Sunday, February 24, 2013

"Grab your Hat and Read with the Cat"

"Grab your Hat and Read with the Cat" is the 2013 theme of NEA's Read Across America celebration as we return to the beloved Dr. Seuss tale of mischief and celebrate the joy of reading across the nation on Friday, March 1, this year's official Read Across America Day.

"You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child."

To help celebrate we have a nice selection of new books available for check out on Monday. What Columbus Found is a Level 1 Ready-To-Read title. Our collection has many of these leveled books. Level 1 through Level 4 titles are a great way for beginning readers to begin reading independently.

Perfect beginning chapter books

David loves to draw
Some of the titles are David's Drawings, Bigfoot, Unspoken, Infinity and Me by Kate Hosford and the series A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy which features 3rd grade friends Josh, Dink and Ruth. These three smart kids solve crimes and mysteries. To learn more see the link above.

Come read at the Library. We'll celebrate officially on Friday, but every class will have Dr. Seuss bookmarks and activities.

A to Z Mysteries -- 26 in all
Popular subject - Bigfoot!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Jump Rope for Heart Field Day

Making it look easy!
A High School helper leads a group jump

Such excitement in the elementary school gymnasium today as the Jump Rope for Heart field day kicked off. Students went through many stations where they could jump individually with a rope, jump as a group, jump from dot to dot (it looked like frogs on lily pads to me!), jump over what looked like hurdles, jump with double dutch ropes, and more!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Washington's Birthday

George Washington's Mount Vernon is a wonderful site to visit to learn more about the man who was our first president of the United States. One of the links at the site has the following for celebrating President Washington's upcoming birthday.

Celebrate George Washington's 281st Birthday!

George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 in Popes Creek in Westmoreland County, Virginia. The first known celebration of his birth was held in 1781 in Newport, Rhode Island when the Comte de Rochambeau ordered the celebration for the French forces who aided the Americans during the Revolution.
Massachusetts was the first state to officially celebrate Washington’s birthday as a holiday, in 1856. Since 1879 the date has been a legal work holiday for Federal employees in the District of Columbia, and in 1885 it became a legal work holiday for all Federal employees.
Today, Washington’s Birthday is celebrated on the third Monday of February. While some states celebrate this day as "President's Day" we still celebrate it as "Washington’s Birthday" here at Mount Vernon.
You can view a timeline, take a virtual tour, read his biography, visit the online museum, find out so much more that you never knew about our first president at Mount

Students can visit George Washington's World for  This link has several 3-D activities, but wants you download a special program for working in the 3-D world. I didn't try it from school, but you might want to try it from your home.

One other amazing site is the  George Washington wired blog with photo and video postings about all kinds of things happening at Mount Vernon now; and encyclopedia entries from George and Martha Washington's past. You can get a daily dose of Washington, or browse through the many categories to view previous posts about George Washington and colonial life.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Multiplication Fun

3rd graders have been using this site: Kids math games online, and I just tried out the activities too!

In the multiplication area pictured below there are four choices. Each one has an activity to help with multiplication facts and learning fact families. The red one called Learn Multiplication has bright colors that change and flash, which was a bit much for me, but kids are sure to love it!

The bottom one called Multiply Numbers comes from the Hooda Math site. After finishing the activity, you go directly to Hooda Math where you can try one of their games, or use the browser's back button to come back to this page.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Lincoln's Birthday

Born on this day in 1809, Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States was a man who loved to read. The following story comes from a book by Pat Nelson called Magic Minutes: Quick Read-Alouds for Every Day.
When Abe was a farm boy, he used to sit and read with his back against the warm chimney in the family's log cabin. Friends of the family would come to call, but they would finally leave because they couldn't get Abe to respond to their conversation. The boy was so focused on what he was reading that he didn't hear them talking to him. They went away thinking that Abe was very strange, which is understandable when you realize that many of these Midwest farmers couldn't read. They thought Abe should be working in the fields. Reading was unimportant to them. For Abe, reading was exciting because it opened up the world.
Abe Lincoln had many jobs during his lifetime. He was a farmhand, a boat builder, a store clerk, a soldier, a store owner, a postmaster, and a surveyor, but it was reading that brought him to the Congress and the presidency. For years he read law books, walking 20 to 30 miles sometimes to borrow or return them. His reading enabled him to pass the test to receive his law license and opened the door to public office.

Sign at the circulation desk under Mr. Lincoln's head
The Lincoln Library in Springfield, Illinois has a great website to explore many aspects of this amazing man's life and work.

Abraham Lincoln Presidental Library Foundation

Our library also has many books to borrow so you too can be a great reader, just like Mr. Lincoln.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The School Mouse

Some people really like mice. I, myself, am not much of a fan. English author Dick King-Smith likes mice. In 1995 he wrote a short chapter book for elementary students called The School Mouse.

Flora is an extraordinary mouse, from the time she is just a few weeks old, her curiosity causes her to ask loads of questions. "Why" is her favorite word. As she watches from her hiding place in the kindergarten classroom, gradually Flora gains an understanding and thirst for what the children are learning.

It's a very cute story, and even though they are still not my favorite animals, I did find myself rooting for Flora and her family by the end of the book. If you like fiction books about mice, try A Mouse called Wolf, also by Dick King-Smith.

Dick King-Smith has written a lot of great books featuring animals. Have you heard of one called Babe about a pig?  Find this and others by this author in the FIC (fiction) section of our library.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Digital Learning Day

It's Digital Learning Day all across the country.

I started my day by wishing my daughter a Happy Birthday on Facebook, then came to school and helped 4th graders in the computer lab with an Excel project, followed by a 3rd grade class that logged into our Technology lessons site,

In the library media center, we have three new Kindle's that we are getting ready to check out to 4th grade students. Staff also explored how to borrow books through the public library with an iPad and Overdrive.

We use technology a lot here at the elementary school, so having a day devoted to the possibilities of technology and education is exciting!

Love and Logic in Spooner Feb. 12, 2013

Tom Rick will be presenting Love and Logic Parenting in Spooner next week on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 5:30 pm at Spooner Middle School.

This is a set of skills and principles that allow parents to hold their children accountable in a loving, low stress way without anger, threats, warnings, and blowups.
Mr. Rick will be presenting simple skills and techniques that will allow parents to walk away ready to be more effective parents, while improving their relationship with their children, and teaching them how to behave in the real world and at home.
There will be laughter and solutions to the issues that all parents encounter. Come have some fun and see if you can pick up a few new parenting skills.

Friday, February 1, 2013


Searchasaurus is a wonderful resource for students.  But, it can only be accessed from school.

From the main page you can can see buttons across the top for:  Dictionary, Encyclopedia, Pictures or Visual Search.

You can also do a subject search by clicking on one of the dinosaurs!

I found this great old photo of Thomas Edison using the link for Pictures. One nice feature is that you get the source information right along with the photo which makes it easy to fill out a bibliography when doing a report.

"circa 1901: Portrait of American inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) resting his arm on one of his inventions, in his lab in West Orange, New Jersey. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)" -- Image Date: 1/1/1901         accessed 2-1-2013

I recommend that you bookmark this helpful research website!