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)!
We are sponsoring a special evening for families of K-3 students to read together the awesome, fun and fascinating Monarch nominated books for 2017, and do some related activities with the books. Families can sign up for specific books and activities here:
The Patton LMC's Monarch Family Reading Night
The Monarch Award nominated books are chosen by librarians and teachers each year for their diversity, creativity, and engagement with kindergarten through third grade students. These students, across the state of Illinois, vote for their favorite title in March and their vote determines the winner of the 2017 Monarch Award.
Kindergarten began the year practicing their first name on a Pixie template, using an upper case first letter and then rotating around the room until everyone had typed their name on each laptop! For book checkout, students did a scavenger hunt to learn where certain types of books are located, so they can begin checking out books from the shelves. They found the shelves for sports, dinosaurs, pets and many popular fiction books too.
First and second graders listened to two Monarch books, Gaston by Kelly Dipucchio and Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman. We compared the stories and the 2nd graders drew Wolfie by following along with the illustrator who teaches a how-to tutorial online. In the next few weeks first grade will be researching Houses Around the World, such as igloo, cabin, house on stilts, hut, adobe, houseboat or cave home, and will build a model of one of the houses. Second grade will delve into the Caldecott Award winning books, learning about the award and getting time to read many of these wonderful selections.
For third grade, January is the Mystery genre. First we discussed the elements of a mystery story and important mystery terms like suspects and alibi. Next each class was treated to a Mystery Breakout in which they read short mystery stories in groups, solved the mystery of who did it and if they were correct, solved a second puzzle which led to a lock in the box. Every class broke out! Take a look:
Fourth graders are studying energy in science and in LMC they are learning about clean renewable sources of energy, such as solar, wind, hydropower, biomass and geothermal energy in groups. Each group read an ebook on their energy source, taking notes on how it is collected and its pros and cons. Each group will prepare to debate before a "U.S. Energy panel" trying to convince the panel that they should choose to invest in their type of energy resource for our future. Check back for results and video from the debates!
Fifth grade is studying the human body in science and in LMC we collaborated with our Advanced Learning Facilitator, Miss Maksymec, to create a unit on adaptive tools for students with physical challenges in school. First we discusses with students what is an adaptive tool and how and when they might be used. Next students read about and took notes on one disease or condition, such as, juvenile arthritis, dwarfism, cerebral palsy or epilepsy to determine the body system affected, how the condition affects a child and what are the potential treatments. Next, the district's adaptive P.E. teacher, Mrs. Holbrook spoke to the entire 5th grade about her work with students who have some of these various physical challenges and brought many examples, for our students to try out, of adaptive P.E. equipment or games which provide these students with increased enjoyment and benefit. Now students are ready to think about other challenges of students with physical disabilities, brainstorm some solutions, and design one adaptive tool for a student in either academic classes, music, art, P.E. or lunch.
In Wish by Barbara O'Connor, we meet Charlie, tough and full of fight, who makes a wish every day, the same wish, especially now when she has been sent to live with an aunt and uncle she barely knows in a small town in the Blue Ridge mountains. Though Charlie's mother is depressed and her father is currently in a correctional center for his own temper problems, Charlie cannot wait to get out of the mountains and back to the city with her older sister and her old school. But then a special stray dog, a true friend who always sees the bright side, and the pure love of her aunt and uncle begin to puncture the armor Charlie shows the world. Will it change her wish too? Grades 4-6 Realistic Fiction.
Detective Gordon, The First Case, by Ulf Nilsson is a new mystery series in which the lead detective is a toad and his territory is the forest. This first case begins when an agitated squirrel reports the nuts he has carefully hidden for the coming winter have been stolen. The problem stumps Detective Gordon until Buffy the mouse, his first suspect, turns out to instead become his able assistant and the two form a strange but effective partnership. The story is full of clever animals and plot twists and clues for the reader to follow. Grades 2-4 Fantasy and Mystery Fiction.
Shooting at the stars : the Christmas truce of 1914 is a fictionalized account of true events that happened in France during World War I, when the U.S. and German armies faced each other across a space of less than 100 feet. On Christmas Eve a miraculous truce was agreed to, with songs, trading and even a football game. This book is based on letters and interviews with soldiers who participated in the events and lived to describe this most memorable night. A story for all ages that can be read by grade 2 and up. Literary Non Fiction.
As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds follows two brothers, the cool almost 14 year old karate star, Ernie, and the inquisitive narrator, younger brother Genie, for 30 summer days at their grandparents home in rural Virginia. Their parents are off on a vacation to solve marital difficulties and the born and bred Brooklyn boys are not just getting a taste of the country life, without the Internet, they are also getting to know the grandparents they have barely met due to their fathers issues with the grandfather. Their first surprise is that their grandfather is blind yet refuses to be helped by anyone and has an amazing ability to get around the house. He fascinates Genie but also raises many questions, some of which his grandfather will patiently answer but all of which Genie writes down in his notebook for later study or Googling. While Ernie finds the girl down the hill enthralling, Genie bonds with his grandfather, and the boys support each other in their adjustment to Grandma's rules, the country chores, family stories and connections to the neighbors and most of all their true enjoyment of their grandparents. Realistic Fiction. Grades 5-8.
In The Infamous Ratsos by Kara LaReau, we meet Big Lou and his two sons, Louie, who is in 5th grade and Ralphie, who is in 3rd. This family lives in the big city which is full of many types of animals. Big Lou is tough and his sons want to be like him, not a "softie". They believe showing they are tough involves bullying others and acting superior. So they think about all kinds of schemes to act tough in school and in their neighborhood. But somehow their tough acts keep going wrong and end up helping people! Could they be wrong about this tough stuff? This short chapter book is full of great characters and fun drawings. Grades 1-3. Fantasy.
