Archive for January 2013

The 100th Day of School is quickly approaching!  Kindergarten and first grade students are making a list of “100 Reasons Why We Love Clifford the Big Red Dog” to celebrate this special occasion…and Clifford’s 50th birthday!

As a librarian, I have been anxiously waiting for this day – the day that the American Library Association announces which books will win their coveted awards for 2013.  The results are in!

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:  

  • This Is Not My Hat ~ illustrated and written by Jon Klassen (winner)
  • Creepy Carrots! ~ illustrated by Peter Brown, written by Aaron Reynolds (honor)
  • Extra Yarn ~ illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Mac Barnett (honor)
  • Green ~ illustrated and written by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (honor)
  • One Cool Friend ~ illustrated by David Small, written by Toni Buzzeo (honor)
  • Sleep Like a Tiger ~ illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, written by Mary Logue (honor)

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature:

  • The One and Only Ivan ~ written by Katherine Applegate (winner)
  • Splendors and Glooms ~ by Laura Amy Schlitz (honor)
  • Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon ~ by Steve Sheinkin (honor)
  • Three Times Lucky ~ by Sheila Turnage (honor)

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults:

  • Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America ~ written by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney (author winner)
  • Each Kindness ~ by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E. B. Lewis (honor)
  • No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller ~ by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie (honor)

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award:

  • I, Too, Am America ~ illustrated by Bryan Collier (illustrator winner)
  • H. O. R. S. E. ~ illustrated and written by Christopher Myers (honor)
  • Ellen’s Broom ~ illustrated by Daniel Minter, written by Kelly Starling Lyons (honor)
  • I Have a Dream: Martin Luther King, Jr. ~ illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Martin Luther King, Jr (honor)


Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience:

  • Back to Front and Upside Down! ~ written and illustrated by Claire Alexander (winner – children ages 0-10)


Laura Ingalls Wilder Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.

  • Katharine Paterson, author of books including:  Bridge to Terabithia, Jacob Have I Loved, and The Great Gilly Hopkins
Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience:
  • Martín de Porres: The Rose in the Desert ~ illustrated by David Diaz, written by Gary D. Schmidt (winner)


Pura Belpré (Author) Award:

  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe ~ written by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (winner – Young Adult fiction)
  • The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano ~ by Sonia Manzano (honor)
Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children:
  • Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon ~ by Steve Sheinkin (winner – Young Adult nonfiction)
  • Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin ~ written and illustrated by Robert Byrd (honor)
  • Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 ~ written by Phillip M. Hoose (honor)
  • Titanic: Voices from the Disaster ~ written by Deborah Hopkinson (honor)

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book:

  • Up, Tall and High! ~ written and illustrated by Ethan Long (winner)
  • Let’s Go for a Drive! ~ written and illustrated by Mo Willems (honor)
  • Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons ~ by Eric Litwin, created and illustrated by James Dean (honor)
  • Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover ~ written and illustrated by Cece Bell (honor)

Kindergarten and first grade classes are celebrating Clifford the Big Red Dog’s 50th birthday this week!



Fifth grade students:

  • Login to the laptop under your name, not student-student.
  • Choose a famous scientist from the Famous Scientisits website.
  • Click on the links to learn more about the scientist you chose OR go to the Grolier Online database.
  • Write important facts about the scientist on the graphic organizer provided to you in class.
  • Be sure to cite your sources!
  • Some of the completed fact cards will be displayed on the “Story Laboratory” book fair bulletin board during the month of February.

The STORY LABORATORY book fair begins on February 20th!


If you have a Facebook account, please help Randolph Elementary School WIN a visit from author and illustrator, Jan Brett.

As of January 25th, RES was in 85th place out of the top 100 schools with votes!

How to Enter Jan Brett’s Contest

  • Go to Jan Brett’s Facebook page (from a computer, not a phone or iPad).
  • Click the “Like” button at the top of the page.
  • Click on the the “Contest” button. This will open the official contest entry form.
  • Fill in the information for your…
  • first name
  • last name
  • school name (Randolph Elementary School)
  • school city (Crozier)
  • school state (Virginia)
  • school zipcode (23039)
  • Click “Submit.”

Be sure to tell all of your friends, family members, neighbors…everyone to enter!  Each Facebook account can only enter once, so please spread the word!

The first grade students have been working toward reading all ten of the books on the 2012-2013 Virginia Readers’ Choice list.

The purpose of this Virginia State Reading Association program is…

To encourage young readers to become better acquainted with contemporary books with outstanding literary appeal, to broaden students’ awareness of literature as a life-long pleasure, to encourage reading aloud in classrooms as a means of introducing reading for pleasure, and to honor favorite books and their authors.

The first graders have truly been enjoying the titles we’ve read on this year’s list.  So far, they have participated in lessons about…

  • City Dog, Country Frog  by Mo Willems
  • Dinosaur Versus Bedtime  by Bob Shea
  • Blue Chameleon  by Emily Gravett
  • I Need My Monster  by Amanda Noll
  • Say Hello to Zorro  by Carter Goodrich
  • Immi’s Gift  by Karin Littlewood

Which book will be their favorite?  Only time will tell!

See below for a few activities that the first graders completed on these titles.  Be sure to ask your first grader to retell the story for you!

For the past few weeks, students have been researching to learn more about the incredible life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  In honor of his accomplishments, students helped to create this bulletin board.  The bulletin board will be on display in the first grade hallway through the end of January.

The RES Reading Olympics teams have been meeting weekly during lunchtime since the beginning of the school year.  Coaches have been working hard to make team meetings fun and purposeful. They try to ensure that every book on the Reading Olympics book list has been read by at least one person on each team.

This year’s county-wide tournament will be held on Tuesday, April 9th @ Byrd Elementary School.

If you have a child who is participating in Reading Olympics this year, please continue to encourage his/her efforts.  We have been working so hard – and we are truly proud of all of our students’ accomplishments!  Keep reading, Roadrunners!

Photos below include multi-team activities like the holiday party in December and graphic organizer day in January.

January is my favorite month of the year!  Not only is it a chance for new beginnings, but also a chance to reflect back…especially on some amazing books!

Every January, the American Library Association selects one book to win one of the biggest book awards of the year – the Caldecott medal (not to mention some other amazing awards – I’ll blog on that later!).  This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott medal, which is an award given to the illustrator of the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature.

Lessons this week for students in Kindergarten, first and second grade will focus on learning more about this prestigious award.