Friday, September 25, 2009

News From the Library--September 28, 2009

Choosing books for K-6 grade students

This week in the Library we spent quite a bit of time talking about how to look books up in our catalog and how to choose the right book. I noticed last year and this year that we have had fourth and fifth graders carrying around copies of Stephanie Meyer's very popular Twilight Series. To be honest, I was bothered. I'm not for censoring books or telling students they can't read a certain book. Instead, I try to guide them to books that are not only at or slightly above their reading level but also, most importantly, books that have age appropriate content and are stories they can comprehend. While the Twilight series might be fine in a middle school and high school school library, I don't think it's appropriate elementary age children.

Busy parents sometimes don't have time to read the books their children are reading but there are some great ways to find out the appropriateness of a book. One of the easiest is to go on and see if there is a review by Booklist or School Library Journal. For example, the reviews of the book Twilight clearly state that they are for grades 9 and up. Another new website that has a search feature by age and grade level is Jacket Flap . A Book and A Hug is another great one that can give parents suggestions about books at appropriate age levels. There are several more to your right in the links section of this blog.

Choosing the right book is a skill and we do work on that in our library lessons. This week grades 3-5 learned again about the "5 finger rule" to check for words they don't understand or can't read, and also how to look at the summary of the book on the jacket flap or on the back of the book to see if the book would appeal to them. Then they practiced reading the first couple of pages to see if the writer had "hooked" them into the story. We also reviewed how to search for books by author, title, or subject in our online catalog.

Grade 1--This week first graders heard the charming story Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson. Fletcher is a sweet little fox who tries to rescue falling leaves only to find that the tree is really okay, especially when it is transformed into beauty with the first snow.

Grade 2--Is it fiction or non-fiction??? Second graders saw a Keynote presentation on the differences between fiction and non-fiction and then we played a game of "Bookworm Says..." Each student was given a command--Bookworm says,"Find a fiction book!" or "Find a non-fiction book!" and they chose from an array of books on our main library table. We had a lot of fun and then when they checked out their book of choice for this week they had to tell me whether it was fiction or non-fiction.

Kindgergarten will start library next week when they stay in the afternoon and Sixth graders missed library this week but had an adventurous week at AstroCamp.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Welcome Back 2009!

Welcome Back to the Library!

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

To make our review of library rules a little more fun this year, I put questions about library rules on index cards and put them in our “top hat.” Students took turns pulling a card out of the hat and reading the question. Then I gave the answer and we discussed the reason for each library rule.

In K-3 we read a new addition to our Library collection, Goldisocks and the Three Libearians by Jackie Mims Hopkins. It was a charming way to introduce some of our rules and also gave students a good way to determine if a book is “not to hard,” “not too easy,” but “just right.”

Just so everyone is on the “proverbial same page” our check out rules are:

* K- one book for one week. If a K student forgets to return their book on their Library day, they can “save” a book to check out when the original book is returned.

* 1—one book for one week (until January when the Bookworm Club begins. At that time it will change to 2 books for 1 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

Additional books may be checked out for classroom assignments.

Books can be renewed up to 5 times and need not be physically returned to renew. We can do it on the computer.

You can find lots of additional information on the Library Web Page at:

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 technology so we’re going to work on keeping that balance between our fantastic library collection and those wonderful technological tools at our fingertips.

And as some of you know, my name changed over the summer (to one that coincidentally better matches the library!) If you have any questions about the Library program, please feel free to email me at: Library hours are Monday, Wednesday, & Friday 8:00 to 3:30.

Here’s to another great year!

~Mrs. Reid