Thursday, January 10, 2019

Eugenie Clark, Shark Lady by Jess Keating, Illustrations by Marta Alvarez Miguens

Our second Chickadee nominee is Shark Lady; The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist, a great book about a woman that was passionate about sharks!

More Moon and Space Links

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Visit Scholastic and learn more about the Jedi Academy series. Author Jeffrey Brown has also written the Darth Vader and Sons series as well as the Lucy the Neanderthal series. LINK
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Check out the Origami Yoda series by Tom Angleberger! LINK


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Thursday, January 3, 2019

January, Wolf Moon

This blog post is all things MOON. We begin reading our Chickadee nominees on January 7th with the story, When the Moon Comes by Paul Harbridge. This is a great story of the magic of being out on a moonlit night in winter.

Here are some other things we will be exploring:
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Isadora Moon is half vampire and half fairy. There are four books in the Isadora series, the fifth will be published in March of 2019. These books are great choices for beginning chapter book readers in grades K through three. Visit Author Harriet Muncaster's website for fun coloring pages, biographical information, informational videos and more. 
Watch this video to learn how to write your own fiction stories.

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Blizzard of the Blue Moon is a Magic Tree House, Merlin Mission book, MTHMM. This is number 36 in the series. Travel through time with Jack and Annie in the Magic Tree House books. The first MTH was written in 1999. Number 32 in the series, "To the Future Ben Franklin!", will be published in July of 2019. The Merlin Magic books were first published in 2001 and are almost twice as long as the original MTH books so that children can continue on when their reading ability increases.

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Author Torben Kuhlmann has illustrated three wonderful stories with similar formats. They are kept in our E section but are a hybrid between a picture book and a chapter book in that the stories are longer and have more words. Each story introduces to real life science with an interesting fiction story. The beautiful illustrations will capture readers attention. These could be a great jumping off point for more in depth research into space travel, flight, and underwater exploration.

Armstrong:The Adventurous Journey of a Mouse to the Moon

Lindbergh:The Tale of a Flying Mouse

Edison:The Mystery of the Missing Mouse Treasure

Also, Moletown

Trailer for Armstrong

Grace Lin has a very popular trilogy of books that are inspired by Chinese Folktales. 
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
Starry River of the Sky
When the Sea Turned to Silver
When the Mountain Meets the Moon is a New York Times bestseller and a Newberry Honor book. Although these are chapter books, Lin's has included beautiful illustrations throughout the books.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Code for Kids

Code for Kids

Each year
 in December we celebrate Computer Science Education Week by participating in coding activities during IT classes. Hour of Code is an international effort to get kids creating computer code and many of the resources we use come from Students in grades one through five have a code folder on their home screen. Even though these apps look like games and kids have a lot of fun using them, they are in fact learning some great skills.
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Hour of Code
“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.”

This year students in grades 3-5 had a great time creating dance routines with Dance Party

Here are some other programs we used:

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First and Second Grade

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Third and Fourth Grade

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Fifth Grade
Swift Playgrounds

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We read, How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funke to all students in grades 1-5. This simple book provided a basic overview of how code works and introduced us to sequences, loops, and conditionals. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018


Epic is a great resource for school and home. Kids can read fiction and nonfiction, picture books and chapter books. Read as a family, read for fun, read to learn! Try it free for 30 days then pay a low monthly fee to continue using it.

To log in to Epic! at home click on this LINK
Enter your class code.

Other digital book favorites:

Monday, June 4, 2018


Kids love to watch videos, and if videos are carefully selected, children are closely monitored, and screen time is used sparingly, videos can be entertaining and educational. Watch together as a family, follow up with a discussion, and you’ve changed a passive activity to a fun family event. For guidelines on screen time for kids visit,

YouTube for Kids

This is an app you can install on your iPad or iPhone. It is geared for kids up to second grade. You can limit age level to preschool or school age, turn the searching option on or off, set a passcode, and monitor history. Recommended channels: Piano Guys, National Geographic Kids, PBS Kids, Peg & Cat, All Things Animal, Crash Course Kids, Big Wide World.

Brain Pop and Brain Pop Jr.
We purchase this educational video resource for classroom instruction and as a student
resource. Parents can login at home using RSU13South for the Username and learn for
the password. There’s a featured video everyday. Kids can watch it and take a quiz after to
see what they learned.

YouTube You can learn about everything under the sun on YouTube which is
good and bad. Children should be very cautious when using YouTube or they may
stumble onto content that is not appropriate. We teach our students to 1) Only go
on the internet with an adult, 2) Stick to sites that are just right for kids, 3) Only talk to
people that you know. You can restrict searches by clicking on your profile, scrolling to
the bottom and selecting “Activate Restricted Mode”. Create “Playlists” of content that
you want your kids to be able to watch by clicking on the + button just under the video.

Search for appropriate content by searching for reputable channels and subscribing.
Here are some recommendations: Ted-Ed, Cartooning 4 Kids, Patty Palmer (Deep
Space Sparkle), San Diego Zoo, Flocabulary, Sick Science, Crash Course Kids,
Smart Girls.

Create Your Own Video
In a world where videos are such a powerful tool to communicate and learn,
it only makes sense that we know how to make our own. These are a few video apps
we used this year.

Adobe Spark Video
Spark Video is not a tool designed for kids but it is super easy to use and
very intuitive. Kids can create slides using their own illustrations and photos or images
they get from the internet (as long as they are choosing sites they have permission to
use for photos). Each slide can be narrated, text can be added, as well as theme music.
Videos have a very professional look to them with little effort or special tools. Spark
Video can be used online through a browser or on a tablet or iPad.

Stop Motion Studio Pro
This is an app we purchased for South School students in grades 3-5
but it could be used with younger students as well. If you want to create Gumby or
claymation style videos, this is the app you need. Our students creates simple
2 dimensional characters from paperand shot their footage from above, moving
characters and settings in small increments. With the paid version you can add theme
music and sound effects as well as narrate with
your voice.

Toontastic is a fun animation app that lets kids choose premade settings
and characters and compose their own stories. If you have a creative child that just
wants to tell their imaginative stories without the fuss of creating characters and
settings this is your app. Characters can be customized. Stories are told through
audio narration, not text.

If your children are making video creations, remind them not to
include any personal information in their work. We teach them not to
share their full names, birthdates, addresses, personal photos, email
addresses, phone numbers.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Family Weekend Adventures

Parent Lending Library
South School welcomes parents to the learning commons on Friday afternoons between 2:00 and 4:00 to check out fun family activities for the weekend.

Board Games
Adventure Packs
Family Read Alouds
Door Prizes

Check out items on Friday afternoon and return them on Monday morning. Books may be checked out for a week and renewed if needed. Visit our online library catalog to see if we have a particular book you would like to read with your children. 

Cooking Adventure Pack
Our new family adventure packs were made possible with a Donors Choose grant. The cooking adventure pack has everything you need for a weekend cooking project. There's a rolling pin and cookie cutters, cupcake tins and cookbooks. Let the adventure begin!

Outdoor Adventure Pack
Spring is here and it's a great time to get outside. Our weekend adventure pack has everything you need to explore the outdoors including field guides, magnifying glasses, binoculars and granola bars. Hit the trail!