Sunday, October 26, 2014

Texas Bluebonnet Award Announcement at Texas Book Festival

Sixteen poised, enthusiastic Forest North readers took to the Texas Book Festival stage yesterday and helped announce the 2015-2016 Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List.  This announcement is an annual highlight of the Texas Book Festival. These students read annotations and showed the books proudly, representing our school, district and state well. Congratulations to Ceil Raia (3rd), Sean Lee (3rd), Aiden Allgood (3rd), Lola Mutz (3rd), Luke Contreras (3rd), Savannah Ivey (3rd), Talia Simpkins (3rd), Da'quan Martin (4th), Bianca Sanchez (4th), Lilian Quach (4th), Hondo Sanchez (4th), Sebastian Guerra (5th), Abiha Zulfiqar (5th), Cecilio Sanchez (5th), Christopher McKinney (5th), and Mercedes Salazar (5th).  I was so proud of them!  Special shout out to Mrs. Shetty & Ms. Lynch who were there to support our students and cheer them on with me.  Check out this video for more information about next year's nominees and our students' memorable performances.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Divya Srinivasan Visiting 12/10!

Great news, Eagles! Divya Srinivasan, author of Little Owl's Night, Little Owl's Day, & Octopus Alone, is coming to visit Forest North on Wednesday, December 10th.  She will be giving presentations for FCC, PPCD, PreKindergarten, Kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade classes.  If you want to get her to sign a book and meet her personally, you're welcome to!  Just submit this order form to Mrs. Fournier with your preferred method of payment.  Remember that checks must have a valid state ID number and phone number.

We are so excited to have this talented author visit and give us insight into her creative process!  Check out this cool interview of her for more information.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Texas Book Festival on Saturday, 10/25!

It's my favorite time of year - the Texas Book Festival!  This special annual festival celebrates reading & books, and has tons of fun, free, family-friendly entertainment. This year is especially great because for the first time, STUDENTS are presenting the next year's Texas Bluebonnet Award nominees.  We are especially lucky this year because 16 lucky Forest North students will be part of this amazing announcement, coached by Ms. Lynch, 3rd grade teacher, and myself.  Come see us at 1:00 on Saturday to watch them present next year's list to an eagerly awaiting crowd of authors, teachers, librarians, and readers from across the country.  Our amazing, adorable, talented, well-read 16 student presenters are:

Ceil Raia (3rd)
Sean Lee (3rd)
Aiden Allgood (3rd)
Lola Mutz (3rd)
Luke Contreras (3rd)
Savannah Ivey (3rd)
Talia Simpkins (3rd)
Da'quan Martin (4th)
Bianca Sanchez (4th)
Lilian Quach (4th)
Hondo Sanchez (4th)
Sebastian Guerra (5th)
Abiha Zulfiqar (5th)
Cecilio Sanchez (5th)
Christopher McKinney (5th)
Mercedes Salazar (5th)

Multiplication Bee Winners!

You may remember my previous post about the fast-approaching 4th Grade Multiplication Bee!  Thirty five adventurous 4th graders participated yesterday in an ultimate battle of facts.  We had so much fun, and I think that when we do the spring rematch, we will have many more participants.  We started off with a visit from Noah in 5th grade, who won 2nd place last year, to tell us all about why multiplication is so important, and why participating in the bee was fun to him and helpful as he learned his facts.  The students loved hearing from him and it was fun for Mrs. Talley to get to hear from one of her former students!

We then explained how the bouts would work, and showed them our single elimination bracket.

When we got to our Elite 8, Final 4, Terrific 2 and our Champion, we took a quick photo break.  Check out these amazing mathematicians.  Congratulations to all of our participants for having the courage to do math in front of an audience.  We know it isn't hard, but you were all outstanding! We hope to see more of you participating in our rematch in the spring!

