Friday, December 5, 2014
Oh but it's cold outside...
If this is the first newsletter you are seeing from the library this year, feel free to look back at my website to see what you have missed. I have so much fun working with the kids and really enjoy sharing that news with you as well.
Preschool: This week I shared a book with the students that was a favorite of mine growing up. My mom read the book to me, and her mom to her. It is called Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree by Robert Barry. The kids were such great listeners and really seemed to enjoy the tale of Mr. Willowby who bought a tree that was just a little too big for his room. Once cutting off the top, that little bit of tree is shared with many people and creatures until it is once again back at Mr. Willowby's house, enjoyed by a mouse in the wall.
Preschoolers are doing a great job of returning books on time and enjoy selecting their very own book when they visit the library!
Kindergarten: This week Kindergarteners and I did something new. We started out with book check out and then we visited the computer lab and worked with Tumblebooks. This is a great program that we are able to use for free through the Iowa City public library website. Tumblebooks is a program where kids can select a book they would like to read and the book is read to them. They can see the illustrations from the original book, hear narration (or turn that off if the prefer) and watch the text as they are listening to the narrator. This is a great activity for students to work on fluency, to enjoy books that aren't accessible to them yet as readers and to listen to quality literature. If you are interested in using this at home you can visit here: ICPL/Kids/Reading.
First Grade: This week First graders read Crispin, the Pig Who Had it All, by Ted Dewan. The kids loved the story of a spoiled pig who learns the value of friendship when he is given the only thing he didn't have for Christmas. The kids had great conversations after reading this and were able to discuss how receiving an empty box as a gift ended up giving him the gift of friends.
After reading and discussing the book, the students were able to select from several centers. It is so wonderful to watch them create, explore and learn through their work in the centers. We have interlocking cubes that many children have created spinning tops with, we have art tables where I have seen kids create snowflakes for the library, create cards for family or loved ones, work on origami, write stories and illustrate stories we have read together. They have puzzles to work on problem solving skills and trains for imaginative play. So much fun and learning going on in the library!
Second and Third Grade: We have finished our chapter book and written letters to the author. We are now anxiously awaiting word back from Dori Butler in planning a Skype visit with her soon. While we wait for that, we enjoyed a book called My Penguin Osbert by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel. In this book we follow a boy who finally gets what he asks for, a one foot penguin named Osbert and quickly realizes that he has bitten off more than he can chew. It is a delightful story about love and sacrifice and of course there is a bit of humor splashed in there as well. It's a great read and the kids really enjoyed watching as the boy eats creamed herring and seaweed jelly when all he really wants is chocolate chip waffles and sausage.
Fourth Grade: Fourth grade classes are wrapping up or continuing in our novel reading. Two classes (Mrs. Capper and Mrs. Phillip's) are reading Pie, a mystery story about a pie shop, a missing cat and a prized pie crust recipe. The other class is reading Ninth Ward, a story about Lanesha, a girl that is navigating the storm and subsequent flood in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. The classes are doing a great job of discussing the stories and Mrs. Olson's students have been very interested in learning more about Hurricane Katrina. I have been teaching them about the events that happened and some of the factors that went into making it such a tragedy but am sensitive to the topic and have been careful what I say to them about it and what images or video I have shared.