Category Archives: Elementary

Talk at home about…student creations!

Libraries are centers of creativity. Ours has been humming the past few weeks with students thinking and creating! Here are a few highlights.

Sharing readalouds such as the Red Clover books with our younger students helps foster creative thinking. Picture books often contain big ideas in just a few pages. Guided discussions help students understand these big ideas and make connections to themselves and the world around them. Visual Thinking Strategies help them understand nuances of meaning included in the illustrations. These books  also serve as mentor texts for students learning to write their own narratives.


Some of our middle schoolers have finished historical fiction book groups on Ancient Egypt and are beginning the process of creating book trailers, which are like multi-media persuasive pieces, to try to entice others to read the books! This project also serves to keep the conversation going about the books. Ideas are being defended with text-based evidence, and Visual Thinking Strategies learned and reinforced in their elementary years are brought to the table again as they work to construct meaning with images, sound, and words.

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Other middle schoolers have utilized our library space to get creative with WeVideo to record stories about their family cultures, and Garage Band to record early 20th Century inspired and researched radio broadcasts. It’s a good thing to see students tucked away in every available space, and to hear the steady hum of creativity.



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Filed under Elementary, InformationLiteracy, Middle School

Talk at home about…reading our way through the week!

We are just getting ready to begin our third week of school! We’ve already experimented with our new “Creation Station”, listened to Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award book talks, explored the library to find books that will inspire us, and read – LOTS! I’ve found a few books to read aloud as we think about the skills and habits of mind we need to support our learning and big dreams. Here are the titles we shared that prompted discussions about our hopes and dreams.IMG_4961 (1)

My Pen by Christopher Myers is a celebration of individuality and the power of our imaginations. My students worried at first about the black and white illustrations, then realized the words made the colors come to life in their minds. This is what I call a quiet yet powerful book. Some books get my students jumping out of their seats. Some, like this one, still their bodies as they really focus on what they author is trying to say.  This was the best story to read aloud as we are getting ready to implement a ‘Creation Station” maker space in our library!

What do You do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada, ill. by Mae Besom encourages readers to think about the bravery it takes to have an idea and share it with the world. Ideas, once nurtured, can grow beyond just ourselves. My students particularly loved poring over the illustrations in this book, thinking critically about what they meant and how they related to the text and the author’s purpose. I can easily say this is one of the best books I have ever shared to get them thinking out loud about what they see and how it relates to each of them as individuals.

How to Read a Story by Kate Messner, ill. by Mark Siegel is the perfect book to share the joy of reading. It falls under the “why didn’t I think of that idea” category! It is simply brilliant. It takes readers through the steps of choosing a book that is just right, sharing it with a friend, and gives reminders about how to read the words and give voice to the characters. I loved reading it, and my students created a wave of bodies with outstretched arms afterwards. They couldn’t wait to get their hands on it!

These authors and illustrators have truly inspired us. I can’t wait to see where that inspiration takes us!






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Filed under 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, Authors, Books, Booktalks, Elementary, Kindergarten, Readalouds, reading

Talk at home about…our “Digital Reference” resource of the month!

Librarians are all about getting information resources into your hands!  Available on your computer or hand-held devices, these digital resources quite literally fit right into the palm of your hand and are accessible anytime, anywhere. They are delivered using multi-media platforms and are chock-full of accessible features that help support all students and their unique learning styles. They are designed to support curriculum as well as students’ interests. We take just as much care in selecting resources for our school community that are accessed online as we do in selecting print and paper books. In addition, we select resources that will best allow students to practice reading and navigating for information using a digital platform. Literacy skills are shifting and this is one way school libraries are helping to support those skills.

This month’s digital reference feature is BookFlix. BookFlixGeared toward students in grades PreK-3, this eBook reference features paired fiction and non-fiction videos and texts. Videos are productions of high-quality picture books produced by Weston Woods. Nonfiction eBooks of the same topic may be read alone or may be listened to using the “Read Along” feature. Educational games and activities are available to extend student learning.

You may access this resource by visiting the library’s Digital Reference page, or by clicking the handy icon you see in this post. Use the “About” section of this blog to contact us here in the library for a username and password. We hope you take some time to explore the resources yourselves. Or, better yet, explore alongside your child!

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Filed under 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, Books, Digital Literacy, eBooks, Elementary, InformationLiteracy, Kindergarten, Learning, Primary, reading

PTO Book Fair is right around the corner!

The PTO’s Scholastic Book Fair is November 10-11. Have your students read a good book lately? They may submit a review to Mrs. Huestis in the library and be entered for a chance to win a $5.00 coupon good toward Scholastic books at the fair!

Their reviews will be posted on the library bulletin board and on our Destiny Quest library catalog for other students to read!

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Filed under Books, Elementary, Kindergarten, Library Catalog, Middle School

Talk at home about….

3rd graders create a human story chain!

Red Clover books!


This program is designed for students in grades K-4. It is a kid’s choice book award for the state of Vermont, and each year thousands of students from around the state participate in the program. In addition to exposing students to a wide variety of quality literature, the program is used in the fall of each school year as a springboard for learning & enhancing basic library and literacy skills. In addition, it’s implementation incorporates standards. Grade Level Expectations addressed though this program include but are not limited to vocabulary strategies & breadth of vocabulary, comprehension strategies, initial understanding of literary and informational texts, analysis and interpretation of literary text/citing evidence, reading extensively, and literate community. Titles are used to enhance classroom studies in as many ways as possible.

We use a number of strategies to share these books with students. One is The Whole Book Approach. This approach to reading with children uses Visual Thinking Strategies and teaches them valuable, relevant literacy skills for the 21st Century and provides a scaffold for skills learned in grades 5 & 6. Another strategy is incorporating drama and movement into the stories. This is in thanks to the work of Joan Robinson and Tracy Martin of the Flynn Center. They presented a fabulous workshop at our inservice before school began this year. We believe that one is never too old to enjoy a good picture book. Here is an article on the Power of Picture Book Reading. To explore this year’s titles, please see our Red Clover Book Award page.

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Filed under 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, Books, Elementary, Kindergarten, Primary, reading, Red Clover

You’re Finally Here!

This is how we feel when we welcome students during the first week of school!

This book is being read to 1st -4th graders this week. If you do not know the author Melanie Watt yet, take some time to explore her books. She is one of our new favorite picture book authors. Some of her other characters are Scaredy Squirrel and Chester the cat. Picture books are powerful things and can be used with all ages. We’ve shared this one as part of our reminders about how we take care of ourselves, others, and our school property. Ask your children to tell you about this rambunctious (and sometimes rude) bunny.

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Filed under Books, Elementary, Primary, You're Finally Here