Sunday, October 27, 2013

Books,Games, And Fun In The Library.

Oh my goodness, it is offically the end of the 1st nine weeks. Wahoo! In honor of our short week and our busy 1st nine weeks we celebrated in the library. We checked out books on Monday and shared stories on the carpet. On Wednesday every class played board games.

We had so much fun playing Candyland in the library. I was kind of surprised at how many friends have never played a board game. Heads up out there, the students loved it! We had so much fun.
We did have a few that were upset that they didn't win. But another learning experience to explain about being a good sport. All in all in was a great week.

I hope everyone got a chance to come in and visit their students, classroom teacher and find out just how much your kiddo is learning at Kennedy this school year. I am so impressed with all of their growth. It is probably one of my favorite perks of working in the library, watching the students there learn and grow. It never ceases to amaze me.

Here are some pics of our game play:

An update on our military donations: Our baked goods were collected by staff along with letters from teachers and even some from students. We added this to our 18 boxes of donations and shipped it all out on Tuesday afternoon. A great big thank you to Katie Hinkle and Tanya Hagedorn for all their help. This took a school wide effort and was a huge success. Can't wait to hear back from our Military Heroes!

     Reading Challenge
Check out my Reading challenge button at the top of my blog.
Challenge still has a month and a half to go. It's not to late.

This week I have been reading What Alice Forgot by: Lianne Moriarty

Can I say that I absolutely love, love, loved this book. Thought provking and a page turner. If I were to write an adult fiction book this is a premise I would love to write about.

Summary: What would happen if you were visited by your younger self, and got a chance for a do-over?

Alice Love is twenty-nine years old, madly in love with her husband, and pregnant with their first child. So imagine her surprise when, after a fall, she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! she HATES the gym! This makes me laugh.) and discovers that she's actually thirty-nine, has three children, and is in the midst of a divorce.

A knock on the head has misplaced ten years of her life, and Alice isn't sure she likes who she's become. It turns out, though, that forgetting might be the most memorable thing that has ever happened to Alice.
My next book choice in honor of Halloween is one that is going to qualify for my
Read a book titled The ____'s Daughter or The ____'s Wife
My book choice is called  The Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston Super excited to read this one and what a perfect time of year to read it.

My Fall Bucket List
Things to check off my list... Whoop!

apple cider pancakes recipe  - good texture but not enough apple flavor. Think my cider didn't reduce enough. Would add more cider to batter if that happens next time.
I added this one after I created my Fall Bucket List.
These are Apple Cider Pancakes Oh my goodness they were awesome!
We used the cider we picked up from the pumpkin patch last weekend,
Apple Cider Pancakes
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
2/3 cup reduced apple cider (start with 4 cups of apple cider)
4 tbsps butter, melted
vegetable oil or butter for frying
3 tbsps sugar
1 1/2 tbsps ground cinnamon
extra reduced apple cider to serve with the pancakes
Reduce the apple cider: Place the apple cider (spiced or not spiced, but cider is better than apple juice) in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and let it boil until reduced to a quarter of the original volume. This will take at least 15 minutes or more depending on your stove and other factors affecting evaporative processes in your kitchen. Remove from heat and let cool. Measure out 2/3 cup of reduced cider for the batter. Reserve the rest for serving.
Make the pancakes: Whisk the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the eggs to break them up. Stir in the buttermilk and milk. Pour the wet egg-milk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Add the cooled reduced apple cider to the batter and stir it in taking care not to overmix (overmixing makes the batter flat, dense, and tough). Stir in the melted butter. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil or butter in a skillet or frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, pour 1/4 cup of batter into the pan. Watch for bubbles to appear on the surface of the pancake. When the bubbles begin to pop, flip the pancake over and cook until golden. Remove from heat and repeat until all of your pancakes are done.
Serve the pancakes: Mix the sugar and ground cinnamon together in a small bowl. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the pancakes. Add a pat of butter if desired. Serve with reduced apple cider on the side.

We also made Caramel apples with my grandson, Carter:

Carter also helped me to make a pumpkin crunch cake it turned out awesome. Taking it to a birthday celebration tonight. Hope it's a big hit. We serve it with cool whip and caramel sauce Yummo!

 I am going to post a new book list for November I have created for kiddo's.
Books I will share with my grandsons and some I may even share at Kennedy. 

I will change my boo basket of books at home to a turkey basket for our 
November Reading List

1. The Silly Turkey Party
2. Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes
3.Pete The Cat and the First Thanksgiving By James Dean
4.  Bear Snores On By Karma Wilson
5. Time for Sleep By Lois Ehlert
6. Ten Fat Turkeys By Tony Johnston
7. Cranberry Thanksgiving By Henry Devlin
8.  Turkey Trouble By Wendy Silvano
9.The Night Before Thanksgiving By Natasha Wing
10. Littlest Pilgrim Wendi Doughtery
11. Earl The Squirrel By Don Freedman
12. In November By Cynthia Rylant
13. Clifford's First Autumn by Norman Bridwell
14. Twas The Night Before Thanksgiving By Dav Pilkey
15.  A Plump and Perky Turkey By Teresa Bateman
16.The Story of the Pilgrims By Katherine Ross
17. A Visit to Grandma's By Nancy Carlson
18.Sometimes it's Turkey, Sometimes it's Feathers (My Fav)
19. Thanksgiving Day By Ann Rockwell
20.The Amazing Turkey Rescue By Steve Metzger
21. The Thanksgiving Surprise By Peggy Archer
22.Fancy Nancy Our Thanksgiving Banquet By Jane O'Connor
23. I know An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Pie By Allison Jackson
24. We're Going on a Leaf Hunt By Steve Metzger
25.  Mousekins Golden House by Edna Miller
26. Merle The High Flying Squirrel By Bill Peet
27. Leaves Leaves Leaves By Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
28. Leaf Jumpers By Carole Gerber

Happy Reading,

Mrs. Shamhart

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Crazy, Busy, Short, Fun Filled Week...

Wow! What a crazy, busy, short, fun filled week.  We got so much accomplished!  We wrapped up our donations for our soldiers. We worked on library skills, played games, created books, checked out 2 times, introduced story elements and so much more. A huge amount of work but a whole lot of fun.

This week in the library Kindergarten heard 2 books. I Need My Monster  By Amanda Noll and
Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley. Both of these books were amazing. We discussed the story elements of the book I Need My Monster. The Kindergarteners did a super job.

 The book Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley was a book we used for visualizing, We read the story without looking at  the pictures in the book. Until the students  had created their own illustrations to go along with each page of text. It was a lot of fun.  I was amazed at how well my kindergarten friends did. I then explained that the words in a story paint a picture in our mind. I put these pictures into a book for each class. See a sample here:

This week my Kindergarten friends also made books about what they would like to be for Halloween.
See  a sample here:

First graders worked on Fiction and Non-Fiction in the library this week. Wow what smart 1st graders we have at Kennedy. Each and every class was able to answer all of my questions. We compared them and discussed different books determining if they were fiction or non fiction.
We read Too many Pumpkins by Linda White and Pumpkin Patch Elizabeth King.

I loved being witness to the generosity of our students and their families. The kiddo's were so excited to give and share. They would shine when they brought a donation in for the donation box. It makes me smile to know that I was a part of that. Here are some pictures of the donations and what they looked like after they were packaged. We are shipping them out with baked goods and letters of encouragement from our teachers and donations from Kennedy students and their families.

Ms. S's Class
Our Spotlight Book of the week was selected by Mrs. Kim Goodman. What a wonderfully fun rhyming story this book is. The Llama Llama books are all excellent.  This book focuses on llama going to school for the first time, and missing mama llama . Once you start reading this book, you'll be amazed how accurately the author portrays llama llama's feelings as a young one in an unfamiliar surroundings might see things.  This book is  for anyone that has a little one anxious about beginning school! Excellent choice Mrs. Kim.
Our fact of the week   is one that my first graders shared with me before we read the Pumpkin Patch book by Elizabeth King.
Holy Cow~ October 18, 2013 Snow in Ks.  Hard to believe snow already. I am not ready for winter. I have to many things to do before  winter arrives. I love the snow but I love fall a lot more. Please bring back the mild temperatures and sunny skies. I am suppose to go to the pumpkin patch tomorrow and I have been looking forward to it for weeks.
This crazy weather was awesome for snuggling by the fireplace and finishing up the book I have been reading. Testimony by:Anita Shreve                     

I was a little shocked at the graphic nature of this book, in the first chapter. But it sets the foundation of the story. This book was a page turner from the first page.

