Archive for September 2014

Students who have chosen Reading Olympics as one of their clubs during the Roadrunner Block (2:35-3:10 PM) meet on Wednesday afternoons.  The 5th grade group meets with Mrs. Spessard in room 202.  4th graders meet with Mrs. Hadd in room 119 and Mrs. Vaughan in the Library-Media Center.

Please remember the deadlines – the first one is quickly approaching!  Students who wish to continue in the Reading Olympics program must pass the Accelerated Reader test (80% or higher) on books from the RO list.  Reading Olympians must meet these minimum requirements…

  • 2 books by November 1
  • 4 books by February 1
  • 6 books by April 1
Congratulations to the following students who have met the 1st benchmark and can officially call themselves Reading Olympians!!!
    • Arden D.
    • Olivia S.
    • Mason B.
    • Allie B.
    • Emmy P.
    • Tyler P.
    • Marina S.

Click here for more information, including the list of 36 books on this year’s Reading Olympics list.

Last Friday, I had the privilege of being part of the 4th grade team during Regions of Virginia Day at RES.  Each teacher was assigned a region to review and students rotated through the different classrooms to learn & review each area of VA.  I transformed the Library-Media Center into the Valley & Ridge region…a place where I used to live!

Students sat in front of the display and explained what they would see if they visited there: farming (dairy & poultry), apple orchards, wildlife, and many Virginia universities (Virginia Tech, Radford, JMU, & VMI to name a few). Then the students were given the opportunity to taste cheese (to represent dairy farms) and apple juice (to represent apple orchards). While snacking, they watched a slideshow of images from the region including Abingdon’s Barter Theatre (the State Theatre of Virginia), the Bristol Motor Speedway, Natural Tunnel State Park (where I once worked as a Summer Ranger!), the Apple Blossom Festival, state parks, and more. After the slideshow, students listened to music from famous musicians from the region (June Carter Cash, Patsy Cline, Ralph Stanley) and created contrast art (high ridges & low valleys, warm & cool colors) using oil pastels borrowed from Mrs. Edmonds.

Students who came to the Library-Media Center were excited to see this display about the Valley & Ridge region of Virginia.

Students created artwork that depicted the Valley & Ridge region at sunset.

Thank you to the Stern family for the delicious snacks!

It’s hard to believe, but the fall Book Fair is ONE MONTH away!  This October, we will be transforming the RES Library-Media Center into Sir Readalot’s Castle: Enter the Kingdom of Books!

I am currently searching for volunteers to help with this huge, but incredibly rewarding, task.  Volunteers positions include…

  • Volunteer Coordinator
    • Set up a Sign Up Genius page to organize shifts
    • Recruit other volunteers
  • Decorations Committee
    • Create displays based on the theme
    • Work with Student Crew
  • All for Books Coordinator
    • Create a lollipop sale display or student contest to help raise money for the All for Books program…and for RES!
  • Wish List Assistant
    • Help the students locate books, prices, and items they are interested in purchasing on Student Preview Day (October 24).
    • Write titles of books on Wish Lists for younger students.
  • Sales Associate
    • Work the cash register to help with student and family purchases during sale days.
  • Muffin Donations
    • Donate items for our Muffins with Mummies event on the morning of October 29.
  • Set-Up Crew
    • Come in during the morning of October 23 to move tables, take books out of boxes, create table displays, and organize the items for sale
  • Take-Down Crew
    • Help during the afternoon of October 31 to re-pack boxes, make final financial deposits, and get the library back to “normal.”

ANY assistance that volunteers can provide would be absolutely wonderful!  Thank you in advance for all that you do to make RES such an amazing school!


I am so excited for my students to visit the LMC this week!

5th grade classes will be introduced to Grolier Online, which includes eight encyclopedia databases: Encyclopedia AmericanaGrolier Multimedia EncyclopediaThe New Book of KnowledgeLa Nueva Enciclopedia CumbreAmerica the BeautifulLands and PeoplesAmazing Animals of the World, and The New Book of Popular Science.

It’s a wonderful resource for them to use as it helps to…

    • Build vocabulary and analytical skills
    • Strive to comprehend increasing levels of text complexity
    • Identify and articulate point of view
    • Master analysis of evidence-based learning
    • Build digital reading stamina
    • Acquire content-area knowledge
    • Closely read informational and authentic texts

Students will be given an assignment to use Grolier Online to create a coat of arms (to be displayed at Sir Readalot’s Castle Book Fair!!!).  The coat of arms must include symbols that represent their heritage as well as what they would like to accomplish in the future.

4th grade students will continue to review how to use the Alexandria Online library catalog to search for books they would like to read. They will be given a TOP SECRET “Mission Possible” challenge to accomplish during class.

3rd grade teachers have asked me to help their students find “just right” books, so we will begin reading Goldie Socks and the Three Libearians (see last week’s post for more information).

This week has been a busy one in the Library-Media Center.

Kindergarten students were introduced to the world of book care with our friend, Marion the Hedgehog, in the story What Happened to Marion’s Book? by Brook Berg. In the story, Marion learns that she needs to take good care of her things – especially her library books!

They were also given special P.E.T. (Protect Every Title) Patrol book bags to keep their library books safe and dry.


First Grade classes reviewed how to use shelf markers by singing the “Shelf Marker Song” (to the tune of Hokey Pokey).  Ask them to sing it for you!

Second Grade students began listening to the story Goldie Socks and the Three Libearians by Jackie Mims Hopkins.  In the story, Goldie finds books that are too hard and too easy.  She uses the 5 Finger Rule to locate books that are “JUST RIGHT.”  After reading the beginning of the story, we practiced this rule and made book marks to remember it!

I just happened to glance at the Schoolwide Summary report in the Accelerated Reader program tonight and was THRILLED to see that our Reading Roadrunners have already earned  1433.5 points!  4th grade is ROCKING it out with 840.9 points!

All I can say is: WOW!  I think we’re going to have to set the school-wide AR goal high this year…and save $$ for more bouncy obstacle courses!
And to top it off, TWO students have already been inducted into the 100 POINT CLUB!  Way to go, Anna and Nate!

CONGRATULATIONS, Roadrunners and keep reading those “just right” books!

This is a sample selection of the materials in the RES Library collection that focus on the Constitution.

3rd, 4th & 5th grade students will be introduced to Follett Shelf this week during Library class.  Students will learn how to access their Follet Shelf accounts to borrow and read eBooks that have been purchased by Randolph Elementary School.  They will also be able to save notes, highlights, and bookmarks that they can access after returning the eBooks.

In addition to their regular library books, students will be able to check out one eBook at a time.  They will be automatically returned after a 14-day loan period.

Reading Olympics participants will find that we have many of this year’s titles available in this digital version as well as in print!

Once 5th graders receive their iPads, they will be given the opportunity to download an app to access Follett Shelf more easily.

Reading Olympians and fans of Mike Lupica’s sports stories:

ESPN sports reporter and author, Mike Lupica, is coming to Richmond!  He is the author of Heat, one of the titles on the 2014-15 Reading Olympics list.  He will be at the bbgb bookstore on Monday, September 22 from 4-5 PM.  The shop (which is usually closed on Mondays) will be open from 10 AM-7 PM for that day.  Hope to see you there!

Click here to pre-order your books: