Books in the Bend

Just another Williamson County Schools Sites site

Summer Reading Recommendations

Summer is a great time to enjoy a good book!  There is no required reading over the summer, but here are some recommendations of some good books to enjoy.  Look for the following posts with books recommendations: VSBA books, 1st-2nd grade, 2nd-3rd grade, 4th-5th grade, picture books, and Read the Book-Watch the Movie.

As you are picking out books to read this summer some of my favorite sites for parents are to check the reading level and common sense media to check the age appropriateness.

Since our school library will be closed make sure to visit the public library and sign up for their summer reading program at  Don’t have time to make it to the public library?  Go to and find extensive library of digital books for adults and students.  There is also an Overdrive app you can download to make reading on your device quick and easy!

Enjoy your summer and make reading part of your daily routine!!

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Picture Books

Don’t forget about picture books this summer!  Here is a variety of levels of pictures books for your children to enjoy!

Sophie’s Squash

Level 2.8

On a trip to the farmers’ market with her parents, Sophie chooses a squash, but instead of letting her mom cook it, she names it Bernice. From then on, Sophie brings Bernice everywhere, despite her parents’ gentle warnings that Bernice will begin to rot. As winter nears, Sophie does start to notice changes…. What’s a girl to do when the squash she loves is in trouble?

If you enjoyed this book, try Sophie’s Squash Goes to School.

The Night Gardener 

Level 2.7

In the spirit of Goodnight Moon and The Curious Garden comes a stunning debut picture book filled with whimsy and creativity from brothers Terry and Eric Fan.

One day, William discovers that the tree outside his window has been sculpted into a wise owl. In the following days, more topiaries appear, and each one is more beautiful than the last. Soon, William’s gray little town is full of color and life. And though the mysterious night gardener disappears as suddenly as he appeared, William—and his town—are changed forever.

With breathtaking illustrations and spare, sweet text, this masterpiece about enjoying the beauty of nature is sure to become an instant classic.

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole

Level 1.9

Sam and Dave are on a mission. A mission to find something spectacular. So they dig a hole. And they keep digging. And they find . . . nothing. Yet the day turns out to be pretty spectacular after all. Attentive readers will be rewarded with a rare treasure in this witty story of looking for the extraordinary — and finding it in a manner you’d never expect.

Ada Twist Scientist

Level 3.4

The creators of the New York Times bestselling picture books Rosie Revere, Engineer and Iggy Peck, Architect are back with a story about the power of curiosity in the hands of a child who is on a mission to use science to understand her world. Ada Twist, Scientist, from powerhouse team Andrea Beaty and David Roberts, is a celebration of STEM, perseverance, and passion.

Like her classmates, builder Iggy and inventor Rosie, scientist Ada, a character of color, has a boundless imagination and has always been hopelessly curious. Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? When her house fills with a horrific, toe-curling smell, Ada knows it’s up to her to find the source. What would you do with a problem like this? Not afraid of failure, Ada embarks on a fact-finding mission and conducts scientific experiments, all in the name of discovery. But, this time, her experiments lead to even more stink and get her into trouble!

Inspired by real-life makers such as Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie, Ada Twist, Scientist champions girl power and women scientists, and brings welcome diversity to picture books about girls in science. Touching on themes of never giving up and problem solving, Ada comes to learn that her questions might not always lead to answers, but rather to more questions. She may never find the source of the stink, but with a supportive family and the space to figure it out, she’ll be able to feed her curiosity in the ways a young scientist should.

Iggy Peck and Rosie Revere have earned their places among the most beloved children’s characters, and they have inspired countless kids and adults to follow their dreams and passions. Now in her own charming and witty picture book, determined Ada Twist, with her boundless curiosity for science and love of the question “Why?,” is destined to join these two favorites.  The book is the perfect tool to remind both young girls and women that they have the intelligence and perseverance to achieve their dreams.

Leave Me Alone

2017 Caldecott Winner

Level 2.9

A 2017 Caldecott Honor Book that The New York Times calls “both classic and ultracontemporary,” Leave Me Alone! is an epic tale about one grandmother, a giant sack of yarn, and her ultimate quest to finish her knitting.

One day, a grandmother shouts, “LEAVE ME ALONE!” and leaves her tiny home and her very big family to journey to the moon and beyond to find peace and quiet to finish her knitting. Along the way, she encounters ravenous bears, obnoxious goats, and even hordes of aliens! But nothing stops grandma from accomplishing her goal—knitting sweaters for her many grandchildren to keep them warm and toasty for the coming winter.

