Friday, January 30, 2009

News From the Library--February 2, 2009

(Please Press Play)

Stonewords by Pamela J. Conrad
A Book Review by Detective McDolphin (aka Junia)

Also in the Library this week...

Kindergarten-Walter loves jumping on his bed but his father has said "for the millionth time"No Jumping on the Bed! Tedd Arnold's book of the same name never fails to delight kindergarteners. Is it the idea that Walter misbehaves or the hilarious results as he falls through floor after floor, or is it the possibility that it was all a dream??? In any event, this book is always a hit and students are looking forward to next week's sequel, No More Water in the Tub!

First Grade--First graders got to hear the book Butterfly Beach by Polly Caldwell Bokwaltert hat I also read to second graders last week. It's the story of our very own Butterfly Beach and how the butterflies stopped coming to winter there after houses and a hotel were built. But little by little they are comng back thanks to the efforts of all to re-create the enviorment they loved.

Second Grade--After reading Jacqueline Griggs Martin's excellent biography about Snowflake Bentley, second graders got the chance to see some of his photographs of snowflakes and also some beautiful current photgraphs of snowflakes. We all marveled at the wonderful and mysterious way they never repeat themselves.

Third Grade--Third graders watched the videos about internet safety--Faux Paws Adventures on the Internet and Faux Paws Meets the First Lady. These were an excellent springboard to our discussion of how to keep safe when online. For more tips and information for parents go to This is a great website for both students and parents alike and very helpful when dealing with this very important subject.

Fourth Grade--Fourth graders worked in the atlases this week and found out some great facts about our state.

Fifth Grade--Fifth graders also worked in the atlases this week and compared California to two other states of their choosing. They looked at population, date of statehood, ranking in land area and population, and total land area.

Sixth Grade--Our internet was down on Monday so we turned it to our advantage and read and discussed the interesting picture book, Mrs. Marlowe's Mice by Frank Asch. As with the fifth grade last week, we had a great discussion about the historical metaphor in this book and the question of ambiguity.

Battle of the Books Meetings begin this week for grades 4-6!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

News From The Library--January 26, 2009

(Please press play)

Encyclopedia Brown: House of Cards by Donald Sobol

A Video Review by Detective McDolphin (aka Kenna)

This was a short week in the Library because of Martin Luther King Day on Monday.

Kindergarten--We had lots of fun reading and looking at Lois Ehlert's book Snowballs and imagining all the creative ways we could make snowdads, snowmoms, snowboys, snowbabies, snowcats, and snowdogs. Of course we have to travel to the snow.....doesn't get quite cold enough here in Santa Barbara, but we can dream.

Second Grade--Thanks to a generous donation from the Goligoski family we have a great new book in our Library about our very own Butterfly Beach. Written by local author Polly Caldwell Bookwalter, Butterfly Beach, tells the history of one of our favorite spots and how the monarch butterflies used to winter there. But with the advent of roads, houses, and hotels they had to find another spot until the people began to replant the eucalyptus trees and native vegetation to bring them back. The illustrations in this book are wonderful and styled like mosaic tiles.

Third Grade--We all loved Traction Man by Mini Grey when we read it last year as part of the California Young Reader Medal Program. Well this week we had a treat--a sequel. Traction Man Meets Turbo Dog is done in the same graphic novel style and tells the story of how the faithful Scrubbing Brush gets thrown out (too unhygenic) and replaced with the battery operated Turbo Dog. Not the best idea as Turbo Dog is not quite up to the adventures of Traction Man. In the end, Scrubbing Brush saves the day. Confused? You kind of have to be there to get it.....or better yet, check out this book. It's a winner!

Fourth Grade--Fourth graders helped me preview a new DVD I bought called Faux Paws: Adventures on the Internet. I purchased it in order to teach lessons to second, third, and fourth graders about internet safety. The two videos cover excellent points about not revealing personal information online and how to deal with online bullying. Fourth graders gave the videos a resounding "two thumbs up." You can learn more about helping your child be safe online at There are great tips for parents concerning what you should know about your child's activities online and how to talk to your children about how important it is to be responsible online citizens.

