Serafina walks a mile every day to get water from a stream to bring to her family and helps out bundling herbs to sell in the market. But she longs to go to school, and after her baby brother dies, promises herself she will learn to be a doctor. After working hard to raise the cost of a school uniform, she gets to school, only to have the earthquake in her Haitian village create problems she may not be able to overcome. But with determination and a sunny positive outlook and the help of a local doctor, Serafina may yet fulfill her promise! While readers (grade 3-5) will learn about the land, songs, and colorful customs of Haiti, they will also appreciate the water that comes from their own faucet and the school they attend daily (when it is not too cold!).
As explained in this very special book of water stories from around the world, there are so many stories about water because "water is vital to human survival. Human beings store, transport, purify, use and control water in many ways." It is also "a destructive force during floods or tsunamis, and its absence causes droughts and plagues." These stories from India, America, Botswana, Spain, India, Nigeria, Australia, China and Greece can be read individually or together and each brings a creative and unique twist on the answer to our search for and need for water. Includes water facts and a world timeline. Watch the slideshow below for more:
As the day to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. approached, Mrs. Cioni's 4th grade class read some of the LMC's beautiful and meaningful picture biographies, such as Martin's Big Words, which provide a glimpse into the challenges and accomplishments of some of our great well known and not so known heroes and pioneers. They read about Gandhi, Henry Aaron and Esther Morris, just to name a few, who all overcame great odds to help others or who accomplished high honors in their sport or discipline and provide a mentor for others.
Here is the presentation the students created working in pairs:
In connection with the 2nd grade Reading Informational Text Common Core Standards, in LMC we read two different texts about turtles and then compared and contrasted their main points and some details. Turtle Turtle Watch Out by April Pulley was read online using Tumblebooks and A Place for Turtles by Melissa Stewart was read aloud to the classes. We discussed the main idea of each and how they were similar and different. Students wrote about which book they liked best and why, and then chose to draw the lifecycle of a turtle as described in Turtle Turtle Watch Out or create a trading card describing a problem and solution faced by one particular turtle discussed in A Place for Turtles.
Here are some of the new fiction and informational books I read over break and recommend! Look for them in the coming cold weeks of January.
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman is the imaginative and unusual story with drawings told by a father who goes out to buy milk for his children's breakfast and returns very late with entertaining and very tall reasons for his delay! Grade 3-5
The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandits by Octavia Spencer, stars 12 year old Randi who has recently moved from Brooklyn, New York to a tiny town in Tennessee with her father, after her mother dies. Randi's father used to write detective mysteries and now it is Randi and some new friends, who are determined to solve the mystery of the time-capsule and rumored treasure that disappears from Deer Creek's town square. Grade 3-5.
Road Trip by Gary Paulsen, takes the reader on a roller coaster road trip as Ben's dad suddenly decides they should get on the road to pick up a border collie puppy that needs rescuing. Along for the ride is Ben's older friend, who has had trouble with the police in the past, and some new friends they meet along the way after their truck has engine trouble and they trade it in for a souped up school bus! Grade 5.
The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs by Sandra Markle, is a real "scientific mystery". In the mountain cloud forests of Panama, the Panamanian golden frog, although just 1.5 inches long was an abundant noisy and constant voice. But when scientists start to discover too many dead golden frogs, they realize a mysterious and unknown disease is causing this beautiful breed, and Panama National symbol, to die out. Enter an amazing team of biologists, pathologists and zoologists to study the problem, and work toward collecting these tiny frogs and saving their lives until the reason they are dying can be found and resolved.
In Arlene on the Scene by Carol Liu, the reader meets a spunky 4th grader who is determined not to let her new leg braces slow her down.
All she wants is to be treated like everyone else and not like a girl suffering from a disease of the nervous system that has put her mother in a wheelchair. So Arlene decides to run for Student Council Secretary even though the office is usually held by a 5th or 6th grader. Follow her amazing campaign to get enough votes and help her school community to be open to all kinds of kids. Grade 3 - 5.
Counting by 7's by Holly Goldberg Sloan introduces the reader to the unforgettable Willow Chance. Although Willow has a special and amazing brain, making friends is hard for her, and nobody but her parents really understand her. But when her parents die suddenly in a car accident, a diverse group of almost strangers come into her life and help her cope, as she helps change and improve their lives as well. Grade 5
In Rooftoppers, Katherine Rundell takes the reader on a fantastic adventure with Sophie, who is found and rescued as a baby floating in a cello case after the Queen Mary ship goes down. She is raised by Charles in London to be a free spirited, home-schooled, pants wearing, tree-climbing tomboy who loves art and music. But when the authorities in London decide Sophie is not being raised properly for a "girl", Charles and Sophie escape to Paris to search for Sophie's mother who everyone but Sophie believes died when the ship sank. Aided by Matteo and his gang of "rooftoppers", Sophie may just be right! Grade 3 - 5
The Story of Snow by Mark Cassino with Jon Nelson, Ph. D, explains in beautiful striking photographs and detail, how a snow crystal is formed, grows and can become a snowflake. Find out the types of snow crystals that can develop, all about their symmetry and whether each is really unique! A 2014 Bluestem nominee.
Eye of the Storm by Kate Messner is set some time in the future when global warming has resulted in super storms so violent that areas of the World have been abandoned and people are afraid to spend much time outdoors. But Jaden's father, a meteorologist and scientist has used technology to create a town that the storms seemingly avoid. Jaden is happy to have a more normal life again until she and her friends begin to wonder how the storms avoid the town and could there be something sinister happening in Placid Meadows. Grade 4 - 5.
The last 1/2 hour of Friday, December 20, Patton School students stopped what they were doing and were released to find a place, anywhere in the school, to read. For five minutes the school was buzzing with students carrying books through the hallways to locate a classroom or the art, music, gym, LMC, or office for the perfect spot to read. When the five minutes was up, everyone settled in and the entire school was quiet with silent reading. What a great way to start the winter break vacation!
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.