Category Archives: DCF

Talk at home about…sailing into summer reading!

IMG_4617Wait a minute! What does this picture of beautiful Lake Champlain have to do with summer reading? Today was field trip day for the middle schoolers who participated in the Classical Connections summer reading program! Now in it’s 5th year, this collaboration between CCS and the Charlotte Public Library has grown into one of my most favorite things to do with my students!

Each year, students read a modern novel paired with a classic. This year’s classical connections were The Great Wide Sea by M.H. Herlong and Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. Is the picture making more sense to you now? Good! Over this past week, students have read and talked about two amazing stories, participated in activities like “How to Survive if You’re Lost at Sea”, written about the books using their Young Writers Project blogs, created fictional journals, and today they learned how to sail! The week just flew by, and I hope that this quick jump-start to summer reading will carry through the rest of the summer months for my students. I am so thankful to families that share their children with me. I find constant delight in my students, and am always amazed at their insights into what they are reading. I am also grateful for our strong Vermont community connections. This program would not be possible without the help of Cheryl Sloan and the awesome Charlotte Library staff. I am also grateful to Kathy Folley and the Young Writers Project Staff who provide a tool for students to capture their thinking in writing.  Appreciation to Mrs. Williams and Mr. Lutz for offering this program as a choice to help complete summer reading requirements.  Thanks to Sharon Colvin of the Vermont Department of Libraries for supporting the goodness of this program and helping to spread the word around the state. The Charlotte community also played a huge role this year! A Front Porch Forum request brought out donations for the week of nautical charts that illustrate the very setting of The Great Wide Sea! Alex Bunten of the Charlotte News visited and  graciously answered questions about a recent sailing trip of his own! Thanks also go to the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center for an awesome experience today. Not only were my students making connections to the books they read as they sailed, they did so on the gorgeous Lake Champlain canvas. I so appreciate the opportunity for my students to make a connection to this beautiful body of water. Stewardship of  our local natural resources begins with simply experiencing them! Many thanks to Alex Kroll, who appreciates the middle school soul, and supports their reading adventures from summer to summer. I cannot forget to thank the entire Charlotte community, who welcome a middle school takeover of our public library space for a week every summer.  As you can see, it really does take a village! I’m so happy that my students get to experience something that develops around them with the help of many community hands.  See the slide show below for the story of our week in pictures, and sail on into summer my friends!

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Filed under 7th Grade, 8th Grade, Books, Collaboration, DCF, Fun, Learning, Middle School, reading, SummerReading, Writing, Young Writers Project

Talk at home about…stories and statistics!

dcf

Building bags of DCF goodies!

This week CCS celebrated stories! Numbers and statistics always seem to be woven into the stories I tell about our library. Students learned the winners of the two Vermont kids’ choice awards. The Red Clover Award winner is the Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Deywalt;  ill. by Oliver Jeffers. Our CCS K-4 voters were so happy with this news! This book won here with 42 votes – a landslide!

4th-8th graders who read enough Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award nominees started their day today with a celebration! They got a sneak peek at the titles on next year’s list, enjoyed a few breakfast munchies, and were able to “build a bag” with DCF goodies. Congratulations to Schuyler Edgar-Holmes, who read ALL 30 of the titles this school year! And congratulations to the winning book, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein. This won 34.6% of our student votes here at CCS!

Grace

“See, Think, Wonder”

6th graders began learning about primary sources this week in USkills classes as a way to prompt their thinking and questioning of images & other media. They are currently reading the book Counting on Grace by Elizabeth Winthrop, and will be researching photographs taken by the investigative photographer Lewis W. Hine. The Library of Congress holds 5,309 of his photographs, taken at the turn of the 20th Century. One of these photographs inspired Winthrop to write her story. Students will turn their wonderings and research into writing of their very own during Language Arts classes. The strategy we used to think critically about primary sources  is called “See, Think, Wonder”.  Ask your 6th grader about the strategy! If you’re curious about these photographs, you can take a look at our pathfinder.

Finally, I have one last story about numbers. 4th graders are investigating what it means to be a Vermonter. Today, we used Google Forms to create a survey for their families to complete in order to gather data about the qualities they think are most important when defining what being a Vermonter means to them. This data will be analyzed and added to the eBooks they are creating. I can’t wait to see the numbers.

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Filed under 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 6th Grade, booklists, Books, Data, DCF, InformationLiteracy, Kindergarten, Learning, Pathfinders, reading, Red Clover, Research, Writing

Talk at home about…the stories we share!

photoWe know that when our students are able to choose what they read, they are more likely to develop strong vocabulary and writing skills. From a librarian’s perspective, I also see that choice in reading allows students to explore the world around them in a safe way. It encourages curiosity, and develops empathy skills.

This week, while enjoying time with 4th graders , I learned that the core idea for their current literacy unit was “story ideas take many forms.” As I listened along with the students to the ways in which different authors shape their stories, I couldn’t help but think about the connections students are able to make with many forms of stories if they are given the power to make their own choices as readers.

