Scientists have found that octopuses are curious, intelligent, and determined. To see these traits in action, watch the video below from Octolab of an octopus figuring out how to get a hard-to-reach snack. For even more octopus content, see the "Adorabilis" octopus on the Weekly Readalouds page.
Inky the octopus, from "Inky the Octopus Escapes from a New Zealand Aquarium," New York Times, April 13, 2016
A persistent, problem-solving octopus squeezes through the narrow neck of a glass beaker to eat the mussel at the bottom.
This week's theme is science and technology, including a little bit of inventing. This is always the time of year we do science in the library to support the science fair. It's also timely because of spring and Earth Day (April 22).
There are science-themed videotaped book readings on the Weekly Readalouds page of this site. If you click the little "cc" at the bottom of the video-player screen, captioning is displayed that you can read as the video plays.
I hope you're having success with ebooks! The books shown below are available through the County of LA system, of which the Manhattan Beach public library is a part. Click on the image below to go to that book's ebook record, where you can check that book out to read digitally.
I have enjoyed reading aloud to classes via Zoom! And the 5th-grade book club got together over Zoom this past week--so nice to see everyone and begin our new book, Arlo Finch in the Valley of Fire, by John August. I've been pleased to help those parents who have emailed. Please do get in touch if there's anything you need. I think PK's parents, teachers, and students are extraordinary all the time, but it's never been more apparent than it is now. Three cheers for you!
March 23, 2020
I'm learning a lot! Are you?
Previously I had not watched many videotaped readalouds. Reading aloud at the library is what I do, and the PK library has lots of great books, so I did not see a need for others' readings of books.
Things are rather different now! I now know 1) there are lots of videotaped readalouds, 2) they vary in style and quality, 3) most are of older books--not many brand-new titles are available yet, and 4) making these videos is kind of hard, especially if you are camera-shy, like I am!
This week I selected videotaped Weekly Readalouds for each grade level. I see no reason why a student couldn't watch the choices for other grades. If you click the little "cc" at the bottom of the video screen, captions are displayed, which would make for good reading practice. Right now, I plan to put up Weekly Readalouds videos for each week during the school closure. This week's theme is Women's History Month, which is March.
In looking for women's history books to share with you, I came upon this Goodreads Listopia list: 90+ Women's History Month Picture Book Titles. A word about Goodreads: I really enjoy Goodreads, which allows me to keep track of my reading and displays readers' ratings of books. However, I do not recommend you sign up your children on Goodreads or allow children to peruse it without parental oversight. Goodreads is intended for grownups, and its content is not screened for suitability for children. So the list 90+ Women's History Month Picture Book Titles is for you, parents, so you can find books that might interest your children.
If we were at school, I would have read a few women's history picture books that are new in our collection. Of these, a favorite is What Miss Mitchell Saw, written by Hayley Barrett, illustrated by Diana Sudyka. I did not find any videotaped readings of it yet. Miss Mitchell is available as an ebook from the LA County library system (our local Manhattan Beach public library is in that system). Click on the image below to go to that ebook record, and likewise for other images--they have links to the ebook catalog records, where you can check them out to read digitally.
If you aren't using ebooks yet, give it a try! It's really pretty easy, and you can get an Instant Digital Card if you don't have library card. One little courtesy tip: return your ebooks (there's a place to click "return" if you look at the checkout on your account) as soon as you are done with them. Looking at an ebook is not like looking at a website, which countless people can do at one time. An ebook is like a physical copy: only one patron at a time can use a copy. For more ebook info see my last blog post, just below.
At the moment, it is still possible to check out books from the Manhattan Beach public library. To check out a book, request it through the regular hold system. When a requested book is available, library staff will check it out to whoever put it on hold, and the book will be available for pick up the following day. Checked-out books are arranged alphabetically on tables in the library meeting room and can be picked up Monday through Friday, from 11 to 4. (The meeting room is on the southeast corner of the building, by the lawn.) Due dates have been extended to mid-April. You can see what books are checked out to you on the My Account tab of the library site. I don't know how long physical checkouts are going to be offered. You can always call if it seems your requested materials are not being checked out to you (as would be visible on My Account). The library's phone number is 310-545-8595 (press 5 for the children's desk).
There are many sources of digital books; there are three just through the LA County library system. The digital approach I know best is OverDrive through the LA County library, so I'll briefly describe that one.
