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!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Bookworm Festival 2015 - Tad Hills

I am so excited about the wonderful authors and illustrators coming to the Bookworm Festival to visit with our emerging readers! It is on Saturday, January 31 from 9:30-11:30 am (doors open at 9:00) at Spring Oaks Middle School.


We will be reading books by many of the authors and illustrators from the festival over the next few weeks. Today we sampled some of the books by TAD HILLS:


See what kids have to say about How Rocket learned to Read HERE.

Watch as Tad Hills draws Rocket at the Gaithersburg Book Fest 2014:

We also practiced our ABCs with Miss Nina so we could learn to read with Rocket too!

For more information about the Bookworm Festival 2015, please visit

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Macy's Believe 2014

One of my favorite activities that I do during the month of December is participate in the Macy's Believe Campaign. I love it's message of belief, even when all you can do is feel something inside you. And I love that they give $1 for every letter I collect to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This year I was able to get all 23 classes into the library to write letters during the week before Winter Break. We collected close to 500 letters, which I proudly deposited in the big red mailbox at the West Oaks Macy's before heading home to start my break! What a wonderful way to start the Christmas Season!

Why Hour of Code Matters

Last year a group of fourth grade moms brought Hour of Code to my attention and asked if they could help me facilitate sessions for the fourth grade classes in the library. I said yes without knowing much about what coding was much less what I would have to do to make this happen. Thank goodness for and the step by step lessons that made "teaching" this to those students so easy!

So when our district technology department encouraged all schools to participate in Hour of Code this year in some way, I immediately started working on a schedule for our third, fourth, and fifth grade classes. Other than having to do some "offline" lessons with my first group while got their website ready for millions of students, all went well and sparked excitement that continued into the following weeks before our Winter Break.

Fourth Grade tried

Third Grade worked on

Fifth graders built on their Fourth Grade experience from last year and tackled several lessons:

Some first and second graders tried Tynker too!

And then a fourth grader shared with me his independent work on Scratch:

Hearing the cheers of students as they successfully complete a puzzle, seeing them help one another, and unlikely leaders emerging were just some of the benefits I witnessed while "instructing" students on coding during the week of December 8-12 in the library. The teachers who came with their classes were impressed with the skills the students needed to use in order to problem-solve and program their computers. All of the teachers told their classes that this would be something they would be allowed to work on again in their classrooms, which was met by cheers of "yes!" from students who were not quite ready to stop when they had to leave for the day.

Coding is one of the languages that our students will have to have some knowledge of as they become the leaders and developers of the future. I can't wait to see what my Kinder, First, and Second graders can do in January as our coding continues!