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Harry Potter at Home and Creepy Carrots Video

With many of her fans homebound, J.K. Rowling recently launched “Harry Potter at Home.” Via this website, readers of all ages and their families can access Harry Potter-related activities and free downloads. Through April, users can get free audiobook and ebook versions of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, through partnerships with Audible and OverDrive. Crafts, quizzes and other activities will be available on
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Our Next 4th-6th Grade Book Discussion

What a fun time we had this afternoon, when 9 SFX students and I gathered via Zoom to discuss the book Space Case by Stuart Gibbs. The students had such enthusiasm that we are having another book discussion for 4th-6th grade students on Thursday, April 9 at 2:00 p.m. Our book that we will be discussing next week is Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. In the book, twelve-year-old criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl has discover
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Dav Pilkey in Your Home

Many of our early elementary students love author/illustrator Dav Pilkey, creator of the very popular Captain Underpants  and Dog Man series. Mr. Pilkey is joining with the Library of Congress to offer online content to engage his fans.  Dav Pilkey at Home will feature new video content created by Pilkey himself on Friday mornings at 8 a.m. ET on social media channels and the websites of the Library and Scholastic, t
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Spotlight on My Capstone Library

Many children’s educational companies have opened up their licensing rights to all access to all children during this time of elearning. One of the products we have acquired that I would heartily recommend is My Capstone Library. It is featured on our reading resources page on the Elearning page. My Capstone Library is a collection of over 5, 000 books for children including craft books, story books and graphic
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Beloved Classic Charlotte’s Web

Book publishers are being very generous during these trying times and opening up the rights to many of their books and audiobooks. Today, Penguin Random House Publishing released a free audiobook version of E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web.  This recording is narrated by the renowned Meryl Streep and is a wonderful family book to listen to and enjoy together. My featured video of the day is from beloved child
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A fun story with Grover

Today I discovered this video of Grover reading his own book, The Monster at the End of This Book. This book was a favorite of my daughters when they were little so hope you and your children enjoy it. Please say hello to your children for me and let them know they can email me at lindasawyer@sfx-school.org and I would be happy to arrange a face to face meeting if they want to talk books or want to read a story to me
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Online Book Club for 4th-6th grade

I am launching an online book discussion for 4th-6th grade. We will be reading the book Space Case by Stuart Gibbs. This digital book and it’s eaudiobook are readily available via many ebook platforms. Hoopla has unlimited copies of the audiobook for downloading. If your 4th-6th grade student would like to be part of the discussion, please fill out this Google form so I can reach out to you and your child to co
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For Kindergarten-4th Grade Students

For the past 10 weeks, I have been working with our K-4th grade students on reading and promoting the Illinois Bluestem and Monarch nominees. The Monarch award is for Kindergarten-2nd grade students and the Bluestem is for 3rd-5th. We held our SFX elections last week where students got to vote for their favorite of the 20 nominees and this week the winners throughout the state of Illinois were announced. Since we are
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Get Caught Reading Campaign

Thank you to all of you have shared photos of your Crusader reading in their favorite spot at home. Below are just a few of the ones I have received. Please keep those photos coming to lindasawyer@sfx-school.org My fun book related video of the day comes from award winning author/illustrator Grace Lin. I just finished reading Ms. Lin’s book Big Mooncake for Little Star to all of our Kindergarten-2nd grade stude
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Bluesteam Reading Challenge Reminder

This time at home is a great opportunity for our 3rd-5th grade students to complete the Bluestem Reading Challenge. I have been telling the students about this program over the past few months. If they read all 20 of the Bluestem nominees by May 1 we will celebrate with a pizza party in late May/early June. Students can track their reading on the Bluestem Reading Challenge log. For our 6th-8th grade students, we have
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Two Great Audiobook Resources and a Fun Video for the Day

In today’s blog post I would like to highlight two great reading resources to support your students while we are doing eLearning. The first is the Axis 360 ebook and digital audiobook database. All 5th-8th grade students have access to it via their school IPads and they each have been given their own unique user id and password, as well as have received training. I would like to open this resource up to our Kin
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Great America Read to Succeed

Please know that while we are not in school and are participating in eLearning from home, I am here to support you and your children and their reading. In the coming days, I will be sending out a list of digital resources to support your child’s literacy needs. While fortunately the weather is allowing for some good outdoor walks, I do want to remind you that are partnering with the Read to Succeed program agai
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Towervale Event Coming to SFX

We are thrilled to announce that SFX will play host to an exciting Towervale event here on campus on Tuesday, March 10th. Towervale is an intriguing new book series by Patrick Carman that incorporates reading and video gaming. Carman is a well-respected children’s author and the Towervale event is interactive and promises to entice our most reluctant readers with the fusion of reading and gaming. The series is
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2020 Battle of the Books Update

Congratulations to our 4th-6th grade Battle of the Books team members. Our three SFX individual teams competed Tuesday against 6 teams from two other schools-Chiaravalle School and Roycemore. One of our SFX teams, Boomer Boulevard came in 1st place in the individual team competition and the SFX team Cool Kids 4.0 came in 3rd place. In the overall school competition SFX came in 1st place. I couldn’t be prouder o
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Announcing the Caudill Challenge Competition

I am excited to share that the Caudill Challenge, a competition with other schools in the style of Battle of the Books, is back!! This year we will be competing against teams from Solomon Schechter and Roycemore Schools. The competition is tentatively slated for April 22 and is open to 7th and 8th grade students. Students who want to compete should read as many books as possible from the 2020 Caudill Challenge Bookli
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Author April Henry to Visit Middle School

I am excited to share that author April Henry will be coming to SFX and having lunch with 6th-8th grade students in the library during Middle School lunch on Tuesday, February 11. Ms. Henry wrote Girl Stolen, The Lonely Dead and many other young adult mysteries. If your student would like to attend this special event, they should come to the library by February 6 to sign up. There is only room for 24 students to atte
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Revised Battle of the Books Update

It came to light on Tuesday that there was some confusion about February 5th being an early dismissal day. I have discovered that it is not. We will still have our qualifying competition on Feb. 5th at 2:00 p.m. but it will take place during the school day. Any students who register to participate in the qualifying competition will be excused from their regular classes so that they can attend the competition. Please
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Battle of the Books Update

The day of our big Battle of the Books competition is rapidly approaching. SFX students in grades 4-6 have an opportunity to participate in Battle of the Books, a literary trivia game. We wanted to update parents on the process for selecting the 12 students who will represent SFX in our interscholastic competition against teams from Roycemore and Chiravalle. Per the competition rules, each school can bring a maximum
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Inspiring Book About the Power of Faith and Catholicism

Happy New Year! Over the winter break, I read the adult book When Life Gives You Pears: The Healing Power of Faith, Family, and Funny People by Jeannie Gaffigan. This adult biography by producer and director Jeannie Gaffigan details the dramatic turn her life took when she was diagnosed with a pear-shaped mass at the base of her skull. The mother of five young children and the wife of a stand-up comedian, the author
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Six Flags Great America Read to Succeed Reading Program

Before we leave for winter break, your child will bring home a reading log from the Six Flags Read to Succeed Reading Program. This program is open to children in grades K-6. Any child who independently reads or is read to for 6 hours and completes the reading log will earn one free admission to Great America. Great America has upgraded the program so parents can log their children’s reading time into an online readi
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Family Reading Night Highlights

Thanks to all who came out for our annual Family Reading Night and book swap. It was lovely to share the evening with Miss Ruth Bell from the Wilmette Public Library and many from our SFX and SJS parish. I hope to see many of you this Saturday, Nov. 23 at The Bookstall in Winnetka for the kickoff of our fall book fair. Be sure to mention SFX when you checkout so the school gets credit for your purchase.  We have a lo
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UPDATED: 4th-6th grade Battle of the Books

It has come to my attention that the original version of this post did not include the Battle of the Books reading list. I apologize for that and here is the update blog post with the list included. SFX students in grades 4-6 will have an opportunity to participate in Battle of the Books, a literary trivia game. This year we will play an interscholastic game with two other area schools, Roycemore and Chiaravalle. Whe
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4th-6th grade Battle of the Books

SFX students in grades 4-6 will have an opportunity to participate in Battle of the Books, a literary trivia game. This year we will play an interscholastic game with two other area schools, Roycemore and Chiaravalle. When we return from winter break, more information will be made available to students on how teams will be formed and how to earn a slot on the team but until that time, this is the list of the Battle o
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Library Pumpkin Patch Flourishes

Thank you to all the students who helped us create our first ever Library Pumpkin Patch. Such a fun array of pumpkins adorned the library shelves and brought much joy to all who visited the library this week. If your child brought in a pumpkin, please be sure to come to the library on Friday morning or at the end of the day to pickup the pumpkin as any that are left at the end of the day will go to the compost pile.
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Global Read Aloud Launches

For the third year in a row, our 2nd-5th grade students are participating in the Global Read Aloud project during their weekly visits to the library.  This project started two weeks ago and will run for approximately 8 weeks. The idea behind it is very simple; teachers around the world read the same book aloud to their students and then use technology to share the reading experience with these other classrooms.   Dur
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