April 4, 2019

Write a Poem for Poetry Month!

Write a Poem for Poetry Month!
By Karen L. Totten


Writing a poem can be fun!  
Yes! It’s true!
How do you start?  
With words, of course!  
And a few short lists.

Robert Frost

Beginnings:  Invention and Inspiration
Begin by listing four or five animals you like.  For example: Mice frogs dogs hamsters
Or, you might list some favorite foods:  Examples: ice cream spaghetti tofu  broccoli
Perhaps you love being outdoors. List a few nature words.  Examples: Clouds maple trees rocks
Remember: any object or thing can be on your list.  There is no correct answer.  You are inventing and allowing yourself to be inspired.  Let words flow.

Next, pick some action words.  Like these: slide, float, churn,  melt bark freeze wave shrink

Begin Combining
Take a couple words from one of the object/thing lists and put it together with some action words.  Caution: don’t put together two words that someone might expect.
Not:  clouds float  or skates slide
Instead:   trees churn     or dogs wave      

You can also add some descriptive words, but use them carefully.  
Remember, a poem is not a list of descriptions but a unique-to-you view of the world.  
Again, here is a list of descriptors:  green, bitter, sweet, lazy, grainy, plastic

Begin Your Poem
Write a line:   green (color—describes ) ice cream (food--object)  shrinks (action)

As you write, say why or where or how or when something happened. You can use “as” or “like”.

                  The green ice cream shrinks with each lick of my tongue.

Fill in the Details
Finally, go back and expand the poem by adding phrases or words that more specifically describe the ice cream, the shrinking, or licking the cone.
Break your lines into shorter chunks, as with a poem.
Like so:   My mint ice cream cone
               shrinks and shrivels
               like a melting iceberg
               with every lick
               of my now numb tongue.

Voila!  A poem.  All it needs is a title.  

Try writing one poem a day for a week during Poetry Month.   7 days.
Type them or get someone to help you.  Staple the poem pages along with two blank pages for cover and back.
Or punch three holes along the left side of each page, plus cover and back. Tie together with yarn.

Give your book a name.  Decorate with stickers, drawings, photos .  
Congratulations!   You’re an Author!

Here are some examples of Poems by students (from 10-Second Rainshowers, by Sandford Lyne)

A Taste of Poetry by Students

We march out of the classroom
like angels in front of the teacher,
but when we get outside onto
the soft earth we run and yell
and fight and scream.
We are no longer angels.
We are masters of childhood.
                            --Jennifer Edwards, Grade 6

                                                          The wind I can’t see
                                                           but I feel and hear
                                                           and it must be a spirit
                                                           for when it passes
                                                           I see trees
                                                            bow down to worship.
                                                                                  --Nello Caramat, Grade 5

January 29, 2019

Happy Groundhog Day or is it Candlemas?

"In February, Little Groundhog awoke and drowsily ambled up to the burrow entrance. 
The wind made him shiver. 
He saw his shadow and hurried back inside.
“Oh my,” he said. “This will be a long winter.”
Weeks later, he awoke with a start. 
“It’s spring!” he shouted, and up he scuttled to the burrow entrance…”

January 22, 2019

Celebrating Chinese New Year

"The shimmering, frolicking
Lion Dance banishes last year’s
troubles and welcomes the new
year’s promises. As one person
hoists the lion’s head, and 
another moves with the body
and tail, the lion begins to dance. 
Musicians beat a thunderous
rhythm with a drum, a gong
and cymbals, tempting the lively
lion to prance and jump."

January 10, 2019

I have a Dream, by Martin Luther King Jr.

I have a dream

"I HAVE A DREAM that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but the content of their character. 
I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, 
with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping 
with the words of interposition and nullification, 
one day, right there in Alabama, little black boys and little black girls 
will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. 
I have a dream today!…”

Learn more about Martin Luther King Jr.

December 18, 2018

Christmas Long Ago & Seven Candles for Kwanzaa

Christmas Long Ago


“The Christmas tree tradition began in Germany in the 1700’s, when presents were placed under fir trees. When German immigrants came to America, they brought the tradition with them. 

