Between the Bookends

December 2015

Pumpkin Spice Edition!

Well, not really as our computer screens aren't scratch and sniff! But know it is written in the spirit of pumpkin spice, cozy sweaters and gray days spent on the couch with a good book and a cup of tea. (Pardon my momentary suspension of reality!)

Even though we are engulfed in the season where nature gets ready for a long winter's nap, the library is still springing into shape! This month marked the beginning of the "Question of the Week" trivia game for students and the launch of the library's Creation Station! And how would this update be complete without a nod to Chappy, our new school fish!

So, when the chill in the air gets you down, stop into the library and take in all that is new!

Library Lesson in October

Kindergarten - Our Kinder Kiddos continue to work hard in the library! They are becoming pros, finding the books they like and mastering the procedures for coming into the library, checking books out and taking good care of our book friends! Next up, reinforcing classroom lessons such as fiction and nonfiction and sequence of events in a story!

First Grade - We spent this past month taking a relaxing break from our library manners work and enjoyed a few read-alouds (the first grade is going to have their book challenge goal before the flakes fly). One of these read-alouds Goldi Socks and the Three Libearians set us up for learning about finding just right books in the library! And finding Just Right Books is just right up the alley for our first graders! They showed how they can follow the five-finger rule and find books that are just right for them! Independence in the library, here we come!

Second Grade - As we work to become independent in the library and learning how the library is organized, we started out recognizing what books would be just right for us! Goldi Socks has nothing on this crew! They are doing a fabulous job recognizing the just right sweet spot! Next up - parts of the book and then a time out for all things Japan!

Third Grade - The analogy I used with these students was that of taking a little one on the high dive for their very first swim lesson. Not exactly the best approach! Likewise, our jump into the diving well of research proved to be an understandable challenge for many. They did, however persevere. With our scrapbook work paused for now, students are reflecting on their experience so that we can plan our next steps for learning research!

Fourth Grade - This month we took some time to explore some of the new features in the library including the Question of the Week (what is a reliable source anyway?), Panther Picks (student written book reviews) and the Creation Station. After our conference hiatus, we'll be jumping full force into Canada research! Oh, Canada! Our home and native land...

Creation Station

This is a new area of the library established to provide some STEAM/Makerspace type opportunities for students. The Creation Station features Engineering Challenges, kinetic sand, duct tape and art supplies. At this point the Creation Station is available to second through fourth grade. Students may use the Creation Station after book selection and on Creation Station days in the library.

Question of the Week

The Question of the Week is a weekly trivia question in the library for students to answer. If they answer correctly, and have cited a reliable source, they have the chance to win a prize. The trick of course, is the reliable source didn't think a librarian would just take any answer! If you have a knack for all things trivia and want to put our kids to the test, just send me a question and I'll be happy to make it our Question of the Week!

10,000 Book Challenge

Current Standings...

Kindergarten - 480

First Grade - 1,237

Second Grade - 527

Third Grade - 463

Fourth Grade - 367

Staff - 117

Total - 3191

October Book Logs are due Friday, November 6th!

Techie Tool Tip of the Month - Graphite, not just for pencils anymore!

Well, I threw a lot at you this month, but I do have one more thing I would like to share. At a Common Sense Media training, I learned of the website Sponsored by Common Sense Media, this site is dedicated to reviewing websites, games and apps for children. It is both a teacher AND parent site. The site provides recommendations to help parents and teachers determine appropriateness of sites. It also has lesson plans, Common Core aligned, that incorporate apps and sites, giving teachers step-by-step directions on how the apps are used!

But don't just take my word for it! Our very own Kellee Urso is a Graphite user too! She recently shared this tool during a PLC and I asked her to comment on what she finds valuable!

"Graphite is a great resource to help you find some of the best educational tools available. I mainly use the "Common Core Explorer" tool on Graphite, as a way to find educational apps and websites that directly link to each Common Core Standard. The site is very easy to use and allows you to filter your search based on Math or Language Arts standards--Science standards are coming soon, too! You can also look to see the ratings and reviews of each resource, given by teachers. It really is a fantastic tool to match up with our curriculum. :)" -- Kellee Urso

So give Graphite a try! With so many great resources, you are sure to find one or two to incorporate into your class! Remember though, any great ones you need to share! ;-)

(And thanks Kellee for your help with this month's Techie Tool Tip!)