I Spy

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Calling all Library Books...

We are about to begin our annual inventory of all library materials, and many books still need to be returned.  Please take a few minutes to check desks, lockers, bedside tables, home bookshelves, backseats of cars, etc. for any library materials.  A reminder:  Bills are being sent home for missing materials.  If you can find and return those materials, GREAT!  If not, please send the replacement cost of the book by the end of next week (June 15th).  Should those missing materials be found during inventory, your money will be refunded.

Thank you so much for your help!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

In the Home Stretch...

Now that we are in the last few weeks of school, the time is here to gather all loaned books and begin our annual inventory.  To assist us in our efforts, all materials need to be returned by this Friday.  Bills for lost or missing books will be sent home by the end of next week.

So, what will we be doing in the library if we're not checking out books?  Students will complete the end of the year STAR Reading test (on the computer), work on their book recommendation ads, and create our summer reading lists.  We'll be looking at some new tools in the computer lab and on the iPads, and taking down all those beautiful feet that have added so much color to the library and the school hallway.

Looking around the media center, it's clear we have had a busy and productive year.  Many volunteer hands have helped along the way, and I'm very grateful to all who offered their talents to support the efforts of our students.  Thank you!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

2012 Children’s Book Festival: Baseball Bonanza!

2012 Children’s Book Festival: br /Baseball Bonanza!: June 9, 2012
Time: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Join a host of authors and artists who have created some of your favorite baseball picture books for our 7th annual Children’s Book Festival in conjunction with the exhibition We Are The Ship: The History of Negro League Baseball, original paintings by award-winning artist Kadir Nelson. The Museum will host members of the Negro League Baseball Players Association for a special program in the Auditorium. In addition, this event for art-, book-, and baseball-lovers of all ages will feature art activities, artist and author presentations and demonstrations, and book signings. Enjoy ballpark fare or bring your own picnic to enjoy in our apple orchard.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Very Special Thank You

Many thanks to Lucca, Charlie, Julianna, and Zac for their help at the school committee meeting tonight...you guys rock!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Exciting times, indeed!

I just returned from a conference for librarians that featured many new ideas for programming, integrating technology into the media center, and predictions for the future.  I see many exciting things on the horizon, and am eager to begin thinking about how to include some of these things into our programming at Wolf Swamp.

Our focus over the next few weeks will be:

  • re-aquainting ourselves with folktales from around the world;
  • creating advertisements for our favorite books, and
  • making our summer reading lists.

*  Mark your calendars!!  World Culture Night at Wolf Swamp, May 22, 6:00 - 8:00 pm.  Great activities, foods from around the world, story telling, and music.  Come and travel the globe with us!!  *

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Horses (a poem)

I can hear the clinking of their feet,
they're always looking for a treat,
twitching 'cause of those old flies,
blinking those beautiful eyes,
hear them neighing,
Watch them playing,
    - Julia

Mine by Lilian Moore : The Poetry Foundation

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Poem about Poetry (by one of our students!)

Poems can be red
You can read them in your bed
Poems can be blue
Some are funny too
They can be about bikes and kites
And making sure the bedbug bites
All the way to leprechauns in tights
I'm not trying to rhyme
But they can be about charades or a mime
You can read them anytime
Some for less than a dime
Poems are good for you
So let's see you make one too.
                     - Anonymous

Enjoying the Great Outdoors

This time of year brings out the nature admirer in many of us:

Forest Walk by Kristine O'Connell George : The Poetry Foundation

Monday, April 23, 2012

Rain, rain...

After a week of beautiful weather for our vacation, raindrops welcome us back to school.  Here's a poem from one of our second grade friends to celebrate our much needed rain showers:

Dear Rain

Cloudy, sparkling




I hear you slide,
Glide and slip

You bring us water
Make it cooler
Not hotter

I wish you no pain
My dear friend,
-       Sophia

Sunday, April 22, 2012

For the Fans of Acrostic Poetry

Universe by Steven Schnur : The Poetry Foundation

Try your own hand at writing an acrostic poem.  Here are some words to try:
  • PETS

And if acrostic poetry is your cup of tea, you may want to check out African Acrostic: a Word in Edgeways.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Images of Summer

This recent weather conjures up images of evenings by the campfire, toasting marshmallows and making s'mores.  This isn't a s'more, but I like the images created in this poem:

Toasting Marshmallows by Kristine O'Connell George : The Poetry Foundation

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Do you remember this classic?

"The three little kittens, they lost their mittens," by Mother Goose : The Poetry Foundation

Books, books, and more books...

The little book elves of our library have delivered some more great reads to our library:  missing selections from some of our favorite series, more poetry collections, new and exciting books about space, and some wonderful new picture books.  Deciding which books make it onto the "New Books" easel will be quite a challenge indeed!

And speaking of books, if you find some gently used children's books in the midst of your spring cleaning, please consider making a donation to our "Spread the Word" campaign.  The number of inner city children who do not have books of their own might surprise you, and one way to encourage the development of literacy is to have great books available to read at home and at school.  Let's make sure that each child in the school we are sponsoring gets to pick out a book to take home!  For those who have already make a donation, thank you so much!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Memories from Childhood

I cannot remember the first time I heard my dad recite this poem, nor could I begin to count the numbers of times I've heard him recite it since.  It always gives him such delight to say it, and it makes me smile every time I hear it.  And now I'm sharing this gem with you:

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck ...  by Mother Goose : The Poetry Foundation

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cambridge Science Festival

So, you're home for vacation week and would like something to do?  I strongly recommend making the trip to Cambridge this Friday for the Opening Day Carnival of the Cambridge Science Festival.  Lots of fun activities that feed your curiosity, and it's FREE!  Check out this link for the full scoop:

Photos from a previous Opening Day Carnival.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Time for Vacation...

Time for Vacation                    

Time for vacation,
to take a break
from the day-to day
racing around;
Time to relax
and just s...l...o...w down.

Time to visit
family and old friends
or dive into a book
that you hope
will never end.

Wherever your vacation takes you, and whatever adventures come your way, may you have a restful and relaxing break!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

What a Lovely Surprise!

Several students in yesterday's 1st grade class presented me with a lovely surprise...their original poems!  It's great to see so many students getting excited about poetry.  Here's a sample:

"Jump Rope"

Jump slap,
jump slap,
twirl slap.
Jump roping.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Today's Poem

Sneezles by A. A. Milne : The Poetry Foundation

New Titles in Our Sports Section

Looking at the votes collected so far, I see a strong interest in adding more sports books to our library.  This section has always been one of our most popular, and we have recently added many new titles in sports such as baseball, basketball, football, hockey, gymnastics, skateboarding, and swimming.  Some recent additions include:

  • The Story of the Boston Red Sox                                       
  • The Chicago White Sox
  • The Story of the Colorado Rockies
  • The Chicago Bulls
  • The Dallas Mavericks
  • The New York Nicks
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers
  • The New England Patriots
  • Soccer in Action
  • Kids' Book of Soccer
  • I Want to Be a Gymnast
  • First Day at Gymnastics
  • Swimming in Action
  • Skate Boarding
  • The History of the Philadelphia Flyers              

In fact, we've added over 50 new titles to our sports section...be sure to check it out soon!  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New England Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Mix and Mingle with Picture Book Creators

New England Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Mix and Mingle with Picture Book Creators:    April 20, 2012    Time: 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

Visit with picture book creators Anna Alter, Carlyn Beccia, Harry Bliss, Brian Lies, Shelley Rotner and Dan Yaccarino and get your favorite books signed.

CactusHead Puppets presents The Emperor’s New Clothes

CactusHead Puppets presents The Emperor’s New Clothes:
April 16 - April 21, 2012       Time: 2:00 and 3:00 pm

Fashion is the most important thing to the Emperor, even more than taking care of his own kingdom. When two strangers come to town promising the most beautiful clothes anyone has ever seen, the Emperor learns a lesson in fashion he will never forget. Come join us as CactusHead Puppets puts a silly spin on an old favorite.Sponsored by MEFA's U.Fund College Investing Plan and Fidelity Investments. Click here for more information.Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Museum Admissions Desk or by calling (413) 658-1126.

Special Storytime with Author Kathy Brodsky and Artist Cameron Bennett

Special Storytime with Author Kathy Brodsky and Artist Cameron Bennett:
April 14, 2012   Time: 2:00 pm

See an author and artist at work as Kathy Brodsky reads and talks about the books she’s written while illustrator Cameron Bennett sketches. Book signing to follow.

Favorite Poem?

Yesterday, one of our inquisitive first graders asked me to share my favorite poem.  I'm not I really have a favorite poem.  Not yet, anyway.  If I were being honest, poetry used to be intimidating to me...all that imagery, rhythm, and rhyme!  At least that's what I used to think.

And then a friend challenged me to try my hand at haiku, a form of poetry that comes to us from Japan that has a specific form and is focused on nature.  Seventeen syllables, describing something in nature...how hard could that be?  Harder than I thought, but the process of reading and writing haikus helped me develop a new appreciation of poetry in general.  So many forms: concrete, acrostic, cinquain, sonnet, free verse, limerick, couplet, diamonte...not the stuffy image I'd originally created in my mind.  Thank you to my friend for challenging me to take a fresh look at poetry.

