• At Home Ideas from "A Mighty Girl" blog

    Posted by Jennifer Altena on 3/24/2020

    One of the best websites I've subscribed to receive emails from is one called, "A Mighty Girl".  Although it sounds like it may only offer ideas for girls, and it does tend to lean that way, the ideas and advice they offer can apply to all children.

    During the COVID-19 school closures they have put out an article about ways to keep kids engaged at home.  I know I've put up other suggestions on this topic, but I don't think it hurts to have more, and this one had new ideas, including ways to talk to your children about coronavirus and help them work through their fears. 

    I hope it helps you in some way.

    A Mighty Girl - Ways to Keep Kids Engaged At Home

    -Jennifer Altena, Syre Librarian

    Comments (-1)
  • Free Online Books to Read!!

    Posted by Jennifer Altena on 3/23/2020

    Junior Library Guild (JLG), a company from which we buy books each month, is allowing all students free access to their digital catalog.  This is great!

    Their catalog contains books for elementary, middle and high school students.  There are roughly 50 books available at each level, including new releases.  The offerings will change from time to time, so if you don't see something you like, check back.  

    All you need to do is click on the link below and scroll down to choose "Elementary Stream", "Middle School Stream", or "High School Stream".  Then you'll find a long list of books to read by simply clicking on the orange "READ" button.

    JLG Digital Books

    I hope you enjoy this website!

    -Jennifer Altena, Syre Librarian


    Comments (-1)
  • Common Sense Media's List of Free Activities

    Posted by Jennifer Altena on 3/23/2020

    One of the reasons I like the Common Sense Media website is they can be counted on to provide current and valid information for parents and educators to rely on.  

    Today I received an email from them with a link to Free Online Activities and Events for Kids During Coronavirus Shutdowns.  This list was compiled by Common Sense Media, which means you can count on the sites to be safe and educational.  

    Common Sense Media Link to Free Online Resources for Kids

    While you are on the Common Sense Media website, take a look at the other resources they provide.  You can find movie reviews, tech reviews, and excellent information about how to talk to your kids about using technology properly.

    Happy Reading...and more!

    -Jennifer Altena, Syre Librarian

    Comments (-1)
  • For the Kids Who Like to Draw

    Posted by Jennifer Altena on 3/19/2020

    I've run across several great illustrator/author websites that are doing daily learn to draw lessons.  The lessons are being taped so that you can view them at any time.  Here are the three that I thought were excellent:

    Jarrett J. Krosoczka (author/illustrator of books such as Lunch Lady, Star Wars Jedi Academy, Good Night Monkey Boy, Platypus Police Squad and more)

    Draw Every Day With JJK

    Mo Willems has become the Kennedy Center Artist-in-Residence and has created a website where he shows kids how to create via doodles in his studio.  Mo is most famous for writing Elephant & Piggie and Pigeon books. 

    Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

    Jarrett Lerner, auhor/illustrator of Enginerds (a series of books I need to buy for the library) has a great website full of comic strip ideas and drawing tutorials.

    Jarrett Lerner

    Have fun learning to draw!

    -Jennifer Altena, Syre Librarian

    Comments (-1)
  • Authors and Celebrities Reading Online

    Posted by Jennifer Altena on 3/19/2020

    Several celebrities are reading picture books online each day.  Their readings are recorded so that you can watch on your own schedule.  I previously listed the link to Kate Messner's list of authors reading, but would like to add a few more for you here.

    The first website has author Oliver Jeffers reading and talking about how he wrote his books.  His picture books are funny and kids love them.

    Stay At Home Storytime

    Josh Gad (the voice of Olaf in Frozen) is reading books for children via his Twitter account.  You'll need to watch it in full screen mode to see the whole book.  

    #gadbookclub on Twitter

    Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams have worked with a large group of celebrities to record them reading stories via Instagram.  These are very well done and there are lots of choices.  They do ask for a donation to the Save the Children foundation, but you do not have to make one in order to watch the videos.

    Save With Stories on Instagram

    Hope you are able to catch a few and enjoy them.  Happy reading!!

    -Jennifer Altena, Syre Librarian

    Comments (-1)
  • Arts & Crafts Ideas

    Posted by Jennifer Altena on 3/18/2020

    When my kids were little, we liked to make things.  I thought I'd look for some links to arts and crafts pages that might be easy to do and use materials that you might already have at home.  Hopefully you and your kids will have some fun with these!


