with their second building win! Dark Fires won last year as well and moved forward to the district round in 2013.


With every win, is another team that has to face the difficulty of accepting loss. Cuddly Koalas put up a fierce fight and deserve the honors as runners-up. I equate these results to gold and silver medalists, just like in the Olympics. Both are winners and have everything to be proud of. More than that, this competition is about creating life-long readers. When 53 students read 12 assigned books on their own time, I can only feel happiness! I am so proud of every student who put reading first and participated in this competition!

The Dark Fires will compete again after vacation at the district level using our Lync meeting set up. The winning teams from participating schools battle it against each other until we have a district champion. Let’s all cheer for the Dark Fires!

Team members are holding their favorite Battle of the Books novels. The books are no longer reserved for battle participants, so stop by and check one out today!

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A Lesson in Sportsmanship


Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks – Champions of Superbowl XLVIII!

We are all so excited about the Seahawks! What people outside of our area may not understand was that this game wasn’t just about football. It was about connections. We connected on the playground when we formed ”the 12th man” at recess. We connected in the hallways as we proudly wore our blue and green from class to class.  It connected classrooms too.

My friend Mrs. Arnett in Colorado teaches first grade and loves her Denver Broncos. When the Superbowl game meant that the Seahawks would be facing the Broncos, we thought we would have some fun too. On Friday, she sent me a photo of her Broncos fans in her classroom.


She wrote me this message:

Good morning to our friends in the Seattle area! Here in Colorado we are excited about the Super Bowl! We hope the best team wins! If the Seahawks win, our teacher, Mrs. Arnett, will wear a Seahawks shirt all day Monday! If the Broncos win, we challenge Mrs. Hembree to wear a Bronco shirt on Monday! Good luck to you and your team… Go Broncos!!

I posted a photo of our school and a silly photo of Mrs. Paul and myself all dressed up in makeup and decals. We were ready for the weekend, and curious to see what color we each would be wearing on Monday morning.

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On Sunday, the Seahawks scored in the opening seconds of the game and the score kept getting higher and higher. It was clear I wouldn’t be wearing any orange on Monday. But….I felt badly. I thought Mrs. Arnett had enough punishment watching the game, and I let her know that she didn’t need to wear the Seahawks shirt after all.

No! No! No! She didn’t want any part of that. This experience was a lesson about teams, opinions, and sportsmanship. We don’t always agree, but we can respect each other’s opinions. On Monday she sent me this photo of her students. They are GOOD sports!


Mrs. Arnett shared that since her students knew she would be wearing a Seahawks shirt, many of them showed up in blue and green to class as well. What an amazing group of students! So I say “THANK YOU” to Mrs. Arnett and her class! Mrs. Arnett – I can’t wait to see you in person in Barcelona, Spain!

You rock it in sportsmanship!


What connections did you make because of the Super Bowl?

Leave us a comment and let us know!


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Awards, BookFair and Battle

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Are you surprised? Happy? Excited?


The Newbery and Caldecott awards were announced this morning at the American Library Association mid-winter conference in Philadephia, Pennsylvania. We have two copies of Flora and Ulysses already, but I will need to purchase a copy of Locomotive to add to our library collection.  The complete  list of awards including the honor books and other awards, can be found on this link.

Flora and Ulysses is also available at our Scholastic Bookfair running all week in the library.


We are open for sales after school daily, and during the middle recess on Wednesday. We hope families will stop by before or after their teacher conference and see what we have to offer. Students will have a chance to preview the books during their library classes this week. The book Minecraft is not on display, due to printing issues, but is available for purchase by request. Students interested in the book can purchase it and as soon as it’s shipped to me, I will deliver it personally to the student’s classroom.

New this year is our Buy a Book, Pick a Prize program. I got this idea from another librarian, who posted it on Pinterest and I decided to adopt it. I don’t know who originally had this idea, but it’s working well for us. While supplies last, for every book purchase, students will be able to pick a FREE prize from the prize box. It’s a BOOK + PRIZE win for everyone!

Our teachers love the bookfair too because it’s a great opportunity to add to their classroom libraries. Most teachers have set aside a few books that they wish they could add to their rooms. You have to power to make a wish come true !



All of our earnings from the Scholastic Book Fair go to our library to purchase new books for our school. I hope you will stop by and see what we have to offer. We accept cash, checks, debit and credit cards for payment.

