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The Transcendent Power of Reading and Writing

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Greetings Library Friends,

Junior-Senior High Book of the Month: Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

This riveting read highlights the idea our worst traumas aren’t impossible to overcome, in fact, they can make us more deeply appreciate the good in our lives. Jam, the main character in the story, finds herself at an alternative school after her boyfriend suddenly dies. She is placed in a Special Topics in English class where she becomes friends with others, like her, who have gone through challenging times. Wolitzer’s words reminds readers of the power of connections and how we are here to supportive others on the journey of life and sometimes, in the process we are healed. While dealing with grief and loss, we are reminded that we are not alone, that we may not have it as bad as we think we do and then even on our darkest days, we have the choice to see what is real and true. The mind can be used to empower ourselves and others or it can keep us trapped in loops of pain, confusion and frustration. What keeps us moving forward is choice. We can choose to live in the past, where we remain trapped by our fears and pain or we can bravely choose to keep on moving forward. The message will stay with readers long after the book ends.

Accelerated Reading Winners. Congratulations to the following students. They were able to successfully meet the point goals for November! Way to go!!!

6th grade

        Stevie Handsaker

        McKenna Renner

        Chloe Stucky

7th grade

         Angel Padilla

         Blaze Walker

8th grade

        Karlie Gerlach

        MaKenna Roberts

        Kizziah Rutherford

10th grade:

        Kaely Perkins

It’s wild to think that this is the last month of 2015! It seems like time is going faster (that HAS to be the case because I’m certainly not getting older ;)

Elementary Book of the Month: Little Whistle’s Christmas by Cynthia Rylant

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The endearing guinea pig that lives in a shop with toys that come alive at night is back. In this sweet, old-fashioned story, the toys write to Santa asking if he made them. On Christmas, a note arrives "from Santa, who made you," along with a magical box that always contains exactly what each toy needs. Like the previous titles in the series, this is light fare, but it has a more eventful story line. Soft edges and warm, muted colors in the illustrations enhance the comfortable, nostalgic mood. A cozy bedtime or holiday story.-M. W. ~School Library Journal

Classroom Connections:

It’s wild to think that this is the last month of 2015! It seems like time is going faster (that HAS to be the case because I’m certainly not getting older ;)  We’ve really packed a load of learning goals into the classes this semester. I usually always think “there’s so much more to do” and in going over lesson plans and reviewing material, I see that we have indeed accomplished a great deal! I’m so very proud of the 8th grade Library Skills class. They’ve shown tremendous growth and I’m confident they will be transition into advanced research projects and writing with ease. The class had three components that are presented throughout the duration of the semester: Navigating the Library (knowing how a library is set up, locating print and digital resources, understanding the Dewey Decimal System, Sections of a Library, Genres, How to use an online Card Catalogue, Writing Book Reviews and Utilization of Information and Resources. The next section in where students select a research topic and we go through the entire process, note taking, outlining, organizing, writing skills, topic sentences, drafting, edits, copyright, citations, in text citations, MLA style, bibliography, cover page and presentations. The final section includes Digital Citizenship, Right Use of Technology, Implementation of 21st Century Learning Skills, Utilizing Digital Tools and Applications, Integrating Technology and Writing, Creating a positive online presence and Website evaluation and navigation.

The 6th Graders have done an awesome job with their novels. In addition to strengthening reading and comprehension skills, they are also working on writing skills. Students recently wrote themselves into the novel, adding descriptions of their characters, describing the book through his/her eyes, sharing insights and extending the author’s purpose and lessons. Students were also invited to create a replica of their character. The replicas couldn’t be prefabricated or from a “set”. I’m happy to report that the kids did a great job with their creative extension! Here’s a link to their writing samples http://padlet.com/robyn_johnston2/dmymw5l84a8u


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Maywood Public Schools#1 Tiger DriveP.O. Box 46Maywood, NE  69038

308-362-4223Fax: 308-362-4454

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