Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rotation One!

We began our first rotation of the balanced school day schedule.  Students are excited about the new library and we are happy about the increased use we are seeing from students and parents.
* On outdoor recess days, the library is open to students in grades 3-5 for reading and book check-out.
* On indoor recess days (and we had a few of those this week!) the library is open to all students who choose not to play games in the gym.  During indoor recess days, students may use our library website.
* Before school (8:00-8:30) and after school (3:30-4:30) the library is open for reading, computer use, and book check-out.  Parents, please make the best use of our materials by coming with your children to choose books and read with them.
* Please note: Students using the library computers may use ONLY the library website.  There are plenty of educational games and activities that support their classroom learning there.  They may not type in any addresses or use any other applications.  Thank you for your support of this rule.

This week's (or should I say "rotation") lessons cover a variety of topics, depending on the age group.

PreK 3, PreK 4, Kindergarten, and Grade 1 
Guiding Question: What are the parts of a book?  What is special about each part?
Vocabulary for PreK 3: book, cover, story, title, author, illustrator
Vocabulary for PreK 4: the above plus spine, page numbers
Vocabulary for Kindergarten: all of the above plus title page
Vocabulary for Grade 1: all of the above plus spine label, copyright page, copyright date, publisher

We read Bear's Books and played the game "Mother, may I?" to demonstrate understanding of book parts.  I say, "Mother, may I find the title page?" and students find the title page.  I say, "Find the title page," and they don't because I didn't say "Mother, may I!"  Of course, we throw in some fun things like sticking out our tongues and such.

Baby Bear's Books, by Jane Yolen
Baby Bear loves to be read to, anytime, anywhere - he loves books!  When he wakes up, he asks his mom to read to him, when it's nap time he wants to hear a story, at dinner time, bedtime, and all the while he's so excited about that cozy feeling of snuggling up with a book.  Sweet story with adorable watercolor illustrations of the bear family and their woodland home.

Grade 2
Guiding Questions: What is an atlas?  What are the different purposes of atlases?
In this rotation, we begin a unit about continents, oceans, and maps.  Over the next few rotations, we will read a story from a different continent during the each library class.  This time we read Strega Nona, a classic folk tale set in Italy.

After the story, the class split into groups and each group examined two different atlases.  They told the rest of the class what their atlases could be used for: to see maps of the whole world, to see maps of just one country, to see maps that show where different animals live, and to see maps of where different birds live.  Next session we will learn how to find information in an atlas using the index.

Strega Nona, by Tomi dePoala
This classic story, set in Italy, tells the story of Strega Nona and Big Anthony.  Strega Nona has a magic pasta pot that cooks up fresh pasta whenever she sings it a song.  Big Anthony wants fresh pasta, too, but Strega Nona tells him never to touch the pot.  Well, that pot is just too tempting for Big Anthony.  What mess will he get into when he disobeys?

Grade 3
Guiding Question: To what extent is helping someone else a responsibility?  Is there a difference between helping a person and an animal?

To connect with the grade 3 unit about rights and responsibilities, we will begin research about developing countries. Our focus will be to learn the different purposes of various reference sources, gather a fact from each source, and cite the source using a basic bibliographic format.

Our first lesson started the discussion about our individual responsibility to help others by reading the story How to Heal a Broken Wing, by Bob Graham.
This story is an example of absolute picture book perfection! A simple story of a boy who rescues a bird with a broken wing - when no one else even notices it's hurt - it tenderly captures the wonder and connectedness of the child's-eye-view of the world.

Grade 4 & 5
Grade four classes came to check out books and enjoy some silent reading time.