POSTED AT 11:11 AM
We've had some interesting Skype sessions at the elementary schools this spring. Thorpe started the ball rolling with a "Mystery Skype" with a school in Oregon. Second graders, armed with atlases, had to ask questions to figure out where each other's schools were located. It took each class only about five guesses to zero in on a location. Wow! Then we've had author Skypes with Kate Feiffer, an author based on Martha's Vineyard. She discussed the writing process with second graders at Thorpe and Highlands. Our Skyping second grade at Thorpe also talked with students in Texas to ask questions about tornadoes for their science unit. Exciting use of technology in our elementary schools!
POSTED AT 08:37 AM
We are starting to plan and organize summer reading for summer 2013! Once again, we will be using student recommendations, "Kids' Choice," for the summer reading list. Who knows better than the students themselves what the "winning" books are? Our goal is to have everyone read, read, read, for at least 20 minutes per day. We have created a wiki, and elementary students all over Danvers are now writing book recommendations for the wiki and for their fellow students. We will give the link out when more content is available on the site.
POSTED AT 02:19 PM
Book spine poetry is sweeping the nation, just in time for National Poetry Month in April! This is an easy and fun way to write good poems. Just look around the library, classroom, or your home for interesting book titles that seem to go together. Stack the books to make a poem, and read the stack from top to bottom. It's fun to take pictures of the book spine poems and post them to social networking sites. When Mrs. S. wrote her first poem, she posted it on Twitter, and the author of one of the books favorited the tweet! That was exciting! All of our elementary libraries will be offering poetry writing stations for book spine poems this month. Stop in and write a poem in honor of National Poetry Month!
POSTED AT 04:30 PM
During library class, fifth graders at Great Oak School are blogging with students at the American International School in Niger. It's an exciting opportunity to write for a worldwide audience and to make new friends! Our Danvers students will be photo-journalists reporting on their school, town, and daily life. You can check in on the blog at danversdragons.blogspot.com. We are just getting started, but so far, the students are doing a great job posting "W.O.W."--Worthy of the World comments.
POSTED AT 01:30 PM
Great Oak School recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Amelia Bedelia book series. Amelia is a well-loved character who takes everything at face value. She may be the most literal person in literature! So, in keeping with that spirit, Great Oak students created fun posters illustrating idioms such as "It's raining cats and dogs" and "Money doesn't grow on trees." At the celebratory party featuring "mud pies" for a snack, Amelia herself, and her bowler-wearing boss, (gee, was that Mrs. Swaine and Mr. Fusco?), made an appearance. A fun time was had by all, as well as a lot of learning around popular idioms. Happy Birthday, Amelia!
POSTED AT 07:58 AM
The bookmarks are in the mail! Danvers students have done some creative, colorful work to illustrate the Mass. School Library Assoc. bookmark contest theme, "School Libraries: Books and Beyond!" Results and winners will be announced in March after the spring library conference. Judges for the contest include authors, illustrators, and librarians. Winners and honorable mentions will be invited to attend the awards ceremony at the State House in Boston. It's a fun day to celebrate school and public libraries in Massachusetts. Good luck, artists!
POSTED AT 07:43 AM
Tomorrow, Feb. 1, is the deadline for the MSLA Bookmark contest. Each year Danvers students participate, and we have had many winners and honorees at the state level of competition. The contest is sponsored by the Mass. School Library Association to promote school libraries, books, and literacy. Friday is the last day to submit a bookmark to your school library for entry into the contest. The theme this year is, "School Libraries: Books and Beyond." We have received many creative and colorful entries so far. If you do submit, please remember: no gel pens or glitter, and original artwork only. This year, students at Smith School have been creating digital entries for the contest. Exciting!
POSTED AT 01:12 PM
Recently I have been using Twitter to expand my PLN--personal learning network. I am "following" other educators to learn about topics of interest to teachers and librarians. One thing I have really enjoyed on Twitter is the book club
#SharpSchu run by a children's librarian. Last month the authors of graphic novel series Babymouse and Lunch Lady participated in a live chat with folks all over the world. Tonite at 8 p.m. #SharpSchu, the author of the Origami Yoda series will be tweeting and answering questions to a worldwide audience. I will be there!
POSTED AT 06:27 PM
First day of the new year. Hope it was a good one for everyone, and hope 2013 will be a year filled with books and learning! The break was good for recharging batteries and for getting some quality reading done. I'm looking forward to sharing book recommendations with students and to finding out which books got devoured on those frosty days of vacation!
POSTED AT 11:28 AM
Read alouds can continue far beyond the early childhood years. When my college-age daughter returns home for the holidays, we will definitely be reading some of our favorite seasonal books together--The Night Before Christmas, of course, and a couple of Lemony Snicket books that are entertaining at any age: The Lump of Coal and The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming, to name a few. Vacation time is the perfect opportunity to read those books that have been piling up on the bedside table. How about a trip to the library or the bookstore to select some new favorites? I make sure to stock up on books at this time of year. I know how I will be spending a large chunk of my winter vacation: sitting in a cozy nook with a fabulous book!! I can't wait!!