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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Celebrating Earth Day

Friday was Earth Day, and Dallas Center Elementary first graders celebrated in unusual style with a Google Hangout with Miss Jordan, an animal expert and educator with Animal Kingdom Florida!

Students have recently begun animal research using articles from PebbleGO, and our conversation with Miss Jordan gave students a unique opportunity to ask about their own research topics as well as any other animal about which they were curious! We also learned about Miss Jordan's day as she educates visitors to the park about the animals there. Even though Miss Jordan had our questions in advance--and answered many of them for us!--students were very eager to ask more questions during our Hangout.

Students' projects are still in process, but Miss Jordan let us know she'd love to see their work when they finish! So stay tuned--student work will follow!

State Award Winning Books

Every year students across Iowa participate in a democratic process of our own as we read and then vote on our state award books. The Iowa Goldfinch Award is given to a book that's suitable for students in grades K - 3 while the Iowa Children's Choice Award focuses on books for students in grades 3 - 6. Students are to read--or have read to them--at least two of the nominated books to be eligible to vote. Here were this year's nominees:

Since the fall, students have been reading and listening to many of the books, and the voted in their respective buildings in March. At Dallas Center Elementary, the K - 2 students voted for Ball by Mary Sullivan to be the Goldfinch winner, and students at South Prairie voted for Memoirs of a Hamster by Devin Scillian.

The DC Elementary students in grades 3 - 5 students voted for Duke by Kirby Larson to be the Children’s Choice while North Ridge students chose Dog Diaries: Ginger by Kate Kilmo as their winner.

State winners were announced in early April at a statewide librarian conference. The Goldfinch Award winner for the state was The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt; the Iowa Children’s Choice winner was Duke by Kirby Larson.