Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Story Dance Grooves to Cinderella

The library sponsored an after school "Story Dance" program, in which we take a favorite classic story and do an interpretation of it through music and movement. This year, we worked together to create choreography for a number called "Disco Cinderella," including a live vocal performance of Donna Summer's "Last Dance." Exercise, collaboration, imagination and camaraderie all came together!  We made many of our costumes, had a real disco ball and an exciting on-stage costume change with a curtain that turned in to a pumpkin coach! We spent many hours in practice and made a lot of friends across the grade levels in the process. It all culminated in a performance at our holiday assembly which we dedicated to the memory of our dear late Spanish dance teacher, Senor Cisñeros. We decorated cupcakes and celebrated at a wonderful dance "after party" in the library.  So proud of the story dancers and their success in creating a gift to the school through their good spirit, dedication and talent!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Nonfiction Power!

Fourth grade is doing a wonderful job of investigating the nonfiction section of the library in preparation for research reports. We have a wonderful collection of books about real and true subjects, sometimes even stranger than fiction! Dig in!


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Nightfall Luncheon

On September 28th, the entire middle school thoroughly enjoyed an author visit from Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski, creators of Nightfall, which has since debuted at #7 on the Independent Bookseller Bestseller List. Students were rapt as the authors performed acrobat feats of storytelling. Peter Kujawinski tweeted that Stone Scholastic Academy was the best school he has ever visited! All the cliffhangers had students chomping at the bit to start reading, and that's what it's all about! To celebrate this fever, all middle schoolers who finished the book (some bought, some borrowed) were invited to a special Nightfall Book Club luncheon, sponsored and hosted by the library. Over sixty middle-schoolers read, attended, discussed and ate!

Thanks to the marvelous Ms. Suzy at The Book Cellar in Lincoln Square for organizing the author visit and to the superhuman parent Lori Switzer for all of her help, including but not limited to pizza delivery!


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Family Reading Night and Pumpkin Museum a A Success!

Thanks to everyone who made this year's Family Reading Night a success! On Tuesday, October 27th, the community gathered to celebrate this year's theme, a World of Stories. How appropriate for our diverse and vibrant community! Headlining was a performance from the Fehinty African Theater Ensemble featuring our very own Stone parent, Olateju Adesida, who kept the audience enraptured with live storytelling magic. Later, we enjoyed special sessions featuring story times from Asia, Ireland, and Bosnia; a primary teacher reader's theater with a Spanish flavor (and special appearance by Ms. Demonte!), and the Storybook Pumpkin Museum in the library which showcased 144 book-themed pumpkins made by our talented and creative students across grade levels (thank you to Ms. Bramble for the lovely photos, below).

The children also enjoyed getting reading passports stamped at every stop. We hope this is just the start of a lifelong reading journey. Special thanks to Ms. Sanchez, Mr. O'Boyle, the Naherovic and Gutosic families, Ms. Phelps, Ms. Yee, Ms. Switzer, Ms. Norwood, FATE, the Reading Committee and their families.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Mark Your Calendar for Family Reading Night!

Though flyers are going home, this is a reminder to please join us for our "World of Stories" K-3 Family Reading Night on Tuesday, October 27th, starting promptly at 6 p.m., featuring the dynamic Fehinty African Theater Ensemble! Though the program is geared toward primary, our whole community is welcome and will find sessions to enjoy, including older siblings.  Pajamas encouraged, and a global mindset required!  Come read around the world!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Storybook Pumpkin Museum and Autumn Arcade

 Word on the street is that we are not having a Haunted House Museum this year.  That is true!  After five years, we are going to mix it up with something new.  This year, we are having a Storybook Pumpkin Museum and Autumn Arcade instead!

Storybook Pumpkin Museum for grades k-6
To participate, you will need:
A pumpkin (any size or shape)
Book for inspiration
Acrylic paint and brushes
Newspaper (for catching the mess while painting)
Glue gun (optional, but it works well)
Craft supplies (paper, pom-poms, yarn?)

  • All pumpkins are to be inspired by a children's book or children's book character.  Please bring in the book that inspired the pumpkin decoration if possible.  Pumpkins without a reading theme will be sent home for decoration there.  
  • Please bring in your completed pumpkin on Monday, October 26. 
  • The Pumpkin Museum will be open to the whole school community starting on Family Reading Night, October 27th.
  • Please DO NOT CARVE THE PUMPKIN.  Sticking things in the pumpkin is okay, but full-on-scoop-it-out designs cannot be accepted.  Carved pumpkins rot quickly and have a strong smell.  We would have nasty pumpkin soup all over the library in three days.
  • Yes, you can work with friends and family are are encouraged to do so.  Children of different ages and grade levels can work together.  Parents, please try not to do the project without your kids.  ;-)
  • Like the Haunted House Museum, please, no blood or gore.  We are celebrating imagination, not horror.  
  • Make sure to put your name(s) and room number(s) on the bottom of pumpkin; we have masking tape in the library if you need it.  
  • Books and pumpkins will be returned to you in time for Halloween.  Pick up end of the day October 30th.  
  • The activity is optional.  Fun is always an option.  
  • Some older kids have been asking me about extra credit.  Sure.  If you make a wonderful pumpkin and are in grades 4, 5 or 6, I'll give you five points of extra credit.  All kids who participate will get a treat when they pick them up on the 30th.  
  • Scroll down to photos below for inspiration!  Credits are hyperlinked (click on them!) for further examples.  These are just ideas, feel free to decorate using your own favorite!  
Autumn Arcade for grades 7-8
  • In collaboration with the library and inspired by "Caine's Arcade," the building of Autumn Arcade Games is being facilitated by the wonderful Ms. Pfest in school and in conjunction with her engineering unit in science.  She has distributed the rubric and arcade games are being built in school.  Building a game is not an optional activity for upper graders.  ALL the cool kids are doing it...because all Stone middle school kids are cool kids!
  • Children in grades k-2 will be playing the games in the afternoon of October 30th.
  • Please keep your arcade game in keeping with the autumn theme. Extra credit will be given to kids who decorate accordingly and attract the most players.  Ms. Hardiman will be assisting in artful arcade accoutrements. Keep your audience in mind; again, please, no blood or gore.  
  • Prizes are optional, but must be handmade.  No store-bought stuff and no candy, please.  Bookmarks make wonderful prizes.  Hint-hint.  
What about the Parade of Books?
We are still going to have a Parade of Books, after all, we love it!  But we're trying a new date: this year it will be on May 20th, 2016, as a springtime celebratory culmination of primary reading goals. Something to look forward to, and more time to plan the best costume ever!

Please feel free to see me or contact me with any questions or thoughts.  October is such a creative month.  Have fun, can't wait to see these amazing autumnal creations!

Photograph courtesy of P is for Preschool

Photograph courtesy of Wynne Primary School

Photograph Courtesy of Sunny Days in Second Grade

Photograph courtesy of Ms. Jordan and Ms. Ostroski

Photograph courtesy of Run! Mrs. Nelson's Got the Camera!

Photograph courtesy of Café Mom

Photograph courtesy of Paper Perfection

Photograph courtesy of Hoover City Schools

Photograph courtesy of Oh Boy 4th Grade!

Photograph courtesy of The Twenty Sixth Year

Photograph courtesy of Little Kinder Warriors

Photograph courtesy of Mrs. Houlin's Class

Photograph courtesy of The Educator's Spin on It
List of necessary supplies also courtesy of The Educator's Spin on It

Photograph courtesy of Olathe Public Library

Photograph courtesy of The Educator's Spin on It