Sunday, September 22, 2013

Week 3- September 16-20

Kindergarten- Last week we became oriented to where things are in the library, and this week we focused on how to behave in library.  I shared the book No T. Rex in the Library (by Toni Buzzeo) along with a pretty big rubber T Rex that I borrowed from my son.  Previous to class, I created laminated pictures of dinosaurs making good and bad choices (raising hand, running, etc) and after I read the book, I showed each picture, read what it said, and students showed the TRex, with a thumbs up or down, if he should do this in the library or not.  After this, I read Edwina, the Dinosaur that Did Not Know She Was Extinct (Mo Willems).  We talked about bucket fillers and dippers (our school anti-bullying theme).  We transitioned up to the Epson, where I showed a brief powerpoint in which students again had to choose appropriate library behavior.  I like covering the material again, not only to reinforce the information, but also to have students feel confident in their knowledge. 
Second Kinder class- I read Llama, Llama, and the Bully Goat.  We again talked about bucket fillers and bucket dippers.  We then got to watch a video of "I'm Gonna Read A Book Today"  The students loved it and asked to watch again.  Before we did, we completed a work sheet that reviewed the library behavior slides from earlier in the week, circling correct library behavior.  Sadly, just as we were going to rewatch the Read a Book Today video, we had a fire drill.  I have a feeling they won't forget this video and will ask for it again!

First Grade- I shared one of my all time favorite books to share with little ones- Rocket Learns to Read (Tad Hills).  This is such a beautiful, engaging story about learning to sound out letters, and how letters build words.  I told them Rocket was hidden somewhere in the library and we would find him later.  After the story, I showed them a backpack full of things that had to do with library book care (such as water bottle, tape, scissors, bookmark, etc).  We then pulled out each item and figured out what it meant for our library books, and lo and behold, Rocket was in there!  We talked about pets that chew books and great choices of where to leave our library books so that pets can't harm them. 
Second First Grade- I shared with them Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothes (Barret).  This is an older book, but students always love the pictures!  It is a classic!  There is a corresponding powerpoint called Animals Should Not Borrow Library Books, which we went over and reviewed library book care one more time.  We had a little time left, so I shared another book by the same author/illustrator team, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

Second Grade- Another favorite of mine- Wild About Books (Judy Sierra) was the book for second grade.  We reviewed the jobs of authors and illustrators, and I shared with them that Marc Brown does only the pictures for Wild About Books, but is very well known for books that he authors and illustrates. With some clues, they figured out I meant the Arthur series.  I also let them know the book is dedicated to Dr. Seuss and at the end, we decided if it sounded like a Seuss book or not.  Second grade also did the Backpack library book care as review, and loved seeing Pete the Cat and Rocket hiding out in there!
Second Second Grade- In honor of the second Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs movie coming out, I shared with second grade the original book (Barret).  Many students did not know these movies were based on books.  We had a lot of fun comparing and contrasting the movie to the book.  Students got excited to recognize illustrations that they had seen in the movie.  Then, as a large group, we used the Epson to go on Pebble Go, a fantastic database our district provides for us.  We explored Extreme Weather.  I noticed many students getting on PebbleGo on their own, once their books were checked out.  A sure sign of an engaging lesson!

Third Grade- September 15th begins National Hispanic Heritage Month, so I shared Tiny Tortilla (by Arlene Williams) with my third graders.  Some were interested to learn about another culture, and others were excited to share their culture with their classmates.  All of them enjoyed the repetition (so they could join in!) and the chance to predict what the masa would become each time.  We then talked about 4 sections of the library (Fiction, Nonfiction, Biography, and Everybody books).  Students used laminated call number cards and separated them into the 4 categories. 
Second Third Grade- Last week we started a Reader's Theater of Penelope Popper, Book Doctor.  Students really enjoyed it, but we did not finish, and many wanted to participate and could not, because there were not enough parts.  This week, I reassigned all the parts, and we did the readers theater the whole time. 

Fourth Grade- Also in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I read to fourth grade the book Love and Roast Chicken (by Barbara Knutson).  I briefly mentioned that this is a trickster tale, and we will be learning more about this genre later in the year.  After we enjoyed the story, I had students work on using the online catalog to search for the title, author and subjects of trickster tales and Peru.  This is a skill we will be revisiting, so that students become experts at both finding information in the catalog, and applying it to finding their chosen book in the library.
Second Fourth grade- We reviewed together the worksheet they had worked on for Love and Roast Chicken. 

Fifth Grade- I read Thank You, Mr. Falker (Patricia Pollacco) to some of the classes, though one class did not have time.  This is a very powerful autobiography in which the author discusses growing up dyslexic and being bullied.  Through the kindness and attention of her fifth grade teacher, she not only overcomes dyslexia, but becomes a renowned author and illustrator.  Then students finished their QR code Scavenger hunt and had a blast. 

