Life in the Library

September 2015

Welcome Back!

Hello Churchville families! It has been a pleasure getting to meet all of our students this month. If you do not know me, I was a classroom teacher here at Churchville for 18 years before becoming the librarian at Wrightstown Elementary for the last few years. I am very excited to be back "home" in my new role and see so many familiar faces! You can read all about me on the webpage. :)

This month, classes have been learning library rules and procedures to help ensure things run smoothly! Younger students have been singing the "shelf marker hokey pokey" (ask your kindergartener, first or second grader if they can sing..."You put your shelf marker in, you take the book out..." and explain why we do it!) All classes have reviewed our rules (3 Respects: Respect yourself, respect each other and respect the "stuff" in our library) and how to check out/return books. We read quite a few "back to school" library books, with titles such as Library Lion, Our Librarian Won't Tell Us Anything, Bats at the Library and Don't Let a Ghost Borrow Your Library Book!

We celebrated International Dot Day with fifth and sixth grades. (Don't worry - next year it will definitely be expanded to include others!!) Dot Day takes its name from the book The Dot. Both the day and the story celebrate creativity and inspire readers to "make their mark!" You can find links for Dot Day, a song and even celebrity-made dots on the library website. Check out some of our dot-inspired pictures here and more on the webpage!

Library Happenings...

Kindergarteners and first graders have learned a lot about book care, thanks to our "friends" Elephant and Piggie and the Pigeon, all characters by author/illustrator Mo Willems. His funny, simple stories have great messages and are easily recognizable. We are learning about his use of speech and thought bubbles, marking to show movement and size of text for expression. We read We are in a Book!, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (and watched a quick video entitled "Don't Let the Pigeon Touch the Books!" about book care), and also Knuffle Bunny.

Our second graders are reviewing the difference between fiction and nonfiction books while we get familiar with those sections of the library. We compared the silly Tacky the Penguin to an informative book on penguins, looking at illustrations vs. photos with captions, tables of contents, etc. A fun Flocabulary rap video also helped us understand the differences! We even briefly touched on spine labels, and noted how the different things on the stickers (numbers for nonfiction, letters only starting with E or F for fiction) can help figure out what type of book it is.

In third grade, students are starting their first unit - tall tales! Last year, they had an introduction to folk tales including fairy tales and fables. This year, as they learn a bit more about our country and its history, we will read about some classic characters, starting with Paul Bunyan. We are learning what makes a tall tale a tall tale, and identifying characteristics from each book to show the trickery/cleverness, adventure and hyperbole. So far we read two very different stories about Paul Bunyan - definitely someone larger-than-life!

Fourth graders focus on the organization of the library, so we have started out by reviewing what we know. After a library scavenger hunt which had students searching for various things like "a picture book" or "a book that was made into a movie," we began using Destiny, our online catalog, on the computers. Students reviewed how to type in a search term and to read the results, including if a book is currently in and where to find the call number. We will be digging in to the Dewey Decimal System very soon!

Our fifth and sixth graders are also reviewing Destiny and how to search efficiently. They completed a short review page to check their knowledge of how to find titles, authors and books in the catalog. Sixth graders are also learning the basics of "Boolean" searching, using the terms "and" "or" and "not" for help. We are also going to begin looking at available and very useful (FREE!) databases through Power Library, a state-sponsored wealth of user-friendly information!

Upcoming events...

We are very excited to welcome our fall guest author Sarah Mylnowski to our school on October 9th. She will be presenting to grades 2-6 about her new book, Upside Down Magic as well as her life as a writer. Sarah is also the author of the Whatever After series and many books for young adults. A link to her information and an order form to purchase signed books is on the library webpage.

Also coming up in October, 5th and 6th graders will be able to sign up for the Bucks County Reading Olympics. This month, we have talked a bit about this fun night and the meetings leading up to it, and previewed many of the books for this year's competition. There are many helpful links on the library webpage if your child is interested. If he or she loves to read and talk about books, Reading Olympics is a fun and exciting opportunity!

Stay tuned for lots of great new books being added to our collection this fall! These will be highlighted in the library and on a hallway bulletin board, as well as on line. I had the privilege this month of attending the Princeton Library Children's Book Festival which had nearly 80 authors and illustrators in attendance meeting fans and signing books! We have quite a few newly autographed books in our library now!

Keep an eye out for information on the fall book fair, coming the week after Thanksgiving. We need volunteers to help as "cashiers" and assisting with materials, set up/take down, and helping students while they shop. Please see the volunteer link and form on the library website. Thank you in advance for your help!

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