Monday, October 22, 2007

News From the Library--October 22, 2007

Balancing Books and Laptops

It's very tempting when doing research to simply "google it" but this week in the library third, fourth, fifth, and sixth graders found that when doing their spider research, a book was the best source of detailed information. After each team of students picked the name of a spider out of a hat, we started our research with our online encyclopedia. Some students found the answers to their research questions quickly, but others realized that the encyclopedia article was simply too general. The books about individual spiders that we have in our collection provided not only detailed information but had incredible illustrations and photographs as well. At the end of our hour, student agreed that the books were a better source for this kind of information and that they could trust that the information was accurate.

Just to make a final point I "googled" tarantula and showed the students that there were 1,390,000 web sites returned!!! Although the internet is a fantastic resource, it requires careful evaluation and quite a bit of time and patience to find the same information that was in the books. One of my goals this year is to provide students with a balance between books and computers and to help them understand that each "venue" of information has its unique and valuable characteristics.

Also in the Library this week...

Kindergarten--Kindergarteners are on the way to the pumpkin patch tomorrow so to get read ready we read Big Pumpkin, by Erica Silverman and S.D. Schindler. This delightful tale reads a little like This is the House That Jack Built, only this time it's a witch, a ghost, a goblin, a vampire, a mummy and a little bat all trying to get a huge pumpkin off the vine in order to make pumpkin pie. Great messages here too....the value of team work and the smallest might be the one with the solution to a large problem!

First Grade--We all remember the song "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly." In Lucille Colandro's and Jared D. Lee's There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat the progression goes from a bat, to an owl, a cat, a ghost, a goblin, some bones, and a wizard until finally she shouts "Trick or Treat!" and ends with a burp! This delighted the first graders as you can well imagine.

Second Grade--One of my personal favorites for reading at Halloween is A Job for Wittilda, Caralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner's charming tale of a witch who has so many cats to feed she has to find a job. The perfect one? Delivering pizzas on her broom. The story is complemented with wonderful illustrations and the chance to find a spider on every page. There's even a little sub-story going on with a cat chasing a mouse at the bottom of each page. This book is always a hit with this age group and I never get tired of reading it.

Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth graders---see opening post.

Until next week.....

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