Cheetah Book Club

garfield-cheetahsIntroducing the

Cheetah Book Club!

The Garfield Elementary Library is proud to offer the Cheetah Book Club. This program is a great way to recognize your child’s birthday, a holiday, life event, or just for fun day AND help fill the school’s library with books.  What could be better than that?!



How it works:

  • Select the book you want to donate to the school library. The library has a wish-list you can find HERE.
  • Decide what message you want included on your customized bookplate.
  • Purchase your book from the store of your choice (we recommend Orca Books in downtown Olympia) and either deliver it to the school office to be placed in Ms. Beattie’s mailbox (include a note with your personalized message for the bookplate), bring it into the library for Ms. Beattie, or have it shipped directly to Garfield Library (the Amazon wish-list is set up to do this automatically).

Your participation in Cheetah Book Club will be acknowledged in two ways:

  1. With a customized bookplate in your selected book.
  2. Your selected book officially debuted during your child’s scheduled library time. Plus, your child has the opportunity to be the first person to check it out.

Instructions for ordering a book online and having it shipped directly to Garfield:

  • Consider ordering from our Amazon Wish-list, which includes books that have been hand-selected by our school librarian, Ms. Beattie.
  • Be sure to include a gift message when you check out. This message should include your child’s full name and the personalized message you want included on the bookplate.
  • Ship the book to: Garfield Elementary Library, 325 Plymouth St. NW, Olympia, WA 98502

We hope you consider joining Garfield’s Cheetah Book Club! This lasting gift is a wonderful way to commemorate your child, help foster their love of reading, and support our school library for years to come.


Star Wars Reads Night




Join us on Monday night, October 10, for Star Wars Reads night! Reading in the library from 6-7, but come early because PTA is providing pizza and a meet and greet at 5:30.

Dress in your Star Wars finest and be entered into a raffle to win Star Wars books!

This will be a low key evening, a relaxing time to enjoy Star Wars, geek out, read books, and relax with our families.


mytrlOlympia School District has teamed up with the Timberland Regional Library (TRL) to provide every K-12 student with a wider range and depth of information via TRL’s vast electronic services collections beginning, Wednesday, September 21.

We are following the lead of libraries around the country and are lucky enough to be the first school district to partner with the Timberland Regional Library in this way. Each student, unless parent/guardians opt-out, gets an e-library card to TRL’s vast digital resources.

Students have access to thousands of e-books, and won’t have overdue fines because the books simply disappear when they are ‘due.’ Students also have access to digital audiobooks, research databases, and thousands of digital primary sources!

Explore the website HERE! These e-library cards will be activated September 21st (unless parent’s have opted out via Skyward Family Access).

Do you have questions about the partnership or navigating the resources online, please stop by the library and ask me! I would love to help you navigate the resources!

Summer Reading


Are you looking for books to read this summer? Why not get a head start on our Children’s Choice Award books or Best Books?

The Children’s Choice nominees are:

Book Author Publisher
Bear Report, The Heder, Thyra Abrams Books for Young Readers
Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas Cox, Lynne Schwartz & Wade Books
Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear Mattick, Lindsay Little Brown and Company
Grandma in Blue with Red Hat Menchin, Scott Abrams Books for Young Readers
Hippos are HUGE! London, Jonathan Candlewick Press
Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise Taylor, Sean Candlewick Press
I Don’t Want to be a Frog Petty, Dev Doubleday Books for Young Readers
I, Fly: The Buzz About Flies and How Awesome They Are Heos, Bridget Holt
If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t! Parsley, Elise Little, Brown and Company
I’m New Here O’Brien, Anne Sibley Charlesbridge
I’m Trying to Love Spiders Barton, Bethany Viking
Job Wanted Bateman, Teresa Holiday House
Mother Bruce Higgins, Ryan T. Disney/Hyperion
Mummy Cat Ewert, Marcus Clarion
Nerdy Birdy Reynolds, Aaron Roaring Brook Press
Perfectly Messed-Up Story, A McDonnell, Patrick Little Brown and Company
Ragweed’s Farm Dog Handbook Kennedy, Anne Vittur Candlewick Press
There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight Klostermann, Penny Random House
What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night: A Very Messy Adventure Tuma, Refe Little Brown and Company
Who Wants a Hug? Mack, Jeff Harper


