Recently @ Hills Elementary Library

November 2014

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Library Learning

Kindergarten students have been reading folktales - traditional tales that are told over and over again throughout generations and have many things in common. Some things kindergartners have noticed so far are that many folktales have tricky characters, many start with "Once Upon a Time," and all of them have a big problem. We've read different versions of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Little Red Riding Hood. See what other folktales your students can identify! After Thanksgiving break, students will begin concentrating on technology.

First and Second grade students have been practicing locating and identifying the parts of books. Students should be able to tell the difference between an author and illustrator, know how to locate the publisher, title page, and spine, as well as find the spine label and call number. To help us remember some of these words, we sing a song to the tune of "Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes" : Illustrator, Author, Spine, Author Spine! Illustrator, Author, Spine, Author Spine! Cover, and Title Page, and Publisher, too! Illustrator, Author, Spine, Author Spine! One student told me he'd been singing in the bath just this morning!

Third and Fourth grade students are wrapping up their library organization unit with review games and are ready to be assessed. We've practiced with hands-on scavenger hunts, matching games, digital flash cards, Kahoot! quizzes and more - ensuring that all types of learners have had a chance to practice searching for and locating books by call number. You can try out some of the practice games here on our Quizlet page!

Fifth and Sixth grade students have started to get used to a new "learning management system" - Google Classroom. Classroom allows teachers to create a landing page which students join to see and submit assignments paperless-ly. Students' first assignment was to create a short presentation about their time at School of Wild - a project which combined the skills of using Google Slides, locating information on Britannica Online, and creating a bibliographic entry. Now students will be taking a critical look at presentation style and grading the work of others using a rubric. This critical thinking will help them to improve their own work and become better communicators.

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First and second grade students (pictured above) in the Iowa City Community School District received a generous gift last week!

In October, children’s author and illustrator, Peter Brown, spoke to students in all of our elementary schools as our 2014 Visiting Author, a long-standing literacy program sponsored by Hills Bank and Trust and donors to the ICCSD Foundation.

Art and Ginger Nowak, local education supporters, had the opportunity to meet Mr. Brown, and were so impressed with him and his books, they wanted to ensure that every first and second grade student had one of his books.

We were thrilled to accept this spontaneous and generous one-time gift of a Peter Brown book for each child who had not yet obtained one! Thank you, Art and Ginger!

One Book, Two Book - Writing Contest and Literary Festival

Attention Budding Writers!

Every student in every grade across the district is invited to submit writing to the annual One Book Two Book children’s literary festival!

The writing may be a story, a poem, or graphic novel, and should be no more than one page in length (double-spaced, single side). The work should be proof-read and re-written neatly or typed. All student writing will be entered into a contest. The students of the winning entries will be invited to attend the Write Out Loud event on Sunday, March 9, 2015.

One student at Hills will be selected to read his/her work at the banquet on Friday, March 6, 2015. We will also have 9 tickets pre-paid so that the representative's family and friends may attend as well.

Submissions are due the first week back from Winter Break.

Creating a Culture of Readers

The fall Scholastic Book Fair visited Hills Elementary this month.

We love that the book fair brings both excitement and new books to our students, turning reading into a fun event! Students get to find new interests, recommend books to friends, and learn more about authors and illustrators from the promotional videos provided by Scholastic. 1st/2nd graders were especially excited to see Peter Brown featured in this video!

We also love that the profits from the book fair support our library - because of this fair, the library will be able to purchase $600 worth of books from Scholastic! Our students thank you and your families for supporting our library through the book fair!

Technology Supporting the Curriculum

One of the great things about becoming a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) school, is that our students and teachers now have access to Google Classroom - a brand new learning management system. This is a great way for teachers to interact with students online using their Google accounts. It is also directly linked to student Google Drive accounts, making creating and turning in online assignment a breeze. See the video below for a brief overview of how Google Classroom works!
Classroom 101

Thanks for supporting your students and their library program!