Highlights from 2014 - 2015

The Cat in the Hat Wants You to Read this Summer!

"You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book!"

We hope our students continue reading over summer break!. Read what you LIKE, read something NEW; now is the time to explore and enjoy your reading! All PreK through Grade 4 students are receiving a Summer Reading Log to record the books they have read.


  1. Read, lire, leer, lezen or be read to in any language, in any genre and format. For example, listen to audiobooks, read in print or on devices like iPads, read graphic novels, non-fiction, comics, fiction, travel guides, etc.
  2. For each book or story you read, write the title on the reading log you received at school in June (help from parents is fine).
  3. Attach more sheets of paper if needed.
  4. If the reading log is lost, use regular paper.
  5. Return the reading log to school during Week 1 of school.

Olympians Reading at Recess

June 5, 2014 - Yesterday and today, the library is hosting special reading sessions during grades 2-5 recesses. There were so many children still waiting to borrow the Olympians series and Minecraft series books at the end of the year that we are making them all available for a half hour of reading. No limit on the number of kids. Here are our third graders taking time to read these books on June 4th:


Fifth Graders Lead Shelf Marker Art Workshops

June 5, 2015 -- For the past week, the fifth graders in the Library Leadership Group have been leading art workshops in the library!

Author Sara Pennypacker field trip

June 5, 2015 -- On May 21st, our second graders visited with author Sara Pennypacker, author of the Clementine series. Ms. Pennypacker writes, on average, one book per year and focused her presentation on why being an author is a wonderful career choice. At one point, she even showed a photo of herself laying down on a couch, claiming that it was a photo of herself "working" (thinking, dreaming, plotting). I'm sure that inspired many a budding author in our group! Ms. Pennypacker is currently starting a new series, focused on a fourth grade boy named Waylon. He will be familiar to readers of Clementine; he's one of her friends at school.

Illustrator Juana Medina field trip

May 7, 2015 -- The Library program has organized many author/illustrator visits with WIS students this year, the latest being a field trip today for Spanish PreK and Kinder students to see illustrator Juana Medina, who is originally from Colombia. Our students enthusiastically enjoyed Sra. Medina’s presentation in Spanish of her new book Smick. Created with just a few “exuberant black lines,” characters Smick, Chick and Stick captivate young readers. Sra. Medina also took direction from our children and transformed pictures of fruit and vegetables into various characters. She answered questions, such as “how did you get to be such a good artist?” As one of our teachers said, the students hear what work illustrators do and seeing one in person like Juana Medina helps them really understand their important connection to books.


Sharing Poetry with Atlanta International School

April 30 & May 1, 2015 -- About 50 third and fourth graders participated in the library's first Skype Share with AIS's library. Children took turns reciting poetry to their new friends. Most of the WIS poems were originals and many of the AIS poems were from Shel Silverstein, one of the greats!

Poem in Your Pocket Day - April 30

Bring a poem in from home or get a free one at the WIS that morning. Be prepared to share some poetry aloud that day!

Skype visit with author Thanhha Lai

April 28, 2015 -- Sophie in 5D wrote about Grade 5's visit with Thanhhá Lại:

Thanhhá Lại, the author of Inside Out & Back Again, was supposed to talk to students at the Washington International School about her new book, Listen, Slowly. However, a snow day canceled the visit. But sometime later, on April 28th, 2015, Thanhhá Lại made her appearance via Skype to the fifth grade class at the Washington International School.
During the video chat, students were able to ask the author questions, such as if Thanhhá Lại was ever going to write a series. She said that, although her publisher would love a series, she just wasn’t the one to write a series; she preferred separate books, commenting that in series the only thing that changed was the plot. Thanhhá Lại also talked about what she did to get her thoughts going to write a story. She spends most of her day alone in her “cocoon”, just her and her laptop, and nothing can intrude or distract her.

Thanhhá Lại wrote her famous book in three months, although she said it would usually take five years to write a novel: a year to write the first draft, one to revise, two years for the publisher, and a year later for the book to come out. Thanhhá Lại was able to write her story in only three months because no research was required. It was a great experience! Thanhhá Lại: Fifth grade students at Washington International School thank you again!

