Monday, February 27, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?

I love sharing read-alouds in our library Book Nook, especially when the stories have an element of fun.  They are even better when there are repetitive phrases for students to "help" me read.  I had two stories like that last week, both from the Texas Library Association's 2x2 list--

It's Only Stanley by Jon Agee has illustrations that beg for wondering questions before we even get to the title page.
Looking at the cover, the students and I first agree that Stanley must be the dog--and not a typical one at that, since we don't often find dogs messing with the television.  Turning a page, we see Stanley sleeping on the porch at night, and we hear a howl.  Who's howling?  Where is it coming from?  Why is it howling?  We have to read the story to find out!  

It's Only Stanley has a fun rhyming pattern with lots of repetition.  I chose to have the students repeat Walter's response each time he goes to see what's causing a ruckus in the middle of the night--""It's only Stanley," Walter said...".  You will have to read the story to find out what Stanley has been up to!

Our kindergarten classes were using their imagination to answer this question:  If you could be anything or anyone else, what would you be?   
The little amphibian in I Don't Want to Be a Frog by Dev Petty and illustrated by Mike Boldt would rather be a cat, a rabbit, an owl--anything but a frog.  When the older, wiser frog tells him he can't be those things, little frog's response is always "Why not?"--our interactive line for the story.  It takes a wolf who eats cats, rabbits, and owls--but not frogs--to convince the little frog that it is best to be yourself.  What a great message to share with students!

We're having fun with interactive read-alouds in the Book Nook.  What are you reading this week?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

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

Nathan Hale! 

That's what happened at our school today!

Author-illustrator Nathan Hale visited with our fifth graders

and our third graders

to teach us about the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

He also thanked Ms. Margocs for inviting him to our school, 
and drew a picture of her.
This is when she's angry about overdue books!  (Just kidding!)

The teachers and students LOVED the presentation!  Check out Mrs. Caldwell's and 
Mrs. Solis' Twitter feeds to see what they thought of Nathan Hale's visit.

Our Spring Scholastic Book Fair was a success, thanks to lots of help!

Your purchases help fund events like today's visit with Nathan Hale.

The Third Edition of our Newspaper Club's writing is now online--check it out here.

Last, but not least--new books in the library!

Monday, February 20, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?

I have a reader confession to make.

I have never read Frindle by Andrew Clements.  

To be fair, I wasn't teaching at the time it was published; my firstborn turned three that year (not the age of the intended audience), and I was working weekends as a neonatal unit assistant.  My teenage second-born tells me he read Frindle in elementary school; by then, I was running special education meetings in a secondary disciplinary setting, so children's literature was something my own children sometimes shared with me.

Then I ended up back in the classroom.  I read Clements' No Talking to the students in my resource room, and we all enjoyed it immensely.

No Talking is about a contest between the boys and girls in fifth grade to see who can go the longest without talking, except for short answers to adult questions.  The book led to great discussions in my classroom about stereotypes--and the importance of listening over talking.

Now I'm reading another Clements book--Lunch Money--the book choice by my fifth grade book lunch bunch.

Greg has always had a knack for making money.  He works hard for his profits; his latest product is a series of tiny comic books, which he hand-draws, copies, and collates to sell to his classmates. He gets angry when his neighbor, Maura, cuts into his customer base with her own little comics.  The two classmates have been rivals since elementary school; is there any way this newest feud can be solved?  Lunch Money is an interesting story about work ethic, business, and collaboration. 

I'm promoting Andrew Clements' books this week; who is your favorite author?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

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

Our spring Scholastic Book Fair is open!

You still have two days to shop from our fantastic selection of books!

Thursday 7:15a to 4:00p

Friday 7:15a to 6:00p, followed by the PTA Movie Night!

Kindergarten, first and second graders came to preview and make their wish lists on Tuesday.  Here's the ad Ms. Margocs made to show the third, fourth, and fifth graders some of the selections that might interest them:

Your purchases help fund our author visits, Bluebonnet voting participation and party, library supplies, books for student use, and librarian continuing education.  You can also support your teachers' classroom libraries by purchasing books from their wishlists, located at the fair.  

Support our library program and add some great new titles to your home library collection!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

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

Earlier this school year, our PTA let us know that they had surplus funds, and fielded suggestions for spending the extra money.  Ms. Margocs replied with a request to refresh our well-loved series books, and the PTA came through for our library in a BIG way!  We now have all-new sets of several series--Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Captain Underpants, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Dork Diaries, and Geronimo Stilton.  We can't wait to get these into the hands of our students at Sommer!

