Sunday, January 07, 2007

News From the Library--January 8, 2007

A New Year in the Library Has Begun!

We're back!! The Library was a busy place this week as classes began again after our nice Winter Break. Even though the sun in shining in Santa Barbara and pretty soon we might need to do some kind of rain dance, it was "chilly" in the Library for Kindergarteners and First Graders as we read penguin books this week.

Kindergarten--There were lots of chuckles as we read the story of Tacky The Penguin by Helen Lester. That Tacky!! He's an odd bird indeed. Finding the differences between Tacky and his companions was fun (a Hawaiian shirt on a penguin?) and his marching style is a little strange, but we all agreed that in the end when Tacky saves himself and his fellow penguins from the hunters, he was a good bird to have around. This humorous and fun story also gives a nice gentle lesson that being different can be something to be respected.

First Grade--Which Cinderella story has a glass flipper instead of a glass slipper? Cinderella Penguin by Janet Perlman. First graders had fun finding the similarities and differences in this version and the one they are more familiar with. As well as enjoying the story, it gave us the opportunity to begin a discussion of the literary element of plot.

Second Grade--We had fun learning about the parts of a book this week with an interactive Keynote presentation, complete with sound effects and quizzes. Using books from our own library, we located the cover, the spine, the table of contents, the index, and the glossary.

Third Grade--This week we started on our Cinderella Project. Over the next several weeks we'll read different versions of the Cinderella story as a way to discuss plot and theme as literary elements. We also get to see a multi-cultural snapshot of this famous story and find its enduring theme of the rewards of kindness and generosity. For our first stoy, we read Adelita by Tomie de Paola and found that instead of a glass slipper to help the prince find his Cinderella, it was a beautiful rebozo, and as always, in the end they "lived happily ever after."

Fourth Grade--Get out those scalpels! It's time to "Dissect a Book!" This week's skills lesson for fourth grade involved "taking apart" a non-fiction book in order to find the relevant information needed for a bibliography. With scalpels (pencils) in hand, they bravely found author's names, titles, publishing cities, publisher's names, and copyright dates. But one of their favorite parts was my story about my high school lab partner (fullback on the football team) who fainted when we dissected a frog in Biology lab!

Fifth and Sixth Grade--We are so lucky to have a new resource for research and with laptops in hand, the fifth and sixth graders were introduced to Encyclopedia Britannica Online, our new software subscription, which allows them access to three different versions of the Encyclopedia Britannica (elementary, middle school, and high school), plus a database of magazines and journals, and vetted websites for any topic. It is updated regularly--we checked the entry for Gerald Ford and James Brown and found they were current--and it's a wonderful, accurate, and safe place to do in depth research. Watch this week's Wednesday Word for information about how you can use this at home. This is now available to students and families 24 hours a day/7 days a week/ 365 days a year! It can be accessed from any computer--at home, in the classroom, or in the tech lab.

See you next week!

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