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28 Nov 2018

Gratitude Graffiti


In celebration of Thanksgiving, our Elementary students wrote messages and illustrations expressing their gratitude. Students enjoyed both writing their thoughts and reading the messages from their peers. Many students wrote that they were thankful for their families, their school and their friends.


The library is quite literally glowing with beautiful words of gratitude. Reading our students' words helps us realize how lucky we are to have such a special school community. 

18 Oct 2018

One School, One Book: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

ASD Libraries invite our community to participate in a shared reading experience; One School, One Book. As a part of our visiting author celebrations in March, we encourage students, parents, teachers and staff to read The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba.

William's memoir, a New York Times Bestseller and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, is uniquely available in three formats - a picture book, middle grade novel and adult novel. William's story has inspired many as it shows how even in the face of hardship a child's idea can change the world. As a school community, we have the opportunity to share and discuss a powerful story together across all ages and to meet William in person.



When fourteen-year-old William’s Malawi village was hit by a drought, food and money were scarce. Unable to attend school, William spent days in the library, researching and dreaming of bringing electricity to his village. William built a functioning windmill out of junkyard scraps and became a hero who harnessed the wind.

After an invitation to join TEDGlobal as a fellow, William graduated from Dartmouth College in 2014 and began work at Ideo.org. William's time at Ideo focused on Human Centered Design and sent him around the world working on projects ranging from sanitation in India to gender-based violence prevention in Kenya. He is now working with WiderNet to develop appropriate technology curriculum that will allow people to bridge the gap between "knowing" and "doing". WiderNet will distribute the content through eGranaries around Malawi and across Africa. His Moving Windmills Project uses donations to support community initiatives in Malawi.

Copies of all three versions of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind are available at ASD Libraries. Stay tuned for more information about our visiting authors program.

10 Oct 2018

Celebrating Our Reading

We are always looking for ways to celebrate our students' reading. Reading is must be personal and social at the same time. We know that readers are successful when they are supported by a reading community.

Congratulations to all of our students who completed the "Reading Makes You Feel Good" Summer Reading Challenge. Around 100 students from K1 through Grade 6 completed the challenge by reading a recording a variety of books over the summer. Mr. Advento, Ms. Jones and Ms. Pollock visited classrooms to present certificates to these readers. 


Students kept track of their reading in so many creative ways! Some made lists, some drew pictures, some took photographs, some made charts. The goal was to read what makes us feel good and keep a log in a unique, personal way. Here are just a few examples of how students personalized their reading journeys:


Once again, we appreciated our students' enthusiasm around summer reading. If you have ideas or suggestions about future reading challenges, let us know! 

As we move into the school year, some of our students are using Biblionasium to keep track of the books they read and books they want to read in the future.

Our students in Grades 4 and 5 are connected and building a digital reading community in Biblionasium. In their class groups, they can make recommendations to friends, write reviews and view their classmates reading lists. 


Biblionasium now syncs with Destiny Discover to provide students with a seamless experience managing their library accounts, building books shelves and setting reading goals.

Learn more about Biblionasium in this short video:





23 Sep 2018

What does peace mean to you?

In honor of International Peace Day on September 21, the ES Library partnered with the Service Learning team to create a community project centered around the theme of peace. Students and teachers were invited to create a peace flag to add to our community installation.



As class groups we shared The Peace Book by Todd Parr and I Am Peace by Susan Verde and Peter Reynolds. The books gave us inspiration for designing our peace flags. If you haven't already, p
lease visit us to design your very own flag to show what peace means to you. We will display the peace flags in the library. All contributions are welcome.


This month our library also added a new learning space. The Peaceful Place is a quiet, reflective zone for learners. Soft lighting, over-sized bean bags and rocking chairs help set the mood for peace and quiet. Our students and teachers have enjoyed stopping in to take some time and space for themselves.


A highlight of our Peace Day celebrations was sharing I Am Peace set to music by Emily Arrow. Mr. Advento and Ms. Strate even joined in for some of the peaceful fun! 


To enjoy the singing and yoga poses, view the video below:


20 Sep 2018

First Days in the ES Library

We have enjoyed welcoming our new and returning students to the Elementary Library over these first few weeks of school. Our Elementary students have jumped right into their library routines! Students are visiting the library to borrow books, read together, build, create and explore.

Our goal is to help foster student agency in the library. Students practice self-checkout and self-monitoring of the number of library books borrowed each week. We know that, with practice, students will learn to manage their own library accounts and will learn what kind and how many books they need and can manage.

We continue to practice finding "just right" reading books, but also encourage students to take home books of interest that may need to be read aloud at home. Parents, please remember that picture books are appropriate and valuable for all ages. A variety of books is encouraged to help build a healthy reading life - just like a healthy diet requires a variety of foods!

