Innovation Center

April 2018

April is School Library Month!

Next week is National Library week, and students can celebrate by winning free books and Merge Cubes. During research classes next week (except for 3rd period on 4/11), students can visit the innovation center to play Bingo. Winners will get either a new book or a Merge Cube.

April 11th will be a very busy day in the innovation center! Ms. Loerch's and Mrs. Ziegler's classes will be reading and visiting with the therapy dogs during research for the dogs' final visit this school year. During 5th period, the Escambia County Supervisor of Elections will be in the innovation center for students to vote on their favorite 2017-2018 Sunshine State Young Readers' Award book. Students will mark their votes on official ballots and then feed them into ballot counters. In order to vote, students must have read at least three books from the list. Since many classroom libraries have their own copies of the SSYRA books, please let your students know about the voting next week. If a student has read three books but was not invited to vote, please let Ms. Ratliff know.

Instructional Partnerships

Instructional partnerships come in all shapes and sizes, and some can last for the duration of just one class period. Mrs. Laurenzi instills a love for storytelling by regularly reading aloud to her research classes. This year, her research classes listened to R.J. Palacio's Wonder and Gordon Kormon's Restart. Ms. Ratliff recently did book talks for Posted and Scar Island, and then Mrs. Laurenzi's research classes voted for their next read-aloud. Scar Island won!

Reading aloud to middle school students is important because students' reading levels don't catch up to their listening levels until about the 8th grade. At this age, students can understand books audibly that they couldn't decode on their own. Scar Island is about misfit boys who suddenly find themselves with no adult supervision, but the underlying themes of self-forgiveness and redemption make great discussion topics (Source: The Read-Aloud Handbook).

Are you in need of a partner for a class project? Ms. Ratliff is committed to having a Future Ready library, so don't hesitate to form an instructional partnership today!


Shelf Awareness

When we can't express ourselves in prose, it's time to look to the verse! April is Poetry Month, so let's celebrate with a novel in verse. Rhyme Schemer is a great middle grade novel in verse because the main character, Kevin, finds an outlet for his problems through poetry. The novel is written in free verse, but the reader is treated to Kevin's "found poetry," a type of poetry formed by altering the pages of books.

Some other novels in verse available for check out are Long Way Down, Love That Dog, House Arrest, Locomotion, The Red Pencil, Crazy, Loving vs. Virginia, and The Crossover.

Overdue notices will be placed in teacher boxes next week. Please pass them out during homeroom and remind students that there is a book drop bin in the cafeteria.

Future Launches

  • National Library Week is April 9th-13th. We will be playing Bingo during research each day with books and Merge cubes as prizes. Please send only three students per class to the innovation center at one time.
  • Read to Me with the dogs will be during 3rd period on Wednesday, April 11th. Students participating in the Upcyclothon will work on their presentation skills when they talk to the dogs and their owners about their cardboard projects.
  • Sunshine State Young Readers Award (SSYRA) Voting will take place on Wednesday, April 11th from 1:00-2:00. A list of students who have read the required books will be emailed to research teachers early next week.
  • The 2017-2018 SSYRA winning book & the 2018-2019 SSYRA List will be announced on Friday, April 20th!
  • Upcylothon 2018 Phase 2 is underway. Project showcase will take place May 7th-11th in the innovation center. If you would like to judge, let Ms. Ratliff know.
  • Last day for check out is Friday, April 27th. Please encourage students to return books and pay fines for lost or damaged books.
  • Last open day for the innovation center is Friday, May 4th. The innovation center will be closed for inventory. Computers, books, makerspaces, and the space will not be available for use.
  • Sunshine State Book Club recently finished their fourth book. In April, sixth grade is reading The War That Saved My Life. Seventh grade is reading Mark of the Dragonfly. Eighth grade is reading Randoms. Book club meets during research every Wednesday and Thursday for 30 minutes. Book club members will compete at the Battle of the Books competition on Saturday, May 12th at 8:00 A.M. at Washington High School.

Visit the innovation center!

"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything that you need." --Cicero