Monday, October 23, 2006

News From the Library--October 23

It's beginning to look a lot like Halloween.....

Pumpkins, black cats, witches, ghosts and goblins, and lots of Halloween books were all over the library this week as we head toward Halloween. And this week was also the "Week of the Hat." Once a month, (after I've sent out overdue notices the previous week) we have drawings in each class (grades 2-6) to reward one lucky student who has at least one book checked out and no overdue items. Student's names are put in a hat, a card is drawn, we check that lucky student's name on the computer and if all is well, a small prize is given. I'll do this each month during the school year. (K and 1 students will start in January as they are still getting used to the idea of checking out and returning books) This little incentive has worked wonders to keep our books circulating and returning in a timely manner, and several long lost books have even been suddenly found!

Last week in the Library:

Kindergarten--What happens when a witch grows a huge pumpkin and when she tries to harvest it to make her favorite pumpkin pie she can't get it off the vine? In Big Pumpkin by by Erica Silverman and S.D. Schindler the tiny bat saves the day. This is a fun, cumulative story with a nice message about the value of cooperation. Kindergarteners were very excited about their upcoming visit to the pumpkin patch, too.

First Grade--In a not-too-spooky haunted house, two escaped jailbirds encounter a variety of halloween creatures in Halloween House by Erica Silverman and Jon Agee. This clever rhyming story also introduces the concept of counting down and first graders loved getting into the rhythm as the story progressed.

Second Grade--What is Wittilda the Witch going to do in order to feed her 47 hungry cats? Delivering pizza on her broom is the hilarious answer in A Job for Wittilda by Caralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner. Not only is the story a lot of fun, but on each page is a hidden spider, and in the margins a concurrent visual story of a cat and a mouse! This is one of our favorite Halloween books!

Third Grade--Most of us are very familiar with Chris VanAllsburg's Polar Express but he has also written and illustrated (as only he can) a very interesting book perfect for Halloween. The Widow's Broom is a gentle and dryly humorous tale that touches on the idea of bullying and its consequences. Sepia-toned illustrations form a perfect complement. Not a book to be missed!

Fourth Grade--As with the fifth graders last week, I introduced the fourth graders to the blog and encouraged them to try their hands at book review blogging. After viewing a presentation on blogs in general, we tried our collective hand at a mock blog review. I'm looking forward to their contributions.

Fifth Grade--Get out those scalpels (pencils) and start dissecting those books! Fifth grade worked this week on "dissecting" a book in which they found all the locations of information needed for bibliography entries. This is in preparation for another lesson on making a bibliography. And once again they asked me to tell the story of how my high school lab partner (a fullback on the football team) fainted when we were dissecting a frog.....

Sixth Grade--After bringing their laptops to the Library (and I must compliment them on how well they are treating their laptops!) we had a short lesson on blogs, including the ethical ways to post to a blog, and then they had time to explore this blog and to learn how become bloggers of book reviews.

Until next week....happy reading!

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