When the German Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, set up a Christmas tree in Windsor Castle in 1841, there was great excitement.  Soon thousands of people in England had Christmas trees, too. Most families had only one tree, but in royal families, every member had their own tree.

In the past, trees were lit carefully with real candles and decorated with beautiful glass ornaments that reflected the candlelight…”

(Christmas Long Ago)


Seven Candles for Kwanzaa

"Kwanzaa is a joyous African-American holiday that is seven days long. It begins on December 26, and lasts through the first day of January. 

The name Kwanzaa comes from the East African language of Swahili. It means first fruits of the harvest.”

(Seven Candles of Kwanzaa)

December 11, 2018

Half-Year Returns: All books due by January 10, 2019


The Library requests that you return all checked-out books 

when you get back from Winter Break. 

All books due by January 10. 

NO CIRCULATION that week. 

Library reopens for regular circulation hours on 

January 14, 2019.

Lucia, Saint of Light

Long revered in both East and, St. Lucia is an early virgin martyr whose life and legacy shine as a light of faith, hope, and compassion in the darkness of winter and sin. Lucia, Saint of Light introduces young readers to both her life and her delightful festival as it is traditionally celebrated in Sweden and around the world.

Would you like to learn more about Saint Lucia, click here

December 4, 2018

The power of Light - 8 stories for Hanukkah

“It happened about ten years ago in Brooklyn, New York. 
All day long a heavy snow was falling. 
Toward evening the sky cleared and a few stars appeared. 
A frost set in. It was the eight day of Hanukkah, 
and my silver Hanukkah lamp stood on the windowsill with all candles burning. 
It was mirrored in the windowpane, and I imagined another lamp outside…” 

"Eight tales - one for each night of the Hanukkah celebration - once again demonstrate the inventive story-telling powers of Nobel Prize winner Isaac Bashevis Singer. Miracles and visitations abound in the world Mr. Singer portrays, a world in which love triumphs over time and tribulation, and faith prevails…"

Do you want to learn more about Hanukkah?
Check this books out!
Click here

November 29, 2018

Advent and Christmas Stories

Advent and Christmas Stories

A treasury of stories, verses and songs

“...Father Sun, shine on my rose, but not too hot, 
Sister Rain, rain on my rose, but not too wet, 
Brother Wind, blow on my rose, but not too hard.

Every evening he would look out of his window at the stars and say…"

This illustrated treasury of over fifty stories, verses, songs and puppet plays range from Advent through the twelve days of Christmas, ending with the flight to Egypt. The authors draw on their lifelong experience of telling stories as Waldorf kindergarten educators, puppeteers and mothers. Here are their favorite Christmas stories, told simply and profoundly for three to seven-year-olds. These stories will both delight children and help parents become confident storytellers. (Advent and Christmas Stories)

Read more about Christmas and Advent stories

November 15, 2018

It’s Thanksgiving!

Every step of the preparations for Third Graders’ Thanksgiving feast at RSSAA,
They realize that there is more to Thanksgiving than turkey and trimmings.

Thanks Third Graders for your wonderful work!

Bon appétit!

Do you want to read about Thanksgiving, click here 
to find out our Online Catalog!

November 8, 2018

Ancient Rome: What can we learn from that time?

What can we learn from that time?

Sixth graders are learning about "Ancient Rome” including Historical Fiction!

You can also read how Romans put science to work, how they built Arches, Concrete, Homes and Aqueducts. They were great farmers, physicians & miners. 

“One of the first engineering tasks undertaken by Roman engineers was to dig trenches in the swamps to drain the marshy valleys. The work began in 500 B.C. …” (Science in Ancient Rome)

You can find more information about that on our online catalog at this link

October 4, 2018

October is Library Month

Announcing Library Month!

The month of October is the time of year when Ellie Klopp Library celebrates the library!

We will have displays, fun information about books, authors, and  writing, and free giveaways. 

Please join us beginning October 8, 2018.

Halloween books are out on display!  Don’t be afraid to pick one up for a fun read!

September 27, 2018


“St. Micha-el, brave and bright
Who loves to live in the light,
The fierce foe to fight,
And smite with swinging sword
The dragon dark and dread -
Defeat at his reward...”

 Come on in and explore all books related to 
Michaelmas Celebration 
at the RSSAA Library!