Next week our Battle of the Books “BATTLES” begin during the intermediate middle recesses. Teams should be ready by Monday to battle it out and answer the questions to find our building champion. Battles will take place Monday- Friday at 12:40 in the library.

Happy Reading!

Mrs. Hembree


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Just One Word

Can you think of just one word that would summarize your goals for the year?


Forget the New Year’s Resolutions!

Most of us can’t keep them, and by March can’t even remember clearly what they were. However, we can all remember one word for 365 days. I learned about the #oneword movement on Twitter and then saw a segment on the Today show with motivational speaker Jon Gordon. On his blog he talks about how the staff at Hidden Lakes Elementary painted rocks with their one word and have them displayed in their classrooms.

Hidden Lakes Elementary

I thought the idea of one word was something I could follow and so could my students. In class, the 3rd graders chose one word and then used it to design a bookmark. Then we got really silly and wrote our words on our hands with watercolor marker, so it would spark conversations with other people. At recess, a 5th grade student came up to me and showed me her bracelet. It turns out we like the same word.


I chose INSPIRE because I want to focus on helping people see the wonder of books and the power of technology. See? It’s not hard to choose a word. It just has to be about something you want to do for the next 365 days. Turn it into a bookmark, decorate a rock or put it on a sticky note and hang it in your bedroom.

So…what’s your #oneword?

Leave me a message and let me know!

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12th Man in the House!

Are You a Seahawks Fan?


Seattle is 1st in the NFC Western Division and will play the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, January 11th in the second round playoffs. Around the school it’s a sea of 12th man pride with students and staff proudly wearing their Seahawks shirts.

So what do the Seahawks and the 12th man have to do with the library? Books of course! Whether you prefer pro football teams from around the country or college ball, our sports section has a wide variety of team books for you to check out. You will find the non-fiction sports books on the bottom shelf of our 700 section.


Look through our Sports Fiction choices too! We have books by Mike Lupica, Tim Green, Dan Gutman and many others that will take you on a fun sports ride.


If you are an avid sports fan, visit the sports section of your local library. I think you will find something there for your reading entertainment.


What is your favorite sport?

Is there a sports book or author you recommend to your friends?

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Reading is my Oxygen

Happy New Year 2014!

Happy New Year !!!
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Tim Hamilton via Compfight

The beginning of a new year always makes me stop and think about the year that just finished.

What were my….

favorite books?

special moments?

places visited?

What will I do the same or different this year?

I know that I will read as much as I can. I didn’t read as many books this year  180 compared to last year 372. I felt disappointed at first and then I stopped myself and realized that reading is not a race. It’s my favorite hobby, and I carve out as many moments to read each day as I possibly can.

Stealing moments to read is what readers do. We take five minutes here and 20 minutes there and finish one more chapter before the lights go out at night. I read because it fuels me like oxygen. Without books, I don’t know how I’d survive.

So this new year as you think about the past, ask yourself, how will you steal reading moments out of your day? What new book are you waiting to open and settle into? What books left a mark on you from 2013?

There is creative reading
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Fatma .M via Compfight

Leave me a comment and let me know!

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Gaming with CORE

What is CORE?

Our new bulletin board is a weekly contest connecting research and photographs. It’s called CORE:

C is for Connect


O is for Observe


R is for Research


E is for Evaluate


Put the letters together and it looks like this!


One of the important aspects of the new Common Core standards in writing is research.

research standard pix

 In the library, one way we are supporting this standard is through a fun weekly research game.Every Monday I display a new photograph on the bulletin board.



Students have until Friday to pick up a answer sheet, research the answer and return their paper to the CORE box.


Students can talk to their friends or families, look it up on our databases, use books or encyclopedias, or search on the internet for the answer.



Everyone who participates gets their name on the wall and stickers are added each week a person participates. The answer sheets are corrected. Everyone gets a fun sticker if they write down an answer. If it’s the right answer, I add a fun bookmark as well.

All of the photos I have used so far have been pictures I have taken as I have traveled to different places both near and far.


Last week, I had a photo of some Roosevelt elk grazing in North Bend, Washington with Mt. Si in the background. We had lots of entries, but only Mina had both of the correct answers. Apparently I have talked a lot about Africa because the most popular answer was gazelles grazing on the African plains!

Anyone can participate and remember it is not cheating to talk with your family about the answer. In fact, that’s a great idea because if use the internet, the adults can help you search safely.

Who said research can’t be fun? 


What search engine or database do you like to use?

What kind of photograph do you suggest I consider using in the future?

Leave a comment and let me know!


