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First Grade Library Checkout

Throughout the school year, first grade students visit the library weekly and they checkout 5 books that they keep in their classrooms to have for reading during the school day. These books are a mix of picture books, beginning readers, and, as of last week, transitional chapters books-books with controlled vocabulary but more pages and fewer illustrations than beginning readers. Starting this week, first grade stude
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Bluestem Reading Challenge Deadline is Approaching

I hope you had a blessed Easter and are enjoying the Easter break. Just a reminder the deadline for the Bluestem Challenge is approaching.  I encourage all students in grades 3-5 to take the Bluestem Challenge. The Bluestem Award is an Illinois Readers Choice award for students in grades 3-5. The nominee list is created by librarians and educators from across the state.  Any SFX 3rd-5th grade student who reads all of
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Election Results

While adults very busy voting in primary elections yesterday, our SFX students have spent the last week voting in the Illinois Readers Choice Award elections and here are the results: For the Monarch Award, which is for Grades K-2, I read to the students the 20 books that were on the nominee list over the course of a few weeks and they cast their votes. Check out the enthusiasm of some of our voters here . Our studen
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2018 Battle of the Books Update

Congratulations to our 4th-6th grade Battle of the Books team members. Our three SFX teams competed Monday against 9 teams from three other schools-Baker Progressive School, St. Joseph, and Chiaravalle School. One of our SFX teams, The First Timers came in 2nd place in the individual team competition and in the overall school competition SFX came in 2nd. I couldn’t be prouder of how well these students worked t
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Book Cafe Returns

After a bit of a hiatus, Book Cafe is returning on Wednesday, April 25 during 3rd-5th grade recess and lunch. Dessert will be provided.  The discussion is open to all students in 3rd-5th grade.  We will be reading The Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman. Registration for Book Cafe is limited to 15 students. To register, please complete this form and return it to Mrs. Sawyer no later than Friday, April 13. Mr
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Monday’s Author Visit with Jacqueline Davies

What a wonderful day we had with our One Author, One Community featured author Jacqueline Davies. Mrs. Davies spent all day Monday on campus and she saw students in grades JK-8th grade giving four very distinct, age-appropriate presentations. With our JK and Kindergarten students, she shared her book The Night Is Singing, which is her evocative poem-book about the sounds we hear as we drift off to sleep. Working with
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2018 Battle of the Books Update

Many of our 4th-5th grade students have been furiously reading in preparation for the Battle of the Books. All 4th-5th grade students have been placed in teams with their classmates and next week they will be competing during battles taking place in the library. There are two rounds for each battle. During the first round students work with their team to earn points. In the second round, students work individually to
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Author Visits Last Week and Looking Forward to Our Next Author

What a wonderful week we had last week when we were fortunate to host two author visits. On Monday, author Tammi Sauer engaged and enthralled our K-2 students with her incredible storytelling. Children fell in love with her and her endearing new book character, Wordy Birdy. On Friday, bestselling children’s author Andrew Clements concluded our week by speaking with our 3rd-5th grade students. He delighted us as
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4th Grade Mock Caldecott Results and ALSC Youth Media Awards

Today was a very big day in the world of children’s literature. This morning, the Association of Library Services to Children (ALSC) announced their annual award winners for outstanding children’s books published in 2017. This is like the Academy Awards of children’s literature. A complete listing of the award winners can be found on the ALSC website One of the awards announced today was the 2018 Ca
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Monday’s Upcoming Author Visit with Tammi Sauer

Thanks to our friends at the Book Stall in Winnetka, picture book author Tammi Sauer will be coming to SFX the afternoon of Monday, February 12. Last week, I read Ms. Sauer’s newest book, Wordy Birdy, to our Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade students. They adored the zany book. Many asked how they could get a copy. I handed out order forms and told the students the forms needed to be back no later than Friday, Fe
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Andrew Clements Author Visit

Thanks to the great success of our Christmas Book Fair, Scholastic, the company that offered the fair, is bringing a very special author to SFX on Friday, February 16. Andrew Clements is the author of the enormously popular book Frindle. More than 10 million copies of his books have been sold. His newest book, Loser’s Club is on our 2017-18 Battle of the Books list. He doesn’t do many speaking engagements
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Six Flags Great America Read to Succeed Reading Program ends 2/5/18

Just a reminder Monday, February 5 is the last day for children to submit their reading logs for 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. Replacement reading logs are available if a child lost their original log. Logs can be turn
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Upcoming Author Visit: Tammi Sauer

