Life in the Library
Guest author Eli Kowalski and Kushka!
We have been happy to get back to our normal routines (aka, less snow days)! Our month kicked off with most grades celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday for Read Across America Day. In library, we have read some of his books, including his first And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street, and his last, Hooray for Diffendoofer Day (published with some help from Jon Scieska and Lane Smith after he passed away). I enjoyed sharing some trivia about his life and books, and reading from the great biography, The Boy Who Lived on Fairfield Street.
Kindergarteners have embarked on a new author study - Helen Lester (along with illustrator Lynn Munsinger), creator of Tacky the Penguin and many other loveable and unique characters. Each of their stories has a message about social skills, such as the obvious Listen Buddy, or Wodney Wat (who can't say his R's and gets teased until he becomes a hero) and Me First (who learns it's not always best to rush into things)!
Our first graders were VERY excited to finally vote and see results for the PA Young Reader's Choice Awards. Of course, we only have our OWN votes so far; we will have to wait and see if our choice, Chloe and the Lion, wins the most votes for the state as well! Creepy Carrots was a close second. It was a great experience reading through different genres of picture books and filling out our booklets and ballots! First graders will now begin an author study of Kevin Henkes, who writes books for all ages, from picture books to novels. His mouse characters, such as Chrysanthemum, Lilly and Penny are well known and loved by young readers!
Second graders are continuing with fractured fairy tales and are ready to start creating their own! We've read The Frog Prince Continued and The Stinky Cheese Man (both by Jon Scieska - popular in this month's newsletter!) Students then paired up to use an online fractured fairy tale maker (you can find the link on my webpage) to begin changing a traditional tale into a fractured one!
Our third graders are exploring their countries of ancestry and exploring Power Point! We are learning to use World Book Kids for information alongside learning how to use Power Point for presenting their research. Students have made title slides, learned to put in graphics, backgrounds, and even some basic animations. Meanwhile, we are using the online encyclopedia to read about the country's history, fun facts and geography. We have also begun a chapter book, Toys Go Out, by Emily Jenkins, which is fabulous personification of some adorable stuffed animals.
As the State Fair approaches, fourth graders are working hard to get their presentations ready. In library, we have finished typing facts about the states and famous sites. We learned how to add in pictures and resize them, and have been printing our information. We will continue illustrating pictures for our presentation boards and designing our Power Point about a famous person from the state. In the read-aloud The Genuis Files, our characters are now heading out on their journey across the U.S. and we have already heard some interesting facts!
Fifth graders are learning about the Big 6 research process. These steps can guide just about any research or problem solving project. We read a cute picture book, Our Librarian Doesn't Tell Us Anything, to introduce the process, and watched a short funny animated clip about why it is so important to have a PLAN when researching! The next two steps deal with locating and evaluating sources of information. To do this, we identified helpful books for a topic, and then did an evaluation of various nonfiction books, judging them on quality of illustrations, text, age, etc.
Our sixth graders are rapidly approaching EPA time. Mr. Wentz's class did a great job on their model EPA day, working all day on notes, report writing and a Power Point presentation. We reviewed sources, citations and Power Point strategies. Mrs. Owings class will follow suit soon. Meanwhile, we are continuing to learn about writing topic and sub-topic questions, and narrowing/broadening your focus through various activities.