Friday, January 29, 2016

Texas Bluebonnet Award Voting Party 2016

Huge kudos to FNE students and teachers for our achievements with the 2015-2016 Texas Bluebonnet Award program! Check out these numbers, and think about the dedication & skill-building they represent. Think about the teamwork with so many staff & volunteers that made it happen! Thanks for helping our kids read in new genres, get exposed to awesome works of high-quality contemporary literature, and most importantly, feel like successful readers!​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ 

1,732 books read (That's 10 quizzes per 3rd-5th FNE student. This number is HUGE compared to other schools around RRISD and the state, even though we're small and Title I!) 

157 students voting for their favorite book at the party last Friday (& taking home a new book to keep, trying the chocolate fountain, getting a manicure, playing video games, and watching the drone - video below!)

45 students qualifying for the VIP Breakfast (that's 10+ books for 3rd, 15+ books for 4th & 5th) - this is a HUGE increase above any other year.

13 students qualifying for the Forest North Battle of the Bluebonnets (reading all 20) - also a new all-time high! 

8 teachers who supported 15+ kids as they qualified to vote, who get a free lunch on me! 

1 grade level who had 100% participation- a new record, even with new students coming in the days leading up to the party. Way to go, 4th grade! 

 Super special thanks to teachers, paraprofessionals, former students, former staff & parent volunteers who were on hand during the party - 157 kids had a blast and they loved spending time with you! Thanks for keeping them safe while they had fun- I literally couldn't do it without you! 

 We'll find out the state winner soon, but here were our top books! 36 votes - Misadventures of Salem Hyde 26 votes - Skyjumpers 17 votes - Mountain Dog 

Check out this drone video Mr. Fournier took during the party:

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Kindergarten Can't Wait to Share Library Books

We got this awesome email from Mrs. Albin, one of our Kindergarten teachers today:

"When we came back in the room after specials this afternoon, we usually do a dance song before the dismissal bell rings, but today they all sat down and pulled out their library books.  They were all busy looking and sharing them with one another.  It was an impromptu and student-led buddy read!"

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Kindergarten Book Club

This year I've been thrilled to extend our book club offerings to Kindergarten.  We've done one-time book studies, but this is my first time to meet weekly with a group where we choose texts we want to read together and study them together at a deeper level.  We meet once a week on Wednesdays. These students read way above grade level and can make astounding connections and conclusions about literature already. It never ceases to amaze me. 

Last week, we read Stone Soup by Marcia Brown (1948 Caldecott Honor winner) and learned about hyphens. What an enthusiastic group of readers!  This week, we are adapting the text into a readers' theater and will video our performance to show the rest of Kindergarten.  In the meanwhile, feel free to check out the video below of someone else reading the book on YouTube. What fun!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Comic Book Club... now for K-2 students!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Learning about Hannukah in K & 1st

by guest blogger Mrs. Young

Kinder and first grade learned about holidays and different family traditions this month.  Mrs. Watercott, Forest North parent and amazing library volunteer, taught the classes about Hanukkah and shared things that her family uses in their celebration.  It was fun to learn about a different holiday tradition and they especially liked getting to spin and dance like dreidels!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

4th Grade Book Club Celebration

by guest blogger Mrs. Young

The fourth grade book club met weekly this semester to discuss The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo.  We all fell in love with this book, even though there was some hesitation at first because we had a tie vote when choosing which book to read.  One student who had initially voted for the other book stood up one day, held the book above his head and cheered, "This is the best book ever!"  We marveled at DiCamillo's story telling and how all of the different characters were connected.  We analyzed dark and light imagery and realized how it applied not only to actual dark and light, but to character's personalities and even their souls!  One book club member said the book showed him the difference between good and evil.  Another said it helped him know that no matter how small you are, you can still do big things.

To celebrate our time together we ate soup, which is very important to the plot of the story, and watched scenes from the movie to compare and contrast with the book.  The movie, although good, was VERY different from the book and the group was curious about whether the author approved of the movie or not.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Fifth Grade Book Club Celebration

by guest blogger Mrs. Young

The fifth grade book club met weekly last semester to discuss Hoot by Carl Hiaasan.  We reviewed story elements and discussed how these played out in the book.  We spent a lot of time analyzing characters and making predictions because Hiaasan's writing style left us with many unanswered questions at first.  We liked how the different story lines eventually intersected and all of the characters ended up meeting each other.  This answered many of our questions and our predictions were often right!  We also discussed being led by your brain or by your heart (a quote from the mom in the book) and how that applied to the characters and to us.  And we learned interesting facts about burrowing owls!  

We celebrated our time together by decorating cupcakes like owls and watching scenes from the movie to compare and contrast with the book.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Third Grade Book Club Celebration

by guest blogger Mrs. Young

The third grade book club met (almost) weekly this semester to discuss Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater.  We had fun comparing the technology available during Mr. Popper's time with that in our own.  We even used the iPads to watch live feed from the South Pole and a penguin exhibit at Sea World!  We used context clues from the the book to research and determine what kind of penguins we thought belonged to Mr. Popper and whether they were portrayed accurately in the book.  We celebrated the end of our time together by decorating penguin shaped sugar cookies and watching scenes from the recent movie to compare with the book.  We were really excited when a character in the book said that the penguins were Gentoos, which is one of the species that we had come up with through our research!

Drone at Bluebonnet Voting Party 1/29!

"Are you coming to the Bluebonnet party?  My drone is!"