Monday, October 20, 2014

11/10: The Day the Crayons Quit @ FNE

Drew Daywalt's book The Day the Crayons Quit, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (my favorite picture book writer/illustrator!) is a unique book this year in RRISD because it's on this year's lists for both the Texas Bluebonnet Award & the Armadillo Readers Choice Award.

To celebrate this special coincidence, Forest North staff is having a special day on campus - a literal Day the Crayons Quit, on November 10th!  Students, during their usual Special Areas rotation, will rotate through six special activities brought to you by Instructional Technology Specialist Jeff Brewton, Counselors Jill Peyton & Iben Dyke, Art Teacher Angie Bell, Music Teacher Jeanie Hermansen, Physical Education Teacher Amanda Chadney, and of course, Librarian Kristen Fournier.  Through the rotation, they will make digital art, exercise, have a rhythmic dance party, express their feelings, watch a video produced by the illustrator, and play a cool online game called Kahoot!

Students are encouraged to dress in their favorite color to celebrate The Day the Crayons Quit (hat, socks, shoes, shirt, pants, or any combination), and we are hard at work making sure every student has a chance to read this book or have it read to them before our celebration. It's a wonderful book filled with so much humor and joy, and we are thrilled to come together to celebrate one book as a community. 

The sequel, The Day the Crayons Came Back, has just been announced as in pre-production.  I can't wait to read it!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Coins for Coats 2014!

What's that I hear?  The sweet sounds of coins dropping into juice jugs are about to ring out across campus! The Coins for Coats campaign across Round Rock ISD starts today.  Kids are encouraged to bring spare change & even dollar bills to donate, and all the money is given to the Round Rock Serving Center to help children in need of coats this winter.  All eligible students will be given information from the nurse to attend the Coat Drive on 10/25 at the Dell Diamond.  Thousand of students, including those at Forest North, will receive vouchers for these free coats, thanks in part to your change.

The most generous class will be invited to spend 30 minutes reading in the library with the lights off, while their teacher gets extended planning time.  We call it FLASHLIGHT FRIDAY!

Check out this flyer for more information about this program with a cause very close to our hearts.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Eagle Pride Ceremony

from left: Sydney, Sebastian, Natalie, Cameron, Ava, Alex, Danielle, Madison & Noah
For 4 years here at Forest North, I frantically wrote the KEGL Channel 16 Morning News show between 7:20-7:40 every school day.  It was a lot to do in 20 minutes, especially because we also needed time to practice lines, too.  Starting this year, instead of having 2 anchors do the show for an extended period of time, we hired 10 anchors, and split them into 5 teams.  Two anchors are assigned Monday, 2 for Tuesday, 2 for Wednesday, etc.  The kids are taking responsibility for their shows, and Ms. Bell & Mr. Braudrick can focus on the technical & technological sides of things, and help make sure teachers & PTA get their requested items in the show.

Meanwhile, the 5 KEGL anchor teams have also been meeting after school with me in the Library every Tuesday to write our scripts for the following week.  We pull together upcoming birthdays from staff and students, the upcoming lunch menus, and the school calendar.  We work on catchy hooks, funny things to say, and new, creative ways to get kids interested in our news bits.

These 5 teams met together last week for an additional, special assignment- to write a script for the upcoming brand new Eagle Pride Ceremony we are having once monthly.  We used to only have kids who won Eagle Pride Ceremonies come to a special ceremony in the gym.  Starting this year though, we have the entire school attend, and it's right at the beginning of school, when KEGL usually airs.  So instead, we did our show live!  The anchors had to write & memorize their lines, show lots of enthusiasm & respect, and present live in front of over 400 kids, 50 teachers, and tons of parents.  No pressure, Eagles.

