Friday, December 11, 2015

Hour of Code 2015 at MWE

The week of December 7th is Computer Science Education week, and once again we joined the masses participating in the Hour of Code. The idea is to have every student work for one hour during this week to learn about computer programming using various websites, activities, apps, and technology. I was able to have grades 1st-5th grade all visit the library during that week to complete various activities, and we had lots of fun too!




FIFTH GRADE: Bonus: Robots!

Kindergarteners even got in on the fun and started learning about programming Dash robots using Blockly on their ipads!

If you are looking for more ways to get your students coding, use this Coding Symabloo page by Shannon Miller to find some great websites and resources!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Toddler Story Time - December 2015

December brought thoughts of the holidays, so we read Christmas stories and sang songs to help us Countdown to Christmas!

Our stories this month were:
 Bear Stays Up by Karma Wilson
 Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! by Doreen Cronin

And then we listened to "Up on the Housetop" while looking at the wonderful pictures in this book:

We ended our time by making a Christmas paper chain to count down the days until Christmas was here!

Click here to see the December Story Time slides.

Keep reading, friends! I hope you get lots of books as presents this holiday season!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Toddler Story Time - November 2015

In November we focused on being thankful for everything around us, from the trees to our friends to our bodies!

Our stories this month were:
 little tree  by Loren Long

 all of me! a book of thanks by Molly Bang

 Splat says Thank you! 

Our song was "Skinamarink" by Miss Nina:

Click here to see the entire November Story Time slideshow!

Keep reading and being thankful for all the stories we have to share!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Toddler Story Time - October 2015

October was our first monthly Toddler Story Time session. 
We read stories and sang songs to get us ready for Fall in Texas.

Our books were:
 Maple by Lori Nichols

 Little Owl's Night by Divya Srinivasan

Our song was "One Little Owl" from Muffin Songs:

To continue the owl theme we made these super cute owls:
Click here for the October Toddler Story Time slides!

Keep reading, friends!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Toddler Story Time 2015 Update

I have loved my Wednesday mornings with my littlest readers joining me in the Meadow Wood Library from the community to share 30 minutes together with stories, songs, and crafts. I have seen many of my little readers move from story time to Pre-K and Kindergarten students at my school. I have seen babies grow into toddlers and then into preschoolers. It has been one of my favorite times of the week for the last 3 years, so it is with much consideration that I am changing our story time schedule.
As of this month, due to scheduling conflicts, MWE Toddler Story Time will only be offered on the first Wednesday of the month from 8:15-8:45 AM. I hope I am able to bring more to these special days, and that more families will be able to join us!

So, in case you missed any of our September Story Times, here are the slides with our books and songs that we shared so far this year:

Mac Barnett Day

Friends to the End

Dot Day

Don and Audrey Wood Day

Kevin Henkes Day

Fall Story Time

As you can see we have been very lucky to have so many great authors visit our local bookstore, Blue Willow Bookstore, here in Houston. I love being able to share their stories with not only my students, but my community as well!
Please remember to keep reading to your children everyday!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Genrefying the Everybody Section: Part 2

After several days of sorting, I finally had a rough sorting of my picture books. I ended up using these categories (instead of genres) for my first round of sorting:

  • Historical stories
  • Humorous stories
  • Traditional stories (folk tales, fairy tales, nursery rhymes)
  • Family
  • School
  • Holidays
  • Children/Friends
  • Animal Characters
  • Dinosaurs and dragons
  • Sports
  • Vehicles
  • Science
  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Princesses
  • Pirates, ninjas, superhero
  • Cowboys
  • Wordless books
  • Art
  • Numbers
  • Alphabet
  • Words and books
Plus I already pulled out our "favorite authors", "favorite characters",  and easy reader books.
(A look at my books sorted into categories.)

As I started to put books onto the shelves, I quickly discovered that several categories were too large to really help my youngest students find what they were looking for. So I started trying to think of ways to further divide the categories of "historical fiction", "science", and "animal characters". I started with the historical fiction section, and will definitely pull out biographical/memoir stories and cultures of the world, but am still undecided about if I should divide U.S. history into "eras" or not. Next I will tackle science, which might turn into "the world around us" and "the animals around us" categories. When I take a look at the animal character books again, I might see if some could fall into some of my other categories, such as humorous, family, children/friends, and school.

In sharing my journey on Twitter, Kristen Murphy, a fellow librarian, shared a post by a public library that changed their picture books into neighborhoods. This article gave me something to think about, but I might ask a few students what they think before I make any changes! However my categories end up, I think it will make my picture book section much more accessible to my kindergartners and first graders! I can't wait to share it with them, but I've got some more work to do until then...

In case you want to take a look at how it is shaping up, here is a copy of the Periscope session I did earlier this week giving a visual tour of the process just after I finished sorting:
Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @ktlewis14 and @LibraryMWE to see more about my process and my reveal to students in a few weeks! 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Genrefying the Everybody Section

After 3 years of frustrated kindergarteners, I decided to reorganize my Everybody section! Being encircled daily by 5 and 6 year olds asking for "princess", "superhero", "dog", "ninja", and "dinosaur" books made me think there has to be a better way! So the process began by pulling out our "favorite authors, illustrators, and character" books:

Then I started making stacks of kindergarten topic requests:

I completed sections A-D today. Hoping to get everything sorted before school starts so I can recruit some volunteers to help sticker all of them!

What do you do to help your littles find the book they want on their own?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Spine Poetry 2015 Part 3

The last of the videos from our fourth grade poets:


Pecos Bill

Throne of Fire

This isn't what it looks like


The black pearl

Arthur writes a story


World War I

Under Wildwood (by Mrs. Lewis)

The Nobodies (by Mrs. Lewis)

We hope you enjoyed our poems! If you want to make your own, it's easy! First grab 4-5 books and line up the spines to make the lines in a poem. Then download the tellagami app and create your avatar. Finally, take a picture of your books and record yourself reading the titles as a poem. Then share it with a teacher or a parent or a friend!

Spine Poetry 2015 Part 2

More Spine Poetry videos:

Most Wanted

The Lost Hero


Old Willis Place

The Son of Neptune


The Magic Half

Something Big Has Been Here

Dying to Meet You

Spine Poetry 2015

As Poetry Month came to an end and testing season closed, Mrs. Morphey and I let her fourth graders once again produce Tellagami Spine Poetry videos. First we watched last year's videos to learn what to do and what NOT to do when making their poems. Once again I was very impressed with how unique each poem was and how creative they are with the book titles.
Here are their creations (in no particular order):

Kelsey Green, Reading Queen


Flying Beaver Brothers

Frightful's Mountain

One Spooky Night


On the Run


Monday, April 27, 2015

Book Ambassadors Assemble!

About a month ago, one of my book vendor reps, J'aimie Quick, asked me and a few other SBISD librarians to help pilot a Book Ambassador program. After watching a video from Andy Plemmons, I quickly said YES!

I surveyed my teachers for worthy candidates and met with my team of ten, 4 third graders and 6 fourth graders, to discuss their responsibilities. We worked on a school library survey to get input from all the grade levels. Their first task is to choose books from Capstone to spend my Bonus Rewards. Then next year they can choose to stay on the team and help use some of our library budget money to purchase books to fill gaps in our Fiction and Everybody sections. These kids were super excited, and gave up their recess time to help the Kindergarten and First grade students fill out the survey over several weeks.

Today we met to start the book selection process.

First they looked over the survey results to decide what kinds of books students wanted more of for our library. 
Our top categories were:

  1. Graphic Novels and Comics (Superheroes)
  2. Animals
  3. Drawing (and origami)
  4. Scary (and zombies)
  5. Fairy Tales
  6. Sports
Then they got to look through some sample titles from Capstone. (We had a couple of third graders visiting the library before the team arrived who migrated to the tables to take a look as well. Let's just say the superhero books were quite popular!)

 Then they each sat with several books from a category to decide if the book would be a good fit.
Before they left our session, they each had to pick a book they felt was a "MUST HAVE" book from the table. Here are a few of their opinions:

Then they got to look at all Capstone has to offer in their catalog! So many books were circled and pages marked! Each student was tasked with picking 10-12 books that matched our categories from the survey. I can't wait until our meeting next week when we start to build our ordering list!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Toddler Story Time: Feelings

Sometimes we feel happy. Sometimes we feel sad. Sometimes we feel scared. Sometimes we feel mad. Sometimes it's hard to know exactly how you feel. Which is what Grover and Dave Mathews sing about in this Sesame Street video:

Lots of people use colors to express how they are feeling, like the characters in the new Pixar movie, "Inside Out":

 My blue is happy  The same is true for the main character in our first book (a Texas 2x2 book) My Blue is Happy by Jessica Young.

Mix it up!Sometimes colors just make you feel better, like in Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet.

Crabby pants  Sometimes you just feel cranky! Crabby Pants by Julie Gassman 

Skippyjon Jones : color crazy Sometimes you just need to color! Skippyjon Jones: color crazy by Judith Schachner (on We Give Books)

And sometimes you just have to sing! "Happy Llama, Sad Llama" by Miss Nina

Keep reading lots of books... happy ones, sad ones, funny ones, silly ones.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Toddler Story Time: Bunnies

Today we read stories with bunnies to help us get ready for the Easter Bunny!

