Saturday, September 30, 2006

News from the Library--October 2

Laptops in the Library

This was an exciting week! 5th and 6th graders brought their new laptops to the Library. We are so fortunate to have a 1:1 laptop initiative at our school and I'm delighted to be able to use this exciting new technology with students in the Library. After setting up the dictionary on their dashboards, we played a lively game of "Dictionary Balderdash." I created a Keynote presentation with 10 words that I was almost sure the students wouldn't know. For each word, I wrote 3 sentences using the word in context as a noun, verb, adjective or adverb. Only one was the correct usage. Students had to vote for the one they felt was correct before looking up the word in their online dictionary. After voting, we came up with a majority opinion. Then they checked it in their online dictionary. If they were right, they got a point. If I "stumped" them, I got the point. The matches were close, but the students won every match!! I guess I'm going to have to come up with some more obscure words. The final word was ethical which led to a preliminary discussion about what it means to use their laptops in an ethical manner. More on that to come in the weeks ahead....

The rest of the classes had lots of fun this week as well:

Kindergarten--Mrs. Sickafoose's class had their first visit to the Library and learned how to find and check out books. We read the story The Shelf Elf by Jackie Hopkins and they were determined to find him as they looked for their books. In the story he gently instructs them on rules of the library and how to care for books. Mrs. Campbell's class heard the classic story The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Bishop. I fondly remember having this book read to me when I was a child and the students were very interested in that fact (or maybe the fact that I was child once!). Both classes had time to explore again and this time in addition to practicing letters and sounds, we had fun "dressing" the gingerbread man.

First Grade--Can a coyote be tricked instead of being the trickster?? In Borreguita and the Coyote by Verna Aardema and Petra Mathers, first graders loved hearing that he could. This wonderful folktale from Mexico is always a hit with the children.

Second Grade--Is it possible that we haven't heard the wolf's side of the story in the classic fairy tale of the three little pigs? Reading The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by A. Wolf (and Jon Scieszka) second graders got a chance to learn about the literary device, point of view, and some decided that maybe the wolf has been given a bad rap all these years.

Third Grade--Students in third grade got to be book reviewers this week. I get new books to review from the Santa Barbara County Schools Library and what better way to see if they appeal to children than to give the students a chance to do the reviewing with me. We read The Giant and the Beanstalk by Diane Stanley and it got an overwhelming "thumbs up" from students. This book tells a slightly different version of the fairy tale, Jack and the Beanstalk, and gives us another picture of the giant, plus a fun time figuring out all the Jacks in nursery rhymes.

Fourth Grade--Do you know what a hoatzin is? How about a linnet? Fourth graders did encyclopedia research this week after drawing topics like those from a hat, finding the correct World Book encyclopedia, locating the article, and writing four complete sentences about their topics. They did a great job!

One fun note this week--The Amazing Vacationing Library Book! I received a library book lost in December 2004 in the mail.....from Maui!! It came complete with a nice note that began with "Aloha Cold Spring folks....." and explained how it was found at the Kihei Public Library in Maui. How nice of them to send it back. Mahalo!


GuusjeM said...

Would you share your lesson plan for Dictionary Balderdash? It sounds like such fun and I've got laptops too. And kids who need vocabulary practice.

janet pedersen said...

I'll email you a pdf file of the Keynote I made and I think you'll be able to see how it's done.

I got the idea from the LM_Net listserv which is a great resource.

Glad you liked it.

Anonymous said...

laptops are all the funner!