Hi everyone! Just a quick post this week to show some of the awesome book-related Christmas ornaments various students made for our library Christmas tree. I have so enjoyed seeing students stop in throughout the day to check on the tree to see the new ornaments that were appearing. It was a great community-building project- thank you everyone, I love them! Have a very Merry Christmas!
Barley and Birch has a great list of Christmas books that are about trees! I have been reading Red and Lulu to the primary classes and using it to also have the students learn a little bit about the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and about cardinals.
As I am teaching a primary music class this year, I have also been finding ways to use picture books in music class. We have been using music from The Nutcracker lately for class activities. Enjoy these Nutcracker-related Christmas books!
This week I am featuring an author focus on Arnold Ytreeide! HHCS students in grades 4 and up are very familiar with Mr. Ytreeide’s books. In grades 4,5, and 6, the classes rotate reading a different Christmas-themed book of Mr. Ytreeide’s for each year that they are in the junior division. This year all of grades 4,5, and 6 are reading Bartholomew’s Passage! I am teaching grade 6A Bible this year and we are really enjoying this book, set in the time that Jesus was born. Mr. Ytreeide’s 4 Christmas-themed books can be read during the Advent season and have short devotional reflections at the end of each chapter. These stories are adventurous, funny, and thoughtful. The students love being surprised by the recurring characters’ appearances and by the many dramatic twists and turns in Mr. Ytreeide’s writing.
In spring of 2020, as we moved into our first lockdown of the pandemic with online learning, I wrote to Mr. Ytreeide, who was so kind as to send us a personalized video to say hello to the students. I then had the students come up with some questions to ask Mr. Ytreeide about being an author and about his books and he sent a video message back again to us answering those questions. He also sent us some of his Mike Danford books (see below) for our library. It was so great for our students to be in contact with an author whose writing they really appreciated!
Amon’s Adventure is going to have a sequel, published in 2022! Apparently there have also been some conversations about having one of Mr. Ytreeide’s books made into a movie one day! Which book do you think should be the first to be a movie??
Check out this interview with Mr. Ytreeide on one of my favourite reading websites- The Read Aloud Revival!
Mr. Ytreeide also writes other types of books besides his Advent series and the Amon books. We have the first 3 books of the Mike Danford series in our school library, and the number 5 book just came out!
Here are some articles from Read Brightly about some book-ish Christmas activities! Some great ideas here for making book-themed Christmas ornaments! Don’t forget to start working on your ornaments for our library Christmas tree, HHCS! Have a great week!
Something a little different for you this week! Last year around this time I posted some pictures of vintage children’s Christmas books that I have at home. I love children’s literature and feel that is so important- and I also love vintage children’s literature! I have a collection at home of my favourites. My number one favourite author-illustrator from my childhood is Gyo Fujikawa. I had forgotten all about her books until one day I saw “Oh What a Busy Day” and I was immediately transported back to childhood.
Saturday was World Kindness Day! As Jesus-followers, let’s intentionally teach our kids to find ways to be kind. You will love all the practical ideas and resources on this site: https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/
Our fall Book Character Potato Contest was so fun, that I’d like to do something similar yet different for Christmas! I am planning to put up a Christmas tree in the library in a few weeks. I would love for students to create (at home) some book-themed ornaments to put on the tree! Any materials or format are fine as long as they will work well with being up on a tree! Let your creativity flow! I will draw a couple of names again to win an Indigo gift card to say thanks for participating. You may send the students’ creations in at any time – the tree will go up sometime late November. Need ideas? Try a keyword search for “DIY Book Character Ornaments.”
It’s November 1 and it’s time to start thinking ahead to Christmas plans! The HHCS Usborne Online Book Fairis scheduled to end on Friday Nov.5, so act now!! Take a look- you will be so impressed with the selection! Start browsing now with the online catalogue- HHCS Usborne Book Sale. After shopping online, fill out your order form here- 2021 HHCS Usborne Book Fair Order. Follow along for Facebook updates here – Facebook Event- HHCS Usborne Book Sale. And finally, if any questions, and to pay your invoice, email Deanna McAllister here – firstname.lastname@example.org.
A heads up- the AR due date is coming up soon on November 18! Please check in on your children to see how they are coming along with their reading goal for the Accelerated Reader program. Check in with the homeroom teacher if you are not sure how to access your child’s information on Accelerated Reader/Renaissance.
Recently it was Digital Citizenship week, and then last week, the week of October 25-29, was Canada’s Media Literacy Week! I’m a bit late but wanted to share resources on this important topic. Check out these videos with your kids at home.
With so much media and information coming at us through the television, phones, social media, and more, it’s more important than ever for kids to understand the basics of media literacy. When kids can identify different types of news and media and the methods and meanings behind them, they’re on their way to being critical thinkers and smart consumers.
Encourage healthy skepticism.
Help them analyze the messages around them — from toy packaging to news headlines — and question the purpose of the words and images they see.
