Library News   

Grand Canyon by Jason Chin awarded Caledecott Honor Medal

posted by Kathleen Finn

Many of our SFX students have enjoyed the experience of a school visit by nationally acclaimed children's book author/illustrator Jason Chin, who lives locally and has visited our school twice over the last few years. During his last visit he talked to the students about his newest book Grand Canyon,  published in early 2017.  Grand Canyon was recently named a 2018 Caldecott Honor Book (one of the most distinguished American picture books of the year)  as well as a Sibert Honor Book (one of the most distinguished informational books of the year), two of the prestigious Youth Media Awards conferred annually by the American Library Association.  Grand Canyon is “an outstanding introduction to one of the world’s greatest outdoor wonders, with much to offer elementary students about Southwestern biomes, sedimentary geology, and the profound pleasures of observing nature” (School Library Journal)    Congratulations, Jason Chin, from all your fans and friends at SFX!

"Blind Date" with a book--it's back!

posted Feb 14, 2018, 11:36 AM by Kathleen Finn

If it's Valentine's Day, it's time for a "Blind Date with a Book" in Mrs. Richards' Language Arts 8th grade class.  This activity challenges readers not to judge a book by its cover, but rather by a few well-chosen descriptive phrases touting a book's strong points and appeal.  First,  Mrs. Richards'  students chose a personal favorite  from our library they wanted to  "fix up" with a new reader.  Then they  typed up their list of selling points, which were  affixed to the plain brown paper wrapping up each respective book.   With the books spread out on the library tables, students were given 30 seconds or so to size up each potential "book date", and then go back and make their choice. 

Students took the still-wrapped books back to Mrs. Richards' classroom, where they finally could "meet" their book, face to cover.   The students will follow up in class with some "first impressions", but as they get to "know" their book better, will consider the book's plot, setting, characters, and other aspects of its "personality" more in-depth.

So Genius Hour.....

posted Jan 31, 2018, 11:55 AM by Kathleen Finn

First through third graders  have loved learning about  inventor Lonnie Johnson, the subject of Red Clover nominee Whoosh!  Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions.  This title has been a perfect real-life tie-in to this year's school-wide Genius Hour initiative.  Here third graders Justin and Sevie display the book and Mr. Johnson's most famous invention--the Super Soaker water gun.  Meanwhile, their classmates are working with paper cups, balloons and pom-poms to invent something of their own.

Hour of Codesters

posted Dec 13, 2017, 9:27 AM by Kathleen Finn   [ updated Dec 13, 2017, 9:30 AM ]

Digital Learning classes in 3rd through 8th grade participated again in  National Computer Science Education Week's Hour of Code.
A fun time was had by all!

Figuring out Little Bits

posted Dec 13, 2017, 9:15 AM by Kathleen Finn   [ updated Jan 31, 2018, 11:56 AM ]

The Lego Club gang tries something new... Little Bits, simple-to-use
 electronic building blocks that create limitless inventions.

Kindergarten's first check-outs

posted Sep 15, 2017, 12:14 PM by Kathleen Finn

Ms. Poirier's kindergarten students proudly display the first book they chose to check out of the library.  Everyone made such great choices!

ECHO Center Reduced Admission Pass Available Again to SFX Families

posted Sep 4, 2017, 2:55 PM by Kathleen Finn   [ updated Oct 2, 2017, 5:30 AM ]

We have received a new reduced admission "Library Pass" from the ECHO Center that is  available at the library circulation desk.   This pass allows up to 4 people to visit ECHO for $7 each, about half the regular admission cost.   This pass is loaned out, not given out, so please use it in a timely manner and return the pass to Mrs. Finn at the library circulation desk so another family can use it.  This pass affords  a great family opportunity--so DO use it!

