Snowmen at Night

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If you’ve been waiting on pins and needles all week to find out the results of our Caldecott Challenge, then have no fear! The results are in. The winner of the Johnson Elementary School 2014 Caldecott Challenge is….

Journey, by Aaron Becker!

Congratulations, Journey! Stop by the Learning Leopard Library to check out the special Johnson Caldecott Champion medal on Journey‘s cover, or to take it home for a special read.

Before the ice and cold temperatures completely pass us by, I had to take one last chance with Johnson’s younger students to think snowy thoughts and try to send a blizzard our way. What can I say, we all have sledding, snowmen, and hot chocolate on the brain! This week, we had one last snowy storytime to celebrate our favorite part of winter and hopefully bring some flakes this way.

For this special snow-themed storytime, we shared the book Snowmen at Night. This clever story, written by Caralyn Buehner and illustrated by Mark Buehner, asks the question that many of us have wondered…why does my snowman look different the next day? The text states, “His hat had slipped, his arms drooped down, he really looked a fright – It made me start to wonder: what do snowmen do at night?” Students made predictions about what their winter creations could be doing after they head to bed, and then we read the story together. The song-like, rhyming words made this book fun to read aloud, and the hilarious pictures had students rolling on the floor, laughing.

When the book was finished (many students asked to hear it again!), we played a special snowman-themed charades game. Students formed a circle, closed their eyes, and said the magic chant – Snowman, snowman, fat and bright! Show us what you did all night! When they opened their eyes, the snowman inside the circle was posing or acting out just what it was that they did all night. Were they swimming? Reading? Making snow angels? Riding a horse? Students with quiet, raised hands made guesses, and the student who guessed correctly got a turn to the be the next snowman in the middle. This creative game, based on the book’s text, got students moving, giggling, and interpreting the message of the literature into physical activity.

While fourth grade students continued to make progress through the online Dance Mat Typing program, third graders took a quiz to test their progress on learning Reference tools. So far, we have discussed the dictionary and the thesaurus together – three out of five tools down! Next week, we will begin to delve into the Almanac, which is always a student favorite. By the end of the year, I hope that students will feel comfortable and confident using the dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, atlas, and almanac. We’ve got a lot of work to do!

Second grade started one of my favorite units this week – Fairy Tales! As an introduction, we discussed fairy tales that we know and love. We talked about what makes a fairy tale a fairy tale, characters that we see often, and common fairy tale words (like magic, princess, evil, and once upon a time). Once we get the magical basics down, students will begin on an exciting and creative fairy tale project. More details coming soon!

The Birthday Book Club gained lots of new members this week, and students with summer birthdays or celebrations that have already passed in this school year were invited to the library to choose their Birthday Book. If your student has a birthday that has already passed this year, don’t worry! Birthday Book Club members still have a blast choosing their special book and making their birthday celebration last even longer. If you would like an extra copy of the Birthday Book Club form, let your student’s homeroom teacher know. This unique fundraiser has already raised enough to buy more than ten new books to add to the library collection. Thank you, thank you, thank you to the families that are participating!

Have a wonderful weekend, and use the time to rest up and prepare for the Valentine week ahead! If our Valentines Day display is any indication, it’s going to be a very busy and exciting week, filled with LOTS of valentine books!

– Miss Messham

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