Friday, April 24, 2009

News From The Library--April 27, 2009

Congratulations to our Battle Team 2009!

On Thursday, April 23, our great group of fifth grade students attended the Santa Barbara County Battle of the Books at our County Schools Auditorium. These dedicated readers started reading the list of 30 books as early as last summer and then met in the Library every Tuesday at lunch since January to practice the Battle questions. Once at the Battle, they were put on teams with children from all over the Country of Santa Barbara and spent the morning "battling" away answering questions about the 30 books. Greg Trine, the author of one of the Battle Books--The Great Cape Caper--was on hand to ask the final Battle questions. This is such a great program to recognize our fantastic readers!

In the Library this week....

Kindergarten--Poor Mr. Greely---he dreams of planting a vegetable garden only to have it ravaged every night by three (very cute) little bunnies. Finally after building wall after wall and still finding the bunnies inside his garden, he realizes the best way to solve the problem was to not make it a problem at all and to share his bounty with the bunnies. Muncha, Muncha, Muncha by Candace Fleming is not only fun, but a great way to introduce prepositions to kindergarteners.

First Grade--Henry had a messy room, a very messy room. It was so messy that when he finally decided to clean it, the news media came! When the fish, and the racoons, and the fleas, and even a green, scaly thing finally were cleaned out he at last had a clean room. But when he tried to sleep that night he found it too clean. Just when he was worried he never be able to be comfortable in his room again, he hears the window open and one by one his old friends return, each bring back a little of the mess until Henry is comfortable at last. The Day Henry Cleaned His Room by Sarah Wilson is a great read as first graders can really relate to Henry and his dilemma.

Second Grade and Third Grade--This week we had fun learning about reference books in our Library. After looking at each type of book, we played "Name That Book," a game designed in a Keynote presentation in which students are given clues about each of the different reference books and have to name the correct book. Then each student is given a "scenario" posing a reference question and they have to identify the book in which they would find the information needed.

Fourth Grade--no library this week due to assemblies

Fifth Grade--Fifth Grade played a more advanced version of "Name That Book" as a review of reference books.

Sixth Grade--Sixth graders started their research on a god or goddess this week. They learned how to use a social bookmarking site called in which I had posted websites they could use for their research. They will continue researching next week and then begin writing their blog post for the project they are doing in collaboration with art.

Friday, April 17, 2009

News From the Library--April 20, 2009

Wacky Wikis

Fifth Graders posted to their wiki pages this week and had a good time finding wacky facts from a variety of sources. The purpose of this lesson was for them to experiment with the wiki environment and learn to post safely and to insert pictures. In future weeks, we will collaborate using one wiki page. It's hard to tell what new web applications will be available in the future but I feel it's important for students to understand how to work safely in the Web 2.0 world. Whether or not wikis will be the application of choice for them even next year, the important part of using this technology is to be open to its possibilities and to always approach it in a safe and ethical way.

Also in the library....

Kindergarten--If you have a cat, then you can relate to Night Cat by Margaret Beames. Oliver the cat wants to stay out all night, chasing moths and exploring the garden at night but when it starts raining, he changes his mind and howls to be let in. The illustrations in this books are magical and really give the almost spooky sense of the garden at night.

First Grade--Dieter Wiesmuller's book, In the Blink of an Eye is a great inteactive story. Each page shows the eye of an animal and gives clues as to its identity. First graders loved trying to guess each one. This is a great book to use to teach prediction and using context.

Second Grade--Second graders learned how to use guide words in the dictionary this week using their own copy of a dictionary page. We circled guide words and then found a word that was drawn out of our hat. Even though we have great online dictionaries now, it's important for students to know how to navigate a print dictionary.

Third Grade--Continuing the story of the little orphan, Sweetness, we read the sequel of Saving Sweetness--Raising Sweetness by Diane Stanley. The sheriff and the orphans are struggling along eating pickle pie and mashed potatoes with raisins until a letter arrives. Sweetness figures it out and sends a return letter. And who should arrive but the sheriff's long lost love, Miss Lucy! After a proposal and a wedding there is no more tunafish soup!

Fourth Grade--Mrs. Edwards' class heard John Henry by Lester Julius and we once again descontructed the tall tale in preparation for writing our own. (Mr. Orr's class attended the symphony this week)

Fifth Grade--see opening post

Sixth Grade--Sixth graders had a "scavenger hunt" for books this week. Each team of two had cards with call numbers on them and had to locate the books on the card. With strict rules for how to show their books, we had fun seeing who could follow them and finish first.

Friday, April 10, 2009

News From The Library--April 13, 2009

Jack is Back

When I was a child my father used to read Jack and the Beanstalk to me and I'll never forget the chilling way he said those "Fee, fi, fo, fums...." It both scared me and delighted me all at the same time. This week I read Steven Kellogg's version to the first graders and I'm happy to say I both scared and delighted them! The illustrations in this version are fantastic. As I read I took a peek at the faces before me and eyes were wide and mouths were open. There's nothing like a classic fairy tale to make you understand the power of a good story. And I think my dad would be proud of my "Fee, fi, fo, fums."

Also in the Library this week...

Kindergarten--Fidgeting is something kindergarteners are very good at and yet I don't think they really understood the meaning of the word until they heard Erica Silverman's charming story of a duck and a goose and their "freeze-in-place" content. Don't Fidget A Feather has all the characteristics of a great story....humor, drama, repetition, and a great ending. And even a moral--friendship is the greatest prize of all.

First Grade--see opening post

Second Grade--There's just something fun about Janet Stevens' book The Great Fuzz Frenzy. Those little prairie dogs, that fuzzy tennis ball, their wild desire to get some of that fuzz....and yet the story also shows how teamwork and friendship make the day.

Third Grade--Saving Sweetness by Diane Stanley is such fun to read aloud. The story is both funny and touching and dialect of the sherriff who narrates the tale adds so much to the experience. Little Sweetness is an orphan who decided to "hit the road" and the sherriff is sent to save her, only she ends up saving him. This is a great book to teach irony as often the words and the pictures tell a different story. Next week, we'll read the sequel, Raising Sweetness.

Fouth Grade--Continuing with our tall tales unit, we read the classic story of Paul Bunyan and students picked out all the hallmarks of a tall tale in this story. For the next several weeks we will read other tall tales and then students will write their own illustrated tall tale that will be posted on our research blog or wiki.

Fifth and Sixth Grade--To get those spring break minds warmed up again, we played Library Jeopardy this week.