Life in the Library

April

Welcome Guest Author Matt Phelan!

Our school is gearing up for our April 25th visit from author and illustrator, Matt Phelan! He is an award winning writer and illustrator of many books. Students have been enjoying getting to know his graphic novels and picture books. Check out his website at www.mattphelan.com and the links for ordering his books on the library webpage!


Kindergarten and first graders have been reading his picture books, including Xander's Panda Party. Upper grades have become familar with his graphic novels, including Bluffton and Around the World. Both are historical fiction, so we have been enjoying looking at websites with additional information on the topics and famous people covered.

6th Grade Performance Assessment (EPA)

Our 6th grade classes have been busily preparing for the EPA. Most recently, we have been working on note-taking, using a variety of activities. Students arereviewing how to find and record key information, organize ideas and synthesize them as part of the research process. Classes have completed a practice one-day EPA, doing research on a famous person. Next, students chose topics for which they created questions and sub-questions. They also worked hard to pre-search sources in numerous formats, including text, online databases and encyclopedias. We have reviewed Power Point skills and some basic presentation skills as well. Good luck sixth graders!!

In Other News...

Author studies were the focus for our youngest grades. In kindergarten, students enjoyed learning lessons along with Helen Lester's characters like Tacky the penguin, Pinkerton the pig and the sand witch, and Buddy the bunny. We also read her autobiography which gave us some funny insight into how she became an author. First graders are having fun with Kevin Henkes' mice and other characters. We are making stick puppets of some of the popular ones, including Chyrsanthemum, Lily and Owen. We also looked at his other style of illustrating, as in the Caldecott-winning Kitten's First Full Moon.


Our second graders explored some poetry for National Poetry month. (Check out the fun links from famous poets like Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky on the library webpage!) They are also learning to use some online tools, such as World Book Online to help with a biography project for the classroom.


Third graders have been hard at work on their country projects. We are learning to read for information from books and World Book Online to make a Power Point presentation. Students are learning to use bullets, make backgrounds and create transitions.


State Fair is coming! Fourth graders are putting the final touches on their projects. They have been working hard to write about their state facts, illustrate some key concepts and make a Power Point based on a famous person from that state. We are excited to put everything together to show you!


Our fifth graders have finished their journey through the Big 6 research process. We continued learning to get information and synthesize our knowledge. Students summarized information from an article and then narrowed down the information so that it fit on only a post-it note! Next, they took unrelated pictures and had to sort them into groups; their creativity with this was amazing! Finally, we looked at how to present what we "learned" by brainstorming fun ways to share information. Their lists included everything from multimedia projects to puppet shows! We have been reading The Comic Book Kid, a cross-genre novel written by a friend of mine. They are enjoying the story and the "stories behind the stories" that I can give them, too.

Last but not least...

Congratulations to our Reading Olympics teams! This year we had a record number of students and teams participate in this great event. Participants have spent most of the year reading from a pre-selected list of books, sharing about them and attending regular meetings as a team. I am SO proud of their hard work and enthusiasm!


Please remember to check the library webpage often. (If you are reading this, then you must be one of the people who do - so thank you!) I am frequently updating it with information and photos relevant for both students and families. Thank you! Happy Spring!

READING OLYMPICS TEAMS!