Sunday, January 21, 2007

News From the Library--January 22, 2007

It was a busy week in the Library with lots of new Book Club members in both the Bookworm Club and the Red Dot Club. We also had some great sessions in fourth and sixth grade learning how to research with our new Encyclopedia Britannica Online and how to evaluate web sites.

Kindergarten--It was cold this week in Santa Barbara and a lot of us were imagining what it would be like if it snowed. We're not used to those chilly, chilly temperatures! Kindergarteners loved hearing Steven Kellogg's The Missing Mitten Mystery and trying to figure out what happened to Annie's mitten. Was a mouse using it as a sleeping bag? Could she plant her remaining mitten and grow a mitten tree? In the end, the mystery is solved in a "heart-warming" way as her mitten turns up as the heart of the snowman she had built.

First Grade--Almost all of us have heard the story of Jack and the Beanstalk but Steven Kellogg's version is by far one of our favorites. The illustrations are wonderfully detailed and add great dimension to his rollicking text. I'm not sure who had more fun--me reading it or the children listening to it. This is the beginning of a unit for first graders on what has been called "essential children's literature" and in the coming weeks we'll discuss what makes a story a classic and read some of the best examples. In our high tech world of today we sometimes forget what makes a classic story and Jack and the Beanstalk is a stellar example.

Second Grade--On the surface, David Shannon's story, A Bad Case of Stripes, is a funny tale of a girl who finds herself changing in the blink of a eye to correspond to what those around her say. The illustrations, with their amazing color and sense of humor, add to the dramatic rhythm of the story. But underneath the story is the gentle reminder that we should all be ourselves, most especially if we want to eat lima beans when none of our friends do.

Third Grade--We continued our multi-cultural exploration of Cinderella stories with The Irish Cinderlad by Shirley Climo. This one really turns the story on end by having the main character an Irish goatherd with very big feet. The fairy godmother turns out to be a speckled bull and the ball is not a dance but a dragon slaying!! There's no glass slipper and the princess not the prince does the searching with a big black boot. But of course, she finds her "Cinderlad" and they live happily ever after. We had fun finding the similarities and differences in the plot and third graders are getting a clear understanding of this literary element.

Fourth Grade--Fourth graders were introduced to our new Encyclopedia Britannica Online and learned how to sign in on any computer and then research a topic in the appropriate encyclopedia, in journals and magazines, and in the websites that are vetted and linked to the encyclopedia.

Fifth Grade--This week we played our very low-tech version of Library Jeopardy! and had a lot of fun. (Sometimes it's nice to take a break from those laptops much as we all love them) Students break into two teams and each team member chooses a category. I give the answers to a question relating to our Library. This has become a really fun way to learn some of shall I put this....more boring aspects of library skills instruction. In one group the boys had a healthy lead only to be tempted by a "daily double" and betting all their points. They lost everything on this question. Can you do it? The answer is: The first name of the man who invented the numbering system for non-fiction books. So the question would be.....(see the end of the post for the answer)

Sixth Grade--Using our Cold Spring School Library Skills Blog sixth graders went through the first part of the lesson on Web Site Evaluation. After reviewing the criteria for evaluation-- currency, accuracy, authority, and purpose--we evaluated two websites as a group. Next week students will have a chance to put their critical thinking skills to use and evaluate websites on their own. If you'd like to look at the lessons, just follow the link to the Skills Blog and look for the lesson entitled, "When in Doubt.....Doubt."

Until next week.....

Oh, yes....the Jeopardy answer.....the correct question would be: What is Melvyl?

No comments: