All posts by tpretz

I am the elementary librarian at The American School in Japan.

Grade Two Explores Digital Resources

The past few weeks students in Grade 2 have been learning how to save important library resources onto their iPads’ home screens as icons.  This simple step makes accessing these digital resources quick and easy.

 

2014-10-13 12.24.01PebbleGo Database

PebbleGo is one digital resource that students in Grade 2 have saved to their home screens.  This database is specifically for students in grades K-3 and provides easy access to a variety of non-fiction topics.  In addition to having text, this database also has audio.  Grade 2 students have especially enjoyed reading and/or listening information articles about various insects.

2014-10-10 09.07.44

 

Calling All 4th and 5th Graders

sakura medal

Book Bowl The Sakura Book Bowl is a competitive quiz game for Sakura Medal chapter book readers in Grades 4 and 5 who want to go the extra mile. A team of 10-12 students who qualify for the ASIJ Book Bowl  will compete against other international schools for the title of All Japan Book Bowl Champions.  The final will be held the last week in February. In order to qualify for the ASIJ Book Bowl Team, students in Grades 4 and 5 must read all of the books from one of the tracks below, complete their Book Bowl Study Guide, pass a final quiz for their track of books and attend one monthly discussion meeting (November – February). Ms. Pretz will book talk all books from the three tracks two times during lunch recess beginning October 15th.  See the book talk dates for each track below.

Cruising – October 17th and 22nd

Flying – October 16th and 21st

Warp – October 15th and 20th

Sakura Medal 2015

sakura medalWhat is the Sakura Medal?   Since 2006, students in several international schools in Japan have read the Sakura Medal Contenders selected by the International Librarians of Japan committee.  Each participating school casts their votes the last week in April.  At the elementary level, a Sakura Medal is awarded for Best Picture Book, Best Chapter Book and Best Graphic Novel.  

For more information go to:  Sakura Medal 2015 (click to open)

Sakura Reading Goals – Students in Grades 1 – 5 can participate by setting their own reading goal.

1)  Personal Goal – Read at least one or more Sakura Medal Contenders in any category.

2) Sakura Medal Judge – Read at least 5 picture books, 5 chapter books and/or 3 graphic novels and cast a vote at the Sakura Medal Voting Party that will be held in the ASIJ Elementary Library in April.

3)  Sakura Book Bowl Team – Students in Grades 4-5 who read all of the books from one “chapter book track” and meet all of the requirements are eligible to qualify for the ASIJ Book Bowl Team which will compete against other international teams the last week in February.  This year, Nishimachi International School will host the 2015 Book Bowl Competition.

When Will the Sakura Contenders be Released?

Book Bowl Competitors: October 27th

Sakura Medal Participants Grades 3-5: November 3rd

Sakura Medal Participants Grades 1-2:  February 2nd

4K Book Talks – October 2, 2014

Nikola Tesla

 Biography

A brief biography of Serbian-American scientist Nikola Tesla, whose early fascination with electricity caused him to go on to invent alternating current and many devices that helped bring electricity to American households and, eventually, the rest of the world, at the turn of the twentieth century.

Goddess Girls

 Fantasy

Authors put a modern spin on classic Greek Myths in this new series! Follow the ins and outs of divine social life on Mount Olympus Academy where the most privileged godboys and goddess girls in the Greek Pantheon hone their magical skills.

Knee Knock Rise

Mystery

A young boy named Egan sets out to prove that the strange sounds coming from the top of the Mammoth Mountains near his aunt and uncle’s home–which the villagers believe are the cries of a mysterious monster–have a reasonable explanation.

The Year of Billy Miller

Realistic Fiction

Kevin Henkes introduces second-grader Billy Miller in this fast-paced and funny story about friendship, sibling rivalry, and elementary school. The Year of Billy Miller was named a 2014 Newbery Honor book.  Perfect for fans of the Ramona books; Frindle, by Andrew Clements; and the Clementine series.

Riding Freedom

Historical Fiction

In this fast-paced, courageous, and inspiring story, readers adventure with Charley (Charlotte) Parkhurst, as she first finds work as a stable hand, becomes a famous stage-coach driver and fools everyone by her appearance.  Posing as a man for most of her adult life, it wasn’t until after her death that anyone discovered Charley Parkhurst was a woman.

Sleeping Beauty's Daughters

Fantasy

Twelve-year-old Princess Aurora has been cursed to prick her finger and sleep for one hundred years, but before her fate can come to pass, she and her sister Luna embark on a perilous journey to find the fairy who can break the curse.