Field Trip to see author/illustrator of Perdidos en NYC (Lost in NYC)

April 9, 2015 -- Third grade Spanish students went to local bookstore Politics & Prose for an English/Spanish presentation from author Nadja Spiegelman and illustrator Sergio García-Sánchez. Their new book, Lost in NYC and Perdidos en NYC, is a detailed adventure of schoolchildren who get lost in the NYC subway and is also a tale of new friendship. Our children delighted in finding "the policeman" that García-Sánchez hid on every page. Here are some photos of the event:

Visiting illustrator Elizabeth Zunon

April 6, 2015 -- Illustrator Elizabeth Zunon presented her creative process to our first and second graders, focusing on two of her books, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind and One Plastic Bag. She held art workshops with the children. Their task: to create a collage of something that would make a positive change in their world. Here are some workshop photos:

National Poetry Month 2015


Learn about our National Poetry Month happenings throughout the school this month.

National Poetry Month - April 2015

Grade 2 Perform Poetry!

April 30th will be Poem in Your Pocket Day. Bring one in from home or get a free one at the WIS that morning. Be prepared to share some poetry aloud that day!

On April 30th, we'll also be making new friends at Atlanta International School as we share poems in all of our languages via Skype. This event is open to third and fourth graders during their lunchtime recess - in the library!

April 1, 2015 -- We opened National Poetry Month with an inspired and inspiring performance by hip-hop poet Javier Starks. He even gave us a little bit of break dancing!

A must-read from the vocabulary-rich Lemony Snicket is his children's poetry portfolio of poems not written for children. Illustrated by Chris Rasch.

Book Spine Poetry

So Many New Books…

Hundreds of new books for our students and teachers! View a slideshow of all of the recent purchases. If you want to see only a certain language or genre, the slides are broken down here as well.

All New Materials Early Spring 2015

George O'Connor - Greek mythology extraordinaire

Feb 5, 2015 -- George O'Connor's visit with grades 3, 4 and 5 today was an enormous hit! As he enthusiastically walked everyone through his illustrated characters in the graphic novel series, Olympians, he wove a seamless story of connections and details that captivated the kids. Along the way, they saw his sketches, learned about his writing process (he draws and writes at the same time, and he draws each picture very quickly) and were hopefully inspired to be writers and artists themselves. For his part, George said how impressed he was that our students had such a deep knowledge of the gods and their antics.

Upcoming Author Visits

Author/illustrator George O'Connor
Presenting to Gr. 3, 4 & 5 on February 5, 2015

George O'Connor's graphic novel series, Olympians, is immensely popular with WIS students - copies of his books have been borrowed 400 times. He does extensive historical research around the world for each of his books. The latest, Ares, is his seventh in this Greek mythology seriesThe Kirkus review is linked here.

Author Thanhha Lai
Presenting to Gr. 5 & 6
on February 26, 2015
Thanhha Lai's book written in verse, Inside Out and Back Again, won the National Book Award and was a Newbery Honor book. Her latest book is Listen, Closely. Ms. Lai emigrated from Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Her first book explored that experience and her second book takes the reader on a summer trip back to Vietnam where Vietnamese-American tween Mai reluctantly discovers her parents' homeland.

If you’d like to know how Thanhha pronounces her name, you can listen here.

The Mitten

January, 2015 -- We've been having fun in the library acting out woodland animals who squeeze into a mitten, from the wonderful wintertime story The Mitten, written by Jan Brett. Such cute PreK kids, staying warm in our cozy mitten!

New Books are Here

December 2014 --

Come into the library to browse our steady stream of new books in all of our languages! If you'd like an overview of Fall or Early Winter acquisitions, click on one of the slides above or focus on a particular language collection from the New Materials page. 

New Furniture

October 2014 -- The movers were here and set up the lovely new library furniture. See our students and Ms. Palmatier enjoying the cozy reading bench!

Bilingual New Book Fair October 21 - 24, 2014

Thanks to everyone who went to the book fair! You raised over $3,000 for the library's collections and programs!