The Best Books nominees are:

Iron Trial (Magisterium, Book 1) by Black, Holly and Cassandra Clare
Kinda Like Brothers by Booth, Coe
Gaby, Lost and Found by Cervantes, Angela
Mountain Dog by Engle, Margarita
A Song for Bijou by Farrar, Josh
Space Case by Gibbs, Stuart
Vine Basket by La Valley, Josanne
Dash by Larson, Kirby
The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Levy, Dana Allison
Zane and the Hurricane by Philbrick, Rodman
Eddie Red, Undercover: Mystery on Museum Mile by Wells, Marcia
The Forbidden Library by Wexler, Django
Absolutely Almost – Graff, Lisa
Loot – Watson, Jude
El Deafo – Bell, Cece
The Fourteenth Goldfish – Holm, Jennifer
Rain Reign – Martin, Ann M.
The Thickety: A Path Begins – White, J.A.
New Kid – Green, Tim
The Circus Dogs of Prague – Delaney, Rachelle

Best Books readers: you can even take your Best Books Quiz this summer! Get a head start on the competition! Click HERE for the quiz!

Keep watching this page for books on Ms. Beattie’s summer reading list!

Keep reading,
Ms. Beattie

Goodbye, Mrs. Gylys!

To my Garfield Family,

After a great deal of thinking, I have made the decision to leave the lovely Garfield Library to stay home with my daughter. It’s bittersweet, really. The sweet part is that I have the fortune of being able to “watch with glittering eyes” as my girl grows. I’ll never get these years back, and I want to take full advantage of them. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that the bitter part is leaving behind all my Garfield friends. From small to tall, you have meant the world to me. I’m going to miss you all so much!

It won’t be long before the memories of Mrs. Gylys traipsing around the library stacks and reading in the story corner fade away, but I certainly hope I have left even the tiniest of marks upon this beloved little school.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me both in the library and out. I hope to see you around!

With love,

Mrs. Gylys






Start the slideshow when the file opens. Slides advance on their own. However, you can go back or forward as desired.




ALL GRADES: All grades K-5 learned about internet safety during the month of October. They also listened to the Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award Nominees  Mogie the Heart of the House, by Kathi Appelt and At the Old Haunted House, by Helen Ketteman.

K-1: Kindergartners and first graders learned about the parts of a book. First graders were introduced to the book A Book is Just Like YouAll About the Parts of a Book.

2-3: Second and third graders learned a little about order in the library in preparation for learning how to be more independent in finding specific books on the shelves.

4-5: Fourth and fifth graders reviewed the basic use of the library catalog. Mrs. Gylys gave book talks to all fourth graders, including our newest title in the library Crenshaw, by Katherine Applegate.

Mrs. Gylys and Mrs. Pattin attended the annual Washington Library Media Association Conference where we learned all kinds of new ideas to bring home to the library!


Want to do something good for those in need?  Donate any non-perishable items to the food drive!  The food drive begins at Garfield on Monday, November 23rd and will continue until Wednesday, December 16th.  All donations go to help our own Garfield families and members of the extended Garfield community.  Here are some ideas of items you can give:

-Canned fruits and vegetables
-Canned tuna/chicken
-Canned soups
-Rice and pastas
-Condiments like mayonnaise, mustard, or salad dressing
-Toiletries like deodorant, toothpaste, lotion, toilet paper, etc...
-Baby diapers, baby food and formula


It’s National Family Literacy Month! Do you know just how important it is to read with your children every day? Reading with your child, among other things, gives them an academic head start and builds confidence while reducing stress for the whole family. Watch this brief video to inspire you. It’s NEVER too late to start reading as a family.




