Category Archives: Red Clover

Talk at home about…stories and statistics!


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!


“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..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…exploring!

Explore. This is a word I use all the time. The library is truly a space for exploration of all kinds! Here are some of the things we’ve been exploring this past week.

Ms. Trageser and I are working together to integrate art and literacy with Kindergarteners. This week, thfletcherey used their visual thinking strategies to investigate these two things:

Yes, that is indeed tree bark, along with the book “Fletcher and the Falling Leaves” by Julia Rawlinson. Next week, these students will incorporate what they saw, thought and wondered about it into their artwork with Ms. Trageser.

Red Clover books are being enjoyed by many classes this week. We have been reading Infinity and Me by Kate Hosford, The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau by Michelle Markel, and Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems.

Students have also found loads of new books to enjoy. “Book huddles” are one of my favorite sights! Exploration, sharing, and conversation happen here!bookhuddle

This week adults also did some exploring of library resources. Librarians teach big people, too! Para Educators used iPads and QR codes to delve into digital resources available to our students and school community.  Check out our “Digital Reference” page to do some exploring of your own!qr

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Filed under Books, Collaboration, Kindergarten, reading, Red Clover

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…The Young Writer’s Project!

CCS 4th graders have been exploring the Young Writers Project during library times this fall. Dorothy Canfield Fisher and Red Clover Book Award nominees have provided prompts for students to apply writing skills such as planning, revising, editing, and providing constructive feedback to their peers. The Young Writers Project harnesses the use of technology to produce and publish writing, and allows students to engage in a collaborative learning environment. This is one tool used in the school library and classrooms to support the integration of digital literacy and writing skills across the content areas. For more information about The Young Writers Project, including their mission statement and core beliefs, please visit, and click the “About Us” link.

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Filed under 4th Grade, Books, DCF, Digital Literacy, InformationLiteracy, Red Clover, Writing, Young Writers Project

Talk at home about…Summer Reading and Red Clover!

Thank you to all the families who sent in  pictures of your students reading over the summer! They have helped to create a fabulous “back-to-school” library bulletin board. Check it out the next time you are at school, and stop by the library for a visit. We love visitors!

Students in grades K-4 are beginning their school year with Red Clover books.  This kids’ choice book award program exposes students to quality picture books and allows me to teach and reinforce literacy and information skills over the first few months of school. Ask your student about a Red Clover book they shared recently! Please click here for more information about the program, how it addresses standards, and the power of picture books as teaching tools.

Red Clover 2012-2013.

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