End of the Year Library News

Without an aide, I drown in books.It feels so early, I know, but the end of the school year is sneaking up on us and will be here before we know it! Last week was the last week for students to check out books from the King School Library this year.  

All books are due on students' regular library day this week.

Students will continue to come to the library for lessons until that very last day of school, but the library will be closed at all other times. We will be doing inventory on the collection - which includes counting every single one of our 20,000 books and making sure that they are in the right place on the shelf. This is to be sure that the library is ready and open for checkout at the very beginning of next year!

Any books not returned by the end of this week will be assumed lost. Students with lost books will receive notices at school with the cost to replace them. All library fees must be paid by the last day of school.  

Just because students are not checking out books from our library doesn't mean they should stop reading! The Urbana Free Library Children's Librarians will be here on Tuesday, May 15 to promote the Summer Reading Program - Reading is a Picnic! 

Getting a public library card is FREE - if you live in Urbana, visit the Urbana Free Library with one form of ID and proof of address to get access to THOUSANDS of free books, audiobooks, DVDs, and more!

210 West Green Street
Urbana, Illinois 61801
Mon to Thu 9 am - 9 pm
Fri - Sat 9 am - 6 pm
Sun 1 pm - 5 pm

If you live in Champaign, you can do the same! Visit either the Main Branch or Douglass Branch of the Champaign Public Library to get your FREE library card! Once you have your library card, you can "shop" at any of our local libraries!

200 W. Green St.
Champaign, IL 61820
Mon to Fri 9 am – 9 pm
Sat 9 am – 6 pm
Sun 1 pm – 6 pm

504 E. Grove St.
Champaign 61820–3239
Mon to Thu 10 am – 8 pm
Fri 10 am – 6 pm
Sat 10 am – 4 pm


Typing Games

Ms. Sapkarov, you type FAST!
Yes, my friends, I really do.

We're reading Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me in one of my 5th grades and taking notes on the characters at the end of each class. By building these character profiles, we can understand the story better by looking at individual motivation and personality traits. Anyhow, to take notes, I've created a simple SmartBoard file with each character on their own page, and I'll type in students' additions to what we know about the different characters in the story. So, students get to see what I type on the laptop on the SmartBoard in real time (mistakes and all!) -- hence, the above comment about my speedy typing skills.

But do you think I was born a quick-fingered typist? Of course not! I started using a computer when I was in elementary school, and I've used one every day since then.

This is the time to develop good typing habits, my students! Do you know what HOME ROW is? It has nothing to do with baseball, even though it kind of sounds like it... And although it's not the absolute only way to learn to type, it'll definitely help you use more than just your index fingers!

Check out out these typing tutorials and games to practice your own typing skills. Practice, practice, practice, and maybe someday you'll type as fast as I do. :)

Dance Mat Typing by BBC

Keyboarding Skills by e-Learning for Kids

Typing Resources by Big Brown Bear Software (4 games/lessons)

Text Type by Doorway Online

Alpha Munchies Typing Game by ABCya!

Super Hyper Spider Typer by Funschool

Keybr (practice typing words)

Typing Games by Sense-lang (check out Typing Olympic)

Book spine poems!

Inspired by Travis Jonker's book spine poetry project over at 100 Scope Notes, I thought I'd make some poems of my own! This is my first attempt, so please be kind.

 Tales for very picky eaters,
like pickle juice on a cookie
sing a song of tuna fish.
My sister the sausage roll,
Strawberry Hill.

A sweet smell of roses
farm morning
Little chick,
I am going!
big red barn

These hands,
drawing from memory
perfect square.
A black hole is NOT a hole;
Moon pie. 

Speaking of poetry, it is National Poetry Month, in case you didn't know!

About a month ago, many of our students wrote haiku poems for the National Schools Project, and we just found out yesterday that 50 students' poems will be published in the 2012 Young American Poetry Digest!

Congratulations, King School students!


Upcoming Chapter Book Read-Alouds

I love the end of the year for many obvious reasons but also because it's when I choose to read chapter books aloud to several different grade levels. There's lots of library admin stuff to do at the end of the year - weeding, final book orders, annual report, inventory, etc. - so it's nice to have a little less lesson planning to do. And I LOVE to read chapter books aloud. I'd do it all year if I could. Here's what I'll be starting to read this week and next:

1st grade
Lulu and the Brontosaurus by Judith Viorst, illustrated by Lane Smith (2010 by Atheneum) --- I can't properly express my love for this book about a spoiled little girl who wants nothing less than a brontosaurus for her birthday. Her parents say no, of course, since dinosaurs do not exist anymore, but Lulu is determined to get a brontosaurus for a pet. She sets out for the forest, meets some wild creatures that she deals with sassily, and lo and behold, she finds a brontosaurus. Lulu is used to getting her way, so this guy's coming home with her, right? Well, not exactly...