National Family Literacy Month

Vegan Month

Election Day (Nov. 3)

Sherlock Holmes Weekend (Nov. 6-8)

Dear Santa Letter Week (Nov. 7-13)

Veteran’s Day (Nov. 11)

Geography Awareness Week (Nov. 8-14)

Thanksgiving (Nov. 26)

Cider Monday (Nov. 30)




ALL GRADES: All grade levels listened to the Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award Nominees Gaston, by Kelly DiPucc51wQtSGbdHL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_hio;  If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur, by Linda Bailey; and The Girl Who Would Not Brush Her Hair, by Kate Bernheimer. We discussed library rules, and how to take very good care of library books. Students were reminded that one of the BEST WAYS to make sure library books are protected is to ALWAYS keep them in your backpack when you aren’t reading them. This not only helps to protect them from wind and rain, little brothers and sisters, or anything else that might damage them, but also ensures that our books will always make their way back to school.


This month the Garfield Elementary Library is sponsoring a Pumpkin Design Contest.  Children are invited to decorate a pumpkin as a favorite children’s book character.  Paint it, dress it, accessorize it, but NO CARVING! See the link below for rules if you did not receive them or need another copy.

One entry per child.  Registration is required.  You may register by filling out a registration form and submitting it, along with a photo of your pumpkin, to the library.  Send your photos to the library starting October 5th and ending on the 22nd.

The top ten pumpkins will be chosen and displayed in the library. The winners will be announced promptly and displayed in the case in the hallway.  First, second, and third place winners will receive prize ribbons.

So start decorating!  We hope to see a lot of creative pumpkins in our contest.  To get inspired stop by the library to see the Lorax, Lily, and Origami Yoda pumpkins, or do an internet search for “Book Character Pumpkin Contest.”

Happy decorating!

Pumpkin Design Contest Rules



Make digital stories completely free with! This is a great resource for all grades, K-5!


National Bullying Prevention Month

Disability Awareness Month

National Go On a Field Trip Month

Earth Science Week (Oct. 11-17)

Kids Care Week (Oct. 25-31)

World Octopus Day (Oct. 8)

Silly Sayings Day( Oct. 13)

Dictionary Day (Oct. 16)

TV Talk Show Host Day (Oct. 23)

Halloween (Oct. 31)




Back to school time is in full swing! Mrs. Gylys and Mrs. Pattin have been busy getting the library ready for the start of a new school year. This year, Mrs. Gylys will be working every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday while Mrs. Pattin will work Tuesday and Thursday. Kindergarteners through fourth graders will have regular library times with Mrs. Gylys. DLC students, preschoolers, and fifth graders will see Mrs. Pattin for library each week. Both teacher-librarians will continue to see ALL students for activities outside of regularly scheduled library visits. We’re looking forward to another awesome year at Garfield Elementary!

Want to know more about your teacher-librarians? You can find out here.


During the month of September, we are once again reminding all members of the Garfield community to sign up for a public library card!  Our local Timberland Regional Library came to talk to fifth graders about signing up for a card. The public library has many great resources to offer. From downloading free music and movies to checking out books and participating in fun events, the public library has it ALL!

To sign up, visit any Timberland Regional Library location, stop by the Garfield Library, or click the link below to pull up the form.



Each year, the library loses many books to well-meaning patrons. We also find many books that need to be replaced due to wear and tear. Funding for the library is very small compared to the need we have to keep up with student and teacher demand.

This is a reminder that if at any time you would like to help the whole school by donating books, we would love for you to take a look at our Amazon Wish List.

Interested in donating? Here’s how:

1. Click the link.

2. Browse through the books, make your choice(s), add them to your shopping cart, and proceed to checkout. At this point you either sign in or create an account. You will be asked to select a shipping address. Select Garfield Elementary.

3. Click the box “Ordering a gift?” By doing this, you will have an opportunity to write a free gift note.

4. Congratulate yourself on helping to grow our school library! Your purchase benefits the entire Garfield community. Select your payment option and place your order. Your purchase will be sent directly to the Garfield School Library.

Alternatively, please keep the library in mind when cleaning out your bookshelves. Donations of gently used books are always appreciated.  

Thank you for considering donating to our lovely library!


