Monday, January 16, 2017

Visit With An Author

What inspires a story?
How do authors make books?
How long does it take?
How do illustrators make the pictures?
How do you come up with characters?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Meet the Chicks

Each year South School students join with other kids from the state of Maine to help choose the next Chickadee Medal winner.  Join in the fun and read these books at home with your kids. If you would like to be a guest reader at South just let me know.  We are inviting people from the community in to read two of the nominees; Land Shark by By Beth Ferry, Illustrated by Ben Mantle, and Emmanuel's Dream by By Laurie Ann Thompson and Sean Qualls.

January is the month when many prestigious awards are given in the book industry. Watch for announcements for the new Caldecott, Newbery, Coretta Scott King, Theodore Geisel and Sibert award winners. Links are attached on the right sidebar of this website.

Click on this link to learn more about the Chickadee Award, LINK

Students in grades 4-8 are encouraged to read the 40 books nominated to receive the 2016 Maine Student Book Award.  Here is the link to learn more about them. LINK 

Many Chickadee nominees and MSBA nominees are available online from our South School Learning Commons Library and from the Rockland Public Library.  Please let me know if you need help accessing them.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Hour of Code is BACK!

“The 'Hour of Code™' is a nationwide initiative by Computer Science Education Week and to introduce millions of students to one hour of computer science and computer programming.”

  1. Click the yellow Start button
  2. Choose from Moana, Minecraft, Star Wars, Anna and Elsa
  3. The left side of the screen is the Game Space, the middle section is your Tool Box, and the right side is the Work Space
  4. If you get stuck, Read and Reread your directions at the top of the game space

Monday, November 28, 2016


Can't draw?  Try doodling. It's relaxing, creative, and fun! Explore doodling in the  Learning Commons new Maker Space. Watch these videos to learn more. Enjoy!

Creative work will be displayed in the Learning Commons and shared on the Learning Commons website. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Trees Are Terrific!

Visit the Learning Commons to look at trees close up. Learn more about trees and why they are important. Visit these links and watch these videos for more information. Go for a walk in the forest and admire Mother Nature's handy work.

Think about the following:
  1. What makes a tree a tree?
  2. How should you prepare to go out in the woods to look at trees.
  3. When we breathe, we give something to trees. What is it?
  4. What do trees give to us?
  5. What are the three things we can look at to identify a tree?
  6. Draw an example of a tree that has opposite branch patterns.
  7. Draw a picture of a tree that has an alternate branch pattern. 
  8. What kind of branch pattern does a maple have?
  9. What are three things trees need to live?
Sources for more information:

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Digital Citizens

Photograph of Canada Geese on Martha's Vineyard by Mrs. Tibbetts, April 2016

Children today are growing up in a media rich environment.  Responsible digital citizens need to know how to use the internet safely, how to search the internet effectively, how to respect the work of others, and how to communicate respectfully using digital tools.   

Respect the Work of Others
There are lots of great images, music, stories, and information available on the internet. Responsible digital citizens don't take things that don't belong to them because that would be stealing.  If you want to borrow things you find on the internet to use for school projects there are some basic rules you should follow:
  1. Find out who owns it.
  2. Get permission to use it. 
  3. Pay for it if necessary.
  4. Give credit to the creator.
  5. Use it responsibly.
LINK to this video to learn about copyright. Watch videos in the playlist below to learn more.

Britannica Encyclopedia allows students to cut and paste images for their creations and provides citations to help you give credit to the creator.

Sites for responsible and ethical use of photographs. 
Photos for Class
Pics 4 Learning

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Literacy Night

Write About It
My Storybook is a web based app that's perfect for elementary school students.  You can set up a free account. Create your own simple storybook using images from their small image bank or upload your own. You can also use provided background scenes and colors. Change font size, style, and color. Share your completed stories with others through email, Facebook, Twitter. Download and print your books for a small fee.

