Building towers was the focus of this week’s Books & Blocks program. We retold the fairy tale of Rapunzel, looked at Paul Zelinksky’s amazing illustrations, and then got busy building with wooden blocks, legos, and cardboard bricks.
Archive for the ‘All’ Category
Wow, it’s November and the holidays are, as they say, right around the corner! As usual, the 4th and 5th grade members of ARC (Advance Readers Club) have their say about some of the new books they’ve read:
Suzanne Selfors’ Imaginary Veterinary series continues to be popular. ARC-ers enjoyed The Saquatch Escape
and were delighted to find book number 2 waiting on the arc shelves last month!
Here is what they have to say about The Lonely Lake Monster:
Rohit says “I liked it a lot, I had a great time!” His favorite character is “Ben Silverstein, because he has a cool hair cut.” He liked The sasquatch escape, too.
Elena also enjoyed The sasquatch escape and read The lonely lake monster in record time. Her favorite character is Pearl “because she was funny and was a trouble.” She says, “The beginning kept me wanting to read on. The worst part was the end, because it came to an end.” She would give a copy of this book to Zane but she wouldn’t give it to her best friend Elizabeth “because it isn’t her type of genre.” Elena goes on to say that not only would she read it again, she’s looking forward to the next book: “I can’t wait till you get the third book “The Rain Dragon Rescue”, The Imaginary Veterinary Series. I would like to also own the set. Maybe one day I’ll be able to own them.”
Adithya is also a fan, though he’d make a few changes to the cover: “I’d put the leprechaun and Pearl on the cover” and would “add a lot more imaginary creatures.” His favorite character was the “leprechaun, because he wasn’t mean and tricky like the other leprechaun.” He would totally read another book by this author because “this was an exciting book.”
Rivon enthusiastically recommends The Lonely Lake Monster, too!
The treasure hunters by James Patterson
He liked the subject and finished it “because it was so interesting.” His favorite character is Bick because he tells the story and can scuba dive and knows “other things that are cool like karate.” After a rocky start, RC thought the best part of the book was the middle .
A mystery reviewer read Counting by 7′s by Holly Goldberg Sloan over the summer.
He picked it up because he thought it looked good. His favorite character is Quang-ha’s mom “because she was generous.” While it took a little for him to get into the book he did enjoy the middle. This sad and funny book is getting some attention by the Newbery committee.
Lara’s gift by Annemarie O’Brien is another winner–especially for dog lovers, says another mystery reviewer. She liked the whole book–beginning to end.
The ARC-ers shared their favorite books and series at the last meeting:
Olivia’s favorite remains Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling.
Rhiannon recommends The Candymakers by Wendy Mass
Rivon loved The third wheel by Jeff Kinney
Abbie recommends The lightning thief by Rick Riordan:
And…What we found in the sofa (and how it saved the world) by Henry Clark
Bshara recommends House of Hades by Rick Riordan
and Mission Unstoppable by Dan Gutman
Rohit likes Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan
Adithya recommends Pet War by Allan Woodrow
Brendan enjoys the Alex Rider books by Anthony Horowitz
Angelina loves Pi in the sky by Wendy Mass
and last, but not least, Sam recommends the 39 Clues Unstoppable series. The first book is Nowhere to run by Jude Watson
Stay tuned! ARC meets next Thursday, November 21 at 4:00 in the Activity Center. If you’re a 4th or 5th grader who loves to read and talk about books, drop by and check us out!
Playing outside in the Summer is fun – especially when fireflies are out. Get into the fun with these books and activities.
Read about fireflies, what they are and how they make their light.
Following your child’s natural curiosity is a great way to help her stay engaged when picking out books to read and gives you a way to “sneak” in everyday learning lessons that are fun and casual.
If you plan to catch and observe, this is a great time to talk about using a “gentle touch” and why it is important to release the insects after your observation session.
Then, pretend to catch fireflies in the day time and inside! Let your child collect several puff balls in a jar or cup. Using tongs or a long handled spoon is a fun way to move the pretend fireflies around the house or from container to container.
Extend this fine-motor skill activity by letting your child sort different colored puff balls in a muffin tin or allow him to group different numbers of puff balls by number.
On a warm summer evening, sit with your child outside and watch the fireflies. Talk about what you are seeing – are there any patterns? Do the fireflies tend to gather in specific areas?
