Everyone’s A Winner!

Reading in a cave!

Reading while horseback riding!

Reading with a dog!

Reading in a dentist chair!

These are just some of the inventive ways our students chose to read for our 2nd annual summer reading contest!


Ellie with Mt. Rainier in the background



Every contest needs a winner and judges! Our Australian blogging buddies AA, BB and BB’s cousin Kayla were our judges again this year! Woo-hoo! A big round of claps to these three people who spent a lot of time helping me decide categories and winners.


AA and BB in Australia. Not pictured, BB’s cousin.


They also said it’s hard to pick just one winner.

So….I decided everyone who participated won in a specific category. When you read, you are a winner for life!

Here is a movie with all our winners!

List of winners by category

Blogging Buddies

BB in Australia

Miriam with her Mom (Mrs. Yollis’ former student)

Miriam with friends (Mrs. Yollis’ former student)

Mrs. Krebs in Iowa

Dangerous Reading





Famous Landmarks






Quincy, Ramsey & Peyton




Just Chillin’






 Thank you everyone who sent in photos or made a comment during the summer!

I hope you had fun reading!


Have you ever been to any of the places featured in our movie?

What’s the craziest place you have read?

What is your reading goal for this year?

Leave us a comment and let us know!




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First Day of School

Welcome back to school!

I hope you had a wonderful summer of fun and


Here are the latest summer reading contest photos. Also, Friday, September 7th is the last day to submit your photos.

Starting this weekend, I will be working with our judges AA and BB in Australia to determine our winners. There will be 4-5 prizes for the most unusual photographs. The announcement will come out next week, so check back often on our blog!






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Ending Summer with Books!


It’s Labor Day and this is the last group of summer reading contest photo entries!


School starts on Wednesday!


I hope everyone has had a wonderful summer of reading!









What was your favorite book this summer?

What are you looking forward to reading?

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Reading is All About Fun!

Our latest reading photos clearly show that reading can be fun, no matter where you are!

In the first three photos, our readers are on Lopez Island, which is in the San Juan Islands between Washington and Vancourver Island, British Columbia, Canada. You have to go by boat, ferry or plane to get there.

Gabe is reading to his sister by headlamp on a camping trip on Lopez Island.

Taking a break at the kangeroo farm.

On the beach at Spencer Spit, Lopez Island.

Have you ever seen a magic show? Have you ever tried to create some magic yourself? Check out Jaryn and what he’s learning from his magic book!

Our next reader, Josa visited Oregon where he also did some creative reading. Josa went to some caves in Oregon. Imagine reading deep underneath the earth’s surface!

He also got outside for some fun in the sun! I’ve always wanted to ride in one of these fancy bicycle carriages! They look like a great way to get around!

What do you think about going to the dentist office? Sheadyn knows how to make it funny with a little help from Garfield.

Miriam, one of Mrs. Yollis’ former students in California sent in a group reading photo! I think it’s great that we have blogging buddies helping us with our reading photos! She explains this photo in her own words:

In this picture my siblings and I are all reading our books. I am reading Number the Stars by Lois Lowry which is about two families who are going through World War II. My younger brother Michael is reading the Horrible Harry series by Suzy Kline, which is about a boy who always gets in trouble. My little sister Hannah is reading the Amber Brown series by Paula Danziger. They are twins and are going into first grade and they are already reading chapter books! My sister Sarah is reading The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. It is about a baby boy raised in the graveyard by dead people, and he is trying to find his real family.


A huge thank you to everyone near and far who has sent in photos for our summer reading contest. There is still time, so get out there, have some fun while you are reading and send us your photo!

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Kid Lit Movie Project Wins!

Hey upcoming 5th graders! Your book trailer project won second place!

 I hope you know how proud I am of all your hard work!

Since Monday evening, I have been at the Partners in Learning US Forum with 100 other educators from around the country. We have been showcasing the projects our students have done using technology. Mrs. Lustgarden and I talked a lot about what the poster should look like and then she put it together.

Everyone had a display booth to set up. Then on Tuesday we had three separate judging sessions. I had three judges come to ask me more in depth questions about our project. It was a lot like taking a test and believe me, I was pretty nervous!

On Wednesday, we learned about Windows 8, and took some classes to learn about some different tools we can use in our classrooms.

In the evening, we went to the Bell Harbor in Seattle for a reception and awards dinner. The weather was perfect and it was fun seeing all the teachers dressed up really fancy!

Before I knew it dinner was over and it was time for the anouncement of the awards. We had found out earlier in the day that the teachers who won would be traveling to Prague in the Czech Republic in late November to compete against teachers from around the world.

