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Lunchtime Read Alouds:



Each of the birds has an egg...except for Duck. So when Duck finds a beautiful egg of his own he's delighted -- even though the other birds make fun of it. But everyone's in for a BIG surprise when his egg finally hatches! 

The witty text and playful illustrations appear on cleverly designed cut pages that allow the visual jokes to unfold.


Award-winning artist Sylvia Long has teamed with up-and-coming author Dianna Aston to create this gorgeous and informative introduction to eggs. From tiny hummingbird eggs to giant ostrich eggs, oval ladybug eggs to tubular dogfish eggs, gooey frog eggs to fossilized dinosaur eggs, it magnificently captures the incredible variety of eggs and celebrates their beauty and wonder.


Though she came from a wealthy and privileged family, Eleanor Roosevelt grew up in a cheerless household that left her lonely and shy. Years passed before Eleanor began to discover in herself the qualities of intelligence, compassion, and strength that made her a remarkable woman. In Eleanor, two-time Caldecott Medal winner Barbara Cooney paints a meticulously researched, lushly detailed picture of Eleanor's childhood world--but most importantly, she captures the essence of the little girl whose indomitable spirit would make her one of the greatest and most beloved first ladies of all time. 

Eleanor, Quiet No More

by Doreen Rappaport and Gary Kelley

While other young women of her class were spending time at dances and parties, Eleanor devoted her energies to teaching children in New York City's poorest neighborhoods. Later, she became the most socially and politically active -- and controversial -- First Lady America had ever seen. Ambassador, activist, and champion of civil rights, Eleanor Roosevelt changed the soul of America forever.




It was February 1, 1960.
They didn't need menus. Their order was simple.

A doughnut and coffee, with cream on the side.

This picture book is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the momentous Woolworth's lunch counter sit-in, when four college students staged a peaceful protest that became a defining moment in the struggle for racial equality and the growing civil rights movement. 

Andrea Davis Pinkney uses poetic, powerful prose to tell the story of these four young men, who followed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s words of peaceful protest and dared to sit at the "whites only" Woolworth's lunch counter. Brian Pinkney embraces a new artistic style, creating expressive paintings filled with emotion that mirror the hope, strength, and determination that fueled the dreams of not only these four young men, but also countless others.



Fifty years after her refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus, Mrs. Rosa Parks is still one of the most important figures in the American civil rights movement. This tribute to Mrs. Parks is a celebration of her courageous action and the events that followed.

Award-winning poet, writer, and activist Nikki Giovanni's evocative text combines with Bryan Collier's striking cut-paper images to retell the story of this historic event from a wholly unique and original perspective.



This picture-book biography is an excellent and accessible introduction for young readers to learn about one of the world's most influential leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Doreen Rappaport weaves the immortal words of Dr. King into a captivating narrative to tell the story of his life. With stunning art by acclaimed illustrator Bryan Collier, Martin's Big Words is an unforgettable portrait of a man whose dream changed America-and the world-forever.



How many jelly beans are on this book's cover? Don't count―estimate!

If someone handed you a big bowl of jelly beans, how would you figure out how many there are? You could count them, one by one―or you could estimate. Do you see more than five jelly beans? Less than a million?

This unique book will show you how to train your eyes and your mind to make really great estimations―by making estimating into a game. Jelly beans are just the beginning! 

Professor X and his dog, Y, teach kids how to count exponentially by powers of 10 (1, 10, 100, 1,000, 10,000, etc.), beginning at 1 and working all the way up to a googol (a 1 followed by 100 zeros) and beyond. Children fascinated by large numbers will be amazed how quickly they can count to really BIG numbers, and they’ll also find answers to questions like “What comes after a trillion?” or “What’s the biggest number in the world?” Real-life examples provide plenty of fun facts, such as how much popcorn Americans eat in one year, or how many hairs are on a square inch of a person’s head. Along with the fun comes some powerful learning, as this unique counting book helps kids understand our number system, which is based on multiples of 10.


Did you know that a frog can jump 20 times its body length? Or that an ant can lift an object 50 times its own weight? By applying these ratios and proportions to their own bodies, readers will discover what they could do if they had the amazing abilities of animals.

Just how big is a crocodile? What about a tiger, or the world’s largest spider? Can you imagine a tongue that is two feet long or an eye that is bigger than your head? Sometimes facts and figures don’t tell the whole story. In this visually stunning book, seeing is believing as Steve Jenkins illustrates animals both large and small at ACTUAL SIZE.




