Friday, October 12, 2018

Mystery Skype!

Fifth grade had a GREAT Mystery Skype today with The Bement School, a private boarding school in Deerfield, MA.  Our 5th graders knew they were talking to a 6th grade class in the US, but had no idea where they were.  Through a series of Yes/No questions, both schools tried to figure out where the other school is located.  The kids had to narrow down the location based on longitude and latitude, major land features, states, and more.  They also had to be able to answer those same kind of questions about DBS so the other class could try to find us.  


The kids were each given a role, such as questioner, answerer, researcher, greeter, photographer, etc., and within 45 minutes they were able to figure out what school they were talking to!


]I loved the excitement and cheering when they got a yes, and the focus when they got a no.  They had to go back to the research and figure out another logical question to ask.  They also had to pay attention to the other school's questions and answer them accurately.   



Afterwards we did a quick survey and the kids reported that they had fun and want to do it again!  Yay!  Maybe next time we'll find a school a little further away. :)

Friday, October 5, 2018

A message from Alan Gratz

Author Alan Gratz wrote the book that won the Dorothy Canfield Fisher book award last year. He has TWO books on this year's list! He wasn't able to attend the award ceremony, but he did send this video for Vermont students!


Watch the video now!

This year he has two books on the list: Ban This Book and Refugee. They are very different books, but both excellent in their own way.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Things that are important to kindergartners

I was talking with two kindergartners at recess today.

K1: "I have a very wiggly tooth!", he said, excitedly wiggling it for me.
K2: "And your head is an oval!", she said.  Like those two things are equally interesting and important.

I laughed.  K1 wasn't sure if it was an insult or not and paused to think.  I said, "All heads are sort of oval shaped." Yes, I know, a brilliant addition to this conversation.  K2 carried on, "Except...," she pauses to think, "except someone in my class.  He has a circle head.  I can't remember his name."  Tapping lips, thinking.  I laughed again.  She continued to think, but could not come up with the name of the circle-headed boy in her class.  I guess that will remain a mystery to us all.  :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

First day of school

Wow! We are back at school already. Summer flew by! It was wonderful to see all the smiling faces again and get to read to the kiddos again.  Yay!  I was so busy that I didn't take any pictures.  The day felt like summer (heat wave!) and flew by just as fast.

Here is the library schedule for this year.

Monday
Mrs. Burris 1st grade
Afternoon PreK
Mrs. Raney's 3rd grade

Tuesday
Mrs. Atwater's 1st grade
Mrs. Underwood's 3rd grade

Wednesday
Ms. MacCallum's 2nd grade
Ms. Jenkyn's 2nd grade

Thursday
4th grade - blue group
Mrs. Rydjeski's kindergarten

Friday
Morning PreK
Mrs. McKenney's 5th grade
Mr. Burns' 5th grade
Mrs. Schultz's kindergarten
4th grade - red group

I'll try to update this blog often.  You can also find out what's going on by following me on Twitter (@dbslibrary) and Instagram (@dbslibrary). 

I'm looking forward to a great year with stories and robots and fun in the library. 


Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Three Little Pigs

Kindergarten and 1st grade this week watched the story of The Three Little Pigs, then got a chance to try building houses of out straw, sticks, and bricks.  Then the Big Bad Wolf came along and tried to blow them down.  The kids loved it!  We had some great Big Bad Wolves as well.  :)

Some kids knew the story, but others did not. 
After watching the video we retold the story as a group, discussing the various building materials they used and which worked better than the others.  Everyone knew that bricks were strongest and straw was weakest.  Then I challenged them to make their own houses that could not be blown down.

"Bricks" were Legos and clearly the strongest building material.


This Big Bad Wolf was very dramatic and had amazing lung strength! 


The kids LOVED calling over the Big Bad Wolf to see if he could blow down their houses.  
We were pretty loose with the concept of "house."  It often ended up more of a pile. :)

That house went right off the table!

You have to try blowing down your own house before you can call over the Big Bad Wolf.

This house survived the first test.

For "straw" we used small plastic coffee stir straws.  The kids definitely had to use their imaginations building houses with these materials.  They did a great job with it.

We kept a tall on the white board to analyze which building material was strongest.


 In the end the brick houses always prevailed!

Can't go wrong with Legos!

STEM Stations

The upper grades are finishing out the year in library with STEM stations.  Each week they will rotate through four stations: Spheros, Dash & Dot, Hour of Code, and Snap Circuits.  They get a full 30 minutes at each station and it's great to see what they can do. 












Sunday, May 13, 2018

Local Libraries

Hey all, did you know that Hartford has four town libraries that are open all summer and have special programming for adults and children?  Library cards are free.  Please consider taking your kids to the library this summer so they can continue reading and practicing their literacy skills to avoid the summer slide.



Hartford Library
1587 Maple Street
White River Junction, VT 05001
www.hartfordvtlibrary.org





Library Hours
Monday
9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tuesday
9:00 am - 6:00 pm  (Story Hour at 10:00 am)
Wednesday
12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Thursday
9:00 am - 6:00 pm (Story Hour at 10:00 am)
Friday
12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Saturday
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Sunday
Closed


West Hartford Library
5133 VT Route 14
West Hartford, VT 05084
westhartfordlibraryvt.wordpress.com



Library Hours
Monday
2:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Tuesday
9:00 am - 6:00 pm (closed 12:00-1:00 pm for lunch)
Wednesday
10:00 am -7:00 pm (closed 12:00-1:00 pm for lunch)
Thursday
9:00 am - 6:00 pm  (closed 12:00-1:00 pm for lunch)
Friday
Closed
Saturday
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Sunday
Closed

Wilder Club and Library
 78 Norwich Avenue




Library Hours
Monday
Closed
Tuesday
10:00 am - 1:00 pm (Story Hour at 10:00 am)
Wednesday
2:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Thursday
2:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Friday
2:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Saturday
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Sunday
Closed
Quechee Public Library
1957 Main Street




Library Hours
Monday
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tuesday
2:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Wednesday
10:00 am - 6:00 pm (Story Hour at 10:00 am)
Thursday
2:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Friday
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday
9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Sunday
Closed



We also have several great libraries just outside of Hartford. These libraries may charge a small fee for non-residents to check out books, but their programming is free to the public and they each have unique features that are well worth exploring.