Today's poem:  http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/176031

Sunday, April 8, 2012

First Men on the Moon by J. Patrick Lewis : The Poetry Foundation

First Men on the Moon by J. Patrick Lewis : The Poetry Foundation

Spread the Word

It's that time of year...flowers and trees are in bloom, the grass is green and growing, and many are getting the itch to spring clean.  As you clean out your closets and bookshelves, please consider donating your used children's books to the "Spread the Word" campaign.  All books are donated to an inner-city Springfield elementary school.  We need at least 500 books to make certain that each student is given a book.  A collection box will be located in the front lobby, and our book drive runs from April 9th through May 4th.  For more details, click onto this link: Spread the Word Book Drive details .

Friday, April 6, 2012

Jack Pretusky - a Popular Poet for Children

Jack's poetry is whimsical, imaginative, funny...everything you might want in a children's poet.  We have several of his books available in our library.  If you would like to try out a few of his poems in the meantime, follow this link:  http://jackprelutsky.com/



Thursday, April 5, 2012

Poetry Month, Day 5

At the Playground

Away down deep and away up high,    
a swing drops you into the sky.
Back, it draws you away down deep, 
forth, it flings you in a sweep
all the way to the stars and back
---Gooby, Jill; Goodby Jack:
shuddering climb wild and steep,
away up high, away down deep.
                         - William Stafford                             

Love the imagery of this poem...I can almost feel the breeze blowing through my hair as I reach my toes for the sky!  

I stumbled upon this great blog about poetry for children:  http://poetryforchildren.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Creating Poetry Together

In the first grade class today, we worked together to create a poem.  We started by brainstorming ideas before narrowing our focus to math.  We then made a list of words that came to mind when thinking about math, and here is the result:

Numbers, Numbers Everywhere

Counting numbers: 1, 2, 3.
Adding numbers: 4 + 4.
Leap frogging along the number line.
Leap frog right,
Leap frog left;
Ten minus one equals nine.

This poem will be added to our collection on our classroom Poet Tree.  What creative students we have!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Poetry Books

Just in time to help us celebrate National Poetry Month, we have added some new poetry books to the library.  Titles include:

 I'm Allergic to School
Skeleton Bones & Goblin Groans
African Acrostics
Almost Late for School
For Laughing out Louder
From the Doghouse
If You're Not Here, Please Raise Your Hand
Today at the Bluebird Cafe

We have also gathered a number of guides to writing different forms of poetry, along with rhyming dictionaries.  These books will remain in the library for Poetry Month so that all students can use them as references while we all try our hands at becoming poets.  Beginning in May, these books will be available to check out.

For a little more inspiration, take a look at this link:  http://www.gigglepoetry.com/

Monday, April 2, 2012

National Poetry Month, Day 2

Today's poem has been submitted by one of our fabulous first grade students:


                      Oh dogs, dogs,
                      beautiful friends to play with,
                      they jump and run, 
                      jump and run.

                      Beautiful friends to play with,
                      they cuddle and lick happily,
                      a dog for a best friend.
                      Oh dogs, dogs, dogs.

Looking for some inspiration?  Want to see how published poets do their work?  You might want to check out this site:  

Have fun, and keep sending along your poetry!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

And for our creators of prose:

I was recently introduced to a great website that provides inspiration to those wishing to create their own picture books.  The site is called StoryBird, and our third grade students are beginning to explore this site together while visiting the media center.  Here is a sample of what can be done with a few clicks of the mouse and a little creativity:

Welcome to a Day in the Life of Bob by klonganecker on Storybird Student usernames and pass codes are available upon request.  Send me an email or stop by the media center to be added to our group!

Happy National Poetry Month!

Just a reminder that we will be accepting original poetry all month to post on our Poet-Tree in the media center.  Using the 'Poetry Idea Machine' on the Scholastic website, I created this limerick in homage to the upcoming baseball season:
     There once was a lad from Nepal                                  
     Who dreamed every night of baseball:
     He would step up to bat
     Wearing his tights and a hat
     And hit a home run past the wall.
To give this site a try for yourself, click onto this link:  http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/poetry/poetry_engine.htm#

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Engineered Books

Ever heard this term before?  Most likely no, but chances are you have seen one of these books.  If you have enjoyed The Very Hungry Caterpillar or many of Eric Carle's other great works of art in book form, then you have experienced the joy of an engineered book.


Pop-up books make up a large portion of this kind of book, and over the past few weeks, our students have been learning how to handle these delicate materials.  We now have some beautiful examples of engineered books in our library collection, available for browsing while visiting the media center.  Student don white cotton gloves before exploring these treasures as a reminder to use gentle and careful hands.  

