Recently @ Hills Elementary Library

December 2014

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Library Learning

Kindergarten students have been learning about technology and Digital Citizenship. Digital Citizenship are the tools and skills students need to have to be safe and effective users of technology. To introduce Kinders to some of these concepts, we started with a short video and quiz called Cyber 5 from The Cyber 5 rules include keeping personal information private (names, passwords, addresses, and phone numbers), how to deal with cyberbullying (ask an adult to help you save the evidence, don't respond), what to do if you see something online that makes you uncomfortable (talk to a trusted adult right away), and don't click on or download anything without asking first.

Next up, students began typing practice by playing Keyboard Zoo, also on ABCya. This game helps students locate letters on the keyboard while reinforcing letter recognition and matching letter sounds to the names of animals.

First and Second grade students have started learning more about how our library is organized - they already know about our different sections, but now we are working on the details of how those sections are arranged. We thought about why a library is organized the way it is. Why use alphabetical order for an author's last name instead of arranging by color? What if we arranged the books by number of pages? What if we organized by authors' first names? We decided that the systems a library use help us find information more quickly.

Third and Fourth grade students are preparing for the Optimist Good Reader Program by reviewing genres of literature. After a basic review, students played a game of "I have, who has" using genres and their definitions. This game requires listening skills as well as knowing the differences between types of literature. We will continue to practice and find examples of great literature after break.

Fifth and Sixth grade students have been learning about evaluating websites and how to search Google more effectively. First, we learn that Google is not a source of information - rather a way to locate sources. We discuss how some websites you find through Google might be good, but others might be total junk. As we continue to learn about evaluating information, we are also practicing ways to use Google to our advantage. The following video gave us some great tips on searching with Google to help us find better results.

Finding Reliable Sources (part 1)

Creating a Culture of Readers

Every year, students at Hills Elementary celebrate their love of reading and prepare for the upcoming winter break with a reading party called Freeze - N - Read.

With the library decked out like a winter wonderland and a crackling fireplace projected on the SMART Board, students spend their library time getting cozy and reading together. Students love the chance to relax and read what they want to read and to be part of a community of readers!

Hour of Code - Hills Elementary

Technology Supporting the Curriculum

December 8th-12th was national Computer Science Education Week, when students all over the country were focused on learning more about the language of computers – called programming or coding.

At Hills Elementary, students in grades 1-6 participated in the international Hour of Code event to introduce the concepts of breaking down a complex task into smaller steps.

Using the website Tynker, students played problem-solving games in which they “code” a character to complete a task using visual block commands. For example, students connect a “walk” command block to the “start” block, telling the character to move one square when start is pushed.

The levels begin simply and add complexity as the game continues. The blocks correlate to written code in JavaScript, a common computer language.

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One Book, Two Book - Writing Contest and Literary Festival

Attention Budding Writers!

Every student in every grade across the district is invited to submit writing to the annual One Book Two Book children’s literary festival!

The writing may be a story, a poem, or graphic novel, and should be no more than one page in length (double-spaced, single side). The work should be proof-read and re-written neatly or typed. All student writing will be entered into a contest. The students of the winning entries will be invited to attend the Write Out Loud event on Sunday, March 9, 2015.

One student at Hills will be selected to read his/her work at the banquet on Friday, March 6, 2015. We will also have 9 tickets pre-paid so that the representative's family and friends may attend as well.

Submissions are due the first week back from Winter Break.

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Thanks for supporting your students and their library program!