Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Library Resources



Besides an array of books available for you and your student, the library also has digital resources.  These sites are made with young researchers in mind:  valid information, safe searches, and reading levels that are appropriate for all learners.  Ask Mrs. Wood for login information. (I'm not allowed to post passwords here due to licensing provisions.)  The links can all be found on the library webpage: https://goo.gl/L424J7

Opals Catalog

This is our online card catalog.  You can search for books that are available in our library.  

Britannica Online Encyclopedia


Britannica has information a large variety of different topics.  Articles can be read at three different levels:  elementary, middle, and high.  Every article can be read aloud and many articles contain multimedia   Britannica will also show related articles to help students extend their knowledge. 

Pebble Go Animals


This database has lot of information about a large variety of animals, including a special look habitats and behavior. This resource was specially designed for students PreK-3rd grade, making research more accessible for this group of students.  Each article can be read aloud and is accompanied by multimedia images and sounds.  There are also fun games to excite kids.  

Vermont Online Library


NEW:  Now FREE for all Vermont residents.  No password required, just click link for access!  

This is by far the most comprehensive online resource available but also the most complex.  There are over fifty subject specific databases available.  The database that is most useful for elementary students is Kid Infobits, but many will be helpful as kids get older.  Using Vermont Online Library, you can find articles from a large variety of publications such as New York Times, National Geographic, and Highlights.  More information about how to use this resource can be found on this blog post. 

Please use these resources to help your student research, explore, and learn.  If you have any questions, please feel free to stop by the library or email me: ewood@wwsu.org.




Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The book fair is coming!!



On November 14-18th, the Scholastic Book Fair will be visiting our library.  All classes will have a chance to preview the books on Monday November 14th.  Books will be for sale at the following times:

Tuesday: 7:30-9 & at lunch
Wednesday:  7:30-9, 11:15-5:00
Thursday: 7:30-9, lunch, 2:30-5:00
Friday 7:30-3:00

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://www.scholastic.com/bf/moretownelementaryschool) to purchase books between Nov 9-22.  For every online purchase, your name will be entered into a drawing for your choice of either the NEW Diary of a Wimpy Kid book or Raina Telgemeier’s NEW graphic novel: Ghosts!

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.  At the book fair you’ll 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!

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Friday, October 28, 2016

Reading is an Investment 16-17

Kindergarten through Second grade students at Moretown School are 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 2016-2017 personal finance theme is “Saving to Make Goals a Reality.”



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.

The titles and authors for the 2016-2017 school term are: The Can Man by Laura Williams, Curious George Saves His Pennies by Monica Perez, and A Chair for my Mother by Vera B. Williams.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

How to embed your Adobe Spark Video in your website

Embed your Adobe spark video:

  1. Login to Adobe Spark
  2. Open your All About Me project
  3. At the top, click share
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  1. Select “Education” in the box that says “Pick a Category”
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  1. At the bottom, click “Create Link”
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6.  Select “Embed” and copy the code that appears in the box below:
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7.  Open up you PLP website.  
8.  Go to “All About Me” tab.
9.  Click the pencil edit button.
10.  Click <HTML> in the menu:
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11.  Paste the code you copied in the top of this box:
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12.  Click “Update”
13.  Click “Save.”  

Now you’re Adobe Spark Video is embedded in your website!  :)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Book Drive for Louisiana School




This summer there was an epic flood in the state of Louisiana.  Communities are still dealing with the impact including re-establishing normal school experiences for children.  This even includes reading!  As a community that has experienced similar challenges, we recognize a call to action.  Our school was helped during our time of need by communities around the country.  We now want to pay this kindness forward to the residents of St Amant, Louisiana.  Moretown School has joined Bear Pond Books in an effort to restock the bookshelves of the St. Amant Primary School.

We are helping by collecting New or Like New books for grades PreK-5.  Both fiction and non-fiction will be accepted but teachers are especially looking for quality non-fiction titles with these themes:

Scientific method
Stem activities
Plants
Animals
Circulatory and respiratory body function
Habitat
Rocks
Landforms
Weather
Solar System
Food web
US political symbol
Westward expansion
United States Geography
Maps and globes
US Constitution
Declaration of Independence
Bill of Rights
Three branches of government
Economics for kids

Bear Pond Books is offering a 20% discount on all books donated to the cause.  Please visit the store in Montpelier or visit them online here:  http://www.bearpondbooks.com/  (Please note "book drive" in the comments section of the online check out).  All books can be brought in to the school to put in our book drive boxes.  The book drive will take place Sept 19 - Oct 2nd.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Welcome Back!

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Dear Moretown Families,

I am thrilled to start a new school year as your child’s librarian and tech integrationist.  The mission of the school library program is to ensure that students are effective users of ideas and information; students are empowered to be critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillful researchers, and ethical users of information.  My goal is to nurture lifelong learners & passionate citizens.   One my favorite parts of my job is to watch your child grow from year to year.  It is truly priceless.

Every classroom visits the library once a week for a structured class.   He or she will be bringing home books each week of their own choosing.  These books are due back on library day the next week.   Please help your child build responsibility with taking care of these books.  Returning books on time helps all students share and have access to often very popular books.  I greatly appreciate your help with this matter.

Parents and guardians are also welcome to get a library card here at our school library!  We have a parenting section and a large selection of children's books that are perfect to share as a read aloud with your child.   Come on in anytime!

For more information about the library program, Vermont book awards, tech tools & resources available to you and your child, please visit the library website at ow.ly/REOKB.  Feel free to contact me with any questions at ewood@wwsu.org.  Thank you.

Sincerely,


Emily Wood
Library Media Specialist
Tech Integrationist

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

1st & 2nd Grade's Monument Research

1st & 2nd graders have worked hard to become experts on some of the world's most famous monuments.  We learned a lot about other cultures based on what they want to remember & celebrate with their monuments.  Take a look at the Thinglinks they created to share their learning.

Great Wall of China





Taj Mahal





Machu Picchu





The Pyramids of Giza





Easter Island





The Statue of Liberty





Acropolis





Big Ben





Eiffel Tower

Friday, May 13, 2016

DCF Conference Repost

This blog post was originally written for VSLA's (Vermont School Library Association) 802Blog:

In March, my students’ anticipation starts to grow.  They are finishing reading their last Dorothy’s List book, discussing which one was their favorite, and eagerly looking forward to voting.  My anticipation is growing as well, but for another reason.  I know that the new list is about to be released.  What books are going to be on this year’s list?  Have I read any yet?  Which ones am I looking forward to reading?  I’m just as giddy as my kiddos.  
Maisie's Dorothy's List.jpg


The books are one excitement.  The upcoming Dorothy Canfield Fisher Conference is another.  And this year was no exception.  This year’s conference was held at Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont.   Right when I walked through the doors, I was greeted warmly and given a full bag of free books!   Then on to coffee, breakfast goodies, and chatting with friends I haven’t seen since last conference.   What a great way to start the morning!
ChyM77jWkAEpMQf.jpg The conference kicked off with a Keynote from author Cynthia Lord.  She gave a moving speech about how to become a writer in four steps:  Read, Write, Revise, & Dream.  These steps sound simple but they are peppered with lifelong lessons that empower our work as librarians.  In her speech, Cynthia recalled wanting to share a book with her mother, but was turned away.  Her mother felt that Cynthia should practice her reading by herself to make her a stronger reader. But we all know that sharing a book isn’t always about getting help with reading the words.  It is a bonding experience.  Sharing a book should be an ageless activity, happening between all ages and members of a family & community.  Reading can make us closer.  She suggested to “read crap” because it helps you get a better understanding of good literature and it is often fun!  Cynthia also gave a great example of how librarians can empower students in their choices.  A school librarian she worked with at her first teaching job always told students “Good choice” regardless of the book they chose.  She realized that books are more than the words that are printed on them.  We don’t truly know what a book holds for each child.  We need to celebrate that they are making their own choice especially when they don’t get that power in much of the rest of their life.  Some other gems from her speech was about how students equate revision with failure instead of coaching.  That we need to tell students “Make it shine.  It’s worth it!”  Cynthia Lord’s speech help me feel this way about the work that we do:  Make it shine.  It’s worth it!
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Next I was off to a break out session.  It is always hard to choose where to go.  This year you did not need to sign up for a session prior to the conference but got to go where your feet took you in the moment.  Luckily, handouts & other materials relating to each presentation can be found on the Department of Libraries’ Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award webpage. I chose to go to the presentation of this year’s list because I want to increase my students’ participation and knew I could get some good book talking points to get them going.  I’ve read about half of them so far and this presentation got me excited to read the rest, nevertheless get my students reading.
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IMG_1127(1).JPGThe second session I went to was the Rapid-To-Dos with Annie Brabazon and Charlie Farrell from Grand Island School.  I believe this is the 3rd year in which I’ve gone to their presentation and I always come away with some great activities I can use with students.  This year I got activities such as an animal sound icebreaker for the Terrible Two in which scraps of paper were handed out.  Each one has a match.  One was an animal, the other was the sound the animal makes.  One partner kept making the noise and the other needed to walk around to find their match. Another activity was figuring out celebrity’s roller derby names for Roller Girl such as Atticurse Flinch, Smack Galifianakis, Nuke Skywalker, & Mouth Guardashian.  And yet another was creating secret codes like the kind that can be found in The Blackthorne Key.  Even better yet was getting kids to crack some codes such as this celebrity cipher where you have to work backwards from one clue to see if you can figure out the whole message.  (Do not notice that I made a mistake! :) ).   I know that I can get kids revved up using these engaging activities.



