News from the Library–Jan. 30, 2015

albies first word

Albie’s First Word

Third graders heard Albie’s First Word by Jacqueline Tourville and wonderfully illustrated by Wynne Evans.  I first projected a Keynote slide of the last illustration of Albert Einstein and students noticed all the details, guessed who the picture represented, and explained why they came to that conclusion.  Many students knew quite a bit about Einstein but none knew that his speech was delayed as a child.  This book is a wonderful example of the blending of fiction and non-fiction.  The students were literally on the edge of their seats waiting to find out when and how Albie finally talked.  There is also some nice historical information at the end of the book.  Highly recommended!

Also in the Library….

one cool friend

Kindergarteners heard One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo and whimsically illustrated by David Small.  This is the quirky story of a quirky boy and his quirky father and the boy’s successful acquisition of a real penguin as a pet.

Betty_BunnyFirst Graders started out with a Visible Thinking Routine I call 5 minutes Before, 5 Minutes After.  I projected a slide of an illustration from the book Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake by Michael B. Kaplan, and after noticing all the details first, they hypothesized about what might have happened 5 minutes before the picture or 5 minutes after the picture.  This is a really delightful story that talks about the value of patience but with some real laugh out loud moments.  A winner for this age group!

library lights

Second Graders heard When The Library Lights Go Out by Megan McDonald and illustrated wonderfully by Katherine Tillotson.  This is one of those books that works as a read aloud on many levels.  The story is engaging and something children of this age can connect with, and the size of the book (large) with gorgeous illustrations makes reading this to a group a pleasure.

Third Grade–see opening post


Fourth Graders heard a classic American Tall Tale this week, Paul Bunyan by Steven Kellogg.  We did the Visible Thinking Routine called Same, Same, Different and compared it to the book we read last week, Swamp Angel.  Students were able to find the similar characteristics of a tall tales in each.

Fifth and Sixth graders had a quiz/scavenger hunt to asses their knowledge of non-fiction text features.  I’m determined they will know these before the year is out!!

News From the Library–Jan. 23, 2015


The Three Snow Bears

We are so very fortunate to have this wonderful technology to use in our Library.  This week first graders heard The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett.  I projected it on our flat screen TV from We Give Books and it makes a read aloud story so interesting and accessible to the children, especially one with beautiful illustrations like this one.  We used the Thinking Routine called Same, Same, Different to compare this version with the more well known version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Also in the Library this week….(a short week)


Second Grade–If you want a great read aloud, here’s one for you.  How to Train Your Train by Jason Carter Eaton is a perfect mix of an engaging fun-filled story, a procedural text, topped off with incredible illustrations by John Rocco.  After doing the Thinking Routine See Think Wonder students loved this tongue-in-cheek guide to having a train as a pet.  A good chance to discuss homonyms, too.


Third Grade–This week students watched a book app called Where Do Balloon Go? by Jamie Lee Curtis.  This is a delightful app….. but…..this is not a good one to use as a read aloud.  It has far too much interactivity and the narrative storyline gets lost in the shuffle.  I used it purposely to illustrate one of the drawbacks of a book app when compared to a book.  Not to say it isn’t wonderfully entertaining, but it is much better used as a single user.  It’s on our library iPads and the students loved exploring it on their own.


Fourth Grade–One of my favorite tall tales is Swamp Angel by Anne Isaacs and incredibly illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky.  We started out by talking about the characteristics of a tall tale and then noticed them as I read the book aloud.

Fifth Grade–Students did one of our favorite library scavenger hunts called BOOKS.

News From the Library–Jan. 16, 2015


Book Clubs Have Started!

(even Olive, the Library Cat, is joining in)

This week was all about Book Clubs.  Our ever popular library books started this week for students in Grades 1-6.

The most important rule for all the clubs is to have fun reading! Library Book Clubs are voluntary and books are chosen at a student’s independent reading level so that reading for the Book Clubs is a pleasurable and relaxing experience. This also builds confidence and fluency as the children have the opportunity to practice the reading skills they have learned in the classroom.

Personalized bookmarks are given to members after they have read and reported on their first book. Following is a brief summary of the clubs. If you have any questions, please feel free to stop by the Library or email me.

Grades 1 and 2 are the Bookworm Club. Members read books from our Easy and Beginning Reader section. After taking the book home, or keeping it in their desk at school, and after reading the entire book, members make an appointment with Mrs. Reid to read their favorite page either before school, at any recess, after school, or during their library time. Each time a book is finished it is entered on their “official” log and a sticker is awarded. After each 6 books are read, members can choose a special prize.

Grade 3 is the Red Dot Book Club, so named for the red dots on the spines of many books in our collection that are especially chosen for readers who are ready to read chapter books. After reading a “red dot book,” members write a book report or do a multimedia project using their laptop or the library iPads. After completing a book report or a project, members can choose a special prize.

Grades 4-6   Book Club Bingo. Students get a book club bingo card with different types of books in each square.   They read a book and do a project to earn a prize. Projects include iPad book reports, written book reports, or multimedia projects on their laptops. A prize is given for each project, and a bonus for completing a row of five on the bingo card.

(In addition to book clubs, students in Grades 4, 5 and 6 have the opportunity to participate in Battle of the Books. Practice meetings will begin in March. Watch future Wednesday Words for more details.)

Book Clubs are one of my favorite parts of being a librarian at Cold Spring! It’s such a joy to see students excited about reading.


Kindergarten–Kindergarten heard a wonderful new non-fiction book this week called Creature Feature: 25 Animals Explain Why They Look The Way They Do by Steve Jenkins and Page Robin.  Each page spread had a question about the appearance of the animal and then the animal answers the question.  The artwork is stunning!  Highly recommended.

News from the Library–Jan 9, 2015


Non-Fiction Text Features Scavenger Hunt

This week, to ease back into the routine after Winter Break, sixth graders did a Non-Fiction Text Features Scavenger Hunt.  After choosing a non-fiction book–or two or three–they had to find each of eight text features and cite where they found them.  This was a good review and quick assessment and they even enjoyed it!

Also in the Library this week…


Kindergarten–Brr….it was cold outside.  (OK, by California standards….)  Kindergarteners loved hearing Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester.  This book has become a classic not only for its humor but for the lovely message that it’s ok to be odd sometimes and everyone has value.


First Grade–What is you had a magic horse that could help you solve the problem of your parent’s stack of bills?  Well, Rosie has.  By making her popsicle stick collection come alive, and turn into a magic horse, she secures a pirates’ treasure to help her parents pay those bills!  Ridiculous?  Yes.  Charming? Undoubtedly.  Rosie’s Magic Horse by Russell Hoban is just one of those delightful books that simply celebrates the imagination.  A big hit with the first graders.


Second Grade– What fun it is to learn big words.  Second graders figured out what obstinate means after hearing Frank W. Dormer’s hilarious The Obstinate Pen.  We first did the visible thinking routine called See, Think, Wonder to get some idea of the quirky tale of the pen that had a mind of its own.  This is one of those laugh out loud books that kids love to hear, plus they came away with a new way to describe….well….some of their own behavior at times!


Third Grade–Goatlilocks by Erica Perl is the perfect way to use the visible thinking routine called Same, Same, Different and to teach about plot.  First we watched a very funny book trailer for the book on YouTube and then students reviewed the plot of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  When reading the story, we stopped and made comparisons of the two plots.


Fourth Grade–One of my favorite read-alouds is Mrs. Marlowe’s Mice by Frank Asch and marvelously illustrated by Devin Asch.  This tale has so many twists and turns that it makes the perfect stage for the visible thinking routine called I Used to Think, but Now I Think.  It had students on the edge of their chairs.  The illustrations are very eerie and perfectly match the story.  The overriding message of the story is a great discussion point as well.


Fifth Grade–The Yellow Star: The Legend of Kind Christian X of Denmark by Carmen Agra Deedy is a great book for fifth graders.  We discussed what a legend is and how it is the same and different from a folktale or other traditional literature forms.  This book is a classic example of a legend.  The story is gripping and students had a lively discussion afterwards about what they would do in a similar situation

Sixth Grade–See opening post.