Monday, December 17, 2012

Read for 2013

Looking forward to the New Year and celebrating reading have been a fun tradition at Parish Lower School for many, many years.   Now we take advantage of this event to bring the third graders back to read in their old classrooms or library.  Seeing their smiles and armfuls of books coming through the doors is more than nostalgic.  One third grader said quietly to another, "It feels like coming home."  I love the reading + smile = coming home equation.  Our Head of Middle School kicked off the morning with a fantastic reading of Pierre by Maurice Sendak.  Then, we all found a comfortable spot and for 33 minutes and 33 seconds, the only sound was the turning of pages. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Library + STEM + Amphibians

Discovery Education and the Siemens STEM Academy brought together scientists at the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park for a live webinar today at noon.  It was perfect timing for our second grades.  Their classroom tadpoles have nearly become adult frogs. There was a huge interest in seeing  and learning about amphibians from around the world.  Over 40 of our second graders brought their lunches to the library or to the STEM center to learn from the zoo's scientists about the animals and the threats they face from environmental issues.
This offers the perfect opportunity to do a little bit of research using PebbleGo, too.  This non-fiction database is a great resource for early elementary students.  There is some great information about amphibians there.  It was fun and exciting to connect the STEM center, classroom and library in such an authentic way. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Vote For Books!

Three very worthy candidates filled the ballot for our Library Character President. Duck, Babymouse, and Bad Kitty all had strong party support.   The weeks leading to election day were thrilling!  The characters were the subject of so much description, comparison, and discussion.  Campaign posters covered the library walls. On November 6, voters came to the voting booth in the library. Votes were cast and counted. 

Election Day, November 6

The winner....

Book Club Awesomeness!

Ivy and Bean Day
Book talk and lunch with friends are two of my favorite things.  Those favorite things came together twice in October.
The second grade girls met in the library for lunch and to celebrate the Ivy and Bean book series by Annie Barrows.  The girls had great discussions about the two characters who are so different from each other and yet such good friends.  We looked at the author's website and even had time to make cootie catchers.
Books We Are Batty About

The book talk during the second grade boys' "Books We're Batty About" celebration was incredible!  Every boy brought a book that he enjoyed and thought others would also enjoy.  
 They took turns standing on the bat stool and presenting their books.  It was obvious that much thought went into their choices.  They were all very interested in what each other had to say.  Their recommendations have carried a lot of weight.  Many books that have been sitting on the shelf are now in readers' hands. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Reading Buddies

Every Monday, classes of second graders and kinders  meet up in the library and their classrooms for twenty minutes of shared reading and books.  The partnerships will stay together all year so that they will have opportunity to grow together as readers.  This week was our kickoff Monday.  I loved watching the leadership that the second graders assumed in selecting, practicing and reading books that they thought would be favorites. I loved listening to their discussion, questions and comments with the kinders.  Books can create powerful bonds!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Charlotte + Bots

Happy birthday to Charlotte's Web!  So many students talked about how much they loved this read-aloud.  After we read several different alphabet books in the library a few weeks ago, one of the first graders asked if we had a Charlotte's Web alphabet book. Now we do!  After some collaboration about the illustrations, each of the first grade classes created one, and they are cataloged and ready to check out. 

Working across disciplines is always fun, especially when our fantastic art teacher gets involved.  Were the kindergarten classes very inspired by Boy + Bot?  "Affirmative!"  Some of our creative and energetic moms loved the chance to let their minds and hands work robot magic, too!
Story time included some great discussion.  We noticed that the friends in Dan Yaccarino's Unloveable were very much like each other and that the friends in Boy + Bot were very different from each other.  All the Way to America and Every Friday led to a lot of talk about connections that the students made to their own lives, their families and routines.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dan Yaccarino Coming Soon!

We are so excited about the internationally known author and illustrator who will visit with our lower school (K - 4th grade) on Thursday, October 18.  Dan Yaccarino has over 1.5 MILLION books sold, and his work has been recognized with a host of prestigious awards including the The New York Time 10 Best Illustrated, ALA Notable and the Parents Choice Award.  We will all be exploring his books in the library over the next weeks. Can't wait!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dot Day

 If you walked through the library this week, you probably noticed how very dotty it looks.  Every year on September 15 (ish), teachers and librarians around the world celebrate International Dot Day by making time to encourage  students’ creativity.  "Dot Day" gets its name from the book, The Dot, written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds.  It is about a girl who is encouraged by her teacher to "make your mark and see where it takes you."  It demonstrates that when students are encouraged to explore their interests and gifts, their whole lives can be impacted.  Everyone on the Hillcrest campus celebrated by making their own mark.  

The Dot is available to share and read at home on Tumblebooks!

