Friday, December 19, 2014

Leisl Shurtliff Visiting January 13th!

It's going to be a great spring semester, and we're starting off with a bang!  We are thrilled to host Leisl Shurtliff for an author visit on January 13th!

Leisl will be here for two performances where she will talk about her Texas Bluebonnet Award nominated title, Rump, and her new book, coming out in April, called Jack. Learn more information about these books on Leisl's website.

Our schedule for the 13th will be as follows:

11:30-12:15 lunch with students (more on that later)
12:15-12:30 set up for presentations
12:30-1:15 5th grade & Ms. Velasquez' classes
1:15-1:30 sign books
1:30-2:15 3rd grade, Mrs. Talley & Ms. Neely's classes
2:15-2:30 sign books

As you can see, Leisl will be available to sign books.  Preorders will be accepted at a discount rate, so plan ahead to get a book, and Leisl will be on hand to sign it here at school on the 13th.  If you do not submit a preorder, you are still welcome to purchase a book on 1/13 but will not receive the discounted rate Barnes & Noble has so graciously offered us.

Leisl has also agreed to eat lunch with a handful of lucky readers. 3rd-5th grade students who are interested in eating lunch with this author will need to have passed the Rump Bluebonnet quiz in the library by 1/9, and submit a one page persuasive letter giving the reasons why they should be chosen. 

Please welcome me in joining this celebrated author to our school.  This is sure to be a fascinating experience that will enrich the reading & writing lives of our students.  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

2nd Grade Color Challenge Finishers

Mrs. Vetter and I congratulated 38 well-read 2nd graders at our Rainbow Challenge party today at lunch.  Students were challenged by the library and their teachers to read 8 books off a possible list.  3 different lists were developed according to reading level so that each student could feel successful.  We picked different kind of series, fiction and nonfiction, so that kids could be exposed to new genres, authors and subjects, in hopes that they'll be interested in more books afterwards. Once they read the 8 books, they got their photo taken to be aired on the morning announcements.

At today's party, we surprised the kids by reading one of next year's Texas Bluebonnet Award nominees, When the Beat Was Born by Laban Carrick Hill. It's a biography of hip hop's "grandfather," DJ Kool Herc.  Afterwards, we danced to one of his songs!  It was fun.

Next, we all got a special colorful necklace, a tasty treat, and a free book to keep at home forever!  The kids were super excited about these prizes, and they earned them.  We're so proud of their goal setting and goal reaching.  

Check out these photos of our decorations, the swag, and our amazing readers!

 For more information about the Color Challenge (or its former iteration, the Rainbow Reading Challenge) check out our other posts!

Happy reading, Eagles!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Danielle Book Club: Maze Runner

As you can imagine, I am in a LOT of book clubs. One of my very favorites though, is a group of 5th grade girls where I'm not the leader!  We're called the Danielle Book Club, after our friend Danielle who started the club but moved away a couple months ago. 

I don't have to collect books, help figure out which book we're reading next, decide when we're meeting, or anything. It's so nice to just be a participant once in a while.  We elected President Ava & Vice President Madison.

We read Maze Runner by James Dashner, and then some of us went to see the movie last week!  Check out Mackenzie, Mireia, and me outside of the theater.

Next we're reading Eye of Minds, also by James Dashner.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Winter Bookathon!

Well, Eagles, it's the last week before winter break.  We're busy making plans for our 18 day vacation- what are you going to read in those 18 days?

To encourage reading over break, we made some cute winter bookmark raffle tickets for you.  On Thursday, we will be drawing numbers on our morning news show to give out reading prizes!

Parents, please email photos of your student reading over winter break to Mrs. Fournier, Librarian, or your classroom teacher, or post them on the Forest North Facebook page!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Divya Srinivasan Author Visit Wrap Up

First Grade Students watch and Divya Srinivasan demonstrates how she writes and illustrates her picture books.

Special art made for us by Divya Srinivasan during her visit
We had a great visit with Divya Srinivasan yesterday. She spoke to us about the importance of revision, research, author's purpose, and having ideas ready to write. 

She showed us some photos of creatures from her books that showed up on her aunt's Critter Cam in NM.  I never knew owls took baths in ponds!  

She shared her writer's notebook with us, showed us the special software she uses for making her amazing books (and designed some special turtles for us!), and was kind enough to meet and sign books for many students!  Mrs. San Miguel, 1st grade teacher, said, "Thank you for bringing in the author today for the kids. What a great experience for them and us as well! I really appreciate all the hard work you put into the extra things you do!"

We have 6 of her books to share in our library, and she signed all of those too, so be sure to put a hold on one so you can take it home too.  

Mrs. Albin, Kindergarten teacher said of the visit, "Our students were enthralled to see an author and illustrator in action!  They were able to take what she said and make applications to their own writing in the classroom."

Kindergarten students watch and learn. 

Jasmyn gets her book signed by Divya Srinivasan.

Thanks so much for visiting us, Divya.  We learned a lot and had so much fun.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

5th Grade Lunch Bunch Wrap Up

Have you ever done a simultaneous supertaster test with 35 fifth graders?  I have and it was awesome!

35 fifth graders stuck with me from October through December, meeting during lunch in the library twice a week to listen to the audiobook of Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead, a 2014-2015 Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee.  #txbluebonnetaward I really admire their persistence and willingness to stick to a goal and finish strong.  We loved the plot twists at the end.

On the last day, we did a taste test similar to the one in the book, but more an opposite, because instead of just a few people not tasting anything, most of us tasted nothing.  In the book, they tasted for PROP.  We tasted for the supertaster gene.  Check out these students right before they taste it!

