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Welcome to the Inglenook at Cold Spring School Library...a cozy place by the fire to discuss children's literature and the wonder of reading and learning.
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1. News From the Library--Feb. 22, 2010

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2. News From the Library--Feb. 15, 2010

Bad Day for Ballet by Carolyn Keene

A Book Review by Josie & Olive

Happy President's Day! This was a short week for us due to the holiday on Friday.

Kindergarten--no library this week

First Grade--My Life as a Chicken by Ellen Kelley was our CYRM nominee this week. Pauline Poulet doesn't want to be the farmer's dinner so she takes off on a rollicking adventure. Her cry of "Pauline, Prevail!" delighted first graders (and we learned was prevail means, too). And prevail she did as she lands in a lovely petting zoo instead of ending up in a chicken pot pie. This delightful book was especially fun for us to read as Ellen Kelley is a local Santa Barbara author and her husband, John, is the architect who designed our fantastic library!

Second Grade--no library this week

Third Grade--Mrs. Campbell's class heard Do Unto Otters: A book about manners by Laurie Keller. This adorable book combines humor with some great lessons on how to be a friend. The students loved the illustrations. Mrs. Lewis' class heard Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly by Alan Madison and Kevin Hawkes. This is the charming story of a little girl who had previously lived in the shadow of her two older sisters until she finally gets a chance to stand out with her knowledge of butterflies and an especially exciting encounter with a monarch.

Fourth Grade-As part of Black History Month, fourth graders heard Diane Shore's wonderful book This Is The Dream. This book gives a perfect overview of the civil rights movement for fourth graders and it elicited a lively discussion afterward.

Fifth Grade--Also for Black History Month, fifth graders hear the poignant book Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles. This is the story of two boys, one black and one white, who dream of being able to do things together, e

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3. News From the Library--Feb 8, 2010

Mercy Watson Crime Fighter by Kate DiCamillo

A Book Review by Maddi and Olive

Also in the Library this week...

Kindergarten--Kindergarten missed library this week but for a very good reason--our Annual Cold Spring Talent Show. Congratulations to the kindergarteners who participated!

First, Second, and Third Grade--This week we started one of our favorite events in the Library-- The California Young Reader Medal competition. Each year 5 books are nominated by children and librarians throughout California and students in these grades get the chance to vote for their favorite. Think of it as the Academy Awards for children's literature in California. In the Primary Catagory we have great nominees this year, including one that was written by a Santa Barbara author and the wife of the architect who designed our beautiful library! Beginning this week students in these three grades will hear the nominees, one each week. The choices this year are:

My Life As A Chicken by (our local author) Ellen Kelley and illustrated by Michael Slack
A Frog Thing by Eric Drachman
Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners by Laurie Keller
Velma Gratch and the Way cool Butterfly by Alan Madison and illustrated by Keven Henkes
Millie Waits for the Mail by Alexander Steffenmeier

Fourth Grade-We concluded our Tall Tales unit by reading Sally Ann Thunder Ann Crockett by Steven Kellogg. Once again Mr. Kellogg had provided fantastic illustrations to accompany his story of t

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4. News From The Library--Feb 1, 2010

Clementine's Letter by Sara Pennypacker

A Book Review by Gabriela & Olive

Also in the Library this week...

Kindergarten---A cat building a nest? How can that be? In The Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend, Jack the Cat has a hankering for omelettes. To lure a chicken to the barn he builds a delightful nest complete with pillows, a welcome mat, and colored lights. He gets his chicken all right but also a French speaking duck and a goose from the South! They all lay eggs and they all fight for the nest until he suggests they move to the next farm. What's left? Three lovely eggs. Three lovely omelettes, Jack thinks. But when the eggs hatch instead he finds himself the surrogate mother to three baby birds and he decides it was the perfect nest after all. Kindergarteners love the wonderful illustrations by John Manders making this the perfect read aloud for this age group.

First Grade--Owen wants to send a hug to his granny through the mail. Not a drawing of a hug but a real hug. The Giant Hug by Sandra Horning is a delightful story that also shows all the steps involved in mailing something from one side of the country to the other. And Owen's granny is so happy with her hug she sends a kiss back! Students love to imagine the story happening all over again in the opposite direction.

Second Grade--As part of our participation in the ADL program "No Place for Hate" I've purchased some new books for our collection. This week second graders heard Bullies Never Win by Margery Cuyler. This was the perfect book for this age group as they followed the story of how a little girl finally stood up for herself. I was amazed at how absolutely silent they were while I read the story. This was, I could tell, a subject they could all relate to. The message i

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5. News From the Library--January 25, 2010

Shoeshine Girl
By Clyde Robert Bulla

A Book Review by Devan and Olive

Congratulations to Red Dot Book Club member Devan for being our first video book reviewer this year!

(This was a short week in the Library due to the Martin Luther King Holiday....)

Kindergarten--Kindergarten just had checkout this week due to the wonderful Dancing Drums assembly.

First Grade-First Graders were treated this week to Steven Kellogg's version of Jack and the Beanstalk. I can still remember the chills I got when my father used to read the "Fee, fi, fo, fum" part and I had a great time reading it to the students this week. It is so reassuring to see that even our students of today with all their video input and sophistication are still absolutely transfixed by this old fairy tale. Mr. Kellogg's illustrations are fantastic and are a huge part of the appeal of this version.

