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Newsletter – Welcome March March 1, 2024

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Hello Book Bums families!

Welcome March! March is, of course, the name of our third month; but it is also an action verb. Words in English often act as different parts of speech depending on how they're used. As a fun challenge for your family, try to think of a word for each letter of the alphabet that can be used as both a noun and a verb. You can use march for the letter m.

Word of the Week

susurrus (suss-er-us) noun/person, place, or thing - a whispering sound

As the world wakes up from winter, you can sometimes hear the susurrus of little animals moving in your yard.

Word of the week

Literary Calendar

  • March 2 is the birthday of Theodor Geisel, known to the world as Dr. Seuss.
  • Born in 1904, this March marks 120 years since his birth.
  • Dr. Seuss books are famous for their zany characters and inventive vocabulary and rhymes.
  • Which is your favorite Dr. Seuss to share with a young reader?
Literary Calendar

From our Bookshelves

From our Bookshelves

Tips for Raising Readers and Writers

I always feel a bit self-conscious when I display Outside Your Window, A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davis in our Book Bums locations. You see, this is a book I first encountered as a Lakota teacher. It was provided by the district, long ago, for use in all early childhood classrooms. Sometimes I imagine my Lakota friends walking into one of our spaces and thinking I stole the copy from my classroom when I retired. Isn’t that silly? Especially since I have loved this book enough to purchase multiple copies across the years.

In fact, I still use a resource I created to use with students waaay back when we opened the original Book Bums location. It’s the Poetry Passport, and it was inspired by Outside Your Window.

Poetry Passport

Here's a picture from our first Book Bums POETREE, a place where kids can diplay their poems.

Catkin Song
All along the winding river,
in the hedges by the lane,
on the wasteland by the factory,
spring is coming once again.

Dancing, golden yellow catkins,
pussy willows’ silvery shine,
side by side on twigs and branches,
showing winter’s had its time.

from Outside Your Window, A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davis


This is a picture of a catkin!

Because April is National Poetry month—which is perfect since spring inspires a sort of desperate yearning for growth and beauty—I’m sharing The Poetry Passport for you to use with some kids you adore. That gives us a month to purchase the book, print the document, and begin noticing what’s happening outside our windows. Invite some kids you adore to write about their observations as they observe our world coming back to life.

Tips for Families

The Trumpet of the Swan

Though it isn’t officially spring until March 19th, it’s not too early to begin dreaming about and planning for some springtime fun. I’m already thinking about picking up some fresh sand for the sandbox, deciding where we’ll grow that pole bean teepee, and wondering if last year’s bubbles will still do their magic, or if there will be bubbles in the kids’ Easter baskets.

Although we often associate cozy, cuddled-up book reading with the winter months, springtime can inspire a different kind of reading. With outdoor playtime, kids often notice interesting things like birds’ nests, worms, and flowers. This is the perfect time to promote nonfiction books with young readers! Instead of just observing the eggs in the nest you discovered in the wreath on your front door, check out a book that teaches kids about what’s happening there. Did your little one find a frog? Buy a book about the frog life cycle and build into your child’s fascination. All kids enjoy learning when it’s relevant and fun!

Need a book to read aloud to your kids? Choose The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White. It inspires kids to get outdoors and to truly marvel at this fascinating world of ours! You’ll learn some things too.

Wordology Workshop

  • The Latin root equ means even or level.
  • It appears in many English words including equal, equation, equator, equivalent, and inequity.
  • Did you notice any equ while you've been reading this week's newsletter? The word equinox comes from this root because it refers to the two time a year when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are equal.

Practical Grammar

While writing the word device I had to do a quick little bit of word solving. C-e or s-e? It can be a bit tricky since devise is also a word.

The word devise, with a /z/ sound, is a verb that means to invent or plan.

The word device, with a /s/ sound, is a noun that means a tool, method, or gadget.

Of course, a device can be used to devise something.

We also see this c-e/s-e conundrum in advice (n) and advise (v).

Just for Fun

Connelly Weatherman

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