Restart by Gordon Korman begins when Chase Ambrose falls off his roof, suffering a concussion which heals but also total amnesia, which may not. So Chase returns home from the hospital and back to school with no memory of his family, friends or his former life. It turns out he was a major football star and all around "big" guy in his Middle School. But as Chase begins to learn from student's reactions to him, he and his friends were also known as bullies who acted like everyone at school was below them. Although his friends want their old buddy back to normal, Chase no longer feels like being a bully. He still likes sports but also new things interest him, like the photography club and becoming friends with students he never paid any attention to before. He begins to see his accident as a unique opportunity to change his ways. But can a leopard really change his spots? And will the people he hurt in his past be able to forgive him and accept a new Chase? Grade 4-6 Realistic Fiction.
In Star in the Forest by Laura Resau the reader meets Zitlally, living a double life, a seemingly normal one in 5th grade and a secret life at home, where her family lives in fear of deportation. They have come from Mexico years before illegally and still worry that they will be sent back. And then it happens - her father is stopped for a traffic ticket, and deported. As her mother tries desperately to raise enough money to send to Mexico to help him return, Zitlally retreats from friends and begins to spend time alone behind their trailer park home. But two good things happen there, first she finds a white dog, abandoned and in bad shape and second, the girl who lives in the trailer next door, who Zitlally had ignored earlier. Together Crystal and Zitlally nurse the dog back to health, naming him Star. But Star is chained up and they are terribly afraid the owner will return and take him. Zitllaly begins to believe Star is magical and came to her to help her father return to his family. Read and meet these wonderful and compassionate characters. Grade 3-5 Realistic Fiction.
The Great Treehouse War by Lisa Graff involves an incredibly wonderful treehouse and a sad reason it is built. Winifred's highly competitive parents are getting a divorce and have decided Winnie will live with each parent for 3 days of the week leaving one day, Wednesday- a problem. So they build a treehouse between their two houses and inform Winnie she will live there on Wednesdays. Winnie and her cat love the treehouse and Wednesdays begin to be her favorite day of the week because on the other days her parents continue a ridiculous competition for their daughter. Winnie decides to go on strike, staying in the treehouse until her parents can at least meet and talk to each other. When Winnie's group of friends discover how great the treehouse is and that it might solve their family problems too, they move in intending to stay until their parental demands are met. How long will they live in the treehouse and can they still get along? Grade 3-5 Realistic Fiction.
Me and Marvin Gardens by Amy Sarig King takes place in the Pennsylvania countryside, in a former farm community which is rapidly being built up by developers until it is mostly a suburb with the exception of Obe's family farm. 11 year old Obe's family has owned their land for hundreds of years but slowly has had to sell pieces until only a few acres are left. But Obe takes those acres seriously, making sure to protect and take care of the forest land around his house. It is there that Obe meets a very strange creature with a snout like a pig but a body and tail like a dog and slimy skin. And most unbelievable of all, the creature feeds on plastic! Obe strikes up a friendship with the tame creature bringing him his family's plastic recycling. But can he keep the creature a secret, or should he tell someone? And who? Not the boys at school who have dropped Obe recently or his parents who thinks he spends too much time in the forest. Maybe his friend Annie who also cares about the environment? Together they need to figure out what will happen to the creature "Marvin Gardens", as the natural land is built on and the river becomes more and more polluted. Read this engrossing environmental story to find out! Grade 3-6 Science Fiction.
5th graders across the District participated in our first ever District 25 Book Trailer Festival by creating a trailer for a book they had read and wanted to recommend. Student's worked hard to create a trailer that made the viewer want to read their book! Each 5th grade class then viewed and rated the trailers from another class in the District until we had the three trailers from each 5th grade class with the top votes. From those trailer's each school created a committee to choose one "finalist" from each 5th grade class to send to a District committee. A District committee viewed each of these "finalists" (27 video trailers) and chose their top 3 District winners. At Patton we were thrilled and proud that Megan from Mrs. Anderle's class won top honors for her trailer on the book Slob by Ellen Potter. View her trailer here and then watch all the other trailers on ourBook Trailer Festival website, a great way to find the next book to read this summer!
2nd grade classes created an avatar of a friend from another country, using the iPad app My School Avatar. With their avatar students share their research into a kid's life in that foreign country and their comparison to their own life in the United States. Below are Ms. Wegley's country friends. Watch Mrs. McLoone and Mrs. Johnson's avatar videos on the 2nd grade project page.
First graders are delving into Mo Willem's and his favorite characters, Gerald and Piggie! First we read several of their adventures and generated a list of characteristics of each. Now students are writing a new elephant and piggie story, in pairs, using their understanding of how the author wrote the characters. Their stories will take place in one of our four seasons. Check back later for their creations!