Other terrific "dot" books joined in our celebration.  Look for these fun titles on our library shelves!  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Seed by Seed

Seed by Seed: The Legend and Legacy of John "Appleseed" Chapman by Esme Raji Codell  Illustrated by Lynne Rae Perkins has been on our "Coming Soon" list for a while.  I can't wait for the box to arrive to share it with our students.  I think that it will inspire many of us to consider the simple things that we can pledge to do every day to make the earth a better place.  I know that for me (like Esme) it is reading aloud to children. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Read-Aloud Memories

Mountains of study and research has proven that reading aloud to a child is the most important factor in raising a reader...a person who WANTS to read.  Besides the vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency benefits gained, reading aloud builds community.  Sharing book adventures connects us with each other and creates a bond that can last for a very long time.  Our lower school community is beginning the year with a "One Read-Aloud."  First through fourth grade will read Charlotte's Web by E.B.White and celebrate the book's 60th anniversary on October 15.  Join in the reading and discussion at home.  Find out why this book is considered the number one children's novel of all time.

Find out what read-aloud books some of our teachers still (and will always) remember.

(Do you have a QR scanner yet?)


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Summer Reading!

From The Golden Gate to Breckenridge to Central Park...Parish readers are everywhere this summer, and great books are part of the adventure! 

Finishing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Reading Farmer Boy between courses at Hearthstone

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hanging Out With a Book and an Author

Are you hanging out with a good book this summer?  Join this Parish 3rd grader who has discovered that there are millions of places to read great books.  E-mail your pictures and watch to see where and what your friends are reading this summer!

REMEMBER...The Dallas Museum of Art's BooksmART Festival offers families and children of all ages a chance to celebrate literature and the arts on Saturday, June 9, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The day will feature authors, artists, illustrators, workshops, music, gallery tours, story time, games and other activities at the Dallas Museum of Art.  Check the website for more details about these fantastic authors and illustrators who are participating. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Children's Book Week

If you traveled through the library this week you undoubtedly witnessed a lively celebration of Children's Book Week.  Last year I was inspired by other librarians who set up a book walk, and I decided that we would try it this year.  The tables were pushed together and chairs set up around the perimeter.  Each chair had an animal or character behind it giving a hint about the book that was resting in the seat.  I chose books from all around the library.  Some were familiar favorites and others were wonderful fiction and nonfiction picture books that may have been overlooked this year.  After story time with books about books, the music began. The children walked around the chairs until the music stopped.  They sat down in the chair where they stopped and read the book in the seat until the music started again.  It was festive and fun!  I had planned to do this with PreK and Kindergarten, but the first and second graders couldn't resist browsing the books during their check out time, too! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Poetry Month

Poetry is part of every day at Parish, but we find special ways to celebrate our poetry love during Poetry Month in April.  Poems were shared and enjoyed all around the campus on Poem in Your Pocket Day.

Recycle a Book 2012

Recycle a Book Day has become an annual event at Parish! Not only is it a great way to communicate how we can use and reuse things in our environment, it creates a real excitement about reading and books! It's so easy to organize. Everyone is invited to bring a book that they have enjoyed reading and are ready to part with. Some brought books that they had more than one copy of. A recycle box was set up in the library. On the day of the event, books were displayed on tables in the lunchroom. As students came in for lunch, they were invited to shop for a book that they would like to take home. I loved the conversation and book talk around the tables! This was a quick and easy way to give new life and audience to some great books!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Birthday E-Book Pioneers

This brother and sister are library pioneers! They're among the first to venture into and explore our new Overdrive e-book offerings, and they're the very first to choose e-books to donate as birthday books. Their super idea really put a spotlight on our new e-book collection. When we celebrated the birthdays in chapel, they showed a picture of the cover of the book that they donated. If you haven't explored our Overdrive collection, be sure to take some time to do that. You'll find some fantastic titles to check out on your computers, nooks, iPads, phones, and kindles. If you need help, feel free to stop by the library! Thanks, again, for these fun birthday donations!

Friday, March 30, 2012

International Children's Book Day

For twenty five years, International Children's Book Day
has been celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to draw attention to children's books. Mexico is the host country this year. Senora Escobar and I thought it would be fun to spotlight Rooster/Gallo. It's the perfect way to begin Poetry Month, too!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Grace Lin Visits!

Something wonderful happens when an author/illustrator visits a school! It changes the way we read. It changes the way we think about writing. Today we had the enormous pleasure of welcoming Grace Lin to our school and library. We've been reading many of her wonderful books and getting ready to meet her for weeks. I think that she could tell that we already loved her when she was met with origami "friends" that students crafted to greet her. Grace Lin told everyone all about the process of having a book published. She started with her IDEA book and took us on a publishing tour. She led everyone in a fabulous step by step drawing lesson. One group drew happy dragons and the other group learned how to draw a dog. The Grace Lin books will be flying off the shelf and into backpacks when we return from spring break. What a treat!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

World Read Aloud Day

We celebrated World Read Aloud Day today! This day celebrates the power of words...especially those shared from one person to another. One of our talented sixth grade students Skyped from the Midway library to ours to read from Grace Lin's Year of the Dog with a first grade class. It was the perfect introduction to one of our visiting author's books, and it was a great way to celebrate our community of readers across the miles.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Read Across America!