It was a blast, guys.  Thanks so much for eating lunch with me in the library the past few months!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie

Mrs. Peyton, Counselor, and I led a Friendship Book Club with 2nd grade girls this fall.  We read Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg.  

It's about a girl named Eleanor who is so sad because her babysitter, Bibi, has to move to Florida to take care of her sick father.  Eleanor and her family have a tough time getting used to Bibi's absence, and to Natalie, Eleanor's new babysiter.  Eleanor works through it though, and over time, grows to love Natalie too.  It's a funny, great book, with a couple sequels too! 

To celebrate finishing the book, our six participants were invited to make their own green felt pickle bookmark, and we tried pickles, cookies, and even pickle juice on a cookie!  Check out our syllabus on the photo for more information about this fun book club.  

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

5th Grade Friendship Book Club Celebration featured on RRISD District website

Mrs. Peyton & I ran a book club to encourage new friendships as we read Apothecary by Maile Meloy with a group of 5th grade girls. Our book club was featured on the RRISD website!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Barnes & Noble Wrap Up

We had a blast at Barnes & Noble on Saturday coming together as a community and raising money for our PTA.  Between our gift wrapping tip jar and people buying B&N products to support our school, we raised over $1300!  Thanks so much to all of your generous purchases & tips. If you couldn't make it out, make sure you make any online purchases before 12/10 with voucher #11524493
Special thanks to the organizers for our grade level events - Mrs. Albin & Mrs. Miller's Gingerbread Gallery, Ms. Matuschak's First Grade Authors, Ms. Johnson's Book Reviews, Third Grade Team's Multiplication Facts, and 4th Grade's Poetry Slam!  Madison Healy & Ava Mashburn were awesome at leading up 5th Grade's "Cup Song" performance, too.  Here's a photo of them practicing in the library last week- lots of singing & fun!
We also had lots of club activities- thanks for the Art Gallery, Mrs. Bell!  We loved the Choir Performance, Mrs. Hermansen.  "Domo arigato" to Mr. Brewton & Mr. Martir for the awesome Robotics demonstration!  Thanks to Ms. LeSage for facepainting & PTA parents for running the Yearbook Cover art contest. Thanks to Mr. Hashbarger for running the cupstacking tournament, Mrs. Shetty & Mrs. Rideaux-Glasper for the beautiful monologue performances, Mrs. Stewart's TAG Project Presentations, and to Mrs. Hermansen, Mrs. Lavender, Ms. Jacobs, Mrs. Talley, Mrs. James, Ms. Velasquez & Ms. Moore for bringing family members for our "Meet the Family" Event!

I appreciate all of our skilled gift wrappers: Mrs. Hoover, Mrs. Jewert, Mrs. Keery, Mrs. Bordic, Mrs. Routt, Mrs. Vetter, Mrs. Peyton, Ms. Jacobs, Mrs. Talley, Mrs. Lavender, Ms. Decker, Ms. Johnson, Mrs. Christo, and a special thanks to Mrs. Pieper & Elizabeth Pieper for filling in as needed!

Thanks to Library Leaders for helping me stand at the front door and identify our supporters:  Lillian, Griffin, Abiha, Ceil, Lola, Belle, Cam, Gabriel, Uriah & Elizabeth!
Thanks to Barnes & Noble for hosting us so graciously and letting us crowd their store! We're so excited to count them as a community partner and love working with them.  Thanks for the generosity, B&N!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Barnes & Noble Book Fair on Saturday!

The place to be this Saturday is Barnes & Noble! We're having our 4th annual Book Fair on 12/6, from 10AM-9PM. Our Barnes & Noble is located right near Lakeline Mall at the Homestead Shopping Center. The address is 14010 U.S. 183, Austin, TX 78717.
Students are invited to shop with their families, because Barnes & Noble has agreed to donate 15% of all sales from FNE supporters back to our PTA. Last year we made over $3600 in the 11 hours we were there, which was three times as much as usually make with a book fair in the library, where we have to shut the library down for a week, make our own decorations, and cancel all lessons and checkout for 5 days.
Purchases made in the cafe (like the special Forest North vanilla coffee-free frappuccino, colored red or blue special for our Eagles!), holiday cheesecakes pre-ordered, books, Nooks and any other merchandise will apply towards our total. Every little bit helps! We've got hours of fun entertainment planned for Eagles and their families. The key to our success last time was the involvement of our faculty, staff, students and their families.  Check out our schedule of events below

Can't make it?  Shop online through 12/10/14 with our special voucher #11524493!

Fourth Grade Lunch Bunch Wrap Up

Over 40 fourth graders dined in the library twice a week since October as we listened to Newbery award winning book Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo.  It is nominated for the Texas Bluebonnet Award this year, and we're working towards qualifying to vote. 

We listened to the book, took the quiz together, and had a blast.  We might have even had a doughnut, Ulysses' favorite, after our lunch, sponsored by Central Donuts on Anderson Mill.

Thanks for eating lunch and reading with me, 4th graders!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Divya Srinivasan Author Visit

It's almost here- our 12/10 author visit with Divya Srinivasan.  We're so excited to hear her talk about her amazing 3 books!  The period of pre-ordered books has lapsed, but you can still purchase a book at retail price for her visit, and she'll autograph it for you! Check out this presentation for more information, or click on the order form below to print a copy.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Bookathon Success

We had so many students come to tell us how many books they read over Thanksgiving break, and how it was the most reading-filled break they've had since they started school.  Way to stick with your goals, Eagles!  We have another opportunity in a few weeks to try again.

Here are some photos of students reading over break that they submitted.  Thanks, Eagles, and keep reading!