And congratulations to 19 first graders who are now proud members of the Bookworm Club!

Second Grade--What if you woke up one morning and you were covered with stripes in every color of the rainbow? In David Shannon's A Bad Case of Stripes, Camilla Cream finds herself in this unbelievable dilemma. After enduring several unsuccessful cures, she finds that being true to herself and not worrying about what others think of her is the answer. This book, like all of Mr. Shannon's, wraps its subtle but powerful message is a delightful story enhanced by fantastic illustrations.

Third Grade--In order to learn about the literary concept of plot, third graders heard Tomi de Paola's enchanting book Adelita. Before reading the story I asked the students to summarize the plot of a Cinderella story which they did easily. Then as we read Adelita we compared and contrasted the difference i

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6. News From the Library--January 18, 2010

There are Bookworms in the Library!

This week we started our very popular Library Book Clubs for grades 1-4. In first and second grade, students can be in the Bookworm Club and choose books from our beginning reader section. After reading the entire book, they come in and read their favorite page to me. For each book, they receive a sticker and after every six books a small prize. An official personalized bookmark is given with the first book read. This is one of my favorite parts of the year as I watch those beginning readers blossom.

Third graders move up to more difficult books in the Red Dot Book Club and can do a variety of projects based on their book choice. Book reports, multimedia slide shows, and video book reviews are among the projects. After each project is completed they receive a small prize.

Fourth graders love the Mystery Book club and can read any mystery in our Library. They also have a number of options for book projects and receive a prize for each completed one.

Watch for video book reviews on this blog in the near future!

Fifth and Sixth graders don't have a club but participate in the county-wide Battle of the Books in April.

The goal for all the clubs is to encourage reading for pleasure and fluency and students are guided to books that are at or just slightly above their independent reading level. Above all, we want to make reading fun! That's the number one rule for all the clubs.

Also in the Library this week...

Kindergarten--We can't get enough of Tacky the Penguin and this week we read Tacky Goes to Camp by Helen Lester. In this rollicking story of the penguins at camp, once again Tacky saves the day--this time with his love of 'smores. He is an odd bird, be we all agree, a nice bird to have around.

Fifth and Sixth Graders worked on website evaluation using websites I have chosen as examples of good or bad in relation to whether or not they are reliable sources of information. After seeing a presentation about how to evaluate a website for accurancy, currancy, and objectivity they could choose from several on our Skills Blog and they wrote written evaluations of those sites. If you'd like to look at the lesson on the Skills Blog scroll down to the one entitled "When in doubt, doubt!"

Hope you are enjoying the Martin Luther King holiday this week!

7. News From the Library--January 11, 2010

Bookworm Says.....

Second graders started the new year with a game of "Bookworm Says..... " After seeing a presentation about the parts of a book, each student chose a book for the game. Then our favorite mascot, Bookworm, said, "Bookworm says, 'Show me the title page.'" The student then found it in his or her book. We went through all the parts of a book in the same way. This is a fun and interactive way for students to learn about the parts of a book.

Also in the Library this week....

Kindergarten--There's something about penguins that we all love and Tacky, the Penguin by Helen Lester is one of our favorite books. Tacky doesn't look like the other rather proper penguins but in the end he saves his friends from the hunters and they all agree he's an odd bird but a very nice bird to have around. In a gentle and subtle way, this book is a good introduction to encouraging students to look beyond appearances when choosing friends.

First Grade--Continuing with our penguin theme, first graders heard Cinderella Penguin by Janet Perlman. I use this book to discuss the concept of plot and after we remember the plot of a Cinderella story, students listen to Cinderella Penguin (with lots of laughter) and then we compare and contrast how this book follows, or doesn't follow, the "regular" plot of a Cinderella story.

Third Grade--Mrs. Lewis' class heard The Quiltmaker's Gift by Jeff Brembeau. This is a lovely story about the power of generosity and the advantages of giving instead of receiving. The illustrations by Gail de Marken are exquisite.

Fourth Grade--We are starting our Tall Tales unit and this week after seeing a presentation about the elements in a tall tale, students watched a great video of Anne Isaacs' wonderful book Swamp Angel. The illustrations in this book won a Caledecott award for illustrator Paul O. Zelinsky and are nothing short of amazing. Made to look as if they had been painted on wood they give so much "flavor" to this story of a Tennessee girl who wrestled a bear called Thundering Tarnation!

Fifth Grade--To start off the new year (and get our brains back in gear) we played a round of Library Jeopardy this week. Students always enjoy this way of learning some of the less exciting things about the library and research.

Sixth Grade--Sixth graders missed library this week due to the Monday teacher in-service day.

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8. News From the Library--December 15, 2009

Sorry no posting this week. Hit hard with the flu.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Holiday Season.

See you again in 2010.

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9. News From the Library--December 7, 2009

Just in time for those holiday lists....

