Sunday, November 08, 2009

News From the Library--November 9, 2009

Online Research using World Book Online

This week fifth and sixth graders reviewed how to use the World Book Online to do research. After logging in to the SB County Schools Portal, they chose a topic out of our "hat." The topics such as vicuna, are, I admit, a little esoteric but it was fun for students to find out information about things they had never encountered before. After finding their topic, they wrote five complete sentences about it. One note: We had a complete computer fiasco in Mrs. Pickles' class. The Portal wasn't working. Then when it did, I didn't have the student password! After a frustrating few minutes we had a "teachable moment" when I told students to turn off their laptops and go find the print encyclopedias. A good lesson in what to do when the technology doesn't work (and the teacher didn't check those passwords before the lesson!). We'll do the lesson next week.

Also in the Library this week....

Kindergarten--We read Pamela Duncan Edwards' charming book, Livingstone Mouse. Livingstone sets off to find a great place to live and has been given a good recommendation from his mother--china. (Yes, china. Not China.) Livingstone tries place after place until at last he finds it and kindergarteners got a little lesson in homonyms along the way.

First Grade--One of my all time favorite children's authors is Leo Lionni. This week first graders heard Alexander and the Wind Up Mouse--a great fable about the pitfalls of envy. The children get absolutely silent and breathless as Alexander, the mouse, meets the magic lizard and at the last second changes his request to turn into a wind-up mouse and instead helps his friend Willy become a real mouse like him.

Second Grade--Stanley the dog wonders what it would be like to sit on his owners' couch--just for a minute. One night when they are gone Stanley finds out and can't resist taking over the whole house for a wild party--only this is the one night his people decide to come home early. Linda Bailey's book Stanley's Party is just one in her series about this lovable pooch and the students love these stories.

Third Grade and Fourth Grade--This week we played "Name That Book." After a review of what a reference book is and which ones we have in our Library, the students try to guess the right book after getting clues. Then I make up a real world scenario for each of them and they have to show me in what reference book would they find their answer. They love my story about late one night when a friend called me (because I'm a librarian) and told me her dog was expecting and she needed to know the gestation period for puppies. I found the answer in my 1958 World Book Encyclopedias that I had been lugging around with me for years (sadly, I lost them in last years' fire....). We talked about how some information doesn't change, but some certainly does. Those same encyclopedias had no mention of the landing of men on the moon.

Fifth and Sixth Grade--see opening post

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