Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Epic! Read Free This Summer!

No more summer reading loss. Kids ages 12 and under can get free access to the world's largest library of high quality books FOR FREE this summer!

Let's foster lifelong, passionate readers. Please check it out:

I'm grateful for Mrs. Floyd for sharing this with us!

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Burlington Public Library 2016 Summer Reading Programs

Amanda Hogue-Lavallee (also known as Miss Amanda), the Youth Librarian at the Burlington Public Library, is talking to all Memorial students today and tomorrow about the Summer Reading Programs.

Registration begins on Monday, June 20, but programs officially begin on Monday, June 27 and goes until August 19, 2016.

Handouts about the program, as well as library card applications, will be sent home by the end of this week.

Special Events
  • Hula Hoop Classes
  • Ghostbusters Party
  • Book Clubs
  • Guard-Up
  • Character Visits
  • Force Awakens Movie
  • Gizmos and Gadgets Club
  • Animal Show
  • Toto the Tornado Kitten

Here is more information about the programs broken up by grade levels:

Miss Amanda
Burlington Public Library Youth Librarian

Please let Miss Amanda know if you have any questions.
Phone: 781-270-1692

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Friday, April 8, 2016

Charlotte and the Quiet Place


Deborah Sosin, author of Charlotte and the Quiet Place, was at the American Library Association Midwinter Meetings & Exhibits in Boston last January. Porter Square Books, her publishing company, gave me a copy of the book and Deborah signed it (pictured below).

This week I read the book to most kindergarten, first, and second grade students. Students learned that even though most places in Charlotte’s world is noisy, she was able to learn how to find her quiet place amongst the noise by breathing deeply and slowly while thinking about her quiet place.

We meditated for five minutes. Students were really quiet. After meditating, some students reflected that they were able to relax and think about a peaceful place. Other students had a difficult time keeping their eyes closed and staying silent. Most students agreed that with practice, they can improve.

Kindergarten students meditating. 
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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

MCBA 2016 Winners Announced!

This post was originally published here by Rose A. Magliozzi on April 5, 2016. 

And the Winners are.....

MCBA 2016 Winner

                                                            The One and Only Ivan
Katherine Applegate 

2016 MCBA Honor Books
(in random order)


Dragonet Prophecy: Wings of Fire by Tui T. Sutherland 

The School of Good and Evil by Soman Chainani


Click below for a pdf form of the MCBA 2016 Winner and Honor Books

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Memorial's MCBA Election

The Massachusetts Children’s Book Award (MCBA) program is an award given to a book each year voted by fourth, fifth, & sixth grade students who reside in Massachusetts. 

Today all fourth and fifth students who read at least five of the MCBA twenty-five books voted for their favorite book. Every student who was able to vote received a certificate. If students read ten books they received a get out of homework pass. Students who read fifteen books got a pass to read independently for an hour during ELA time (the most popular prize). And the four students who read all twenty-five books will receive a book of their choice (thanks to our successful Scholastic Book Fair).

Students in Mrs. Burns' ELA class created persuasive book trailers and ran the election. Mrs. Burns orchestrated the entire event for Memorial.

I'm incredibly pleased to announce that Memorial students selected The One and Only Ivan by Christina Applegate as our 2015-2016 MCBA winner.

5th grade students running the election.
This is where students cast their ballots.
Mrs. Burns filming a iMovie to teach the different election responsibilities to next fifth grade class.
Students voting.

Students suggested MCBA books for the 2016-2017 school year. 

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Britannica School Edition: Elementary School

Thanks to Memorial being a part of the Massachusetts Library System, we have access to many wonderful resources. Britannica is one of my favorite resources for research. Excellent information is provided in different reading levels. There are many great informational images and videos as well. Memorial students can access Britannica at anytime, from any place with a device connected to the internet. (Only those logged into a Burlington Public Schools Google Apps for Education Account will be able to access the database information via a Google Document.) 

Use the following steps to access Britannica:
  1. Go to “Databases”
  2. Click on the Britannica School Edition: Elementary School link/web address
  3. If asked, enter the password provided in the Google Document

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Scary & Series Collections

Thanks to our successful Scholastic Book Fair, I was able to purchase many books to fit into our new scary and series collections. I also purchased many more books to add to our gaming collection. Students are thrilled. I'm ecstatic to have the begun the genrification process. 