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The conference’s endnote speaker was native Vermonter & graphic novelist,  Gareth Hinds.  (He sketched the portrait of Cynthia Lord that is included above).  For those that don’t know, he specializes in creating graphic novels of classics like Macbeth, the Odyssey, & Poe’s short stories.    It is amazing the amount of work & thought that goes into these adaptations.  Hinds studies multiple texts, determines what is essential in the story, & how best to tell these tales in the graphic format.  School librarians know that students are attracted to the graphic novel medium now more than ever and Hinds books help make these classics more accessible to a larger audience.  Not to mention that the artwork is pure awesome!  Gareth Hinds also made some points that are important to our work.  Letting students doodle does not distract them from listening.  It uses a different part of their brain and might even help them focus better on listening.  Also at that certain age when students stop seeing themselves as an artist, he offers a similar reminder that Cynthia Lord made about revision that needs to be brought to their attention.  Everyone needs practice and coaching, even those that you think of as experts.  Students should continue to practice and revise their art skills.  They should be reminded to “Make it shine.  It’s worth it!”

At any conference, a lot of learning is done outside of the sessions.  We are often working solo in our positions in school.  The time that I get to spend with other school librarians and other like minded folks is invaluable.  This year was a transition year for me.  I had the exciting opportunity to start at a new school (Moretown Elementary) but regretfully had to leave an old position (Newport City).  While at the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Conference, I could catch up with my Northeast Kingdom colleagues.  I could also visit with those that went through the UVM sequence with me.  I could talk about the successes & challenges that we all face.  These networking ties are great for furthering my practice.  It also gives me the boost that is often needed at the end of the school year.  The conference is a nice day to remind me about how much I love this profession and to be part of this group of educators in particular.  It reminds me to “Make it shine.  My students are worth it!”

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Award winners!!

Announcing this year's Vermont Book Award winners:

Red Clover Award
*image borrowed from Carol Scrimgeour, Librarian at Essex Elementary School

Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Book Awards

The tension is mounting.  Our students have read all the books.  They carefully deliberated on their choice.  They have cast their vote.  Here are our school's results for the Red Clover Book Award & the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award!

Here are the results for the Red Clover Award:


Our school's winner (by 1 vote):  Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton

2. Lindberg:  The Tale of a Flying Mouse
3. I'm My Own Dog
4. Winter Bees
5.  Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas
6.  Blizzard
7. My Grandfather's Coat
8.  Miss Brooks' Story Nook
9.  Star Stuff
10.  Firefly July

Here are the results for the Dorothy's List Award:

Our school's winner:


Tied for 1st place:  El Deafo, Ice Dogs, Badger Knight, & The Crossover!
5. Rain Reign
6. Absolutely Almost
7. Gabriel Finley
8.  Hope is a Ferris Wheel
9.  The Boundless
10. The Mark of the Dragonfly
11. The Meaning of Maggie
12.  The Night Gardener
13.  There Will Be Bears

We will find out who won the state awards shortly so stay posted!


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Mrs. Wood's Multiple Intelligences


  1. In which intelligence are you the strongest? Intrapersonal (Self Smart)

  1. How can you use this type of smarts to help you get stronger in other intelligences? I can do some dancing to express how I feel to help with my body smarts. I can write my autobiography to help with my word smarts. I can volunteer for an organization that I'm passionate about to help build by people smarts.

  1. In which intelligence are you the weakest? Kinesthetic (Body Smart)

  1. In what ways can you improve this type of smarts?  I can do a solo sport like swimming or running.

  1. BONUS:  What careers could you explore based on your strengths? comedian, film maker, philosopher, researcher

Monday, March 14, 2016

Storywalk





On Tuesday March 8th, Moretown students went on a storywalk.  The book Blizzard by John Rocco was set up in a special way to enjoy it while hiking up to the upper ECO base camp.  Each page was laminated and spaced out throughout the school's backwoods.  Students enjoyed the semi-wintery day while enjoying a very wintery book.  I, in particular, enjoyed being able to share two of my great joys:  nature & books!

Blizzard is the story of the author's experiences during a huge blizzard including snowshoeing to the local market for food supplies with homemade snowshoes.  The book is on this year's Red Clover Nominee list.





