Library News Feb/Mar
Susan Anhold, Librarian
With the winter snows behind us, we are definitely looking forward to spring and warmer weather. Things have been heating up in the library. Community night brought many parents and students in to try out our Keva Planks.
While the younger grades have already voted for their favorite Virginia Readers' Choice books, the upper grades are working hard to finish reading theirs by the April 3 deadline. Thirty-one 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders have qualified to vote which will take place right after spring break.
We finished up reading the Virginia Readers' Choice books and the kindergartners' favorite was Again! by Emily Gravett. I told the fairytale Jack and the Beanstalk then we compared it to Mary Pope Osborne's Kate and the Beanstalk. We finished the month of March with spring books.
First grade finished and voted for their favorite Virginia Reader's choice book which was Brief Thief by Michael Escoffier. We read and compare the books The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson and Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles. We also read three books by Patricia McKissack; Goin' Someplace Special, Precious and the Boo Hag, and The Honest-to-Goodness Truth and finished out the month by reading two more books about telling the truth; Sam Tells Stories by Thierry Robberecht and Ruthie and the (not so) Teeny Tiny Lie by Laura Rankin.
My first grade lit group showed three changes that happened to the little house after hearing The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton and they designed their dream house after reading The Orange Splot by Daniel Pinkwater.
Second grade had a tie when they voted for their favorite Virginia Readers' Choice book; Crankee Doodle by Tom Angleberger and Again! by Emily Gravett. For Black History Month, we learned about Henry "Box" Brown, the slave who mailed himself to freedom, by reading Ellen Levine's Henry's Freedom Box. We also read The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles and looked at primary source pictures in Bridges autobiography Through My Eyes. During Read Across America week the kids heard a Dr. Seuss biography by Dana Meachen Rau and then I read my favorite Seuss book, Horton Hatches the Egg. Second graders learned about the Caldecott Medal and heard three of the award winners: Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathman, Tuesday by David Wiesner, and The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward.
After looking at our print encyclopedias in January, third graders explored our online encyclopedias, comparing the two. We read two biographies for Black History Month; Teammates by Peter Golenbock and Bad News for Outlaws by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson. After studying Mali their classes, we read The Village that Vanished by Ann Grifalconi which is patterned after a Griot telling the story. We are using the book Imogene's Last Stand by Candace Fleming as a starting point to review parts of a book as well as to do more research with our encyclopedias.
Fourth graders learned about Marian Anderson in Pam Munroz Ryan's book When Marian Sang and they reviewed author's purpose with several websites, but we have spent much of the past 2 months communicating with our Semester at Sea pen pal Alli. She has taken us from the clean and neat streets of Japan to the polluted streets in China. She showed us the beautiful view from Victoria's Peak in Hong Kong and told us how to avoid being run over by a moped in Viet Nam (don't stop walking). She celebrated the Chinese New Year in Singapore, rode an elephant through the jungle in Burma and visited a tea plantation in India. One event on ship which really intrigue the students was the Nepture Day celebration. This occurs on the day they cross the equator and involves, among other things, kissing a fish on the lips (Alli did this) and shaving the head (which Alli did not do).
Our digital citizenship lessons for February and March were how to make a strong password and citing a website. For Black History Month we read the graphic novel Little Rock Nine and the Fight for Equal Education by Gary Jeffrey. Since the fifth graders are getting ready for their impact project, I read The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba which tells of young William making an impact in his village by constructing a windmill out of items he found in the junkyard. The students are now making their own windmills out of recycled materials.