Archive for September 2012

The second grade students are working on animal research projects in their science classes.  In the library, they will be learning some useful research skills as we work on a group project to learn more about armadillos.

Why armadillos?  We were inspired to learn more about armadillos after reading Jan Brett’s book, Armadillo Rodeo.  In that story, we learned that armadillos have poor eyesight and can curl into a ball to protect themselves.  Students had many other questions about this animal and we’re hoping that our research project will help to answer them.

Students:  Click on the following links to complete your research project.

  • National Geographic: Armadillos

  • Animal Planet: Armadillo

  • Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo: Armadillo (YouTube video)

  • San Diego Zoo’s Animal Bytes: Armadillo

  • Armadillo: Encyclopedia Britannica Kids

  • The Cat in the Hat’s Fish Facts: Armadillo

Students at RES will once again be participating in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record campaign.  This year’s book is Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad by David Somar and Jacky Davis.  Students across the school will be taking a moment at some point in the day to read this book on October 4th.

YOU can pledge to read this book at home, too!  Just click on the following link and complete the required information.  Then on October 4th, Jumpstart will email you and ask you to write in the exact number of children that you read Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad to on that day.  They will add that number to their total – and hopefully there will be a new world record!

Pledge to Read link

Jumpstart's Read for the Record

Jumpstart is a national early education organization working toward the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed. Jumpstart delivers a research-based and cost-effective program by training college students and community volunteers to serve preschool-age children in low-income neighborhoods. Through a proven curriculum, these children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path for lifelong success. Jumpstart is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. Learn more at

If you are interested in being a coach for the Reading Olympics program, please contact me ASAP!  We currently have 55 fourth and fifth grade students signed up to participate in Reading Olympics, which means we will have 5 teams from RES this year.

Parents who are interested in coaching (or co-coaching) should plan on visiting RES once a week for team meetings.  I will help to guide you through the process.  You are not expected to read any or all of the 38 books on the Reading Olympics list, just lend support and guidance to the students who are on your team.

Team meetings will begin soon, so please don’t hesitate!  I will have a Reading Olympics information booth set up during the Club & Organization Fair on Tuesday, September 18th from 6-6:30 PM (prior to the PTA meeting on Open House Night).  Please stop by my table to learn more…and to sign up to help!  Thank you!

Any parents who are interested in learning more about the newly improved Accelerated Reader program are welcome to come to the Library during Open House on Tuesday, September 18th following the PTA meeting.

I will have computers set up to teach parents how to login to the program from home to access their child’s scores, points earned, and goals.  I will also be available to answer any questions about this program.  Hope to see you there!

I wanted to share something new that I am doing this year.  On Thursdays, the library will have different hours.  Instead of being open from 8 AM – 3:30 PM, I will be here from 10 AM – 5:30 PM on Thursdays only.  The plan is that if students are working on research projects, need time to take AR tests, or need a quiet space for completing homework, they will have the option to stay after school and work in the Library.  
I’ve already had a few students take advantage of this in the past few weeks and hope that more will be able to use this flexible time to complete their assignments. I know that some of Mrs. Spessard’s students are planning on working on their GRIP projects during this time as well.
There are a few “rules” to staying:
  • I must have written parent permission no later than Wednesday of the week the students want to stay.
  • No more than 10 students can stay each week.  (I want to be able to spend time working with them and giving them the attention they deserve.)
  • Students must be picked up no later than 5:15 PM.
  • If there are behavior problems, students will not be allowed to stay again.
If you have students who might be able to benefit from this opportunity, please contact me.