Ghosts by Rayna Telgemeir is the surprising and unique graphic novel about Cat and her little sister Maya who have just moved to foggy, windy Bahía de la Luna on the coast of Northern California. The family believes the climate will be good for Maya, who has cystic fibrosis, but Cat and Maya soon discover there is a lot more about the town than the weather to discover and adjust to. It seems like everyone is obsessed with ghosts, their legends and sightings. The question is will these seemingly ghostly creatures help or hurt Maya and how will these new ideas change the relationship between these close sisters and the family? Magical Realism/Graphic novel. Grades 4-7.
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy provides a clear look at the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the discrimination she overcame her entire life, and the determination with which she sought justice before and after she became a judge. This picture book begins with a young Ruth, brought up by her parents, particularly her mother, to believe that girls could do anything boys could, at a time when girls were certainly not given equal opportunities. She often "dissented" to unfair treatment of all types, beginning with discrimination facing her Jewish family, but including the fact that girls had to sew and cook instead of take shop in high school, and later in college fighting against being told that as a woman, she couldn’t pursue a law career. As a Supreme Court Justice she continued to rally against discriminatory laws of many types. With drawings that illuminate and enhance the story this literary non fiction is for Grades 1 and up.
In Moo by Sharon Creech the reader meets a memorable family, including 12 year old Reena, her younger brother and their parents, moving from New York City to a small town in Maine for a very different life. Immediately the kids love the small town pace, their new found freedom and ability to bike everywhere. They are also fascinated with the animals of the nearby farms, especially the belted galloway or "oreo cows". That is until they meet Zora, a most difficult and moody cow that they are asked to help care for when their mother offers their assistance to an elderly and ornery neighbor. With persistance and help from the local 4-H club members, Reena may yet turn Zora into a prize winning cow at the local fair. Told with short chapters, and fun prose. Grades 3-5. Realistic fiction.
Book Uncle and Me by Uma Krishnaswami transports the reader to a neighborhood in a city in India where 9 year old Yasmin is an avid, one book a day reader. It is "Book Uncle" the owner of a free lending library on a street corner near her home who hooked Yasmin on one book a day. Book Uncle has a talent for recommending the “right book for the right person for the right day", that is until the mayor shuts down his library until he can afford an expensive permit. With mayroal elections coming up, Yasmin leads her friends in a fight to bring back Book Uncle's library, which means fighting possible corruption in the local politics and a chance to make a real difference for her neighborhood. Can these 4th and 5th grader's possibly succeed? Grades 2-4. Realistic/multicultural fiction.
Dog Man by Dav Pilkey is a graphic comic novel in the tradition of the author's Captain Underpants series but this one was originally written when he was in first grade and, according to the author's note, found recently, fixed up and published in the same comic book form. The hero, the character of Dog Man, is created when a police officer and his police dog are hurt in a bomb explosion and the solution is to graft together the parts of each that survice - the officer's body with the dog's head, thus creating the world's greatest cop. Dog Man is involved in several adventures, including fighting evil robots, a cat that erases books, and an army of live hot dogs. Full of fun, silly characters and outrageous stories. More of this new series to come. Grades 1-3. Graphic/Humor fiction.
This week each class came to the LMC to become programmers, working on many different coding activities provided through Code.org's Hour of Code.
Kindergarten began with an iPad app called Kodable while first grade had their first exposure to Tynker using Candy Quest to direct a creature with move forward, jump and repeat commands. 2nd graders helped a little adventurous Lego robot, "Bit", solve challenges by building a sequence of behavior blocks that tells Bit what to do.
In 3rd grade students used variables and coding blocks to move the planets of our solar system into their respective orbits, in the correct order with the correct relative speeds, provided by Tynker. 4th graders used the iPad app Scratch, Jr. to create a Knock Knock joke of their choice, giving their characters speech, voice and movement while sending the conversation from character to character. And 5th grade students had a lot of choices. They could access the new Disney Moana challenge, or Code.org's Minecraft challenged students to fix the broken animals, or they could create Emojis with the Google coding challenge. Students are encouraged to access these and more coding challenges and tutorials with their parents at home. Mrs. Corley, our tech facilitator has put together these options by grade level on a page of the LMC website - go to Patton LMC, then the "More" tab and then find "Just Code It."
First graders first research included reading a book about a unique animal, using a grapic organizer to take notes on what the animal eats, where it lives and one of the features that make it special. Using Chatterpix on the iPads, students became their animal and shared an animal fact!
In science, 4th grade students study Earth's changing surface, learning about the processes by which our mountains, plains valleys and canyons were created and are still changing. In LMC, students worked in partners to learn about the geology of a National Park, taking notes on its formation using the mind mapping tool - Bubbl.Us. With this knowledge, the partners wrote a script as if they were hosting a television geology show broadcast from the park, using the green screen app, to share information about how that park's incredible land was formed. Here is one example, and view all the classes at the 4th Grade Student Projects page
After their hard work, 4th grade students faced another challenge with a mystery Skype! Their task to ask the right questions and find out where a National Park Ranger was locasted - and students' successfully found the ranger in Yellowstone!
The last half hour of Friday, November 18, Patton students and staff dropped everything they were working on, picked up a good book, and searched for the perfect place in the school to Read! What a great way to be thankful before the Thanksgiving holiday break. Take a look at all the places students found to read!
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.