Looking for a simple web builder for your classroom website? Want students to learn to create their own websites for a class project? Weebly for Education is your answer!


Library Card Sign-Up Month

National Piano Month

Grandparent’s Day (Sept. 7th)

Substitute Teacher Appreciation Week (Sept. 7th-12th)

Libraries Remember Day (Sept. 11th)

Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day (Sept. 13th)

Constitution Day (Sept. 17th)

Talk Like a Pirate Day (Sept. 19th)

Banned Books Week (Sept. 21st-27th)

Fall Equinox (Sept. 23rd)


June 2015


Great news for next year’s fourth and fifth graders: the list of 2016 Best Books Nominees is ready for you to review!  Not sure what Best Books means?  You can read all about it HERE.

2016 Nominees

The 14 Fibs of Gregory K by Greg Pincus

The Adventures of a South Pole Pig: A Novel of Snow and Courage by Chris Kurtz

Colossus Rises by Peter Lerangis

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

The Creature Department by Robert Paul Weston

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo

The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death and a Boy Called Eel by Deborah Hopkinson

Jinx by Sage Blackwood

Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

Loki’s Wolves by K.L. Armstrong & M.A. Marr

Middle School: My Brother is a Big, Fat Liar by James Patterson

Monster on the Hill by Rob Harrell

Never Say Die by Will Hobbs

One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

The Prairie Thief by Melissa Wiley

Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff

Serafina’s Promise by Ann E. Burg

Star Wars Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown

The Thing About Luck, by Cynthia Kadohata


Every Hero Has a Story!  That’s this year’s summer reading theme at Timberland Regional Library.  Click the link “Public Library” on the main menu to find out more about Timberland Regional Library and its programs.  Visit the library’s “Summer at the Library” page to find out more about the summer reading program and additional summer library events for kids.


Garfield staff, we’re challenging YOU to keep up on your reading this summer too!  On July 14, Harper Lee’s novel Go Set a Watchmen will be released.  From

“An historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.

Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.

Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee’s enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right.”


We sincerely hope you read this novel (read To Kill a Mockingbird first if you haven’t read it…or read it again to remind yourself!) and come prepared to share your thoughts when we return to school this Fall!


Students, families, and teachers: have you used OverDrive?  OverDrive is a free application (available for iPhone, iPad, Android, Chromebook, Windows Phone, Windows 8, Kindle Fire HD, and Nook HD/HD+) that allows you to borrow eBooks, audiobooks, and MORE from your local public library for free.  All you need is a library card!


SUMMER VACATION!!  Have a fun-filled, relaxing break-and don’t forget to READ!

National Poetry Month


May 2015


Wow!  Garfield’s wishes came true for both the Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Awards and the Sasquatch Reading Award.  Congratulations to The Day the Crayons Quit for winning the WCCPBA Award and to Wonder for winning Sasquatch!

ALL GRADES: During the month of April, we celebrated National Poetry Month by participating in poetry-themed centers in the library.  Students wrote a variety of poems, from Found Poetry on the iPads to shape poems for the Poet-Tree.  You can check out some of their work in the gallery above this post.IMG_2106

Books and Blankets was a great success this year with our theme: Blam! Zap! Pow!: We Love Graphic Novels!  Children of all ages and their families camIMG_2120e out to celebrate with us and check out some of the new comics the PTA helped us to buy.  Thanks again to the Garfield PTA for being amazing!



The end of the school year is swiftly approaching with just about six weeks left to go!  With that in mind, please make sure you are returning any books you are no longer using/reading.  If you need to know what you have checked out, please come to the library and ask for a receipt.


Teachers and students: have you seen DK Find Out!? There are fun facts for kids on animals, earth, history, and MORE on this easy-to-use, free encyclopedia.  CHECK IT OUT!


