The week of April 3 began with a very exciting visit from Cylin Busby, author of a terrific middle-grade historical fiction book: The Nine Lives of Jacob Tibbs, which was the 5th-grade book club's March selection.
Ms. Busby (pictured at left) began by showing us historical photos of real ships' cats, which had been her inspiration for the book. The students had many questions about specific characters and events in the story, so the remainder of the visit was devoted to Q&A and discussion. After the meeting Ms. Busby was kind enough to stay and sign the students' copies of Jacob Tibbs--it's such a thrill to have a signed copy of a well-loved book! Many thanks to Ms. Busby for such a wonderful visit.
As soon as the visit concluded it was time to pack up the library to make way for some improvements to the space. The remainder of the week was devoted to removal of the old desktop computers used for searching the catalog and reconfiguration of the east side of the library. This week (spring break) new flooring is being installed. At right is a photo as work proceeds.
Unable to visit the library last week due to the renovation, most classes asked that I come to their classrooms last week to read. Kindergarten and second-grade heard books related to their curricular topics (eggs and dinosaurs, and ancestry and biography, respectively). Third-grade voted on the Cook Prize contest: the winner in our voting was Journey: Based on the True Story of OR7, the Most Famous Wolf in the West, by Emma Bland Smith. An interesting thing about the Cook Prize is that it is conducted across the United States and sometimes even in schools in other countries. For other specific readalouds from last week see this site's Weekly Readalouds page.
Looking ahead, when we return from spring break the school will be focusing on Earth Day, which is April 22. I will be reading books having to do with the environment to all grades. Below please find a PDF of Pennekamp's Earth Day schedule of events--there are a lot great activities going on. Also, Saturday, April 22, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., is the city's Earth Day fair at Polliwog. It's always an interesting and educational event, and a very convenient place for recycling batteries, prescription eyeglasses, and (this year for the first time, I believe) gently used clothing.
The weekend of April 22 and 23 is also the L.A. Times Festival of Books, taking place on the USC campus, for all you book lovers out there.
Last but not least, there are a couple of art workshops this week at the Manhattan Beach public library: Get Smart on Art for Grades 2 to 5, on Wednesday, April 19; and for older kids (grades 6 to 12) DIY Paperclip Jewelry, on Thursday, April 20.