National Hispanic Heritage Month

October 2014 -- Celebrate with this month's events at the DC Public Library.

Spanish Collection Growth

September 2014 -- Recognizing that the English and French collections are easier to build and high quality Spanish is more difficult to locate, WIS sent Doris Clingman and Laura Martina to a book fair in Spain. With funds raised by WISPA during the 2013 PS book fair, they purchased hundreds of new native-Spanish books for the library. The books arrived in many boxes this summer (how exciting it was!) and now they're ready for students and teachers to borrow! See slideshows of these and other new materials.  Photo: Spanish teachers at their preview peek before students got their hands on the books!

Library Activity Centers Launched

September 2014 -- Our new activity centers give students an opportunity to build their thinking and communication skills. They include: magnetic words, writing book reviews, audiobooks on iPods, games like SET and solitaire Chess, drawing and "Did you know?" fact finding.

Our Readers are Back!

September 2014 -- The library is a busy place again, with many happy readers. During the first week it opened for recess, 85 students elected to spend a recess in the library.

Summer Readers Celebrated

September 2014 -- See our 'Pete the Cat' shoes, each one showing the name of a WIS summer reader!

Welcome Back to School!

August 2014 -- We're thrilled to welcome our students back to school. Before we look forward to another busy year in the PS library, here's a numbers-only recap from last year (2013-2014):

  • Materials circulated at the PS: 38,600
  • Titles added to the PS collection: 1,500
  • Copies withdrawn from the PS collection: 2,390

No major space reconfigurations this summer (unlike last summer, when no bookcase was left in place) but we are excited to report a few things:

1) Ms. Clingman's and Sra. Martina's late May buying trip to a book fair in Spain was a huge success and over the summer we received all of the books that they mailed back to WIS. Hundreds of fresh, original-Spanish fiction and non-fiction books are waiting for our students. Check back soon for a video of the titles.

2) Furniture for the library's workspace was ordered and will soon be installed. We'll post details and photos when it's finished, but for now we can say that there will be solid (no more legs falling off!), colorful work tables, storage cabinets and a new, long cushioned reading bench - a cozy spot for our readers.

3) In addition to a set of iPads, the library now has a set of MacBook Airs for ICL classes and supervised use in the library.

4) We've added the online database Maps101 to our suite of subscriptions. The log-in information has been added to the Online Resources page.

Summer Reading Program

June 2, 2014 -- Pete the Cat, the always-cool navy cat, is excited to be a part of WIS kids' summer reading! All students in Grades PreK - 4 are bringing home summer reading packets this week. If you need another copy, you can download the reading log and read the instructions here.

Highlights from 2012 -2013

"POP Open a Good Book!" this Summer - June 2013

June 10, 2013 - - Popcorn parties in the library this month have launched our summer reading program. Summertime is a perfect opportunity for our students to explore various reading materials and formats. We encourage them to read in multiple languages, read something new and in any platform they prefer (for example, Kindle, audiobook, print, etc.). Read more about our summer reading program and suggested reading lists. Download our Summer Program letter to parents, the reading log and the instructions.

Lots more new materials added to the collection

June 4, 2013 - - Browse the titles added to the library collection this Spring in Dutch, English, French and Spanish. Responding to suggestions and thanks to a WISPA grant, many titles supporting the units of inquiry are DVDs and audiobooks. To read the Spring, Winter and Fall lists go to the New Materials page.

Poem in Your Pocket Day - April 18, 2013

April 19, 2013 - - We had a fabulous Poem in Your Pocket Day! Students all over the school brought in poems from home to read aloud or borrowed one of our 12 offerings (3 in each language). It was great fun!

Peeps Diorama Exhibit April 1 - 12, 2013

The Primary School Library invites students and faculty to submit entries for its "Peeps Diorama Exhibit" April 1 - 5. "Peeps" are an American candy, popular during Spring and found in grocery stores and pharmacies. The dioramas can be made in boxes (shoe boxes work well) and must relate to a book scene or character. Students can work alone or with family/friends at home. Everyone is invited to view the exhibit April 8 - 12. Here's an example from the book, Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes:

Peep the Cat
Pete the Cat

For more examples, view kids' submissions to The Washington Post's Peeps contest (note they are not book-themed like WIS's will be) at http://tinyurl.com/d9oogd4.

