11 Jun 2019

Announcing Visiting Authors 2020

ASD Libraries are thrilled to announce an amazing line up of visiting authors in March 2020. Three talented and diverse authors will work with our learning community: Aisha Saeed, Tracey Baptiste and Loren Long.

Aisha Saeed is a New York Times bestselling author. She wrote Written in the Stars, which was listed as a best book of 2015 by Bank Street Books and a 2016 YALSA Quick Pick For Reluctant Readers. She is also the author of the middle grade novel Amal Unbound, a Summer 2018 Indie Next Pick and Amazon Best Book of the Month, has received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus and is a Global Read Aloud for 2018.

Aisha also has a forthcoming picture book Bilal Cooks Daal. Aisha is also a founding member of the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books. She has been featured on MTV, the Huffington Post, NBC, and the BBC, and her writings have appeared in publications including the journal ALAN and the Orlando Sentinel.

Tracey Baptiste is an author, editor and teacher. New York Times bestselling author of Minecraft: The Crash, as well as the creepy Caribbean series The Jumbies, which includes The Jumbies (2015), Rise of the Jumbies (2017), and The Jumbie God’s Revenge (scheduled for 2019).

Baptiste has also written the contemporary YA novel Angel’s Grace and nine non-fiction books for kids in elementary through high school.

Tracey is a former elementary school teacher, frequent author visitor to schools and libraries, and is on the faculty at Lesley University’s Creative Writing MFA program.

Loren Long is the author and illustrator of the New York Times bestselling picture books Otis, Otis and the Tornado, Otis and the Puppy, An Otis Christmas and Otis and the Scarecrow.

He is the #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator of President Barack Obama’s picture book Of Thee I Sing, the re-illustrated edition of The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper, and Mr. Peabody’s Apples by Madonna. Loren's Little Tree, is a picture book for all ages.

He has most recently illustrated Good Day, Good Night by Margaret Wise Brown and Love by Newbery Medalist, Matt de la Peña.

29 May 2019

Game On: Summer Reading Challenge 2019

Design your own Summer Reading Game! Choose a game board and then advance according to the guidelines below. You choose your game, you choose your books. Feel free to make up your own as well.

Color in the spaces on the board as you advance and keep track of your titles on the recording sheet. How you construct your summer reading challenge is entirely up to you!

Visit the Game On document to download or print all of the materials you need to get started with your summer challenge. And read on to find out more about how it all works...

Step One - Choose a game board. Select from the samples below or find another board you like. You can even use your creativity and draw your own game board.

Step Two - Start reading! As you read, advance on your game board based on the following guidelines. You can jot titles right on the board or you can color or number.

Step Three - Record the titles as you read. Use the chart provided or create your own list. You may record the books in any way that works for you.

When you return to school after the summer, please submit your reading challenge record to the library by Thursday, August 29th, 2019. All students will receive a certificate of achievement for completing the summer reading challenge. Happy reading. Game on!

28 May 2019

Worms in the Library?!

It actually makes perfect sense. Worms in the library. What better place to investigate and inquire about a topic most students know very little about? Ms. Carden from the Garden was kind enough to offer the library a chance to host an earthworm farm. Students were given the opportunity to hold, touch or just observe the worms.

The excitement is off the charts! Many students LOVE to hold the worms! They love to watch them wiggle and feel the cool movement in their hand. And, we are learning so many unexpected and amazing facts about worms. Did you know that worms have five hearts? Or that worms lay their eggs in tiny cocoons? In fact, we have dozens of cocoons in our worm farm right now. We also figured out how to identify an adult worm versus a young worm.

Most interestingly, we have learned how important worms are in their ecosystem. Worms have important work to do helping breakdown matter in the soil and helping to provide plants with air, water and fertilizer. Many students are surprised to discover that worms, which they may have been afraid of previously, are actually helpful and gentle.

Without prompting, many students are choosing to investigate worms using books and digital resources. Students are drawing worms, labeling diagrams, telling stories and even naming their new friends. We are researchers and naturalists in our library!

We love how curious and interested our learners are about our new library visitors. Look out for more about the worm farm. All are welcome to visit and do some investigating of your own. 

K1 Student Inquiry

As K1 students investigated living things and their environment, students began to ask many interesting questions. For example, the K1 Stars and Ducklings wondered, "Why are there so many insects in our garden at school?" The students wondered how they could find answers to their questions. So, a small group of students visited the library to do some research! We discussed where researchers can  we could find information - in books and in online resources.

Using a variety of insect books and a digital resource, PebbleGo, students searched for reasons why they were finding so many insects in the garden. When we found answers, we drew pictures to show our learning or wrote notes with the help of a teacher.

PebbleGo is a perfect resource for K1 researchers with it's read aloud features. Check it out at home to learn about all kinds of Science and Social Studies topics.

Students were excited and engaged during the research process. Because the students came up with their own question, they were determined to find answers. The students were also eager to share their findings with the larger class group.

Another question a group of students had was around uses of plants. Students were curious about how the cotton plant was turned into clothing. We researched the process of farming, harvesting, and cleaning the cotton, and finally spinning the cotton into yarn and thread. We used videos and photos to identify the important steps in the process. The group went back to the class and shared their learning.

The K1 Camels wanted to learn about turtles! The had dozens of questions about where turtles live, how baby turtles and born, what turtles eat and why turtles have patterns on their shells. We worked together to find fascinating answers to our questions.


The power of student driven inquiry! Our youngest researchers are able to find answers to their own questions. Along the way, they are learning important research, collaboration and presentation skills. We can't wait for the next question...

15 May 2019

Stick Together: Collaborative, Creative Fun

Our students in the ES Library are always ready for something new and fun - but we did not anticipate HOW much our students would love StickTogether projects!

Last week, we placed our first StickTogether poster on a board flat on a table. We organized the stickers to help students find the correct color for each letter. And that was it. No instructions were needed. A few students got started straight away in the morning before school and once the first examples were stuck down, there was a frenzy of activity. Students worked together throughout recesses and after school. Students from K2 - Grade 5 placed stickers on the grid. In 24 hours it was complete!

Here is how it works:

The StickTogether team tell us that the idea is simple: "Grab some stickers, check the color key and apply the stickers to the color key coded grid to reveal an eye-popping image. Create a shared magical moment that actively involves everyone and ignites enthusiasm and fulfillment. Perfect for any group setting!" And they are true to their word!

Watch our time lapse video to see how the image comes alive:

And, stay tuned for our next StickTogether poster...