Friday, January 31, 2014

Coding and Chocolate Covered Bananas (Digital and Print Information)

coding in Javascript

Every week RES scholars use both print and digital information in their learning. For instance, this week fourth graders continued work on their independent research "Capstone" projects. The scholar pictured above was answering his Capstone research question, "How do you create your own online game?" by learning to code in Javascript. The third grader pictured below taught herself how to make chocolate covered bananas using one of the library's cookbooks. Our 21st century scholars move back and forth between print and digital sources depending on their information needs. They are learning to judge their sources by their content and reliability as well as by their format.

learned to follow procedures from a library book

In other awesome library news this week, our fabulous RES art Teacher Joanna Elliott took some of our library books on a field trip. She attended a book signing by Jarrett Krosoczka, author-illustrator of the super popular Lunch Lady comic books as well as many other excellent titles. He was generous enough to sign and draw pictures in all our books...thank you Mr. Krosoczka, we think you rock too! And thank you Mrs. Elliott for making this happen!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

How Do Librarians File Marshmallows? (New Joke Books in the RES Library)

A few weeks ago, a third grade scholar pointed out that some of our old joke books just weren't that funny...and he was right! The RES library now has a new set of joke books.  These books are a great way to practice reading skills together with friends. They include gems like:

How do babies get to school? On the drool bus.

And the answer to the librarian marshmallow question in the title of this post?

They use the Gooey Decimal System.

Here's one more for you to guess:

Where do you learn how to meet people?

If you can't figure out the answer, it's in Jokes about School. Good luck!

All jokes are from Winter, Judy. Jokes about School. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 2011.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Robots and Tall Tales

"Boxy" the robot arrived in the library on Tuesday, and he has been a bit hit with scholars of all ages. He's the mascot of the RES Boxtops for Education program, which raises money for our school. More information about the program and how you can help is available on the RES school blog. Scholars are also checking out more books than usual about robots!

Third graders have been enjoying Tall Tales in the library, in connection with the Westward Expansion unit they are beginning in their classrooms. We have been looking for examples of exaggeration in these American folktales, and also connections to the experiences of real-life settlers. We asked, why did Paul Bunyan and his loggers move west across the country? Were these reasons the same as the pioneers? Why do you think that is?

Paul Bunyan

Friday, January 17, 2014

High-Interest Nonfiction

One focus in the RES library this year has been adding lots of new nonfiction books of high interest to our scholars. The Common Core State Standards suggest that scholars should be reading plenty of informational books, and our new nonfiction has been popular for recreational reading at all grade levels. These second and third graders couldn't even wait long enough to sit down before they started reading their new books about...


Jeff Gordon,

 origami, and


Friday, January 10, 2014

Winter Books, New Books!

The fabulous team of RES library volunteers has been filling the library windows with wonderful winter books for our scholars to enjoy. Books on display are always popular, but these were a particular hit especially with the first graders.

Also, the library received boxes and boxes of NEW BOOKS this week! Fortunately I had some help unpacking them...

...but the library office still looks like this!

Very soon they will all be out on the library shelves for RES scholars to enjoy...there's nothing like getting lost in a great new book.

Have a wonderful weekend! - Mrs. Redford

Friday, January 3, 2014

Capstone Projects, Hackschooling, Red Clover Reading

Fourth graders are beginning work on their Capstone Projects in their Enrichment Library classes. They will be spending the next five months working on these individual research projects on topics they choose themselves. Today they started by brainstorming possible topics they might want to learn more about. A few possible topics included:

  • Wolves
  • The Civil War
  • Music
  • Aliens
  • Sasquatch
  • Redwoods
  • The Mars Rover...

...and that was all from just one class! Mrs. Rankin and I can't wait to see the learning that goes on as these projects progress. A few more topic brainstorms:


Mars Rover

In connection with their classroom unit on persuasive writing, third graders watched a video of a 13 year old giving a persuasive speech about changing his education. They were impressed that he wrote his own talk about "hackschooling" and delivered it in front of an auditorium of adults as part of the TEDx talk series. They were able to identify his big idea and supporting details...what a great way to put their new skills to the test! The video will show below if you are interested in watching it (several students said they would like to watch it again with their families).

First and second graders began sharing this year's Red Clover books in the library. Named after Vermont's state flower, the Red Clover Award is Vermont's children's choice award for picture books. Every year, a group of teachers and librarians puts together a list of 10 Red Clover books. Students who read or listen to at least five titles from the list get to vote on their favorite book. Their votes, along with votes from students all over the state, help choose the Red Clover Award winner. More information about the program is available at the Red Clover website. Both first and second graders enjoyed our first Red Clover Book: One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo, illustrated by David Small.

One Cool Friend!

It was wonderful to see everyone back after holiday break! Have a great weekend. -- Mrs. Redford