Recently @ Hills Elementary Library

April 2015

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Kindergarten students are enjoying an author study of Kevin Henkes! Reading multiple books by the same author gives students insight into what authors/illustrators do, how books can be compared and contrasted, book design, and more. While reading books starring Lily, kinders have practiced several Common Core literacy standards including recognizing characters and exploring the relationship between words and illustrations to make meaning.

First and Second grade students have also been working on Common Core standards while practicing the skill of visualizing. Good readers will make a movie in their head of what is happening in a story as they read. As 1st/2nd graders transition from picture books to more text-heavy stories, visualizing the story becomes more necessary. One way we have practiced this skill is by reading poetry and have students draw what they visualized.

Third and Fourth grade students are using their Google Drive skills and trying out Google Classroom for organizing our class materials as we begin a research project. Students will be using Britannica Online to learn more about the Government, Economy, History, and Geography of our state. They will take notes in a Google Doc graphic organizer and then use their findings in their social studies time!

Fifth and Sixth grade students are moving from practicing their highlighting, note-taking, and citation skills into assessing their skills for end of year reports. By the end of these two grades, students should be showing progress on knowing why we must cite sources and how to cite sources. Using Easybib, students were asked to cite an article from the Time for Kids website, and a book in our library and then paste their citations into a Google Form assessment. Each citation is a little different, so knowing how to navigate Easybib is the first step. Most students have been highly successful using this method, and will be prepared for using the tool frequently in junior high!

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Every April, we celebrate National School Library Month to recognize how students benefit from having a school library. This year, I asked students to tell us themselves! Below are some of their responses to the question "What has the library helped you learn?"

Creating a Culture of Readers

Part of creating a love of reading in students is getting books in to their hands.

Traditionally, libraries have been gate keepers to information, one of few ways for people to access knowledge and literature. Today, information is everywhere. Libraries now serve as a way to narrow down information to what is most helpful or most enjoyable and provide an expert to guide patrons to the information or stories they want.

A school library is both a place where the best children's books are available to students, and place where students can get expert help in learning to find and use information. Unfortunately, traditional policies have sometimes led students to not be able to check out books due to fines or overdues.

One step we are taking to ensure that students have a positive interaction with the best children's literature available is to make it easier for students to check out books even if they have lost library books in the past. See below for details of our new Food for Fines program!

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Technology Supporting the Curriculum

For the second year in a row, teachers and students have participated in a district wide Technology Survey. This survey collects data on access to technology, how much technology is being used in the classroom, and what we are using technology to do. The results of this survey will help our district in future planning, will help teachers gain a better understanding of students expectations and experience with technology, and will help us to make better instructional choices.
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Thanks for supporting your students and their library program!