Second graders have been studying a foreign country, concentrating on what it is like to be a kid in that country. After choosing a country, students are read about and took notes on school life, the sports and games played in that country, the favorite foods, or a special holiday, and a unique place to visit. Students used a print book and several online websites as resources. Next, using the iPad app, School Avatar, students will create a video "as a student" in the country they studied.
Third graders have been creating book recommendations of a favorite fiction book which they read this year. First students wrote about the book's setting, characters, the problem in the story and why they liked the book. Then using the iPad app, Spark Video, they found images to match their words and recorded their recommendations. Take a look here!
Spark Video Book Recommendations
"Fourth grade has been discussing and examining the issues of "digital literacy", including: what is cyberbullying, proper netiquette, a digital footprint and overall how to stay safe on the Internet. Students used the district's resources on digital literacy which include videos from BrainPop and Common Sense media to share and discuss information in groups. Next they created a PSA to further share their understanding and provide advice on this important subject that affects their daily lives.
Fifth graders have just completed their debates on Space Exploration - Is it Worth the Cost? which they deliberated in connection with their science unit. Now each student is creating a book trailer about a book they read this year, which will be entered in the first annual district- wide Book Trailer Festival. Their book trailers will be created using the iMovie app. One 5th grade class at another District school will then view and rate our trailers, while each Patton 5th grade class will view and rate book trailers created by a 5th grade classes from another district school. Watch this space for more information and the trailers!
On April 18 we celebrated poetry by choosing or writing poems to put in our pockets to be ready to share, and spending the day with Bill Buczinsky, the Poetry Man, who entertained us and taught us how to find the rhythm in our words and bring out the poetry in us all! Take a look!
Kindergarten students used the app, Pic Kids to take their photo, cut out their face and insert it into the Cat in the Hat! Here's the troop...take a look!:
World Read Aloud Day, this year celebrated on February 16, seeks to "bring global attention to the importance of reading aloud and sharing stories." On this day authors across the country and World made themselves available to Skype with schools and read from their own books or favorite books. Schools also enjoyed read alouds with parents and staff. Here at Patton we were fortunate to Skype with:
Sally Walker who read from her book Winnie: The True Story of the Bear That Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh and answered questions from Mrs. Costa and Mrs. Cowen's class about her world travels to research the story for this book.
Madelyn Rosenberg read from her fun book How to Behave at a Dog Show and shared with students how her stories are partly from her real life and partly ramped up by imagination!
Augusta Scattergood author of Glory Be, The Way to Stay in Destiny, read from her newest book Making Friends With Billy Wong, and shared with our 5th grade classes her interest in historical fiction and the eras she writes about.
Dana Levy, author of The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher and its sequel, read from the Thanksgiving chapter of Family Fletcher and told Mr. Reckard and Mrs. Goumas' classes about her new not yet published book and showed them a stack of books she recommends!
Dori Butler, author of the Buddy Files and the Haunted Library series, thrilled the 2nd and 3rd graders with a reading from her prequel to Buddy Files which is coming out next week! She told the students how Buddy Files was inspired by her own dog and his therapy dog classes and answered questions about the stories.
Jody Feldman, author of The Gollywhopper Games, read from the beginning of Gollywhopper and also shared the first page of the book she is in the process of writing now, asking students for their thumbs up or thumbs down review!
Kirby Larson, author of Nubs, The True Story of a Marine, a Mutt and a Miracle, and The Two Bobbies, read from The Two Bobbies and answered questions about her research and writing process and how she found out about the dogs in the books and met Nubs!
All the authors told students if they are interested in being an author they need to do two things - WRITE and READ...a lot! We thank them all for their generosity, enthusiasm and great stories!
Patton families read together, created together and laughed with the Monarch Award books on a special night made possible by the LMC, our dedicated teachers and staff, and our awesome families! Take a look:
Parents and students rotated through four stations to read or listen to a book, and then do a related activity: create Superhero names (The Princess in Black), take a family portrait (Families, Families Families!), make a bracelet from plastic bags (One Plastic Bag), Draw Wolfie! (Wolfie the Bunny), play a Beekle Beebot challenge (The Adventures of Beekle), create a family/dog tagxedo (Gaston), use Pic Kids iPad app to show how food gets to our lunchbox (How did that Get in My Lunchbox?), fold a lucky red envelope (Goldyluck and the Three Pandas), or discover amazing animal facts in Trapped!, Ivan the Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla, and Elizabeth Queen of the Seas, and finally watch the Waiting is Not Easy Reader's Theatre with Gerald (Mrs. Copersmet) and Piggie (Mr. Larson)!
My Reading List!
I am the Library Media Center director at Patton School in Arlington Heights where I help students from kindergarten through 5th grade find terrific independent reading for enjoyment and information, and teach students the skills to use information and technology safely and productively and to connect, communicate and share with others. I have four grown children, a large black dog, (flat coat retriever) and a small striped cat. I am an obessive Chicago Cubs fan and I love to run.