Our library staff is here to help! Please visit if you have any questions or need some suggestions for reading. We are also happy to help you get logged into our digital resources available through the ES Library website.





It was our pleasure to welcome parents at Back to School Night on September 19. We are excited to work as your partners in learning throughout the school year. Please see our handouts from BTSN below if you were not able to visit the ES Library.


28 Aug 2018

Welcome to School Year 2018-19

We are excited to welcome you back to the Elementary School Library! We hope you had a relaxing and energizing summer and are ready to start a new year of learning. 

Don't forget to turn in your Summer Reading Challenges! We can't wait to hear all about your favorite books from the summer.

We are excited to welcome two new members to our ES Library team this year. Ms. Julie Jones joins us as an experienced Librarian, most recently teaching in Ivory Coast, West Africa. And, Ms. Jaya Girish, a familiar face to ASD, moved to the library from the Grade 5 team.


Julie Jones, Jaya Girish, Parvis Somani, Natasha Pollock, Mara Ziemele


As we begin a new year, we reflect on our ASD Libraries Vision:

ASD Libraries serve to inspire and guide students on their personal learning pathways. The libraries provide students with ubiquitous access to relevant information through dynamic virtual and physical spaces. The libraries are a model and center for collaboration, communication and innovation.

As a learning hub, the library is an integral part of encouraging students to become life-long learners. We help promote a love of reading and support the teaching of skills necessary to effectively access and evaluate information for academic and personal needs. The ES Library offers a variety of resources, both print and electronic, for research and recreational reading to all students, parents and staff.

Elementary students in K1-Grade 5 visit the library on a regularly scheduled basis. Parents are encouraged to visit the library with their children to use the library resources and facilities and to check out books. All students in K1-Grade 2 must be accompanied by an adult before and after school.

We have hundreds of new books to explore including picture books, junior fiction and nonfiction. We look forward to welcoming you to the library!

Please visit our website for for more information and resources. We look forward to welcoming you in the library.

12 Jun 2018

Announcing Visiting Authors 2019

We are thrilled to share that our Visiting Authors in March 2019 will be William Kamkwamba and Laura Vaccarro Seeger. 

William Kamkwamba's memoir, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, a New York Times Bestseller and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, is uniquely available in three formats - a picture book, middle grade novel and adult novel. William's story has inspired many as it shows how even in the face of hardship a child's idea can change the world. We invite our ASD community to participate in a One School, One Book celebration - a shared reading experience - with The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.

When fourteen-year-old William’s Malawi village was hit by a drought, food and money were scarce. Unable to attend school, William spent days in the library, researching and dreaming of bringing electricity to his village. William built a functioning windmill out of junkyard scraps and became a hero who harnessed the wind.

After an invitation to join TEDGlobal as a fellow, William graduated from Dartmouth College in 2014 and began work at Ideo.org. William's time at Ideo focused on Human Centered Design and sent him around the world working on projects ranging from sanitation in India to gender-based violence prevention in Kenya. He is now working with WiderNet to develop appropriate technology curriculum that will allow people to bridge the gap between "knowing" and "doing". WiderNet will distribute the content through eGranaries around Malawi and across Africa. His Moving Windmills Project uses donations to support community initiatives in Malawi.



Laura Vaccaro Seeger is a best-selling and award-winning creator of 19 children's books. Her books such as Green, First the Egg, What If? and Lemons Are Not Red are full of surprises that delight her readers. With features including flaps, cut-outs, and hidden pictures, each book is unique and interactive. 

Laura is a two-time winner of the Caldecott Honor Award, winner of the New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award, the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Best Picture Book, and a 2-time winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Award. She is also the recipient of both the Massachusetts Reading Association and the New York Empire State awards for “Body of Work and Contribution to Children’s Literature”.

Laura’s paintings have been exhibited at many museums and galleries including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, the Mazza Museum of Picture Book Art, the New York Public Library, and the New York Nassau County Museum of Art. Laura earned her BFA degree at the School of Fine Art and Design at the State University of New York. She began her career as an animator, artist, designer, and editor NBC and ABC and won an Emmy Award for an opening animation for an NBC Special.

10 Jun 2018

Building and Discovery in the Library

Anyone who has visited our library in the past few weeks has noticed a buzz of excitement. Students are engaged in creating giant structures, feats of engineering and works of art. Our libraries are fortunate to have received a generous parent donation to purchase Keva Planks and Lego Education materials. Our goal is to offer students opportunities to play, create, experiment, tell stories and work collaboratively.

Research has shown (University of Idaho and others) the importance of providing children with time to investigate with building blocks. Children who learn and play with blocks are more successful in mathematics and science. Physically handling the blocks builds a foundational understanding of quantities, equality, geometry and many other concepts.


