Scholastic Orders and Read-a-Thon Winners

Flyers for the last Scholastic Reading Club offer should be going home today with students. The deadline for order forms in Thursday, 13 March. We expect books would arrive at the end of April, and maybe sooner.

The elementary students who participated in the Elementary Student Council Read-a-Thon received certificates for a free book from the Scholastic flyers. Please note that:

  • Certificate can only be used for a single book for up to $5
  • Certificate cannot be combined with cash for a book priced at a higher amount

The price in dollar for each book is on the flyer. Also on the flyer is the item #. You will need that to fill in your free book certificate.




To use your free book certificate, you will need to fill it out with:

  • the title of the book you want
  • the item # from the flyer
  • the name of the catalog and the month
  • You should also write your name and class on the certificate to make sure it doesn’t get lost.

See this sample:

Scholastic Free Book Certificate March 2014

Now it’s time to fill in the RMB order form. The one shown here uses a certificate and purchases 2 books for illustration purposes, but students do not have to buy books to be able to use the certificate as the library and the ESC will be completing the $10 minimum requirement stated on the certificate.

Sample of Scholastic order form March 2014


Last two steps:

  • Staple your free book certificate to your order form
  • Hand in to your homeroom teacher or the library with your money in exact change

Still reading? Great, because there’s more! The ESC will be using part of the funds it raised with the Read-a-Thon to donate 700RMB worth of books to each classroom in the elementary school. Hurray! Stay tuned for details.

New Year Resolutions Part 5

With this installment of New Year resolution ideas, we finalize this series of posts with a reading promotion organized by the Elementary Student Council (ESC.)

In order to raise funds for an orphanage in Tianjin and to encourage reading among our students, the ESC is inviting all of our elementary students to a read-a-thon. Participating students will need to obtain adult “sponsors” who will pledge (promise) to a given amount per page read. The amount pledged per page will depend on the sponsor. A common pledge is one mao or one yuan per page.

Elementary Student Council Read-a-Thon February 2014

Armed with sponsors, students will then read, read, read. The ESC has provided packages for keeping track of pages read and money raised.

The read-a-thon starts today and will end after the Chinese New Year break on 17 February. We hope you will support the ESC and your child’s reading by donating generously. If you would like book recommendations for your child, just stop by the library to ask us.

Coat Time!

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Photo Credit: Hiroyuki Takeda via Compfight

It’s cold out! Elementary students who come to the library must wear coats. If there should be an emergency evacuation, it is a long walk from the library to the field where we line up to be counted, and then a long cold wait until students can return indoors.

Parents, please be sure to label your children’s clothing so that if it is misplaced it can be returned. We do our best to return items to elementary homerooms as quickly as possible. If there are no identifying marks on clothing or items, we return them to the elementary lost and found.

Just for fun, here are some elementary level library books about winter clothing. All summaries are from the library OPAC.

Cover for The Rag Coat

Call # E MIL – Reading level 4.9

Minna proudly wears her new coat made of clothing scraps to school, where the other children laugh at her until she tells them the stories behind the scraps.

Cover for Joseph Had a Little Overcoat

Call # E TAB – Reading level 2.0

An ingenious man named Joseph finds numerous ways to make use of his overcoat as it wears away over time. We also have this title in Chinese.

 Cover for The Hat

Call # E BRE – Reading level 2.2

When Lisa hangs her woolen clothes in the sun to air them out for winter, the hedgehog, to the amusement of the other animals, ends up wearing a stocking on his head. Read it online here. 

 Cover for The Unforgotten Coat

Call # F COT – Reading level 4.6

Julie’s life becomes more complicated after the two Mongolian brothers in her Year Six class declare her to be their “Good Guide,” which means she is responsible for welcoming the brothers to their new home, helping them with school uniforms, and explaining British slang. This title is also available as a Playaway audio book.

 Cover for Froggy Gets Dressed

Call # E LON – Reading level 1.5

Rambunctious Froggy hops out into the snow for a winter frolic but is called back by his mother to put on some necessary articles of clothing.

This Week in the Elementary Library

The secondary school has been out for Week without Walls this week, so things have been pretty quiet in the library. The 12th graders have been in all week, working hard on their extended essays, but for the most part, it’s been quiet.

The quiet ends, however, when the elementary classes arrive. We have been very busy this week. Here are the highlights.

Nursery, preK, kindergarten, grades 1, 2 and 3 enjoyed read-alouds of books related to their units of inquiry.



Grade 4 located books and websites for their unit on inventions. They used the library OPAC to search for titles and then located the books on the shelves using the call number.

Navigate the Visual tab from the main OPAC page.

Grade 5 had a Readers’ Advisory session. Readers’ Advisory, also called “book talks”, are sessions where the librarian presents different books that are sure to interest the class. 5H was very enthusiastic about the books I selected and every student walked out of the session with at least one book. 5S wasn’t as impressed. They’re a hard audience, so will have to try harder! Both classes logged  into the library OPAC with their personal account information to write recommendations and place holds on books that are checked out.

Log in to the OPAC to recommend or hold books

As if all this wasn’t enough, Ms. Nicol visited us as well and took photos of us. They are featured in her own blog, which you should be sure to visit as it gives an overall picture of life in the elementary school. Be sure to subscribe.

Elementary lunch recess in the library

We have one rule at the IST library:

We share the library with everyone at our school.

And share it we do!

During the elementary lunch hour, elementary students can come to read, draw, do crafts, challenge each other to a board game, use computers or play quietly.

For the most part, our elementary students respect the one library rule. This makes it possible for secondary students and our staff to also use the library at the elem lunch hour. Thanks, elementary students, for being such principled library users!

Here are some photos from today’s lunch recess.









Elementary Happenings in the Library

Elementary classes have been very busy in the library these last two weeks. Here’s a short overview.

Nursery – The nursery students are inquiring into self-expression and they are expressing themselves by making art inspired by space. They checked out a book, Eight Spinning Planets, which captured their curiosity and since then have been busy creating ”space” art. This week for their library session, we shared several non-fiction books on space: DK Guide to Space, which features photographs from NASA spacecraft and the Hubble telescope, and Next Stop Neptune, which is illustrated with paper collage renditions of the planets in our solar system. I am looking forward to seeing the new creations as nursery soars even higher into space!

PreK to g2 – Will be reading a pair of non-fiction and fiction books on Hannukah. That is the Jewish Festival of Lights and it begins tomorrow. We are reading Celebrations: Hannukah by Jennifer Gillis and The Miracle of the Potato Latkes, by Malka Penn.

Grade 3 – We compared Lauren Child’s retelling of The Princess and the Pea with the highschool production Once Upon a Mattress. The grade 3 students were very knowledgeable about the elements of a narrative and were able to knowledgeably discuss differences in characters and plot. Setting as a literary element continues to be a little difficult to understand, but we’ll continue looking at that in library class to support the work they will be doing on narratives in their classrooms.

Grade 4 – G4 is inquiring into inventions and discoveries. Students are writing a report on an invention or discovery of their choice and to help them, we have practiced using the OPAC to find print and online sources. One of the best online sources we have is the World Book Digital Library of Inventions and Discoveries. This can be accessed through the library OPAC. (The username is ibridge and the password is byron until 6 December.) If you would like to learn how to access that database, come to the library or better yet, ask a fourth grader!

Grade 5 – The g5 students are finalizing preparations on their mini-exhibition on design and they used their library time last Friday to get started on their bibliography pages. We have been learning how to cite sources in the MLA format. This is the first time the fifth graders will be creating a full bibliography page. It is preparation for the Grade 5 Exhibition and for the rest of their life as learners. Principled students cite their sources.