All South School students have their own Google Drive account. Google Drive is a web based storage and creation program as well as an app for iPads and tablets. We begin modeling how to use Google Drive in Kindergarten but it is not taught until second grade. Students in grade two through four use it regularly to write and collaborate. In Google Drive you can create Documents, Sheets, and Slides among other things. Children are encouraged to use Google Drive at home as well as at school. Anytime children use the internet, they should be closely supervised by an adult.

Read About It
The South School Library eBooks
The South School Library has begun a collection of eBooks that are available to all of our students. To access these eBooks, go to the library website and click on the online library catalog.

From the online library catalog, click on Follett Shelf.

When you are in Follett Shelf, look in the top right corner and click on "Collections". Then click on eBooks.

Books that are available will say "in" in the top right corner.
Books that can be checked out by an unlimited number of people will have a blue corner and the infinity symbol. You will need your username and password to check books out. Your username should be your first initial and last name.  Your password should be your district password. See Mrs. Tibbetts if you need help.
You can also download the Free Follett Brytewave K-12 app on your iPad or tablet.
Open eBooks and First Book
South School students qualify for this free eBooks program accessible from your iPad, iPhone, or tablet. Watch this video to learn more. See Mrs. Tibbetts for a username and password.

Read more here. LINK
And here. LINK
Learn how to use Open eBooks here. LINK

Book Bub is a daily email service that helps you to stock your digital library with free and low cost books.  You can choose the categories of books you want to be notified about including children, middle grades, teen and young adult. This is a service that adults should use on behalf of their children, I do not recommend that children have their own accounts.

Larger public libraries in the state of Maine belong to a consortium that provides digital books and digital audio books free to members. They have children's and teen categories.  You will need your public library card number. If you don't have a public library card, applications are available from the South School Library. Just click on the "Download Library" icon from the Rockland Public Library website and login.  The Maine InfoNet Download Library includes for all ages including adults. Parents should filter accounts so that only appropriate content is available to their children. From your account you can change settings to filter out adult content. See Mrs. Tibbetts if you need help with this.

Talk About It
Adobe Voice is an iPad app.  It's a great program to create simple videos comprised of images and audio recordings.  We have used it many times in the library. We have created ABC books, recorded fractured fairy tales, retold classic fairy tales, and created Maine postcards for friends in New Zealand. Videos can be embedded in a website and emailed to friends. You can use your own photographs and artwork or use icons from their image bank.  You can also search the internet for images.  This is an amazing app with infinite possibilities.

Where to find great books 
for your kids (or yourself):

Award book lists make great reading lists and they are a great way to challenge yourself. Make it a goal to read all of the Caldecotts or Newberys, participate in choosing the Maine Student Book Award or Chickadee Award medal winner.  Click on the links at the top right side of the library website to learn more.
  • Maine Student Book Award. Forty books are nominated each year by a panel of librarians and teachers. Students in grades four through eight vote for the award winner.
  • Chickadee Award. Ten nominees are selected by librarians and teachers each year. Maine students in grades K through four vote for the winner.
  • Caldecott Award. The Caldecott Medal is selected annually each year by the American Library Association, usually in January at their annual conference. The medal is given to the artist of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
  • Newbery Award. The Newbery Award is selected annually by the American Library Association to the "author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children".
  • Theodore Geisel Award Awarded by the American Library Association to the author of "the most distinguished American book for beginning readers."
  • Sibert Award is selected annualy by the American Library Association for the most distinguished informational books.
  • Noteable Children's Books are the "best of the best" as selected by the American Library Association. The list is for children from birth through age 17.
  • Novelist K-8 is a book review site located in Marvel Maine.  You can find out Lexile level, reading level, locate new titles based on old favorites and more. You will need your public library card to login.
  • Common Sense Media Visit this site to evaluate children's books, videos, and apps to see if they are appropriate for your child.
  • Good Reads is a reader's service that helps you to locate books, read reviews from other members, view "best" book lists...  This site is not intended for children but is a place where parents can learn more about books their children might be interested in.
  • Of course!  This is a great place to read reviews and determine suitability.