Tuesday, January 16, 2018

K - 3 recent library lessons

Just an update on what we're doing in the library!

Kindergarten classes: we finished reading all of the McDuff books by Rosemary Wells and read a winter story of generosity called Rabbit's Gift. We've just started reading the very funny Bear and Mouse stories by Bonnie Becker--the first one is called A Visitor for Bear.

First Graders: We listened to the story Big Snow by Jonathan Bean and noticed the patterns in the words and in the illustrations. Several of the first grade classes are now borrowing two library books--a very exciting development!

Second Graders: We've read three pourquoi tales: How the Guinea Fowl Got Her Spots, How Chipmunk Got His Stripes and Coyote Places the Stars.  I try to coordinate reading these tales with the classroom teachers' study of folktales.

Third Graders: All third graders were taught to use the library online catalog in December. They have had a chance to practice their new skills and are off and running looking for the books they'd like. Now we're learning about the Caldecott Medal and Honor books which will be awarded mid February this year. We read "After the Fall" by Dan Santat which is thought to be a contender for this year's award. Next we will look at a whole range of other contenders and rank our favorites!

Friday, December 22, 2017

What does your to-be-read pile look like?

Mine looks like this!

There are so many great books out there for your family to discover over the winter break! Please visit our local bookstores and our wonderful public libraries on the vacation week and see what they have--I assure you, there's something for everyone!

The libraries also have vacation week programming going on including a movie, origami hour, and concerts! Here's a link to the library's calendar: https://www.brooklinelibrary.org/events/category/kids/

When we get back to school it'll be time to gear up for the Caldecott and Newbery Award announcements on February 12, 2018.

Happy New Year to all!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Massachusetts Children's Book Award

Our fifth and sixth graders have been encouraged to participate in the Massachusetts Children's Book Award. They are reading up a storm!

The award is based on a list of 25 middle grade titles nominated by teachers, librarians and students. The master list is here: http://massachusettschildrensbookaward.blogspot.com/ Most book awards are voted on by adults, so this is a unique opportunity for our students to make their voice heard

Students must read at least 5 of the 25 titles in order to vote on their favorite book in early March. The winner for our state will be announced in early April. Many students have already passed the goal of reading 5 books and are now reading as many as they can between now and March.

PTO funds were used to purchase multiple copies of the books. Thank you, Lawrence School PTO! 

In my opinion, the list is particularly good this year and includes books that have received other awards like Brown Girl Dreaming and The War That Saved My Life. Check out the book cart in the library for the books on the list as well as the posters outside the library that show the covers of all 25 titles. 

Family trees -- a celebration of children's literature

The Concord Museum holds a special event every year called "Family Trees" in which trees are displayed around the museum for the whole month of December. Each tree's decorations are inspired by a children's book! This year's selection sounds great. I'd encourage you to check it out between now and January 2nd!

Here's the link with more information: http://www.concordmuseum.org/special-events-family-trees.php

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Some new books!

Some new titles in our library that you may enjoy!

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser
The Vanderbeekers have just a few days to convince their landlord to renew their lease. They've always lived in the brownstone in their Harlem neighborhood and they can't imagine living anywhere else. Using their strengths: connections with their other neighbors, some cute kittens, and the good-natured generosity of the Vanderbeeker kids, the family hopes to convince grumpy Mr. Beiderman to let them stay. A good 3rd, 4th, 5th grade realistic fiction title.

Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker by Shelley Johannes
Beatrice is entering third grade with a plan: she and her best friend Lenny will both dress as ninjas and begin a top-secret spy mission! Beatrice is surprised when Lenny comes to the first day of third grade without her ninja outfit. She also seems to have befriended the new girl, Chloe. How will the friends work out this situation? A funny early chapter book for 2nd and 3rd grade readers.

The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman, illustrated by Ros Asquith
A nonfiction book about all types of family structures and all the activities families do. There's lots to look at in these beautiful illustrations!

Dumpling Dreams: How Joyce Chen Brought the Dumpling from Beijing to Cambridge by Carrie Clickard, illustrated by Katy Wu
This picture book tells the story of Chinese immigrant and chef, Joyce Chen, who introduced Chinese cooking to Cambridge, MA and founded successful restaurants, cooking shows, and cookbooks.

The Hidden Life of a Toad by Doug Wechsler
This informational book shows the metamorphosis of a toad in vivid, close-up photographs. The author incorporates into the text questions to the reader. For example: "Day 27 Legs grow out. Toes are forming. Why would a tadpole need legs and toes?" Stunning photography.

All of these books are available in our school library, the public library, and at our local bookstores. Come check them out!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Cranberry counting contest!

Lawrence School has a 49 year annual tradition of estimating the number of cranberries in a jar. This contest happens in the library and is currently in progress (through November 16). Winners will be announced on Monday, November 20th.

Students typically submit their estimations when they come to the library with their class. In addition, teachers may borrow the jar, hold an estimation activity in the classroom, and then submit student estimates. Students may also submit their guess before or after school during the regular library hours.

Each year our local bookstores generously donate gift cards as prizes for each of the four categories: K - 2 students; grade 3 - 5 students; grade 6-8 students; and staff. We thank the Children's Bookshop and the Brookline Booksmith for so graciously donating these prizes each year!

Good luck to all!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Boston Book Festival

The Boston Book Festival is happening this Saturday, October 28 in Copley Square. A link to scheduled events can be found here: https://bostonbookfest.org/

There are lots of kids' and young adult events planned including story times with a variety of presenters, middle grade and young adult author panels, and an appearance from Elephant and Piggie! Several authors will be doing book signings and the Puppet Showplace from Brookline Village will be there.

This event is free to all and demonstrates the book-loving community of which we are a part! Don't miss it!