Asian American Month

Get Caught Reading Month

Star Wars Day (May 4)

Teacher Appreciation Week (May 4-8)

Children’s Book Week (May 4-10)

Cinco de Mayo (May 5)

Mother’s Day (May 10)

National Chicken Dance Day (May 14)

International Museum Day (May 18)

Memorial Day (May 25)


April 2015


K-3: Kindergarten through third grade heard the Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award nominee Hoop Genius: How a Desperate Teacher and a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball, by John Coy.  We also read The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt and Black Rabbit, by Philippa Leathers.

During conference week, each student came to the library to place their votes for the award.  While our school voted for The Day the Crayons Quit, we still have to wait for all votes to come in from the entire state before we can determine it is the winner.

4-5: Fourth and fifth grade wrapped up our work on website evaluation.  Fourth grade evaluated using Mrs. Skorupski’s Website Evaluation Gizmo.  Students determined that this website is not accurate and trustworthy.

During conference week, all fourth and fifth graders came to the library and placed their votes for the Sasquatch Reading Award.  The winner was Wonder, by R.J. Palacio, by a landslide!  The official winner for the state will be announced mid-April.

ALL GRADES: The Garfield PTA will begin selling brand new Garfield apparel featuring our new logo!  See example below!  *Actual logo is in an awesome and vibrant yellow.*  

Mrs. Gylys and Mrs. Pattin enjoyed reading Dr. Seuss books in the library for the “Seusstastical” celebration of reading for Read Across America Day!  Thanks so much to Alex, Jen, and Erin for putting on such a fun event.  We were glad to be a part of it!



BLAM! ZAP! POW!: WE LOVE GRAPHIC NOVELS!  Come on down to the library to join us for a cozy read-in at our Books and Blankets event!

Who: All members of the Garfield Elementary community

What: Bring a blanket, pillow, and/or stuffed animal.  You can even wear your PJs or dress up as your favorite superhero!  We’ll provide the books and snacks.

When: Thursday, April 30th from 6 pm-7 pm

Where: Your lovely Garfield library!

Why:To highlight our new and improved graphic novel collection AND…because reading gives you SUPERPOWERS!


What do you think?Capture


School Library Month

National Poetry Month

April Fools (Apr. 1)

Easter (Apr. 5)

Bat Appreciation Week (Apr. 5-11)

Dictionary Day (Apr. 14)

World Art Day/Leonardo da Vinci’s Birthday (Apr. 15)

National Princess Week (Apr. 19-25)

Earth Day (Apr. 22)

Talk Like Shakespeare Day (Apr. 23)


MARCH 2015


February flew by for all of us in the library!

K-3: At the beginning of February, Kindergarten through third grade listened to the story The Magic Bojabi Tree, by Piet Grobler and Dianne Hofmeyr.  This is one of our Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award Nominees.  During Valentine’s Day week, we read The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever by Brenda A. Ferber and Tedd Arnold, another WCCPBA nominee.  We discussed how the author and illustrator used dialogue boxes like speech bubbles to tell the story.  We also did some comparing and contrasting between this story and The Gingerbread Man.  Vocabulary words included: proclaim, cooties, pipe down, and triumph.

Did you know many of our students’ favorite books can be found in video form on YouTube?  To prepare students for their Olympia Junior Programs field trip to see the play Harold and the Purple Crayon, students watched a YouTube reading of the story.  Students were encouraged (with parent permission, of course!) to try and find read alouds of some of their beloved books in the same way.

4-5: As fourth and fifth graders continued learning about website evaluation, fourth grade listened to But I Read it on the Internet!, by Toni Buzzeo.  In this story, a group of students conduct Presidents research in a very similar manner to the Presidents research we recently finished in the library.  We discussed Mrs. Skorupski’s Website Evaluation Gizmo, and how we can use the gizmo to help us decide if a website is informative, useful, and accurate.

Fifth graders learned that search engines like Google often come up with thousands, sometimes even millions, of hits when we do a keyword search for a topic like “explorers”.  We discussed that such a search would offer options including the Ford Explorer, Internet Explorer, and even Dora the Explorer!  In contrast, subscription databases (like World Book) or subject indexes (like Fact Monsteroffer fewer, more focused hits to help us with our research.  Kids were given time in library using the iPad minis to compare and contrast the three online research options.

