The votes are tallied for the fourth annual picture book character vote! We read our kindergarten through third grade classes books with Pinkerton the Great Dane, Pig Pig the pig, Stillwater the panda, and Basil the mouse. It was a close competition, but Stillwater beat Basil by just two votes!
Previous winners, Osbert, Olive, and Tacky teamed up to put the crown on Stillwater
As reigning picture book champion he has won the chance to go on vacation with members of the MCDS community. He enjoys going places near and far. Whatever you are doing this summer, Stillwater would love to join you! If you would like to participate, it's easy! Just print out a picture of Stillwater and take your picture with him this summer. Then send the picture to email@example.com I will collect the images for a display of Stillwater's travels in the dragon room. Forgot to print out Stillwater before your trip? No problem! Download the png version of Stillwater below and easily add him to your vacation photos. If you're unsure how to do this, you can always e-mail me the Stillwater-less photos and I can add some extra panda to them for you.
The Tools We Use event on Tuesday showcased art and technology at MCDS and invited visitors to explore new tools. Students were on hand to teach visitors how to use the tools they use in their classes. Activities happened all over campus, and there were a lot of great interactive stations here in the LRC. Look at the slideshow below to see some of the LRC highlights.
We have been reading books about hats and inventors in second grade library. The first book we read was Boss of the Plains: The Hat that Won the West by Laurie Carlson with pictures by Holly Meade. It tells the true story of how J.B. Stetson invented the Boss of the Plains hat to suit the rough life of cowboys and gold miners out West. When we finished reading the book, we asked students to identify the needs that existed and the features of the hats that meet those needs. For example, the big brim kept the rain off their back and the sun out of their eyes.
Next we read Stormy's Hat: Just Right for a Railroad Man by Eric A. Kimmel with pictures by Andrea U'Ren. This book shows how Stormy tried many hats to find one that would fit with his job as a train engineer. After many failures he describes his ideal hat to his wife, Ada, who makes it for him. The hat caught on with other engineers and can still be seen in train yards today. Once again students identified needs for the job and features of the hat that met them. These included fabric that doesn't catch on fire and is easy to clean and a tight fit so that it doesn't blow off when the engineer pokes his head out the train window.
Finally we read a tall tale based loosely on how Levi Strauss invented jeans to withstand the rough life in the gold fields. We used this story to discuss qualities that make a good inventor. The students came up with many traits including: patience, confidence, perseverance, imagination, ability to brainstorm and get feedback from others, and not being afraid to mess up. We had a lot of fun reading about these inventors and the second graders are inspired to try inventing themselves!
All Hallow's Read is a tradition created by Neil Gaiman in 2010. The idea behind it is simple: to give away a scary book for Halloween. You can find out more information at their site (http://www.allhallowsread.com/) or by watching the video below:
You can find many places with recommendations for scary books to give away, like Harper Collins Children's,YA author Robin Wasserman, and even Neil Gaiman himself. In addition to all of the scary books we have available to check out in the LRC, we will also have sheets that you can fold into your own mini scary poetry books to keep. Stop by the LRC to grab one, or print one out and make it yourself. Download the files below and print them out. You can find instructions on how to make the sheets into books here.
We celebrated Banned Books Week last month, and once again I was impressed by the passion MCDS students have for reading. They are always shocked to hear that favorite books such as And Tango Makes Three or the Harry Potter series have been banned and are eager to defend them. We had some great discussions about censorship and organizations like the American Library Association that fight against it. This great blog post by an adult looking back on how Banned Books Week affected her as a teenager is a great encapsulation of why it is so important to celebrate this week in schools. For more information about Banned Books Week, head on over to their official website, google plus page, or YouTube page.
This year we invited 5th graders to share a book they like that has been banned or challenged. You can view the results below.
The votes are tallied for the third annual picture book character vote! We read our kindergarten through second grade classes books with Otis the tractor, Martha the talking dog, Osbert the penguin, Bear from A Visitor for Bear, and Anatole the happiest mouse in France. It was a close competition, but one character emerged victorious in the end...
Congratulatory high five!
Congratulations Osbert! It's the second time that a penguin was in the running and the second time that a penguin has won. They appear to be very popular with MCDS students!
Previous winners Tacky and Olive passing the crown on to Osbert and congratulating him.
Osbert was crowned during a ceremony in the dragon room and is eager to start his summer as reigning picture book character champion! As usual, for his fabulous prize he will be winning the chance to go on vacation with members of the MCDS community this summer. He is a seasoned traveler and enjoys going all over the globe. He has also told me that he would love to explore the Bay Area more if anyone is willing to take him to see the sights in the area. Whatever you are doing this summer, Osbert would love to join you!
Osbert plans his summer travels.
If you would like to participate, it's easy! Just print out a picture of Osbert and take your picture with him this summer. Then send the picture to firstname.lastname@example.org I will collect the images for a display of Osbert's travels in the dragon room. Forgot to print out Osbert before your trip? No problem! Download the png version of Osbert and easily add him to your vacation photos. If you're unsure how to do this, you can always e-mail me the Osbert-less photos and I can add some extra penguins to them for you.
Click below to download a version of Osbert to print out at home
We're busy working on our costumes and gearing up for Halloween here in the LRC, but what excites me most about this holidays isn't the costumes or the candy--it's the scary stories! If you'd like to celebrate with a ghastly ghost story, a wonderful witch tale, or a zany zombie antics stop by the LRC to grab a book from one of our displays.
You can also find a selection of our Halloween books over at our pinterest page.
If you'd like to do more than just read scary stories, consider taking part in the new Halloween tradition of All Hallow's Read. To celebrate just give out scary books this Halloween to delight and terrify your friends. Author Neil Gaiman explains the tradition in the video below:
Graphic by Colin Adams, for the Ada Initiative based off a watercolor portrait of Ada by Alfred Edward Chalon
Happy Ada Lovelace Day! Today we celebrate women in science and share their stories. The official website has more information and a roundup of stories shared by people all over the world.
I was wondering is an excellent resource from the National Academy of Sciences. It includes biographies of women scientists, activities, and a forum where you can ask scientists questions. Check out their page on Shirley Ann Jackson for a scrapbook, comic, and activity relating to the life of this amazing physicist. Shirley showed an early inclination towards science and as a child she studied bees and designed fast hot rods to race.
Geek Gurl Diaries is a series of video made by an ICT teacher in London. They include interviews with modern women in STEM, inspirational stories, and how-to's videos like how to build a computer. The first video even includes a bit of background information about Ada Lovelace!