We hosted the Bluebonnet Breakfast in the library this Monday!  Students who read ten (3rd grade), twelve (4th grade), and 14 (5th grade) Bluebonnet nominee books were invited to munch on donuts and play Bluebonnet Bingo for posters and books.  

The students in the last picture read all 20 Bluebonnet Nominee books!  They have been invited to compete on our campus Battle of the Bluebonnets team, and will also receive a book of their choice from next year's Bluebonnet Nominee list.  Congratulations to our super readers!

The sad news is....we won't be having regular library visits next week.  The great news is...we will be having our Spring Scholastic Book Fair!  Here's the funny "hat" that came with this season's decorating kit....
Preview Day for kindergarten, first, and second grades is Tuesday, February 14th.  Shopping hours are:
Tuesday, 2/14  2:50p-4p
Wednesday, 2/15  7:15a-4p
Thursday, 2/16  7:15a-4p
Friday, 2/17  7:15a-6p  PTA Movie Night--open late!

Remember, proceeds from the fair help pay for our author visits; Bluebonnet voting, party, and prize books; books for our literacy library; continuing education for your librarian; library supplies; and more.  Online shopping is already open, and runs through February 24th:

Thank you, Sommer PTA and families, for supporting our library program!  See you next week at the book fair!

Monday, February 6, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?

This past weekend, I wish I could have been a couch potato, relaxing with a good book or two.  Instead, I was working on my son's FAFSA (federal financial aid application) and our yearly tax return.

In genre terms, I was working with procedural text.  

Reading is so much more than picture books and novels.  If we take a really close look at all of the reading we do in the course of a day, I'm betting most of us consume text in a wide variety of ways: social media, emails, articles, and forms to fill in--the last of which is procedural text.  Read this, follow these instructions, go on to the next step--we do this when we create new accounts, log in to existing accounts, fill in forms for online shopping and data gathering.

Aside from virtual reality, we use procedural text when cooking from recipes, building from instructions, follow printed directions to get from point A to point B.  Filling out the paperwork at our doctor's office and DMV is essentially procedural text.

We have lots of great how-to books in our library, on topics such as origami, crafts, sewing, building, coding, robotics, and cooking.  The next time your child comes home with one of these, please don't think of it as alternative, or less-than, reading.  Children practice the real-life skill of following important instructions when they are involved in creating something step by step.  

The cake flops if you forget an ingredient.
You get lost and run late if you make a wrong turn.
The assignment gets returned by your professor if you are missing a component.
The TV won't work if it's not installed properly.
The grant gets rejected for missing information.
The company can get sued if their parts are defective.
Medicine can be deadly if not administered appropriately.

Procedural text is important.  Go bake a cake, fold a paper airplane, crochet a new scarf!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

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

New month, new book menu!

We have A LOT of events going on in our library!  Last week, we wrapped up our campus Bluebonnet nominee voting.  Fifty-seven of our 3rd through 5th grade students voted for their favorite Bluebonnet book, along with thousands of other students across the state of Texas.

Our campus favorite is......Space Case, by Stuart Gibbs! A great scifi/mystery with a moonbase setting:

We had a tie for second place:  Roller Girl, a graphic novel by Victoria Jamieson, and Echo, a story in four parts by Pam Muñoz Ryan.

We will find out the state winner soon; stay tuned!

This week, kindergarten classes are listening to a Texas 2x2 bookThere's a Lion in my Cornflakes by Michelle Robinson, illustrated by Jim Field.  We're practicing asking wonder questions that arise from the cover illustration.  Mrs. Margocs' favorite question from a student so far is "Why isn't the lion eating the boy?".

First and second graders are listening to a Round Rock ISD Armadillo Readers' Choice selection, Love is My Favorite Thing by Emma Chichester Clark. We're having great discussions about the use of quotation marks to show spoken words and the theme of being loved, even when we make mistakes.

Third, fourth, and fifth graders are using our brand-new library laptops to compose emails to their teachers. Mrs. Margocs is giving pointers on digital citizenship and communication with our superiors, including the use of letter components and appropriate language. The teachers are enjoying receiving the emails!


February 6--Bluebonnet Breakfast for students who read the minimum requirements of 10 books for 3rd, 12 for 4th, and 14 for 5th grades and turned in signature pages.  They received invitations and should have RSVP'd by today!

February 13-17--Our spring Scholastic Book Fair arrives!  Shopping starts after school on Tuesday, February 14th and runs through Friday, February 17th--we are open until 6pm on the last day!

February 22--Author Nathan Hale is coming to visit our third and fifth graders!

March 7--District Battle of the Bluebonnets.  Bluebonnet readers who read all 20 books will be invited to try out for our campus team--stay tuned for the date of our campus quiz.

It's Wednesday; have you visited our Sommer Library this week?