Life in the Library

March 2015

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Spring has definitely sprung and there is even more energy in the library! We kicked off the month of March with Read Across America Week, celebrating the birthday of Dr. Seuss. It was great to see all of the excitement about reading (even with those last few snow days!) throughout the grade levels. We had guest readers from around the district, former teachers and buddy activities. In library, we shared many classic Dr. Seuss tales, from his first, And to Think That I Saw it On Mulberry Street with kindergarteners, to his biography, The Boy Who Lived on Fairfield Street with third graders. We talked about the impact he had on beginning readers and the publishing industry. Many students dressed up as their favorite Dr. Seuss characters (or sported the popular Cat in the Hat stripes) for our dress-up day.

Library Happenings

Kindergarteners had a lot of fun with their Dr. Seuss author study, reading many of his books and doing fun puzzles. After a quick funny leprechaun story, we are now going to be learning about one of my all-time favorite author/illustrators, Eric Carle! We started with The Very Hungry Caterpillar and will do a variety of activities with his books.

Our first graders have happily wrapped up their PA Young Readers Choice Awards. After reading 9 fabulous books, ending with our upcoming guest author Peter Brown's Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, classes voted for their favorite. We had a tie in Mrs. Downer's class between that and Dragons Love Tacos.

Second graders are coming to the end of their fractured fairy tales unit. We read two more by the hysterically funny Jon Scieszka, The Frog Prince Continued and The Stinky Cheese Man. We also read a short article about how he works with illustrator Lane Smith and Lane's wife Molly who is a graphic designer for the books. It was really neat to see how the three of them work together to create the final product! Students used a fractured fairy tale maker on the Read-Write-Think website to make their own stories. We have been seeing some very creative ideas!

In third grade, our students are learning about new resources available to them. We first went through an overview of the "Super 3" - a scaled down version of the Big 6 Research model. The 3 steps - "Plan-Do-Review" are easy to understand and remember. We piggy-backed on this by using World Book Kids online encyclopedia to search for information for the class country projects. Another fun resource was Book Flix, accessible through the school's Power Library page. This site has animated popular picture books and paired them with related nonfiction titles. Great for fun and learning! It has games and comprehension activities too. Classes are still enjoying the tale of StingRay, Plastic (who we know now is a ball) and Lumphy in Toys Go Out.

Our fourth graders are continuing to work on their state fair projects in library. With the help of a checklist, students are moving along well through their facts, places of interest and famous person Power Points. They are also drawing their state tree, bird and flower. We will be putting these together by the end of the month. Our journey across the U.S. is about to take off in the novel, The Genius Files.

Fifth graders learned about copyright and how it affects what we can use in our school work. This led to some great discussions in both classes. A related topic, staying safe online, was addressed through Cyber Smarts, one of our online e-books about cyber safety. Next, we began learning about the Big 6 research model. After an overview, we focused on the first step, task definition. Often choosing a topic is the hardest part! We checked out the fabulous website, to be inspired with ideas. Check it out at home; there is also a link on the bottom of the library page links. Next, we took the next steps, locating and evaluating sources, and learned how to identify the right materials for the job. We used a list of titles to pick out the best ones (nonfiction, for example, if studying Abe Lincoln). Our next lessons will focus on finding relevant information and putting it to use. Meanwhile, we are excitedly digging back in to Mr. Lemoncello's Library, our read-aloud!

Sixth graders are practicing for their E.P.A. Good luck to Mr. Wentz's class who have their assessment at the end of this month! We have been learning to write a practice Works Consulted for various formats (book, website, database, etc.). Students are reviewing note-taking skills and writing topic/subtopic questions. We have taken just a little bit of time to read from The False Prince but will be back to it after E.P.A.!

Bucks County Reading Olympics

Good luck to our three teams who will be competing in the Reading Olympics on Monday, March 23rd. The students on each team have been reading tons of books and meeting almost weekly now to practice sample questions. It should be an exciting night!