LIttle Bird Tales

Screen shot 2011-02-15 at 8.45.18 PMA few weeks ago our 1st grade classes at Riverside visited the school forest.  I collaborated with Mrs. Baumann’s and Mrs. Maahs’s classes to use the pictures taken from the visit and create a classroom online book written by the students.  A few students from each class were chosen to record what was written.  To see an example, click here to watch and listen.

Why do I love using Little Bird Tales to create  an online story with students?  Perhaps the description from the LBT website explains it best: “Little Bird Tales was created to help nurture children’s creativity and imagination while simultaneously creating one of-a-kind digital stories that can easily be shared. We strive to foster a love for reading, writing, self-expression and creative technology and to make the process easy and fun for students and teachers.”

Little Bird Lessons has opened up new possibilities in the classroom, giving educators and students a truly interactive experience with options like listening to verbal instructions, voice recording/verbal response, drawing, importing images, and writing using a keyboard. With hundreds of ready-made lessons offered, teachers will have more time to focus on teaching.


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Internet Safety and So Much More…

playgroundThe past few weeks have flown by with students at all grade levels learning about the importance of internet safety, including what to do if you encounter a cyber bully.

Mrs. D used a variety of websites with students that can be found on our internet safety website, which has excellent resources for parents also.

Kindergartners have been using their mouse skills to create jack-o-lanterns that we printed from the Carve a Pumpkin activity on the web site ABCya.  We also reviewed how Community helpers such as fire fighters support our community.

1st graders reviewed what to do if they encounter bullies and why kindness is the key to being a good citizen of our school and life in general.  BrainPopJr. has an excellent video and follow-up quizzes on the topic.

2nd graders created Wordles about themselves for their writing journals.  Students in older grades also created PBIS Wordles that we are displaying around the school and that we have given to specialists.

3rd graders are using Kid-Friendly search engines as they research their U.S. landmarks.  They also learned internet safety and the importance of not sharing personal information online.

4th graders did an excellent job of discussing what a digital footprint is and why you must really focus on kind words when posting comments online.garfield

5th graders have been finishing up their memoirs in our computer labs, along with internet safety lessons that emphasize steps that can be taken to stop cyber bullies.  Mrs. Lorge’s class is finishing their iMovies on various areas of the library and how it use them.challenge

We have a few projects in the works that Mrs. D will be sharing in the upcoming days.  Enjoy this fall weather while it lasts!

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In the beginning…

imagesimagesSeptember was a month of significant changes for both students and staff.   The biggest change for our library was the changes in our schedule.

What were some of areas we focused on in our library/computer lessons?  For K-2 students, depending on grade level:

  • Student introduction to the library and its staff
  • Theme –  What is a library?
  • Behavior expectations, how to take care of a book, examples of proper and improper book care.  
  • Yes/No Review Game – reviewing proper book care.
  • Computer lab rules and parts of the computer
  • Logging into the computer, navigating the desktop and practicing mouse skills.
  • Practicing listening behaviors and book check out.
  • Computer lab rules and AUP
  • Importance of selecting a “just right” book and using the 5-finger rule were discussed and modeled.
  • Introducing the OPAC
    For 3-5 students, depending on grade level:
  • Online Library Catalog – specific searches (title, author, subject, series) 
  • Respecting School Computers – Acceptable Use Policy discussed, importance of hand sanitizer
  • Review of school web page.  
  • Difference Between Fiction and Non-Fiction – call numbers and locations 
  • Logging into the computer, navigating the desktop and practicing using the OPAC.
  • Scavenger Hunt to locate different areas of the library and find specific items based on call

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Welcome back!

1969325_10201403002195309_24195082333297469_nHow was your summer?  Our family had a many fun experiences and one of my favorites was catching a 10 1/2 inch blue gill while fishing in the Bayfield, WI area.  Mrs. D. had fun sharing stories from her vacation and hearing from students and staff highlights of their vacations.

The 2014-15 school year brought with it significant changes in our scheduling of the library and its services.  For the last three years we have had a flexible schedule – this year we have started a fixed schedule with the library being added to the specialist schedule as an encore class.  Our focus in September was to get students introduced to our library staff, the expectations we have in both the library and computer lab and getting students comfortable logging into our computers.

With our rotation schedule Mrs. D sees students for 1 hour or a 1/2 hour, depending on the day and the rotation.

Mrs. D wants to also send a special thank you to Mrs. Marquardt for substituting for her this month.  Mrs. Marquardt came out of retirement to help us out and we are very grateful!

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Summer Reading Ideas

bookAs we enter our summer vacation, don’t forget to take some time to read a few great books!  Last week I went over with classes, all of the great programs the Marathon Public Library has to offer, along with other local businesses such as Barnes and Noble.  Check out our link to Summer Reading here!

Also, if you are looking for a list of books to read, don’t forget the AASL lists for elementary students found at this link.

My previous post listed all of the Battle of the Books for the 2014-2015 school year.  Your local public library can help you find copies of those great books also!

We hope you have a great summer – Take time to enjoy every moment of every day!


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Battle of the Books List for 2015

Unknown-2Here it is!  For those 4th and 5th graders next year who are interested in reading the Battle Books this summer, here is the list for 2015.

Elementary Division

State Battle of the Books


Golden Archer Nominees (Primary)

The Dark by Lemony Snicket

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

Oh, No! by Candace Fleming

Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by James Dean

That Is Not a Good Idea! by Mo Willems


Golden Archer Nominees (Intermediate)

Big Nate Flips Out by Lincoln Peirce, IL 3-6, RL 3.0

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney, IL 5-8, RL 5.8

The Nazi Invasion, 1944 (I Survived series #9) by Lauren Tarshis, IL 3-6, RL 4.6

Killer Species: Out for Blood by Michael P. Spradlin, IL 3-6, RL 6.5

** Wonder by is the 5th Golden Archer nominee at this level. It is not a Battle book this year, as it was used last year. **

Advisor’s Choices

11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass, IL 3-6, RL 4.1

Amelia Lost by Candace Fleming, IL 5-8, RL 6.3

Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo, IL 3-6, RL 4.3

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, IL 3-6, RL 6.6

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, IL 5-8, RL 4.9

Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, IL 5-8, RL 5.0

Loser by Jerry Spinelli, IL 3-6, RL 4.3

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George, IL 5-8, RL 5.2

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry, IL 3-6, RL 3.0

Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan, IL 3-6, RL 3.4

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, IL 5-8, RL 4.9


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It’s that time of year…

DSCN0902DSCN0898The few weeks of school are usually a hectic time and this year is no exception.  On May 12th we celebrated those students who read 500 books in this year’s Book Bugs reading incentive program.  Over 30 students and parents joined Mrs. Dembowski and Mrs. LesStrang in the library to eat a pizza lunch.  Congratulations to everyone!

This past week Mrs. D had fun setting up a Skype session in our multimedia computer lab with one of our 3rd graders who is currently living in England. Mrs. Staff and her class had a chance to visit with their classmate Simon and talk to him about their latest adventures.

Kindergartners were busy in the computer labs using PebbleGo to research their animal or insect, learning how to print pictures and information from their articles.

Mrs. Reimer and Ms Wegner are working with Mrs. D and all the 2nd graders to do research using PebbleGo and Kid-Friendly Search Engines on their habitat.  This week Mrs. D will get them started in the Google accounts and demonstrate how to create a Google Presentation.

All students were introduced to our End-Of-The-Year book raffle.  This was our last week to check out library books and all students who were eligible to check out books and didn’t have any overdue books, received a raffle ticket.

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