When a ship arrives in the harbor Margaret seizes her chance to see the world. But as she sails the high seas, she must battle storms and sea serpents. Soon she finds herself held captive by an elderly sorceress and facing an evil giant. What will margaret do? This independent heroine decides to take matters into her own hands and discovers she is just as brave as any man!



A photographic profile of members of the Black Paws Search, Rescue & Avalanche Dogs team captures Hugger, Panda, Chelsie, and Hydra as the four Newfoundlands use their special training to help lost and injured victims in forests, the water, and snow.




As a young girl growing up in Kenya, Wangari was surrounded by trees. But years later when she returns home, she is shocked to see whole forests being cut down, and she knows that soon all the trees will be destroyed. So Wangari decides to do something—and starts by planting nine seedlings in her own backyard. And as they grow, so do her plans. . . .

         This true story of Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is a shining example of how one woman’s passion, vision, and determination inspired great change.

Sylvester can’t believe his luck when he finds a magic pebble that can make wishes come true. But when a lion jumps out at him on his way home, Sylvester is shocked into making a wish that has unexpected consequences. After overcoming a series of obstacles, Sylvester is eventually reunited with his loving family. Illustrated with William Steig’s glowing pictures, this winner of the Caldecott Medal is beloved by children everywhere. 



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Give me a hand . . . hold your tongue . . . scream your lungs out . . . what's a kid to do if he wants to keep all his body parts in place? Well, one thing is for sure, he'll have to be creative. Like, if you want to keep your heart from breaking, just make sure it's well padded and protected by tying a pillow around your chest. Want to keep your hands attached? Simple-stick them on with gloves and lots of glue. Just be careful not to laugh your head off!

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A riveting picture book biography of Betty Skelton, aviation and auto racing pioneer, from award-winning author/illustrator Megan McCarthy.
In the 1930s most girls were happy playing with dolls. But one girl, Betty Skelton, liked playing with airplanes, watching them fly around outside, and even flying airplanes herself! She lived for an adventure—in the air, the water, and on land—and nothing could stop her, especially not being a girl.
When Betty Skelton was young there weren’t many women flying airplanes or racing cars, but she wouldn’t let that stop her. She was always ready to take on a challenge, and she loved to have fun. Beetty rode motorcycles, raced cars, jumped out of planes, and flew jets, helicoptors, gliders, and blimps. And by the time she was an adult, Betty was known in the press as the “First Lady of Firsts!”
This vibrantly illustrated picture book biography reveals the exciting life of a brave pioneer who followed her dreams and showed the world that women can do anything!



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Something is eating the grain stored in Mrs. Runnery's granary, and only Granny Runnery can identify the culprits.

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Twitchly Fidget won’t shampoo, eat his cereal, or put on his sneakers. He won’t even go to a parade (what if he got sucked up into a trombone?) or a marshmallow roast (might he get stuck?) or a Fourth of February party (would he be buried in confetti?). In Twitchly’s imagination, each opportunity poses the threat of disaster. So he just sits alone in his dreary, windowless, doorless hut and waits for his fears to be realized. Then one day something does happen: Twitchly’s Aunt Bridget Fidget drops in for a visit, and she can see right away that Twitchly needs a fixin’. But will Aunt Bridget be able to persuade Twitchly to confront his fears?


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In a rollicking, cumulative tale, a badger family and their friends–Hedgie, Mr. Ram and Vanya, the horse–struggle to pull up a giant turnip. A cocky rooster steps in and pulls, sending him into the air, holding onto the turnip. No one knows that a mother bear in her underground den has kicked the turnip up through the soil to give the family room to sleep through the winter.


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Antonio Willie Giroux lived in a hotel his mother ran on the edge of a lake. He loved to explore the woods and look for animals, but they always remained hidden away. One hot, dry summer, when Antonio was almost five, disaster struck: a fire rushed through the forest. Everyone ran to the lake-the only safe place in town-and stood knee-deep in water as they watched the fire. Then, slowly, animals emerged from their forest home and joined the people in the water. Miraculously, the hotel did not burn down, and the animals rebuilt their homes in the forest-but Antonio never forgot the time when he watched the distance between people and animals disappear.


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Award-winning author Kathleen Krull zeros in on the formative first 22 years of the life of Ted Geisel. This is the first picture book biography of Dr. Seuss, written especially for his young fans who want to know what made him tick. The animals in the zoo that his father ran and his fondness for drawing them, the injustices he suffered as the child of German immigrants, and his inherent sense of humor all fed into the imagination of this boy. He was a square peg in a round hole until he found that he could make a living doing exactly what he pleased—doodling and writing funny things about the world as he saw it.



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A village girl outsmarts a selfish king by asking him to double a portion of rice every day for 30 days in order to feed the hungry.

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This original fairy tale celebrates the importance of freedom and the need to take responsibility for one’s own freedom. Although the queen, the governess, and the lady-in-waiting all believe that the young princess is too delicate and refined to play with the neighborhood children, the princess herself decides otherwise…


SQUIRTS 2016-2017

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Happy 2017!

Welcome to the new year, and the new semester.

Story Making and Magic Rimes with Deb

February 27 through May 22

We began making a movie of our story called Paohawko and Dog using the illustrations of Elise Primavera. 

We will create stories and poems together, and we'll explore the ways words are made using Rime Magic by Sharon Zinke. 


Inquiry Group: Math Workshop with Deb

This group will investigate math through fun, hands-on problem solving and games.

January 9 through Feb. 6th:

We will play Race to 500 with 9-Lines Tic Tac Toe for these four sessions.



12/12: We explored using rekenreks, ten frames, and base ten blocks to solve Sue's Frogs with different numbers.

12/5: We played with ten frames today, working with counting on from groups of five and ten. We made some of the same numbers with the rekenreks as well. 


11/28: We met briefly today (after the Film and Art Inquiry Groups had shared) for the first time. We played with rekenreks, where the kids made a number various ways, trying to guess my way.

I was able to see how well they made sense of the structure of the tool (two tens, broken into fives) to make a number many ways. We will continue with hands-on problem solving!

First Inquiry Group:

Film and Digital Story


11/7: We continued playing with the Action Movie FX app and we put a combination of these scenes and photos together into a short movie with music, Ken Burns effects, and transitions. 



Today we played with making special effects movies. We added black widows, a B88 droid, an avalanche, rock slide, car crash and more. 
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Today we revisited our backwards movie and investigated stop motion drawings, a backwards MAGIC movie move, and PhotoBooth.

Here are some bizarre images we made:

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10/17: We listened to our Garage Band recording and decided to set it aside for now.

Instead, I showed the kids a short piece of silliness I'd made with another student, along with the iMovie project so that they could see where the titles, transitions, music and sound effects had been added. This clip was slowed way down and shown backwards as well.

After that I showed them how the camera works on an iPad and we made a couple of silly film clips, both inside and outside. We watched the clips, and then I played around with the video effects while they watched. We let the video and audio run backwards, and added a sound effect.

They were in hysterics! We'll keep doing this kind of investigation of film editing and special fx as we continue this Inquiry Group!

10/10: We continued with Garage Band to set up the sound for a short film about the members of the group. We will finish and illustrate this next week. 

10/3: I worked with a small group using voice recording in Garage Band with my Snowball Mic. We will continue to work with audio, film, and digital story.


Empathy is a complex phenomenon involving several component skills:

• A sense of self-awareness and the ability to distinguish one's own feelings from the feelings of others.

• Taking another person’s perspective (or, alternatively, "putting oneself in another person's shoes").

• Being able to regulate one's own emotional responses.


2/6: The Blue Group 

This heartwarming book encourages positive behavior by using the concept of an invisible bucket to show children how easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation, and love by "filling buckets." Updated and revised, this 10th anniversary edition will help readers better understand that "bucket dipping" is a negative behavior, not a permanent label. It also explains that it's possible to fill or dip into our own buckets. 

Award-winning author and illustrator Ashley Spires has created a charming picture book about an unnamed girl and her very best friend, who happens to be a dog. The girl has a wonderful idea. ?She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!? But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly. Eventually, the girl gets really, really mad. She is so mad, in fact, that she quits. But after her dog convinces her to take a walk, she comes back to her project with renewed enthusiasm and manages to get it just right.
Winner:2016 Great Northwest Book Festival, Honorable Mention, Children's Books
2016 Great Southwest Book Festival, Winner, Children's Books

1/30: The Green Group

George is alone in the house with Grandma. The most horrid, grizzly old grunion of a grandma ever. She needs something stronger than her usual medicine to cure her grouchiness. A special grandma medicine, a remedy for everything. And George knows just what to put into it. Grandma's in for the surprise of her life—and so is George, when he sees the results of his mixture!

We finished George's Marvelous Medicine.


