Monday, February 29, 2016

Armadillo Readers' Choice Award Selects Books for 16-17 List

The Armadillo Readers' Choice Award Selection Committee met today at Deep Wood Elementary to read 85 recently published picture books. Mrs. Young and I both serve on this committee for next year. It was so fun to make time to read - something we actually don't ever get time to do in our busy library. We narrowed these books by our purpose (TEKS-based lessons for K-2 students) and eventually whittled the list down to 10 amazing books.  We can't wait to share them with you and our students soon.

Thanks to the committee for a wonderful day of reading and lesson planning.  I can't wait to see what we come up with next!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Bridget Heos Visits Forest North

Forest North students in PreK-2, FCC & PPCD had a blast learning about how to write a book from Bridget Heos today.  Did you know that Bridget Heos has published about 100 books?  Mustache Baby was her first fiction book, where she made up a story.  She got the idea from her son and his friend laughing at a picture of a baby with a mustache.  Bridget Heos told us about how she writes a book, and how many editors will sometimes say no to a book before it gets published.  She picked kids from the audience to play the editors that turned her down or to be the last special one who said YES!  She also taught us about special goats who get a little bit of DNA in them to make their wool stronger.  Some kids bought a discounted book from our partnership with Barnes & Noble to get signed by Bridget Heos and meet our author.  Five lucky K-2 students also won a mustache drawing contest to eat breakfast with the author as well!  What a great day!  Thanks for all the fun, Bridget Heos!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

5th Graders Practice Math with QR Codes

5th grade is practicing math in the library this week!  Students are using a sheet of decimals and rounding them.  They then take their rounded decimals and use them as a Dewey Decimal number on library shelves.  When they go to that spot on the shelf, they find a QR code, scanned it on our iPads, and answered some processing questions about the math questions, like naming their strategy, operation, or first steps.  We had a lot of fun and practiced some good processing skills, too!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Forest North Battle of the Bluebonnets 2016

Congratulations to our awesome 13 finalists who participated in the Battle of the Bluebonnets on February 18th!  5th of them (Elizabeth, Michael, Ceil, Zachary and Neeha, and Aiden as our alternate) will be representing Forest North at the RRISD Battle of the Bluebonnets on 3/10 at the Dell Diamond.  Way to go, readers!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Texas Bluebonnet Award Winner Announced

3rd-5th grades were invited to the library this morning to witness the announcement of the Texas Bluebonnet Award. At Forest North, our top books were The Misadventures of Salem Hyde (36 votes), Sky Jumpers (26 votes), and Mountain Dog (14 votes). Across the state, we see a very different picture, with When the Beat Was Born taking the top prize!

Congratulations to the winning book, and thanks so much for your participation this year in our program- see you at the Battle on Thursday afternoon!

2nd Grade Studies Technology Over Time Through "A Fine Dessert"

by guest blogger Mrs. Young

Second grade students recently studied how technology has changed over the years.  We continued what they were learning in the classroom during our time in the library. In our first lesson, we observed and discussed changes in transportation, communication and recreation technology.  In our next lesson, we read the book A Fine Dessert, which shows families cooking the same dessert, blackberry fool, over four centuries!  We compared and contrasted the technology of making this dessert through that time.  A major ingredient of the dessert was whipped cream, so for our final lesson we divided into groups and used different kitchen tools that were used by the families in the book to make whipped cream.  We compared our results with those in the book, got a little exercise, and finally, got to try some blackberry fool ourselves.  We all agreed that it was a fine dessert.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Kindergarten reads Armadillo Readers Choice "Foxy"

by guest blogger Mrs. Young

Kindergarten students honed their re-telling skills and got to do a little acting during a recent library lesson.  After reading the book, Foxy by Jessica Souhami (which is one of our Armadillo Readers' Choice nominees), the students were challenged to re-tell the story to Mrs. Young and their teachers using masks and props.  They did a great job, and had a lot of fun, too!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Bridget Heos Visiting Forest North 2/24

Bridget Heos is coming to visit our K-2, FCC, PPCD and PreK students on 2/24.  We're so excited!  Check out our presentation for more information about her visit, and feel free to print out our order form below if you'd like to buy a book and get it signed!  Prices are on the form.

Battle of the Bluebonnets

Thursday, 2/18, is a super special day at Forest North - it's the campus Battle of the Bluebonnets!  13 amazing readers will be showing their stuff as they answer 40 questions about our 20 nominated titles.  All 3rd-5th grade classes are invited to come watch.  The top 5 competitors will represent Forest North at the RRISD Battle of the Bluebonnets on 3/10 at the Dell Diamond!

Bluebonnet VIP Breakfast

Yesterday was the highly anticipated Bluebonnet VIP Breakfast!  3rd graders who read 10+ Bluebonnet nominees, and 4th & 5th graders who read 15+ books were all invited to a special breakfast in the library.  For historical purposes, we usually have about 15 kids attend this event.  As you can see below, this year, we blew that out of the water when 45 kids qualified for the VIP Breakfast!

Students were served by Mrs. Vetter. Mr. Stewart, Ms. Velasquez & myself - we wore aprons and put pencils behind our ears to really play up the server role.  They dined on breakfast tacos (potato or bacon!), bananas, muffins, orange juice and milk.  Congratulations to these amazing readers, and we look forward to seeing 13 of them compete next week in the Battle of the Bluebonnets!

Some of the most motivated, focused readers at Forest North!

Your lovely servers- Ms. Velasquez already left at this point to go teach her wonderful 4th graders!

Get ready to watch these kids show off their knowledge in the Battle of the Bluebonnets on 2/18 - here they are pictured with their favorite 15-16 Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Twin Day - Kindness Week

It's Kindness week at Forest North!  Every day, we're thinking about different ways we can be a good friend.  Today is Twin Day- everyone dresses like a friend or many people group together!

I was thrilled to be twinned up with Mrs. Peyton, our wonderful counselor.  Her dedication, compassion, good listening skills are something I aspire to - hopefully being her twin rubbed off on me a little!

Happy Twin Day!

Monday, February 8, 2016

4th Grade Bibliotherapy Book Club

You may remember a post from last October showing Aiden reading an excerpt from our beloved Ghetto Cowboy by G. Neri.  He was part of a special book club of focused and engaged young men that met with Mrs. Peyton and myself.  We had so much fun working with this great group of boys and they did a great job staying on top of reading and having insightful conversations about growing up, what it means to be a man and to belong in a group. We also made some new friendships!

Our cowboys, after decorating their saddle bags.

Mrs. P eyton and our readers (and one mom who came to celebrate with us!) decorating their saddle bags.

At the end of each session, this student's sister came in with her class to checkout as a group, and the love they showed each other would always make my day!  What a great example of sibling love!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Ukulele Club

Hey, third fourth and fifth graders! Ready for something amazing and new in your life?  So are we!  You should apply today for the UKULELE CLUB!  You know, like adorable little Hawaiian guitars?  Yeah, ukuleles!  In a club!  Ms. Billitteri & Mrs. Fournier started playing a few months ago and we want to make a group at Forest North.  We’ll be meeting on Tuesdays, starting 2/23 and going through May! Apply today!  Fifteen people will be accepted and they will get a free ukulele to use during our meetings and to take home for practice.  We’ll even perform at the talent show in May! So be sure to get an application below, or just pick one up from Ms. Billitteri or Mrs. Fournier.  Applications are due 2/17, so get it in as soon as possible, and we’ll see you in UKULELE CLUB!

Combining Sentences in 4th Grade

4th grade is doing a special lesson today on combining sentences.  How can you take two different thoughts and most effectively put them into one larger sentence?  Good readers like varied sentence lengths in their texts, and good writers know how to revise multiple similar thoughts into one sentence.

First, we'll generate nouns and verbs to make our own sentences about ourselves, and make some sentences about us.  We'll practice by combining them.

Then, we'll hop on to this quiz page and try combining these sentences!

5th Grade Declares Independence!

5th grade declared their independence from something in their life this week in the library. We reviewed the purpose and context of the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson and signed by the Continental Congress.  Then we read what the Declaration of Independence says in modern English.  Then we wrote our own declarations! Students liberated themselves with lots of good reasons on why they should not have to babysit younger siblings, limit their video game time, move to another school, or eat foods they don't like.  One student even wrote her declaration from her dog's perspective!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Staff Book Club Announces February Title

The Forest North staff (and former staff!) met last week to discuss "Elizabeth is Missing" by Emma Healey.  We had a great discussion about aging, the elderly, family dynamics and dementia.

We also announced our February title, which will be "Luckiest Girl Alive" by Jessica Knoll.  We're meeting at the end of the month to discuss that book!

"Luckiest Girl Alive" is the 29th selection of the Forest North staff book club.  We've been meeting since 2011, and were founded by counselor Jill Peyton and myself.  We'll see you at the end of the month!