Third graders heard a hilarious story this week just in time for them to think about what they might put on those holiday lists. When Charlie McButton Lost Power by Suzanne Collins and illustrated with great gusto by Mike Lester, tells the story of a boy who spends a lot of time playing with computer games only to find his world grinds to a halt when lightning causes a power outage. Third graders could relate to his anxiety as he tries to find battery backups even going so far as to attack one of his sisters dolls! The story takes a charming twist as he finds how much he enjoys playing hide and seek with his sister and eating dinner by candlelight. This is a fun way to remind children that not every toy or game needs to squeak, move, compute, or do everything for you.

Also in the Library this week.....

Kindergarten--One of our favorite books in Kindergarten is Cynthia Rylant's The Great Gracie Chase. Oh, that naughty little dog led the whole town on a chase after she gets out of her yard. And all she really wanted was a little peace and quiet! Mark Teague's large, boisterous illustrations really add to the story.

First Grade--At first being copied might look like flattery but in Ruby, The Copy Cat by Peggy Rathman, the main character takes it just a little too far. Thanks to her gentle teacher, Ruby learns that being Ruby first is the best thing to do. Copying can cause lots of trouble in classrooms and this book is such a nice way to present both sides of the issue.

Second Grade--It's always fun to turn a fairy tale on it's head (or tail) and Waking Beauty by Leah Wilcox is a great twist on the Sleeping Beauty story. When Prince Charming finally arrives at the castle he's greeted with loud snoring, dirty hair, and a scary amount of "morning breath." He tries several options before finally, bravely, kissing the princess only to be bopped on the head for it. I must say the boys really enjoy this version of the story!

Third Grade--see opening post

Fourth Grade--A book that grabs the attention of fourth graders and holds them in its grip is Mrs. Marlowe's Mice by Frank and Devin Asch. The illustrations are fantastic--dark and a little eerie, and at one point in the story the children are horrified at the turn of events, only to be as relieved as the mice when it turns out that all is well. This book could also be used with older readers by having them figure out the historical comparison.

Fifth Grade--We played our first round of Library Jeopardy this week. It's always a little bit of a struggle to "think backwards" and come up with a question instead of an answer but after a few false starts we had a good game. This is an enjoyable way to learn some of the more, shall we say, boring parts of the library curriculum.

Sixth Grade--Sixth graders had a great time going on a Book Hunt this week and I'm so pleased at how adept they have become in locating books in our Library.
10. News From the Library--November 23, 2009

Fourth Graders go on a Book Hunt!

This week Mr. Orr's class went on a Book Hunt in the Library. This is a fun way to learn how to find books and resources in our library. Each team of 4 students was given 4 items to find and record, and the directions even included putting one shoe in a specified section. (This was their favorite part.) The first team to finish and sit down in alphabetical order by the last name was the winner. Warning to librarians: This is not a quiet activity! But the results are well worth it as students learned library locations and had a lot of fun doing it!

Teams using the Catalog

A shoe in the Reference Book section

Also in the Library this week..

(Several classes didn't have library this week due to early dismissal for parent conferences)

Second Grade--Mrs. Seeple's class heard Eve Bunting's delightful book, A Turkey for Thanksgiving. Students were a little worried about poor Mr. Turkey but were relieved to find that in the end he was at the table, not on the table.

Third Grade--Third graders heard Weslandia by Paul Fleischmann and loved the innovation that Wesley shows when he designs his own civilization. (This is the same book I read to the fourth graders last week because they missed it as third graders due to my absence during the Tea Fire). This book also serves well in our "No Place for Hate" program by showing how Wesley dealt with his "tormentors,"--those who teased him for being different.

Fourth Grade--see opening post

Fifth Grade--Mrs. Wooten's class finally got to do their portal lesson using World Book Online. (We had a complete computer disaster the week they were supposed to have this lesson) Mrs. Pickles' class played a game of "Name That Book" as a review of reference books and how they are used.
11. News From The Library--November 16, 2009

Several summers ago, I stopped at Manzanar on my way to a vacation in Mammoth and was struck by the eerie, solemn sense of the place. I took several pictures and when I returned did some research and put together a lesson to go with a touching and important picture book written by renowned children's book author Eve Bunting. The book is called So Far From the Sea and is the story of a Japanese American family in present day who is moving from California to Boston. They travel to Manzanar one last time to pay tribute to their grandfather who lies buried there. Their story is woven with facts about Pearl Harbor and the ensuing imprisonment of Japansese Americans in internment camps. Prior to reading the book to the students I showed a Keyote slideshow I made incorporating my present day photos with historical photos I obtained from the internet and from a wonderful site created by the state of California and UC Berkeley called Calisphere. After seeing the slide presentation, sixth graders had a context for the story and later we had an interesting and lively discussion . One of the most interesting comments centered around the care we should take not to overreact to fear, and understanding that this historical part of California's history is not an easy "black or white" issue with one side right and the other wrong, something that is very touchingly told by the father in the story who was himself a child at Manzanar. Students also had a chance to see the other books we have in our Library about this subject including two other wonderful picture books, The Bracelet by and Baseball Saved Us by , and two novels by Yoshiko Uchida , Journey to Topaz and Journey Home.

It was a short week in the Library due to Veteran's Day on Wednesday....

Kindergarten--If you're a frog and you want to jog then you must have the right jogging suit. Finkehopper Frog gets just that in story of the same name but he find that the other joggers continually tease him because he hops not jogs. Poor Finklehopper is so discouraged until along comes a rabbit who explains that hopping is just as good as jogging, maybe even better! A gentle lesson on tolerance that fits right in with our No Place for Hate program.

First Grade--Just in time for the holiday season....we read Too Many Toys by David Shannon. As Spencer and his mother negotiate over toys to be given away he finds that in the end the best toy of all is....the cardboard box the old toys were gathered in! A good lesson about using one's imagination and turning what seems like nothing into the best toy of all.

Second Grade--It was another week for our favorite party dog Stanley but this time he's entered into a Dog Beauty Contest by his people. Unfortunately in all the preparations they forget to feed poor Stanley and his hunger gets the best of him as well as all the prizes. Stanley's Beauty Contest by Linda Bailey scored ano

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12. News From the Library--November 9, 2009

Online Research using World Book Online

This week fifth and sixth graders reviewed how to use the World Book Online to do research. After logging in to the SB County Schools Portal, they chose a topic out of our "hat." The topics such as vicuna, are, I admit, a little esoteric but it was fun for students to find out information about things they had never encountered before. After finding their topic, they wrote five complete sentences about it. One note: We had a complete computer fiasco in Mrs. Pickles' class. The Portal wasn't working. Then when it did, I didn't have the student password! After a frustrating few minutes we had a "teachable moment" when I told students to turn off their laptops and go find the print encyclopedias. A good lesson in what to do when the technology doesn't work (and the teacher didn't check those passwords before the lesson!). We'll do the lesson next week.

Also in the Library this week....

Kindergarten--We read Pamela Duncan Edwards' charming book, Livingstone Mouse. Livingstone sets off to find a great place to live and has been given a good recommendation from his mother--china. (Yes, china. Not China.) Livingstone tries place after place until at last he finds it and kindergarteners got a little lesson in homonyms along the way.

First Grade--One of my all time favorite children's authors is Leo Lionni. This week first graders heard Alexander and the Wind Up Mouse--a great fable about the pitfalls of envy. The children get absolutely silent and breathless as Alexander, the mouse, meets the magic lizard and at the last second changes his request to turn into a wind-up mouse and instead helps his friend Willy become a real mouse like him.

Second Grade--Stanley the dog wonders what it would be like to sit on his owners' couch--just for a minute. One night when they are gone Stanley finds out and can't resist taking over the whole house for a wild party--only this is the one night his people decide to come home early. Linda Bailey's book Stanley's Party is just one in her series about this lovable pooch and the students love these stories.

Third Grade and Fourth Grade--This week we played "Name That Book." After a review of what a reference book is and which ones we have in our Library, the students try to guess the right book after getting clues. Then I make up a real world scenario for each of them and they have to show me in what reference book would they find their answer. They love my story about late one night when a friend called me (because I'm a librarian) and told me her dog was expecting and she needed to know the gestation period for puppies. I found the answer in my 1958 World Book Encyclopedias that I had been lugging around with me for years (sadly, I lost them in last years' fire....). We talked about how some information doesn't change, but some certainly does. Those same encyclopedias had no mention of the landing of men on the moon.

Fifth and Sixth Grade--see opening post

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13. News From The Library--November 3, 2009

Happy Halloween in the Library!

It was a busy week at school with our Fall Sing and our Fall Festival so several classes didn't make it to the Library for their regularly scheduled times. Those who did were treated to a variety of Halloween stories. Our favorite for 5th grade is Duffy's Jacket by Bruce Coville, 4th graders heard Esteban and the Ghost by Sibyl Hancock, 3rd graders love One Halloween Night by Marc Teague, and 2nd graders chuckled along with Porkenstein by Kathryn Lasky and David Jarvis. Next week we'll be back at work with our regular schedule. Happy Halloween!

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14. News From the Library--October 26, 2009


This week fifth and sixth graders used their "book dissections" from last week to enter information into an incredible time-saving web based applications called BibMe. (Where was this at 3 A.M. when I was typing bibliographies on a manual typewriter in the late sixties!) This program allows students to enter the information about books used in a report, then formats it into a bibliography that can be downloaded to Microsoft Word (if you register). All for free! It also has formats for all other types of media you might use in a report. We didn't register here in the Library but students practiced entering data and watching the bibliography appear. It even has a feature whereby you can enter a title, author, and/or ISBN number and it will find all the information about the book and then format it for you! I did, however, have students use the manual entry mode so they would know how to do that if the book couldn't be found using the auto mode. They actually enjoyed doing this but I must say they aren't nearly as impressed with this as I am. Maybe I should have made them hand write those bibliographies first???

Also in the Library this week...

Kindergarten--Kindergarten missed Library this week because of the Move-A-Thon.

First Grade--Two escaped convicts try to hide in a haunted house in Erica Silverman's fun story The Halloween House. As well as being delightful to read, it is a counting story and students loved joining in as we counted down from ten to none.

Second Grade--What can you do when your family wants to keep making your Halloween costume every year? In Susan Wojciechowski's book The Best Halloween of All, Ben takes us through a "photo" album of his past six Halloweens from being a clown to a bunch of grapes. He knows his family means well, but this year is going to be different as he designs and makes his own costume--not as elaborate as in past years--but best of all, his very own creation.

