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It has been brought to my attention that our policies are not well known. I will rectify that right now and get this school year started right. 

Please check with your child's teacher to find out when he or she has library. We reserve the right to change days during weeks that are short, weeks during which there are programs or field trips, or during assessment testing weeks. You student's  teacher should note any such changes in agendas. Please note that any fines assessed for these changed weeks are forgiven. 

 

Books are checked out for one week. A student whose regular library time is on Friday but comes on Wednesday to get a book needs to understand that the book is no longer due on their regular library day. They should renew on their next regular library day so that the days do not catch up to them. We cannot control this for single students; the computer program that governs our checkouts does this. 

 

Fines are assessed when an overdue book is checked back in. Fines are charged at 5¢ per day a book is overdue. We do not assess fines over weekends or holidays. If there is no school, there are no fines for that day. Maximum fine is 50¢ per book. Teachers may (and many do) impose some sort of discipline in the classroom as well, generally attributing that to responsibility. Please know that the money that is collected for fines over the course of a school year is minimal; the fine is there to teach consequences. It is helpful if you as a parent reinforce this at home by having your student earn the money for fines or take it from his or her allowance. Students also have the opportunity to work off fines by doing simple chores in the library: dusting, wiping tables or doors, and the like. As I said, this is not about the money.  If a student is sick on their regular library day, I ask that they not wait a week before returning their books. Please remind them to renew or return their books the day they come back to school. That way, class time is not taken from their classmates discussing why they should not be fined.

 

If a book is returned in an unusable condition, a note will be sent home with the student. That book will need to be paid for. It is appreciated if money is sent rather than a duplicate of the book. We try very hard to replace popular books with library-bound copies, and they are about 25% more than books purchased in a book store or on Amazon. The money that is sent in would be supplemented with budget money to replace that book. We appreciate your understanding of this.   

 

Being a K-8 school, we have books on our shelves that are not appropriate for everyone. Just as we would not allow a middle-school student to check out a Fly Guy book,  we also censor (a very dirty word in library management!) books that are deemed too mature for some students.  I cannot read every book that is purchased, but I do try to read reviews and understand what sensitive topics may be in a book. I fail at this sometimes, and ask that should you find a book that you think is inappropriate, please let me know why. A book that may be perfectly suitable and even helpful to a 7th-grader will not necessarily be so for a 4th-grader, even if reading tests show that the 4th-grader is able to read and understand that book. The subject matter may simply be too much. 

 

If you have any questions about any of our policies or procedures, please send me an email to discuss them. I work on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays; Mrs. Loyle may handle things a little differently than I do, but our policies as stated above are fairly firm. 

I know that is an awkward sentence construction, but it does say what I want it to say. Studies show that students who do not read over the summer show a significant regression in learning. I cannot emphasize it enough: READ!! To each other, with each other, beside each other, or by yourself. 

There are several reading programs available to students: the Public Library, Barnes and Noble (a free book at the end of summer!), Blue Baboon..you can find one without looking too hard. 

Bonus: If I see a student at the Public Library over the summer (and I go a couple times a week looking for students!), they will get a bookmark with a voucher for overdue fee forgiveness next school year.  I have already seen one student! 

 

 

So how do you choose a book to read?

We are in the middle of our BINGO game, where I have challenged the students in grades 3-5 to use the card catalog, also known as Destiny, to choose a variety of books. We had our first BINGO last week!!  If you are having a difficult time, please keep reading! 

1.  There are two notebooks in the library with series lists and other booklists that can be found in our library. Some of it is out of date, and we are working on getting it up to date, but time can be an issue for that. 

2.  Look at websites like Brightly, Goodreads, NPR, Scholastic, and Follett. 

Here is an excerpt from Renaissance (the company that hosts Accelerated Reader):  "Find great book ideas by using the "Advanced Search" function on www.arbookfinder.com.  Leave the title section blank, then pick an interest level, topic, and subtopic.  Use the left-hand sidebar to further sort the results."

If you can't find anything from any of these sites, then just Google "reading list for grade ____" and choose a list that looks good to you. 

3.  Ask a classmate what they are reading that they liked.

4. Ask Mrs. Seiwert or Mrs. Loyle.

Sometimes, choosing is the hardest part of reading! Choose wisely! 

