Friday, January 29, 2010

News From The Library--Feb 1, 2010

Clementine's Letter by Sara Pennypacker

A Book Review by Gabriela & Olive

Also in the Library this week...

Kindergarten---A cat building a nest? How can that be? In The Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend, Jack the Cat has a hankering for omelettes. To lure a chicken to the barn he builds a delightful nest complete with pillows, a welcome mat, and colored lights. He gets his chicken all right but also a French speaking duck and a goose from the South! They all lay eggs and they all fight for the nest until he suggests they move to the next farm. What's left? Three lovely eggs. Three lovely omelettes, Jack thinks. But when the eggs hatch instead he finds himself the surrogate mother to three baby birds and he decides it was the perfect nest after all. Kindergarteners love the wonderful illustrations by John Manders making this the perfect read aloud for this age group.

First Grade--Owen wants to send a hug to his granny through the mail. Not a drawing of a hug but a real hug. The Giant Hug by Sandra Horning is a delightful story that also shows all the steps involved in mailing something from one side of the country to the other. And Owen's granny is so happy with her hug she sends a kiss back! Students love to imagine the story happening all over again in the opposite direction.

Second Grade--As part of our participation in the ADL program "No Place for Hate" I've purchased some new books for our collection. This week second graders heard Bullies Never Win by Margery Cuyler. This was the perfect book for this age group as they followed the story of how a little girl finally stood up for herself. I was amazed at how absolutely silent they were while I read the story. This was, I could tell, a subject they could all relate to. The message in the book was simple and really stressed how to handle a bully without "sinking" to their level. A great addition to our collection.

Third Grade--Teaching safe practices on the internet is so very important today and I feel we need to start as early as possible. Third graders discussed how to be safe when using the internet and then watched an excellent DVD called Faux Paws, Adventures on the Internet. This appealing video really stressed in simple terms how important it is not to reveal personal information on the internet and how to seek help from adults when encountering something that doesn't seem right. It's a lesson that will be repeated many times in our curriculum and this was a great start.

Fourth Grade, Fifth, and Sixth Grade--This coming Wednesday, Feb 3, will be our first official Battle of the Books lunchtime practice session. Students in grades 4-6 were reminded again how to join our Battle Team and watched a presentation about the Battle of the Book which will be held at the Santa Barbara County Schools Auditorium on April 15.

Sixth Graders also learned how to use Wonder Wheel on google. This is a great way to focus your searches on google. After you type in your subject and get your first results, you can click on the link that says "Show Options." Then click on Wonder Wheel and you get a graphic organization of many sub topics under your main topic. Students were also shown how to limit their searches to specific domains, especially .org, .gov, or .edu. This helps them narrow down results to websites that most likely will contain accurate information and be free of bias. To do this, type in your subject, then site:(domain you want). An example of this type of search would be: dolphins site:edu

Monday, January 25, 2010

News From the Library--January 25, 2010

Shoeshine Girl
By Clyde Robert Bulla

A Book Review by Devan and Olive

Congratulations to Red Dot Book Club member Devan for being our first video book reviewer this year!

(This was a short week in the Library due to the Martin Luther King Holiday....)

Kindergarten--Kindergarten just had checkout this week due to the wonderful Dancing Drums assembly.

First Grade-First Graders were treated this week to Steven Kellogg's version of Jack and the Beanstalk. I can still remember the chills I got when my father used to read the "Fee, fi, fo, fum" part and I had a great time reading it to the students this week. It is so reassuring to see that even our students of today with all their video input and sophistication are still absolutely transfixed by this old fairy tale. Mr. Kellogg's illustrations are fantastic and are a huge part of the appeal of this version.

And congratulations to 19 first graders who are now proud members of the Bookworm Club!

Second Grade--What if you woke up one morning and you were covered with stripes in every color of the rainbow? In David Shannon's A Bad Case of Stripes, Camilla Cream finds herself in this unbelievable dilemma. After enduring several unsuccessful cures, she finds that being true to herself and not worrying about what others think of her is the answer. This book, like all of Mr. Shannon's, wraps its subtle but powerful message is a delightful story enhanced by fantastic illustrations.

Third Grade--In order to learn about the literary concept of plot, third graders heard Tomi de Paola's enchanting book Adelita. Before reading the story I asked the students to summarize the plot of a Cinderella story which they did easily. Then as we read Adelita we compared and contrasted the difference in this Mexican version.

Fourth Grade--We continued our study of American tall tales with Steven Kellogg's rollicking version of Paul Bunyan.

Fifth Grade--Fifth Graders went on a Book Hunt this week and with their partners located different resources in our Library.

Friday, January 15, 2010

News From the Library--January 18, 2010

There are Bookworms in the Library!

This week we started our very popular Library Book Clubs for grades 1-4. In first and second grade, students can be in the Bookworm Club and choose books from our beginning reader section. After reading the entire book, they come in and read their favorite page to me. For each book, they receive a sticker and after every six books a small prize. An official personalized bookmark is given with the first book read. This is one of my favorite parts of the year as I watch those beginning readers blossom.

Third graders move up to more difficult books in the Red Dot Book Club and can do a variety of projects based on their book choice. Book reports, multimedia slide shows, and video book reviews are among the projects. After each project is completed they receive a small prize.

Fourth graders love the Mystery Book club and can read any mystery in our Library. They also have a number of options for book projects and receive a prize for each completed one.

Watch for video book reviews on this blog in the near future!

Fifth and Sixth graders don't have a club but participate in the county-wide Battle of the Books in April.

The goal for all the clubs is to encourage reading for pleasure and fluency and students are guided to books that are at or just slightly above their independent reading level. Above all, we want to make reading fun! That's the number one rule for all the clubs.

Also in the Library this week...

Kindergarten--We can't get enough of Tacky the Penguin and this week we read Tacky Goes to Camp by Helen Lester. In this rollicking story of the penguins at camp, once again Tacky saves the day--this time with his love of 'smores. He is an odd bird, be we all agree, a nice bird to have around.

Fifth and Sixth Graders worked on website evaluation using websites I have chosen as examples of good or bad in relation to whether or not they are reliable sources of information. After seeing a presentation about how to evaluate a website for accurancy, currancy, and objectivity they could choose from several on our Skills Blog and they wrote written evaluations of those sites. If you'd like to look at the lesson on the Skills Blog scroll down to the one entitled "When in doubt, doubt!"

Hope you are enjoying the Martin Luther King holiday this week!

Friday, January 08, 2010

News From the Library--January 11, 2010

Bookworm Says.....

Second graders started the new year with a game of "Bookworm Says..... " After seeing a presentation about the parts of a book, each student chose a book for the game. Then our favorite mascot, Bookworm, said, "Bookworm says, 'Show me the title page.'" The student then found it in his or her book. We went through all the parts of a book in the same way. This is a fun and interactive way for students to learn about the parts of a book.

Also in the Library this week....

Kindergarten--There's something about penguins that we all love and Tacky, the Penguin by Helen Lester is one of our favorite books. Tacky doesn't look like the other rather proper penguins but in the end he saves his friends from the hunters and they all agree he's an odd bird but a very nice bird to have around. In a gentle and subtle way, this book is a good introduction to encouraging students to look beyond appearances when choosing friends.

First Grade--Continuing with our penguin theme, first graders heard Cinderella Penguin by Janet Perlman. I use this book to discuss the concept of plot and after we remember the plot of a Cinderella story, students listen to Cinderella Penguin (with lots of laughter) and then we compare and contrast how this book follows, or doesn't follow, the "regular" plot of a Cinderella story.

Third Grade--Mrs. Lewis' class heard The Quiltmaker's Gift by Jeff Brembeau. This is a lovely story about the power of generosity and the advantages of giving instead of receiving. The illustrations by Gail de Marken are exquisite.

Fourth Grade--We are starting our Tall Tales unit and this week after seeing a presentation about the elements in a tall tale, students watched a great video of Anne Isaacs' wonderful book Swamp Angel. The illustrations in this book won a Caledecott award for illustrator Paul O. Zelinsky and are nothing short of amazing. Made to look as if they had been painted on wood they give so much "flavor" to this story of a Tennessee girl who wrestled a bear called Thundering Tarnation!

Fifth Grade--To start off the new year (and get our brains back in gear) we played a round of Library Jeopardy this week. Students always enjoy this way of learning some of the less exciting things about the library and research.

Sixth Grade--Sixth graders missed library this week due to the Monday teacher in-service day.