GPS Learning Commons News

May news and Summer ideas

Maker Spaces in May

The maker spaces in May will be all about creativity! Scouts will have many different stations to choose from to create an item. We have an Origami station, a Wonder Loom station, a Weaving Loom station, a Tooby Loop fashion station, a Q-BA- Maze with marbles, a Duct Tape station, and a station with scrapbook paper and fancy scissors! Wow! lots to choose from for every creative urge. First and Second grade students will be able to "buy" maker space time during the day to come and work on their own creative projects. Directions for simple projects will be available but students will also be allowed to design their own projects. We will be posting pictures of the wonderful creations to come!

Supporting Math with a Wii

Kindergarten students will be practicing math this month with Wii games in the Learning Commons. We will work on 10 frames using the bowling game. We will work on addition with the game Perfect 10, just to name a couple! Using Matthew Winner's book, Teaching Math with the Wii, Ms. Stepp and Ms. Holliman will design game sheets to practice important math concepts while including movement!

"Schools are using gaming technology as a way to engage learners and connect with technology tools familiar to students. Wii activities can be engaging, student-friendly data production tools that generate scores, times, and rankings for students to explore and discuss in the mathematics classroom. As students play the games, their teacher has an opportunity to guide them through rich dialogues, posing questions to elicit mathematical thinking." (ISTE -International Society for Technology in Education)

Watch for pictures and video of this exciting activity! Feel free to come and join in the fun.

Blowfish Reading Program ends May 8th

Don't forget the Blowfish reading program will end on May 8th. All reading logs are due then. Ms. Stepp will be sending totals to the Blowfish office that afternoon so we will not be able to accept any logs after that Friday. We hope to have lots of GPS scouts attend the GPS game on June 15th at the new stadium in Lexington on Barr Road. Students who have read 4 books will be eligible for 2 tickets, an opportunity to march in the pre-game parade and a free hot dog and coke! The game starts at 7:05 and the gates open at 6PM. The Blowfish will be playing the Florence Redwolves. At the conclusion of the game, students can come on the field and run the bases!

PLEASE NOTE: The Blowfish bookmark no longer counts as entry into the game! In order to collect prizes earned, the parent/guardian MUST reserve the child’s tickets/prizes at least 48 hours in advance of our school’s designated game! Call the Blowfish box office at 803-254-FISH (3474) or email

We hope to see you at the park! We would love to see the stadium filled with GPS scouts!!

GPS Learning Commons BINGO ends on May 8th!

Scouts who have been playing Reading BINGO this year need to be sure to turn in all their snap shots to Ms. Stepp in the Learning Commons by Friday, May 8. Remember to participate in the year end celebration, you have to read or listen to a book from each block for your grade level! If you need more snap shots see Ms. Stepp or Ms. Taylor. If you are not sure how many blocks you have left, email Ms. Stepp at or come by the Learning Commons. We will be glad to look it up for you or recommend a book title for that genre that you need. Specifics of when the celebration will be will be sent home for each child who completes the card! The celebration will be during school hours.


Remember, we want to continue reading ALL SUMMER!! What a great way to spend time together! Below are several ideas to help you enjoy reading and show your child how important reading is to you and to our everyday life. Please take advantage of some of these wonderful programs!

REMEMBER: If you bring proof of having read with any of these programs below to school in August when you return, you get a STAR on your library card which entitles you to get an extra book ALL YEAR LONG! WOW!


Saturday, June 6th, 9am

301 Gervais Street

Columbia, SC

The South Carolina State Library is proud to announce award-winning authors Bryan Collier and John Rocco will be featured at StoryfestSC 2015—the state’s summer reading kick-off event. Events include presentations and book signing by each author, storytelling for all ages, crafts, face painting and visits from literacy friends Cocky and ETV’s SmartCat. This event is FREE to the public! Visit for more information.

Scholastic Reading Challenge

Scholastic Challenge

The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge is a free online reading program for children. Log your reading minutes to unlock stories and earn rewards. Help set a new reading world record for summer 2015! (May 4 - Sept 4).

TD Bank Summer Reading

Would you like to earn $10 just by reading? You can if you enroll in TD Bank's summer reading program. Kids in grades K-5 can earn money for reading books! Go by your nearest TD Bank or print out their Summer Reading Form online. Read 10 books this summer and receive $10 in a new or existing Young Saver account.

Books a Million Summer Reading

Read some short chapter books or have the family read a longer chapter book together by reading one chapter a night. Finish 6 on the list by August 16th sign and turn in your form at a Books a Million and get your prize! Check out the list of great chapter books on their site!

Gilbert-Summit Public Library Summer Reading Program!

We have a WONDERFUL public library right here in Gilbert! You can earn wonderful prizes and see some great programs all right here in our community! Scan this QR code to see the full brochure and get ready to be a SUPERHERO!!!
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What books to read?

If you are wondering what books your child should be reading here are some lists that may help you. REMEMBER, that CHOICE is a huge motivator. A book that a child is motivated to read can sometimes be a little harder than their normal independent level. The interest helps to motivate the child to work a little harder to comprehend. Not all reading should be at this level but an occasional book beyond their grasp can give a child the motivation to work harder. Reading during the summer should be all for pleasure not level. Please don't limit your child when visiting the library to only one level. Easy books help to build fluency so an occasional easy book can be helpful. If your child consistently chooses books too hard or too easy, then you need to step in and help them find a book that is just right for them. Levels can help guide you then but we want them to think of themselves as readers choosing just right books not a particular level.

We will be sending home 10 or more books with your child this year for them to keep and read. Some of these books have been in their classrooms for the last few months for them to enjoy. These can be books they use on their reading logs as well as books from the public library.

If you are looking for other good titles, check out some of the sites listed below:

SC Picture Book Award Nominees 2015-16

American Library Association 2015 Summer Reading List

SC Day by Day project - Activities for each day of the month

Caldecott (best artist award)

Newbery Award winners (best children's chapter books)

Coretta Scott King (outstanding African American authors and illustrators)

Theodor Geisel (Dr. Suess) award (beginning readers)

Sibert Medal (best informational books)

A library colleague, Ms. Matney, at Lake Murray in Lexington/Richland 5, has made a public Glogster of several more online sites with book lists for K-5 you may want to check out.

Whatever you and your child choose to read be sure to read together during the summer. Children need to see the importance of reading in everyday life. Read magazines, emails, blogs, letters, cards, menus, how to manuals, game directions, maps, travel brochures... the list is endless when you think of all the reading we do each day. Most importantly...make it fun! We want the thought of reading to bring smiles to the faces of all of our GPS Scouts.

Have a wonderful summer! I hope to see you at the library!!