Friday, May 5, 2017

Camp Wriddastoree
5th grade personal narrative day!

Today the 5th grade read stories, listened to storytellers, ate hot dogs and learned about writing our own story.  All of the elements of storytelling were represented in break out groups throughout the school.  This day will culminate on Monday with students reading their finished product.  An amazing day filled with fun and learning.  Meadow magic at its best.  

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The “summer slide” occurs when students sit idle for 2-3 months. In comparison to the regular school year, a student’s daily academic rigor and routine may significantly slow down. Daily lessons are replaced with summer camp, day trips, and sometimes lots of lounging! These are all important things and the value of summer camp and/or a relaxed summer schedule isn’t being challenged. But, in addition to all of these fun and exciting activities should be a daily routine for reading and/or “mind stretches”. Experts share that students who read during the summer gain reading skills. Those who do not read, consistently slide backward. According to Scholastic, research shows that struggling readers who read at least 6 books will have a better chance of not regressing over the summer months.

So how can you keep your child/students reading during the summer months? Here a some tips:

  •  Make sure your child has an active library card. Make it a point to visit the library regularly. Some libraries offer summer reading programs for children to participate in. Your local library is a primary summer resource; be sure to take advantage of it!
  •  Build time into your child’s daily schedule for reading. Just like during the school year, it is important to keep your child on a reading schedule.
  •  Keep a book in a bag! Take advantage of “wait time” (i.e. dentist appointment, long lines, etc.). Also, long car rides, train rides and time on the beach are great opportunities to read.
  • Provide a variety of reading materials for your students/children to choose from.
  • Lead by example. When your child is reading, show them that it something that the family can enjoy. Pick up a book and read along with them, or, get engrossed in one of the books that have been sitting on your reading list.
  • Read to your child. This helps to model fluency, strengthens vocabulary, and helps to improve listening comprehension.

Happy Reading,
Mrs. Mercer

Friday, March 10, 2017

Harnessing the wind

Continuing on our journey through Africa. We will be reading,
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
By: William Kamkwamba & Bryan Mealer
It is the true story of a teenager whose family is starving to death in a small village in Africa.  Young William saves his family farm by constructing a windmill out of scraps he finds in the junkyard.  
This week we will make windmills out of toothpicks and marshmallows and propel a small boat with air. We will also discover how testing the theories in non fiction books can be fun.  
STEAM activities stand for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.
This is our first exploration of STEAM in our library, 
We are literally going "Full STEAM ahead!"

All aboard,
Mrs. Mercer

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Welcome to Africa.  
We have traveled to 5 of the 7 continents this school year.  I have been waiting all year for this weeks presentation.  Hippo's are Huge, by Jonathan London and Illustrated by Matthew Trueman, is a factual picture book. 

This book introduces students to the facts about Hippo's.  But I love the illustrations the most.  We will be talking about the importance of the illustrations in picture books.  How young readers rely on the pictures to decode words and keep their interest.  On the flip side the older students will be looking for Hippo size facts using different reference materials.   We are digging deep in Africa this week, I hope the kids are ready for the trip of a lifetime.

Fasten your seatbelts,
Mrs. Mercer

Monday, February 13, 2017

These Hands

I "wonder" what These Hands have to do with bread?

See if your students can re-tell this story.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Next Stop, London!

This week we are traveling to London to explore the London Zoo and the famous bear Winnie the Pooh.  In this Caldecott award winning book, Finding Winnie by, Lindsay Mattick, the author tells the story of her great Grandfather.  A veterinarian in WWI, who bought a bear cub from a trapper at a train station, later he takes the bear to the London Zoo.  That bear becomes the inspiration for the famous character Winnie the Pooh, written by A.A. Milne. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Waiting for the Biblioburro by Monica Brown

Earlier in January we traveled to South America to explore the libraries there.  Did you know that libraries travel by donkey in Colombian villages? Neither did our students.  We talked about how dedicated this real life librarian, Luis Soriano Bohorquez, was to bring books to the students.  Watch the clip below and see how different things are for the students in this village. 

This book also gave us the opportunity to explore different reading strategies.  For example, students can sound out a word, look at the pictures for clues, chunk up a word or look for context clues.  Some of the words in this book were in spanish, it was impressive to watch our students use all of these strategies to decode the words.  

Mrs. Mercer