UNLESS someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
It's not.
Dr. Seuss

We heard the Lorax's warning and we've taken it to heart! Read Across America and Dr. Seuss's birthday made March 2 a huge day of reading at Parish. Ms. Demarest read The Lorax in the library to a captivated full house of kindergarten, first, and second graders. Dr. Seuss's illustrations were easily seen on the SMART Board, so not a detail went unnoticed by the listeners. Excitement about the movie opening increased by bounds after listening to the story! Happy birthday to someone who reminded us that "You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child."

Monday, February 27, 2012

Maybelle Comes to Lunch

Maybelle sparked a great discussion at our second grade girls' book club lunch meeting today in the library. The girls had a lot to share about unwanted gifts, foods they'd like to sample, and books they'd recommend to their friends. It was a big group of 37 readers! I love the excitement that comes with sharing a book! We took a moment to say a few words to Katie Speck, the author of Maybelle in the Soup.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

J. Patrick Lewis at Parish!

It's not everyday that the Children's Poet Laureate visits your school! Our first and second graders had the pleasure of visiting with Dr. J. Patrick Lewis (Pat) who is also the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) 2011 recipient of the Excellence in Poetry Award. We began the day in our library before he traveled to Midway to meet with third through eighth grades. He is the author of over 70 books for children, and he had a lot to say about how important it is to be a reader in order to be a writer. He talked about the need for a writer to observe and remember. He amused and entertained with some of his popular poetry riddles and he created laughter with his clever word play. After school we celebrated Parish's first Literary Festival where student writing was celebrated and Pat met with students, teachers, parents, and guests. Exciting things are happening in the Parish libraries!

Second graders shared some highlights of the visit with classmates who might have been absent and missed the excitement.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Books We Love!

All of the first grade girls signed up for our annual "Books We Love" book club meeting in the library. What an amazing group of readers gathered for book talk! Everyone had a chance to speak about the book that they brought to share, and they gave compelling reasons for their choice. I heard, "It's a page turner!" and "It reminds me of going places with my friends." I loved hearing, "My mom read it to me so many times when I was little, and I memorized the whole book. Then I said, Mom, now I can read!" We loved the valentine cookies, bookmarks, notepads, and pencils. But, the greatest part of the day was listening to so many readers who had so much to tell about their love of a book!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Read a Biography!

The Wax Museum, populated by second graders who have read biographies, researched, summarized, and memorized facts about a notable person, is my favorite annual event that fills the library. The students check out hundreds of biographies looking for the personality that they will inhabit during the hour long museum opening. They organize their information and practice in their classrooms and at home. They come to school looking remarkably like the subject of their study. They wear a "press here" button and recite their script dozens of times for parents, teachers, and first grade visitors. Best of all...they come back to the library for more biographies!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

J. Patrick Lewis is Coming!

An author visit is always exciting, but in just two weeks we will welcome the U.S. Children's Poet Laureate to our library! J. Patrick Lewis will begin the day with our first and second graders. Getting ready for his visit is so much fun. We are exploring his poetry and books in the library and in the classrooms. Our fabulous art teacher is in on the fun, too. Students in many of the art classes are creating delightfully detailed illustrations to accompany some of the poetry in An Underwear Salesman, Spot the Plot and The World's Greatest: Poems. Here's a sneak peak at some of their work. I hope that you will join the fun at "Expressions," our first literary festival, on Tuesday, February 21 from 4:00 - 6:00 in the Midway library. You'll have the opportunity to hear and meet an amazing author and poet and support the literary accomplishments of our own Parish students.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Game Day!

Forty six 1st and 2nd grade boys gathered in the library this week for lunch and to celebrate and discuss the book, Game Day by Tiki and Ronde Barber. The book emphasized team work and sportsmanship. Mr. Dewell joined us and told a little bit about his dad, Bill Dewell, who was an amazing SMU athlete and Chicago Cardinals player. After some book talk, a film clip of a Ronde Barber interception, and lunch, we even had a few minutes to pass around the football outside. It was fantastic to have such an enthusiastic group of guys gathered together by a book!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Little Red Riding Hood

First grade is diving into their annual fairy tale study in the classroom. This month they will read tons of fairy tales and write their own. We are loving fairy tales in the library, too. Second graders have great memories of this, so it wasn't hard to find volunteers to read from Mary Ann Hoberman's You Read to Me, I'll Read to You Very Short Fairy Tales for a video to present to the first grade classes. It was the perfect lead-in to our two week look at some different versions of Little Red Riding Hood. This week we looked at several traditional versions. We read the Caldecott Honor winning book by Trina Schart Hyman.

Coming up next week... Little Red: A Fizzingly Good Yarn by Lynn Roberts and Carmine: A Little More Red by Melissa Sweet.