4 Nov 2019

The Pumpkin Challenge

The challenge: ASD students, can you build a structure to support the weight of a pumpkin?

The response: YES, of course we can! And, we can do it in so many different and creative ways!

Students used Keva planks and legos to build their structures. Some worked individually, some worked in pairs or small groups. Some went for height, some went for design. Highlights included a suspension bridge, a tower with inclosed pumpkins inside and a lego village that supported the weight of four pumpkins. 

Challenge accomplished and exceeded! Well done, ASD builders, engineers and architects. A new question for you, what will be our next design challenge?

Worm Wonderings

The new worm farm in the ES Library is sparking many wonderings! After enjoying some time holding and playing with earthworms, K1 students were ready for some inquiry learning. Students observed the worms closely and love how they feel in their hands. As they held and watched their worms in their environment, many questions came up...

What do worms eat? Why do they live in the soil? How do worms have babies? Are there girls worms and boy worms? How big does a worm grow? Does a worm bite? How can you tell where their heads are? How do worms move?

A small group of students gathered some of their questions to investigate. Students used books and the electronic resource PebbleGo to search for answers. When we came across information about one of our questions, students drew pictures or asked teachers to help them write words. 

As a group, our K1 researchers learned so much about earthworms! We gathered our new knowledge together and went back to the classroom to share with all of our friends. The research group was very proud to present their findings. 

Grade 2 students have also been digging deep (get it?) into worms. Students generated and sorted their questions into categories. Students looked at all the questions they had and decided what they wanted to learn more about.

Next, students chose a method of note-taking to gathering their information. Some students used a web, some drew and labeled a model, others used a t-chart organizer. Choice was embedded throughout the investigation - in terms of what students wanted to research, which resources they used and which tool they used to take their notes.

Our next steps will be revisiting our questions to learn more and sharing our new learning with friends! Perhaps we can have K1 and Grade 2 share their learning with each other. Stay tuned!

Our most recent learners to investigate our worms -- our teachers! Elementary teachers spent time after school thinking about how we can help our students learn through inquiry. We put ourselves in our students shoes and experienced the power of asking our own questions and leading our own learning.

21 Oct 2019

Building to Learn, Learning to Build

Our building installations have sparked amazing learning in the library. We are observing students working collaboratively, demonstrating perseverance and working through a design process. Students are building to solve problems, test prototypes, and explain their thinking. 

K2 students are investigating pushes and pulls. We gave the students a challenge to move a ball from a high surface into a jar. They were able to use any building materials, including tracks, tubes, lego bricks, Keva planks or even furniture. Students worked in teams to develop designs and test prototypes. We discovered that our first ideas often did not work and needed modified. Some teams successfully moved the ball into the jar and others are looking forward to trying again and testing out new ways ideas.

Students in K1 used the lego wall to build vertically and create a "rocket ship control panel." Working in a group, students discussed how various parts could be used for different controls. Moving parts were particularly useful for creating switches, buttons and levers. As the students added to the network of controls, their play shifted from constructive to imaginative play. The group conducted an entire launch sequence, not to mention the fact they also were able to ward off enemies with their built-in spy cameras!

Students across all grade levels are investigating with Keva planks. We now have over 2,000 planks available for building in the library and still there is not enough to keep up with our increasingly adept builders. Some students work individually to construct the tallest structure possible, other work cooperatively to build complex cities and inter-connected designs. Many students are choosing to visit the library during their free time at recess, morning and after-school to build and try new designs. Bridges and cantilevers are the latest challenge to push the thinking of our construction and architecture experts.

8 Sep 2019

Our Library is Waiting for You!


We have enjoyed welcoming students back to the Elementary School Library and meeting our new friends who have joined us at ASD. All classes have visited the library at least once now! And, we are thrilled to have our early morning and after school visitors.

Get ready to explore more than 700 new books in our library! We have fantastic new picture books, biographies, graphic novels, and junior fiction. We've also added new craft, coding, cooking and information books. There is something new and exciting for everyone.

Game On: Summer Reading Challenge

A big cheer for all of our students who joined the Game On Summer Reading Challenge! Thank you to all who have turned in their record sheets. It's not too late! Please stop by or email the records in if you have not yet done so. We'll begin celebrating students who took on the challenge by presenting certificates in library classes this week.

Reading is personal! And, we know that there are many unique ways to record reading. Every student that took on the reading challenge kept track of his or her reading in a different way. We appreciate our students' creativity and love seeing all the wonderful books they read over the summer. Here are just a few examples:

Core Values in the Library

Our students understand the ASD Core Values. During our first sessions together, students brainstormed in groups to consider how we can bring the core values to life in the library. Take a look at some of the ways students show compassion, integrity, respect, responsibility and excellence in the the ES Library:

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.