TriLingual New Book Fair - February 11 - 14, 2013

February 19, 2013 - - The book fair was a resounding success!

WIS Trilingual Book Fair 2013

Book Fair Raffle Winners!!

A new book of their choice for:

Lucas K. - Grade 2 - Dutch book

Leah R. - Kindergarten - French book

Derin K. - Kindergarten - Spanish book

February 4, 2013 - - The WIS New Book Fair offers a wonderful opportunity to build your home collection in Dutch, French or Spanish! New books will be available to buy in the PS Learning Center Monday through Thursday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm (except Wednesday, until 3:30 pm). Thursday, February 14 is also International Day at the PS so it's a convenient time to stop into the Book Fair!

New library materials - Fall 2012

December 7, 2012 - - You should have seen Tiddo's face when the new Dummie de Mummie books became available for check-out. What a moment of joy it was!

Dummie de Mummie
Whooping was heard in the library when the boys learned that Dummie de Mummies were on their way from the Netherlands. After several weeks of "Are they here yet? Are they ready?" the books were finally placed into eager hands. Happy reading, boys!

The library added 355 titles to the catalog between August and November. To see the full lists by language go to New Materials. (Some of those 355 are materials purchased and used solely by teacher teams; cataloging and labeling them is an inventory service that helps WIS avoid double-purchasing.)

WIS election: "Vote for Books"

November, 2012 - - In the weeks leading up to the U.S. Presidential election, grades 1 through 5 learned about voting with books like Duck for President (Doreen Cronin; ill. Betsy Lewin),

Vote! (Eileen Christelow), Mon Premier Livre de Citoyen du Monde (Bernard Epin; ill. Serge Bloch), Cómo Elegimos a Nuestros Líderes? (William David Thomas) and Qué son Elecciones? (Nancy Harris). Fifth graders also engaged in discussions about the debates, the election and voting.

First through fifth graders also "voted" for their favorite books using ballots and our ballot box. There was much anticipation of the results, which were:

Grade 1:
1st Place: Rainbow Magic
2nd Place: Magic Tree House
3rd Place: Star Wars

Grade 2:
1st Place: Harry Potter
2nd Place: Beast Quest
3rd Place (3-Way Tie): Bone; Franny K. Stein; Pokemon

Grade 3:
1st Place: Diary of a Wimpy Kid
2nd Place: Harry Potter
3rd Place: Guinness World Records

Grade 4:
1st Place: Heroes of Olympus
2nd Place: Dork Diaries
3rd Place (4-Way Tie): Diary of a Wimpy Kid; Harry Potter; Judy Moody; Kane Chronicles

Grade 5:
1st Place: The Hunger Games
2nd Place: I Stink
3rd Place (2-Way Tie): Big Nate; Harry Potter

French author field trip 

October 3, 2012 - - Grades 3, 4 and 5 French spent the morning at local bookstore Politics & Prose with author Jane Singleton Paul. She recently wrote the book Jazz Band about a French girl who moves to the U.S. It's written with alternating French and English chapters. Ms. Paul's presentation was in French. She answered our students' questions and described her book, writing process and background.


Welcome to our new assistants! 

September 21, 2012 - - We are happy to be fully-staffed once again with two new part-time library assistants. Laura Owen is in the library every morning and Lisa Hedge every

afternoon. Each is currently earning her Masters in Library Science with a concentration in school libraries, Laura at Catholic University and Lisa at the University of Maryland. They are wonderful librarians-in-training and we're lucky to have them at WIS!

We have rearranged the Library. Come see for yourself...

August 27, 2012 - - With the tables out of the way, we have a whole new rug area for storytimes and lessons using our interactive Smartboard. Plus there are now three round tables grouped together for class table work near the windows. We're using our two new spaces every day and it's working out great. Feel free to stop by and experience how open the library feels for yourself.

