Library Connections

Sterling USD #376 Libraries

Take a look!

Take a look at some of the library's year-end activities and events. We wrapped up an excellent school year of learning and growing together. Enjoy your summer and remember to keep on reading!

Library Olympics & Battle of the Books

Take a look at the video below that highlights our recent Library Olympics after-school event and Battle the Books tournament. There is some great footage of the Library Olympics book cart race, including a slow-motion segment, you won't want to miss!
Library Olympics & Battle of the Books 2017


Library Olympics

On Friday, May 19, a Library Olympics event was held at the Sterling Grade School Library. Thirteen students from 4th, 5th, and 6th grade participated. Based on Chris Grabenstein’s book Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics, the Library Olympics had three different games, or “events,” that students participated in. The games started with snacks and a brief video from the author, Chris Grabenstein, who lead the Olympics through some warm-up challenges featuring reading trivia.

Each Library Olympics event was either a team or individual challenge, and everyone was awarded points based on how well they did on each event. The first event was a word scramble team event. Challenge number 2 was an online questionnaire called Kahoot featuring questions about children’s books, and the final event was a timed book cart relay.

Everyone who participated received a prize, but special awards also went to the first, second, and third place individuals and the top team. First place went to Faith (5th) with 38 points, second place to Bella (6th) with 35 points, and third to Charlie (5th) with 32. There was a tie for top team, with both the Blue (Bella, Faith, and Alexis Sant) and Red (Judea, Cylie, Zoe, and Katie) teams earning 102 points.

Multiple copies of the book for students to read were funded through a grant from the South Central Kansas Library System. The event was coordinated by incoming Sterling High School freshman Macy B. as part of her reading and leadership projects for 4-H.

Battle of the Books

Students compete in Battle of the Books

Thirty-four 5th and 6th graders competed in the second annual Battle of the Books at Sterling Grade School on May 17. The quiz bowl-type contest featured six teams of students answering questions about a list of 22 books they had read and studied on their own. After a round robin tournament and championship round, one team came out on top. The winning team was made up of 5th grade students Shaylin, Faith, Brittain, Cylie, Avery, and Kalyssa.

Each round consisted of 20 questions, including four quotes, asking students to identify a book on the list. Students earned 5 points for giving the correct title and could earn 5 additional points for knowing the author. Teammates were allowed to confer with each other before answering each question.

"The Championship round was especially exciting," explained event organizer and district librarian Amy Brownlee. "Both teams made it through the round with perfect scores by answering every question correctly. It was an amazing thing to see. Those kids really knew their books!" The championship game went into a tie-breaker round and ended with a score of 110 to 100. The second place team of Breanna, Bella, Braxton, MaKayla, Karissa and Noah gave an impressive performance throughout the competition.

All Battle of the Books participants received a prize. The first place team members each received a gift certificate to Bluebird Books in Hutchinson and a free book, but more than that, Brownlee said, they were benefiting from reading and discussing high-quality literature. “The books they read were all on this year’s William Allen White list, the statewide reader’s choice award for kids in 3rd-8th grade,” Brownlee explained. The list promotes well-written books that also appeal to children.

The contest was attended by 3rd-6th grade students, teachers, staff, parents and grandparents of the team members. Special thanks to Bear Cub Backers for sponsoring the bookstore gift certificates. Thanks also to the volunteers who helped run the competition: Pamela Simpson, Mary Nielsen, Sheryl Fulton, Ken and Marlene Connor, Larry Brownlee, and student helpers Macy, Christina, Taytum and Maddie.

STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math

STEM in the Library

The SGS library has a new collection of hands-on STEM (science, engineering, technology, and math) and problem-solving kits. Many items were earned through our Scholastic book fair sales, and the library also received a $500 grant from the South Central Kansas Library System to purchase materials. Librarian Amy Brownlee used the STEM kits as a stations / centers activity with older students in the library. She also made them available if students finished a lesson early. The kits are available for teachers to check out to have in their room for center activities or indoor recess. Next year, Brownlee plans to expand STEM in the library for all her K-5 library skills classes.

STEM materials in the library include:

· Ozobots: Small, line-following robots that are programmed through colored markers. Students learn beginning computer coding by using color codes to give the robot commands such as speed up, slow down, spin, or make a u-turn.

· Lego classic: A set of 1500 bricks along with mini-figures and extra wheels for building vehicles.

· Lego Crazy Contraptions: A set of Legos that comes with an instruction book for building creations that move.

· Circuit kits: With our book fair points, we were able to purchase several kits that teach kids about electrical circuits. Kits include Circuit Madness, MakeyMakey, and littleBits.

In addition to science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM) skills, these kits also involve technical reading, problem solving, and teamwork / interpersonal skills.

In April, Mrs. Brownlee provided a training to SGS teachers explaining how STEM activities help prepare students for high-demand STEM careers and engage students' problem-solving and teamwork skills. The teachers had a chance to try out all the library's STEM kits.

You can learn more about STEM in the library and see photos and videos of our students using the STEM materials by visiting our site:

Student thoughts on STEM

Fifth graders spent five weeks working on STEM activities in the library. 41% of the students chose the Ozobots as their favorite STEM station. Here are some of their comments:

What did you like about STEM stations?

· That they help kids learn how to turn into successful scientists and engineers.

· You can have fun and learn stuff at the same time.

· How you get to make it your own. There aren't rules telling you what you can and can't make. It brings out your creative side.

What did you learn from STEM stations?

· That you can work together and make each other's ideas better.

· I'd have to say I overall learned more about experimenting. I loved how the stations taught me a little better to be patient and truly think about all the endless possibilities.

· I learned more on teamwork, friendship, and how to build electric circuits.

· I got to use my imagination to build something cool.

· Circuits were my favorite because I know how to do a bunch of technological things with machines and they taught me how to do more.

· I learned that if you don't put it together right then it won't work.

· That you can build anything out of anything.

Enjoy your summer and keep on reading!

Sterling Grade School Library

Amy Brownlee, District Librarian

Sherilyn McPherson, Library Assistant

Kristin Robson, Library Aide