Thursday, May 28, 2015

Summer Reading Rocks at Spicewood Springs Library!

Remember I talked last week about getting a card for our local public library (the Spicewood Springs Branch of the Austin Public Library) and getting to read all summer long?.

Well, Soleil & Heather, who are Spicewood Springs librarians, came to visit us at Forest North today and tell us about the fun stuff they have going on this summer at their library!  They mentioned clowns, Lucas Miller, storytellers, puppet shows, and Super Smash Brothers Tournaments!  Check out more details below, and thanks again to Soleil & Heather for coming to tell us about their fun events!  Feel free to click on the images for larger print.  Happy Reading, Eagles!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

36 library items left to turn in!

Friday, May 22, 2015

All Library Materials Due Today!

I stayed up at work late last night printing out overdue notices and counting how many books we still had due before tomorrow - as of last night, it was 675!  We made a lot of of headway today though and lots of responsible students & staff members turned in lots of books.  I can't wait to run the report again and see where we stand!

For all classes who turn in all of their books (or pay for any lost ones), there is a popsicle party in your future!

Congratulations to Ms. Velasquez's 4th grade class for ALREADY earning their popsicle party a day early.  I mean, has that even happened before? I don't think so.  I'm so proud of them.  It was fun to tell them the good news on Thursday morning!  So thanks, Ms. Velasquez & her class, for being so responsible- can't wait to eat a popsicle with you outside next week!  I'll put them in the freezer tonight!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Armadillo Readers Choice Award Results for RRISD!

Well the final votes are in across RRISD!  Forest North was highly representative of the district at large because our winners were the same as the RRISD winners!  With over 9,000 votes, children in grade Kindergarten through second have voted their favorite Armadillo Readers Choice Award title!  With over 3,500 votes, Mustache Baby is our winner.  You never know - maybe author Bridget Heos will be visiting our campus next year to celebrate (hint hint!)  The Day the Crayons Quit earned over 1,900 votes and landed in 2nd, and Carnivores got 1,300 votes, which puts it in 3rd place for the year.

Thanks so much to my lovely fellow Armadillo Readers Choice Committee members, especially our chairs, Emily Kupersztoch & Ami Uselman, for helping put together this great list last spring.  Great job, guys!  I can't wait to see how the kids love next year's list!

Our Battle of the Armadillos via Kahoot was so fun.  The top scorer across Forest North Elementary was Jesus in Ms. Johnson's class, who was the only person to break the 1,600 kahoots mark!  He only got 1 question wrong out of 20, and says that one he accidentally clicked the wrong one.  Go Jesus!  I'm expecting big things from you now for the Texas Bluebonnet Award next year!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Armadillo Readers Choice Voting Results for Forest North!

The votes are in for the 2014-2015 Armadillo Readers Choice Award at Forest North Elementary.  We had a great time at our voting iPad parties, voting electronically and playing a fun trivia game called Battle of the Armadillos. Here are the winners, so far.  Ms. Johnson's class is the last to play this week, but submitted their votes last week before the deadline.

So, without further adieu, I give you the winners at Forest North.  They have been submitted, and will be tallied with every other elementary school in RRISD to find our true winner! 

With 27 votes, our 3rd place winner was The Day the Crayons Quit!  With 28 votes (so close!), our 2nd place winner was Carnivores!  And with a whopping 54 votes, the winning Armadillo book at the campus level is Mustache Baby by Bridget Heos!  

Monday, May 18, 2015

3rd Grade Book Club Wrap Up

Our 3rd grade book club read Quinny & Hopper this spring and loved it.  To celebrate this upcoming 2015-2016 Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee about friendship, we had a final fun activity where we made friendship bracelets!  Mrs. Peyton worked with some of our readers to make shoestring necklaces, while Sami & Chasity taught us how to make those popular loom bracelets with little rubber bands just using our fingers, while Kieron and I tried to make sense of the loom version.  Long story short - Sami & Chasity were totally right.  Check out our adventures!  Mrs. Peyton & I had a blast working with this group, who did a great job being responsible and staying up with their reading. 

Mrs. Peyton giving them the news about our bracelet projects!

Kieron & me tried figuring out the loom with Ethan, but we just couldn't do it!

Sami teaches us the hand technique.  Totally easier!

Boys working on the loom.

Chasity's beautiful shoestring necklace

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Partners in Education Foundation Board Members Visit Forest North

Last week I posted about our animal research projects in 1st grade.  We practiced doing research on animals with books and digital resources, and also had a lesson on presentation skills.  We invited the RRISD Partners in Education Foundation Board members to come watch us present what we learned on Friday, 5/15/15.  We were thrilled to receive both Vice President Ruth Ann Dickensheets and Board Member Lisa Cauble. They were so generous with their time to stop by and learn about animals with us.  Check out this video of our presentations and our time we spent with the Board members.