Welcome to our new Librarian! 

In August, 2012 we welcomed our new librarian, S
Sue Anderson
ue Anderson. She has many years as a librarian under her belt, including working in law firms and the National Library of Medicine. She's recently finished two additional years of graduate courses at the University of Maryland to become certified as a school librarian and has collaborated on many teaching units with teachers and librarians in D.C. and Montgomery County, Maryland. She is very excited to join the WIS community and looks forward to getting to know her students, their families and our faculty. Please stop by the library to say 'hi' and feel free to contact her with any  questions or ideas you have!

Highlights from 2013 -2014

Summer Reading Program

June 2, 2014 -- Pete the Cat, the always-cool black cat, is excited to be a part of WIS kids' summer reading! All students in Grades PreK - 4 are bringing home summer reading packets this week. If you need another copy, you can download the reading log and read the instructions here.

This Summer, Pete the Cat says, "Rock Out with a Good Book!"

June, 2014 -- We strongly encourage all students to continue reading over the summer break. Read what you LIKE, read something NEW; now is the time to explore and enjoy your reading!


  1. Read, lire, leer, lezen in any language, in any genre and format. For example, listen to audiobooks, read in print or on devices like iPads, read graphic novels, non-fiction, comics, fiction, travel guides, magazines, etc.
  2. For each book or story you read, write the title on the reading log you received at school in June (help from parents is fine).
  3. Attach more sheets of paper if needed.
  4. Return the reading log to school in the Fall.

National Poetry Month

April 30, 2014 -- Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day!

The Bubble Collector

We started our day with Doris Clingman and Laura Ginsberg giving out "free" poems as students entered the building; three different poems in our four languages. Then grades 1-5 were treated to a Skyped visit from poet/cartoonist Vikram Madan. Mr. Madan recited poems from his book The Bubble Collector while simultaneously illustrating them. The kids were entertained by his poems' everyday yet outlandish situations. View the Mr. Madan's presentation:

The following students also recited poems in front of the assembly: Ilaria L. (French), Max F. (English), Eleanor H. (English), Beatrice L. (Russian), Alejandra S.-R. (English), Siena D.S. (Spanish), Otis K. (English). View a video of these brave students:

Poems continue to be recited throughout the day all over the school! The librarians were treated to an impromptu "slam"-like performance by third graders Mickael D. and accompanying beat-boxer Juan P..

Highlights from this month:

WIS Staff Reading Poems to Lunching Students

Throughout the month, teachers and staff could be found reciting their favorite poetry to kids during lunch. Lots of languages, lots of shared stories!Ms. Tang Reading Poetry to Lunch 2014

Grade 1 Classes Recite for PreK and Kinder

Grade 1 French classes memorized a poem, Un Copain Qui Pique, and performed it with hand motions for the PreK and Kinder French classes.

Grade 1 Spanish classes performed the poem Los Animales for PreK and Kinder Spanish classes.

Classes Reading and Writing Poetry

Just a selection... Grade 1 classes wrote acrostic poems about the animals they're studying. Grade 4 classes read poems to their Kindergarten "buddies". Grade 5 classes learned (again) about various forms of poetry, wrote original poems and posted them in the hall.

Book Spine Poetry 

We introduced spine poetry and next year plan to do even more with it. Spine poems are made by arranging book titles in a stack and reading them from top to bottom. Here is one created by our assistant librarian, Doris Clingman, and a video of good ones Laura Ginsberg found by searching the internet. 

Spine poem by Doris Clingman
April 2, 2014 --  At the Grades 1 - 5 Morning Meeting, students listened to poets read their poems aloud. They were taken from a wonderful book with audio CD, Hip Hop Speaks to Children: a celebration of poetry with a beat. Things and Books by Eloise Greenfield and People Equal by James Berry.

Celebrate Dr. Seuss' Birthday!