To use the LA County library system, you need a library card for that system and you need to know your card PIN. For the LA County system, good news: If you don’t have a card, you can be issued an Instant Digital Card! Isn’t that cool? If you have a regular card but can’t remember your PIN, I’d suggest you just get an Instant Digital Card now and sort out the duplication when regular library service resumes. You can also request a new PIN, although I'm not sure if that's automated or subject to staff availability: Get a PIN.
To search for digital materials, go to the library site and hover over the tab for Digital Library. Then click on either ebooks or audiobooks.
If you want to read on a device like a phone or iPad, you’ll need to download the corresponding app. I don't think you can download apps on iPads borrowed from school. For myself, I use my computer and choose read “on [my] browser.”
Not all books are in the public library's digital collections but many are. You might think digital copies would be unlimited in number, but that is not the case. A branch has access to certain titles and a limited number of copies, just like physical books. You can always hold a digital copy like you would a physical copy, and you’ll get an email when it’s available.
If you have any questions, just email me. If I don’t know the answer right away, I’ll find out! Most important: give it a try. It’s really pretty logical to set up--and besides, figuring out how to do something new sounds rather like at-home learning in and of itself.
March 19, 2020
This is the first of the videos I plan to post during the school closure. I'm reading When Spring Comes, by Kevin Henkes, because today is the first day of spring! What do you notice as the seasons change? What's your favorite thing about spring? What's special about right now even as we look forward to tomorrow?
And here are some beautiful blooming flowers, filmed in time-lapse, from National Geographic. Happy spring!
Update, March 2020
Hello from the library! Some of what was announced in my original March 2020 post (below) successfully took place, and some is now postponed or cancelled due to the school district closure. Here's where we are:
The California Young Reader Medal voting deadline has been extended to May 1. We will finish up voting on the Intermediate (chapter book) category as soon as we are able, and I will make sure to submit our votes by May 1. Almost all our voting is done; 4th grade just needs to vote on the Intermediate category.
The Rotary Readers came to visit during the week of March 2-6. They read to us, told stories, played the guitar, made us laugh, and just basically demonstrated to our students that young people are worthy of the community's time and attention. The Rotary Readers were terrific.
Kaitlin Coulter, the fabulous librarian from the children's room at the Manhattan Beach public library, visited on March 5 to give every 3rd-grade student their very own student library card. She read stories, pitched the upcoming summer reading program, reminded students that the public library offers MākMō, art classes, and many other events (and will resume doing so once it reopens--it too is closed for health reasons). It is always wonderful to see Kaitlin. Did you know she helps provide copies for PK's 5th-grade book club? It's true. Thanks, Kaitlin!
Some items mentioned previously are on hold--the Richstone Feast and the next meeting of the 5th-grade book club. Stay tuned for updates on those.
I miss everyone and wish you all good health and cozy reading time. And now, here's a special treat: a video of Mrs. Primm, the Meadows library resource specialist, reading The Rabbit Listened, by Cori Doerrfeld. Thanks, Mrs. Primm!
Barbara Siegemund-Broka, library resource specialist, maintains this blog to inform Pennekamp students and families about library news and related content. Any opinions expressed here are solely her own.
What's Ms. Barbara reading?
How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, by Jenny Odell
His eyes are soft. “Do you know why I became a librarian?”
I wait for him to tell me, because of course I don’t.
“Dewey,” he says. “As in the decimal system.”
I’m not sure if he’s joking or not, but he continues, “I like order. I like organization. The idea of all the information in the world, all organized, everything in its place—I like that idea.”
He clears his throat. “But I’ve been doing this job for a long time. And the thing I’ve learned is that stories aren’t about order and organization. They’re about feelings. And the feelings don’t always make sense. See, stories are like …” He pauses, brow furrowing, then nods, satisfied in finding the right comparison: “Water. Like rain. We can hold them tight, but they always slip through our fingers.”
I try to hide my shock. Joe doesn’t seem like the poetic type.
His caterpillar eyebrows knit together. “That can be scary. But remember that water gives us life. It connects continents. It connects people. And in quiet moments, when the water’s still, sometimes we can see our own reflection.”
--From When You Trap a Tiger, by Tae Heller, winner of the 2021 Newbery Medal