In a small Vermont village, most-known for its private boarding school for the privileged children of the wealthy, and some who are there on scholarships, a scandal is brewing.

We see the story unfold, piece by piece, in the voices of the participants. First we learn of a tape, discovered by the headmaster of Avery Academy.  The tape reveals the activities of some of the best and brightest, along with the unfortunate appearance on the tape of a fourteen-year-old girl which makes the action unlawful in the state of Vermont.

Over the next several chapters, the voices include the boys, the parents, the girl, the girl friend of one of the boys, the law enforcement officials, and even journalists and researchers all eager to peek behind the scenes and uncover the  the behavior of these adolescents on one horrible night in January.
Intriguing, suspenseful and haunting, this tale reveals how simple desire and need can lead to unfortunate consequences that seemingly unfold over the indefinite future.
My next book choice for the book club challenge is  What Alice Forgot  By Liane Moriarty.

This week I checked lots of things off of my fall bucket list. The best of which is our trip to the pumpkin patch with my kids and grand kids. Took lots of pics, made memories and picked lots of pumpkins. Had a blast.
We enjoyed some chili on that snowy fall day. Checked right off my fall bucket list.
 I also made homemade applesauce in the crock pot. It made the whole house smell amazing!
We served it over ice cream and I sent some home with the grand kids. Yum! As quickly as the cold weather is blowing in it reminds how fast fall will be over. I hope your bucket list is dwindling. I have a few more things left. But I am enjoying every single thing :)

Hope you find time to do some reading and enjoy a good book.
Happy Reading

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Pumpkins, Bats, Lifecycles and Character Maps...

This week in the library we are still collecting for our soldiers and we will continue until the 15th of October. If you need any information please feel free to contact me.

In the library this week we are working on the life cycle of a pumpkin with Kindergarten classes. We took a picture walk through the book Pumpkin Circle by: George Levenson  and then we watched the movie of Pumpkin Circle a Reading Rainbow movie. The Kindergarten students created the life cycle of the pumpkin. See it here:

In first grade we read the story Stellaluna by Janell Cannon we then created a map of how Stellaluna changes in the beginning, middle and end.
We then discussed the different points of view from the different characters. They did an amazing job.  

Our spotlight book of the week Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day was selected by Mrs. Markley. What a great selection!!! We all have bad days and Alexander is no exception. This book written with wonderful "voice" is written by: Judith Viorst. This story is about a young boy that is having a bad day. Nothing goes his way, and he starts to feel sorry for himself. Even though Alexander has such a terrible, horrible, very bad day, he ends up getting through it, and just hopes the next day isn’t the same.

Our fact of the week was created by first grade friends. After reading Stellaluna we discussed what they knew about bats and we all found this fact interesting. 


I finished the book the never list and it was a good read. Not my usual style but that's what this challenge is all about. I really enjoyed it even though parts of it scared me. Cleverly plotted and highly entertaining, The Never List is a haunting psychological thriller that begs to be read in one sitting.  Be prepared. (I wasn't)
Sarah and her friend Jennifer don't appear to be likely targets for a predator. They are already wary and on guard after enduring a terrible car accident. Determined to protect themselves from future trauma, the teens obsessively compile statistics on potential catastrophes (cancer, car accidents, tornadoes) and ways to tip the odds in their favor if disaster strikes. By the time they enter college a couple of years later, they have a detailed list of possible dangers, one that eventually becomes known as The Never List. Never go to the library alone at night, never trust a stranger who wants to help fix your car's flat tire, never let down your guard. Until...
 I have another friend who completed the reading challenge. Whoop Whoop! Chloe amazing job my friend!

Keep on reading and moving along with the Fall Reading Challenge we still have over 2 months to complete it. If you need to see the list again go to the top of my blog and click on the button labeled "Book Challenge".

      It's beginning to look like fall in Ks. and I am loving it.

Thriller Animation
I found this on You Tube. It is a "Thriller" animation and is so cute and retro. The music takes me back and the animation makes me smile.  I was going to wait till the week of Halloween but then I thought, maybe someone could use it this month as well. Mrs.Willey I hope you enjoy it!

Fall Bucket List is growing and I'm checking this off too.