Thanks to our friends at the Book Stall in Winnetka, picture book author Tammi Sauer will be coming to SFX the afternoon of Monday, February 12. She will be speaking with our kindergarten, first, and second grade students and sharing some of her wonderful books including her newest, Wordy Birdy. She has written over 30 books for children and more information about this author can be found on her website. The Book Sta
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Bluestem Reading Challenge for Grades 3-5

Happy New Year! Each year, I encourage all students in grades 3-5 to take the Bluestem Challenge. The Bluestem Award is an Illinois Readers Choice award for students in grades 3-5. The nominee list is created by librarians and educators from across the state.  I read three of the titles aloud to the students as all students in grades 3-5 can vote for their favorite book on the nomination list as long as they have rea
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Six Flags Great America Read to Succeed Reading Program

This week your child should have brought 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. Completed forms should be returned to the school library no later than February 5, 2018. Replacement reading logs are avail
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Family Reading Night Highlights

What a fun time we all had last week Thursday night when 200 people joined us to share stories, swap books, and make a jazzy craft. Much thanks to Alice Joseph of the Wilmette Public Library for being one of our guest readers and helping to sign children up for library cards. Thank you to all of our SFX families who joined us to celebrate our love of reading.     
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Family Reading Night Reminder

This week we will celebrate our 3rd annual Family Reading Night. It will take place in the Xavier Room starting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 16. We hope you will join us for stories, a fun craft designed by our art teacher, Mrs. Kuhn, a visit from Mrs. Joseph of the Wilmette Public Library, and a book swap where children can bring in their own gently used books and swap them for some new treasures to take home
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2018 Battle of the Books for Grades 4-6

I am pleased to announce that once again we will partner with area schools to compete in the Battle of the Books, which is open to students in 4th-6th grade. This year’s competition will include Baker Progressive School, Chiaravalle, St. Joseph Wilmette and SFX. The library staff from all four schools came together to create this year’s list of books, which features both fiction and non-fiction books. In
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Battle of the Books, PoetryPalooza, and Global Read Aloud Fun

What an uplifting and busy week we had last week! Early in the week we celebrated our two middle school Battle of the Books teams and their success at the Illinois School Library Media Conference’s State Battle of the Books Competition. Much thanks to all the parents who drove their children to Springfield and cheered on our teams. Our 8th grade team took the State Championship title and our 6th/7th grade team
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Wrap Up from Caitlin Alifirenka author visit

This Tuesday we continued our RED campaign with a visit from author Caitlin Alifirenka, co-author of the book I Will Always Write Back.  Caitlin’s visit was so inspiring for our students. She started her time at SFX by having lunch with twelve middle school students who had written persuasive paragraphs to earn a spot at the lunch table. Our students did our school proud as they asked deeply profound questions
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Book Lovers Breakfast Recap

What a fun breakfast we hosted on Wednesday morning to celebrate the children who completed our Reading Without Walls Summer Bingo Challenge. Over 50 students completed the program. At the breakfast, they had so much fun creating food art. It was heartwarming and a testament to the strong community we have here at SFX to watch our older students assist and create with our younger students. Mrs. Sawyer    
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Books to Help During Difficult Times

Sadly many times when we turn on the television there are images of the sadness that is going on in the world. Our children see and hear about these tragedies and it is hard for them to process it. The Association for Library Services to Children has compiled a list of comforting books to read in difficult times. It also includes resources for parents on how to have difficult conversations with children. I share thes
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Lisa McMann Visit Follow-up

What a great morning we had with author Lisa McMann this week. The students were so enthralled by her storytelling and hearing about the interesting research she does to create her fantasy novels. We were so honored to be her very first stop on her new book tour. If students would like to obtain an autographed copy of a McMann title, the order form should be submitted along with a check made payable to The Book Stall
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RED Campaign Kickoff and Author Visit

On Tuesday, October 17, SFX will be hosting Caitlin Alifrenka, co-author of I Will Always Write Back. She will be speaking with our 5th-8th grade students about her life-changing experience of becoming pen pals with a young man from Zimbabwe. Their letter exchange lead to an enduring friendship that continues to this day and permanently changed the way they view their lives, as well as the lives of others who live ar
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6th and 7th Grade Science Fair Research

Over the next couple weeks, 6th and 7th grade students will begin working on research for their science projects. I will be working with students either during their designated library time or in science class to highlight various online resources that can be used for the research portion of the project. The school has the Scholastic Go! suite of databases that is available to all students and contains some resources
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