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Voting Open for 2013 Edublog Awards!

It’s an exciting time in the Bulldog Reader Library!


The Edublog Awards are open for voting!

We are one of the finalists for the Best Library/librarian Blog.

Voting this year with through the website and you will be able to see real time votes. You will have to register to vote and you can vote daily. Here is a photo from Mrs. Watanabe’s blog showing how this works:

lsitly capture 


Our blog is not showing up with our regular photo, so here’s a direct link to the BulldogReaderBlog voting tab:


Encourage your family and friends to vote for our blogging friends too in other categories. You can find our nominations in this post. See full list on Listly

Voting closes on Wednesday, December 18th at 8:59 PST (11:59 EST)

Thank you for support our blog!

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Nominations for the Eddies

Can you believe it’s been ten years since the Edublog Awards began?



The purpose of the Edublog Awards, also known as the Eddies, is promote and celebrate the educational values of social media.

Here are my nominations for 2013:

Best individual blog -  Tracy Watanabe –


Best group blog - The Nerdy Book Club –


Best new blog – Mr. Salsich –


Best class blog - Mrs. Yollis – Mrs. Yollis Classroom blog


Best student blog - Mallory Fundora -


Best ed tech / resource sharing blog  – Edutopia-


Best teacher blog  – Pauline Roberts –


Best library/librarian blog -  Shannon McClintock Miller –


Best individual tweeter - @JoAnnJacobs68


Best free web tool – Goodreads –


Best educational use of audio / video/visual/podcast -  Shawn Avery & Math Movie Network -


Lifetime achievement - Jerry Blumengarten - @cybraryman1


One of the benefits of educational blogging is to give students an authentic audience for their ideas, writing and projects. Blogging gives them the opportunity to become educated global learners, connected and ready for the 21st century world. I urge you to participate in celebrating those educators and students you respect in the social media world. Share your nominations with the world! Nominations are open until December 1, 2013.


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Hello Barcelona, Spain!

Have you ever been to Barcelona?

470_jeanette_edu_1384563055Recently I found out that I will be going to Barcelona, Spain because I was accepted into the Microsoft Partners in Learning Expert Educator program. This is what I received in an email:

Dear Expert Educator,
Congratulations!  You have been selected by Microsoft to be a part of the very first class of Expert Educators! This process was very competitive – you were chosen from over 23,000 educators in over 150 countries from around the world. Your application, learning activity, and video were outstanding. We are proud to have you as a part of this incredible group of educators.


The project I submitted was our Books to Africa project where our students in grades 1-5 made various multi-media presentations about Africa to align with our literacy outreach program. Details about the project can be found on the Books to Africa blog.

BTA Logo

In March I will be flying from Seattle,to Barcelona to participate in the Microsoft in Education Global Forum. The forum is a four day series of learning workshops as well as a showcase of learning activities. Each educator brings an example of the project he or she submitted and shares it with the other people there. It’s an unbelievable learning experience that I wish every teacher will have the opportunity to experience during their career.  When I attended the global forum last year in Prague, I left with a suitcase of memories and teaching ideas, many of which I adapted and applied to our Books to Africa project.


This year’s event is expected to attract more than 1,100 top education leaders, school leaders, educators, press, government officials, partners and sponsors from more than 80 countries. We will celebrate how technology advances students into the 21st century giving them the skills they need to actively participate in the workforce and build strong economies.  The 2014 Global Forum experience includes:

  • Collaboration and networking
  • Awards, competition and recognition for the most innovative educators and school leaders
  • Keynotes and panel discussions with world renown education experts, innovators, and partners
  • Innovative uses of cutting edge technologies for learning
  • Inspiring professional development

One of the teachers Jeanette Delgado from Puerto Rico made an infographic of all the Expert Educators from around the globe. She used to illustrate the data. It’s fun and free!



The Expert Educator program is not just about the global forum. It is a year long commitment of learning about how technology can be used to successfully in the classroom. I know I am about to embark on a journey that will be life-changing and transformative. The best part of the partners in learning program is that it is free to join. Visit and sign up today!  You will have access to thousands of projects submitted by teachers from around the globe, plus, tutorials, discussion boards, hot topics, resources, professional development and it’s all free!



 I will be documenting this experience throughout the year on this blog, so I hope my readers will check back here or on the Books to Africa blog and see what’s happening!


Have you ever been to Barcelona?

What technology do you want to learn more about?

Have you ever used Photosynth or AutoCollage?

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