Fifth Grade--In Mrs. Pickles' class, we had a chance to read Mrs. Marlowe's Mice by Frank and Devin Asch and as well as being really impressed with the visual style of the book, students discussed some "lofty" ideas. I challenged the students to figure out the historical metaphor in the book--the imprisonment of the Jews by the Nazis--and the discuss the concept of ambiguity--whether or not it is okay to sometimes break the rules. A lively discussion followed!

Stay tuned next week for more great video book reviews--Book Clubs are in full swing!

Friday, January 16, 2009

News From The Library--January 16, 2009

Happy Bookworms!

Book Clubs Have Started in the Library!

This week our ever popular Library Book Clubs have started and already we have some enthusiastic members! Grades 1-4 have special clubs and grades 5 and 6 will have the chance to do blog reviews this year.

The most important rule for all the clubs is to have fun reading! 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.

Each grade level has a club and the “rules for membership” vary. 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. We’re off to a great start!

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 reading the entire book, members make an appointment with Mrs. Pedersen to read their favorite page either before school, at any recess, after school, or during their library time. This year I’ll record their reading in a podcast format if they’d like so we can track their fluency improvement. 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 a do a multimedia project using their laptop and submit it to Mrs. Pedersen. After completing a book report or a project, members can choose a special prize.

Grade 4 is the Mystery Book Club and members choose from the wide array of mysteries in our Library. Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books are among the all time favorites for this club. To report on their books, members have several options. One is to write a book report or do a multimedia project on their laptop and turn it in to Mrs. Pedersen. One option (and one we are very excited about!) is to record a video report to be posted on our blog, Voices From the Inglenook. Students will use our stuffed animal dolphin as their avatar—named Dectective McDolphin for the club—or they can dress in one of our two Detective McDolphin costumes and perform their report. After completing a project, members can choose a special prize.

Grades 5 and 6 has an individualized book club in which students can read a particular genre or author and do a video review for our blog. Also, many of our 5th and 6th graders are participating in Battle of the Books.

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.

Fifth and Sixth Grade--This week we began our unit on Website Evaluation entitled "When in Doubt, Doubt!" After viewing a Keynote, we had a discussion about what to look for in a good website including its authority, currency, purpose, and objectivity. In the next few weeks student will have a change to evalute actual website.

Friday, January 09, 2009

News From the Library--January 9, 2009

A Notable Book

To start off the new year, third and fourth grade classes heard The Quiltmaker's Gift written by Jeff Brumbeau and illustrated beautifully by Gail de Marcken. Although this might have made a great holiday read, it seemed almost better to read it this week when students were not quite so distracted by the anticiation of the holidays. This is a really lovely tale about the power of generosity and the rewards of giving. It's not a surprise that it won the Book of the Year Award from Books Plus. In addition to the book there is an interesting companion website you can find at: Don't miss this one! Better yet, get a copy now for next year's holidays. (Thank you, Goligoski family, for this wonderful addition to our collection.)

In the Library this week.... (we had a short week due to the inservice day on Monday)

Kindergarten--There is something about Helen Lester's Tacky the Penguin that just tickles the funny bone of kindergarten students. But underneath the humor is a sweet message about acceptance of those who might not act (or dress) the same as we do. After hearing a non-fiction book about penguins first, kindergarteners chuckled their way through Tacky's adventures with the rough and tough hunters.

Second Grade--As I told the students, I heard it was -50 degrees in Alaska this morning, and that seemed the perfect setting for reading charming book, Caralyn and Mark Buehner's Snowmen At Night. We also talked about parts of a book today and found especially interesting the dedication of this book to two surreptitious snowman shifters. What fun it is for students of this age to learn the meaning and use of such words as surreptitious!

Third and Fourth Grade--see opening post.

Fifth Grade--Nothing like a rousing game of Library Jeopardy to start off the new year with a bang. Fifth graders love this game and it's such a great way to learn the....shall be say.....less interesting aspects of library skills. The boys risked all with their daily double and squeaked by with a one point victory!

Next week we'll start our Library Book Clubs. Watch for future posts!