Recently @ Hills Elementary Library

October 2015

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Kindergarten students are learning about and practicing the difference between fiction and nonfiction. We have been reading a little bit of both each week, as well as writing and drawing to help us remember. Fiction books are made-up, or fake, stories with characters, a plot, and a beginning, middle, and end. Nonfiction books teach us things, and we can think of them as "true" or "real" books. Check out the cool posters the kinders made to label the Fiction and Nonfiction sections of our library!

First grade students are working on learning the different roles of the author and illustrator of a book. We've played charades, read lots of great stories, and even become authors and illustrators ourselves. Ask your first grader to their work about their ideal pets!

Second grade students have been learning to label and identify the parts of a book while reading books nominated for the Goldfinch Award. With interactive SMART board activities and small group work, students have been working on locating and labeling the title, author, illustrator, title page, spine label, and publisher of different books. Being able to identify these parts of a book helps students prepare for citing their sources when doing research.

Third and Fourth grade students have been preparing for a visit from Newberry Award winning author, Grace Lin by reading her novels. In class, students are reading Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, a novel inspired by traditional Chinese Folktales. In library class, students are reading The Year of the Dog, the first a semi-autobiographical series about Grace Lin's childhood.

Fifth and Sixth grade students are focusing on Digital Citizenship this month. Using Google Classroom, students have watched a series of videos on what information should be kept private, what it means to have a "digital footprint," and what to do when you witness cyber bullying. Students are currently working together to show what they've learned by making a class eBook. Using Google Slides, the students will each be responsible for one page of the eBook which will be a Digital Citizenship alphabet book. We can't wait to share the results!

Creating a Culture of Readers

Every year, students across Iowa have the chance to participate in a state-wide reading program. The Iowa Association of School Librarians uses student suggestions to create a list of great children's literature each year. Students are invited to read books from this list and then vote for their favorites in the spring.

Preschool through 3rd graders are eligible to vote for their favorite Goldfinch Award book if they read (or have read to them) at least 5 of the books on the list. This requirement will easily be met by all Hills students in K-2, as we will read them together in the library!

3rd through 6th graders are eligible to vote for their favorite Iowa Children's Choice Award book if they read at least two. Talk with your child about the books on this list to see which ones they are most interested in!

What are Hills students reading?

In the past month, Hills students have checked out 2,243 books! WOW! The most popular categories are Fiction, Everybody, Graphic Novels, Early Readers, and the 500s section which includes Space, Dinosaurs, and Animals!

The most popular titles right now are:

Technology Supporting the Curriculum

One of the roles of the Teacher Librarian is to collaborate with teachers to improve student learning. Often, this collaboration comes in the form of finding a great tool or resource that ties into classroom work. This requires the Teacher Librarian to be familiar with the curriculum across grade levels and subject areas.

As fourth grade students work on their writing skills, one focus is understanding and writing dialogue. Fortunately, the perfect tool is available for students to practice this skill! Google Story Builder asks students name their characters and type in the dialogue they'd like each character to say. The app then creates a simple animated video that looks as if the characters are typing to each other within a Google Doc. This tech tool supports the curriculum, is engaging, and is super cool! Try it out!

The Book Fair is coming!!!

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The Scholastic Book Fair will be at the Hills Elementary Library starting November 9th - 13th! The book fair not only promotes a love of reading, but the purchases also help us keep our library collection up-to-date with the most fun and favorite titles!

We need your help! Please consider signing up to help set up the fair or run the cash register. You can sign up to help here:

The fair will be open for shopping at 8:05 each day, and during lunch recess. The fair will re-open each day at the end of the school day and be open until 4:15. Friday the 13th is a Parent-Teacher Conference day, and the fair will be open all day from 8:00-4:00.

Ready to start shopping now? The Online Book Fair is open starting November 1st!

Joke of the Month

Where do computers take their pets when they get sick?

To the Intervet!

Thanks for supporting your students and their library program!