Monday, October 9, 2017

Grade 2 Covers Inspired by The Z Was Zapped

Second graders are reviewing how call numbers help us find books in the library.

We read The Z Was Zapped by Chris Van Allsburg, which features the letters of the alphabet meeting sad fates. The students had to guess the action happening to them, which started with the same letter; for example, the F was flattened by a foot and the Q was quartered. I love when students come up with words that neither Van Allsburg nor I had though of ... this year, it was "the G was Godzilla'd" and "the W was worn (out)."

Then the kids created their own version of the book, as well as their personal call number. I'm going to put their work into a binder that can be checked out and brought home as a library book. Here is a preview:

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sorting Books with Grade 1

Part of our grade 1 focus in library is sorting and categories. As an introduction to how the library is arranged, I gave groups of first graders a pile of books and asked them to sort them into two categories. They came up with so many different ways to arrange the piles, I was impressed, including:
  • softcover v. hardcover
  • big v. little
  • chapter books v. picture books
  • fiction v. nonfiction (which is the focus of our next lesson!)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Three of These Things with Grade 1

A big part of information literacy is being able to recognize patterns and to categorize facts, sources, etc. We're starting to work on these skills in first grade. 

Last week's lesson in the unit is one of my favorites; it involves the original Three of These Things from Sesame Street. Original as in from the 1970s. I showed several sample videos to the kids, and they raised their hands as soon as they figured out what didn't belong. Here's one of them:

Then it was the students' turn to pretend they were segment producers and come up with their own "Three of These Things" example. Can you tell what doesn't belong?

Monday, October 2, 2017

What Ms. Moore Read in September

Here are some of the most recent books I've read and recommend for my students. They're all available from the public library, but any donations towards getting them into our collection are most welcome! Cover images and descriptions are from Goodreads.

Picture Books

Everything is yellow, red, orange. Everything is chilly, frisky, gusty.

Everything is changing, turning. It’s the middle of Fall.

Can you see it? 
Can you taste it?
Can you smell it?
Can you imagine it?

It starts with an ALLIGATOR and a BEAR chasing a CAT. When a DRAGON (and a chicken and an egg!) join in pursuit, things start to get REALLY interesting. A wild and wacky chase through snow and ice, and to jungles and over mountaintops, leads the whole crew to a wonderful realization: They're better off as friends. (NOTE: I think I'll use this for Mock Caldecott and in the future with "Oops! Pounce! Quick! Run!" ... you can borrow last year's Grade 1 version of that book from our library.)

Middle Grade Novels

Magnolia Grace never wanted to leave Georgia. She never wanted to move with her mama to the farm her daddy owned before he died. But now here she is, in a tiny Vermont town where everybody sings the praises of the father Maggie never knew. Then Maggie meets the Parker family—two moms, six kids, plus a pony. The Parkers are loud and wild, ask lots of questions, and don't follow any of the rules Maggie grew up with in Georgia. Suddenly Maggie has questions too. 


Noah Webster - famous for writing the first dictionary of the English language as spoken in the United States - was known in his day for his bold ideas and strong opinions about, well, everything. Spelling. Politics. Laws. You name it, he had something to say about it. He even commented on his own opinions! With a red pencil in hand, Noah often marked up work that he had already published. So when Noah's ghost came across this new picture book biography, he couldn't help but make a few suggestions! 

Who was Grace Hopper? A software tester, workplace jester, cherished mentor, ace inventor, avid reader, naval leader—AND rule breaker, chance taker, and troublemaker. Grace Hopper coined the term “computer bug” and taught computers to “speak English,” and throughout her life succeeded in doing what no one had ever done before. Delighting in difficult ideas and in defying expectations, the insatiably curious Hopper truly is “Amazing Grace” . . . and a role model for science- and math-minded girls and boys. (NOTE: We may read this in December as part of Computer Science Week.)

From prominent leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jackie Robinson to children and teenagers, it was the people speaking out and working for civil rights through sits-ins, freedom rides, and marches who led John F. Kennedy to take a stand. And with his June 11, 1963, civil rights address, he did. 

This is the story of JFK—from his childhood to the events that led to his game-changing speech and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Corey and Christie offer a deeply human look at our country’s thirty-fifth president, underscoring how each one of us, no matter who we are, have the power to make a difference.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Labeling Book Parts with Grade 2

Grade 2 students showed that they knew how to assign E call numbers as well as label parts of a book.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

How Grade 2 Will Have an AWESOME Year

We want second grade to be AWESOME!!!! After watching this video from Kid President, grade 2 students came up with a list of ways to make this year awesome in class, in library, and in general.

