Recently @ Hills Elementary Library

August - September 2014

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Welcome back!

We are excited for another great year of learning, reading, creating, and sharing at the Hills Elementary Library!

Thanks to some new shelving, our library looks quite a bit different this year - we have rearranged, re-labeled, and re-oriented the classroom space. We hope the new arrangement will be inviting, efficient, and help us focus on learning!

Library Learning

Kindergarten students started out the school year learning the basics of how a library works and practicing taking care of library materials. Students first took home a "practice" library book which includes tips for taking good care of books. Once that book was returned, students earned their first "real" checkout! Now we are practicing those skills each week, reading great books, and starting to learn the difference between Fiction and Nonfiction books. Ask your kindergartner which type of book is "fake" or made up by an author, and which type of book has true facts or teaches you about something!

First and Second grade students started the year with library organization and book care review, and are quickly moving on to an author study of children's book author and illustrator Peter Brown. In October, first and second grade students will be traveling to hear the author speak! We were excited to start with "Children Make Terrible Pets," a book in which Lucy, a bear, finds a human boy and makes him her pet. While fun at first, "Squeaker" ended up not meeting many of the criteria the 1st/2nd graders came up with for a "good" pet.

Third and Fourth grade students began by reviewing library organization, genres, and computer usage. Then we tackled the big task of creating secure passwords and logging in with their own district accounts. Students have access to the school network by logging in with their - the number being the year they will graduate from high school. This can be a daunting task for third and fourth grade students, but they all tried their best and will continue practice with the login they will use for the rest of the years at ICCSD. Next up, we'll dig deep into how our library is organized and how to use call numbers to find books quickly and easily.

Fifth and Sixth grade students also began with reviews of library organization, genres, and computer expectations, but have since delved a little deeper into the tech skills they will need throughout the year. After a lesson on secure passwords that included testing out possibilities on, students created a password and logged in to their computers. Next up, was a discussion of the difference between saving on a flash drive, the hard drive, the network, or a cloud storage service. Then students synced their accounts to their new district Google Drive. Students are excited to have to worry less about saving, and more about creating great work!

Technology Supporting the Curriculum

This is a big year for ICCSD - we have gone Google! All staff and students will now have access to district Google Accounts including the awesome power of Google Drive!

For teachers, this means easier sharing of files and simple real-time collaboration on documents. For students, it means storage space they can access from any device with the internet, and the ability to create, edit, and turn in school work without paper! So far, the fifth and sixth grade students are the only students at Hills who have gotten started with Google Docs, but we are all excited to use these tools to make our learning stronger and more efficient!

Cool New Tool

Teachers had the chance to learn about a cool new tool for their classroom - Kahoot! Kahoot is a website that allows teachers to create multiple choice quizzes which students then take in a game-show style competition. Students login to the quiz on a computer or internet ready device, enter a game-pin and their name, and then answer the questions as they appear on the SMART Board. Kahoot gives points based on correct answers and speed, rewarding students as they go along.

This is a fun tool for reviewing anything from classroom expectations to state capitals!

Readers Rule!

Hills Summer Reading Program

We had another great summer at the Hills Elementary Library! Over 40 students from Hills and other schools attended our science-themed programming! Activities included learning to code each other with written symbols, programming robots, doing plant experiments, creating hypotheses about magnetism, learning about rocket propulsion, and creating "elephant toothpaste" in a chemistry experiment. Needless to say, we had a great time!

See the video below for highlights!

Thanks for supporting your students and their library program!