Sing with me now:
I'm gonna, I'm gonna, I'm gonna, gonna get 
A bronto-bronto-bronto Brontosaurus for a pet. 
I'm gonna, I'm gonna, I'm gonna, gonna get 
A bronto-bronto-bronto Brontosaurus for a pet. 

2nd grade
The Dream Stealer by Sid Fleischman, illustrated by Peter Sis (2009 by Greenwillow) --- I read this one aloud to second grade last year with much success and am delighted to do it again this year. Some books just have so much imagination and wit that they have to be read aloud, and this is definitely one of them. Susana is a spirited little girl who is sad to see her best friend move to a faraway town, especially since they had a fight, and she's not sure if they're still friends anymore. She has a lovely dream about her friend, Consuelo Louisa, but here enters the Dream Stealer - who snatches her dream away before she has time to finish it! Susana catches the SeƱor and demands to have her dream back, and so their journey begins.
P.S. Peter Sis painted the murals at the Champaign Public Library's children's section! Check them out here.

3rd grade
Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake (1984, 2001 by Puffin) --- How do you not love Roald Dahl? He's given us so many children's classics! From Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Matilda to James and the Giant Peach to maybe the lesser known but so beloved Witches or The Twits or my favorite, The BFG. But my absolute favorite book by Roald Dahl is his autobiography, Boy: Tales from Childhood. His style is unmistakable, and the fact that this book is full of TRUTHS is unbelievable (but you have to believe it! they're true!). Most of my 3rd grade students are familiar with Dahl's fictional tales, so I can't wait to give them a little piece of his real life too. I think they might have a hard time believing it all, but we'll definitely spend some time at his website looking at photographs of him and his family and friends.

5th grade
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (2009 by Wendy Lamb Books) --- The key to a good read-aloud is to make sure that you love the book you're reading, and I. Love. This. Book. I read it first when it came out in 2009 with mixed feelings because I didn't think that kids would be able to get into it. But after 3 years of actually working with students, I know they will. Especially if I read it to them. I have to read it to them. I cannot live my life to the fullest if I do not read this book aloud to someone, and 5th grade is the perfect audience.
About the story - Miranda is living in 1970's New York City, and she's just had a quiet fallout with her best friend Sal. Her mom is obsessed with the game show, The $20,000 Pyramid, and she's actually going to be a contestant! But Miranda already knew that. Because she's been getting these strange notes that seem to know when things are going to happen. It's historical, it's mysterious, and time travel gives it that science fiction kick. This book transcends genre and is just good. I hope my students love it as much as I do.

Remembering the Titanic

On April 15, 2012, we celebrate (or mourn, rather) the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Here are a few new books to the King School Library about this "unsinkable" ship:

The Titanic Disaster by Peter Benoit (Children's Press, 2011) --- I read this book aloud to a third grade class today to familiarize them with the Titanic tragedy. Many have heard of the movie because it is being re-released into theaters, so we also talked a little about how the movie is fictionalized.
This book does a nice job of giving the bare facts of the journey, while still providing fun tidbits in the photos and illustrations. This is a great book to use when teaching nonfiction text features because it has everything you could ever want - captions, titles, headings, subheadings, diagrams, bold words, etc. Much of the "interesting" information we learned was found in the captions, actually.

Remembering the Titanic by Frieda Wishinsky (Scholastic, 2012) --- I bought this one at the Scholastic book fair a couple months ago. From the publisher: On April 10, 1912, the TITANIC set sail. On April 15, 1912, the great ship sank. This simple reader tells the story of the TITANIC for the 100th anniversary of its tragic voyage. Find out what life was like aboard the ship and meet some of the passengers and the crew. Read about Robert Ballard's triumphant discovery of the wreck 73 years later and what's been discovered since.

Titanic Sinks! by Barry Denenberg (Viking, 2011) --- This book is luscious. It's a blend of fact and fiction in the way that it's formatted - magazine and newspaper clippings take you through the sinking of the Titanic. I haven't been able to spend much time looking at this book because it was checked out by a teacher as soon as I got it out of the box! This book is definitely for older readers who are able to sift through the material and determine what's true and what's not. It received four starred reviews (Kirkus, Booklist, Publisher's Weekly, School Library Journal), so this was a no-brainer purchase. :) Check out Denenberg's website for more info - http://barrydenenberg.com/pw_titanic_sinks.php.

All Stations! Distress! by Don Brown (Roaring Book Press, 2010) --- This is actually my favorite of the four because I prefer narrative nonfiction. I read this aloud to 5th grade earlier in the year, and they were captivated. They wanted to know more! This was an easy read-aloud in that it read very much like a story, even though it was all true. We looked at the back matter to see all the research Don Brown did for this book, and we talked about how the quotations in the book were the real words of the survivors of the ship. We really enjoyed this book!

For more books about the Titanic, both fiction & nonfiction, search the King School catalog using the keyword Titanic.

Check out Rasco from RIF for more nonfiction selections this week!

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