  • Be nice.
  • Pay attention.
  • Help other people.
  • Learn.
  • Raise your hand.
  • Help teachers.
  • Be respectful.
  • Be kind to one another.
  • Don't talk when the teacher's talking.
  • Play nice.
  • Help people that are getting bullied.
  • Care about other people.
  • Pick up trash that other people leave on the ground.
  • Be nice to your sisters.
  • Do chores for your family.
  • Grow plants.
  • Do what your parents say.
  • Be nice to animals.
  • Stop bullying.
  • Play video games.
  • Listen to teachers when they're talking.
  • Eat more vegetarian food.
  • Be quiet when you're supposed to.
  • One person talks at a time.
  • Keep your hands to yourself.
  • Don't fool around.
  • Share with people.
  • Recycle.
  • Try your hardest.
  • Don't be fresh.
  • Treat books nicely.
  • Listen to Kid President.
  • Don't lie.
  • Don't listen to what bullies say.
  • Don't act like a baby.
  • Don't get up unless the teacher says it's ok.
  • Don't push people.
  • Don't do backflips inside.
  • Don't copy other people's work.
  • Don't use bad language.
  • Always soar like an Eagle at Oak Lawn School.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

What Ms. Moore is Reading - Vacation Weeks 9 &10

Here are some of the most recent books I've read and recommend for my students. They're all available from the public library, but any donations towards getting them into our collection are most welcome! Cover images and descriptions are from Goodreads.

Picture Books

Everybody has a favorite color. Some like blue balloons or brown buildings or mint green ice cream cones. Others prefer sunshine yellow, Maine morning gray, or Mexican pink. In What's Your Favorite Color?, 15 children's book artists draw their favorite colors and explain why they love them.Contributors include: Eric Carle, Lauren Castillo, Bryan Collier, Mike Curato, Yuyi Morales, and Melissa Sweet. NOTE: I'm going to add this to our Mock Caldecott list. 

Do you know where your butt is? Morty the penguin has no idea! He’s pretty sure he has one, but where IS it? So he does what any reasonable penguin would do: ask. But no one in the South Pole can help—not the other penguins, not the polar bear who shouldn’t be there, and definitely not the seal who wants to eat him for dinner. So Morty goes on a wild trip—from his frozen home to the steamy South American jungle and finally to outer space—to find the answer. 

Middle Grade Novels

Binny Cornwallis has lost something. Something that wasn't really hers in the first place. With her best enemy Gareth and her beloved dog Max she turns detective to track it down, but the Cornwallis family are anything but helpful. Little brother James and his friend Dill are having an adventure of their own and big sister Clem is acting very strangely. And on top of all this, Binny suspects their next-door neighbour may be a witch ...

To Molly Nathans, perfect is: the number four; the tip of a newly sharpened number two pencil; a crisp, white pad of paper; her neatly aligned glass animal figurines. What’s not perfect is Molly’s mother leaving the family to take a faraway job with the promise to return in one year. Molly knows that promises are often broken, so she hatches a plan to bring her mother home: Win the Lakeville Middle School Slam Poetry Contest. But as time goes on, writing and reciting slam poetry become harder. Actually, everything becomes harder as new habits appear, and counting, cleaning, and organizing are not enough to keep Molly’s world from spinning out of control.


Margaret Hamilton loved numbers as a young girl. She knew how many miles it was to the moon (and how many back). She loved studying algebra and geometry and calculus and using math to solve problems in the outside world. Soon math led her to MIT and then to helping NASA put a man on the moon! She handwrote code that would allow the spacecraft’s computer to solve any problems it might encounter. Apollo 8. Apollo 9. Apollo 10. Apollo 11. Without her code, none of those missions could have been completed. NOTE: I'll be reading to Grade 1 as part of our Hour of Code lessons in December.

Moto and Me tells the firsthand story of wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas’s care for an orphaned baby serval—a small, spotted wildcat—in Kenya. When a grass fire separates the serval from his family, a ranger asks Suzi, who is living in a bush camp and is skilled with animals, to be the serval’s foster mom.

The book chronicles Suzi’s tender care of Moto, including how she feeds, bathes, and plays with him, and helps him develop hunting skills. Her goal is to help him learn how to survive on his own in the wild. After 6 months, he is ready to leave—a difficult good-bye, but exactly what Suzi had worked for.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

New E-Books for August

Did you know that you can check out e-books from our school collection? I'll be adding new titles every month thanks to our membership in RILINK's BookLynx program.


For fans of Mercy Watson
(although I haven't read,
so I can't confirm)


  • Blume, Judy: Freckle Juice
  • Buyea, Rob: Because of Mr. Terupt
  • DiCamillo, Kate: Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln? (Tales from Deckawoo Drive #3) 
  • Gantos, Jack: Dead End in Norvelt
  • Korman, Gordon: Framed (RICBA Nominee Framed! A T.O.A.S.T. Story by James Ponti is also available)
  • Lupica, Mike: Fast Break
  • McDonald, Megan: Judy Moody Saves the World!

  • Animal Myths, Busted! by Jodie Mangor
  • Drones by Jodie Mangor
  • Inventing the Cell Phone by Jodie Mangor


Via computer

1. Click on this link and then log in

  • User Name: CKL and your lunch code (school ID number)
Example: CKL12345
  • Password: Your birthday in 6 digits (MMDDYY)
Example: If you were born on May 5, 2009, your password would be 050209

2. Search for the book

3. When you find it, click on the "Checkout" button to claim it.

Via a device

To check out the e-book to a device like a phone or tablet, download the Destiny Discover app. Once installed and open, it will ask you to find your library and then have you log in.

NOTE: Any checkouts to your account will be available via all platforms.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

TBR - August 22

Here is my latest to-be-read piles after a couple of trips to the public library:

Kids, post YOUR TBR pile as a comment, along with your initials and last year's homeroom, and you can pick from the prize box the next time I see you (and add another book to your pile).