According to the Keva Planks designers, "In a room full of children and KEVA® Planks, attention spans lengthen, concentration intensifies, creativity is focused, voices are muted, teamwork happens, excitement builds, projects flow, and children yearn to learn."

The quantity, 1,600 Keva planks in the ES Library, allows students to build large, collaborative structures, as well as smaller, interconnected designs. The blocks are all the same size and are quick and easy to clean up, reset and start all over again. Students are excited to build together and to add on the work of their classmates. They are inspired and challenged by each other's ideas. Some students build up as tall as they can, while others build out and create stories or pictures.



Students are also delighted with the new Lego kits in the ES Library. We have a Tubes Experiment set which allows students to build tunnels and slides. We have a STEAM Park set, which includes gears, levers, pulleys and even and air cannon. We also have a set of Story Scenes which offer backdrops to set the stage for students to build and act out their own stories. Lego Education products support the philosophy that "twenty-first century learning is about providing children with opportunities to experiment with their surroundings as a form of problem solving. It is about creativity and collaboration, motivation and self-direction. It is about improvisation and discovery, and interacting with meaningful tools that expand mental capacities."

We are also thrilled with the installation of our new Lego tables and Lego walls in the libraries. In the ES Library ground floor, we have a round Duplo table and two mobile Lego walls on easels. Upstairs, we have a standing Lego table with smaller bricks and large Lego wall. In our Middle High School Library, we also have two mobile Lego tables. We can't wait to see what our students will build and create with these exciting materials.



As a result of this generous ASD family donation, and in addition to Lego materials and Lego tables, the ASD ES and MS/HS Libraries are introducing custom portable staging spaces to engage students performance, communication, and collaboration activities across a variety of disciplines. The libraries have also introduced a new database, Newslea for students in Grades 3-12.

3 Jun 2018

Reading Makes You Feel Good: Summer Challenge 2018



Summer is just around the corner. Are you ready for the reading challenge reveal?! Keeping our tradition for the fifth year in a row, we are happy to share the 2018 summer reading challenge, "Reading Makes You Feel Good."

Feel good and read this summer! Create your own unique challenge by reading a variety of books. Choose from the attached list or design your own challenge entirely! Students are encouraged to read what they enjoy and what interests them. Learn more about your passions or try something new.


Click the link to print your own copy or to create your own digital document. Color each image as you complete the challenge and make a list of all the titles you read during the summer. Turn your record sheet into the library by Thursday, September 7 to receive a certificate of participation.

We encourage students to use their creativity with the reading challenge. Feel free to draw your own pictures to represent each book that you read or to share your reading lists in your own unique way. Students can share evidence of their reading with photographs, drawings, lists, posters, videos, models -- the only limit is your imagination!






Many thanks to Todd Parr for inspiring our reading challenge this summer at to ASD student, Yasmin Alansari, Class of 2018, for creating the artwork for the challenge.

2 May 2018

Collaboration and Creation: Todd Parr Inspired Art Work

During our visiting authors celebration in March, Todd Parr worked with High School Art students to create giant canvas paintings inspired by Todd's books. The High School students created black-line drawings with the themes found in many of Todd's books -- love, friendship, unity and peace. Each drawing would become a panel on a large canvas. Together, the series of panels sends a message of positivity.
Last week, many of our Student Librarian team volunteered their time to add color and life to these large canvases. The High School students joined us in the library to work alongside our Elementary students. Together, the students transformed the black-line drawings into vibrant, inspiring works of art -- in the spirit of the pages of a Todd Parr book. What a special and memorable time for our students. We are reminded that magical things can happen when we work together and learn from each other.


Celebrating Poetry Month: Student Voices Loud and Clear

Poetry was alive in the ES Library during the month of April! Students participated in a variety of poetry reading and writing activities during their library classes. Activities included reading and responding to poems, posting favorite poems on SeeSaw, writing a poem for a friend and closely observing nature to inspire poetry.



The K1 stars used their senses to observe a special visitor in the library - Spots the Tortoise! As a class, the students wrote a poem to describe Spots and illustrated their work. They enjoyed sharing their observations, poems and art with Grade 4W buddies!

We culminated our celebration with our Poetry-A-Thon. The goal was to read poetry all day long in the library. Mission accomplished! Students and teachers presented a selection of original poetry as well as some favorites by other poets. We enjoyed hearing some poems for two voices from Grade 5 and some group presentations by Grade 2. Many students shared their inspiration from Naomi Shihab Nye by reading their original work. Thank you to all the students and teachers who joined together to make this community event a success. We love to hear your voices!





12 Apr 2018

Reflecting on Visiting Authors

This week, our students have taken time to reflect on their memories and their learning from our celebration of Visiting Authors. Our time with Naomi Shihab Nye and Todd Parr inspired and delighted our community of learners.

We asked students to reflect on their workshops, assemblies, writing, drawing and reading experiences over the two-week visit with Naomi and Todd. Students shared their insights and highlights.

Naomi's poetry writing workshops and her sign-along poetry were stand-out memories for many of our students. Many children felt they had discovered the poet inside themselves and learned from Naomi that poetry is all around us. We just need to look for it. Naomi's encouraging and engaging style helped many of our students find a new dimension to their writing.




Our students loved creating their very own books alongside Todd Parr. Many students had the opportunity to continue to write and draw in their books during class time. Other shared how they continue to work on their books at home. Todd's humor, positive messages and vibrant illustrations resonated with our readers of all ages.


Students in K1 through Grade 2 drew pictures and wrote about their experiences with Naomi and Todd. Our older students in Grades 3, 4 and 5 completed an online survey about their learning. Across all grades, students voices clearly expressed their enthusiasm, passion and enjoyment around the opportunities they had to work with our visiting authors.






14 Mar 2018

Visiting Authors Week One: Inspired and Energized Learners

We were honored to welcome Naomi Shihab Nye and Todd Parr to ASD this week. We kicked off our Visiting Author celebrations with a Elementary School welcome assembly led by our Student Librarians. Our students were thrilled to introduce Naomi and Todd to our school and share some of the writing and art work they have been doing in preparation for the visit.


The last five days have been full of inspiring and energizing presentations and workshops. With Naomi, students have been writing and sharing beautiful poetry. Naomi has encouraged students to ask questions and write from a place where they not have all the answers. Naomi has a gift for bringing out poetry in us all. She gently encourages us to take risks and share our thoughts with each other. Students have been captivated by Naomi's readings and songs.


With Todd, students have been drawing and creating their own books. Todd encourages students to follow their hearts and learn from their mistakes. While students laughed out loud as Todd shared The Underwear Book, they also connected with the important message in Love the World. We have all delighted in Todd's readings, art work and personal stories. 

On Wednesday, more than 60 students participated in Todd's after school drawing workshop. Todd read several of his books to our students and parents. He then invited everyone to draw together as a community. Students and parents created large panels of bright, colorful art inspired by Todd's books.




We also welcomed our parents into the library for an informative session on building empathy through reading. Both Todd and Naomi shared their insights into supporting our children's reading and encouraged parents to expose their children to a variety of poetry and literature.

We look forward to another week full of learning and creativity. Workshops will continue for all grade levels and Naomi will offer an after school writing workshop in the ES Library on Wednesday, March 21 from 3:30 - 4:15 pm. We feel so fortunate to have Naomi and Todd share their craft and passion with our community of learners.

7 Mar 2018

Visiting Author Celebrations Kick Off on Sunday!


Todd Parr and Naomi Shihab Nye will join our community of learning from Sunday, March 11 through Thursday, March 22. We are fortunate to have them with us for two whole weeks! Our celebrations will kick off with a Elementary School Welcome Assembly at 8:30am in the ES Gym. Students will then begin their workshops and sessions with the authors over the ten school days.

Books for Signing

A few books are left for sale! Or bring in your own books to have them signed! Don't delay to avoid disappointment. All signed books will be delivered to students by March 22.

Family Opportunities

Tuesday, March 13:
Talk Tuesday for Parents K1-Grade 12 - Meet the Authors
Building Empathy Through Reading
Elementary Library: 8:30 - 9:15 am Naomi Shihab Nye and 9:30-10:15am Todd Parr

Wednesday, March 14:
Drawing and Writing Workshop with Todd Parr

Students K1-Grade 5 & Parents Welcome
Elementary Library 3:30 - 4:15pm

Wednesday, March 21:
Writing Workshop with Naomi Shihab Nye

Students K1-Grade 5 & Parents WelcomeElementary Library 3:30 - 4:15pm





Student Work

Stop by the Elementary Library to view some amazing student work inspired by Naomi and Todd's books. Our students are ready to celebrate and learn from two incredible story tellers.

After reading Naomi Shihab Nye's poem "Famous," students in Grades 2-5 wrote their own poems.




Students also read "Torn Map" and "Who's Rich?" by Naomi Nye and responded to the poems with the heads, hearts and hands. We discovered how personal our reactions and connections to poetry can be.




In both art classes and library classes, students created Todd Parr inspired drawings and book pages using the iPad app Drawing Desk. The students used bold lines and bright colors. We created collages of their drawings to display in the library. 






In addition, some classes explored some of Todd's themes such as being different, the meaning of peace, and what makes us feel good. Check out the links below to hear some of our student voices.