Play “spot the ad.”
When you see advertising on TV or on a billboard, ask kids to figure out what the ad is selling. Sometimes it’s obvious, and sometimes it’s not. Help them explore why certain pictures, sounds, or words are used to sell certain products.
Explore different sides of a story.
Use real-life examples to help kids understand how people can view the same situation with totally different perspectives. One child might experience a game on the playground as fun, while another might feel like the rules are unfair. When appropriate, tie this example to a news story.
Discuss fact vs. opinion.
Play around with ideas and decide which are facts and which are opinions. Ask: How tall are you? What’s the best food in the world? Do rocks sink or float? Do you like dogs? Point out that both facts and opinions show up in the news, but opinion is usually labeled.
Choose a variety of sources.
Show kids how you get news and information from different places, and explain how you make your choices. Use words like “credible,” “trustworthy,” “respected,” and “fair.” As kids get older, introduce the ideas of bias, satire, and clickbait.
This week I decided to also highlight the genre of historical fiction books. Check out these amazing lists of historical books for every age and from many diverse areas of the world and times in history.
Take a look at the October Scholastic Book Club digi-flyer! Your order will ship to your home and you can order online whenever you’d like! When you enter the ‘class code’, your order earns 20% back for new books for our school library. Orders over $40 are free shipping.
The HHCS Fall Online Book Fair with Usborne Books continues! Are you taking advantage of this amazing fair? Take a look at the catalogue of gorgeously illustrated picture books, graphic novels, chapter books, nonfiction books, board books, activity books, sticker books, and more! Get some Christmas shopping done early and support the HHCS library! Start browsing now with the online catalogue- HHCS Usborne Book Sale. After shopping online, fill out your order form here- 2021 HHCS Usborne Book Fair Order. Follow along for Facebook updates here – Facebook Event- HHCS Usborne Book Sale. And finally, if any questions, and to pay your invoice, email Deanna McAllister here – email@example.com.
Author Gary Paulsen passed away recently at age 82. He was the author of a vast number of books for middle grade and young adult readers, focusing on themes of nature and wilderness and coming of age. His most famous book, a modern classic, is Hatchet, the story of a 13 year old boy named Brian who survives a plane crash in Canada’s north. Check out this interview with Gary Paulsen and a book trailer for Hatchet.
I was blown away by the amazing entries we had for the Book Character Potato contest! It was such a delight to see all the entries coming in and to have all the students that come through the library enjoying them. Thank you everyone who participated- it was so much fun! I will leave the display up for a while yet and send them home in a week or two!
CONGRATULATIONS to the winners of the raffle draw! Every potato entered earned a place in the raffle- I used an online name generator to put in all the entries and pick 2 winners. Ina P. and Elsa W., I will be in touch to give you your prizes of gift cards to Indigo! Enjoy!
The HHCS Fall Online Book Fair with Usborne Books launches officially on Wednesday! Start browsing now with the online catalogue- HHCS Usborne Book Sale. After shopping online, fill out your order form here- 2021 HHCS Usborne Book Fair Order. Follow along for Facebook updates here – Facebook Event- HHCS Usborne Book Sale. And finally, if any questions, and to pay your invoice, email Deanna McAllister here – firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you Mrs. McAllister!
This week is national Digital Citizenship Week! Learning never stops, and neither do our digital lives. We are helping our students reflect on their media balance, make responsible decisions, and treat themselves and others with kindness. Use these conversation starters to help your kids talk about their digital lives:
Here is the link to my presentation for families about Digital Citizenship again, in case you missed it in a previous post. It includes links to a Family Media agreement, research sites for kids, e-books about digital citizenship, and online games for practicing digital citizenship. Take a look!
Last week I received some early bird entries for the Book Character Potato contest! They are so adorable and make me smile every time I re-enter the library. Enjoy this sneak peek here and I’ll have more next week!
Big news! We will be having a Fall Online Book Fair for HHCS! It will be launched on the same day as Parent-Teacher Interviews- OCTOBER 20! I am excited that we will be partnering with USBORNE BOOKS. Our very own HHCS staff member, Deanna McAllister, is an Usborne rep and will be helping us to run this sale! Look for information coming soon about where to look at the online catalogue and order your choice of amazing books. HHCS will receive a percentage of sales back- to go towards keeping our library collection exciting and fresh!
This week I thought I would highlight the author Gordon Korman. This author has written over 90 books for kids and young adults. I remember reading his first book, This Can’t be Happening at McDonald Hall, when I was a child and marveling that Korman had written the book at age 12 and had it published at age 14! Gordon Korman’s books are a great recommendation for kids who just aren’t sure what they want to read. This Canadian author has written comedic books about the adventures of Bruno and Boots, adventure books such as the Island series and 39 Clues series, and many others that have become modern-day classics. I am currently reading aloud the book Restart to the grade 6 classes – here is an interview with the author!