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WSS Library Newsletter
Volume 1 Issue 1
WSS Library Newsletter
Volume 1 Issue 1
The Benefits of Audiobooks
School Library Month
HISTORICAL FICTION CONTEST
To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Southbridge being incorporated as a town, the West Street School Library is offering a contest.
We have acquired a refurbished American Doll and a variety of furniture items for American Girl dolls. They will be given away to qualifying entries.
1. Student will choose a historical fiction book and read it.
2. They will identify the time period of the book.
3. They will then find a photo of Southbridge from the same period of time. (Photos of Southbridge in different time periods can be found on through the Jacob Edwards Library website. See article to the side.)
4. The student will write a story. The story will include the main character and themselves in the setting found in the Southbridge photo.
5. All entries must be submitted by April 15, 2016. Submissions should be given to Ms. Shoup in the library. Winners will be announced on May 1st.
These photos show some of the prizes.
Thank You, PTA!!!
Due to the generosity of the PTA, the WSS Library has some beautiful new books!
There are many nonfiction titles including animals, history, internet safety, and planets.
70 books in all!
Thank you so much for providing us with books our students want to read!
Keep listening. The PTA gave us something else. We'll be announcing it soon.
Sustained Silent Reading
“Research has shown that reading ability is positively correlated with the extent to which students read recreationally” National Center for Education Statistics, The Condition of Education, 1997.
SSR is generally said to increase vocabulary acquisition, improve spelling, build fluency, improve reading speed and raise enjoyment in the act of reading.
So if our students will achieve higher levels of reading by reading for fun, how can we encourage them to read?
In the West Street School Library third, fourth and fifth grade students start each library class with SSR (Sustained Silent Reading). True to the model of SSR, students are allowed to choose their own reading material. The librarian is available to guide and assist in selection.
One of the most important factors in the development of an enthusiastic reader is having role models. WSS students will know that teachers and librarians read. At home you can expand their view of reading by letting them know how important reading is to you. Leave your reading material where they can see it. Talk to them about something you are reading. If you haven’t read for pleasure in a while and don’t know where to start take a trip to the Jacob Edwards Library. Their knowledgeable staff will help you find something to interest you. While you are at it, take your children along and encourage them to take advantage of the children’s room.
Massachusetts Children’s Book Awards - Paper Doll Project
5th grade student project depicting characters from the book The Familiars by Epstein and Jacobson.
Our fourth and fifth graders have been reading the books nominated for the Massachusetts Children’s Book Awards. Earlier this month student who had read five or more of the titles on the list voted for their favorite one. One of our students read all twenty-five books!
Meanwhile, they have been searching the text for details about how the characters look in order to make their paper dolls. Our students are being very creative with their creations.
The winners of the MCBA are as follows:
The Lions of Little Rock by Kristen Levine
(in alphabetical order by author’s last name)
The Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
Dewey: the Library Cat by Vicki Myron
The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
I Survived: The Shark Attacks of 1916 by Lauren Tarshis
The list of books for next year’s challenge will be posted to their website by May 15th. Students who will be in grades 4,5 & 6 in March 2016 are eligible to vote. Make sure to take a look at the list for great summer reading ideas.
The current link to information on this important offering can be found at http://www.salemstate.edu/academics/schools/28550.php
National Poetry Month
April is National Poetry Month. We will be reading and writing poetry in the library during this month. Each grade level will have a unique focus depending on the poetry standard for that grade.
First graders will be listening to rhyming poetry, identifying rhymes, creating rhyming words and working together to create a simple set of rhyming verse.
You can help at home by practicing rhyming words, adding rhyming into your routines and noticing when you hear two rhyming words in books, on television or when you are out in the community.
Second graders will write poems will dialogue. We are currently working on identifying dialogue and writing down dialogue using correct punctuation. After ample practice we will write poetry.
You can help at home by writing down something you like to say to your child and asking them to insert the quotation marks and punctuation. You can view a slideshow about writing dialogue by clicking on the multimedia tab above.
Third graders will write poems that use alliteration, onomatopoeia or rhyming. They have also been using the digital treasures archive to learn about local history. They will choose a photo from the collection and write a simple poem about it that has one of the elements above. You can help at home by asking your child to show you the archive, choosing a picture and picking out key elements. Then write down words that start with the same letter as the element, words that describe the sound they would hear, or words that rhyme with the key element.
Fourth graders will be writing poetry that use similes or metaphors. You can help at home by using similes or metaphors in your daily routine or by pointing them out when you hear them. You can also state a topic and ask them to make a simile to describe it.
Fifth graders will be writing five poems that reflect the genres they have been studying. They must choose at least three different genres to represent and three different styles of poetry. Poetry making helps can be found through the poetry tab on the links list to the right.
You can help at home by asking what genres they are focusing on and brainstorm the kind of words that describe that genre.
Third Graders Learn about Local History
Third graders are learning about primary and secondary resources and local history. They have been examining the wealth of primary documents available through the Digital Treasures Central and Western Massachusetts Digital Library Project.
We were fortunate to have Margaret Morrisey, Director of the Jacob Edwards Library, come to speak to our third graders. She told them about the history of Southbridge, the Digital Treasures project and what it took to research the items to post in the project. Students made connections between the landmarks they see around town and the historical photographs we looked at.
Student Made Book Recommendations
Students made recommendations for the Massachusetts Children's Book Awards can be viewed by clicking on the Multimedia Blog button above or the link below:
Massachusetts Children's Book Awards Voting
Voting for the Massachusetts Children's Book Awards happened last week. 54 students from 4th and 5th grades read 5 or more of the books on the list to qualify to cast their vote. Some students found it hard to choose as they liked a number of the books they read. The results were:
Third Graders on the Search
Third Graders are starting to learn about searching for information on the internet. We will employ a number of strategies to narrow our searches to useful results.
Successful searches begin with identifying “keywords” to search with. We are beginning by developing our ability to describe items precisely. You can help your child improve this skill by playing a game of description. Describe a picture in a magazine or a person or animal you both know using as much detail as you can.
After practicing description we ask a question, look at all of our descriptive words and choose the ones that would be helpful in searching for a useful answer. We may describe a chair as being pink, but that detail of our chair may not be helpful in searching for how to build a chair.
We will move along to Boolean Terms to help students get more useful results. Many of our top search engines today retrieve useful information when entering your exact question, but many databases will not yield the same results. Learning to narrow search terms will help our students to become more savvy information seekers.
Fairy Tale Evaluators
In December first and second graders explored the genres of Fairy Tales. We focused on the elements of Fairy Tales and practiced checking out stories against the standards to see whether they fit the requirements.
We acted out selections from the tales, having students practice facing the audience.
We followed this all with a Fairytale beanbag toss testing students' ability to apply the standards and have some fun at the same time!
The elements we looked for in each story were:
- begins with "Once Upon a Time"
- the presence of royalty (king, queen, prince or princess)
- a magical creature or a magical thing
- someone who needs help/someone who needs to be saved
- a problem to overcome, usually something that seems impossible
- a happy ending
- the words "and they lived happily ever after"
If you are reading a fairy tale together or wat
ching a movie, ask you child to identify the magical creature or the member of royalty and join the fun!
West Street School Library Catalog