End of the Year Wrap-Up

Well, the end of the school year has arrived and as I pack up the library for the summer, I am feeling immensely pleased with the way that my first year as OQS librarian played out.  The students reflected on their favorite things about library in their journals last week, and the response was so broad that I was happy that I was able to personalize the library so that it was enjoyable to so many.

We read oh so many books and dabbled in technology.  I now know for sure which books must be ordered for next year and which ones are surprisingly not so popular.  I have a plan to combat the surprisingly low interest in fiction, though, which will be coming later this summer!  I piqued their interest in the Makerspace and since we every grade will have one hour dedicated to STEAM next year, I am glad they are intrigued!  We made connections to what we read to our lives and other stories, and studied genres and the elements of fiction.  We had lots of fun and adventures, and now that the kids know me, I think it’ll just pick up right where we left off in the fall.

To all of you, thank you for sharing this journey with me, and for parents, thank you for sharing your children with me!  Enjoy your summer and keep your students reading! I’ll be helping with the summer reading program at the Quechee library on Tuesdays at 4 pm.  I hope to see you there!

Help Support Our Makerspace!

donors

We have a very exciting endeavor to announce! OQS wants to make sure our students have the materials they need to succeed, so Mrs. Dumont and I created a DonorsChoose.org classroom request.

STEAM and Technology Supplies for Makerspace

Give to our project within the next seven days and your donation will be doubled thanks to DonorsChoose.org. Just enter the code LIFTOFF during checkout and you’ll be matched dollar for dollar (up to $50).

In return, you’ll get awesome photos of your gift in action and our heartfelt thanks.

Thank you so much!

P.S. If you know anyone who might be interested in supporting public schools, please feel free to pass this message along.

What Do You Do With An Idea?

In kindergarten and first grade this week, we celebrated imagination, and read about the amazing Dr. Carl Sagan and how he took his big ideas out of this world!

We stretched our imaginations and asked many interesting questions. Kindergarten especially had lots to say and wonder about the Earth’s atmosphere, gravity, and the solar system.  Lots of budding scientists in the making!

First grade had time to do an open-ended art project; they could draw what their ideas about outer space, what they would grow in their garden, or what their imaginary friends would look like.  They were especially excited about the googly eyes!

click on the photos to see more

They had so much fun, I’m hoping to have time to do the same with 2nd grade when they finish their Cinderella folktale comparison project.  OQS students’ imaginations are out of this world!

Fables in the Forest!

In case you forget from your childhood introduction to fables, probably thanks to good old Aesop, a fable is a short story that teaches a moral, usually with animal characters.  Last week first grade enjoyed two beautiful days outside in the amphitheater reading three fables: Walter Dean Myers’s The Story of the Three Kingdoms about how man came to live in harmony with the animals, The Boy Who Cried Wolf by B.G. Hennessy and great illustrations by Boris Kulikov, and the Red Clover award nominee Lousy, Rotten, Stinkin’ Grapes by Margie Palatini.

 

All three stories took place outside and it just felt right to take the classes out into the forest to hear the voices of the animals and imagine themselves there.

Plus, Mrs. Whitney pretending to the fox leaping for what will be his “sour grapes” is always an entertaining way to end the day!

So much fable fun in the forest in first grade!

The Results Are In!

After four and a half months of reading their hearts out, 5R shocked the world and squeaked past 3S to read the most books from January 1st-May 15th, 2017!  They read so much our bar graph defied gravity and crept up onto the ceiling!

5R won by a slim 45 book margin, but considering how small the class sizes are, that’s a significant number of books! Congratulations to all the classes for participating and for being good sports throughout the competition!

And congratulations to 5R and every student who read 100 books during that period (one 1st grader, 1 2nd grader, and three 3rd graders), who were also able to attend today’s celebratory pizza party.  All ten of the students who read 100 books received a Paw Pride medal as a thank you for their commitment to reading!

Thank you to the PTO for funding the pizza party and to the Quechee Pizza Chef for the delicious food! Way to go, super readers!

DCF Winner for OQS and VT

The state of Vermont gives a book award to celebrate excellence in literature, to honor best-selling author and social activist Dorothy Canfield Fisher, known informally around here as the DCF award.  Students in 4th and 5th grade who have read five books on the DCF book list are named official DCF voters and can vote for the winner of this prestigious award with the state.  We had ten students at Ottauquechee School who made the effort and read at least five DCF books (some read many more!) and we had lunches together once a month to discuss what we were reading.

Here are some photos of our DCF voters, holding their favorite books!

The votes are in for the state of Vermont, and the official state winner was The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John, which I read aloud to fourth and fifth grade at the beginning of the year.  Ottauquechee School had a different favorite, however!

The Nest by Kenneth Oppel was the clear favorite among my students!  The funny thing about that is that I was of the opinion that this book was too mature for elementary school students and felt strongly that it would scare them out of their wits!  This goes to show exactly why it never works to censor people in their reading choices, because boy, was I wrong! Turns out I’m just a super wimp and these kids are way tougher than me!

Congratulations to these students for doing such a stupendous job reading, discussing, and celebrating these awesome books!  Looking forward to next year!