Vera Brosgol’s slyly clever and unexpectedly funny modern folktale is certain to warm even the coldest of hearts.


School’s First Day of School

Level 3.3

It’s the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone’s just a little bit nervous, especially the school itself. What will the children do once they come? Will they like the school? Will they be nice to him?

The school has a rough start, but as the day goes on, he soon recovers when he sees that he’s not the only one going through first-day jitters.

Ideas are All Around

Level 2.9

As an author and his dog, Wednesday, walk through their neighborhood, they look at sunflowers, say hi to Frank, a turtle, who makes quick for the water and disappears, and watch a train rumble by as they walk uphill to a big purple house that belongs to their friend Barbara. Wednesday chases squirrels while the two friends discuss fishing and war and how back before the neighborhood was there enormous woolly mammoths roamed where houses now sit.

Thoughts open up to other thoughts, and ideas are born and carried forward, often transforming into other ideas until he finds that ideas really are all around, you just have to know what to do with them.


One Minute Until Bedtime: 60 Second Poems to Send You Off to Sleep 

It’s time for tuck-in, and your little one wants just one more moment with you–so fill it with something that will feed the imagination, fuel a love of reading, and send them off to sleep in a snap. Reach for a one-minute poem!
Former Children’s Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt presents a blockbuster collection of all-new poetry penned by some of the most beloved and celebrated poets of our time, including Jack Prelutsky, Jon Scieszka, Mary Ann Hoberman, Nikki Grimes, Lemony Snicket, Jane Yolen, and many more. Illuminated with dreamlike wit and whimsy by New York Times illustrator and award-winning artist Christoph Niemann, here is a new bedtime classic.
When the busy day is drawing to a close and the whole family is ready for rest, take a minute for poetry and send your little one off to sleep.
A Well-Mannered Young Wolf
Level 1.9
One morning, a young wolf eagerly sets out on his first hunting trip. But before he can devour his prey, he must honor their final wishes, just as his parents taught him to do. But the wolf’s would-be meals aren’t quite as honorable as he is! Can common courtesy prove effective amidst the wild laws of nature?
The Princess and the Pony
Level 3.0
Princess Pinecone knows exactly what she wants for her birthday this year. A BIG horse. A STRONG horse. A horse fit for a WARRIOR PRINCESS! But when the day arrives, she doesn’t quite get the horse of her dreams…

From the artist behind the comic phenomenon Hark! A Vagrant, The Princess and the Pony is a laugh-out-loud story of brave warriors, big surprises, and falling in love with one unforgettable little pony.

Find Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear
Level 3.4
In 1914, Harry Colebourn, a veterinarian on his way to tend horses in World War I, followed his heart and rescued a baby bear. He named her Winnie, after his hometown of Winnipeg, and he took the bear to war. Harry Colebourn’s real-life great-granddaughter tells the true story of a remarkable friendship and an even more remarkable journey–from the fields of Canada to a convoy across the ocean to an army base in England…and finally to the London Zoo, where Winnie made another new friend: a real boy named Christopher Robin. Based on the 2016 Caldecott Medal winner, Finding Winnie is the remarkable true story of the bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh.
Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla
Level 3.7
In a spare, powerful text and evocative illustrations, the Newbery medalist Katherine Applegate and the artist G. Brian Karas present the extraordinary real story of a special gorilla.
Captured as a baby, Ivan was brought to a Tacoma, Washington, mall to attract shoppers. Gradually, public pressure built until a better way of life for Ivan was found at Zoo Atlanta. From the Congo to America, and from a local business attraction to a national symbol of animal welfare, Ivan the Shopping Mall Gorilla traveled an astonishing distance in miles and in impact.
Elephant and Piggie Books
Level 0.7-1.5
Elephant and Piggie books are funny, silly, and perfect for beginning readers.
Knuffle Bunny
Level 1.6
Trixie, Daddy, and Knuffle Bunny take a trip to the neighborhood Laundromat. But the exciting adventure takes a dramatic turn when Trixie realizes somebunny was left behind
Using a combination of muted black-and-white photographs and expressive illustrations, this stunning book tells a brilliantly true-to-life tale about what happens when Daddy’s in charge and things go terribly, hilariously wrong.
The Day the Crayons Quit
The Day the Crayons Came Home
Level 3.8 and 3.3
All book summaries taken from
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Specials Update


The music class has been filled with fun and sound over the past month.  5th and 4th grade have been exploring ostinatos (repeating rhythm or melody sections).  We learned patterns individually then began layering different patterns on top of each other.  Ultimately we were able to produce a rather complicated piece using only ostinatos.