I have been wanting to do something with my fall wreath. It was just blah... I went to hobby lobby and bought some ribbon and a few things and gave my 2 year old wreath from Target a make over. One more thing to check off of my fall bucket list.

I found this recipe and made it for the soldiers we are making care packages for. This turned out yummo! Here's a link to the recipe if you'd like to try it. I snagged it from

Enjoy and Happy Reading,
Mrs. Shamhart

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Soldiers, Veterans and Donations...

What an exciting week!!! This week in the library we talked about soldiers in the military.
We learned about veteran's and Veteran's Day. Yes, I know I am a month early and Veteran's Day isn't until November 11th but we have a fun project planned. We really wanted to show our support  to the soldiers in D-Company 2-1 who are in Afghanistan.

We are collecting items in each classroom to create care packages for the many soldiers there. Teachers will be writing letters of encouragement for each package and many staff members will be sending baked goods to these soldiers. We are hoping that our packages will arrive by Veteran's Day. Donations will be accepted until October 15th. Here is a list of the items we are collecting:

 Items to Donate For Our Soldiers
All items should be new and unused

Personal Hygiene items:
Tooth brushes
Dental Floss
Hand Sanitizer
Bath scrubber
Lysol wipes/Clorox Bleach Wipes
Air freshners
Febreeze sprays
Chewing gum
Protein bars
Energy bars
Trail mix
Coffee (bagged, Beans, K cups, any type)
Coffee filters
Single serving drink mixes (Crystal light, Gatorade, etc)
Beef Jerky
Vienna Sausages
Spray cheese
Other, Misc.
Mechanic/work gloves
Blankets, Sheet sets Twin

We read Veteran's Day by Mary Shue and Courage by Bernard Waber. 

We created this poster and will send this picture to the soldiers in D-Company 2-1. All the Kennedy students signed it on the back. In blue you will find words that mean veteran. Anyone who was a soldier in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard.  The words in red describe the soldier.

The students came up with lots of questions that we are going to ask Mr. Hinkle who is in Afghanistan in D-Company 2-1. Kids wanted to know about the planes and helicopters what kinds do they have? What does their housing look like? How many soldiers are stationed there?Do they carry weapons? Do they have ice cream there? And so many more.

This past week we got the response from Mrs. Young's Kindergarten friends.  We were all so excited to hear who they are, to find out more about them and to hear the letter from Mrs. Young. We will be working on our next book for their class. It will have a Fall/Halloween theme.

In the library this week our spotlight book is a wonderful choice from our Kennedy Secretary, Mrs. Pitts. She chose The True Story of The Three Little Pigs by: John Scieszka This is a  spoof on the three little pigs story, this time told from the wolf's point of view. It is laugh out loud funny. If you haven't read it, trust you will want to!!!

Our fact of the week is one that I love to share with my friends who are all beginning to read.
Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham is a classic and when kiddo's find out that it was written with only 50 different words it is funny to watch them try to count them.

I want to let everyone know I am having a great turn out at school promoting the reading challenge. So many of my Kennedy friends are participating. They come in to check out and say I need a tooth fairy book or a book about Fall. I know they are participating in the challenge. It makes me smile.

 This week I am reading The Never List by Koethi Zan and it is a kind of creepy premise to it.
I have been so busy this week I am only 50 pages into it.  But I plan on reading this evening to catch up. I am so wanting to see where this book goes. Keep all your posts and emails coming I love hearing what you are reading and what you all think of the blog. If you don't mind sharing your thoughts publicly you can leave your posts on the blog at the bottom for comments.

Which brings me to my fall bucket list.... I had some amazing pumpkin pancakes for breakfast Saturday morning. Have I said that "I absolutely love fall " yet in this blog? Well, I do! I will definitely be making these again! I also found a recipe for apple cider pancakes which sound pretty amazing too. Here is a link for this recipe.

I hope your fall bucket list is moving along as nicely as mine is. We are hoping to go to the pumpkin patch next weekend with the grand kids. I finished decorating the library this weekend and will share  a few photos next week. We decorated the house and will be working on the outside of the house this week. We want to take pictures of the grandkids outside.It has been such a busy week and weekend. I can't fit enough in.
Enjoy the beautiful weather and treat yourself to a good book!
Mrs. Shamhart