Making Connections

The Rockwood Library Newsletter - April 2018

Bestselling Young Adult Author Visits LSMS

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Best-selling author Ally Carter visited LaSalle Springs Middle School on April 11 as part of a promotional tour for the release of her new book, Not if I Save You First, an adventure/thriller set in Alaska. Carter's books are popular with LSMS students as two of them, Heist Society and All Fall Down, are past Truman Award nominees. Carter told students about her new book and shared her experiences as a writer. Explaining that writing is a messy process often done in pieces, she encouraged students not to be discouraged with their own writing, saying, "To be a writer, you have to get started."


Carter's presentation was a hit with the LSMS community. According to Language Arts teacher Maggie Flavin, "Our students and teachers were delighted by [Ally Carter's] talent, humor, and inspiration." Librarian Carol Bauer arranged the visit through the generosity of The Novel Neighbor Bookstore in Webster Groves.

Literature-Inspired Field Trip

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Fairway students who participated in 2018 Mark Twain Readers' Award voting went on a field trip to Meramec Caverns on April 9. The trip was inspired by two of this year's nominated titles: Beneath and The Worst Class Trip Ever. Maddie, a student who went on the field trip, said, "It was an exciting experience and had many interesting natural wonders." The trip was organized by Fairway librarian Jason Sinden.


Sponsored by the Missouri Association of School Librarians, the Mark Twain Readers' Award Program is open to Missouri students in fourth, fifth, and sixth grades. In order to vote, a student must read four or more of the twelve nominated books. This year, nearly 14,000 students across the state participated in the program.

World's Fair Inventions

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Fourth-grade students at Geggie recently completed a 4-week project revolving around the Ferris Wheel and World's Fair. Students began by analyzing a primary source photograph of the first Ferris Wheel. The following week students listened to the story, Mr. Ferris and his Wheel. During week three, students read an article about the World's Fair and drew up a blueprint for their own World's Fair invention. The final week of the project, students brought their blueprints to life using only paper, scissors, and glue. Inventions included smartwatches, towers, museums, and amusement rides. Students worked on the project during their library time with librarian Kristina Presley.

Poem in Your Pocket Day

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Students and staff at Green Pines had a wonderful time celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 26. Throughout the month, librarian Theresa Swoboda prepared classes for the big day during library lessons that focused on types of poetry, poetic elements, and, best of all, reading poetry. Every student decorated a poem pocket and filled it with poetry to be shared on Poem in Your Pocket Day. On the actual day, students, staff, and visitors were greeted with poems chalked on the sidewalk, poetry banners hanging in the foyer, and poetry displayed in halls. Teachers took their classes on poetry scavenger hunts. Scheduled library classes and other library visitors classes completed poetry-themed centers which included online interactive poetry writing, writing acrostic and color poems, creating Poem in Your Pocket bookmarks for friends, and design stores for Alliteration Avenue. Of course, the major focus of the day was sharing pocket poems with each other. Students and staff read poetry in their classrooms, with buddy classes, and even at recess! Poem in Your Pocket Day is definitely a favorite at Green Pines!

More Poetry Celebrations

Book Talk Thursdays

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Every Thursday, during morning announcements, students at Wild Horse can talk about a book they read and would recommend to others. The students sign up in the library by filling out a book talk form and once assigned a date, they write a short script to read during the live announcements. Students can bring a friend or classmate to help with the book talk. All book talk students have their picture taken. They get a copy of the picture for themselves and a copy goes up on the Wild Horse Students Recommend Books display in the hall. Librarian Vanessa Glenn runs the program.

Students Explore Library Centers

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Students at Uthoff Valley were engaged in library centers during April. Each center had a specific purpose. At the research center, students explored an area of interest searching two commonly used databases, Pebble Go and Worldbook. After discovering and documenting an interesting fact, it was added to the "Did You Know" display. Two of the centers were maker-space areas. These allowed students to tap into their creative sides to design, create, and build. It is AMAZING what they can design when given the opportunity. The poetry center encouraged students to try a new genre. Many discovered they love poetry after giving it a try! Primary students enjoyed reading the library's giant books. These over-sized books were so much fun for them! Students in grades 3-5 got to preview the brand new 2018-19 Mark Twain nominees. Many started creating a "to read" list for the summer. Thanks to librarian Julie Owens' creative centers, the UV Library was an especially busy and happy place in April.

Analyzing Psychological Disorders in Fiction

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Marquette librarian Lee Mitchell collaborated with Marquette’s AP Psychology teachers, Erin Sullenger and McKenna Peters, on a student research project about mental disorders. Students visited the library to conduct research using computers as well as several books, including the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, also known as the DSM-5. The students used the information for a critical analysis of characters from novels they were reading to determine if the author was accurate in his or her portrayal of the disease, character actions, and outcomes.

Other Library Lessons & Events in April