2nd and 3rd grade have been exploring the science of sound.  Not only how sound is produced and transmitted through sound waves, but also several ways we as musicians can manipulate the sound.  We have been exploring pitch and dynamics (volume) as it relates to vibrations. We will now be using our scientific knowledge to translate the volume and pitch of sound into tunes.

Kindergarten and 1st grade have been hard at work reading rhythms!  They have been reading traditional notation for rhythms which is a huge accomplishment! They have also been working hard to learn several common pitches (do, re, mi, sol, and la) and experimenting with how we use these pitches to create songs.  We have also been moving our bodies appropriately in response to the mood, speed, or general feel of various music.

All grades have searched high and low to solve this month’s Mystery Composer! He conducted the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.  His father sold wigs and beauty supplies.  His first symphony Jeramiah won the New York Critics Award. He is the famed composer of none other than West Side Story!  He is the great Leonard Bernstein.  With the new month comes a new mystery.  Please help your children research our next Mystery Composer.  A new clue will be posted each week in class and online at So get out your detective’s hat and get to cracking the case of the King of Ragtime.

Life Skills

In Life Skills during January we reviewed our 8 Keys and learned about the life and contributions of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Students discovered the amazing ways that Dr. King embodied Speak with Good Purpose, Commitment, Ownership, and Integrity.  Later in the month we explored how we can be positive agents for promoting kindness and friendship in our school.  We learned ways to prevent bullying and how each of can make a difference. K-2 classes created class wall hangings with their commitments to friendship, including others, standing up for others, and telling an adult if they need help. 3-5th created messages about these same commitments, and these messages are being combined by a group of 5th grade students into a slideshow for the entire school to see in Friday morning meeting February 13th.

life skills life skills2



The kindergarten classes have been experimenting with color. They mixed the primary colors to make the secondary colors and they have been painting a teddy bear and mixing tints to decorate them. First grade did a fabulous printing project using a piece of cardboard and now they are learning to show space in a still life with a teddy bear and different kinds of balls. The second graders did texture rubbing paintings of wild animals in their habitats. They are now doing an Impressionistic landscape in the style of Claude Monet’s Japanese bridge. The third graders have been working on a wonderful flower painting learning how to draw realistic flowers then mixing colors using warm and cool colors. The finishing touch on their flowers will be 3-D bugs. Fourth grade has been drawing a figure doing a sport and then painting them with tints and shades of one color-a monochromatic painting. The fifth graders are finishing up their names, like a kaleidoscope, in a radial design. They are starting a unit on perspective beginning with a watercolor that shows atmospheric perspective. Next they will be showing space by doing 2-point, linear perspective. It sure has been fun and messy in the art room lately.




Beginning on Monday, February 23rd physical education classes will be roller skating.  Students will have the opportunity to roller skate approximately 4-6 times.  The skates will be delivered to the school.  The equipment is specifically intended for indoor use and will not damage the gym floor.

All students will be required to wear wrist guards that are provided by Skate Time.  We strongly encourage students to bring helmets and knee/elbow pads.

Skating is a “Lifetime Activity” and provides a variety of benefits including balance, coordination, motor skills and cardio fitness.

Students will also learn basic skating skills such as starting, forward skating, stopping, backwards skating, cornering and how to fall safely.



In library, the classes have been reading books, books, and more books that were published in 2014.  We have been desperatly trying to find the best picture book published in 2014 for our Houndicott award.  The Houndicott award is based off the Caldecott award, which awards a medal to the best illustrated picture book of the year.  And the winner is . . . .



We also chose three honor books and those were:


Two of the books we chose were awarded the real Caldecott Award.  Beekle won the Bronze Caldecott and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole won an Caldecott Honor Award.

The third and fifth grade have also been finishing up some projects.  Click on 3rd grade under categories to see their biography projects.  The students researched and created a digital book on their person using Wixie.  Click on fifth grade to see their book trailers that they created using Animoto.

Fourth and Fifth grade have also been celebrating the Newbery Award winning books.  Not only have they learned about the 2015 Newbery winners, but they have been sampling Newbery winning books from the past.  Forty-five Newbery books were checked out in one week!

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Maurice Sendak

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Ronald Reagan

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Heaven is for Real

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The Mysterious Benedict Society

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Gaby, Lost and Found

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Abraham Lincoln by Shruti

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Too Much Fun!

What is all that noise coming from the cafeteria?  It’s over 80 giggling children cracking up at Snow Bird!  On this almost snowy morning Snowbird came to Hunters Bend to teach the children a little about penguins.  Ask your kindergartner what they learned today about penguins!


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