1/9 and 1/23 

A fresh & original twist on the common issue of bullying. Kids will relate, & parents & teachers will appreciate the story's deft handling of conflict resolution (which happens w/o adult intervention)

Mean Jean was Recess Queen
and nobody said any different.
Nobody swung until Mean Jean swung.
Nobody kicked until Mean Jean kicked.
Nobody bounced until Mean Jean bounced.
If kids ever crossed her, she'd push 'em and smoosh 'em
lollapaloosh 'em, hammer 'em, slammer 'em
kitz and kajammer 'em.
Until a new kid came to school!

With her irrepressible spirit, the new girl dethrones the reigning recess bully by becoming her friend in this infectious playground romp.

12/12: The Green Group

It was the perfect summer. That is, until Jeremy Ross moved into the house down the street and became Enemy Number One. Luckily, Dad has a surefire way to get rid of enemies – Enemy Pie.


We continued with George's Marvelous Medicine.


12/5: The Blue Group 


11/28: The Green Group AND 12/5: The Blue Group 

Read Hooway for Wodney Wat, and Hurty Feelings, both by Helen Lester

Poor Rodney Rat can't pronounce his R's and the other rodents tease him mercilessly. But when Camilla Capybara joins Rodney's class and announces that she is bigger, meaner, and smarter than any of the other rodents, everyone is afraid. It seems she really is bigger, meaner, and smarter than all of the rest of them. Until our unwitting hero, Wodney Wat, catches Camilla out in a game of Simon Says. Read along with Wodney as he surprises himself and his classmates by single-handedly saving the whole class from the big bad bully. Children will delight as shy Rodney Rat triumphs over all and his tiny voice decides the day, R's or no R's.

Fragility was a solid piece of work. But despite her sturdy exterior, Fragility was fragile. Anything and everything hurt her feelings. In the most benign compliment, Fragility heard an insult. No one could even say she looked nice without evoking images of big, squishy cupcakes—since they are also nice—and causing Fragility to flop on the ground and weep. Fragility’s friends stop speaking to her for fear of another fit, but Rudy, a very rude bully, has other ideas. In the face of real insults, will Fragility finally learn to take a compliment?


Green Group continued with George's Marvelous Medicine.


11/14: The Blue Group

Read Zero by Kathryn Otoshi

Zero is a big round number. When she looks at herself, she just sees a hole right in her center. Every day she watches the other numbers line up to count: "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 . . . !" "Those numbers have value. That's why they count," she thinks. But how could a number worth nothing become something? Zero feels empty inside. She watches One having fun with the other numbers. One has bold strokes and squared corners. Zero is big and round with no corners at all. "If I were like One, then I can count too," she thinks. So she pushes and pulls, stretches and straightens, forces and flattens herself, but in the end she realizes that she can only be Zero. As budding young readers learn about numbers and counting, they are also introduced to accepting different body types, developing social skills and character, and learning what it means to find value in yourself and in others.


We also read It's Not My Fault


11/7: The Green Group read 

When accidents happen to Murdley Gurdson, they are usually his own fault, but when a bird lays an egg on Murdley's head one day, he tries hard to find someone else to blame.


10/31: The Blue Group created a story today about Saving The Day. It was a group endeavor, and we read the finished story aloud to everyone at lunchtime.


10/17: The Blue Group read Two by Kathryn Otoshi.

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Two is best friends with One. Whenever they'd get the chance, they'd dance! She'd sing and snap. He'd tappity-tap. What a pair they made! At the end of each day, they'd always say, "ONE, TWO, I'll count on you, 'til the end, we'll be best friends." Until Three jumps in between them . . . Suddenly One only wants to play with Three. "ONE, THREE, odds we'll be!" they chant. Two feels left out. But what can she do?

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Monday, 10/3: The Blue Group read One by Katharine Otoshi. In this book, we learned about how it feels to be bullied, about how the bullies feel, and about accepting each other's differences. It sometimes just takes one voice to make everyone count. 

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10/24: The Green Group read Me First by Helen Lester. Pinkerton Pig always has to be first--first in line, first off the bus--until, running to be the first for a sandwich, he finds himself in big trouble with a Sand Witch.

We also continued Roald Dahl's George's Marvelous Medicine, where a boy tries to figure out how to deal with his mean Grandma. 

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10/10: The Green Group read All for Me and None for All by Helen Lester. We also began a book by Roald Dahl where a boy tries to figure out how to deal with his mean Grandma in George's Marvelous Medicine

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