Newbery Medal winning author Kwame Alexander visits Burlington

posted May 9, 2017, 1:20 PM by Kathleen Finn   [ updated May 12, 2017, 8:09 AM ]

All of our middle school students were set to hear nationally recognized and Newbery Medal-winning author Kwame Alexander speak at Burlington High School on March 14 when Mother Nature interfered with a blizzard.  The rescheduled speaking date was Good Friday morning, a SFX holiday, but six enthusiastic sixth graders opted to attend anyway with Mrs. Richards and Mrs. Finn.    Hundreds of other Chittenden County students attended this outstanding event as well, which was generously organized by The Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne.  

To prepare the middle school students for the original event, Mrs. Richards taught Mr. Alexander’s Newbery Medal winning title  The Crossover to all her language arts classes.    Written in free verse, The Crossover lent itself perfectly to listening to the audio version of the book and then writing original poems.  Mrs. Finn worked with the 8th grade Digital Learning class to create an interactive timeline of Mr. Alexander’s life, which the 8th grade students presented to 7th and 6th graders.  

Mr. Alexander’s event at BHS was a dynamic mix of personal storytelling, music and ad-lib celebration of verse with students, all with an aim to inspire young people  never to give up on their dreams.   Mr. Alexander shared how he revised and revised his prize-winning title The Crossover only to have it rejected by 21 publishers.  On the cusp of self-publishing his book, he got a call from Publisher #22…..and the rest is history.    Mr. Alexander’s newest title, The Playbook:  52 Rules to Aim, Shoot and Score in this Game Called Life, reflects his infectious never-give-up attitude to overcoming obstacles and saying “yes” despite the “nos.”  

Mr. Alexander gave sixth-grader Seth  the privilege of reading aloud the author’s  free-verse interpretation of “Rule #7” from The Playbook in front of the whole assembled crowd!

  For more information on Mr. Alexander and his books, click here.     

2017 Red Clover and Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award State Winners Announced

posted May 8, 2017, 2:37 PM by Kathleen Finn   [ updated May 9, 2017, 12:13 PM ]

Drum roll, please!  The Vermont student voters have spoken for 2017!

The Dullards (Extra Boring Edition) by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri, won this year's Red Clover Award for best picture book.  This title is a hilarious, tongue-in-cheek look at what happens when ever-so-dull Mr. and Mrs. Dullard move their family of three children to a boring town to avoid any excitement in their lives.  Many of our Grade 1 to 3 students must have agreed, because this title came in a close 2nd at St. FX to Finding Winnie:  The Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh.  

First graders cast their first votes for their favorite Red Clover book.

 The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and  Jory John won the most votes from Vermont students in Grades 4-8 for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award.   When master prankster Miles Murphy moves to sleepy Yawnee Valley, he challenges the local, mystery prankster in an epic battle of tricks but soon the two join forces to pull off the biggest prank ever seen.  While this was a very popular title at St. FX, there was no runaway favorite here this year.  Indeed, 18 out of the 30 titles on this year's Dorothy's List received at least one vote and no title garnered more than three, which reflects the diverse reading tastes of our Grade 4-8 readers.   

April is School Library Month

posted Apr 4, 2017, 12:20 PM by Kathleen Finn   [ updated Apr 4, 2017, 12:21 PM ]

April is National School Library Month, a great time to stop and thank the many volunteers who do so much to “keep the wheels on the machine” in the library. 

Keeley Schell, Janet Walsh, Gerry Quinlan and Alice McNeish give time every week to staff the circulation desk, catalog new materials and get them shelf-ready, repair older materials, shelve books, put up displays,  and perform many other tasks.   Jennifer Stearns has spine-taped dozens and dozens of new paperback book at home this year.  Bonny Picard often pinch-hits at the circ desk.  Long-time volunteer Nancy Trono (20+ years) is on hand nearly every day to shelve books, staff the circulation desk, manage periodicals circulation and assist with Pre-K resource needs.     Becca Brynga has managed several Scholastic Book Fairs held here at school this year, the profits from which go to purchasing wonderful new materials for the library and classrooms.  And many, many more SFX parents step up to run these week-long book fairs.  To all of them, we say:  Thank You!

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