Third Grade--We had fun this week with a new Halloween book, Miss Smith and the Haunted Library by Michael Garland. I made a "book trailer" using animoto to introduce the book and then we read it. It was so much fun finding all the characters from other stories--the Headless Horseman, Captain Hook, the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk, to name just a few. The illustrations are fantastic and there is even a little chart at the end explaining where all the characters came from.

Here's the book trailer:

We're planning to use animoto in the spring when students do projects for their book clubs.

Fourth Grade--Another new book this year is Halloween Night by Marjorie Dennis Murray and illustrated by Brandon Dorman. A take off on the Night Before Christmas this book delighted fourth graders with its creepy inhabitants and rhyming verse. And again, the illustrations are magnificent.

Fifth and Sixth Grade--see opening post.

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15. News From the Library--October 19, 2009

A Different Point of View

As we celebrated Columbus Day this week, I read Jane Yolen's haunting book Encounter to the fourth graders. As well as being an excellent example of the literary device point of view, it gives students a new perspective on Columbus and what his discoveries meant to the indigenous peoples who lived on the islands he discovered. The book is told from the point of view of a Taino Indian boy who warns his tribe not to welcome Columbus and his men and it concludes with a chilling image of the boy as an old man. David Shannon's remarkable illustrations add greatly to the impact of this rather sad story. An interesting discussion followed in which we came to the conclusion that while we admire Columbus' bravery and persistence, there was a heavy price paid for his discoveries.

Also in the Library this week...

Kindergarten--What happens when a town mouse and a field mouse fall in love with the same pumpkin? The pumpkin becomes enormous! In The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll and Jeni Bassett, two mice both feed and water the same pumpkin each with his own hopes for a prize at the end. In a great example of compromise one wins the prize for the biggest pumpkin as the other agrees to help him move it with the promise of being able to carve it into the biggest jack o' lantern. This is one of our favorite Halloween stories in Kindergarten.

First Grade--I found this charming book several years ago and always save it for the first graders. Even now, upper grade students fondly remember it and ask to see it every year. A Pumpkin Story by Mariko Shinju is the story of a man who builds an entire village out of pumpkins--pumpkin houses, pumpkin furniture, a pumpkin hotel and even a pumpkin swimming pool!

Second Grade--Another of my favorite Halloween books is A Job for Wittilda by Marc and Carolyn Buehner. Poor Wittilda the witch has 47 cats and needs to feed them. She looks for a job and finally lands one as a delivery person for Dingaling Pizza. And in her quest for the job (on her broom, of course) she rescues one more cat bringing her total to 48 pizza loving felines.

Third Grade--There isn't a much more darkly moody story about a witch than Chris VanAllsburg's The Widow's Broom. The illustrations are exquisite and the wonderful twist at the end delights third graders.

Fourth Grade--see opening post

Fifth and Sixth Grade--This week we "dissected" non-fiction books in preparation for making bibliographies. Students used their "scalpels" (pencils) and their "lab sheets" to find the title, author, publisher, publishing city, and copyright date in several books. Next week I will show them how to use one of the online bibliography makers (that I wish had been available when I was in school!).

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16. News From The Library--October 12, 2009

The Tree of Kindness

This year our school is participating in the Anti-Defamation League's program called "No Place for Hate." As a project for that program, we decided to do an all school project and create a "Tree of Kindness" in our Library. I gathered a list of books with kindness as their theme and read one to each class over the last two weeks. Then, with the kind help of Ms. Billie Olson who cut out hundreds of colorful paper leaves for us, each child in the school wrote or dictated one act of kindness they had done recently. As the weeks went by our tree got larger and larger and fuller and fuller. It became a magnet in the Library for students as they read their classmates' and siblings' leaves. We all agreed that in a school where there is kindness, there's no place for hate!

One of our kindness leaves

A student writing a kindness leaf

In the Library this week...

Kindergarten--Mrs. Morgan's Lawn by Barney Saltzburg is a perfect story about kindness for little ones. The narrator tells how he keeps losing his favorite balls on Mrs. Morgan's perfect lawn where not a leaf is allowed to touch the grass. When he finally gets up the nerve to confront her he find out she has a terrible cold and as the days go by her lawn get covered with fallen leaves. At first this is great but later the boy decided to rake the leaves for her. The next day he not only finds all his lost balls on his own lawn but ends up with a very unlikely playmate!

First Grade--To get us in a spooky mood we studies spiders this week. After seeing a Keynote about spiders first graders heard Linda Monk's delightful story Aaaargh!Spider! about a little spider who tries to convince a family that he'd make a great pet.

Second Grade--Second graders also studies spiders this week and after the Keynote heard Diane Cronin's hilarious Diary of a Spider.

Third Grade--After the Keynote, third graders listened to Mary Howitt's classic poem The Spider and the Fly. This version is wonderfully illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi and even has a letter from the spider to the children reminding them of the dangers of talking to strangers.

