Tuesday, March 30, 2010
We have just finished counting up the ballots for our school and we have a winner:
Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina by Kirby Larson
This book is a moving, true story of friendship, loyalty and kindness in the midst of a huge disaster. The website has more information about the remarkable animals who feature in this tale that touched all our hearts.
Keep an eye on the WCCPBA homepage to find out which book won at the state level!
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Throughout the world children love to read, but you may be surprised at how many creative and interesting ways they gain access to books! After learning about mobile libraries around the world, make sure to check out Margriet's wonderful book about unusual schools around the world:
Thursday, March 18, 2010
However, with this ease of access come the perils of copying and pasting. Suddenly the possibility of plagiarism, whether intentional or accidental, looms much larger.
Thanks to Mrs. Sachdeva, our Technology Specialist, for pointing me towards this Tech & Learning magazine blog post, "Copy. Paste. Done." It is an important read for both parents and educators.
As you help your student surf the internet looking for information for an assignment, observe what they are doing. Are they looking for information they can synthesize on their own to create a new whole? Or are they looking for a site that provides "the answers" ready made for them?
A friend of mine who is a university librarian has observed that even undergraduates come into the library hoping to find a book or database or website that will hand them "the answer" to their professor's assignment. The reality is that higher level thinking requires us to find the data and then select and interpret it ourselves. Students who learn this earlier in life will become more competent and responsible users of online information, as well as more critical and original thinkers.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
So, without more ado, here are my top ten favorite picture books (bearing in mind that a list compiled on another day might look rather different)! Feel free to add a comment or send me an email with your own picks!
1. Bye Bye Baby: A Sad Story with a Happy Ending by Janet Ahlberg
2. Cannonball Simp by John Burningham
3. The Church Mouse by Graham Oakley
4. The Green Ship by Quentin Blake
5. A Lion in the Meadow by Margaret Mahy
6. The Shape Game by Anthony Browne
7. Shin’s Tricycle by Tatsuharu Kodama
8. Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson
9. A Story for Bear by Dennis Haseley
10. Tadpole’s Promise by Tony Ross
Friday, March 12, 2010
When Anjali comes to campus on March 31st, she'll be talking to students about her writing process and the road to publication with her latest novel. Look for it in bookstores and libraries in May! You may also use the form we sent home to pre-order a copy. Anjali will personalize a book plate for you, and the book will be delivered when it comes out.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I will be teaching EDEP classes in the library from 12:30-1:30pm on Thursday and from 2-3pm on Friday, but the rest of my days are open so if you have time before or after your parent conference, please feel free to stop by the library to check in. I look forward to meeting with you then!
Monday, March 8, 2010
Parents are very welcome at the assembly, which will be held in the gym from 9:30-10:15am on the 31st. Please also feel free to drop by the library between 11:30am-12:00pm or 2:30-3:00pm if you would like to meet Anjali.
Families may pre-order copies of her books through University Book Store. Order forms will be going home with 3rd-5th graders this week. Please email me (library at ows dot org) if you need a copy. Order forms are due back at school by 3:30pm on Friday, March 19th, but you may also purchase separately and bring to school your own copy on the day of her visit.
Anjali has won critical acclaim for her books for elementary and middle school students (Maya Running, Looking for Bapu and Seaglass Summer, coming out this May) as well as for adults (Imaginary Men, Invisible Lives). She will be talking with students about her family's cultural roots in India and how they inspire her writing, as well as their emigration to Canada and later to the United States.
We are so fortunate to be able to host her at our school! Don't miss out on this special event!
Thursday, March 4, 2010
In the best picture books, words and pictures combine to create a new whole; the words alone will not convey the entire story because the pictures extend and complement them. This requires a sophisticated level of reading and interpretation that many adults are not aware is required during the reading of what seem like "easy" books. In fact, in some of the most challenging picture books, the illustrations actually contradict the meaning conveyed in the text, resulting in humor and irony (e.g. see the delightful German title When I Grow Up, I Will Win the Nobel Peace Prize by Isabel Pin).
Sometimes parents are in a hurry to see their children move on from picture books to chapter books. However, there are picture books that even teenagers and adults can read and understand on a deep level (see Michael Rosen's Sad Book, a moving story of bereavement).
During storytimes we have been reading the Washington Children's Choice Picture Book Award nominees to kindergarten through 3rd grade in preparation for voting day. It has been interesting to see how the different grade levels interpret the messages conveyed in the books. Some of the nominees have been accessible to and enjoyable by all grade levels, whereas others are too complex for the youngest children to grasp easily (e.g. Leslie Helakoski's fabulous Woolbur, which many kindergartners believed was communicating a meaning that was the exact opposite of the author's intended message, but in which 3rd graders could distinguish all the nuances of motivation and feeling).
Want to learn more about picture books and explore some classics? See below!
Original Top 100 Picture Books
What Do You Mean It Didn't Make the List?!? The Greatest Gaps of the Top 100 Picture Book Poll (for Good and for Ill)
Shirley Hughes's top 10 picture book characters
Let's hear it for Anthony Browne!
The Caldecott Medal
The Kate Greenaway Medal
Monday, March 1, 2010
We will be handing out entry forms and information sheets in the school library starting on Monday, March 1st. Any student interested in entering may take one home (you can also pick up extras at the bookstore). The deadline is Friday, April 16th. Entries may be submitted in person at any UBS branch or mailed to:
University Book Store
4326 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105-1009
Please do not send completed entries to school! We cannot take responsibility for them and do not want your child's precious artwork to get mislaid.