Sixth grade- I read from the Library Card (Spinelli), continuing the Mongoose story.  Students began to see Mongoose pulling away from his best friend, as he discovers the joy of learning through a library book.  We have been doing a lot of discussing the choices the boys are making!  I have been emphasizing the idea of being responsible for your own choices to them!  Sixth grade also finished up the QR Scavenger Hunt.

I think fifth and sixth grades  can all now find the biographies, new books, fiction, nonfiction, everybody books, the laptops, the reference books and the audio books!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Week 2, Sept 9-13, 2013

We had a great busy first full week back!  Now I will be starting to see some classes twice a week, so there may be a second lesson for a grade.  The first listed is the one that all classes received and the second is one that only one class came for.

Kindergarten- First we read along to and sang with Rob Reid's Comin' Down to Storytime.  It is set to the music for She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain.  The kids loved it!  They were able to get a "preview" of things that will be happening in the library.  Then we looked at pictures of library vocab words, like laptops, iPads, desk, even one of Mrs. Sweeney, the librarian.  Then we went on a tour of the library and found each of the things we had seen pictures of.  We ended up camping out on  Everybody Street (where the picture books are) and I showed them that lots of their favorites could be found here- Clifford, Franklin, Charlie and Lola.  They loved seeing more Eric Carle books as they are all hatching caterpillars and class and the classroom teachers had read The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Second Kindergarten-  We started by reading The Library Doors by Toni Buzzeo.  This is another sing along book, but set to the Wheels on the Bus.  We were supposed to watch a short video of a class performing the Library Doors song, but due to a technology failure, we instead read an Elephant and Piggy story of I Love My New Toy.  We will save the sing along video for another day!

First Grade- We read one of my favorite beginning of the year books- Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf, by Judy Sierra.  The students always loving picking out all the storybook characters.  I have fun before the story begins, making them think of what BB might stand for!  This is a short bit of singing in it that the students also enjoy.  Then we reviewed Library Behavior Rules 1.  Be respectful to others 2. Walk. 3.  Inside voice 4.  Take care of the books and computers 5.  Use whole body listening.  Once we went through our own manners for library, the students decorated their own shelf markers.  I labelled them ahead of time with classroom teachers, grade, name, barcode and picture.  The students could decorate them any way they like.  I will laminate them and they will double as shelf markers and a way to scan themselves at checkout.  This should eliminate the accidental scanning of a classmates name in the book.
Second First Grade- We read Skippy John Jones (Schachner).  The students loved the crazy things Skippy does, and I love doing the voices and hand motions!  The students also love all the pet names Momma has for Skippy.  Then we watched a short video about Skippy in the Library that reviews library behavior and  book care.

Second Grade- We read another beginning of the year classic- Librarian from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler. I know students always love this, because after I read it, all the Black Lagoon books in stock go out!  I like that this book acknowledges some anxiety students may have about new things, and then helps alleviate those anxieties.   After, we reviewed the five library behavior rules and made shelf markers (see first grade).
Second Second Grade-I shared Scaredy Squirrel at Night by Melanie Watt.  My students were hysterical that Scaredy is afraid of unicorns!  Then we watched a short video about Scaredy Squirrel going to the library, which also covers book care and library behavior.  Then book exchange!

Third Grade- We thoroughly enjoyed the true story of Librarian on the Roof! by MG King.  I tell the students at the beginning that it is true and remind them later in the story and they are in disbelief!  I keep waiting for them to ask me to go on the roof to raise money!  Yikes!  This is a great opener in letting students know that the library is an alive space, and like RoseAleta, I want the library to be full of children.  It is also a good time to talk about how even with that there needs to be rules in the library, so that everyone can enjoy it!  We briefly reviewed our library rules and book care.
Second Third Grade- We shared the book Penelope Popper, Book Doctor, by Toni Buzzeo.  We then started the Reader's Theater adaptation, but did not finish.  We were all ok with this, we will finish next Friday, and let some new people have a speaking part.  I had more volunteers than parts- a terrible problem to have!

Fourth Grade- We read Miss Smith's Incredible Storybook,  by Michael Garland.  While a few of the students professed to know the series, we all agreed that it is a great series to share again, and we talked about which in the series is our favorite.  The are all so good- how do you choose?!?  We enjoyed picking out all the characters and matching them up to their own story.  Then we did a little review of call numbers.  The students were in small groups at the tables, and had to separate a pile of call number cards into everybody, biography, fiction and non-fiction piles.  They all even had time to alphabetize and numerically organize the piles!
Second Fourth Grade- I actually did last week's lesson as I had not seen this group the week before.

Fifth Grade- I read a very powerful, moving story called 14 Cows for America (by Carmen Agra Deedy), in honor of 9/11.  This is a true story of a member of the Maasai tribe who was in NYC on 9/11, and how he and the Maasai were able to offer a measure of kindness to the US.  The power of the message to my students is that no one is too small to help. Most classes then had time to begin a QR scavenger hunt around the library.  I moved (over the summer) the biographies and reference books, as well as creating a new display area, and I wanted the students to explore for themselves where things are.  They loved using the iPads for this!  At each QR code, they got one word to a secret sentence, and the location of the next QR code. Very few finished though, so we will wrap this lesson up next week.  

