“Dig into Reading” this summer with a visit to the Charlotte Public Library! Check out their website for wonderful program opportunities for all ages!
Click below for summer reading ideas. Encourage your children to read what interests them. We are often motivated by the things that make us curious. I can’t wait to hear all about favorite summertime reads when I see my students in the fall!
Mrs. H’s Recommended Reads
Includes lists of award-winning books as well as some of my favorite blogs and websites devoted to matching every reader with that perfect book.
Association for Library Service to Children Reading Lists
K-8 summer reading lists of titles recommended by kids for kids.
Filed under 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, booklists, Books, reading, SummerReading
As National School Library Month draws to a close, I find myself sifting through the last of my Shelf Challenge piles. I have thoroughly enjoyed making the time to slow down and really explore a specific area of the library collection. I’ve rediscovered childhood favorites such as George and Martha by James Marshall. I’ve found great titles that are just in need of some shiny brand-new covers and a little talking-up. I’ve also found some books that nicely fill those last-minute requests that all librarians receive every day for picture books on a particular topic that our catalog’s subject headings don’t quite capture. See my slideshow below for these “Above and Beyond the Subject Headings” books.
I have also found some things that just need to be weeded out to make room for the gems to really shine. It’s just like weeding a garden. Here are my “gems of the Ms”.
I just love Patricia McKissack. I am a huge history buff and love primary sources, so appreciate McKissack’s writing inspired by objects. Here are three of my favorite mentor texts that encourage young writers to use family treasures as inspiration for their own stories. Ma Dear’s Aprons, Mirandy and Brother Wind, and The All-I’ll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll.
The Butterfly Tree by Sandra Markle is a great example of showing instead of telling. Markle uses beautiful descriptive vocabulary to illustrate in words one particular memory.
I am always on the lookout for books that convey a strong sense of place. Tilde Michel’s At the Frog Pond is one of these books. Her writing carries us right to the banks of the pond. Not only do we learn how a tadpole turns into a frog, but we learn how to write specifically about a certain place.
Morning Milking by Linda Lowe Morris is about a young girl who helps her dad with the milking chores every morning, all the while trying to figure out how to save every single experience, every single moment. From the barn to the kitchen table, we experience every single sight, smell and sound the girl loves about the place as she describes it. She finally realizes that her family knows the answer to her problem. Morris writes: “They took the things they loved and turned them into stories.” Wow. I got goosebumps. Really!
Finally, any of my students would be able to tell you that I thoroughly enjoy getting silly with funny books. Manners Mash-Up: a Goofy Guide to Good Behavior is just so silly. It is a joy to read and even more of a joy to watch students’ faces as they read the illustrations. This is a fabulous collaborative effort by 14 of today’s best authors/illustrators. I Will Not Read This Book by Cece Meng is a wonderful readaloud for modeling fluency and reading with expression and feeling. I love it when I get to use a LOUD voice in the library!
Thank you Matthew Winner for inspiring and encouraging me to slow down and do a little exploring for the benefit of my students!
I love teaching and working with teacher partners. Mrs. Little and I just finished some collaborative work that I would like to share. We were able to integrate multiple literacy skills into a Social Studies unit. As part of their learning, students explored how various groups of people experienced the Westward Expansion Movement in U.S. history. They researched what this time period was like for particular groups of people, then shared their understandings with each other using a variety of presentation formats. They took the time to learn from one another and provide feedback to keep the thoughts flowing.
Mrs. Little and I wanted to model the spirit of exploration and boldly use some new tools to help show what we know. We used Thinglink as an option for a mapping project, and Meograph for creating interactive timelines. As we observed students working through their research, we realized that there was so much happening all at once, and it was exciting! Here is a list of the various skills and literacies students were integrating into their learning:
Print & digital research (location, access, synthesis, evaluation of information)
Visual & Media Literacy
Locating images and other media that are relevant, accurate, unbiased
Interpretation & use of primary sources
Editing & sharing of images
Navigating network folders
Successful use of equipment(microphones, headphones, etc.)
Use of shared google docs & gmail to share links, citations, etc.
Use of new tools (Thinglink, Meograph)
Writing & editing
Reading with fluency
Giving useful feedback to peers
Wow! Take a look at some of the highlights in the slideshow below!
The CCS Library held a Library Snapshot Day in honor of School Library Month! A visit to our school library on any given day will reveal a variety of things happening. It might be quiet. More often than not, it will be humming. Sometimes, it’s even loud!
Here are some of the adventures in learning that made up the snapshot of our day:
6th graders shared Westward Expansion research via Meograph timelines and gave feedback to one another. This was the high point of a multi-week collaborative Social Studies unit taught with Mrs. Little.
