BMS Library News

April 2019

“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.” ~ Victor Hugo

Rhode Island Middle School Book Award (RIMSBA)

Rhode Island middle school students have spoken. The votes are in and the 2019 RIMSBA winner is "Restart" by Gordon Korman. A fall from a roof leaves eighth grader, Chase, with total amnesia and an opportunity. Who was he, who is he, who does he want to be? Can Chase Ambrose RESTART his life? If you haven't, read this book to get answers and find out why it is the 2019 RIMSBA winner.

The BMS first place winner is "Once Was a Time" by Leila Sales. This story starts in early World War II England when food rationing and fear of German bombing was felt all over the country. Lottie's scientist dad is on the verge of a key discovery that will allow time-travel. His research puts Lottie at risk. She and her best friend, Kitty, manage to escape a life-threatening encounter by accidentally discovering a time portal that takes them to a small Wisconsin town in 2013. Find out how Leila Sales weaves this complicated tale together with humor and a genuine depiction of the strong bonds of friendship.

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Projects in the Library

Research Project

Mrs. Watson's Orange Cluster seventh-grade Social Studies students are delving into the American Civil War. During the school year, Mrs. Watson and I designed a series of mini-lessons targeting specific research strategies and skills such as - developing keywords, using subscription databases, evaluating free websites, and developing questions to guide the research process. This project gives students the opportunity to apply and practice what they have learned. Each student has one specific Civil War topic (e.g. spies, a soldier's life, photography, women, etc.) that he/she will explore. Guided by their three self-generated questions, students will gather information from multiple sources, in a variety of formats, that provide the facts needed to answer their questions and develop a deeper understanding of their topic. Finally, students will communicate what they have learned by writing a five paragraph essay.

Mrs. Bento's students prepare for the culminating event of their World War II study.

After reading "The Wave," "Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow," and additional information sources, RAZZ students engaged in thoughtful discussions about World War II with a focus on the Holocaust. To add a personal perspective, Mrs. Bento has arranged to have Mrs. Ruth Oppenheim, a Holocaust survivor, visit BMS and share her experience. In preparation, students have written questions for Mrs. Oppenheim. This event will be videotaped and edited by the students. A group has worked together to write an introduction and learn how to use the recording equipment that BMS acquired last year through a BEF grant awarded to Mrs. Polando and former 8th grader, Jack Culton. Being able to support and guide these bright, independent students as they navigated through the technical phase of the process has been especially rewarding for me. In a "past life," I edited oral histories and documentary footage for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Observing the sense of responsibility and commitment demonstrated by these students confirms the value of experiential learning especially when it is integrated into a unit that students clearly find relevant and genuinely engaging.

An Unlikely Story

Thanks to Dr. Fernandes and Hampden Meadow's Librarian, Mrs. Roy, I discovered the bookstore, An Unlikely Story, last year. If you don't know it, it is owned by Jeff Kinney the author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kids series. Through his professional network, he attracts renowned authors from all over the country. In February, I went to see author Jerry Craft who was promoting his latest graphic novel, "New Kid." At the end of his talk, Mr. Craft stayed to autograph books. When he signed the book for our students, he handed it back to me with his bookmark inside. He had no way of knowing just how appropriate it was for our school.