Wednesday, January 3, 2018

1st graders compare fiction and nonfiction using Scaredy Squirrel

The Scaredy Squirrel picture book series by Melanie Watt is hugely popular. What’s not to like about a squirrel who is afraid of just about everything–most of all germs, tarantulas and killer bees!  So when Scaredy Squirrel has a disastrous day and falls out of his tree (after being all worked up about seeing a killer bee), he makes a brilliant discovery.  Instead of falling down into a bush of poison ivy (another fear!), he realizes he is a flying squirrel and he simply glides to the next tree.  How exciting!

After reading Scaredy Squirrel I read a nonfiction book about flying squirrels.  We learned all kinds of facts about flying squirrels, and saw some cool features like a glossary, diagram and a map.  We compared the photos in each book–the picture book had cartoonish drawings and the nonfiction book had photographs.  Also, we learned that  flying squirrels were nocturnal (even though Scaredy Squirrel would go to bed every night at 8:00 pm).

I loved that the first graders wanted to check out the other books in the series during checkout. More information about Scaredy Squirrel series can be found at

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

6th graders read Christmas stories

6th graders have had a chance to read some Christmas stories out loud to their classes.  A fun way to practice reading with expression, and it was nice for me to have the "day off!"


We've been having a little fun in Library class, taking some sELFies! Even Mr. Spillman got in on the action!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Three Little Pigs in Kindergarten

We talked about fairy tales in Kindergarten, and how the stories usually begin with "Once upon a time" and end up "and they all lived happily ever after."  We read Little Red Riding Hood a few weeks ago, and this week we read about the Three Little Pigs.  I have a fun version of the book which includes a mini stage and finger puppets of the 3 pigs and the Big Bad Wolf.  Students were encouraged to recreate the story with the puppets and also with some felt pieces from the story.  Other students challenged themselves to create a nice strong house of bricks from blocks.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

LEGO Challenges

I've created various LEGO Challenges for students to complete, and they were excited to dive right in!  One challenge is to create book characters out of LEGO.  I printed some samples to guide them, including Mo Willem's Pigeon, The Gruffalo, The Cat in the Hat, the Sneetches, and the Hungry Caterpillar.  Other challenges include replicating various landmarks from around the world (Eiffel Tower, Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Pyramids, etc.).  Fun! Below are photos of third grade girls recreating Olivia, and  two students making the Pigeon!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Jabari Jumps - March Madness and Build a Diving Board Challenge!

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall is one of the March Madness selections in the picture book bracket. In the story, Jabari is afraid to jump off the (very) high diving board, and after some encouragement from his father and some deep breaths, he goes through with his dive. It was a great example of a character facing his fears! After reading it, I challenged students to construct their own high diving board out of legos, Lincoln Logs, popsicle sticks, or K'nex.  They were up for the task and did a spectacular job!