Fourth Grade--Fourth graders enjoyed doing spider research this week. After picking the name of a spider out of our hat, they became "Web Weaver Investigators" and used a great set of books about spiders to find out information about their spider's appearance, habitat, prey, and other interesting facts. We chose to use books as our resource for this lesson after demonstrating the number of hits on Google you would have to "wade" through to find the information. It's important for students to understand that many times a good book that has been edited and published is a much faster and more reliable source than the internet.

Fifth Grade--Fifth graders made their leaves for the "Kindness Tree" after hearing Enemy Pie by Derek Munson. They all enjoyed the main character's dawning realization that one of the best ways to lose an enemy is with kindness. (A good tasting pie doesn't hurt, either!)

Sixth Grade--Sixth graders made their leaves after hearing a classic African folktale, Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe or The Talking Eggs by Robert SanSouci. We discussed how the African folktale and changed a bit when it became a folktale from the American South but the message of kindness remained the same.

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17. News From the Library--October 5, 2009


This week fifth graders participated in our Web Drill! Although we have an excellent internet filter at our school, I felt it was important for students to understand that, in reality, they are their own best filters. They have control over what they see and hear on the internet and that control is at the tips of their fingers. Even the best filter can let something inappropriate through and they aren’t always going to be using a computer with a filter. After showing them a presentation on different ways they could exit a website, they opened their laptops and had time to surf several pre-selected sites I had linked on the blog. ( Of course, these were not sites that were inappropriate….but worked for the sake of a drill) After they were engrossed in their perusing, I called out “WEB DRILL!” and they had to exit the site using one of the methods we had practiced. Besides having lots of fun, I think they learned some valuable personal skills for using the internet in an ethical manner. If you’d like to look at the lesson for yourself, go to the Cold Spring School Library Skills Blog and check out the Web Drill post.

Also in the Library this week..

Kindergarten--It was our very first Kindergarten visit to the Library! Students learned library manners using the story book, Manners in the Library by Carrie Finn and then have a great time learning how to choose a book to take home for a week. This is a big step for kindergarteners---checking out a book, taking it home, and bringing it back!

First Grade--We worked on our "Tree of Kindness" project this week. This project is part of our participation in the Anti-Defamation League "No Place for Hate" program. Each class is hearing a story about kindness and then writing an act of kindness on a paper leaf. We are building a huge kindness tree on our Library wall. (Next week you will see the results of this school wide project!) The book first graders enjoyed was Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester and we discussed how the characters in the story changed from being unkind to Wodney to respecting his differences.

Second Grade--Second graders heard the charming story, Amos and Boris by William Steig as their book about kindness. This simple tale shows how kindness can be reciprocated even by the most unlikely of friends.

Third Grade--Kindness is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler by Margery Cuyler was our choice for third grade. Mrs. Ruler's rather unruly class channels their energies into coming up with 100 acts of kindness and has a great time doing it.

Fourth Grade--How to get rid of enemies? Why, baking an Enemy Pie, of course. Hoping his father's recipe for enemy pie will really help him get rid of his new enemy, the little boy in this story finds out the best recipe for getting rid of an enemy is treating him with kindness. This very enjoyable book of the same name is written by Derek Munson with whimsical illustrations by Tara Callahan King.

Fifth Grade--see opening post

Sixth Grade--After returning from Astro Camp (and missing library last week) the sixth graders reviewed how to use our computer catalog to find books.

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18. News From the Library--September 28, 2009

Choosing books for K-6 grade students

This week in the Library we spent quite a bit of time talking about how to look books up in our catalog and how to choose the right book. I noticed last year and this year that we have had fourth and fifth graders carrying around copies of Stephanie Meyer's very popular Twilight Series. To be honest, I was bothered. I'm not for censoring books or telling students they can't read a certain book. Instead, I try to guide them to books that are not only at or slightly above their reading level but also, most importantly, books that have age appropriate content and are stories they can comprehend. While the Twilight series might be fine in a middle school and high school school library, I don't think it's appropriate elementary age children.

Busy parents sometimes don't have time to read the books their children are reading but there are some great ways to find out the appropriateness of a book. One of the easiest is to go on amazon.com and see if there is a review by Booklist or School Library Journal. For example, the reviews of the book Twilight clearly state that they are for grades 9 and up. Another new website that has a search feature by age and grade level is Jacket Flap . A Book and A Hug is another great one that can give parents suggestions about books at appropriate age levels. There are several more to your right in the links section of this blog.

Choosing the right book is a skill and we do work on that in our library lessons. This week grades 3-5 learned again about the "5 finger rule" to check for words they don't understand or can't read, and also how to look at the summary of the book on the jacket flap or on the back of the book to see if the book would appeal to them. Then they practiced reading the first couple of pages to see if the writer had "hooked" them into the story. We also reviewed how to search for books by author, title, or subject in our online catalog.

Grade 1--This week first graders heard the charming story Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson. Fletcher is a sweet little fox who tries to rescue falling leaves only to find that the tree is really okay, especially when it is transformed into beauty with the first snow.

Grade 2--Is it fiction or non-fiction??? Second graders saw a Keynote presentation on the differences between fiction and non-fiction and then we played a game of "Bookworm Says..." Each student was given a command--Bookworm says,"Find a fiction book!" or "Find a non-fiction book!" and they chose from an array of books on our main library table. We had a lot of fun and then when they checked out their book of choice for this week they had to tell me whether it was fiction or non-fiction.