Welcome to Semester 2!

 

All intermediate grades are playing a Library BINGO in an effort to stretch our reading muscles. Over the next week, each intermediate class will be instructed on using our card catalog, otherwise known as Destiny. There is a link to Destiny (a Follett website) on this page. If it doesn’t work, please type http:/bscs.follettdestiny.com and click on Blessed Sacrament School. This opens the card catalog. This week, we practiced entering something in the search bar and clicking on “keyword”, “title”, “author”, etc., as appropriate.

 

Each student should have 2 titles with call numbers when they come to library following their computer lesson. Please allow your student to play with this website at home so they will be prepared for library.

 

Any student who completes a simple BINGO will end up reading a total of 4 books if they use the Free Space; otherwise, they will read 5. The game ends on May 10. Time should not be an issue for the students. This is not in addition to any books required of them. They are choosing the books to read with just a little nudging in a specific direction. 

 

Each student will receive a small prize at a BINGO, but if they want to complete a BLACKOUT, they will be able to attend the Accelerated Reader movie party at the end of the year.

 

I hope this is fun for our students as they learn to wander outside of the comfort zone where books are concerned. As always, please contact me with any questions.

 

We have a bit of a theme going here in the library this year: PIRATES! We are reading pirate stories, talking about some favorites pirates of mine, and learning how to talk a bit like a (polite) pirate, since national Talk Like a Pirate Day is coming up on September 19. 

Of course, X marks the spot for treasure, and in this case, the treasure is books! A wealth of knowledge in our library! Thanks to the PTO, we were able to refurbish our old, out-of-date geography books with new, current ones. A real treasure!! 

And of course, we have other new books, both fiction and non-fiction for our students to enjoy. We are looking forward to sailing away to sunny lands and finding treasures of all kinds here! 

 

It is getting close! School is almost over! Yay!!

HOWEVER, we must read EVERY SINGLE DAY! Why? Let's talk about that a minute.

 

See this sliding board? Let's say that you are standing at the ladder, ready to climb up and slide down. The ladder is a symbol of the school year. Two steps up? You just finished the First Quarter of school--you got mostly Cs on your report card. You can do better than that! Two more steps on the ladder. Second Quarter is over! Yay! Your grades came up, 1 C, 1 A, and the rest Bs! Good job! You were working hard for that! Two more steps up the ladder: Third Quarter is over! This was a tough quarter, but look! Your grades came up again! No Cs, all As except that one B+! Great job! Two more steps, and you are at the top of the ladder! A lot of hard work this year, but you did it:  STRAIGHT As!!

 

YAY, YOU!

Now, slide down that slide! But wait, the slide was hot and hurt a little bit, and you have sand or grass on your legs. That is because you really wanted these:  the Monkey Bars!

Wait, that crazy Mrs. Seiwert is not making any sense at all! Okay, let's put this in a different context. 

Studies show that when you do not read over the summer, you slide all the way back to the 3rd quarter of school. It is like falling off the ladder, or sliding backwards. You don't want that! If you read every day of summer, you begin the new year at the same reading level (or higher!) that you finished the prior year. Like Monkey Bars!! 

There are many opportunities over the summer to read, especially this summer with the new library opening (I am so excited for that!). There are free reading programs, paid reading clubs, this school library--it isn't hard to do. Twenty minutes a day. 

Twenty minutes every day.

 

When the temperature swings from freezing to 'I don't need this coat", you know it is the winter version of Indian Summer! This is my favorite time to read books--I never feel like I should be doing something else! We have many new books in the library for students (or parents) to read. Our genre challenge is still going strong, but the final days for it are coming! (It ends on the Friday before Spring Break.) Battle of the Books is beginning, and the books selected for that competition are flying off the shelves! Midwinter is a great time in the library!

 

 

Things move slowly in the library.  Well, they are supposed to move slowly.  And quietly. Not always softly. But as quiet and slow as we are, we have so much going on! 

Grades 3-5 are participating (not all by choice!) in our Genre Challenge. Each student is challenged to read one book from 10 different genres and pass an AR test on each book. Their teacher will give them a reward at the end of the challenge. The challenge began at the beginning of this 2nd quarter and will end at the end of the 3rd quarter, so each student has plenty of time to complete it. I hope that this will open the students' eyes to books that are outside of the comfort zone.

The genres are:  Realistic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Journals/Diaries, Biographies, Humor, Poetry, Mystery/Suspense, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Folk Tales, Fairy Tales, and Myths/Legends/Fables.  Students are encouraged to us our website at home to choose books for the various genres.

Books are getting processed from our Book Fair this past October. This Fair is so important to getting new books for our library; we more than double our book budget with Scholastic Dollars. I know there has been some talk among Catholic schools about some of the books Scholastic offers. Please let me calm your minds about this where Blessed Sacrament is concerned. Our Scholastic rep, Melissa Fitzgerald, is amazing, and she is on top of any controversial book that might be offered. She takes books with questionable content off our fair, and we don't need to be bothered with it. This does not mean that your child can read anything at the Book Fair; it is still your job to monitor what your child is reading to make sure that it meets your values. 

Finally, we are gearing up for Battle of the Books. Anybody want to step up to coach? We have one coach, but could use another head and 2 assistants. I am including the list of books for this year.  It looks like a great season for reading!

NEW BOOKS

The Masterminds

Gordon Korman

Crossover

Kwame Alexander

Save Me a Seat

          Sarah Weeks and Gita

Pinocchio  

Carlo Collodi (Puffin Classics Edition; Translation by E. Harden)

A Long Walk to Water

          Linda Sue Park

Anything But Typical

          Nora Raleigh Baskin

The Boy on the Wooden Box

          Leon Leyson

You’ll Like It Here, Everybody Does

          Ruth White

The Last Boy at St. Edith’s

          Lee Gjertsen Malone

City of Ember

          Jeanne DuPrau

Salt

Gossamer

          Lois Lowry

Cracker

          Cynthia Kadohata

Pax

          Sarah Pennypacker

The Misadventures of Maude

          March

          Audrey Couloumbis

 

CARRY-OVERS

The Boundless

          Kenneth Oppel

Island of the Blue Dolphin

          Scott O’Dell

Gingersnap

            Patricia Reilly Giff

A Snicker of Magic

          Natalie Lloyd

Hana’s Suitcase

 

          Karen Levine

I hope everyone has a very blessed and peaceful Advent and holiday, filled with joy.

Already this year we have had several books turned in that are damaged to the point that we must replace them or delete them. This breaks my heart! I love books, all books, and take very good care of the books I own. I hate to see any books dropped, left open, put on the floor, or get wet. 

I had a book that I bought on vacation that I thought was the funniest book I had ever read. I woke my hostess up one night reading it! I got home and loaned it to my best friend, whom I dearly love. She took it and read it, and told me how much she enjoyed it. When she returned it, it was wrinkly and obviously had been wet. SHE READ IT AT THE SWIMMING POOL!! I trust my dear friend with my children, but I will never loan her another one of my books!

Parents, our budget is very limited. I am very careful with what I spend on books here. Please help your student take good care of them. This means not putting the books in the same bookbag/backpack as a water bottle.  Even if you can separate the pages without tearing them, those books that have been wet are the ones that smell bad after the summer. Please be mindful.  

Along this vein, we ask that you pay for a book rather than replace it.  We generally purchase our books from publishers who print for library circulation. The difference in these books is the same difference in the quality of school uniforms and the shorts or shirts that you buy at K-Mart. 

 

Thank you for your help and understanding in taking care of our books.  

Image result for card catalog

 

Remember this?

Because our circulation is online now, you and your student have the opportunity to access our card catalog in your pajamas! You can see what books we own, what is checked out, even what is checked out to your student!

Intermediate students have been learning how to logon and access their records this past week. If you have any questions about logging on and checking your child's checkouts, please call me here. I am happy to answer any questions you might have as I am able to do so. 

The web address to check on books is :  www.bscs.follettdestiny.com

The website to check for AR quizzes is:  www.arbookfind.com

I just found out that we can request quizzes be made for books that do not have quizzes already written. Please do so for any book that is not a new publication. Newly-released books, especially series books, will have a quiz written and published within about 10 days from the release date. Suggestions for older books are encouraged (by us!).

Keep reading!! 

 


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