In addition to these amazing books, we have also added some how-to books to our collection that show readers, step-by-step, how to make their own stories jump to life through paper engineering.  Titles include:

The Pocket Paper Engineer, Volume I: Basic Forms: How to Make Pop-Ups Step-by-Step
The Pocket Paper Engineer, Volume 2: Platforms and Props: How to Make Pop-Ups Step-by-Step
Pop-Up: Everything You Need to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book
Elements Of Pop Up: A Pop Up Book For Aspiring Paper Engineers

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Calling All Poets (or those who would like to be...)

Have you noticed the tree silhouette near the entrance to the library?  This is our "Poet-Tree"!  We have a few winter haikus hanging on the branches at the moment, but most of the tree is bare.  National Poetry Month begins April 1st, and to celebrate this month properly, wouldn't it be great if we could fill our tree's branches with poems from our students?

Need some inspiration?  Scholastic has a great, interactive tool to get you started with four different kids of poetry:  haiku, limerick, cinquain, and free verse.  Feel free to print off your creations and add them to our "Poet-Tree".  Here's the link:  http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/poetry/poetry_engine.htm#

Flip-flops, sunglasses,
Vibrant blooms and warm breezes... 
Is this really March?
- by Ms. Longanecker

Let the paper folding begin!

Our 4th and 5th grade students began learning how to make origami paper cranes this week.  Many have said they would like to try making more cranes at home, but don't think they will be able to remember the directions.  Here's a site that may be helpful:  http://www.wikihow.com/Fold-a-Paper-Crane

As the cranes are brought into the media center, we will string them together and hang them on display until we reach our goal of 1,000 cranes.  Don't have origami paper, you say?  Stop by the circulation desk...we have a variety of sizes and patterns of paper to suit your needs!  Thanks to all who are contributing to our collection!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Before we had books...

How did people share stories with each other before we had books?  That was our topic du jour for the younger grades.  We realized that we share stories in many different ways:

  • Through music and songs;
  • with dance and movement;
  • using pictures and art, and
  • acting and telling, just to name a few.

We looked at examples of ancient cave drawings and thought about what messages the ancient people were sending to each other.  We then took advantage of the the beautiful spring weather to create some of our own drawings, using sidewalk chalk on the bricks in the courtyard.  Our theme was "A Day at Wolf Swamp Road School".  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

500 Books Read and Counting...

Many of you have noticed the footprints meandering across the library walls.  Each of those footprints represents another book read by a WSRS student.  We started this project at the beginning of our second term...and this week, we reached the 500 book milestone!  How many more books can our students read between now and the end of the year?  I would LOVE to see us break the 1,000 book milestone, and to that end, we have been adding many new titles to our catalog.  Be sure to check Destiny Quest regularly to see what great new reads are added each week!

Follow the trail around the room...

Monday, March 12, 2012

1,000 Paper Cranes and a Wish

Sunday, March 11, 2012 marked the one year anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  Last year's fifth grade class learned that, in Japanese culture, if a person makes 1,000 paper cranes a wish will be granted.  We began folding and didn't stop until we had over 1,400 cranes.  A teacher from Japan, who was visiting Elms College last spring, came to our school and shared what this disaster meant for her hometown.  We sent her back to Japan with all the cranes and our best wishes for her and those from her hometown.

This year's fourth and fifth grade students would like to make another 1,000 paper cranes, this time to let those impacted by the quake and tsunami know that they have not been forgotten.  While making our paper cranes, we'll be reviewing some of what we have learned in geometry (What shapes are created when we make our folds and how do we know what these shapes are?).  We are also reading Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes to help us better understand the long-term impact of radiation exposure on people and our environment.

Spring Book Fair - Day 1

Many 'oohs' and 'ahhs" could be heard as students browsed the shelves of the Book Fair.  Don't be surprised if your child comes home with a sizable wish list!  An impressive selection, at least on Day 1.  Students who visited the library today, but didn't make their purchases, have created wish lists and may stop in to shop either after school each day this week or when their parents come in for conferences.  Hope to see you at the Fair!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spring Scholastic Book Fair

Looking for a few good reads to take along on your upcoming spring vacation?  You're in luck!  Next week is our annual Spring Scholastic Book Fair.  Students will be visiting the fair during their scheduled media center times, unless otherwise noted by your child's homeroom teacher.  You are also welcome to visit the book fair before or after your scheduled parent-teacher conference.  Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Many Thanks

While we continue to add up all the contributions to the "Exercise the Right to Read" program, I can already tell you that this program has been a great success!  Students who participated are loving the opportunity to choose a book to be donated in their name and to be the first to check out the latest addition to our collection.  Click onto http://library.longmeadow.k12.ma.us/quest/servlet/presentquestform.do?site=204&alreadyValidated=true to see what's new.

I'm taking photos of students with their choices for a collage to be on display in the library.  Many thanks to all who supported this new program!

PLEASE NOTE:  If you would prefer your child not be photographed for this project, send me a quick note via email at klonganecker@longmeadow.k12.ma.us .  Thanks!