Update from Ms. Pat

Dear Parents,

As promised, here are the statewide results of the 2017 Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book awards. It is always interesting to compare our choices at McDonald with the results from all over the state Here is a side by side comparison of the results:

1st: Elizabeth, queen of the seas
2nd: Finding Winnie
3rd: Mummy Cat

Washington State
1st: Mummy Cat (18, 479 votes)
2nd: A Perfectly Messed up Story (15, 837 votes)
3rd: Finding Winnie (13,100 votes)

McDonald favorite, Elizabeth, Queen of the seas came in 4th in statewide voting.  Many of your children may tell you that they never got a chance to hear or read “Mummy Cat.”  Regrettably, this is true.  I had shared this delightful book in 2015 with the current 3rd and 5th graders.  (We even had a guest speaker talk to the older students about hieroglyphics, which played a large part in the plot of this book.)  However, Mummy Cat slipped through the cracks this year as a read aloud.  Next year, I hope to try some new strategies suggested by librarian colleagues to make sure all the K-3rd graders are acquainted with every book on the list.

April Summary
Kindergarten—Early in April, we learned about a 900 year old Japanese scroll of “Frolicking Animals” and made our own mini scrolls with animals doing silly human-like activities.  If you’d like to watch the video we saw about the scroll, here’s the link.

In connection with their classroom unit on endangered animals, we have been reading about condors and pandas.  We also did some research to determine which animals hatch from eggs.

First and second graders missed a class because of Spring Break, but when they returned it was to a Spring related activity centering around bird nests. They enriched their reading experience by carefully examining and drawing real bird nests. 2nd graders created a labeled diagram with the bird nest as its centerpiece.

3rd graders are beginning their social studies units on Native Americans.  During library time we examined an infographic book titled “Native Americans: a visual exploration “ and created a mini-timeline based on the one in the book.  We also learned about a valuable database for Native American Study:  PebbleGo Next.  I’m hoping your students brought home a yellow or green slip of paper with the username and password for the site.  But just in case they didn’t here is the information.

Username:  McDonald IS
Password: Scottie

4th and 5th graders looked at both primary and secondary sources to get background information on the subject of Japanese Internment during World War ll to prepare for the visit of Mayumi Tsutakawa, a Humanities Washington Speaker.   Mayumi San spoke to our students during library classes at this PTA sponsored event.  She was very impressed by our students and we were impressed by how attentive our students were and by the thoughtful questions they asked.

End of Year Library Procedures
As the end of the school year looms ahead, I am getting ready for that day in June (June 16th) at which time all library books will be due.  Here is what I recently sent out to teachers:

All library books will be due June 16th.  June 16th is also Field Day.  As in past years, participation in field day will depend on returning library books. Before you start feeling sorry for students with missing books please know that not one child has missed field day in recent years.  Not wanting to miss field day is a wonderful incentive for getting books back. Our kids love field day! I do not hold kindergartners or first graders responsible for missing books though I appreciate any help in getting them back. 

If a student says they returned a particular book, it could be that this is true and it wasn’t checked in properly—easy to do—that students needs to actually look on the shelf for that book. 

I do hold students in 2-5th grade responsible for missing books.  There are two ways of being accountable for missing books:

  • Hard cover books must be paid for.
  • For paperback books, students may substitute another paperback book, provided that it is in good condition and it’s a title that students will actually want to read.

As we count down to June 16th on a global scale, I will also be “counting down” during library check out.  This first week we will hold to strict limits.  There are many students who are way over the designated limit for their grade level.  In following weeks this is how we will go:

Weeks of May 15 and 22ndth—no books over grade level limit
Week of May of May 29th—one less book than grade level limit
Week of June 5---end of year—one book out.
Of course, there will be exceptions if your class is working on a special project

Let me know if your students say that their book was returned to the public library. I’ll make a note of it. We always get these books back (though it may take a while.)

Thank you,
Ms Pat

Back to: McDonald Elementary News

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