Monday, March 7, 2016

Author KATHRYN OTOSHI is visiting Alisal on 3/15

Hello Alisal Bears!  It's been awhile since I've posted anything on our blog.  (I've been busy running the Battle of the Books for the 4th and 5th grades.  More on that in another post.)  Today I want to talk to you about an exciting event happening at Alisal next week.  Picture book author Kathryn Otoshi will be visiting Alisal on Tuesday, 3/15 to speak to our students.  She is the author of One, Two, Zero and Beautiful Hands
Image result for one two zero kathryn otoshi
These books, deceptively simple, play on the themes of tolerance, acceptance and the power of one voice.  All the classes I've read them to have loved the books - both the art and the message.  We can all learn something about being better people from Kathryn Otoshi's books.  She'll be speaking to the students about her message and the writing process. 

All students were (or will be) given a flyer to take home so they can buy Kathryn's beautiful books.  I encourage you to buy one - these are beautiful books that can be enjoyed and talked about by the whole family.  If you haven't read the books before, I'd recommend Beautiful Hands for grades TK-1st and the others for all ages.  Orders are due Friday, March 11th.  If you need a flyer, stop by the library and pick up an extra one!

Here is a wonderful interview with Kathryn talking about her book, One.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

5th grade Battle of the Books room assignments for 2/23

Hello Alisal families!  Last Tuesday we had an information meeting for all 5th grade BOB participants.  Most of the kids came and are super excited about the upcoming battle!  We went over the rules and drew names to see which teams will compete against who.  Below is the bracket that is posted in the library.  If you were not at the meeting on Tuesday, please see the bracket to learn what classroom your team's battle will take place in.  Also, please scroll down this website to find the official rules.  They were passed out at the meeting.  It's important you know them!

Parents of 5th grade battlers, if you would like to come watch your child, please come to Alisal at 11:50am and sign in at the office before going to your child's battle location.  Please make sure not to enter the room before noon; these are classrooms with classes and teachers inside!  :)  I'm looking forward to our first battle on Tuesday, 2/23.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

4th Grade Battle of the Books BRACKET ASSIGNMENTS

Hello 4th grade parents!  Please see the picture below to see where your child will be "battling" on Tuesday, 2/2.  As you can see, two teams will compete against each other in the first round, and the winning team will advance to the semi-finals round on Wednesday 2/3.  Room TBD.  Each battle will have a Questioner and a Scorekeeper/Timer who will run the battle.  If you would like to come and watch your child, please sign in at the office at 12 noon and report to the room where your child will be.  DO NOT enter the classroom until after the students come out at noon for recess.  These are active classrooms with classes learning in them.  Thank you for respecting the teachers and students.

Before Tuesday, please go over the rules with your student and make sure they understand the consequences for breaking a rule during the competition.  Because this is a competition, the rules will be closely observed.  This keeps things fair for everyone!  Every student who attended the meeting today received a copy of the rules.

Battle of the Books rules

  • Teams may not bring anything with them when they compete.

  • All students who participate, either as a competing team or audience member, must maintain proper behavior.  There will be no communication between audience members and team members in any form, including signs, hand signals, verbal cries, or mouthing of answers.  Any team member who is deemed to be cheating will be disqualified from the competition.

  • Each team will choose one member as the spokesperson for their team.  Only the spokesperson may respond to the question.  If any other person responds, the team gets no points for the question.  

  • Team members may only talk with one another when it is their turn to respond, and only after the question has been read.  If a team member speaks when it is not his or her team’s turn, or prior to the end of the reading of the question, the team will be penalized 2 points.

  • Teams may huddle while deciding upon the answer.

  • A correct response must contain the full title of the book.  No partial answer will be accepted.

  • Once the spokesperson begins to respond with a title, only that title will be accepted as the team’s answer.  If the spokesperson attempts to change the team’s answer after beginning, the answer will be judged incorrect and no points will be awarded.

  • Questions will be read only once for each team.

  • A team has 30 seconds after the question is read to respond.  If there is no response, time is called and the team has 10 seconds to give an answer.

  • If a correct answer is given the team is awarded 5 points.  If an incorrect response or no response is given, no points are awarded.

  • A missed question is then read for the second team, which has 15 seconds to respond.  If they respond correctly the team is awarded 3 points.  If an incorrect response or no response is given no points are awarded.  The Questioner then gives the correct answer.

  • A round will consist of 16 questions, 8 for each team.  At the end of a round if the score is tied, there will be a tiebreaker round.  

  • During a tiebreaker,  both teams will be given a piece paper on which to write.  The Questioner will read the question aloud and both teams will have 30 seconds to write their answer down on their piece of paper.  After the 30 seconds, the answer sheets will be checked.  If any team has an incorrect answer, they are eliminated unless no one has a correct answer.  The winner of the tiebreaker round is the first team to answer correctly a question that the other team has missed.


PRACTICE questions for 4th grade Battle of the Books competition

Below are some practice questions that you can use to help prepare yourself for next week's competition.  I will post the answers on Monday, 2/1.  In the meantime, have a parent or friend ask you these questions.  See if you know the answers!  Remember, the choices are:

The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity
No Talking
Liberty Porter, First Daughter
The Year of Miss Agnes

  1. In which book is there a character named Steve?
  2. In which book does the story take place in 1948?  
  3. In which book is the main character’s secret code name “Ruffles”?
  4. In which book does a character take a flute lesson?  
  5. In which book does the character read a detective manual?  
  6. In which book does the mail come in on a plane?
  7. In which book does the main character make a glittery card for their dad?  
  8. In which book does a rat make a map?
  9. In which book is there a contest of girls against boys?
  10. In which book are there pictures of American quilting symbols?  
  11. In which book does the main character have a dog named Franklin?  
  12. In which book is there an orphan named Ben?  
  13. In which book does the main character live in Ocean City?
  14. In which book does the character have a room with bunk beds?  
  15. In which school do the characters attend Laketon Elementary School?
  16. In which book is there a deaf character?
  17. In which book does the main character meet a sugar glider?
  18. In which book do the characters have to find the Rim of Heaven?  
  19. In which book does the principal apologize to the 5th grade?  
  20. In which book is the setting Alaska?  
  21. In which book do the characters go on a long journey half way around the world?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Author Chris Grabenstein Coming to Pleasanton 1/26/16

Library Olympics with Chris Grabenstein!

Attention to all who love the book Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library! Author Chris Grabenstein will be here at Towne Center Books to celebrate his latest and greatest! His new book is called Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics, and is a delightful sequel to a hilarious and rollicking read. Come to Towne Center Books to hear him speak and sign your books.

Watch the book trailer for Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics here:

Chris Grabenstein has written some very popular books with readers in 4th grade and up. You might know some of his titles:
Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
The Island of Dr. Libris

Co-Written with James Patterson:
I Funny
I Even Funnier
Treasure Hunters
House of Robots
Tuesday, January 26
4:00 PM after school!
Towne Center Books, 555 Main St.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear

The 2016 Caldecott medal has been awarded to the book Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick and illustrated by Sophie Blackall.  Here is a beautiful book trailer about the book: