MR. LEMONCELLO'S GREAT LIBRARY RACE by Chris Grabenstein brings us new adventures in the Mr. Lemoncello's library series. We meet Kyle and his friends back at the library as they are challenged by Mr. Lemoncello to try out his new and fabulous Fact-Finding Frenzy Game. This time the race is to find out fascinating facts about famous Americans, taking the kids in teams of two, all around the country. But while they are chasing facts, Mr. Lemoncello's rival is trying to discredit him and take over his library! Can his young friends find the facts and save the library too? Full of great books, facts, plot twists, mystery and lots of action too! Realistic fiction, Grade 3-5
In Waylon: One Awesome Thing by Sara Pennypacker, the reader gets to know Waylon, a classmate of Clementine from the Clementine series. They are beginning 4th grade and some of the boys have decided to split the boys into two teams to compete at recess. Waylon who loves science and is friendly to everyone is not happy about this arrangement but feels stuck with it when the popular boy puts him on his team of jocks and brains. To make matters worse, Baxter's sister has gone "goth" and just when it seems like nothing else could go wrong, Baxter, a new boy with a very very bad reputation joins Waylon's class. Some students have heard he has even been to jail! But Waylon is the one who gives Baxter a chance and could join Baxter on quite an adventure! Grades 2-4, Realistic Fiction.
Designed by Lucy (Kindness Club, Book 2) by Courtney Sheinmel is the second book in the Kindness Club series. Theo, Chloe and Lucy are the club they formed to do acts of kindness and also to study how one act of kindness can spread to others. In this episode, the three volunteer at a Community House after school program for young kids, and also try to help a classmate whose mother has just died of cancer. They learn a lot about kindness and helping others and even about other school friends and cliques. Lucy is also dealing with changes in her father, who has started to work more than ever and is secretive about what is happening at the bowling lanes the family owns. Each member of the Kindness Club has a different background and family story. Realistic fiction, grades 3-5.
Crossing Niagara : the death-defying tightrope adventures of the Great Blondin by Matt Tavares. Join the amazing tightrope walker the Great Blondin as he challenges himself to tightrope walk over Niagara Falls from the American side to the Canada side. Jean François Gravelet began his career at just five years old and soon became the most famous tightrope walker in the world. When he first saw Niagara Falls with his circus troupe, Blondin just knew he wanted to walk over them. After the first great walk was successful in 1859, he did it again and again adding more tricks and challenges to the crossing each time. Beautiful illustrations help the reader understand the magnificent feat and falls as well as the excitement of the people who witnessed it. Historical Fiction/Biography, grades 2-5.
5th grade has studied our Earth in Space in science, while in LMC, students read articles on the history of U.S. space exploration and its potential future. They considered both the advantages and benefits of future exploration and the challenges or disadvantages. Next we assigned groups of students to debate one side of the proposition - Space Exploration is Worth the Cost, or further Space Exploration is too Costly and Dangerous! The debates were held after several weeks of debate prep which included choosing three strong arguments with evidence, crafting an opening and closing statement and potential rebuttals. Students spoke with facts plus passion! Take a look:
2nd and 3rd graders have been practicing engineering design after first completing research or reading a story. In second grade the stories were classic fairy tales while their design focused on solving one problem in the fairy tale with an engineering solution. After choosing and drawing a solution to the fairy tale problem, students working in pairs to build zip lines for Jack and the Beanstalk, rafts for the Three Billy Goats Gruff, slides for Rapnunzel and wolf traps or very strong houses for The Three Pigs.
In 3rd grade, in connection to their science study, students researched severe weather such as tornadoes, hurricanes, electrical storms, drought and blizzard to learn what happens, where, and the effects on people, animals, property or the environment. Each group chose one of these problems to solve with an engineering design. Student's created underground homes, suitcase armour, heated roofs to melt and reuse snow, and roof protectors. Each group presented their "design solution" to their class of "future engineers" and took suggestions and comments.
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.