Kindgergarten will start library next week when they stay in the afternoon and Sixth graders missed library this week but had an adventurous week at AstroCamp.

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19. News From the Library--June 1, 2009

Have a great summer!

This has been quite a year....we started the year with a huge wildfire (in which I lost my home) and ended the year with another one! But through it all we prevailed and the sense of community both here at Cold Spring School and in Santa Barbara has uplifted all of us who were affected. Now it's time to "close the book" on this school year and take a nice relaxing break during the summer.

Summer is a great time to read and for this last post I have collected a number of links to reading lists. I think you'll find something for everyone! It will remain on this blog until September.

So relax, kick back with a lemonade, and read, read read!

~Mrs. Reid

Summer Reading Lists

Video booktalks listed by grade level.

Nancy Keane’s list of “Books of Interest to Grades 5-8”, with links to her booktalks on the titles.

Battle of the Books 2010 Reading list
These are the 30 books that 4-6th graders will read in order to participate in next year’s Battle of the Books.

2010 Battle of the Books list (pdf file)

abe books Children's Reading Lists

Education World Reading Lists

The Horn Book Magazine Reading Lists

100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know from the NY Public Library

100 Favorite Children's Books from the NY Public Library

BookHive is a web site designed for children ages birth through twelve, their parents, teachers or anyone interested in reading about children's books. Providing reader's advisory service, this site contains hundreds of recommended book reviews in a variety of reading levels and interest areas. Parents may find special "parental notes" attached to some reviews that provide additional information about the book. Users can search for books by author, title, reading level, interest area, number of pages, and even favorite illustrator.

Books for Boys

Big a, little a
This is a blog with a booklist of recommended Early readers that you can download as a pdf file

Bank Street College Children's Library Summer Reading Lists K-8

I also have a some printed lists in the Library if you'd like to look at those. Please stop by anytime over the next two weeks.

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20. News From the Library--May 25, 2009

Getting Ready for Summer

In the spirit of getting ready for summer, second graders loved hearing Margaret Mahy's hilarious book The Great White Man-Eating Shark. Norvin was a good actor and although plain, looked very much like a shark. In his desire to have the swimming cove all to himself, he used his acting skills and his sharkish appearance to scare everyone from the water. What he didn't count on was how convincing his performance was....even to a love starved lady shark who set her sights on him for her mate!

Also in the Library this week...

Kindergarten--Did you ever get the dates mixed up for and important event? Stanley Birdbaum was sure this Friday was Crazy Hair Day but instead it was School Picture Day!! When he shows up with his hair gelled and in colored spikes he hide in the bathroom. He's mortified until he is coaxed back to class and finds his classmates have all turned their hair into something crazy too so that he will fit in to the school picture. This charming story by Barney Saltzberg shows the power of friendship and making the best of a difficult situation.

First Grade--A few weeks ago we read Garth Pig and the Ice Cream Lady and at the end Mrs. Lupino was tossed into the river and not heard from again for a very long time. This week, first graders were very concerned when the piglets were left with a babysitter named, of all things, Mrs. Wolf in Mary Reyner's Mr. and Mrs. Pig's Evening Out. When Garth becomes the object of Mrs. Wolf's late night snack, the other piglets rally around to save him. And in the end, Mrs. Wolf is dumped into that same river again. Wonder where she'll show up next?

Second Grade--see opening post

Third Grade--What would you do if you could have any wish? Third graders pondered that while listening to Chris VanAllsburg's The Sweetest Fig. This book has a wonderful twist at the end and it was fun to whatch the children's faces as they got it. One of the best wishes we came up with was a sprinkler system in the sky to douse any future fires here in Santa Barbara!

Fourth Grade--no library this week due to our Spring Sing.

Fifth Grade--no library due to testing

Sixth Grade--Sixth graders finished and printed out their essays on their god or goddess. These will be only display with their ceramic plates during next week's Art Faire.

One more week of classes this year! I will post summer reading lists next week and those will remain on the blog during the summer.

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21. News From The Library--May 18, 2009

We had a quiet week at the Library as for several days we were still under an evacuation warning due to the Jesusita Fire. We are grateful to the amazing dedication of all the fire fighters who have been on the fire lines since May 5. As of Friday, the fire is almost completely controlled and we are looking forward to a calmer week ahead. Two major fires during this school year has been unbelievably stressful but we have all survived.

In the Library last week...

Kindergarten--Kindergarteners enjoyed The Egg by M.P. Robertson and had fun guessing what was in that enormous egg. The dragon was one of the top choices, along with dinosaur, elephant, and very big bird.

First Grade--What happens if you get lost in the Lost and Found? In Mark Teague's book of the same name, three students find themselves in the mysterious world of the Lost and Found bin and after finding lucky hats get back to school just in the nick of time. This was a fun way to remind students to start checking our own Lost and Found bin before the school year ends.

Second Grade--Margaret Mahy's book, The Three Legged Cat is just simply funny and this seemed like a good week to read it. Second graders laughed at the hat that became a cat and the cat that became a hat.

