The Votes Are In!

The votes are in!! OQS’s official Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award voters have chosen their favorite book of the year!  Also, students in grades K-4 have chosen the school’s favorite Red Clover Award book!

There was a 3 way tie!  Our students loved Beautiful Blue WorldNothing But Trouble, and The Inquisitor’s Tale equally!  Here are photos of our voters holding their favorite book.

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The school’s top three picture books nominated for the state’s Red Clover Award were

First Place

Second Place

Third Place

The stories were all so wonderful in various ways but the kids really loved these!  It’s a pleasure sharing so many wonderful books with students across the school!


Fact or Fiction?

Last week students in grades 3, 4 and 5 were given a crash course in how to tell fact from fiction in the news.  We started off diving right into a satirical article written for The New Yorker by Andy Borowitz, and talked about fake news and how to identify it.

After the students led a conversation where they discussed what they thought the purpose of this article was and what evidence supported their opinion, we watched a quick movie identifying five ways to spot fake news.  My favorite quote of the week was when a fourth grader asked me how they knew they should trust this video as a source!  High five for real-life application of learning!


Finally we reviewed a poster that I purchased from The American Library Association highlighting ways to protect oneself from fake news.  This week we are putting that knowledge to the test in a Digital Detectives Challenge!  Already 4D showed their understanding of how to be critical of information, images, and news sources.  This week is going to be full of deeper learning!

National Poetry Month!

After spending last week at the Deeper Learning conference in San Diego, where so much of the conversation centered on knowing each other’s stories, I felt compelled to share this amazing poem, “Human Family,” by Maya Angelou on the first day of National Poetry month.

Whether you are comfortable reading poetry or familiar with it at all, your student probably is. Why not read this one together and ask your student his or her thoughts? After all, there is no more significant conversation than the idea that “we are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.”

Official DCF Votes Are In!

The official votes for the Ottauquechee School’s DCF voters are in!  Students who have read at least five books from the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award nomination list have until April 9th to vote (so if your student is trying to finish his or her last book, it’s not too late!).  As of right now, we have a three-way tie for OQS’s favorite books:

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I will let the students know how our choices agree with students across Vermont as soon as the results are in!  Thank you to these ten amazing and dedicated students who not only made a commitment to reading, but also come have lunch with me monthly and share in fabulously mature discussions and book talks!  The best part of my month for sure!

The Library Is Abuzz With Action!

I love reading Caldecott Award winners to preK, kindergarten and 1st grade. The stories are amazingly rich and diverse! It also offers me an opportunity to discuss another amazing author/illustrator, Chris Van Allsburg, whom the student know from The Polar Express. Some of them had seen or heard of the movie “Jumanji,” but only one so far has read it! They loved it and were on the edge of their seats!

So many Caldecott Award Winners, and this is only a few!

2nd grade has continued to read engaging early chapter books, and although many were sad we wrapped up Ivy and Bean last week, they definitely enjoyed being introduced to Stink Moody today!  He is a hilarious 2nd grader with an irksome older sister that the students can definitely relate to.  2C were laughing a little uproariously while we read  today–I had to ask them to quiet down!

3rd grade has been enjoying a longer chapter book, with my intention to introduce them to the hilarious author, Andrew Clements.  This story has been a HUGE hit, even creating a touch of mischief in our own classroom. If your 3rd grade student asks to borrow a Frindle, it’s all my fault!

Fourth and fifth grade have continued to read one Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award nominated book, and 4th grade will be done very soon.  Nothing But Trouble has been a huge crowd-pleaser, but the bigger themes of inclusion and doing what’s right even when it’s hard are ones worth savoring.  Fifth grade’s book, It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel, is a bit longer and our conversations are weightier, so we aren’t quite finished yet, but I know choosing this book, which is full of questions regarding social justice, was the right choice for this group.

Lastly, thank you all again for your support during the book fair!  The money raised will help fund the STEAM program, which has been an amazing asset to the library!  We couldn’t have done it without you, and of course, it warms my heart to see so many books in the hands of our students!


February Update

February is flying by, and with days shortened for skiing schedules, snow days, Valentine’s Day and the prospect of February vacation exciting the students even more, we have been having a remarkably productive and eventful month!

Younger students read books about love, friendship, and Valentine’s Day, and contributed to this heart tree full of lovely thoughts and decorations after reading The Day It Rained Hearts.

We also read transportation books, including Steam Train, Dream Train, and had a blast with some leftover bookshelves during checkout time.

Older students have been working amazingly hard, and between the dozens of submissions for the bookmark contest and preparing for the classroom spelling bees, 2nd through fifth grade have been using the library for more than just books!  The Grand Spelling Bee will be March 1st at 5:30 pm in the OQS gym.  Come cheer on the spelling bee finalists and make a few purchases at the book fair while you are at it!  The book fair opens Monday after break and will be open all that week!

Have a wonderful vacation and of course, don’t forget to read with your child or visit the local library!

Wordless Books

Is a book still a book if it doesn’t have any words? That’s the question kindergarten and first grade are exploring during library this week, with the help of some amazing storytellers and illustrators.  Ask your students what do they think the answer is?  Hint: the answer is a resounding, YES!

The Journey trilogy by Aaron Becker was amazingly popular.  I was only planning to share the story of the first book, Journey, but every class has begged me to read all three! We were also able to incorporate a conversation on the Caldecott Award medal using David Weisner’s books, as he won so many.

The students LOVED one of this year’s Caldecott runner-ups, Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis, even though it featured a completely made-up language.  We used the illustrations to infer what the story was saying, and by the end, some students were saying it was their favorite book they’ve ever read!

Then they had time to quietly browse multiple wordless books and it was a delightful way to close out class.  I am looking forward to making a display of wordless books after we’re done using them in class– I know they’ll be excited to bring them home!

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