The black rabbit The Black Rabbit by Phillipa Leathers

My blue bunny, Bubbit My Blue Bunny Bubbit by Maggie Smith

Duck! Rabbit! Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Scuba bunniesCowboy bunnies Scuba Bunnies & Cowboy Bunnies 
by Christine Loomis

Songs we danced to:
BunnyTown Hop: we followed the directions and started our time with a great dance session!
Little Bunny Foo Foo from Speakaboos and Miss Nina 

We also used the pieces from this DLTK Rabbit Paper Craft page to make a bunny puppet out of a white paper bag. 

I think everyone is ready for some bouncy fun this weekend! And remember, books make a great Easter Basket present!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Toddler Story Time: Dream Life (March 25 post)

Today felt like a dreamy day... We just finished Spring Break and weather outside is just about perfect! Plus everyone is growing up so fast! We are learning about so many things! 
Who knows what we will be when we are really big!

Stories we shared:
When I was a girl-- I dreamedWhen I was a girl... I dreamed (Read to Me website)

One world, one dayOne world, One Day by Barbara Kerley

When I grow upWhen I grow up by Al Yankovic

Product DetailsDreams by Ezra Jack Keats

A dream is a wish your heart makes from Disney's Cinderella

One thing I hope every one of my little friends will do when they grow up is KEEP READING great books! 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Toddler Story Time: Cats

I am catching up on posts for my toddler story time from February 18th!

My choice of topic for this week's stories came after taking this picture of our family cat, Luna. Luna loves our feet, especially after we just come out of a nice warm shower! She also loves our shoes, and this night she laid down on my daughter's slippers and crawled as far into them as she possibly could! We love our "crazy cat"!

Which led me to think that there are lots of cat lovers out there with funny stories to share, so why not read about some of them!

Books we read:

A cat's day A Cat's Day by Rebecca Rissman

Cat tale Cat Tale by Michael Hall

Chester Chester by Melanie Watt

Cat secrets Cat Secrets by Jef Czakaj

Songs we sung:

Mickey's Mousekersize: "Minnie the Cat":

"Everybody wants to be a cat":

Until next time, cozy up with a purring cat and enjoy a good book!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Unwrap a new book to love!

Testing season had hit, and it is so hard to keep students excited about reading through it all! But I love how simply wrapping books from my library shelves creates such excitement! 
My wonderful volunteers wrapped hundreds of books in categories such as "if you like..." Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Magic Tree House, Ivy&Bean, Wonder, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and other popular types of books. Kids pick one from the shelf and wait to unwrap it when they get back to their class. This builds the excitement and enthusiasm. 
I love hearing, "I can't decide!" "I wonder what it will be!" and "Can I pick another one? I loved the last one I unwrapped!"

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Toddler Story Time Valentines

Today's story time was all about the special people we love and celebrate on Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day Books:
Mouse's first valentine

How do you hug a porcupine?

The Valentine Contest The Valentine Contest

We LOVED singing these songs together too!

Enjoy the rest of the week sharing extra hugs and lots of stories to love!
Try some of these activities from Scholastic too! 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Toddler Story Time Bookworm Festival: Dan Santat

THE BOOKWORM FESTIVAL IS THIS SATURDAY, January 31st from 9:30am to 11:30am at Spring Oaks Middle School! I am super excited to get to meet these great authors and hear them speak to the children they write and illustrate for!

Here is the Google Slideshow from this week's Toddler Story Time about Dan Santat!

And here are my Kindergarten friends playing "Musical Chairs" to look at all the wonderful books by our talented authors:

I hope you can join us for a Saturday morning that will be time well-spent!
Until then, keep reading!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Toddler Story Time - Bookworm Illustrators

Authors and Illustrators are my ROCK STARS, so I am so excited that BOOKWORM Festival is only 2 weeks away! I have the prestigious job of picking up some of our guests of honor from their hotel and bringing them to the site of the festival. It is quite fun to talk to authors and find out, that like you, they are real people with real lives and real families! So when authors are willing to spend a morning in our community talking and sharing with our emerging readers and their families, I just can't help but get excited!

Please visit the Bookworm website for the day's schedule.

This week our story time will focus on two of the talented illustrators coming: Deborah Freedman and Dan Hanna.

Deborah Freedman wrote and illustrated:

 Blue Chicken


 The story of Fish and Snail

Both stories mix whimsy, friendship, and creativity to make for wonderful stories to share with your favorite little reader.

Dan Hanna is the creator of the character Pout-Pout fish, found in the books by Deborah Diesen. Today we read:
 The Pout-Pout Fish


 The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark

Pout-Pout Fish learns many lessons about never giving up, finding the bright side of the situation, and being a good friend.

Our songs today included:
"The Fish Song" by Fun Songs for Children - make your fishy hand move along with the words!
"Chicken Bop" by StoryBots - you can't help but dance along to this beat!

To see all the songs Miss Nina sings, visit her YouTube Channel here or her website.  She has so many of our favorite songs and she just makes me smile!

Until next time, my friends remember to keep swimming and reading and smiling your days away!