Kinder- I started class with reading selectively through Rookie Reader’s Chanukah (by Trudi Strain Trueit). I wanted to make sure the students knew the idea of Chanukah being a Jewish holiday for eight days, and what a menorah, gelt, shamas, and dreidel were. We reviewed that this was a nonfiction book. Then I read How Does a Dinosaur Say Happy Hanukkah? By Jane Yolen and illustrated by Mark Teague. The students had so much fun trying to decide if the dinosaurs were good or bad. We compared the dinosaurs to David from the David Shannon books.
First- I reviewed the basics of Hanukkah: the history and key terms such as menorah, gelt, shamas, rabbi, temple, latkes and dreidel. Then I read the book Zigazak! A Magical Hanukkah Night, but Eric A. Kimmel. Students most enjoyed the trouble the goblins caused! By the time we finished the book, it was time to get books out!
Second- I reviewed the basics of Hanukkah: the history and key terms such as menorah, gelt, shamas, rabbi, temple, latkes and dreidel. Then I read the book Chanukkah Guest, but Eric A. Kimmel. Students loved sharing about their elder family members difficulties in hearing and seeing! I loved that they made that self to text connection! After, students worked on putting Hanukkah words in ABC order, and a couple of classes had time to watch a short PBS Arthur video called Muffy Learns About Hanukkah.
Third- I reviewed the basics of Hanukkah: the history and key terms such as menorah, gelt, shamas, rabbi, temple, latkes and dreidel. Then I read the book Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, by Eric A. Kimmel. Students enjoyed seeing the different ways Hershel outsmarted even the King of the Goblins. By the time we finished the book, it was time to get books out!
Fourth- I talked to the students first about Patricia Polacco, and how much of her writing is auto-biographical of her childhood. Then I read Trees of the Dancing Goats by Polacco. We made a lot of connections between this book and the one they heard last week, Molly’s Pilgrim. I had one class that was fascinated about the scarlet fever portion of the story! The students and I then worked on summarizing several short paragraphs about Hanukkah. This was very hard work for them! But necessary to learn as we move into a research project next week.
Extra Fourth-I started with the book One Candle, by Eve Bunting. Students were fascinated to learn that you really can create a candle with a potato, thread and butter! After the story, we worked on summarizing our Hanukkah paragraphs a bit more.
Fifth- I had intended to read Snowflake Bentley to students, but found out that they have all heard the book too many times! So each class chose a Hanukkah book for me to read. After the book, students completed a library winter webquest. This was from Library Sparks, December 2013 issue. It gave me an opportunity to review with students a couple of search tips such as using :def after a word when they want to find the definition of a word.
Extra Fifth- We worked on internet safety on our extra day. Students and I discussed how many websites ask for personal and/or private information when registering. We learned to differentiate between personal and private, and students gave me lots of great examples of each. I showed them word clouds of each, and we looked to see if we missed any. My students came up with many more than what was on the word clouds! I then directed students to abcya.com where they used a word cloud program to create word clouds about themselves, using only personal information. Students really understood the difference and also really got that they should never give this kind of information out without parental consent!
Sixth- I started reading The Librarian Who Measured the Earth, by Kathryn Lasky. I emphasized to students that I like the ancient Greek that the book is about, because of his curiosity for life. I let them know that I am striving to cultivate that life- learner curiosity in them! I read about half the book, then students explored our Grolier database to learn more about Eratosthenes. I learned that we need to start working on how to cite sources in sixth grade!
Extra Sixth- This was another digital literacy lesson. Students learned about using different search techniques, other than googling an entire question word for word! They were then challenged to form teams of two or three and efficiently and effectively (key words from the lesson) find a city park in another place that had restrooms, was free, had coverage from inclement weather, and had room to play. I was very impressed at how fast some teams found their answers!