Wednesday, March 29, 2017

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

We are hosting not one, but two authors in April!

Carmen Oliver, author of Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies
is coming to Sommer next Monday to visit with our
kindergarten and first grade classes.

Emma Virjan, author of the Texas 2x2 nominee 
What This Story Needs is a Pig in a Wig,
will be visiting our second grade classes on April 12th.

Book orders were already due today, but there will be a limited number of extra books for sale after the authors' visits.

Many thanks to those who purchased books at our Book Fairs, and to our wonderful PTA for helping to fund these and other visits throughout the school year!  

Monday, March 27, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?

I've been reading a new-to-me cookbook this week!
I'm trying to incorporate more plants into my diet; this cookbook was recommended by some vegetarian friends, so I thought I'd give it a try.  Lots of recipes sound really yummy, but several ingredients are foreign to our pantry.  I'm going to commit to making a couple of dishes this weekend that incorporate one unfamiliar ingredient.

I have a large collection of cookbooks, thanks to inheriting some from my mother and collecting even more over the past two decades.  I especially love the compiled cookbooks from church groups and organizations.  When perusing for them in used bookstores, I feel like I've struck gold when I find a cookbook filled with handwritten notes off to the side.  When I've modified a recipe or found one that my family really liked (or didn't!), I write notes in my cookbooks.  I hope my children and grandchildren will read my notes when they inherit the cookbooks and remember good meals around our dining table.

I don't usually write in my books, but cookbooks are always an exception!  Are there books you've loved so much that you had to annotate in the margins? (Not library books, of course!)  Share them in the comments below!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

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

What's happening in our library this week?  New books, just in time for checkout before testing next week!
We've got new nonfiction books, favorite series, and favorite authors.
Did you know that the "My Weird School" series now has nonfiction companion books?  Check them out!
These are just a sampling of our latest book order; Ms. Margocs will be putting new books out every day this week!

Just in time for their animal unit, kindergarten classes have been listening to a nonfiction Armadillo book, Glow: Animals with Their Own Night-Lights, by W.H. Beck.
Ms. Margocs and the students have been fascinated by these bioluminescent creatures; some even make ocean waves glow!

Fifth graders are reviewing keyword searches and the effectiveness of using online databases versus Google.  Our third grade classes are practicing their virtual shelving skills with the online game "Monarch-Order in the Library".

Fourth graders have been busy in Writing Camp this week, where Ms. Margocs was honored to be the prompt presenter this morning.  Can't wait to see what pieces the students produce as a result!

Next week, we will be closed for testing on Tuesday, and open only for regularly scheduled lower grade classes on Wednesday--no individual visits that day, please, to accommodate the grades that are still testing that day.

Thanks to the Bindel family and Mrs. Wafford for posting pictures of their reading over Spring Break!  Be sure to check out #RROCKREADS on your social media platforms to see how our district's learning community likes to connect with books.

See you in the library this week!

Monday, March 20, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Welcome back from Spring Break!  The rainy start to our time off was perfect for settling in with a book or two.  I finished the first two books of Gillian Anderson's The Earthend Saga and started the third.  I'm also reading Clarissa Pinkola Estés' pocket storybook, The Faithful Gardener: A Wise Tale About That Which Can Never Die.
Estés is a storyteller, the kind you find at your kitchen table when family gathers. I read her bestseller Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype several years ago, which opened my eyes to the nuances of classic fairy tales and the deeper meanings behind them. This story is more personal, coming from her own immigrant family experiences.

In honor of Women's History Month, I pulled this book from my review pile:
Author Franck Prévot and illustrator Aurélia Fronty begin Wangari's story with a picture book and end with a timeline, nonfiction passages and primary source photographs of Wangari's life, the current state of Kenya and its forests, and quotes from Wangari's autobiography. Wangari was born in Kenya in 1940, when girls rarely went to school in the then- British-ruled country. Her brother prompted their mother to send Wangari to school; she eventually went on to earn her Ph.D. Her greatest accomplishments lie in the reforestation movement in Kenya, empowering native Kenyans to recapture their land from corporations and fight for a democratic government.

Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees is a great read-aloud to share with older elementary students to begin a biography unit.  It concludes with a bibliography and website resources, so teachers can segue with ease into a discussion of nonfiction text features for research.

It's Monday!  What did you read over spring break?

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

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

Our Sommer Elementary Battle of the Bluebonnets team competed in the district-wide competition yesterday afternoon!  It was a great contest; our team of Nila, Kadey, Luke, and Charlotte scored 80% on the questions covering all TWENTY of the 16-17 Bluebonnet Nominee books!  Way to go, Team Sommer!

Our library will be open for regular classes tomorrow and Friday!  If you are a regular Tuesday/ Wednesday visitor and have already finished your extra-high pile of books from last week, come on in and get some fresh reading material for next week's Spring Break.

Speaking of Spring Break...Don't forget the district reading challenge!  Take a picture of your vacation reading, and have your parents share it via Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Be sure to use #RROCKREADS and tag our library @SommerLib!

Monday, March 6, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?

We celebrated a month of kindness on our campus in February.  I'm a little behind (I'm going to blame it on our book fair), so I'm just now getting around to reading If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson, from  the Texas 2x2 list.
Nelson's beautifully illustrated book follows a bunning and a mouse as they plant three seeds and wait for them to grow.  Unfortunately, some birds show up just as mouse and bunny are beginning to enjoy their produce.  When they make a decision to plant a seed of selfishness instead of sharing, trouble ensues.  A little seed of kindness saves the day, and results in an abundance of food for everyone.

There are pages with no text in this book, so I prepped the kindergarten students beforehand, making sure we had our "reading pictures eyes and thinking brains" ready to go.  It's interesting at the end to ask why they thought Kadir Nelson wrote this book.  Some students are still in a concrete thinking stage, and propose that Nelson likes plants and gardening.  Others are quick to get the message that planting seeds of kindness makes the world a better place for everyone--kindness is important.

My personal reading has jumped over to a new-to-me series co-written by an actress who's a favorite of mine:  Gillian Anderson, from "The X-Files." I'm reading the first of her sci-fi trilogy, The EarthEnd Saga.
I've been way overdue for some just-for-me reading, and this fills my need for my favorite genre.  I've got book two waiting off to the side!

It's Monday!  What are you reading to your children/ students, and what are you reading just for you?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

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

Can you believe that Spring Break is only seven school days away?  Time to start planning your vacation reading list!  Round Rock ISD has issued a social media challenge for our entire learning community to share their reading lives during spring break.  Administrators, teachers, parents, and students are invited to take pictures of themselves and their reading material in the places they visit over break.  Be sure to include
#RROCKREADS and @SommerLib
with your posts on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!

Tomorrow is a very special birthday--

We've been reading Dr. Seuss books in our Book Nook.  Rumor has it that the Cat in the Hat may be roaming the stacks of the Sommer Library tomorrow!

There will be testing going on in our library next Monday, March 6th, and Tuesday, March 7th.  Kindergarten Roundup will be in the library on Wednesday, March 8th.  The second through fifth graders who are our regular Tuesday and Wednesday visitors and who also have clear accounts were able to check out an extra book this week.  Now they will have plenty to read over Spring Break!

Please wish our Battle of the Bluebonnets team good luck as they prepare for our district-wide competition!  Nila, Kadey, Luke, and Charlotte will represent our school next Tuesday, March 7th, as they work together to answer questions about all twenty of last year's Bluebonnet Nominee books.  You can watch a livestream of the event here:

Gentle reminder:  If you have lost or damaged a library book, please let Ms. Margocs or Mrs. Woodul know about it as soon as possible.  We would like to be able to handle such an event quickly, so you can get back to checking out the great books in our library!  Keep on reading!