Background from

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Another New Harry Potter Cover Revealed

Earlier in the year, we learned that Scholastic was re-releasing the Harry Potter series with new cover art to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the release of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. (See this earlier blog post.) Today, the second new cover was revealed--take a look!
Just like the first new cover, the illustrator of the Amulet series, Kazu Kibuishi, is the creator of this second cover. On this new cover you can see the Burrow, the Weasleys' home, along with their flying Anglia.

So, are you a fan now that you've seen a couple of the new covers? Look for more cover reveals later this year! Click HERE so you can read more about this cover art and the release of later covers.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

5th Graders Use Slide Rocket to Promote Books

Students in Mrs. Ellis' 5th grade small group have been meeting for several weeks to put together a Slide Rocket presentation to promote their favorite books.
  • Step 1--Determine which books or authors to promote. This was a tough decision, as it required a bit of compromise as students worked in pairs or trios.
  • Step 2--Find interesting, appropriate book trailers to promote the chosen books or authors. Again, a tough decision when YouTube trailers weren't always options for them to use. became another popular site to search, as did
  • Step 3--Play around on SlideRocket to see how to put together a presentation, and then have at it! Screen shots were all taken from or from iClipArt, our Iowa AEA Online go-to site for free clip art.
So here is the final project--take a look and maybe you'll find a book or author to try over the summer. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Scholastic Online Preview

Want to see previews for the new picture books, and fiction & nonfiction books coming from Scholastic this fall? Click HERE to watch the video, which features author interviews and book trailers for some of this fall's hottest titles. Can't wait to pick up your copies at the Fall Book Fairs? Stop by your public library this summer to get a head start--and let your friends know what great books are waiting for them, too!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Children's Book Week Canvas

Click HERE to see the canvas.
To celebrate National Children's Book Week, students in 3rd grade created a canvas that included stickies about their favorite children's book or children's book character.
Using these directions, students each created one sticky note and added it to our canvas. Below are some sample stickies:

Monday, May 13, 2013

End of the Year Kindergarten Lessons

As our school year is winding down, there are some books that we really wanted to make sure that our kindergarteners had a chance to hear. Most of them have come from previous Goldfinch nominees.

Title 1: Willoughby and the Lion by Greg Foley

Who doesn't like to talk about wishes and dreams? Willoughby and the Lion is a magical book that appears to be about wishes and dreams but is really about loneliness and friendship. And the best part? Through discussion and very little prompting on my part, the kindergarteners figure this out all on their own!

There are many fun things for the kindergarten kids to look for as they are reading: the color gold, the numbers hidden in each wish, and what is the "most important thing of all"?

To pair with this book, we looked at The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle and watched the Berenstein Bears story The Wishing Star at Learn 360.

In the end, classes created a visual of what they would wish for if they only had one wish.
You can access the handout HERE.

Title 2: The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen

This book, which is loosely based on a real event, is another book with a great message. It has an exciting opening, a clear villain, and small town heroes. The pictures are vivid and the animal menagerie page will have students out of their seats and craning their necks to get a closer look.

We paired Curious George goes to the Circus and a circus word search that students worked on with a partner.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Small Year-End Celebration

The students at DC Elementary have been busy all year long, and our new display highlights some of their work:
It's been such fun to watch the students look at the display and listen to them talk about what they remember and did all year long. Third graders recognized their class picture from Animals Should NOT Check Out Library Books; second graders pointed out their interrupting chickens; fifth graders talked about their You Wouldn't Want to Be... projects; fourth graders remembered their beginning-of-the-year Iowa Children's Choice Scavenger Hunt activity; first grade students, who just completed their animal research mini books, could point out their handiwork; and kindergarten students remembered working on their own Hot Rod Hamsters. 

Such fun! And it's been a great, busy year!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A New Book Coming from David Wiesner!

Children's author and illustrator David Wiesner has a new book coming out this fall! Mr. Wuffles will be in stores in the fall of 2013, and like many of his other books, this one, too, is wordless. 

Want to know what Wiesner thinks about writing wordless books or how he came up with the idea for Mr. Wuffles? Check out the video below!