Parent Library will be open for circulation at Tuesday's Coffee Hour.

September 20, 2018

Do you like Science?


What a week! On Tuesday we had 60 Books checked out in 3 hours! WOW

We are very happy to see kids coming in and exploring new Books at E.K. Library!
Look over our new books, including Zentangle for Kids

Over 100 new titles to choose from on Science
MarsWorld CupSalamanders, Engineering, UFO’s among other things.

                  E.K. Library is now OPEN for circulation  (schedule of hours at our door).

September 13, 2018

New Book Season: Over 100 new titles - Welcome Back!

Welcome back!
It’s new Book Season at E.K. Library!

E.K. Library will open for circulation beginning Monday afternoon Sept. 17th (schedule of hours at our door).

Look over our new books, including Zentangle for Kids, Life-size Animal Tracks and a new Rick Riordan seriesTrial of ApolloOver 100 new titles to choose from on ScienceMarsWorld CupSalamandersEngineering, UFO’s among other things.

August 21, 2018

TinyCat features RSSAA Library Program

TinyCat Logo
This article was posted by TinyCat, an online catalog service for small libraries like ours.

TinyCat Post: Back to School Edition

Welcome to the August 2018 "Back to School" edition of the TinyCat Post. Our Library of the Month, highlights, and Store sales are honoring schools and classrooms this month, but don't worry—all libraries are included! Read on.

...You can also read it online. Our TinyCat Post archive lives here.

Like LibraryThing on Facebook and follow @TinyCat_lib on Twitter for up-to-the-minute site news and updates.

Library of the Month: The Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor Library Program
As our special "Back to School" Library of the Month, I had the pleasure of interviewing a great team* of staff and volunteers at the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor (RSSAA) Library Program. Library volunteer Eileen Ho spearheaded our questions this month:
*RSSAA Librarians: Program Director Karen Totten, Andrea Basso, Cora Allen, Jim Johnston, volunteer Eileen Ho
First, what is your library, and what is your mission—your "raison d'être"?
The RSSAA Library Program is a Waldorf program run by a team of part-time staff and volunteers. The Program serves preschool through 12th grade, with the main library collection held within the Ellie Klopp Memorial Library (named after our first school librarian Eleanor Klopp, 1917-1996). Lower school students visit the main library each week to check out our collection of over 6,000 books including picture books, Early Readers, fiction books and series, and a general collection of literature and non-fiction.
The RSSAA Library Program aims to inspire a lifelong love of learning by providing resources which inspire imagination and wonder in our young readers. Readers learn about themselves and the world in a joyful and engaging school environment that fosters clear thinking, innovation, open-mindedness, and compassion.
Tell us some interesting ways you support your community.
We support teachers in their curricular work with resources for main lesson blocks and reading projects. We engage our school community through outreach programs like Poetry Month (April), with our Poet Tree bulletin board, and weekly newsletter announcements.
We also open our collections to parents and caregivers. The Parent Library is a lovely classroom collection of books and periodicals focusing on parenting, child development, and Waldorf education such as festivals, crafts, stories and songs, curriculum subjects, and works of Rudolf Steiner (Austrian scientist, philosopher, and founder of the first Waldorf school, 1861-1925).
What are some of your favorite items in your collection?
We often feature some of our favorite authors and titles on our Library Blog or in our weekly announcements, and share links to our online catalog. When our patrons visit the school library, we have seasonal or featured theme books on display and they can also search for a book in our collection by looking in the traditional card catalog (yes, we still have and use one with author, title, and subject cards for every book!).
What's a particular challenge you experience, as a small library?
So many books, so little time and space. Like many school libraries, while we are lovingly supported by our school and families, "Small but mighty!" is our motto for maintaining and developing our collections within a limited budget and space. "How many more books need to be entered into LibraryThing and when is that going to happen?" (We have over 5000 entered so far, with the help of CueCat and many librarian hours!) "Where do we put the new stack of book donations and purchases?" (Let's organize the closet!) Browsing library furniture catalogs in our free time...
We also think of TinyCat as "small but mighty", what a great fit! That said, what's your favorite thing about TinyCat? What's something you'd love to add?
Favorite librarian activity at the computer: click on that cute cat icon and pull up pretty pictures and bountiful information about a book, without having to write everything down on a catalog card or wrestle with a jammed office printer to share book love with our patrons.
We do like to show students how to use the physical card catalog and write on book borrower pocket cards to check out books, reinforcing basic search and writing skills in our daily routine. However, with over 3,000 books in circulation during the last school year, that's a lot of cards! So can we use TinyCat/LT to help us print book cards? We are interested in finding ways to integrate traditional and digital catalog and circulation methods in order to utilize all the functionality that TinyCat can provide.
There isn't a built-in way for you to print book cards, but you can export your books and run a Mail Merge to make your own book cards! (Great idea, by the way.)
Want to learn more about the RSSAA Library Program? Follow their library blog, Read On!, or find their library on TinyCat.

