Maine Student Book Award Voting

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Maine Student Book Award Voting

Students in grades four and five who have read three or more books from the 2013/2014  list are invited to vote for Maine Student Book Award.

Click here to open the ballot.

FES Library Open House for Families- 3/19

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Families are invited to stop by the FES Library anytime between 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 19th (early-release day) to learn about digital and print resources available to FES students.

tales2go tales2go

Find out how to access Tales2Go audio books from home!
Try out Maine’s Virtual Library (MARVEL)!
Search for resources on Destiny, the online catalog!
See new fiction and nonfiction titles!
Learn more about the Chickadee Award and Maine Student Book Award!




Melissa Stewart- Author Visit

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3rd grade students and Melissa Stewart show off the mural the students created for the author visit.

Last week 3rd grade students had the pleasure of meeting Melissa Stewart and learning about the process she goes through to research and write books.

Melissa is the author of over 100 nonfiction books for children including No Monkeys, No Chocolate, Under the Snow, and A Place for Fish. Visit Melissa Stewart’s web site to learn more about her books.

View the interactive, revision timeline that Melissa created for No Monkeys, No Chocolate

Thanks to the PTO for providing arts enrichment money to fund the author visit!

Book Award News

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Last month a number of children’s book awards were announced.

Members of the FES Mock Newbery Book Club voted for the winner of the 2014 FES Mock Newbery Award. Click here to see the voting results.

Students in grades K-5 voted for the FES Mock Caldecott Award. Click here to see the voting results.

The ALA Youth Media Awards were announced in Philadelphia on January 27th. Mrs. Potter was in the audience as a member of the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal Committee. Click here to see the Sibert Medal winner and Honor books.

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View of Philadelphia from hotel window

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The chair of the Sibert Medal committee places the Sibert Medal sticker on Parrots Over Puerto Rico.

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The winner of the Sibert Medal is announced.


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Flora and Ulysses won the 2014 Newbery Medal which delighted the readers at FES!

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Locomotive by Brian Floca was the winner of the 2014 Caldecott Medal and a Sibert Honor.

Click here to see the full list of award winners.


Winner of the FES Mock Caldecott Award

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The students and staff at Falmouth Elementary School have been busy reading and discussing the illustrations in picture books published in 2013. Today we voted for the FES Mock Caldecott Award, and here are the results.


FES Mock Caldecott Medal


Journey by Aaron Becker

FES Mock Caldecott Honor Book


A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet


FES Mock Caldecott Honor Book

mr wuffles

Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner

2014 FES Mock Caldecott Award

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It’s December, and that means it’s time for Falmouth Elementary School’s 2nd annual Mock Caldecott program. All students in grades K-5 will read the same six picture books in library class and in their classrooms. The books were all published in 2013.

The Caldecott Medal is award annually to most distinguished picture book. Classes at FES will look at the books using the Caldecott criteria, and they will discuss books using the art terms: space, color, texture, line, shape, and medium. Last year students and teachers enjoyed reading, discussing, and comparing the Mock Caldecott books. Students at FES chose Extra Yarn as the winner of our first Mock Caldecott Award, and we were all pleased when it won a Caldecott Honor.

Students will vote for the book they think should win the 2014 Caldecott Medal on Thursday, December 19th. The winner of our Mock Caldecott Award will be announced at school on Friday, December 20th. The winner of the actual Caldecott Medal will be announced in Philadelphia on Monday, January 27th.

Mock Caldecott Nominees

the dark

The Dark by Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen
Book Trailer for The Dark


Journey by Aaron Becker
Book Trailer for Journey

mr tiger

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown
Peter Brown introduces Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

mr wuffles

Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner
Book Trailer for Mr. Wuffles!


A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet

Visit the web site for A Splash of Red:

you're wearing

You’re Wearing That to School?! by Lynn Plourde and Sue Cornelison

November is Picture Book Month

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PBMLOGO-COLOR_WEBRESWe are celebrating the power of picture books at Falmouth Elementary School during the month of November. At FES, we know that picture books are for everybody. In fact, the “E” on the spine label stands for “Everybody” in the FES Library.

Picture Book Month was founded by Dianne de Las Casas and several other children’s book authors and illustrators as a way of celebrating and drawing attention to the importance of picture books.

Students and teachers at FES are celebrating picture books by Skyping with classes in other states, reading to book buddies within the school, and creating videos about why we love picture books. Check back to see videos created by students and staff at FES. The 2014 FES Mock Caldecott titles will also be revealed later this month.

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 Why Do Picture Books Matter?
by Mrs. Potter, FES School Librarian

Picture books contain wonderful examples of art that children of all ages can appreciate. When we discuss illustrations in library class, students use art vocabulary such as color, line, space, texture and medium.


Picture books promote visual thinking strategies. I read Grandpa Green by Lane Smith to 24 classes last year, and each class noticed something different in the illustrations. Older students understood the symbolism in Smith’s illustrations, and they made excellent connections to their own lives.

grandpa green

Picture books introduce readers to new vocabulary words. Some picture books that appear to be for young readers are really targeted at readers with more sophisticated vocabularies. An example of this is Dear Mrs. LaRue by Mark Teague.

mrs. larue

Picture books are an effective way to teach children about science or history. When I was a classroom teacher, I often started social studies units by reading picture books to provide children with background knowledge.


Picture books often contain example of literary devices such as irony, personification, hyperbole, and theme. Many teachers check out picture books from the library to use as mentor texts when teaching writing. Some fifth grade teachers like to use I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen to teach inferencing.

hat back

Picture books can lead to rich discussions with children about important topics. Mrs. Loef likes to read Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson to classes when she discusses bullying with third graders.


Picture books bring people together. Nothing warms my heart more than looking across the library and seeing children huddled around a Piggie and Elephant book as one child read with expression to the group. 


 View this Picture Book Month Video created by author, Katie Davis.

Author Visit with Cynthia Lord

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The fourth and fifth grade students at FES read Rules by Cynthia Lord with their teachers this fall. All grades 3-5 specialists and Mrs. Boffa also read Rules, and we spent the afternoon of Friday, October 18th discussing the book in small groups. Students had a lot of insight into the messages of the book and how the story connects to their own lives.

Some fourth grade classes also discussed the book with fourth grade classes in Coppell, Texas via Skype last week.

Today we were thrilled to welcome Cynthia Lord to FES as she visited with 5th grade classes and shared writing tips, how she gets the ideas for her books, and we got a sneak peek at her upcoming books. Tomorrow Cynthia will visit with 4th grade students. Thanks to the PTO for supporting today’s author visit.


Cynthia Lord show her Newbery Honor award to 5th grade students at FES.


FES greeted Cynthia Lord with this welcome poster created by students.


We were really excited to get a peek at one of Cynthia’s upcoming books. Half a Chance will be published in March of 2014.

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Miss Wheeler’s class created a bulletin board using communication cards like Jason used in Rules. Students chose seven words that were important to their lives.

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International Dot Day 2013

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This year students and teachers at Falmouth Elementary School celebrated International Dot Day. Dot Day is based no the children’s book The Dot by Peter Reynolds, and it’s a time to celebrate creativity, individuality, and taking risks.

Watch our video to see our Dot Day Festivities.


Click here to learn more about Dot Day:



Back to School!

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During the past few weeks, I’ve been busy ordering new books, unpacking, organizing, finishing the genre project, creating book displays, and putting up bulletin board displays.

Mrs. Sparks and I are looking forward to seeing 900 smiling faces the week of Sept. 3rd. The FES Library will be open on the first day of school.

Here’s a glimpse of what can look forward  to when you return.

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