With the prolific Dr. Seuss' birthday on March 2, we are celebrating in the library with his books, the Brainpop Jr. video about his life and lots of activities, like drawing/coloring, word searches, Dr. Seuss tic-tac-toe and rhyming practice. There have been lots of students in the library for their recess (as always!) and first and second graders in particular are enjoying table activities downloaded from the Seussville web site.

Winter Olympics 2014

Students have enjoyed matching the Olympic symbols on our hallway bulletin board with their sport. (Please excuse the wavy-ness of the photo, taken as a scan on an iPhone.)

Grade 2 "Story Museum"

To accompany their unit of inquiry on museums, the grade 2 students created a museum of artifacts related to stories and books. Their "Story Museum" can be viewed in the Library until February 26, 2014. The students also created an audiotour on Voicethread, which allows family to experience the museum without physically visiting. Viewers are encouraged to leave positive feedback for the students in the form of "comments" in the Voicethread. Leaving comments requires a free registration with Voicethread.

Grade 2 Story Museum

Pre-Kindergarteners Get Cozy in a "Mitten"

December 18, 2013 -- We've been having fun in the library acting out woodland animals who squeeze into a mitten, from the wonderful wintertime story The Mitten, written by Jan Brett.

New Library Materials

December 17, 2013 -- We're happy to share with you the Library's new materials collected over the past six months, this time in easy-to-view movie format. Take a look, pause on what interests you, and come into the library to see more!

Halloween in the Library

October 31, 2013 -- Kindergarteners decorated our library ceiling with spooky ghosts made from tracing their hands. Aren't they cute?

Tri-Lingual New Book Fair a Success!

October 29, 2013 - - Four days and three languages later... the book fair was a resounding success.

Thanks to parent co-chairs Sara Capella and Glenda Harvey and loads of parent volunteers who helped our kids create their wish lists and "manned" the fair. Thanks also to the parents who bought books and collectively raised approximately $2,700 for the WIS library's collection!

"Best Websites for Teaching & Learning"

The 2013 Best Websites for Teaching and Learning from the American Association of School Librarians foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration. They are free, Web-based sites that are user friendly and encourage a community of learners to explore and discover. As you explore them, please keep in mind that they are not all aimed at primary school students and teachers.

Summer Reading Fully Celebrated
Summer Reading program participants

October 3, 2013 - - The students who participated in our Summer reading program, "POP Open a Good Book!" have all brought in their title lists - so impressive! - and received their yummy-smelling popcorn bookmarks. If reading is making your child ask for popcorn, you'll know why! See above, a photo of our bulletin board, each piece of popcorn containing a student's name. A whole lot of popcorn!

New, Improved Library Space

September, 2013 -- Students and staff are enjoying the spaciousness of their re-organized library! The collection is much easier to access in so many ways. Come see it!

reading on the rug

Spanish Author Field Trip 

September 16, 2013 - -Ricardo Liniers

Grades 1, 2 and 3 visited Politics & Prose Bookstore for an animated talk by Argentinian cartoonist Ricardo Liniers. Read more about Liniers' book, El globo grande y mojado.

Welcome Back to School!

August 15, 2013 - -

Dear Parents,

The WIS Primary School library is a vibrant physical and online space where the love of learning and reading are fostered. Students are welcome in the library anytime during open hours (with a teacher's written permission). Our librarians collaborate with our teachers to ensure that (1) information and communication literacy skills are taught to students and reinforced authentically within our units of inquiry and (2) the units of inquiry, students' language acquisition and their interests are supported through a current and diverse print and online collection.

Please stop by the library on the second floor to browse our collections and see for yourself the changes made over the summer: too-tall bookcases were shortened, aisles were widened, computer workstations were added, a cozy early readers' section was configured, and the teaching tables and Smartboard were moved to a quieter corner. All in all, we made huge improvements in our quest to create a welcoming learning space for your children. Also, explore our library's online databases (a link to access all of the passwords is at the top; you'll need your WIS password), print collections, and policies.

New Materials 2013-2014

May 2014:

Spring 2014:





Winter 2014:

New English Materials January 2014New French Materials January 2014

New Dutch Materials January 2014New Spanish Materials January 2014

Fall 2013: