Every year, a panel of school librarians, public librarians, and several students select a group of books which will become the Connecticut Nutmeg Book Award Nominees. There are 10 titles at the intermediate level for grades 4 -6, and 15 titles at the elementary level for grades 2- 4. The panel do their best to choose books in a variety of genres that will appeal to readers of all kinds. These books are kept in special displays in the HCS library so they can be easily found by students checking out books.
I introduce the Nutmeg Nominees to students when the list of titles is revealed in May by giving brief and hopefully exciting book talks. I read aloud some of the shorter picture book Nutmeg books to the younger students. In September I do more book talks and read-alouds to rekindle enthusiasm for these books. Students have all year to read the nominees. In the final week of April, students in grades 2 -4 are invited to vote for their favorite title. The first, second, and third place winning books at HCS are announced in the morning announcements as soon as the ballots have been counted. We can hear the cheers from the fourth grade classrooms in the library! Then I send the results on to the state Nutmeg committee. We learn the winners of the state Nutmeg contest in mid-May.
This year we tried a special project to promote the Nutmeg books. A half dozen rising fourth grade students read the new Nutmeg titles over the summer. When school resumed in September, they met with me to work on writing a Nutmeg Newspaper with articles on six of the intermediate titles. We undertook this project hoping to encourage other students to read the Nutmeg books. Thank you to Kaya Aranha, Mary Fratarcangeli, Jenna Morton, Jameson Sederquist, Kayleigh Smith, and Keira Underwood for doing an incredible job! You can see a copy of their newspaper below.
We will announce HCS students' favorite Nutmeg books in May. For more information about the Connecticut Nutmeg Book Award, visit their website:
Wow! The first HCS Exploratorium was an exciting night of fun and learning for the hundreds of students and their families who attended! The doors opened at 6:00pm Friday, April 1st. Students were greeted at the door and issued a passport. As they traveled around to different rooms in the school and participated in various activities, their passport was stamped accordingly.
Over 100 Learning Fair exhibits were proudly displayed in the multi-purpose room. There were projects of all kinds showcasing the hard work of students. The Farmington High School Robot Club was set up in the cafeteria. Visitors were able to see the club's robots performing tasks and even take a turn using the controller! The computer lab was buzzing with students and parents trying their hand at computer coding. In the library, special cards challenged kids to build structures and contraptions of all kinds. Activities using pedometers were going on in the gym.
It was standing room only in the art room much of the evening where students were challenged with Makerspace activities. Can you design a catapult with these materials? Make a boat that floats or create a paper column to support a heavy weight? Many students worked at building a circuit wrapped around a clothespin. This was a bit tricky, but once finished, the smiles were brighter than the LED bulbs!