Wednesday, January 17, 2018

It's Wednesday! What's happening in the Sommer Library?

Learning and extra-long weekends and looming deadlines, that's what's happening!

Last Friday, Ms Margocs headed to UT Austin for the Greater Austin Area Information Literacy Symposium (GAAILS).  She took LOTS of notes and looks forward to sharing what she learned with the Sommer learning community.  Thanks to Mrs. Woodul and Mrs. Haga for running the library that day!
Jester Hall, across from the Perry-Castaneda Library.
Ms Margocs lived in the first and studied in the second!

Our extra day off due to the ice storm means we missed some classes in the library on Tuesday.  We will do our best to reschedule lessons and read-alouds; students may come for individual visits to return and check out books, teacher and time permitting.

Ms Margocs' backyard version of "black ice"

Important library dates to note:

January 16th--Book orders for Aston author visit due to the library! Since we were out yesterday, please turn in orders by tomorrow, January 18th.  Remember, prices already include taxes; checks may be made out to Sommer Elementary.

January 19th--THIS FRIDAY!!--Bluebonnet Signature Pages are DUE!!  Voting starts next week!

January 29th--Dianna Hutts Aston visits first and second grades!

February 7th-13th--Library is closed for checkouts because SCHOLASTIC BOOK FAIR!!!

February 9th--Six Flags reading logs are due!

February 19th-- Schlitterbahn reading logs are due!

We had a really great December in the library--here are the stats to prove it!

See you soon in the library!

Monday, January 15, 2018

It's Monday! What are you reading?

I'm beginning my New Year by reading new-to-me books!
I confess--this book has been sitting on my review pile for THREE years! The Infinity Ring series is from the publishers of The 39 Clues series--very popular in our school library--so I thought it was time to dust this one off and read it.  If you haven't read either series, a detail of note is that each book is written by a different, well-acclaimed author who continues the storyline--which is why the books are housed in a special section on our shelves, so that they don't end up scattered throughout the fiction section.

The two series are different genres with similar details.  The 39 Clues stories are the adventures of siblings Amy and Dan Cahill as they try to solve the mystery of their family secret.  The Infinity Ring series is a scifi adventure; Dak and Sera and Riq travel through time to heal breaks in history.  Both series include factual historical events.

Eternity is Book Eight of the Infinity Ring.  The author--Matt de la Peña--is known in our library for the Newbery Award-winning Last Stop on Market Street, and the recently published Love.  I haven't read the first seven books, so I was lost for a moment--but quickly caught up.  Dak and Sera have been on their own since Riq decided to stay with Alexander the Great and patch things up in that timeline.  But when Sera's parents disappear, and Dak spies a pterosaur hanging out in a tree, they realize that something is amiss in history, and start bouncing around time trying to figure out what is going on.  Is the evil SQ behind the recent breaks?  Travels to  ancient China, Greece, and the 1960s space program sites may hold the answers.

The Infinity Ring series will appeal to readers of The 39 Clues, as well as fans of historical fiction.  I think my readers of The Magic Tree House books can grow into The Infinity Ring; best to start at Book One!

It's January, and I'm still working on setting goals for 2018 and figuring out how to implement them.  I'm hoping The Miracle Morning:  The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life Before 8AM, by Hal Elrod, may be a good start.  The book had such great reviews that I also purchased the college student edition for my son!  The book is short--only 180 pages--so I'm hoping to finish it today and have my first "Miracle Morning" tomorrow!
It's Monday!  What books are you reading to start off the New Year?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

It's Wednesday! What's happening in the Sommer Library?

Welcome back to our Spring Semester!  
Hope you had a great Winter Break with lots of time to read!

This week in the library, we've got three different books going on in the Book Nook. Second grade is listening to It Came in the Mail in preparation for their letter-writing unit.

First grade is discussing the differences between fiction and nonfiction as we compare our last reading, You Don't Want a Unicorn by Ame Dyckman, with Gail Gibbon's Horses. 
Product Details        Product Details

And kindergarten students are finally getting to hear about William Hoy, a deaf baseball player who may likely be the reason for umpire's hand signals.

World Braille Day is celebrated each January, so we are taking the opportunity to talk about disability awareness in the Book Nook.  We have a related display of books to share:

Third and fourth graders are reviewing library skills with self-paced Nearpod lessons on the iPads.  Fifth graders are reviewing nonfiction text features, then hunting for examples in library books on the sun, moon, and solar system (their latest science unit).

We have a new book display on Social Justice, which will be up for the remainder of the school year.  The book list was compiled by state Teachers of the Year; our very own Mrs. Balakrishnan submitted the list for grades 4-6! 

Don't forget the deadlines for reading programs; they are coming up FAST!
Bluebonnet Signature Page due Friday, January 19th
Six Flags Reading Logs due Friday, February 9th
Schlitterbahn Reading Logs due Monday, February 19th

Our Spring Scholastic Book Fair will be here in less than a month!  Whoohoo!  Volunteer sign-up links will be going out soon on our school and library websites.

Ms. Margocs is looking forward to seeing you in the library!



Wednesday, December 13, 2017

It's Wednesday! What's happening in the Sommer Library?

Our library is a busy place, even when classes aren't visiting!  Last Thursday, the Science Team hosted Science Fair Information Night.  Parents and students looked at project board examples, picked up judging rubrics, and checked out experiment books.  We still have more set aside if you need one for a project or to swap your books out for new ones.  These books count as extra checkouts; students may still get their usual limit for pleasure/ school reading.

Little and big kids are having fun listening to holiday books and coding by the fireplace this week!

We are reading Auntie Claus by Elise Primavera, Hanukkah Hop by Erica Silverman and illustrated by Steven D'Amico, and Santa Claus and the Three Bears by Maria Modugno, illustrated by Jane Dyer and Brooke Dyer.

Please turn in all overdue books and fines for lost/ damaged books this week!  Students and parents will not be allowed to check out items for winter break if their accounts are not clear.

The Bluebonnet reading program deadline is coming up next month!  Read five before January 19th to vote.  To attend our Bluebonnet Breakfast, third graders need to finish ten books, fourth grade twelve books, and fifth grade fourteen books.  Hope to see you at the breakfast in the spring!

Monday, December 11, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?

During the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I often pick books that have a quiet tone, one that makes me slow down for a bit and remember the joys of the season amidst the hassle.
I picked Julie Salamon's The Christmas Tree off my shelf this morning.  Sized to fit into your purse and only 128 pages, this tale begins with the search for the perfect evergreen for Rockefeller Center and becomes the story of a nun's childhood growing up with the tree.  Nine short chapters lends itself to a classroom read-aloud or serial bedtime story for third grade and above.

What are you slowing down to read this holiday season?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

It's Wednesday! What's happening in the Sommer Library?

Our fifth author visit of the semester, that's what happened this week!
P.J. Hoover had our fourth and fifth graders enthralled with stories of her childhood, her family, and her pursuits of electrical engineering and authoring fantasy novels.  
Ms. Hoover codes games based on her books and shares them on her website!  Visit for more information about her books and background.

The other half of third and fifth grades are coding with Lightbot Hour, while the other half of fourth is adding EasyBib to their school Google accounts, practicing making citations, and getting reminders about plagiarism (don't do it!).

We are finishing up our two-week streak of unicorn books in the Book Nook!  You don't want a unicorn--trust me!  Just ask a K-2 student for several reasons to avoid unicorns--and dragons.

New books arrived in the library this week, including some of the recommendations from our Stallion Readers' Advisory Club!

Next week, we will be announcing our end-of-semester all-call for overdue books and fines for lost or damaged books.  Students must have a clear account to check out books for the winter break!  If you are withdrawing for an extended absence, please make sure your books are turned in!

READING PROGRAMS are now in full effect!  Six Flags reading logs were distributed last month, and Schlitterbahn reading logs will go home tomorrow.  Get rewarded for your fun reading with tickets to both parks!

Deadlines:  Bluebonnet Reading Logs       January 19th
                      Six Flags Reading Logs           February 9th
                      Schlitterbahn Reading Logs   February 19th

Our annual Library Volunteer Appreciation reception will be held in the library on Thursday, December 21st from 1030a to 230p!  Please RSVP to the emailed Evite to let us know if you are attending.

Monday, December 4, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?

At our monthly librarian meetings, we pick books to review and recommend.  I was fortunate to scoop up this one last month:
Red fox feels the first snowflakes coming down, and doesn't know what to do!  His creature friends have suggestions of all kinds, but none are right for fox; it takes one of his kind to remind him of his wintry pursuits.  Winter Dance has a lovely, poetic rhythm which begs to be read aloud; the illustrations by Richard Jones are filled with the lightness of the first snowfall.  Marion Dane Bauer's text touches on the many ways animals prepare for winter (storing food, hibernating in dens and mud, forming a chrysalis, migrating), making this book a great introduction to those topics for science.

I'm still finishing up David Balducci's The Christmas Train, but pulled this gem from my shelves for a quick read:
If you grew up with Little Golden Books like I did, you may enjoy this trip down memory lane while reading about the hassles and happiness of the holidays.  Each page features illustrations from vintage Golden Books with new text by Diane Muldrow.  The captions may cause a gray hair or two to sprout, as you realize just how long these classics have been around!

It's Monday!  What are you reading?  Are you getting your to-read pile ready for winter break?