Thursday, January 2, 2014

Week of Dec 9




Kindergarten-We started off by reading Polar Opposites, by Erik Brooks, about a polar bear named Alex that lives at the North Pole and a penguin named Zina from the South Pole.  It is a great chance to talk about opposites, friendships and of course deciding if we are morning people (or not), loud (or not), neat (or not), etc.  Students have great fun letting me know through physical actions (like patting their heads or rubbing their tummies) if they associate more with Alex or Zina.  We then watched two brief videos from NOAA, one on the polar bear and one on penguins.  We also compared the books and the videos to decide which was true and which was not true.  At book exchange I am trying something new with kinders- everyone searches for a book, even if they did not return one.  I then hold it for them and give them a paper bracelet with a sticker as a visual reminder that when they return the other book, they can get the one on hold. 

Extra Kindergarten- We read Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do You See, by Bill Martin.  This series of books are well loved by all kindergartens.  They were excited to recognize this book from their classroom, and had a lot of fun “reading” along with me!  I then also shared another non-fiction book with them, called I am a Polar Bear, by Steve McLoud.  This is from a book series, and each book is also online with interactive videos etc. The students loved seeing the book on the computer and every copy of the I am a … series went out by the end of the period.  More are on order!

First Grade- This week I shared one of my all time favorites- Tacky the Penguin, by Helen Lester and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger.  He is so adorable!  And the students love re-enacting all of his tacky ways- especially loud, off key singing!  Then, as a large group, we compared and contrasted the characteristics of Tacky and his companions (using a Venn).  As students finished making their book choices, they had the opportunity to watch a book called Antarctic Antics (by Judy Sierra) come alive, via Bookflix, a database provided to us by our district.

Second Grade- I shared a book called Stranger in the Woods, by Carl Sams and Jean Stoick.  This book is a “photographic fantasy” and the students and I had a really interesting discussion about fiction and non-fiction.  They are so used to photos being non-fiction!  We agreed it was a really neat concept to use photos to make up a story!  After, the students went on PebbleGo, an awesome database provided by our district, and worked in teams to learn more true information about their choice of an animal from the story (deer, owl, mouse, cardinal, etc).

Extra Second Grade- I read Snow School, a newer book in our library, by Sandra Markle. Interestingly, this is a non-fiction book, but with illustrations instead of photos (a bit of a flip from Stranger in the Woods).  Then we watched a short video about expert photographers just trying to get a glimpse of these mysterious, elusive creatures. 

Third Grade- I shared the book Snowflake Bentley, by Jacqueline Briggs Martin.  We talked about how Snowflake Bentley was a real person, and that the book is a biography (another nonfiction with illustrations and not photos!)  Students learned he was a scientist from “way back” before cars, and that he was very interested in all aspects of nature, especially SNOW!  We then had the opportunity to see where snow photography science has now gone, by watching a video from USA Today about a modern day snowflake photographer (http://www.usatoday.com/videos/news/nation/2013/12/06/3886871/).  Then students took a few minutes to practice putting nonfiction books in the right order, using a game called Shelve-It (http://www.mrs-lodges-library.com/play-shelver ).

Extra Third Grade- Back upon popular demand, because we did not finish before Thanksgiving, we revisited the Turk and Runt (by Lisa Wheeler) Readers Theater.  Since we did not re-read the story, we had time to get all the way through the RT this time!  I can’t believe every student even remembered what part they had!

Fourth Grade- Two of my fourth grade classes started working on a collaborative research project on the American Revolution.  For these two classes, we saw a very short video introducing the research process (https://www.flocabulary.com/research-process/ ) and then I introduced them to the databases where they began taking notes.  They then spent the rest of the period beginning to fill in their graphic organizer on their chosen topic.  The other fourth grade class is also beginning a collaborative research topic, but students are still developing their essential questions with the classroom teacher.  With this class, I shared the book The Baker’s Dozen, a Colonial American tale, by Heather Forest- perfect for New York State history of the colonial period- part of the fourth grade social studies curriculum.  After, students and I practiced, together, in summarizing a short paragraph about Rudolph.  Summarizing is an essential skill needed for note-taking in the research process, as well as Common Core Standard 4. RIT.2.

Extra Fourth Grade-  time was spent continuing our note taking from our first source (Grolier  or PebbleGo database) and/or beginning to explore a second source (print).  Time went fast!

Fifth grade- I introduced the book City of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau to the students, as well as the genre of Dystopia.  After reading the Introduction and part of the first chapter, students were hooked!  I had to order more copies from other schools I had so many requests!  I love ending the reading with the mayor looking Doon in the eye, and saying in a super serious voice, “I WILL remember YOUR name!”  Students then worked in small groups, sharing out at the end, on summarizing Christmas paragraphs.  This is a difficult skill, needing a lot of practice!  One student mentioned they were doing something similar in science right now, and it gave me a great opportunity to remind the students that “library skills” are found in every class- science, social studies, ELA and yes, even math sometimes!

Extra Fifth Grade- Students and I had a discussion about locking things up that we want to keep safe (both “real world” and virtually).  We talked about private information (what it means) compared to personal information.  We also talked about what may happen if someone gets your private information, as well as about websites that ask for this information, and why and when it is OK to share this info (ONLY with parent participation!).  We then talked about how these registrations require passwords, and what constitutes a strong password.  Students then interviewed each other for personal, not private info, like pet names, favorite colors etc., and came up with passwords that met all the criteria we had discussed to make a great password!

Sixth Grade- We finished reading the Librarian Who Measured the Earth, by Kathryn Lasky.  I was so impressed with the math skills of the students and their understanding how Eratosthenes figured it out!  The rest of the period was spent with students recording either each other on iPads, or their screens (for powerpoints) on laptops, to capture the book talks they had completed for ELA.  I will be turning these book talk videos into QR codes that will reside on the book itself, for other students to browse.

Extra Sixth Grade- Students and I had a discussion about locking things up that we want to keep safe (both “real world” and virtually).  We talked about private information compared to personal information.  We also talked about what may happen if someone gets your private information, as well as about websites that ask for this information, and why and when it is OK to share this info (ONLY with parent participation!).  We then talked about how these registrations require passwords, and what constitutes a strong password.  Students then interviewed each other for personal, not private info, like pet names, favorite colors etc., and came up with passwords that met all the criteria we had discussed to make a great password!