So we all know that books are totally awesome and there is NO BETTER way to enjoy a book than curled up with someone who loves you reading to you. But let me tell you, there are some completely awesome online reading sources that you can use, if that someone you love has a sore throat and can’t read, or is away on a business trip… Here are a couple of my favorites. The first one is Tumblebooks. Tumblebooks is available through our district webpage and is on the learning tools for kids menu. There are BUNCHES of books available, some are popular titles that you’ll recognize (like Mercy Watson by Kate DiCamillo and How I Became a Pirate by David Shannon) as well as other less familiar titles. The narration is good and what’s really great about it is as the text is read, the sentences light up, allowing struggling readers the opportunity to connect the text to the spoken word. That’s really important for developing readers.
The second one is called Storyline Online. This one is sponsored by the screen actors guild (SAG) and when you listen the stories, you can hear why these people make their living acting because they are completely amazing! We’ve been watching one this week called “I Need My Monster” by Amanda Knoll. It’s read by Rita Moreno (who I remember from West Side Story AND the Electric Company, but I’m pretty old). She is a completely gifted actress and in this story, she reads about different monsters who are trying to get a job scaring a kid into bed at night. Each monster has different sounds and accents. It’s spectacular. Watch it here.
The third website for books is called We Give Books. This terrific website is all about getting books in kids’ hands and to that end, they have this website where there are lots of beautiful fiction and non fiction books posted. You do have to sign up (it’s free, but you have to give your email address) and I liked that it allows you to make the books go full screen (I was viewing a non fiction book about the ocean and the pictures really knocked me out). The only big disadvantage is that it doesn’t read to you.
Yesterday was our annual principal’s breakfast with the Palm Beach County EMA, which is the professional organization of media specialists in Palm Beach County. We got to hear a man speak who I’ve been reading about for the past three years. His name is John Schumaker but he’s better known as Mr. Schu. He writes a great blog about his work in his media center in Illinois and it was so inspiring to get to hear him! One of the things he talked about was how books can connect us and that’s why books and libraries will continue to be important and why you need to make sure you are friends with a librarian who can help steer you to the good stuff! Here’s a link to his blog so you can see some of his great work. http://mrschureads.blogspot.com/
And look! My principal, Mrs. Tata,even took our picture together!
Our book fair starts next week! It’s always SO exciting to have the book fair come… so many new books to look. Some are like old friends because we’ve seen them before, read them, enjoyed them, shared them. Some are brand new, that we haven’t even heard of, so there’s always a lot of reading that needs to be done during the book fair, in addition to the ordering and re-ordering. One thing that is fairly new to our book fair is that it’s now available ON LINE. How cool is that? You can see all of our books, order them and they are delivered to school, all from the comfort of your computer! That’s really great if the book you want is sold out at the book fair. So here’s the website in case you want to check it out!
Since winter break, the biggest kids have been working on a research project about the winter olympics. It seemed like a good fit… we live in Florida so the kids have very little background knowledge about winter sports (the last snow we had was in 1978), we needed to work on research skills, the Olympics are compelling and timely. So this week we are working on presenting our projects, which are comparing and contrasting two of the sports. The kids for the most part have found the project interesting, but are (not surprisingly) more interested in watching videos of the events rather than actually finding out about the characteristics of the sports. The kids have been annoyed that we don’t have more books about winter sports (Mrs. Tanner, are you sure we don’t have a book about skeleton?). They have also learned the importance of key terms in search and how sometimes you have draw conclusions (like when want to find out how to win an event, like figure skating, and they tell you that there are nine judges, that you could conclude that the highest score, rather than the fastest time, is going to be the winner). It’s also been great to show the kids different cultures (some of the spectators are REALLY into it!) and how the culture impacts the sports (like how the Dutch end up winning all the long distance speed skating because it’s what people do during the winter).
I WILL be glad to be finished with this project though… just like I’ll be glad when the Olympics are over. It’s fun for awhile and then I’m ready to be back to our real lives.
We are celebrating “Delray Reads” on November 13, 2013. We are having guest readers come in to read to our classes, an all day read a thon (bring pillows and blankets, water bottles, snacks, books and wear your jammies!). Our featured book that day is going to be “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. In honor of Delray Reads, here is a list of some great websites where you can read for free!
This week we are having a book fair sponsored by the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach. They are donating a book to every child in the district and we are really excited that we get to choose books for ourselves! The students will also each get a bag, a book mark, a bookplate sticker to go inside the book, and a coloring sheet. We hope this will start them on the road to being life long readers.
Here are some of the titles the kids will be able to choose from: PreK and K
Brown Bear, Brown Bear
Pete the Cat I love my white shoes
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
First and Second Grade
A House for Hermit Crab
Cloudy with a chance of meatballs
Henry and Mudge
Where the Wild Things are
Third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grades
Ramona the Brave
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Thank you Mr. Falker
We’ve been really busy in the media center at Spady and boy are we learning a lot! Since school started, we’ve been learning about how to take care of books, how to check out books and how to find the things we’re looking for in the media center.
Next week on September 23, we’re going to have a FREE book fair, sponsored by the Children’s Services Council. Every student will have an opportunity to choose their own book. Each child will also receive a book bag, a coloring sheet, and book mark. Isn’t that awesome? And two weeks after that, starting October 7, we’re going to have our fall book fair. There are going to be some amazing titles! I hope we’ll see you there!
This is a very exciting book about a kid named Spencer. He is new at his school and in 6th grade. He has a bunch of younger siblings that he (reluctantly) helps to care for and his mom is doing her best to keep things together since his dad left. Spencer is having trouble making friends and the local bully has targeted him. And then the trouble starts. He starts seeing weird creatures that no one else can see. It turns out that these magical creatures actually make it hard for kids to learn. The Janitors clean them up. Spencer has to decide who to trust and who not to trust. If you like magic and adventure, this is the book for you!
Check out the book trailer!
This is one of the new Sunshine State Young Reader nominees and it is so funny! It’s about a boy named Adam Melon and he really likes the nickname Melonhead. He has lots of good friends and TONS of great ideas, and some not so great ideas. He does things that are scary and sometimes dangerous and almost always funny. (Scary like climbing trees and getting stuck or being part owner of a snake). It sort of reminded me of “Clementine” by Sarah Pennypacker or “Ramona” by Beverly Clearly where the kids make some bad choices, but I liked this one better than either one of the those… it had such great dialogue! This is going to be one of MY favorites this year!
I LOVED this little book. It’s about a boy who goes back to school and finds a big stack of letters on his desk. It turns out the letters are from his crayons and BOY, do THEY have a lot to say. Some of the crayons are complaining that they are used TOO much and some are not used enough. Some are mad at each other. It’s HILARIOUS!!! I can’t wait to get it in our media center!