The first name that was announced was mine! I was so surprised and excited that I couldn’t even find the steps up to the podium. Our project won second place in Collaboration! I had my picture taken and sat back down at my table.

Eric Willams, a school superintendent in Virginia was one of my judges. Photo courtesy of Vicki A. Davis.

What I didn’t realize until I sat down was that I would be going to Prague! My friend leaned over and said, “You’re going to Prague!” I told her, “No I’m not, we got second place!” At that point she explained that the first and second place winners both go to the Global Forum. And then….I started crying! I couldn’t believe it and really, still can’t.

I can’t wait to see everyone when school starts so we can celebrate together! Let’s get really crazy and break the no popcorn in the library rule. Maybe we will have cake, I don’t know! We will figure out something fun to do!

In the meantime, enjoy your summer and Keep Reading! Jake and Makenzie sent in this photo of them reading at Independence Hall when they were on vacation.

What are you going to send me? We still have some great August weeks to read!


What is your favorite technology tool?

Have you ever been on a trip far from home?

Tell me about it! What do I need to bring?

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Our Friends Read Too!

Our reading photos today come from two of our blogging friends in other parts of the country! Isn’t it great that blogging can open up connections with people near and far?

Sarah, a former student from Mrs. Yollis’s class in California sent us this photo of her reading with her mom. Here is what she wrote to me with her reading photo:

I love reading with my mom in the evening. I pick a difficult book with many high level words and my mom helps me understand the book. Right now, I am reading one of my mom’s favorite books called Anne of Green Gables. It is about an orphan girl named Anne Shirley, and her life in a small farming village. Anne has very red hair that cause her great distress. She also has an excellent imagination that helps her get through difficult times.

Mrs. Krebs, a teacher in Iowa, heard about our summer reading contest and sent us this photo of her reading! I love how she chose an unusual perspective on reading! Here is the link to comment on Mrs. Kreb’s blog. If you are wondering what book Mrs. Kreb is reading, it’s called The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller.

 A HUGE Thank you! to our blogging friends for sending in their reading photos! You can also contribute a photo to Mrs. Yollis’ 366 project with the permission of your parents. Join in on the reading photo fun!

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Super Summer Reading

Mackenzie and Jake recently traveled to Philadelphia, PA where they visited the famous Liberty Bell. Do you know why this bell is such an important part of American history?

You don’t have to be far from home to enjoy reading! Here is Emily at a horse riding camp this summer! I wonder if she is reading a horse book? What do you think?

Nothing says, “Fun!” like balloons! Isn’t it great that you can learn how to make crazy designs by reading a book?What I want to know is if Josa learned how to make those balloons in the photo!

Mrs. Yollis and I were able to meet face to face recently in San Diego. To thank her for all the comments she has made on our blog, I brought her a copy of the book,  Because of Shoe and Other Dog Stories. Buck really likes this doggie book, but apparently wanted to eat it! Oh no, Buck!

BB – our Australian student commenter extraordinaire is one of our judges again! Here she is reading one of  her favorite series, Alice Miranda down under with some of her stuffed animals. I hope you will visit her blog too and leave her a comment!

Thank you to all of our friends for sending in these awesome reading photos!

Don’t forget – YOU can join in the fun too! Just have an adult email me a photo and I will put it on the blog. This link will give you directions on how to join in on the fun.

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Are You Reading?

It’s time for summer reading fun!

How about trying an audio book?

Nicholas listened to an audio book during a recent car trip!

Reading manuals count too!

You never know when the Cub Scout Handbook will come in handy!

Seattle’s brand new ferris wheel recently opened on the waterfront. Mr. and Mrs. Hembree went for a ride!

Pete the Cat helped me cope with being 175 feet in the air!

The views of the Seattle waterfront were pretty spectacular!

In the foreground you can see 2 car ferries that transport people home to nearby islands. In the background are our two sports stadiums.

Still you should never be without a book!

So, don’t forget to send in those fun reading photos for our Summer Reading Contest! It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing. There’s always a good time to read!


What kind of book have you read recently?

Have you ever listened to an audio book?

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Summer Reading Contest

It’s time for our 2nd annual summer reading contest!

Summer is a time for fun, but it’s also a time to keep reading! Summer is when you get to read all the books you wanted to read during the year, but didn’t have time! The KCLS library system has their Dream Big Read free reading contest and we have our silly reading contest.



So email those super Summer Reading photos to me this summer at jhembree@lwsd.org and we will see some fun reading on the blog!

I will be posting photos too! I’m traveling with Chicken Butt and Pete the Cat! Wait till you see where we go! We like to have fun reading too! Enjoy your summer! Keep Reading!  Mrs. Hembree

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