Thanks so much to Mrs. James & Mrs. San Miguel and their classes for opening their rooms to the PIE Foundation Board members and to me so that the library could show how the grant money was put to good use!  Our $1000 bought us many new animal books that the students used for their research projects this year, and provided a great springboard for showing how good research can be a blend between print and digital resources.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Finishing 5th Grade Book Club

I caught Madison reading in the edges yesterday while waiting to go home and had to snap a photo.  She's reading The Raft by S.A. Bodeen, which is our very final title for our 5th Grade Book Club.  We call it the Danielle Book Club after our friend who moved away earlier this year.

Madison is one of 13 fifth graders who vote with me on which book we're reading next.  We always have so many on the ballot, it's hard to choose a favorite, but this is our next one!

I realized yesterday that this is probably the last book I'll enjoy with this group of kids, after six years of reading together.  That's a big deal.  I'm going to miss them bunches when they move on to Deerpark Middle School next fall.  Keep reading, you super stars!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Forest North Faculty Book Club

Did you know teachers read too?  It's true!  Every month, I organize a book club for all the grown ups at Forest North.  Everyone is invited.  We each bring a snack to share, meet at someone's house, and talk about the book.  We always keep lists of what books we are interested in reading, and vote for what to read next.  It's so fun!  

This year, which is our 3rd or 4th year doing it, we made a commitment to read more books faster!  We've been meeting once a month.  Check out these books we've read this since 2014 started!

Are you in a book club with a pal?  Are you in a book club with Mrs. Fournier?  What have you read lately that you'd recommend?

Presenting Research

Earlier in the school year, you may remember that I was a lucky recipient of a RRISD PIE Foundation Grant where I won $1000 to buy new animal books for the library.  It's really paying off now as 1st and 2nd grade are working on their animal research projects!  We used these new books to learn facts about new animals, and 1st grade is putting them into a poster or book to present to their classmates and other audience.

We have invited the PIE Foundation Board Members to attend these presentations next week and are waiting for a response, fingers crossed! Check out this lesson we've been working on this week with our 1st graders to teach presentation skills.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Summer Reading!

Summer is almost here!  What will you read this summer?  Here are some tips to make sure you beat the dreaded summer slide!  Keep your reading mountain going higher and higher so you start next year at the same spot you left!

1.  Visit the Austin Public Library!  The Spicewood Branch is only a few miles from Forest North.  Get unlimited free checkouts with a library card.  Check out the amazing programs they're having this summer, too!  

2. Come visit Forest North during Summer Library Hours.  Our library will be open during the summer on these Tuesdays from 4:30-6:00 pm.  Come check out some books, play games with teachers, and see your friends!
  • Tuesday, June 16th
  • Tuesday, June 30th
  • Tuesday, July 14th
  • Tuesday, August 11th
3.  We'll also have our 2nd annual LIBRARY LOCK IN on Wednesday, July 29th, so save the date now!  More information on that to come!

4. Ways for librarians, teachers and parents to prevent summer slide!  Just a few ways listed in this article include turning on closed captioning on TV, cooking with a recipe, looking things up on the internet, having quiet time during each day to unplug from devices, read on the go, and limiting screen time.  It's all about increasing the number of words read, in any way!

5. Read something fun!  Find something that's interesting for you.  Here are some ideas:
6. Make a list!  Remember we talked about this during our Thanksgiving Bookathon?  Always keep a list ready of books you want to read next so you're never stuck between books.  Good readers are never done with their "to be read" list.  Keep track of your list on goodreads or write it down!

7. Take a photo!  Make your title match your setting and save that snapshot for our annual Special Reading Spot Photo Contest!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

5th Grade Book Club is "Boundless!"

Our 5th grade book club has been hard at work all year reading lots of young adult titles.  We've read Mazerunner, Eye of Minds, Cinder, & our latest title is Boundless by Kenneth Oppel.  We celebrated finishing that book earlier this week with some ginger beer.  It's kind of like root beer but with a spicy ginger zing!  Check it out!  

We'll be reading one more book for these kids zip off to middle school and a brand new world of cool young adult literature!  I'll miss these kids for sure.  Many of them have been my students for six years!  Forest North won't be the same without them!

Special Reading Spot Photo Contest Winners 2015!

We decorate the library walls each year with 10 blown up photos of our students reading in unusual or special spots. I'm excited to announce our winners who will be displayed for the 2015-2016 school year!  Check them out & congratulations to our winners.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Armadillo Readers Choice Voting & Battle of the Armadillos

Today we're getting right back into the swing of things with a couple of Armadillo Reader's Choice Award Voting Parties and Battle of the Armadillos!  Now we've had many Armadillo votes & dance parties before, and we've had lots of Battles of the Bluebonnets before, but this is our first time doing the Battle of the Armadillos!  Special thanks to Mrs. Miller over at Herrington Elementary for her amazing idea.  I'm so excited to try it with our K-2 classes.  Check out Mrs. Miller's class below getting it done.

Students will use iPads (courtesy of Ms. Bell, our lovely art teacher with a NextGen classroom) to scan this QR code and vote for their favorite book.  Then, we'll use the iPads to play a Kahoot where students answer 2 questions from each of the 10 Armadillo books, and the student with the fastest, most correct responses wins from each K-2 class.  Sounds fun, right?  Which book will win?  Only time will tell! See you on the flip side, readers!