Sixth Grade- We continued to read Mongoose, a short story  from the Library Card, by Jerry Spinelli.  I really want my sixth graders to start taking responsibility for their actions in life, and that is what this story is all about.  The students are interested to hear about others so close in age to them, though I think they are shocked by some bad choices the characters are making!  Sixth graders also started the QR Scavenger Hunt (see fifth grade) and are loving it!  They will also finish next week.  So many great things to do, so little time!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The first week was a quick but wonderful week!  It was really great to be back with students and get back into rhythm. 

Kindergarten- these little guys and girls were pretty overwhelmed by all the new things and people in school, let alone all the books!  To get them started, I introduced myself and read Carlo and the Really Nice Librarian (Spanyol).  Students had a lot of fun identifying what animals Carlos, his pet and the librarian were.  We also talked about the color of his pet, and compared and contrasted things in the library that Carlos was at, and what we could see of our own library.  I hope students decided, like Carlos, that their new librarian is nice, helpful and loves books!  We also sang along to Pete the Cat's Wheels on the Bus, based on the character by James Dean.   

First Grade-  What fun welcoming back my smallest "old" students!  I was so impressed with how much they have matured and how nicely they came into library and found their seats!  After attending to those pesky beginning of the year details, we were able to jump right into some great stories.  First we shared Pete the Cat's Rockin' in my School Shoes (Dean).  Students adore Pete the Cat and really had a lot of fun singing along.  They love the illustrations, especially seeing the dog drive the bus!  Then we read Who Took the Cookie from the Cookie Jar? by Viviana Garofoli.  We had many guesses about who the culprit was, but everyone was surprised at the end!  Then we played a name game, based on the book.  Previous to class, I had written each of their names on a little boy cookie or girl cookie.  I put the class cookies in a cookie jar, and when their name was pulled, we sang the song, and each student had their own chance to say Who Me? and Couldn't be! and come up to draw the next name.  Some students even asked to keep their cookie!  We then reviewed getting book procedures and students picked their first book of the year!


Second Grade- Students were excited to learn that I would be reading an Amelia Bedelia story, always a favorite!  They were interested to learn that the original books about an adult Amelia were written by Peggy Parish and that her nephew, Herman Parish has started writing about Amelia's childhood.  We shared Amelia Bedelia's First Day of School, and children could not believe the crazy things she did!  I love this as a great transition to introduce Amelia to my students, and indeed, several happy faces were seen leaving with Amelia Bedelia books!  

Third Grade-  My third graders were also excited to learn they can take out three books now.  I shared a book that is personally meaningful and inspirational- Librarian on the Roof, by MG King.  We discussed that this book is based on a true story about a real person, RoseAleta Laurell.  I let the students know that I share her vision that libraries are for children, and should not always have to be quiet!  I think the students appreciated the idea that the space is really theirs.  Again, because students can take more books out this year, there are lots of new books to choose from, and that some books have been moved around a little, we had a little extra time for book exchange.

Fourth Grade-  I shared with this grade another personally inspirational true story about a woman who influenced children's libraries.  Miss Moore Thought Otherwise (Jan Pinborough) is a book about a woman who spent her life creating and bettering children's sections of libraries in New York City.  Like RoseAleta Laurell that the third graders learned about, Miss Moore (and I) felt that libraries are for children, and should be full of them, their laughter, beautiful art, and comfortable seating.  Both of these books allow me to show my students how I perceive our library space.  While rules and expectations are an important part of a school library, I also feel that it is equally important for my students to feel that the space is theirs.  I also want them to feel confident and comfortable with me as their librarian.

Fifth Grade- Unfortunately, fifth grade time was cut very short this week, so we only had time to take attendance, briefly review changes that have occurred in the library over the summer, and take out books.  More next week!

Sixth Grade- I began reading a short story from The Library Card, by Jerry Spinelli, one of my favorite authors!  This short story is about two sixth grade boys who have been best friends all their lives, but suddenly find themselves viewing the world a little differently.  It is my hope that my students will understand that part of growing up is taking ownership of your actions.  We have not gotten to the really magical part yet, so I look forward to sharing more of it with them next week.  We then spent a few minutes talking about where books are now located and students had time to make their selections. 

 Overall a great start to a new school year!!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Welcome!   This is where I will be posting lesson plans for the library at Willow Field Elementary.    This is my first year at this school and I can't wait to begin teaching information literacy, including research skills (per Common Core), literature appreciation and cybersafety.  I hope to use this blog both as self-reflection on my teaching but also as a way to provide a transparent window into the learning that happens in our library for parents, administration, or anyone else who wants to know just what happens! Come along for the ride!