The students that participated were preschool, kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade.  The storywalk will remain up in the wood until the end of April.  Although we might not have received much snow this year, you can imagine your in the middle of a blizzard when you take a hike in our school back woods.  Hope you all enjoy!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Passion Projects & Values

Mr. Stevenson & I are teaming up to engage our 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in passion projects.  This endeavor comes from the idea of "Genius Hour."  When students (or anyone really) are given time to fully explore & go deep in to a topic that they are passionate about, great things can result.  Students learn a great deal about their chosen passion but also learn valuable transferable skills like problem solving, critical thinking, clear communication, & research skills.  This philosophy is followed by big companies too create innovative products & ideas as well as increase productivity.  Google does this and many of the products we now use regularly are the result such as gmail.  We are excited to see what our students explore!


Before we dive right into our Passion Project, we are going to be exploring identity.  We are doing this so that students can get a good handle on who they are, what motivates them, and what they are passionate about.  To start we are exploring values and identifying what our core values are and why they are important to us.  



Here is my own example:

Mrs. Wood's Core Values:

1.  Compassion:  Kindness.  Caring about the well-being of others.                                                                                                                       Why?  This is important to me because I feel that we are all part of the world.  We are all human and deserve the same amount of respect.  Everyone is fighting a battle and we need to try to shed a little more light in the world.  It makes others feel good but it also makes yourself feel good.  



2.  Curiosity:  A strong desire to learn or know something.  Imagination.                                                                                                                       Why?  I love to learn!  I like to learn about something new whether it is about dark matter or dog training.  I also like it when other people inspire me.  This is how I got into learning how to code!  Students showed me what they were working on and it made me want to try!  Also imagination and curiosity are the traits I admire in my heroes.  They are the traits that helped our world develop awesome improvements like the internet & space travel.  


3.  Nature:  Respect for all living things.  

Why?  I grew up with the woods in my backyard.  I loved going in there to explore!  When I feel stressed out, I go for a hike in the woods and it helps me feel centered.  All of nature is connected and I love being part of it and protecting it.  





Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Gale Resources


 Moretown School Library has a new resource: Vermont Online Library.
  This resource is a collection of Gale databases on a variety of subjects and reading levels.  But what is a database and why is it useful?  These databases are a collection of articles from trusted sources:  professional encyclopedias, magazines, newspapers, scholarly journals, & primary sources.  These articles are great for research because they come from experts in the field rather than random webpage posts.   Here is a list of all the databases that are available to our school community:  List of Gale Resources.  Links to these resources can be found on the Library Webpage.  If you need the passwords, please ask Mrs. Wood (ewood@wwsu.org).

Here are some of the highlights:

Kids Info Bits has had a facelift!!  This used to be a clunky and distracting database.  It was really unhelpful for elementary school level students.  BUT not anymore!  Information is presented in a visual way helping beginning readers to find the information for which they are searching.   It groups the information in format:  books, images, magazines, and news.  The reading level is also displayed so users can make the appropriate choice.  Think of this database as an extension of our Britannica Online Encyclopedia.


Sign in with Google

This is a huge improvement as well.  Now when you sign in with your Google account, you can save all your research findings to your drive.  Saving means the article plus any of the notes and highlights you have made as well.  It will also export citation to Google Drive or Easybib.  You can also submit things to your Google Classroom, if you are using that tool.

Awesome extra tools

Databases have long let you email and print articles.  But now there are some added tools to help you get the most out of your research.

Citation Tools- It will export the citation of the article to a variety of citation tools in either MLA or APA format.

Download- This will put it into your Google Drive.

Highlights and Notes - This tool will collect all your highlights and notes together so you can view only this information.

Save- This saves it only to a folder with in that specific database.  I recommend using the Download feature instead.

Download MP3-  Each article is accompanied with the text to voice audio.  This tool will download this audio to listen to later.  This can be helpful students trying to understand complex text.

Share-  You can share the article on a wide variety of media formats including Twitter, Blogger, Facebook, Diigo, & Google+.

You can also translate the article into different languages! Oh la la!

In conclusion...
Databases can be overwhelming and cumbersome, but the ones offered by Vermont Online Library are completely worth a look.  They are improving functionality everyday with more emphasis on the user.  The extra tools and features help users get the most out of their research.  And the information is verified by professionals making these resources ideal for research.   I hope that you spend sometime exploring the different databases.  If you have any questions or want a personal guided tour of VOL, please come see me!! :)


Kate Messner Upcoming Author Visit

On the morning of October 10, local author Kate Messner will be giving a presentation to 3rd through 6th graders.  She will be talking t...