ALL GRADES: The Garfield PTA is updating the school logo!  All grade levels voted on one of three choices.  Winner to be announced SOON!

Logo # 1

Logo # 2

Logo # 3


Kindergartners read Dr. Seuss!

Also, coming up on March 2nd, is our celebration of Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss’ 111th birthday!  Leading up to this event, all classes participated in Dr. Seuss Library Centers.  Children created Dr. Seuss-themed door hangers, estimated goldfish at the One Fish, Two Fish center, reviewed some of Dr. Seuss’ fantastic books, and MORE!  You can check out some of their work at our Read Across America/Dr. Seuss event on March 2nd at 6:00 pm.


Lorax word searches.


Seussville on the iPad minis!


It’s time for the annual Garfield Elementary Readathon!  You can learn all about it on the PTA’s website.  All proceeds go to updating the library’s collection.  THANK YOU in advance for your help in making our library even better for the benefit of our community!


Speaking of making our library even better, the Garfield Library now has an Amazon Wish List! All books purchased will help to expand our collection for our many eager readers. in donating? Here’s how:

1. Click the link.

2. Browse through the books, make your choice(s), add them to your shopping cart, and proceed to checkout. At this point you either sign in or create an account. You will be asked to select a shipping address. Select Garfield Elementary.

3. Click the box “Ordering a gift?” By doing this, you will have an opportunity to write a free gift note.

4. Congratulate yourself on helping to grow our school library! Your purchase benefits the entire Garfield community. Select your payment option and place your order. Your purchase will be sent directly to the Garfield School Library.

Alternatively, please keep the library in mind when cleaning out your bookshelves. Donations of gently used books are always appreciated.  

Thank you for considering donating to our lovely library!


Women’s History Month

National Reading Month

Music in Our Schools Month

Celebrate Your Name Week (Mar. 1-7)

Read Across America (Mar. 2)

Oreo Cookie Day (Mar. 6)

Pi Day (Mar. 14)

Shakespeare Week (Mar. 16-22)

St. Patrick’s Day (Mar. 17)

Absolutely Incredible Kid Day (Mar. 19)

Make Up Your Own Holiday Day (Mar. 26)




February Best Books Update

IMG_0875Congratulations to fifth grader, Dora, who won this month’s 4-5 Best Book Prize for reading Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan!  That’s one delicious Vic’s pizza, coming right up.

Miss Meadows’ class is in the lead in the class competition with a whopping 43 books read thus far!RedThreadSisters

For your next read consider reading…

…Red Thread Sisters, by Carol A. Peacock.  It’s International Friendship month, and this story about the meaning of an unbreakable bond between two orphaned friends will warm your heart.




It’s been a great month back in the library after a nice, long winter break!  For most grade levels, much of January was about research!  Kindergarten through third grade listened to two of the nominees for the Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Awards

Little Dog Lost by Monica Carnesi

Little Dog Lost by Monica Carnesi

(WCCPBA): Toys in Space and  Little Dog Lost: The True Story of a Brave Dog Named Baltic.  Second and third grade were led in a “mini-research” project to answer the question “Who is Baltic the Sea Dog?”  They learned that when trying to answer questions such as this it’s important to look for information in more than one place.  We demonstrated this by taking notes on both the book Little Dog Lost and a news video from 2011 detailing the Baltic’s miraculous rescue.  We then discussed how we added much more to our knowledge of Baltic by looking at a secondary source, the video.

Fourth graders began conducting research on U.S. Presidents in honor of Presidents’ Day.  They started by brainstorming a list of facts about U.S. Presidents.  Some of the “facts” included: George Washington had red hair and Thomas Jefferson invented macaroni and cheese.  We then highlighted any facts we thought were certainly untrue (pink) or possibly untrue (yellow).  Students were then asked to select three facts from the list to research: 1 seemingly true fact, 1 possibly untrue fact, and 1 certainly untrue.  As students began looking in books and on search engines, they uncovered the truth about many of their ideas including that our first president was, indeed, a red-head and that Jefferson did NOT actually invent macaroni and cheese, but did help to introduce it to the United States!  Moving forward, students will be asked to start defending their resources as they learn that not everything they read on the internet is useful or even accurate.