Here is the draft document for the Memorial Learning Commons Genres & Topic Collection.

New Scary & Series Collections

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Friday, February 12, 2016

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year, otherwise known as Lunar New Year and Spring Festival is a time of year for families to get together and celebrate the new year. This year it is celebrated on February 7–13, 2016 and is the year of the monkey. The holiday is also celebrated in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Tibet, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. The United States, Australia, and Canada have large Chinese populations; thus, celebrations as well.

We watched the following video, Fortune Tales: The Story of Chinese New Year:

Chinese New Year Quote
We read Chelsea's Chinese New Year by Lisa Bullard and Katie Saunders.

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

2016 Caldecott Award

The 2016 Caldecott Award went to, Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear written by Lindsay Mattick and illustrated by Sophie Blackall. Students absolutely love it. 

The award was named for Randolph Caldecott who was an English artist & illustrator
who lived from 1846-1886. He hugely influenced the illustration of children's books. It is awarded every year "to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children." 

From the American Library Association's website: 
Finding Winnie is an incredible account of the friendship and love shared between a soldier and the real bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh. Blackall beautifully interprets this multi-dimensional family story through her distinctive Chinese ink and watercolor art, capturing intimate and historical details perfect for a child’s eye. 

“Children will be enchanted by Winnie’s journey from the forests of Canada to the pages of the Hundred Acre Wood. Blackall offers a tour-de-force of visual storytelling,” said Caldecott Medal Committee Chair Rachel G. Payne.


A short video about Finding Winnie with Lindsay Mattick.

Memorial Teachers discussing Finding Winnie during a children's book discussion group. 
Memorial Teachers connecting Finding Winnie to the curriculum during a children's book discussion group.

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Friday, January 29, 2016

New Gaming Books & Collection

Thanks to our successful Scholastic Book Fair, I was able to purchase a lot of new books for our library. We got many copies of the books listed below for our new gaming section. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of them when they were first displayed. The gaming books were so popular, they were all checked out within a couple of hours of being put out. I’m going to order some more this weekend.

Empty GAME books section.
New Gaming titles for the Memorial Learning Commons:
  • Game on! 2016 : all the best games, amazing facts, awesome secrets
    • A guide to video and Internet games for gamers that features tips and tricks, facts and statistics, and interviews with YouTubers, professional gamers, and developers.
  • Pokémon : deluxe essential handbook : the need-to-know stats and facts on over 700 Pokémon
    • Provides stats and facts on over seven hundred Pokémon characters.
  • Skylanders Trap Team : Master Eon's official guide
    • Text and illustrations look at the realms and characters of the computer game Skylanders.
  • Dolan, Hannah. Lego Star wars : character encyclopedia
    • Provides an overview of all the versions of the LEGO Star Wars minifigures that have been released, with information on the sets they were available in, their accessories, and the differences between them.
  • Guinness World Records, 2015
    • Profiles video gaming systems and games from 2014, offering gaming records, a top-50 countdown of favorite games according to an online poll, interviews with game designers and industry experts, key developments in gaming hardware, gaming tips and trivia, and more.
  • Lego Legends of Chima character encyclopedia
    • “Venture into the exciting world of LEGO Legends of Chima and discover everything there is to know about all the tribes and their vehicles, weapons, enemies, and allies. Meet all the new characters and discover which side they stand on in the ongoing fight for CHI and power in the magical land of Chima."--Back cover.
  • Secret world of the ninja
    • Looks at the Lego Ninjago toys, including the heroes, villains, and vehicles.
  • LEGO Star Wars in 100 scenes
    • A collection of one hundred scenes from the Star Wars movies done in LEGO bricks.
  • Minecraft combat handbook
    • A handbook to the combat system of the video game Minecraft, including how to build a fort, craft tools and weapons, and set mob traps, and featuring tips from Minecraft experts.
  • Minecraft essential handbook
    • A handbook to the video game Minecraft, discussing how to find resources, make a shelter, craft tools and weapons, and protect yourself from monsters, and featuring tips from Minecraft experts.
  • Minecraft construction handbook
    • Offers tips and step-by-step instruction from master building team FyreUK for constructing houses, bridges, shops, floating islands, and roller coasters in the computer and video game "Minecraft.".
  • Minecraft redstone handbook
    • A handbook for the video and computer game Minecraft that offers tips on working with redstone as well as several machines players can build with redstone.
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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