June 21, 2018

Suggestions for Summer Reading 2018

San Francisco Waldorf School Library

Suggestions for Summer Reading 2018:

The San Francisco Waldorf School has some fantastic reading lists for summer reading experiences.
You might like to check them out at the link below. The lists are organized for specific transitions between grades: 1st to 2nd,  2ndto 3rd, etc. through grade 8 .

Here is a sample of what they recommend for First Grade students moving on to Grade Two. 

Picture Books:
  • All Around Us,by Xelena Gonzàlez (2017). Grandpa says circles are all around us. He points to the rainbow that rises high in the sky after a thundercloud has come. "Can you see? That's only half of the circle. That rest of it is down below, in the earth." He and his granddaughter meditate on gardens and seeds, on circles seen and unseen, inside and outside us, on where our bodies come from and where they return to. They share and create family traditions in this stunning exploration of the cycles of life and nature.

  • Frida Kahlo and her Animalitos, by Monica Brown (2017). Brown's story recounts Frida's beloved pets—two monkeys, a parrot, three dogs, two turkeys, an eagle, a black cat, and a fawn—and playfully considers how Frida embodied many wonderful characteristics of each animal.

  • Life on Mars, by Jon Agee (2017). A young astronaut is absolutely sure there is life to be found on Mars. He sets off on a solitary mission, determined to prove the naysayers wrong. But when he arrives, equipped with a package of cupcakes as a gift, he sees nothing but a nearly barren planet. Finally, he spies a single flower and packs it away to take back to Earth as proof that there is indeed life on Mars. But as he settles in for the journey home, he cracks open his cupcakes—only to discover that someone has eaten them all!

And here are a few suggestions for incoming 8thgraders: 

  • Pullman, Philip  The Golden CompassThe Lyra Belacqua is content to run wild among the scholars of Jodan College, with her daemon familiar always by her side. But the arrival of her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, draws her to the heart of a terrible struggle, a struggle born of Gobblers and stolen children, witch clans and armored bears. And as she hurtles toward danger in the cold far North, Lyra never suspects the shocking truth: she alone is destined to win, or to lose, this more-than-mortal battle

  • Sheinkin, Steve Lincoln's Grave RobbersA true crime thriller -- the first book for teens to tell the nearly unknown tale of the brazen attempt to steal Abraham Lincoln's body! The action begins in October of 1875, as Secret Service agents raid the Fulton, Illinois, workshop of master counterfeiter Ben Boyd. Soon after Boyd is hauled off to prison, members of his counterfeiting ring gather in the back room of a smoky Chicago saloon to discuss how to spring their ringleader. Their plan: grab Lincoln's body from its Springfield tomb, stash it in the sand dunes near Lake Michigan, and demand, as a ransom, the release of Ben Boyd --and $200,000 in cash. From here, the action alternates between the conspirators, the Secret Service agents on their trail, and the undercover agent moving back and forth between the two groups. Along the way readers get glimpses into the inner workings of counterfeiting, grave robbing, detective work, and the early days of the Secret Service. The plot moves toward a wild climax as robbers and lawmen converge at Lincoln's tomb on election night: November 7, 1876.

Look for these books at your local bookstores or libraries.

Happy Summer Reading! 

Ellie Klopp Memorial Library reopens to regular circulation (book borrowing) 
on September 17. 2018!

Thanks for all books that have been donated to the Parent Library 
during the School Year 2017-18!