Kilton Public Library
80 Main Street
West Lebanon, NH 03784
www.leblibrary.com/node/108




Library Hours
Monday
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Tuesday
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Wednesday
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Thursday
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Friday
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday
Closed


Lebanon Library
9 East Park Street
Lebanon, NH 03766 www.leblibrary.com/




Library Hours
Monday
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Tuesday
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Wednesday
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Thursday
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Friday
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday
Closed
Howe Library
13 South Street
Hanover, New Hampshire 03755 www.thehowe.org




Library Hours
Monday
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Tuesday
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Wednesday
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Thursday
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Friday
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Stop the Summer Slide!

The “summer slide” is what often happens to disadvantaged children during the summer months. They tread water at best or even fall behind, while higher-income children build their skills steadily over the summer months.
(www.summerlearning.org/at-a-glance/)



Don’t worry though, there are ways to prevent this summer slide. Please consider ways you can help or encourage your students to stay sharp over the summer so they can start next year on top!
  • Read in a wide variety of places and participate in the summer reading challenge from DBS.
  • Visit a public library! We have four in Hartford, all offering summer hours and programming for kids and adults.
  • Read together as a family. Take turns reading to each other.
  • Try online learning tools such as ABCya, PBS Kids, Funbrain, Starfall, and more!
  • Check out Khan Academy’s new (coming soon!) courses for younger kids.
  • Stay sharp with tech skills with Scratch and Code.org.
  • Don’t forget your typing skills! Students can access TypingClub from home by going to the Hartford URL and logging in with their school accounts.
  • Go on field trips to parks, forests, museums, cities, anywhere you can learn new things!
  • Bake together as a family. Practice doubling the recipe or halving it. Talk about units of measure.
  • Play board games and card games with friends and family.
  • Count! Count everything you can. Count Cheerios and pennies and stop signs and apples and fingers and tadpoles and everything you can find. Then add and subtract things. Get creative!
  • Write daily. Keep a journal. Send postcards or letters to friends and family. Make lists. Take notes. Write in the sand. Write on the sidewalk with chalk. Write with finger paints and pudding. Have fun!
These are just a few ideas. There are countless resources online and I’m sure you as teachers have many more in your heads. The point is to encourage summer learning in every way we can. Feel free to copy and paste however you want to send information home with kids.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Fish update

Thanks to a generous parent we now have an awesome light on the fish tank!  It totally changes the whole look.  I love it! 

My #FISH kind of glows too.


We also have a batch (litter? clusters?) of fish babies who are thriving!  These fish reproduce regularly, but generally the babies don't survive very long.  For some reason one group of them is surviving and thriving!  It's pretty cool.  They are still small, but so much bigger than when they first hatched from their fishy eggs. 

Can you see any babies?

There's one, right by the thermometer.
Thanks Mr. Griswold!  We all appreciate the light!  Teacher, students, fish, and plants. :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Author event in Burlington

I know Burlington is kind of far away, but this sounds like a really cool event for anyone interested in meeting a favorite author.  I'd encourage you to make the trip if you can.

Authors in the Afternoon,” a feature of nErDcampVT is coming to Burlington High School on Sunday, May 20! This new event with over 25 regional authors and illustrators is FREE and open to the public from 4 PM to 6 PM. Families are welcome to stop by and visit with their favorite children’s and young adult authors and illustrators. Books will be available for purchase and autographing! For more information, visit https://sites.google.com/view/nerdvt/author-event. nErDcampVT is a literacy event organized by a group of Vermont educators with assistance from the Vermont School Library Association (VSLA), the Vermont Council on Reading (VCR) and the Vermont Department of Libraries.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Red Clover winner

The Red Clover Award is a Vermont state book award for the best new picture book of the year. The committee chooses ten books and children in grades K-4 read them and vote.

My method of voting worked well last year, so we did the same thing again this year. After I read all ten books to the kids (over the span of several weeks), each kid gets a sticker dot to place on their book page of choice.





This year Whoosh, by Chris Barton, was the clear winner. It is a good book, but I'm a little skeptical of how many kids truly loved it and how many were voting for the book with the most stickers. :) I may try something a little more confidential next year!


Whoosh tells the true story of Lonnie Johnson, the inventor of the Super Soaker.  Mr. Johnson grew up in the 1950/60s, competed in science fairs at colleges that had just barely desegregated, worked at NASA on the Galileo mission, and went on to invent many things, including the Super Soaker.  The book is the story of diversity and overcoming adversity. A story of grit and perseverance.

I'll send the votes to the state to be compiled with votes from all of the other elementary schools.  We'll see if the rest of the state agrees with DBS's choice.

(My husband, reading over my shoulder while I wrote this, just went on a long tangent about thermal coupling, thermal piles, and the importance of the work Lonnie Johnson did for NASA and our space program.  So, I guess this guy is well known in the engineering field!)