    Good Old Slime Recipes

    There are many ways to make slime.  I'm going to include several recipes in this section so that if you don't have the ingredients for one, you might have them for another.  Have ooey-gooey fun!

    Slime Recipe #1

    Two Ingredient Slime Recipe

    Three Ingredient Slime

    Shampoo Slime

    Fluffy Slime

    Glow-In-The-Dark Slime

    Who knew there were so many different ways to make slime these days?  I think I'm going to try out the fluffy slime!  I'll let you know how it goes.

    Homemade Clay and Earth Day Project

    Here are two ideas that, when done together, would make a really beautiful decorative hanging.  First, use the Homemade Clay recipe to make a batch of air-drying clay.  Then, following the directions in the Earth Day Project, use the clay to make impressions of leaves and flowers to dry overnight.  You can then paint the impressions or leave as is.  I think these could be really pretty.  I may have to try this one.

    Homemade Clay

    Earth Day Project

    Those should be a good start for some arts and crafts.  I hope you are all getting some sunshine time, too.  

    -Jennifer Altena, Syre Librarian

    Comments (-1)
  • Ideas from Ridgecrest Librarian - Ms. Freeman

    Posted by Jennifer Altena on 3/17/2020


    Making Crystal Shamrocks - How to make crystal shamrocks using chenilles (pipe cleaners) or cookie cutters for St. Patrick's Day.


    Mystery Doug - Short (5 min.) videos that answer kids' burning questions such as, "How do germs get into our bodies?"  No account needed - it's free.


    Storyline Online - Our students love to watch famous actors and actresses read picture books online to them.  This is a great website for storytime.


    Favorite Authors and Illustrators Share Online - A large list of favorite authors and illustrators have created videos and put them on this website. 

    • Some videos are of the author reading his/her picture book. 
    • Some videos are of the author reading the first chapter of his/her book. 
    • Some videos are of illustrators showing how they create their illustrations and helping you to follow along.


    These are just a few that I thought were amazing and fun for kids.  I hope you try them out and enjoy!

    -Jennifer Altena, Syre Librarian

    Comments (-1)
  • Raddish Kids Free Cooking Kit Giveaway

    Posted by Jennifer Altena on 3/16/2020

    Raddish Kids Free Cooking Kit

    Raddish Kids is giving away 25,000 free kits that teach kids to cook at home.  The free kit is called Swedish Eats and celebrates traditions and flavors from Sweden. It includes 3 recipes plus an apron, cooking utensil, and learning activity.  You only pay a $4 shipping charge.

    This looks like a great idea!  Check it out! Get those kids cooking dinner for the family!

    Raddish Kids Free Cooking Kit

    -Jennifer Altena, Syre Librarian

    Comments (-1)
  • PebbleGo - New Online Tool for Syre

    Posted by Jennifer Altena on 3/15/2020

    PebbleGo Animals!

    Just before schools were closed, I was able to purchase a subscription to PebbbleGo, a really great research website.  I was able to purchase one module - Animals - and hope that it is helpful and interesting to kids.

    If you and your student would like to take a look at PebbleGo, here's the website:

    PebbleGo Login

    Username: syre

    Top Secret Password: wildcats

    I hope you have fun reading about your favorite animals!  

    -Jennifer Altena, Syre Librarian

    Comments (-1)
  • Reading Challenges 2020

    Posted by Jennifer Altena on 3/15/2020

    **Update on Reading Challenges!

    This unexpected break is a great time to get caught up on reading.  Hopefully you took home a book or two to read.  If you don't have enough, check out my last blog post about how to access KCLS online e-books.

    You can still access the Reading Challenge online questionnaire whenever you finish a book if you have access to a computer.  If not, go ahead and write down your opinion of the book.  Remember to use complete sentences and evidence to support your opinion.

    These are the *OPTIONAL* challenges:

    Newbery Challenge
    Coretta Scott King & Pura Belpre Challenge
    Young Reader's Choice & Sasquatch Award

    I know it says Grades 4-6 on the challenges, but if you are a 3rd grader and want to join in, go right ahead!  You'll find the information on the Library Home - Reading Challenges page.

    Happy Reading!

    -Jennifer Altena, Syre Librarian


    Comments (-1)


By Month