Our school library contains a collection of over 20,000 print-and-paper books. If we take into account our online offerings, that number increases in ways I can’t even begin to count. We are constantly sharing books with our students. Booktalks are one of my favorite ways to share stories and show students the variety of books there are to choose from. Over the past week or so, I have been talking about Red Clover and Dorothy Canfield Fisher books. Both of these reading programs offer a wide variety of quality literature for our students to choose from. Take a look at our home page to explore some of the books on your own!

Here are some other links you might like to visit:

Red Clover Book Award Program (K-4)

DCF Book Award Program (4-8)

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Filed under 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, booklists, Books, Booktalks, DCF, Kindergarten, Middle School, Primary, reading, Red Clover

Talk at home about…a great first week!

Ok, so it hasn’t officially been a full week yet, but we are certainly off and running! The library has been bustling with books leaving the shelves in the hands of teachers and students alike. I have enjoyed welcoming each face, and have also had the opportunity to be a part of classroom activities in preparation for some wonderful collaborations that are already in the works.

Here are some of the books I’ve already shared with our younger students. Each in it’s own way celebrates books, reading, new beginnings, and the stories that we each have to tell!

bearmonsterflying books

 

A Library Book for Bear by Bonny Becker; illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce

My Teacher is a Monster!…No, I am Not! by Peter Brown

Today we will be sharing booktalks! Can’t wait to see 6th graders this afternoon to talk about the new Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award. Kids’ choice is something to celebrate!

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Filed under 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 6th Grade, Books, Booktalks, DCF, Readalouds, reading

Talk at home about..the power of choice!

The big library news in the state of Vermont is about books, of course! All school year long, students have been listening to and reading our kids’ choice nominees. Not only have they been absorbing well written literature, they have also been creating new content of their own inspired by a wide range of stories.

CCS Students in grades K-4 chose The World’s Greatest Lion by Ralph Helfer; illustrated by Ted Lewin as their pick to win the Red Clover Book Award. Thousands of other students across the state of Vermont agreed with them! The Red Clover Award exposes students in these grades each year to 10 quality picture books. The beauty of the program is that each student has a voice. This year, 2nd grade teachers and I worked together to incorporate that power of voice into students’ writing, using the Red Clover books as a springboard.

Students wrote persuasive pieces nominating the book they thought should win the award. They shared their writing on their classroom blogs, and got lots of authentic practice in keyboarding, navigating a digital platform, editing, and sharing effective comments with each other. We were then able to add other layers to their classroom KidBlog posts, including  book talks created during library times! Here are a couple of examples of book talks created using the StoryKit app:

Lemonade in Winter  by Emily Jenkins & G. Brian Karas

Brothers at Bat by Audrey Vernick; illustrated by Steven Salerno

The World’s Greatest Lion by Ralph Helfer; illustrated by Ted Lewin

Students in grades 4-8 voted for their favorite Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award book, also! Each year, students choose their favorites from among 30 amazing nominees. The thing I love the most about the DCF books is that they provide my students with an opportunity to try something new, and to perhaps walk in someone else’s shoes for a bit. They can explore different times and a variety of  life experiences through the eyes of the characters.

CCS students varied slightly from the majority of children their age from across the state. Our school favorite for the award was The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. The state-wide winner, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, came in a very close second. Only one vote separated the two. It was a tough choice, but the important thing for me is that there is even a choice to be had for my students. I think it is a powerful thing for them to know that they have a voice, and it matters.

We are now preparing for our annual DCF celebration next week. Students get the opportunity to come together, chat about the books, and get a sneak peek at next years’ list!

Follow the links to read more about the Red Clover Book Award and the DCF Book Award!

 

 

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Filed under 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, booklists, Books, Collaboration, DCF, Kindergarten, Readalouds, reading, Red Clover, Writing

Talk at home about…Red Clover & DCF Books!

Each year, K-8 students may participate in the Red Clover (K-4) or Dorothy Canfield Fisher (4-8) Kids’ Choice Reading in the new chairs!Programs. Both programs expose students to a wide variety of quality literature chosen by dedicated teams of teachers and librarians. Students are able to vote for their favorite titles by the end of the school year. In addition, students learn to try new things with a spirit of exploration!

K-4 students share the Red Clovers during library times. The books help me teach and reinforce key literacy skills. Sharing takes the form of readalouds, movement activities, even blogging! Click here to visit the Red Clover site to learn more about the program and see the books your children will be sharing this Fall.

4th-8th graders listen to and watch book talks for the DCF nominees. They may participate in discussion groups and keep us busy making sure multiple copies of the books get into their eager hands! Click here to visit the DCF site. Watch trailers for this year’s nominees! We encourage you to read along with your child. The most meaningful discussions happen with you!

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Filed under 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, Books, Booktalks, DCF, Kindergarten, Readalouds, reading, Red Clover

Talk at home about…School Library Month!

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

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!

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Filed under Books, DCF, reading