2016 Newbery Award

The Newbery Medal is named after John Newbery, a book publisher and seller who lived from 1713-1767 (54 years) in London. He is known as “The Father of Children’s Literature” because he was one the first person to publish children’s literature.

The Newbery Medal is awarded every year by the Association for Library Service to Children at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits. The medal is awarded to the author of the best gift to children’s literature in America.
A timeline to put John Newbery and the award into perspective.

This year, the Newbery Medal was awarded to Last Stop on Market Street written by Matt De La Pena and illustrated by Christian Robinson.

Winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal

A 2016 Caldecott Honor Book

A 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book

A New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2015

A Wall Street Journal Best Children's Book of 2015

Meet the author and illustrator in this YouTube video.

Students are coming up with many responses as to why they think the 2016 Newbery Medal Selection Committee selected Last Stop on Market Street for this prestigious award.

Many Memorial staff members are part of a children’s book discussion group. We too talked about the many wonderful aspects of Last Stop on Market Street and why we thought it was selected as the winner of the Newbery medal.

CJ’s journey with his Nana is not just a simple bus ride; it is a multi-sensory experience through which he discovers that beautiful music, nature and people surround him.  CJ’s questions are familiar, and Nana answers him with gentle wisdom.  Right up until their arrival at the last stop on Market Street, Nana guides CJ to become “a better witness for what’s beautiful.”

“Read it aloud to someone. The use of language to elicit questions, to spark imagination and to make us laugh is at its best when spoken,” said Newbery Medal Committee Chair Ernie J. Cox.

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Friday, January 15, 2016

The Civil Rights Movement & Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

For the last two weeks, students have been learning about the Civil Rights Movements and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Memorial Learning Commons.

We started with an activity. Students with brown eyes were able to play Duck, Duck, Goose while students with green, blue, and hazel eyes had to sit and watch. (Mrs. Dressler gave me this wonderful idea based off of Jane Elliott’s classroom experiment.) After part of the class played Duck, Duck, Goose for a few minutes, students were asked how they felt. Most students with green, blue, and hazel eyes shared that they felt sad, mad, and left out.

We then read Children of the Civil Rights Movement written by Paula Young Shelton and illustrated by Raul Colon. The book was based off of Paula’s childhood experience with the Civil Rights Movement. Paula was born in New York and moved, with her family, down to Atlanta, Georgia when she was very young so her parents could participate in the Civil Rights Movement with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Uncle Martin).

I created and shared the following timeline so students could visualize that this devastating part of our history took place a long time ago. It happened long before the students were born. We discussed how it’s important for us to learn our history so the terrible aspects are not repeated.

Students shared how they would have felt if they couldn’t go through this gate (perhaps leading to a playground) because of the color of their skin.

Illustration by Raul Colon

I also prompted students to turn and share how they would have felt if their family wouldn’t get served in a restaurant, even though there were many empty tables, because of the color of their skin. Paula was only four years old when this happened to her and her family. She threw a tantrum which she referred to as her first protest.

Illustration by Raul Colon
We discussed how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a great citizen to the United States and dedicated his life to make it so all people were treated the same, regardless of their skin color. Everyone agreed that we can do more to contribute to our community. All students (and teachers) came up with some things they can do to become a better citizen. Older students added a hand emoji into Drawing Pad on their iPad and wrote something specific they can do to become a better citizen of Memorial School and/or Burlington on each finger. Younger students shared their ideas aloud. Some pledges students came up with were having a lemonade stand to donate proceeds to a local animal shelter or cancer research, donating clothes and toys to those in need, visiting and singing to people in nursing and assisted living homes, help older neighbors shovel snow, etc.

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