Thursday, October 31, 2013

Let the Battle Begin!

NLMSIS get ready to battle...about books, that is!  All students are invited to participate in the state Battle of the Books competition, organized by the Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association.  Students participating in the battle are required to form a team of 2-4 students, and then as a team read all of the books from one of the lists below.  Fifth and sixth graders may choose to join either the elementary division or the middle division.  From now until February, the team's job is to read, read, read!  Then, in February all teams will meet to compete in a school-wide battle.  The winning team from each division will represent our school at the state competition. 

If you are interested in learning more about Battle of the Books, plan on attending an introductory meeting in the library on Monday, November 4 during Bulldog Time.  See Mrs. Young in the library with any questions.

Here are the lists for each division:

Elementary Division

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
The Battle of Gettysburg, 1863 (I Survived series #7) by Lauren Tarshis
Big Mean Mike by Michelle Knudsen
Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard
City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney
Escape!: The Story of the Great Houdini / Sid Fleischman
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O’Brien
No Talking by Andrew Clements
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Press Here by Herve Tullet
Stick Dog by Tom Watson
This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Middle Division

The Battle of Gettysburg, 1863 by Lauren Tarshis - I Survived Series #7 (GA Int)
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
Chomp by Carl Hiaasen
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata
Dark Life by Kat Falls
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
Deep Zone by Tim Green (GA MS)
Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
Ice Story: Shackleton’s Lost Expedition by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
Ida B--: And Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World by Katherine Hannigan
Legend by Marie Lu (GA MS)
Middle School: Get Me Out of Here by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts (GA MS)
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (GA Int)
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
Smile by Raina Telgemeier (GA Int)
Stick Dog by Tom Watson (GA Int)
Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

NLMSIS Students Care about Literacy!

Wow!  We are amazed at your generous spirit.  Not only did our school have its most successful Scholastic Book Fair ever, but you also donated an astounding extra $563.28 to Scholastic's All for Books program!  With your donations, we were able to buy extra books for the library, and Scholastic matches what we collected and donates that amount to schools in need.  How awesome is that?!  Here is just a snapshot of the All for Books money collected and the books that your donations purchased for the library.  Do you see any of your favorites?

A special thank you goes out to the following DEAR groups who exceeded our expectations.  
Mrs. Keach's class  who donated $121.77
Mr. Wegner's class who donated $91.67
Mrs. Krause's class who donated $77.38
Mrs. Zaddack's class who donated $67.26
Mrs. Dachelet's class who donated $65.59
Mr. Weldzius's class who donated $38.93
and Ms. Carrillo's class who donated $33.51

Thanks to all of you for your generosity.  You have shown that you truly care about literacy and helping others!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thinglink Booktalks

Mr. Wegner's 5th graders shared some of their favorite books by creating their own interactive images in Thinglink. Thinglink brings images to life by letting users connect uploaded images to video, music, and text links. Users can also search for and comment on creations made by others.  Check out our examples below to find out more about what Mr. Wegner's students love.  Click on the icons embedded in the images to be connected to some awesome resources that tell you more about these books.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pollution PSAs

Seventh grade students have been learning about different types of pollution in their Science class.  To share what they know, they created PSAs using iMovie.  View the videos below to see a few examples and learn more about how pollution affects our environment.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Book Blind Date

These lucky students took a big risk, but what a great chance it was! They have decided to risk it all and go on a blind date...with a book! In celebration of this year's Teen Read Week, "seek the unknown @your library," we have a cart of wrapped books waiting to be checked out to some brave readers.

Once students get to the circulation desk, they unwrap their books and learn what they will be reading. Every student who actually reads his or her book and completes the book review form wrapped with the book will receive a prize. Check out these happy readers and their "book blind dates."

 Watch for our bulletin book next month to read the student reviews. Happy Teen Read Week!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Scary Stories using GoAnimate

In honor of Halloween, we have a special treat for you- some scary stories written and produced by our eighth grade students using GoAnimate for Schools.  After learning about the elements of horror story writing, they wrote their own and produced them into the videos below.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Math Problem Solving Challenge

We have many math wizards at work at NLMSIS.  We have partnered with a school in Omaha, NE, to test our math skills.  Using the iPad app Explain Everything, participating fifth and sixth grade students at each school are writing their own real-world math problems and sharing them with our partners.  After the exchange, students will attempt to solve each others' problems.  Students will also use Explain Everything to record a solution and "talk through" the problem-solving process.  At the end of the month, we will be meeting our partners via Skype to challenge one another live.

View a peek at some of the problems created by our students.  Can you solve these problems?  Send your answer to Mrs. Young at to see if you are correct.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Seek the Unknown during Teen Read Week

Where can I find the answer to the mysteries of life?  Your library of course!  Seek the unknown @your library from October 14-18 in celebration of Teen Read Week.  Throughout the week we will offer some fun activities such as a treasure guessing jar, the Scholastic Book Fair, and a mystery reader guessing contest where you have to uncover the identities of staff members wrapped up like mummies.  Check out the bulletin board outside of the library for contest details.  Here is a sneak peak of what you will find:

You can even go on a "book blind date."  Check out one of our wrapped books, read it, and write a review of it.  Turn in your review and receive a prize.

Oh, and don't forget about our All for Books Competition.  The DEAR group that brings in the most loose change to help purchase books for our school library and for schools in need will earn a donut party and $50 in Scholastic classroom cash.

You can find out full details about our events by viewing our flyer.  We can't wait for the festivities to begin!

Explore our Reading Oasis!

In a little over a week our library will no longer be the same.  On October 14, when you enter our doors,  you will be taken back in time to an age of mummies and ancient tombs.  Our library will no longer be just a library but instead a "reading oasis."  Stop in the library from October 14-21 to shop for some great book fair deals.  We will be open daily from 7:50-3:30 and during parent-teacher conferences on October 15 and 17 from 4-8.  Can't make it to the book fair?  You can shop online by going to our book fair homepage.  Your book fair purchases help us build our school library and promote a love of reading.  We can't wait to see you enter our "reading oasis"!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Exploring the Web to Learn about Explorers

All fifth graders began working on a research project involving famous explorers.  To get them ready for research, the students came in with their Social Studies teachers to learn a few things about researching from Mrs. Young.

Students completed an online scavenger hunt for an assigned explorer.  Their mission: answer some basic questions about the explorer using two websites.  They needed to be good researchers and check both links for the needed information.

As students began digging into the facts, some discovered something interesting: each site had different information.  Students then worked in teams to discuss the similarities and differences of each site and figure out what to do to resolve the problem of the conflicting information.

At the end of the lesson, students understood the big picture- the Internet is not always a reliable tool for research, and it is important to be familiar with a topic before beginning research online.  We also read a fabricated article about Christopher Columbus in class from the website All About Explorers, and learned that this site was made for the sole purpose of teaching students how important it is not to believe everything that they read online.  Many students had an ah ha moment when we read the article aloud as many admitted to only skimming their articles for answers, not reading them closely.  Therefore, they missed discovering some of the obvious clues that showed this site a fake.

The next day, students returned to the library for part 2 of the lesson: If the Internet is not always trustworthy, where do I find the good stuff?  Mrs. Young defined subscription databases and showed links to the ones that our school has available to them.  She also compared the publication of a book to the publication of a website which exemplified why printed books are excellent, trustworthy research resources.

It was a big lesson for the fifth graders, but one that will hopefully stick with them as they engage in future research projects.

Mystery Skype

Fifth graders in Mrs. Young's Integrated Technology classes practiced their digital communication skills by participating in a Mystery Skype with another classroom located in an unknown place in the world.  Students took turns asking one another "yes" or "no" questions to figure out where the others were located.

Throughout the process, we were hard at work using Google Maps to zoom in on particular areas and formulate new questions based on the previous answers given.

In the end, we learned where are new friends were from; fifth hour students talked with fourth graders from Los Altos, CA, and sixth hour students correctly guessed that our Mystery Skype partners were from Decatur, IL.

We even had time to ask one another questions about our daily lives.  What did we learn?  We are more alike than different (except for the sports teams for which we cheer!)

Thank you to our partner schools for the great experience and for helping us learn more about communication in the 21st century.