You can even learn a rhyme about fireflies:
I caught a little firefly, I held it carefully (mimic catching and holding gently)
It tickled as it crawled around and lit its light for me. (tickle yourself and flash your hands)
I watched it for awhile and then I set it free! (mimic letting the firefly fly free)
My firefly flew around my yard happily! (fly around like a firefly)
Lastly, read a bedtime story about fireflies.
Summer time is a great chance to read aloud from a chapter book with your child! Why read chapter books together?
- Building Memory: When you break up a story over subsequent sittings, your child must hold the story in his mind and add to it in sections. This will help him build memory skills and develop the attention span he’ll need when he is reading longer books on his own.
- Complex Stories: A longer story is often a more complex story with more vibrant characters and more detail about the setting or more depth to the action. Your child may enjoy delving more deeply into a book and it is something you can share with her.
- Life Lessons: As your child matures as a reader, the themes he is reading about will mature also. When you start into a book together you experience the lessons in the book together, as well. How better to deal with more mature topics like bullying, death or bad guys than in an age appropriate book that allows you to stop the narrative and talk about these themes and your family’s values. Try to relate both happy and difficult experiences to your child’s own life. She’ll be developing empathy skills and understanding that the book she is reading represents real emotions and real experiences (even in a fantastical setting) that she also may experience in real life.
- Vocabulary: Bigger books have more words and more words means more vocabulary! Stop when you hit a difficult word and explain it to your child. Give words context–a cave is simply a hole in a hillside, but if you mention that caves are often dark and wet and may harbor bears then the word is given some real contextual meaning which may help the story make more sense. If you are stumped too, you now have a perfect reason to demonstrate how a dictionary works–learn something together!
- Time Fillers: Bring your book with you to the beach, doctor’s visits or on long car rides. A fifteen minute lull in your day is the perfect reason to read “just one more chapter.”
Can’t wait to dig into read alouds? We have some great suggestions for books you and your child are bound to love.
Are you ready for summer reading fun? Learn about our program here!
Keep an eye on our calendar for fun events and programs to keep you cool all summer long.
We’ll see YOU at the library!
Do you love the zoo? You can recreate the fun at home!
Try This Fingerplay
The spotted giraffe is tall as can be,
(raise one arm as high as you can),
His lunch is a bunch of leaves off a tree,
(nibble with fingers of hand of outstretched arm)
He has a very long neck and his legs are long too,
(point to raised arm and legs)
And he can run faster than his friends at the zoo!
Read These Books
Check out more great books about the zoo.
Try These Activities
- Talk with your child about the animals in a box of animal crackers. What sounds do those animals make? What do those animals eat?
- Play “Monkey See, Monkey Do” with your child and copy his/her silly actions. Then have your child take a turn copying your silly actions.
- After reading Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear? by Eric Carle, take a walk around your neighborhood to see what you can hear. Are there birds chirping? Do you live near a busy street? Ask your child to be still and use his/her “animal ears” (made by cupping your palms around your ears) to listen for sounds.
- For more ideas on how to take zoo fun home, visit Kid Territory, hosted by The Zoological Society of San Diego.
We Are Going To The Zoo
(to the tune of: London bridges)
We are going to zoo,
To the zoo, to the zoo.
We are going to the zoo,
Won’t you join us too?
We’ll see lions, tigers too,
Tigers too, tigers too.
We’ll see lions, tigers too,
All at the zoo.
We will find some chimpanzees,
we will find some chimpanzees,
Swinging from the trees.
We will look for kangaroos,
We will look for kangaroos,
Hopping at the zoo.
How do you do the zoo?
Fasten your seatbelts, here comes a list of our favorite reads from the last two months!
February books of the month:
Rivon recommends the Bone series by Jeff Smith.
Sam enjoyed Popular Clone by M.E. Castle
Noah recommends Peter and the Secret of Rundoon–the sequel to Peter and the Shadow Thieves by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.
John found Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney, ”mildly amusing”. Find out why!
He also enjoyed Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro.
Robert recommends Night Whispers by Erin Hunter and The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
Emily says check out Rip Tide by Kat Falls. It’s the sequel to Dark Life.
Adrian suggests The Candymakers by Wendy Mass
More recommendations to come! Here are the new books we’re reading now: