Monday, September 29, 2008

News From the Library--September 29, 2008

Was he framed???

After listening to the "evidence" this week, our second grade "jurors" decided that there was reasonable doubt and perhaps the wolf has been judged unfairly. Using Jon Scieszka's hilarious book The True Story of the Three Little Pigs we had a great discussion about the literary device, point of view. After recalling the most familiar story of the pigs, students gave the wolf the benefit of the doubt after hearing this one. After all, as Alexander T. Wolf states, "If cheeseburgers were cute, you might be called big and bad, too."

Also in the Library this week........

Kindergarten--This was an exciting week for Kindergarteners as they started coming to the Library for their scheduled class. We talked about the library rules, where to find books, and read Library Manners by Carrie Finn. Best of all each student left with a book to take home for a week!

First Grade--What happens when the librarian leaves a window open at night? (The alarms go on at our school!!!) In Brian Lies' charming story Bats in the Library, the bats have a wonderful time reading and swooping around the library. First graders had fun imagining what would happen in our library. We also played "Bookworm Says...." as a way to practice our understanding of fiction and non-fiction. I set several books on the table and students are given the direction, "Bookworm says, pick a fiction book," or "Bookworm says, pick a non-fiction book." This is a fun and simple way to work on this skill and encourage them to vary their choices in the Library.

Second Grade--see opening post.

Third Grade--Third graders love to hear "fractured" fairy tales and this week we read Bruce Hale's Snoring Beauty. This is a great way to teach the literary element of plot as they compare and contrast the orginal tale to the fractured one.

Fourth Grade--Writing is important to fourth grade curriculum and working with Mr. Orr and Mrs. Edwards, I am preparing students for their writing requirements by helping them compose a response to literature assignment. This week we focused on theme and I read The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin. This is a variation of the Cinderella story and after discussing the theme of kindness and beauty, we worked as a group and orally completed a sample assignment. I plan to do this about once a month, working up to having them write their response.

Fifth Grade--This week, fifth graders were introduced to our Battle of the Books program. We have some very enthusiastic readers who are going to try out for our team!

Sixth Grade--Sixth grade missed Library this week because they were at Astro Camp.

Monday, September 22, 2008

News From The Library--September 22, 2008

Happy Autumn!

Our scarecrow reminds us that with Autumn comes cool days and perfect times to snuggle up with a good book!

In the Library this week....

Kindergarten--Kindergarten will begin library on Wednesday, Sept. 24.

First Grade--What do you do if your very best friend acts silly in school? Do you go along with him, or do you try to help him be his "very best self?" Laura Elliot addresses this dilemma in her wonderful book Hunter's Best Friend at School. In a story that children can really relate to, Hunter goes along with his best friend stripe only to discover that he doesn't like being silly. In the end, with a lot of self control and perseverance Hunter uses his own good behavior to convince Stripe that behaving in school can be just as much fun as misbehaving!

Second Grade--I'm not sure what tickled second graders the most about Rob Scotton's Splat the Cat--the absolutely charming illustrations or the hilarious story about a cat who goes to the first day of Cat School. In any event, we loved this new book in our Library!

Third Grade--Rules are rules and in a library the rules must be enforced at all times--especially this one. "No roaring in the Library." Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen is a delightful book and shows that sometimes the rules need to be broken, especially is someone is in need of help. To go along with the story, I showed students a Keynote about the famous library lions of the New York City Library, Patience and Fortitude.

Fourth Grade--Fourth graders learned about the Battle of the Books competition and how to join our team. For more information and a list of books, go to our website and click on Library and then Battle of the Books. The competition isn't until next Spring but we have some eager fourth graders already reading like crazy!

Fifth Grade--Using Google Earth we traveled on a virtual field trip from our Library to Basra, Iraq in preparation for the reading of Jeanette Winter's book The Librarian of Basra. In addition students watched a Keynote presentation about the bombing of the library in Basra. We all agreed that saving the books was a courageous undertaking and made us appreciate what we have here in our own Library.

Sixth Grade--To get us started in the Library this year, we played a rousing game of Library Jeopardy. Students love this game and it makes learning some of the more--dare I say--boring aspects of the library fun and exciting. Here's one for you: (answer) The first name of the man who invented the number system for putting non-fiction books into categories. Do you know the question????

Monday, September 15, 2008

News From The Library--September 15, 2008

Friends reading by the Fireplace

In an interesting and provocative article in the July/August issue of the Atlantic, Nicholas Carr poses the question, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” He wonders in the article if perhaps our brains are being physically changed by the way we are now getting our information. As he states:

“My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.”

This idea has implications for teaching and libraries. While there are times when being on a Jet Ski are great, we should be careful to encourage that time for scuba diving. As I’ve said before, one of my goals this year is to find that balance between technology and books—time for both jet skiing and scuba diving.

For the full article, follow this link.

In the Library this week….

Kindergarten—K classes will start Library the week of September 22 when they begin their full day.

First Grade—First Graders had a tour of the Library and had a chance to check out books.

Second Grade—A story book where the characters come to life and literally leap off the page sounds like fun until things get out of hand in Michael Garland’s fantastic book Miss Smith’s Incredible Story Book. Second graders had fun identifying all the unruly characters until Miss Smith put them back in their place. Second graders also watched a short video on how to choose a book using the “Five Finger Rule” and all left with confidence that they had chosen a book just right for them.

Third Grade—What would happen in the town’s library had to close because it was too old and needed paint and repairs? In Our Library by Eve Bunting the children rally around to raise money, paint. and even move the library so their precious resource won’t be lost. Third graders also watched a video on the "Five Finger Rule" and reviewed how to use our library catalog before checking out books.

Fourth Grade—This week we reviewed how to look up books in our catalog and how to choose books using the Five Finger rule.

Fifth Grade—Fifth grade classes missed library this week due to a meeting.

Sixth Grade—We also reviewed how to search for books in our catalog and students had a chance to check out books.

Monday, September 08, 2008

News From the Library--September 9,2008

Welcome Back!

We’ve had a great first week of library classes! Each class had time to refresh their memories about the rules of the library and then time to check out books.

Just so we’re all on the proverbial “same page” I though this first posting would talk about those rules.

We’ve condensed our rules to the three “Rs” of the library:

  • Be Responsible
  • Be Respectful
  • Be Ready to Learn

Simple as that! Each class discussed what it mean to be Responsible, Respectful and Ready to Learn and they included all the salient points—bringing back books on time, taking care of library books, listening quietly, reading and working quietly, and having a positive attitude.

Check out rules are:
  • K & 1—one book for one week
  • 2—two books for two weeks
  • 3—three books for two weeks
  • 4—four books for two weeks
  • 5—five books for two weeks
  • 6—six books for two weeks

This year we have many wonderful opportunities from our laptop computers for research projects to Book Clubs and Battle of the Books. Each Monday in this blog, I will let you know what your students are doing in the Library.

My goal this year is to strike a balance between the wonders of technology and the wonders of books. It’s sometimes easy to get sidetracked by those computers so we’re going to work on keeping that balance between our fantastic library collection and those wonderful technological tools at our fingertips.

I’m looking forward to another great year!