Saturday, November 13, 2010

Traffic in the library?

Week Eleven

Well, yes, there is always lots of traffic in the library! We have about 80-100 students who come visit each morning, 10-20 who come at first recess, and a dozen or so after school. All this, plus a steady flow all day means that we check-out between 300-400 books daily!

But this week we had an extra special activity with PreK 3 & 4 that involved "real" traffic. Traffic safety, that is! See the PreK news for the details and check out the video clip below, too.

PreK 3 and PreK 4 - Guiding Question: How do we stay safe when crossing the street?

We had a bunch of fun this week learning traffic safety rules and practicing on our very own crosswalk! Nurse Chris came to talk about seat belts, "stop-look-listen," and help us walk across the "street" properly.

Of course we read a book, too! Road Safety by Sue Barraci gives a quick review of safety rules for crossing the street and staying safe near roads. Each page shows a good example or a bad example. In library class, children use happy and sad faces to show which are the right and wrong ways to behave near cars.

Kindergarten: Friends with the Classics

We continued our classic picture book unit with the thematic focus "friendship." Our library assistant this week, Mr. Andrew, led the story time. 

He read the destined-to-be-a-classic Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy, by David Soman. Best for younger students, this is the story of a girl and boy who are both seeking the upper hand in playground politics. It's fun to see how they work it out. This is a good story for talking about compromises!

Grade 1 - Guiding Questions: What is a biography? How can we mark time?

The students are learning about Past, Present, and Future in their classroom units, so in the library we will be focusing on biographies of famous people and marking the dates of their lives on an interactive time line. We have many beautiful picture book biographies in the library, stories that tell the true facts of a person's life. 

This week, we read Johnny Appleseed, by Bill Balcziak.The story tells the facts we know about John Chapman, the man who headed west to explore the uncharted territory of the new United States. Along the way, he made friends with animals, Native Americans, and settlers, planting apple seeds and telling stories. This story makes a good introduction to the concept of tall tales since it is split into two parts: factual information and exaggerated stories. See the grade one tab of the library website for extension activities about Johnny Appleseed.

Grade 2 - Guiding Questions: What is "setting"? What clues in a story reveal its setting?

Grade 2 begins a new unit about geography. We will read picture books each taking place on a different continent, watch for clues about each story's setting, and learn more about the continents through resources such as books, atlases, and digital and print encyclopedias.

This week, we read 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?

After reading the story and talking about the clues that reveal the place and time (Italy in the middle ages), we looked through information books about Europe. Each group used the index to find Italy in their book, and we compared the purpose of the table of contents and the index.

Grade 3 - Guiding Questions: What is our responsibility toward animals? How do we find different types of fiction books?
We're starting to talk about rights and responsibilities to fit with the unit taught in grade 3 classrooms. We'll read picture books that highlight characters making choices that show compassion, empathy, and a sense of community. Students will also participate in a whole-class research project about developing countries using books, selected websites, and digital encyclopedias. All this before the winter break...I hope!

This week we read How to Heal a Broken Wing, by Bob Graham. Here we have absolute picture book perfection. It's a simple story of a boy who rescues a bird with a broken wing. None of the busy grownups rushing by have noticed the bird, but it catches the boy's eye and he has a strong desire to help it. The boy's tenderness and compassion are shown through powerful illustrations that capture the wonder of the child's-eye-view of the world.

We're still working on finding books independently. In this session, students needed to match two call numbers to books to earn their "exit ticket" to begin check-out time.

Grade 4
Students in two classes worked with atlases to get some extra practice with using the index, finding locations, and learning about special features of topical atlases (such as dinosaurs, birds, and animals).

Students in the other two classes practiced their book review skills. In their Library Thing accounts, students are tracking their reading and writing two sentence reviews.

Grade 5

Mrs. Ducharme...
Some students made avatars for their library thing profiles. Avatars are a good choice for profile pictures since they represent a person but are not as personal as a real photo. All grade fives will have a chance to do this in the next week or so. See the grade five tab on the library website for some fun avatar websites. Other classes came for check-out time. Others came to learn about good choices for historical fiction books.

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