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.

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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.

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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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We Love Bookfairs!

Do you know that if you read for 14.2 minutes per day, you will be exposed to 1,146,000 words per year? That’s a LOT of words!
Reading every day builds a stronger foundation for success in school and in life. That’s why I always have a Bookfair!

It was so terrific to see so many students and families stop by the Bookfair during before conference week! Our library profit from the fair was $1500. Wow! That’s the best we have done in many years! That money will be used to purchase new books for our library.

If you weren’t able to come to the Bookfair in person, we have an online fair available too. It will be available until October 20th.
You can visit http://bookfairs.scholastic.com/homepage/bellbulldogs

Thank you again for supporting our library!

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Linking Dot Day with Art

Did you celebrate International Dot Day yet?

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The great part of this holiday is that the date is September 15ish.  The ‘ish” part means that you can keep celebrating or you can start celebrating when the time is right for you. It’s never to late to find out how you are creative and awesome.

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I love art, so this year I was inspired by the work of some other librarians and art teachers on Pinterest to try an artist focus for our Dot Day celebration. We  also talked about what we are learning in library standards through the process.

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Each grade learned about a different artist and then the students imitated that style of art to create their own awesome dot. The kindergarteners learned about George Seurat who painted some of his most famous paintings using thousands of tiny dots.

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The kindergarteners added dots to a coffee filter with watercolor dot painters, and then I sprayed water on this to get an impressionism effect. It was quite magical to see the colors blend together.

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First graders learned that tie-dye didn’t really get invented in the 1960’s, but is rather a style of artcraft that’s been used around the world since the 6th century.

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They used watercolor markers to create a design on their coffee filter, added some lines to get the ‘tie-dye’ effect and then I sprayed water on it.

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The second graders learned about the artwork of Robert Delauney who was greatly influenced by color and geometry.

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They divided their dot in half and then in quarters. Then they added circles which they colored in. The same color could be used on the dot, but it couldn’t touch itself, except for in the inner circle.

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The third graders studied Walter Kandinsky and learned that he wanted to be a musician, but then became an artist.

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They made their art standing up, while listening to PianoGuys music. I encouraged the students to choose a color to use based on the music they heard, or the visuals on the screen.

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The fourth graders focused on Vincent Van Gogh and his heavy brush stroke technique. Most of our students are familiar with his Starry Night and Sunflower paintings.

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They used oil pastels on black dots to imitate his style, with brush stokes in different colors.

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The fifth graders combined math, line, and primary colors when they learned about Piet Mondrian.

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Each student was given a sharpie, a ruler and water color markers. They were instructed to create a cubism style dot with the sharpie and ruler, and then fill in the spaces with only primary colors: red, yellow and blue.

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It’s been a fabulous week of creating awesome artwork, and continues next week too. One student said about his dot, “It’s a tornado of color!” others eagerly talked about how it was the best day ever in the library! Here’s our Kindergarten -5th grade bulletin board with some samples from each grade.

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A HUGE round of claps and a super thank you go to Mrs. Lustgarten who shared her artist research and powerpoint slides with me!

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You can try these techniques at home!

What ones to you want to try?

Do you have a suggestion for another style we should try next year?

Leave us a comment and let us know!

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The New Ones are Coming

Look at what is new!

We are adding new books all the time at the library. Here are some that we added this week. The Heidi Hecklebeck books are one the side counter near the windows with the other chapter books in the baskets.

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The sports books are located at the rear section of the library in the Sports genre fiction section. 

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The biographies are on the 921 non-fiction shelves. These are located near the rear of the library as well. You can find each book in alphabetical order by the subject’s last name. For example, the new Wilma Rudolph book is 921 RUD. Check them out soon!

Don’t forget, if you have a suggestion for me to buy, please let me know! I just made a big book order based on a lot of student ideas. They will be here any day, including some books for all of our Minecraft friends.

 

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The One and Only Ivan Review

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You HAVE to read this book!

I tell my 3-5th grade students every year. You HAVE to read this book! It is the BEST book in our library, it won the Newbery Award and kids who have never liked reading chapter books before, LOVE this book.  I show them the book trailer I made, and then I watch all four copies fly off the shelf and the reserve slips stack up.

I did it again this year, and Thyna took the book home and then brought me this review!

The book that I read is called The One and Only Ivan. My favorite part was when Ivan was in a long time, but he got to go to a zoo. This book is about a mighty silverback, which is a type of gorilla. His name is Ivan. He was raised by a guy named Mack, until Mack decided for Ivan to go in a cage at a mall where Mack worked.

Ivan had friends like Stella the elephant and Bob the stray dog that came in the crack in the window. Ivan has been at the Big Top Mall for a very long time, but he is sad even if he does have friends. There is a guy name George and he works at the mall also. George has a daughter named Julia and she gives Ivan some paper and crayons so he can make art. Eventually Mack finds the paintings and sells them at the gift shop.

Then there is a new elephant named Ruby and she does shows at the mall. One time Stella asked Ivan to keep a promise. The promise was to get Ruby safe at a zoo. Lastly, Ivan got Ruby to a zoo. Ruby and Ivan were happy and Bob the dog lived with Julia happily.

Thank you Thyna for your awesome review! It sounds like you are a fan too! The other great news is that a picture book version will be published on October 7th. It’s called Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla It will be available for check out as soon as we get a copy!

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Katherine Applegate came to our school a couple years ago for a visit. You can read more here. This is the book trailer I show to my classes to advertise her unbelievably amazing book.

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It’s International Dot Day!

Do you know what day this is?

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International Dot Day, a global celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration, began when teacher Terry Shay introduced his classroom to Peter H. Reynolds’ book The Dot on September 15, 2009.

The Dot is the story of a caring teacher who dares a doubting student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to “make her mark”. What begins with a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage, igniting a journey of self-discovery and sharing, which has gone on to inspire countless children and adults around the globe.”

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We will be celebrating Dot Day with 1,701,196 other participants from 80 different countries. That’s 1.7+ million people! Wow! First we will read The Dot and then learn about some famous artists: Seurat, Van Gogh, Mondrian, Kandinsky, Delaunay, and the ancient art of tie-dye. Then each student will be creating a dot imitating the style of these famous artists. I’ll share more photos soon.

In the meantime, you can also celebrate at home. All you have to do is to make your mark. Try something new. Create something. Write or sing a new song. Honor your creativity and join the movement. Make a blank book and fill its pages with words and art of your own!

You can also listen to Peter H. Reynolds talk about how he makes his mark daily and the origins of his important book. Click on this link which will take you to TeachingBooks.net and his recorded interview.

Everyday is a DOT DAY when you cherish and celebrate creativity.

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How did you celebrate Dot Day?

How are you creative?

Leave me a comment and let me know!

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