Mrs. Thayer’s 3rd & 4th graders used iMovie to finish work on book trailers for their favorite books.
Mrs. Williams’ 7th graders arrived to get a refresher on research and citation skills for their World Religions research project.
Ms. Lara’s 4th graders finished book trailers!
Throughout the day, students also voted for their favorite DCF books, found great books to read, stopped by to say “hi”, and generally made up a steady stream of bodies flowing through the library space.
Here are my favorite quotes of the day:
“I love my library because it recharges my mental batteries.”
“I love my library because it’s where I find peace of mind.”
“I love my library because it’s a collection of dreams and fantasies that I can read.”
Check out our slideshow for a picture snapshot of the learning that happened today!
Do you remember your favorite childhood picture book? Mine was Virginia Lee Burton’s Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. As a matter of fact, I love it still. In 46 pages, Burton tells a story of friendship, persistence, community and change. It gives the reader such a strong sense of place that you almost feel as if you could slip right into the pages.
As a child, I loved it for different reasons. I distinctly remember it being the first thing that assured me that girls can do whatever boys can do. I loved the way the pictures flowed from one page to another. I loved the words. I loved
the diagrams on the end papers. I even loved the way it smelled. I loved sitting in my mother’s lap as she first read to me, then I to her. I still have the same copy I loved as a child, the “Weekly Reader” edition. Here is a picture of the inside. That’s my first attempt at printing my name near the top. It might be showing it’s age, but it has stuck with me through thick and thin. When I open it, I now see not only the story contained on the pages, but my memories as well. I still read it to my own children. I still love to smell the pages. Why this love letter about a picture book? In honor of School Library Month, I have accepted Matthew C. Winner’s Shelf Challenge. Read more about it at Matthew’s “The Busy Librarian” blog. I have committed to reading all of the “M” books in our picture book collection. I see it as a way for me to connect readers to books that they will some day feel this way about.
April is School Library Month! The theme for 2013 is “Communities Matter @ Your Library”. We’ve got book buddies, guest readers, and reading celebrations planned.
Our library snapshot day is planned for Monday, April 15th. This will be a day to highlight what happens in our school library on any given day, in pictures, words, and numbers! Our library is a hub for the school community. We can’t wait to share the different types of teaching and learning that happen on any given day.
We will be hosting a guest reader from the Charlotte Public Library! Read this previous post to see how this community connection works!
Part of being a community is participating in a common experience. 4th-8th graders will be voting for their favorite Dorothy Canfield Fisher books this month, as well. Ask a 4th-8th grader you know what their favorite book is and why. Read some yourselves. Check out the DCF Blog to see what students around the state have to say about the nominated titles!
I have signed up to participate in the 2013 ShelfChallenge! Teachers are part of learning communities. This challenge encourages me to slow down at a time of the school year that is usually very hectic. It will help me to gain
2013 Shelf Challenge
insight into our library collection, see new opportunities for connecting books
with readers, and learn from colleagues around the country who are participating in the challenge as well. My Shelf Challenge is the “M” books in the Everybody section. Here is a picture of two shelves of that collection.
I’ve already found some gems to share with students and staff and can’t wait to find more!
Filed under Books, DCF, reading
Partnerships are a good thing. We try to teach our students how to work together, so we should strive to do the same. We have a wonderful relationship with our public library. I’d like to highlight a couple of ways that we work together for the benefit of our students.
Last week, preschoolers were treated to a guest storytime presented by Charlotte Library Director Margaret Woodruff. The theme was patterns. Students helped Margaret read Pattern Fish by Trudy Harris, then worked on exploring and creating some patterns of their own. Margaret’s storytelling, supported with materials from The Mother Goose Program, was a huge hit with our 4-year-olds!
Today, I joined Margaret and Cheryl Sloan, Youth Services Librarian, to present our Middle School summer reading collaboration to a group of Vermont public librarians. Our aim is to help grow the connections between schools and public libraries throughout the state for the benefit of the children in our communities. We shared how the program has progressed over the past two years and introduced grant opportunities to fund the program for interested libraries. This was a great idea that went somewhere because the people in our student’s lives took the time to talk to one another. Community members, public & school librarians, and classroom teachers all played a role. It’s a pretty good model for our students to see, I think! See my Summer Reading page to see an outline of last summer’s program. Why reinvent the wheel when we can share? Let’s keep the partnerships growing!
Filed under 7th Grade, 8th Grade, Book Groups, Books, Collaboration, Middle School, Preschool, Readalouds, reading, SummerReading, Writing, Young Writers Project