Third Grade--One of the most wonderful things about the late William Steig's books is his love of the language and his unflinching view that children should be exposed to its beauty. The Amazing Bone is peppered with what we like to call "ten dollar words" and students had fun figuring out what they meant by using contex clues.

Fourth Grade--Mrs. Edwards' class worked on their Tall Tales and Mr. Orr's class missed Library this week in order to have a make-up art class in preparation for our Art Faire.

Fifth Grade--Fifth grade missed library due to STAR testing.

Sixth Grader--Sixth graders wrote their essays about their god or goddess this week. These will be displayed with their ceramic plates during the Art Faire.

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22. Good News (So Far)

Just a quick update....the fire is 70% contained and I am back in my home after four days of evacuation and our school was in session today. Weather played a big factor in helping firefighters get some control. Unfortunately sundowner winds are forecast for Tuesday through Thursday but not as strong as last week and there is a huge fire fighting presence still on the fire lines. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers, please.

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23. Sad news from Santa Barbara Again--May 8,2009

Once again I have very sad news.....another fire. This one is threatening most of Santa Barbara extending from Goleta to Montectio. I am safe. I had to evacuate my new condo near downtown (where ironically I thought I'd be safe). I bought it after losing my house in November's fire and have been out since Wednesday. My school is closed and in an evacuation area.

No blogging for awhile. Please keep us in your prayers.

~Janet Pedersen

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24. News From The Library--May 4, 2009

The Test is coming.....

Third graders and I tried to keep our sense of humor about the upcoming state testing slated to begin next week by reading Judy Finchler's hilarious book Testing Miss Malarkey. Oh those sharp #2 pencils, the upset stomachs, the teachers acting....well, acting a little crazy. These were things we could all relate to. But in the end we agreed, it was just a test. A good night's sleep, a good healthy breakfast (none of those PopTarts!), good listening skills, and yes, a sharp #2 pencil would be a great way to get started on those tests!

Also in the Library this week...

Kindergarten--Mucky Moose lives up to his name in Jonathan Allen's funny book about a moose who is so smelly he almost kills a wolf who wants to eat him for his dinner. Time after time, the wolf is felled by Mucky's odor until he finally gives up and becomes a guide dog for the blind! Kindergarteners love the idea of dirty wins the day!

First Grade--In Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens, a lazy bear gets taken advantage of again and again by a wily rabbit family. This is a great book to introduce "trickster" tales as well as work on spatial attributes of top, middle, and bottom. The format of the book lends itself so well to the subject and the students love the illustrations.

Second Grade--Another classic fairy tale captured the attention of second graders this week. Rumplestiltskin by Paul O. Zelinsky won a Caledecott honor for its beautiful illustrations and the best part of the story lies in its very strangness. As we discussed, why would the miller's daughter want to marry a king who had threatened to kill her if she didn't spin the straw into gold? And was Rumplestiltskin really all bad? Strange, that's for sure, but he did help her out. Once again, I love to see students completely enthralled with a classic.

Third Grade--see opening post

Fourth Grade--We read Pecos Bill by Steven Kellogg this week as our final Tall Tale. We also reviewed the elements of a tall tale and discussed how students will begin to write their own tall tale next week. Stay tuned for some amazing stories!

Fifth Grade--Fifth graders played Book Scavenger Hunt this week and located books in both fiction and non-fiction sections of the Library.

Sixth Grade--Sixth graders finished up their research about their god or goddess and next week will begin writing their essays.

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25. Welcome Back 2009!

Welcome Back to the Library!

We’ve had a great first two weeks of library classes! Each class had time to refresh their memories about the rules of the library and then time to check out books.

To make our review of library rules a little more fun this year, I put questions about library rules on index cards and put them in our “top hat.” Students took turns pulling a card out of the hat and reading the question. Then I gave the answer and we discussed the reason for each library rule.

In K-3 we read a new addition to our Library collection, Goldisocks and the Three Libearians by Jackie Mims Hopkins. It was a charming way to introduce some of our rules and also gave students a good way to determine if a book is “not to hard,” “not too easy,” but “just right.”

Just so everyone is on the “proverbial same page” our check out rules are:

* K- one book for one week. If a K student forgets to return their book on their Library day, they can “save” a book to check out when the original book is returned.

* 1—one book for one week (until January when the Bookworm Club begins. At that time it will change to 2 books for 1 week).

* 2—two books for two weeks

* 3—three books for two weeks

* 4—four books for two weeks

* 5—five books for two weeks

* 6—six books for two weeks

Additional books may be checked out for classroom assignments.

Books can be renewed up to 5 times and need not be physically returned to renew. We can do it on the computer.

You can find lots of additional information on the Library Web Page at: http://www.coldspringschool.net/Classrooms/jpedersen/Mrs.-Pedersen.html

My goal this year is to strike a balance between the wonders of technology and the wonders of books. It’s sometimes easy to get sidetracked by technology so we’re going to work on keeping that balance between our fantastic library collection and those wonderful technological tools at our fingertips.

And as some of you know, my name changed over the summer (to one that coincidentally better matches the library!) If you have any questions about the Library program, please feel free to email me at: jreid@coldspringschool.net. Library hours are Monday, Wednesday, & Friday 8:00 to 3:30.

Here’s to another great year!

~Mrs. Reid

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