Recently @ Hills Elementary Library

December 2015

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Kindergarten students have started to learn about technology and Digital Citizenship. Digital Citizenship are the tools and skills students need to have to be safe and effective users of technology. To introduce Kinders to some of these concepts, we started with a short video and quiz called Cyber 5 from The Cyber 5 rules include keeping personal information private (names, passwords, addresses, and phone numbers), how to deal with cyberbullying (ask an adult to help you save the evidence, don't respond), what to do if you see something online that makes you uncomfortable (talk to a trusted adult right away), and don't click on or download anything without asking first.

Next up, students began typing practice by playing Keyboard Zoo, also on ABCya. This game helps students locate letters on the keyboard while reinforcing letter recognition and matching letter sounds to the names of animals. These activities were followed up by participating in the Hour of Code! See below for more!

First and Second grade students have also been learning about being safe online, and focusing on keeping personal information safe. We watched and discussed several videos - one about what personal information is, and another about how to safe in your "online neighborhood." We wrapped up with the video below - a great song that reminds us to use our heads, our hearts, our arms, our gut, and our legs when online!

Pause & Think Online

Third through Sixth grade spent all of December on learning basic coding skills. We began with Graph Paper Programming, a challenge in which students wrote symbols for another students to follow in order to recreate a secret image. With their code written, students gave their classmates a chance to test their code, and help them "debug" any problems. This would be a great activity to try at home! After that, we spent two weeks completing an "Hour of Code" on, using the Minecraft coding games.

Students all have their own account, and are encouraged to continue learning on their own. They can access their class here!

Creating a Culture of Readers

One goal of the library is to inspire curiosity and encourage students to read a wide variety of books. Through displays and library lessons, students can interact with many new ideas and types learning. This month, displays of nonfiction books about frogs and books about different types of algorithms (sets of step by step instructions) encourage students to think about new things. Before Thanksgiving break, 1st grade students had the opportunity to share some of the books they were thankful for, by creating turkeys with their favorite books written on the feathers! Reflecting on our favorite books and sharing our different interests is a great way to make reading a positive part of our lives.

Technology Supporting the Curriculum

The Hour of Code is an international effort to introduce computer programming to more students during Computer Science Education Week. One main sponsor of the initiative is, a website that has created self-paced and student friendly puzzle games to introduce the concepts of logic and computer language and syntax. Schools are encouraged to host Hour of Code events in December, and to include as many students as possible.

At Hills, we are proud to say that all students in K-6 had the opportunity to participate in an Hour of Code! The activities, themed around Minecraft, Angry Birds, Star Wars, and Frozen built by are self-paced, with introductory videos for each new skill. The basic course is built for students who cannot yet read, and is based entirely in images, making it possible for even our youngest students to solve the puzzles!

The games use "blocks" that represent written code, which students drag and snap together to form algorithms that solve the puzzle. These skills require students to think logically, to problem solve, and to fail repeatedly to learn! Using the drag and drop puzzles, the games also help our youngest students develop hand eye coordination and mouse skills! Learning about coding helps students begin to understand the underlying structure of computers and technology, and introduces a possible future career path in STEM.

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One Book Two Book - Writing Contest and Festival

Attention Young Writers!

Every student in grades 1-8 across the district is invited to submit writing to the annual One Book Two Book children’s literary festival!

Student in grades 1-8 in Corridor area school districts are encouraged to submit one page of writing for the 2016 One Book Two Book festival. This can be anything: story, essay, poem, song lyric, graphic novel page, etc. The piece must be an original work, written this school year, in polished form – ready for publication. Winners will be selected to present at the festival banquet in March.

Submissions are due the first week back from Winter Break!

Thanks for supporting your students and their library program!