4R Book Talks – October 2, 2014

The Mad Potter

Biography

Who was George E Ohr?  What led him to create the twisting, intriguing, and unique ceramics from Mississippi mud? Why did his work remain unknown for decades?  This award-winning biography looks at the life of potter George E. Ohr, known for his unique designs, whose work did not become widely successful until after his death.

Brixton Brothers #1

 Mystery

Twelve-year-old Steve Brixton, a fan of Bailey Brothers detective novels, is mistaken for a real detective and must elude librarians, police, and the mysterious Mr. E as he seeks a missing quilt containing coded information.  Since when can librarians rappel from helicopters?  Does Steve have any brothers or sisters?  You will solve these mysteries and more by the time you finish book one of this four part series.

Turtle in Paradise

Historical Fiction

In 1935, when her mother gets a job housekeeping for a woman who does not like children, eleven-year-old Turtle is sent to stay with relatives she has never met in far away Key West, Florida.  Key West is hot and strange, full of rag tag boy cousins, family secrets, scams, and even buried pirate treasure! Before Turtle knows what’s happened, she finds herself coming out of the shell she’s spent her life building, and as she does, her world opens up in the most unexpected ways. Filled with adventure, humor and heart and an unforgettable ending, that will surprise most readers.

riley-mack-200

Mystery

Eleven-year-old Riley Mack and his friends, Briana, Mongo, Jake and Jamal outwit the school bully, solve the mystery of who stole the goldendoodle named Poodle, and get evidence to help the FBI catch bank robbers. If you’re looking for a page turner that is full of fast-paced adventure and dialogue, you’re going to love this new series with a hero you’ll never forget.

Sleeping Beauty's Daughters

Fantasy

Twelve-year-old Princess Aurora has been cursed to prick her finger and sleep for one hundred years, but before her fate can come to pass, she and her sister Luna embark on a perilous journey to find the fairy who can break the curse.  This fast-paced book is full of lush descriptions, fearsome beasts and raging storms.  Will the sisters give up?  Will they find their aunt, a fairy who may be able to break the spell?   I recommend this book to fans of Gail Carson Levine and Shannon Hale.

Fish Finelli

Realistic Fiction

Fish Finelli and his friends set out to find Captain Kidd’s treasure, rumored to be buried on nearby Lyons Island, but it seems like the local library director is looking for it as well… finding the treasure may be the key to saving the island from developers.  Will Fish and his friends win the bet with bully Bryce Billings and succeed in finding the treasure?  The first book in a series that will inspire you to use your imagination and explore the universal theme of friendship and loyalty.

Source:  Follett Summaries

4N Book Talks – September 22, 2014

Charlie Bumpers vs. The Teacher of the Year

Realistic Fiction/Humor

Charlie Bumpers is sure he does not stand a chance of getting along with his fourth grade teacher and despite his best efforts to be neat and well-behaved, he always seems to be in trouble until he discovers her secret. How will he survive a year under a teacher who is just waiting for him to make another stupid mistake?

starbounders_cover

Fantasy/Science Fiction

Zachary Night has been waiting his whole life for this moment. Like his family before him, he’s finally headed to Indigo 8, a top secret training center where future Starbounders learn the skills to protect the galaxy. Soon after learning warp glove basics something goes wrong and Zachary will have to get back to Earth on his own and fast—before there’s no Earth left to go back to.

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny

Mystery

Middle-schooler Madeline’s hippy parents have been kidnapped from Hornby Island, Canada, by foxes and Madeline, upon discovering that she can understand animal languages, hires two rabbit detectives to find them.   A cast of unforgettable characters:  there’s Mr. and Mrs. Bunny, who drive a smart car, wear fedoras, and hate marmots; the Marmot, who loves garlic bread and is a brilliant translator; and many others.

Goddess Girls

Fantasy

Authors put a modern spin on classic Greek Myths in this new series! Follow the ins and outs of divine social life on Mount Olympus Academy where the most privileged godboys and goddess girls in the Greek Pantheon hone their magical skills.

Source:  Follett Summaries

Meet Your Librarian – Ms. Pretz

 

Iself portrait‘m Ms. Pretz, and I will be your librarian this year.  My husband, Mr. Mitrisin, is the new primary visual arts  teacher.  We have one daughter, Zoe, who will begin her first year of college this fall.  I’ve been an international educator at four international schools and have taught every grade PK-8 at some capacity.  I’ve even taught a few ASIJ students, past and present.  Most recently, I was the elementary librarian at The American Embassy School in New Delhi, India.  I am excited to be your librarian, and I’m looking forward to getting to know all of your reading needs and putting great books into your hands.