Friday, December 18, 2015

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena


When CJ leaves church with his nana, they board a city bus.  CJ complains about the journey.  He doesn't like that it is raining or that he has to ride the bus.  With every complaint, Nana has a reason why he should be grateful.  Rain helps the trees grow.  On the bus, old Mr. Dennis does magic tricks for CJ.   At the end, we find out the reason CJ and his nana are on the bus.   They are volunteering at the soup kitchen.  But the end isn't the only positive message in this book.  Kindness, wonderment, & gratitude fill each page of this wonderful picture book.  CJ wonders "how his nana always found beautiful where he never even thought to look."  I'm glad I thought to look at this book and see the beauty in the world around me.  This should be required reading for all humanity.  

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Milo Speck: Accidental Agent by Linda Urban

Image result for milo speck

When Milo finds a mystery sock in the laundry, he goes to investigate the dryer to see if he can find its mate.  But the dryer is a magical portal to a land of ogres.  Milo is immediately in danger of being a tea time snack, but uses his Chicken Dance skills to entertain a large and finicky ogre baby in order to escape that fate.  More close encounters ensue as Milo searches for a way home.  Along the way Milo discovers that his parents are magical secret agents and he might need to rescue his father and his boss from being squashed by ogres on national ogre tv.  This is a delightful tale reminiscent of Roald Dahl with a wonderful mix of fantasy, humor, and heart.  A must read!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Book Fair!


The Book Fair is Here!!

On November 16-20th, the Scholastic Book Fair will be visiting our library.  All classes will have a chance to preview the books on Monday November 16th.  Books will be for sale at the following times:

Tuesday: 7:30-9 & at lunch
Wednesday:  7:30-9, lunch, 2:30-5:30
Thursday: 7:30-9, lunch, 2:30-7:30
Friday 7:30-3:30

Book prices range from $1-$25 with the majority falling between $5-$10.  If any of those times are not convenient for you, the book fair is online too!!  Visit this website (http://bookfairs.scholastic.com/homepage/moretownelementaryschool) to purchase books between Nov 9-29.  

Reading with your child is a great way to help them develop as lifelong learners and critical thinkers.  It also is just great quality time with your child.  Find books for all interest and reading levels.  Don't forget that books make good gifts too!  All proceeds go to our school.

If you have any questions or want to volunteer please see Mrs. Wood!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Financial Literacy

         


            Moretown School is participating in a statewide program called Reading is an Investment. The goal of the program is to teach elementary-aged children personal finance concepts. We are one of 135 Vermont elementary schools who will use the program this school year. The program is managed by the Vermont State Treasurer’s Office. Participating schools are sent three new books each year that highlight a specific personal finance theme. Through lessons and activities in the school library and personal reading, students are introduced to basic financial concepts. The 2015-2016 personal finance theme is “Money Business!”
            There are two parts to this program—personal reading and school instructional activities. As a parent, you have the opportunity to help your child complete a reading log that will then be entered into a drawing for a $250 college savings plan account. Last year, more than 5,600 students statewide completed logs and entered the drawing. Twenty prizes will be awarded this year. In order to complete a reading log, a student must read three books from a recommended money reading list and complete additional free reading requirements. The reading logs and recommended money reading list are available through our school library. You also may print a reading log and reading list by going to www.MoneyEd.Vermont.gov. The deadline to complete a reading log and mail it into the State Treasurer’s Office is March 15, 2016.
            Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd graders read 3 money books in library class.  These books were Lots and Lots of Coins by Margarette Reid, It All Started with a Turtle by Lisa Holthouse, and Betty Bunny Wants Everything by Michael Kaplan.  Students in other grades are encouraged to visit the library for a money reading list and reading log.  This is a great opportunity to gain financial understandings and start saving for college.  I hope that you take advantage of this opportunity.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate


Jackson begins to worry that he is going crazy.  Crenshaw, his imaginary friend from when he was in 1st grade, starts to show up again.  No one else seems to notice him except the dog.  Jackson is a little embarrassed to be seeing his imaginary friend.  Maybe this is because Crenshaw is a big black and white cat who likes to do goofy things like stand on his head or make a bubble beard in the tub.  But Jackson is also emotionally distressed about his family's financial problems.  Jackson and his sister, Robin, often go to bed hungry.  They had to sell a lot of their belongings.  And now it looks like they might have to live in their car.  Crenshaw gives Jackson a friend to lean on and advice to guide him through this tough time.  This story is sweet  and heartfelt.  As for kid's experiences during difficult times, It rings true.  It deserves a read and a spot on your shelf if only for children to gain a better understanding and capacity for empathy for those who face homelessness and hunger in our own community.  

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Night World by Mordicai Gerstein


The Night World by Mordicai Gerstein is about a boy's experience waking up in the middle of the night and exploring the night world.  His cat Sylvie is his guide as they explore the shadows of his house and the garden outside.  There he meets all the nocturnal animals waiting for the sunrise.  And when it finally comes, it is glorious!  The illustrations in this book make you feel like you are in that moment filled with shadows and starlight.  When sunrise happens, the sunlight beams out from the book.  This is a special book that all will enjoy.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Google Goodness

For Staff:



Last week, I was asked to do a workshop on using Google for Education.  As Google is really big(!!), I exhibited how I use many of the Google Apps, then let participants play with whatever tool they found interesting.  If you missed it, not to worry.  You can view my presentation here: Google Sandbox Presentation.  You will need to be logged in to your wwsu account.  Also you can visit the website I designed for this showcase (Again, need to be logged into your wwsu account): My Life According to Google.  Feel free to ask me any questions or get some help using any of these tools.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Each Kindness

Stepping in to a new job can be intimidating.  There are many things you are unsure of when you first walk through those doors.  What is my library space like?  What is the collection going to feature?  Are the students going to accept me as their new librarian?  Will the staff accept me as their new colleague?  Was this a good decision?  You know you can do this.  You believe in yourself.  But still...  It is a little nerve racking.



Let me tell you about my first month at Moretown Elementary School and how each member of the community have made my fears and anxieties vanish into thin air.

Even before school started, I was invited to join a team of educators to work on personal learning projects.  This work would be implemented with fifth and sixth grade students this upcoming school year.  Right away the team welcomed me with open arms.  They were easy to work with, open, and  kind.  I immediately felt like a valued member of the team. I also laughed and had a good time in their company.

Another kindness was when the outgoing librarian, Meg Allison, did the literal and figurative passing of the keys.  She introduced me to the library space, the school community, and other staff members.  But it was her warm personality that make me feel like "I can do it" and that I was welcome.

When school began, each and everyone of the staff members welcomed me with the same warmth and kindness.  I was amazed by the staff's dedication to their students and their infectious enthusiasm for collaboration.  With each greeting, meeting, email, and smile, my fears and anxieties gradually lessened until they were no longer there.



Last Sunday, I broke my right arm.  In this instance it became painfully obvious what a great community I was now serving. Students, staff, and community members have gone out of their way to help me in even the smallest things.  There're too many to list.  So for this and for the first month of my experience at Moretown Elementary, I want to say "thank you!"

Like Jacqueline Woodson said, each kindness "is like a ripple that goes out into the world."  And each kindness that was given me helped me feel comfortable in my own skin.  I hope to pay the kindness forward.  It has helped me to really and truly love my job.  Thank you.

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