Library Update Spring 2016

See what's happening in the library now!

By the Grades

What have we been up to in the library?


Kindergarten students spend one class period a week in the computer lab. We have been learning about how to use the mouse and the keyboard by drawing with KidPix and using online games.

Kindergarten students also spend one class period a week learning about books. Currently we are studying author/illustrator Peter Brown.

1st Grade

First graders have been learning about the different types of books in the library. Ask your first grade student about Everybody books, Early Readers, Fiction books and Nonfiction. They should be able to tell you location of these books, whether they are fiction or nonfiction, and what type of book they are.

2nd Grade

Second graders have been working hard to prepare for their Research Fair! Each student completed a practice PowerPoint slide and a "real" one to share some of the information they learned while doing research in the classroom.

When the research fair is over, we will be continuing to discuss how our library is organized using the Dewey Decimal System.

3rd Grade and 4th Grade

Third and fourth graders have been studying the library catalog and types of literature in conjunction with the Optimist Good Reader program. 3rd graders have been on a Genre Vacation defining genres and brainstorming keywords to use with the library catalog to search for specific genres and find those books on the shelves. 4th graders are participating in the Great Genre Debate! They will try to convince each other that their chosen genre is the best!

They have also been learning about how to use databases to search for and find information. Optimist Good Reader packets are due February 19!

5th Grade and 6th Grade

Fifth and sixth graders have been working on avoiding plagiarism by using note-taking and citation. These are difficult skills that will be a part of their education from now until they are finished with secondary or post secondary school!

We have learned that many databases help us cite information by providing the citation if you know where to look and Google has an Add-On called EasyBib that is also helpful.

We will vote around spring break for our favorites!

Where oh where have my books gone?

We try to communicate regularly with parents about students who have overdue library materials. This is the time of year when it starts to worry me that we have some students who checked out books in October or November and we still don't have those books back. We do not charge overdue fines, but we do charge for books that have been damaged beyond repair or lost. Please check in those hard to reach places like under the couch, behind the bed, under the car seats, etc. to see if you can find any library books! We would much prefer the book back over payment for a lost book and those sneaky books can be anywhere. I once had a student find a book in the freezer and return it 4 years after it was due!

Check Out Days

We are asking students to choose at least one “Just Right” or “Good Fit” book for personal reading. This process includes looking at the print size, number of pages, and the presence or absence of illustrations. Students are also to use the “Five Finger Rule” which requires students to monitor their reading carefully. Finally, we ask students to decide if the book is interesting and makes sense to them and if they can understand what they are reading. Students are also encouraged to choose books that they will finish. Students may bring books home that are too hard (Dream Books) or too easy (Vacation Books). This is okay. No one reads at their “Just Right” level all the time.
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Grading in the Library

I also want to let parents know that I do some of my recording keeping for assessments using PowerSchool. This means that if you login, you may see a library “grade” for your child. Let me explain what this means. In the Iowa City Community School District, we do not give “grades.” Your child will receive an end of the year mark of one of the following:

3 – has met end of year benchmark

2 – shows progress, but has not met benchmark

1 – shows limited or no progress

To this end, I use a 3-point scale to record my assessments. Unfortunately, there is no way to turn off the grading scale in PowerSchool so 2/3 is a 66% and 1/3 is a 33%. I am not failing your child and have no intention of marking them down in any way. Many of my assessments are pre-assessments or exit slips to inform my instruction. These “grades” are not stored in any permanent records and have no meaning beyond what they mean to me.