They were amazing.  They were respectful, enthusiastic, emphatic, organized & prepared.  I was so proud to have them represent KEGL and myself.  Excellent job, guys.  I couldn't have asked for a better first crew to help me transition into this new student-led version of KEGL Channel 16 News! 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Bluebonnet Lunch Bunch: 5th Grade / Liar & Spy

About 55 students among our three 5th grade classes ate lunch in the library on Tuesday as our first meeting of the Bluebonnet Lunch Bunch.  This "Book Club" had a picnic while we listened to the first few chapters of "Liar & Spy" by Rebecca Stead, one of the twenty Texas Bluebonnet Award nominees.  We're meeting 17 times (on Tuesdays & Thursdays) and all taking the quiz together on the last day, when we celebrate our book.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Library Leaders Get to Work!

Fall 2014 Library Leaders had our first training earlier this week.  Two dedicated students from each 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th grade classes on campus met in the Library for our first meeting.  

During our meeting, we all got trained on checkout procedures.  Students will pick up crates before school to take to their classes, and bring everyone's books back to get checked in before their class arrives, so that we can save time on checking people's accounts. They will also be working the circulation desk while their class does group checkout, so they all learned how to help other students check out books.  Customer service is of the utmost importance!

We wrote thank you notes to all of our awesome Book Fair volunteers last week.  They helped me get 25 notes written in no time.  It was a big help, and my hands were grateful to not have to write them all alone!

We took photos for their Adopt a Shelf labels- check out some (but not all of them) right here- quite the helpful-looking bunch, no?  I'm so excited to get working with all of them! They learned what a beautiful shelf looks like.  They'll get assigned their own personal shelf soon!

Finally, we picked our work shifts for each week.  4-6 students will be helping during our Wake Up & Read Club before school each day from 7:20-7:35, helping students find books, check them out, taking Bluebonnet quizzes, and getting back with their class before the tardy bell rings & KEGL Channel 16 News starts.  

Can't wait to get started, Eagles.  Thanks so much for volunteering to help our in the library and help things run smoothly!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Bookathon: Pre-Thanksgiving 2014

I'm planning something fun for us to keep the reading going even when school is out. Check out this Prezi for more information. I'm thinking about calling this weeklong event BOOKATHON, and it's for us to make a plan to keep the reading going even during our week long Thanksgiving break this year. It's going to be fun, Eagles!

Monday, October 6, 2014

"It's an Idea Space"

What can we do, at school & at home, to help our students feel this way?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Bluebonnet Lunch Bunch

I'm excited to start our Bluebonnet Lunch Bunch programs for 4th & 5th grades next week! We started a version of this program last fall, and I'm excited to streamline it to help our students participate in the Texas Bluebonnet Award program and to get them excited about reading. I do everything I can to support a culture of reading at Forest North, and I think this is one part of that. Check out these flyers for more information- feel free to print them out and turn them in, or check your student's folder for the paper copy that was distributed at school. No parent signature needed- I just ask for students to sign to show their commitment to sticking with the whole club.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sir ReadaLot's Castle Scavenger Hunt

Coming to the PTA Fall Festival tomorrow night from 5:00-8:00, Eagles?  I hope so.  If not, you can still support the Library by shopping our online Book Fair.  But if you can make it tomorrow night, I'll be working at the Book Fair, and I'd love to see you!  There will be tons of family fun going on all around campus. One activity is this scavenger hunt- get a head start on planning your trip around the Fall Festival to answer these questions.  Every Book Fair purchase also gets a coupon good for 3 free Fall Festival tickets!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sir ReadaLot's Castle - Enter the Kingdom of Books!

The Book Fair has been a bustling hub of activity this week and we raise money for new library books.  Our best sellers have definitely been Sisters by Raina Telgemeier, Jedi Academy: Return of the Padawan by Jeffrey Brown, and of course, all of the Minecraft books.  We also are pre-selling the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book before it comes out in a few weeks!  Can't make it in?  Buy online here!

We had a great time on Tuesday night doing a show for the Book Fair King, Mr. Braudrick.  Lots of students and staff did a talent show to impress him.  Our winners were Katie Albin & her singing dogs, and alumni Shelby Mills and her "dragon," Harper Fournier.  Congratulations, ladies!