Speaking of which, Fifth graders have been learning about how to find the good stuff on the internet as they research explorers!  They learned that books are more reliable than the internet because they go through a strict editing process.  We started to explore the subscription database, World Book, and some subject indexes like Fact Monster.  These kinds of internet resources are far more reliable than simply using search engines because the information is reviewed by professionals.


February is Library Lovers’ Month!  Did you know that many famous figures throughout history have been serious library lovers?  Here are a few “Love Letters to Libraries” to inspire you to be passionate about the library, too:









Hey teachers!  Want to create a launchpad for some of the important websites you use in your classroom?  Check out 3x3Links.  It’s a “minimalist, shareable internet start page.”  See an example of a set of library links for K-1 Students here.


Black History Month

Library Lovers’ Month

Groundhog Day (Feb. 2)

International Friendship Week (Feb. 9-13)

Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14)

President’s Day (Feb. 16)

Pluto Day (Feb. 18)

Chinese New Year (begins Feb. 19)

National Bacon Day (Feb. 26)

Read Me Day (Feb. 27)





Mrs. Gylys and baby Alice

You may have noticed there hasn’t been a fresh newsletter since the month of October!  Mrs. Gylys has been on maternity leave taking care of her new baby, Alice.  Alice already has a favorite book: Hoot the Owl.  It’s never too early to start to love reading (but it’s also NEVER too late)!  If you have a little person in your life, maybe YOU can be the person to encourage them to find books they just can’t put down.

Alice’s favorite book (Image from

During Mrs. Gylys’ absence, Mrs. Pattin has been keeping library services going.  But instead of saying goodbye to her, we are lucky that she is continuing to work in the library two days a week so Mrs. Gylys can stay home and take care of Alice.  What does that mean?  Sometimes the friendly face in the library will be Mrs. G. and other times Mrs. P.!



January is International Creativity Month, a month to get inspired to let out your inner artist!  Here are 5 great websites that let kids unleash their creative sides:


Write your own comic strips!


Compose and record some rhythms using pots and pans, brooms, and other random objects.


Create beautiful books to share online.


A lesson in computer programming.


Step-by-step drawing projects.


PBS Parents has dedicated a portion of their site to ideas for creative play.  You visit it HERE.


(Image from


Click HERE to watch a short “presentoon” and find out!



Train Your Dog Month

International Creativity Month

Worldwide Rising Star Month

New Year’s Day (Jan. 1)

Elvis’ Birthday Celebration Week (Jan. 7-10)

Temperance & Good Citizenship Day (Jan. 16)

Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 19)

No Name Calling Week (Jan. 19-23)

National Geographic Day (Jan. 27)

Inspire your heart with art day (Jan. 31)




Library Rules

Library Rules

For the first few weeks of school, we spent a lot of time talking about library rules and expectations.  Kindergartners, for example, learned about taking care of books when we read No, David!, by David Shannon.

We sorted items into two categories: things that should not be near our books  (bottled water, crayons, etc…) and things that could be helpful to us when reading (bookmarks, stuffed animals, etc…).  To end the activity, kindergartners created their own No, David! inspired drawings on book care.

Kindergarten Book Care Kindergarten Book Care 

Students in fourth and fifth grade learned about library rules and played Library Rules Jeopardy to test their knowledge.  Boy, were they competitive!  It seemed like everyone knew all of the important library patron expectations, like…

…books can be checked out for one week and renewed twice.

…you shouldn’t let anyone else borrow your library books because they are your responsibility.  If they lose your books or damage them the fine is on YOU!


Library Rules Jeopardy

Library Rules Jeopardy


We also held our first ever Library Card Drive for grades 4-5.  Mary from the Olympia Timberland Regional Library came to talk to fifth graders about all of the excellent resources available fphotoor FREE at the public library.  All students in fourth and fifth grade were given TRL Library Card Applications.  Any student who either 1) Returned a completed and signed application OR 2) Brought in their current library card had their names entered into a drawing for a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card to buy a book with help from Mrs. Gylys!  The winner was Gabriel C. in fourth grade!  Congratulations, Gabe!  We hope you get something you love reading.

By the end of the drive, a whopping thirty-four students were proud, new owners of TRL Library Cards!  It’s not too late!  Anyone else who wants to sign up for a card can still submit an application to the Garfield Library.




The Garfield Library has been participating in the Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Awards for many years now.  The WCCPBA is selected annually by Washington’s K-3 students, who vote for the award through their school librarian!  Throughout the school year, we will be reading books from a list of nominees created by the Washington Library Media Association.  Students vote for their favorite book sometime in March.

Nugget and Fang.jpg

During the month of September, students in K-3 heard the book Nugget and Fang: Friends Forever–or Snack Time?, by  Tammi Sauer.  This book was an excellent example of our Lifeskills for the month: friendship and caring.


Best Books is a brand new reading program for grades 4-5 that encourages reading through lots of fun and a little bit of competition. The list of books is a combination of the Pacific Northwest Young Reader’s Choice Award (YRCA) list (junior division) and the Washington Library Media Association (WLMA) Sasquatch Award. It contains about 20 books selected by some of the foremost librarians in our state. You can find the complete list and read more about the program here. Students are challenged to read as many Best Books as possible during the school year. The program ends in early June.

In September, some grades watched the following book trailer for Newbery Award winner The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate.


National Bullying Prevention Center

National Bullying Prevention Center

The end of bullying begins with YOU!  Here is a link to the National Bullying Prevention Center website, where everyone can find a way to join in on the cause.


National Bullying Prevention Month

National Information Literacy Awareness Month

Disability Awareness Month

National Chess Day

Star Wars Reads Day (Oct. 11)

National Friends of Libraries Week (Oct. 19-25)

SCHOLASTIC BOOK FAIR-Conference Week (Oct. 21-24)

Howl at the Moon Night (Oct. 26)

National Cat Day (Oct. 29)

Halloween (Oct. 31)





Welcome back to school!  Boy, have there been some changes around here or what?!  We have a BRAND NEW library and are soon to have a lot of BRAND NEW books to go with it.  Thanks to generous donations from our lovely Garfield PTA and the Olympia School District Education Foundation, we will be able to add $2000 to our library budget so kids and teachers will have a better selection of books.



During the month of September, we are encouraging all members of the Garfield community to sign up for a public library card!  Our local Timberland Regional Library has much to offer, from that novel you’ve been dying to read to fun events for the whole family.  Can’t find time or transportation to the library?  No sweat!  You can download eBooks, audio books, movies, and more for FREE without ever having to step foot in the library itself.  Does it get much better than that?

To sign up, visit any Timberland Regional Library location, or click the link below to pull up the form.




EDUCATORS, FAMILIES, and STUDENTS: Do you have an idea for a book or other resource you would like to find in the library?  Submit a Book Request Form!  Check it out under the “Quick Links” menu on this page.



Library Card Sign-Up Month

National Piano Month

Grandparent’s Day (Sept. 7th)

Substitute Teacher Appreciation Week (Sept. 7th-12th)

Libraries Remember Day (Sept. 11th)

Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day (Sept. 13th)

Constitution Day (Sept. 17th)

Talk Like a Pirate Day (Sept. 19th)

Banned Books Week (Sept. 21st-27th)

Fall Equinox (Sept. 23rd)

Literacy Tech Moment

I was spending some time this summer learning more about the library and I heard of an epic app called Epic! Have you heard of it? Epic is an eReading app that gives you access to hundreds of books for kids 12 and under. The best part? The first month is free, or if you are an educator you can sign up for free AND sign your class up!
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Kids can earn rewards, there is a reading log, and once you sign up there is no limit to how many books you are allowed to read! (Oh my goodness, they even have Star Wars books, Warriors, Scaredy Squirrel, and National Geographic Kids).

Sign up and then let me know what you think! How did you use it? Do you think you’ll use it in your classroom?