Back by popular demand – Book Madness!!!

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 11.37.46 AMBook Madness is back! Organized by me and Mrs. Sislow, Book Madness is a tournament of the most popular books for 3rd-5th graders. Nominations for the tournament open next week.

3rd-5th grade teachers, we will be placing a QR Code in your mailboxes. Please hang it in your room so your students can participate in March Book Madness. Students can nominate books through the Book Madness Website starting February 13th, through the end of the week. Once we have all the nominations, we will post the books in the brackets. We will notify you on voting days, and the kids can select their choices to move to the next round. There will be a physical bracket outside the library, as well.

Voting will begin the first week of March, with kids voting once a week, until Spring Break. We will leave for break without the final vote so that students can read the two finalists over break if they choose.

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New Maker Space

imagesBack by popular demand, our maker space project for the month of February will be DIY a graphic novel! Students may choose from several different templates to create their own graphic novel, or use the Book Creator app on their iPad to create a comic.

Graphic novels have been making their way into libraries and classrooms as educators see their ability to reach reluctant and struggling readers, as well as challenge advanced readers with complex plots and images. In recognition of this powerful tool, and to support students’ visual literacy skills, I have been adding many titles to our graphic novel collection. To learn more about the educational power of graphic novels, check out this article from Scholastic, this list of resources from Edutopia, or follow my Teaching with Graphic Novels Pinterest page.

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Youth Media Award Winners Announced!

516cbhfx4ul-_sy346_All the big book award winners were announced Monday morning from the American Library Association Mid Winter Conference and I am SO excited! And the winners were …

Pictured here: the 2017 Newbery Winner, The Girl Who Drank the Moon. To see the full list of award winners see here.

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News for Week 22: 1/16 – 1/20/17

News for Week 22: 1/16 – 1/20/17

We are in the final stretch for the IL Readers’ Choice Awards!  1st and 2nd graders are reading off of the Monarch award list, 3rd & 4th are reading off of the Bluestem list, and 5th graders are reading from the Rebecca Caudill list.

Last week 5th graders received a surprise visit in library from their future librarian at Maple!  Mrs. Kauth was kind enough to talk to each 5th grade class about the Caudill awards, and she fielded questions from the students about the Maple Library and the school in general.

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Happy New Year!

f308f345a0f05f212f399a6444d6fc30Happy 2017!  To kick of January, we have a new maker space in the library.  Students are invited to cut out a snow person pattern and decorate him/her.

We’d love to display the snow people in the library this month, and we will return the creations to the students at the beginning of February.

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Learning to Code with Ozobots

screen-shot-2016-12-14-at-11-58-42-amNews for Week 17: 12/12 – 12/16/16

This week in library 5th grade students are learning to code with Ozobots.  These tiny little robots respond to colored sequences.  Students are experimenting with drawing different sequences to try to get the robot to go where they want it to go!  (Image from


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New Maker Space – Celebrate the Hour of Code Dec 5-9

hour of code copyNew Maker Space – Celebrate the Hour of Code Dec 5-9

The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. It is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code, encourage computational thinking, and show that anybody can learn the basics. You don’t even need a device to participate! offers some awesome tutorials – Minecraft, Star Wars, Frozen, and more! Check out this video to learn more.

We will have a coordinating activity in our Maker Space to celebrate.  Students will be translating their initials into binary, then making a locker/desk decoration.

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Book Fair this Week!

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News for Week 13: 11/14 – 11/18/16

The PTO Scholastic Book Fair is this week in the library!  Part of the proceeds from the book fair benefit the PTO and help add wonderful books to our library collection.  Please stop by to shop!

Book Fair hours:

  • Wednesday, Nov 18  – 9am-4:15pm
  • Thursday, Nov 19 –  8:45am-3pm, 6:30-8:30pm
  • Friday, Nov 20 – 8:30-9:30am

Hope to see you there!

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Remembering Our Veterans

img_1260News for Week 12: 11/7 – 11/11/16

This week in library we are honoring Veterans Day through stories and letters.  1st graders are reading Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine, and a Miracle by Brian Dennis & Mary Nether.  2nd graders are reading The Wall by Eve Bunting (a fiction book) and comparing it to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (a nonfiction book).  5th graders are playing history detective while doing a primary source analysis of photos from the Rebecca Caudill book The Port Chicago 50.

This is a big week for 3rd graders!  They are embarking upon their American Indian research projects!  Students are being introduced to the tribes they will research, and they are making notes on their tribes.  Students are using the PebbleGo Next database on their iPads to find accurate information about their tribes.  4th graders are continuing to work on their Illinois state research.  They are finishing up making notes, and they are starting the scripts for their Shadow Puppets final projects.

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Off to the ISLMA Conference!

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-10-10-04-amNews for Week 11: 10/31/16 – 11/4/16

I am off to the Illinois School Library Media Conference this week Thursday & Friday !  I am SUPER excited to bring back what I learn to D30 and implement some new strategies in the Wescott Library!

A sub will be in the library to read and discuss Monarch award books with grades 1st & 2nd, to guide students in grades 3rd-4th as they work on research, and teach 5th grade students how to safely share their work using the Seesaw app.

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