Sowams Library

Late Fall 2019

Fall: Establishing Routines and Sharing books

Kindergarten (1x a week)

Students explored the library during our beginning of the year scavenger hunt. Routines for book selection have been established. Sections of the library are being gradually opened for student browsing. Students began their book search in our bins. Bin books are selected for their appropriateness for kindergarten: K characters, shapes, letters, repeating text, rhyming text, etc. The next areas opened are the picture books and beginning chapter/controlled vocabulary books. K students are learning to “read” illustrations. Two questions you can ask at home when reading picture books are, “What is happening on this page?” and “What do you see that makes you think that?” See Visual Literacy Through Children's Picture Books to learn more. Students are now ready to explore and evaluate the nonfiction books. Those with large letters and a small amount of text are better choices. Nursery rhymes, finger plays, and songs help get the wiggles out and provide opportunities for language play.


First Grade (2x a week)

Students were reacquainted with the library during our beginning of school scavenger hunt. New routines were established this year. Students decorated their shelf markers to use during book selection and to access Chromebooks, Typing Club, and Seesaw. Another new routine is our Library Jobs, which change every week. Students' pride in taking responsibility for their shared learning space is heartwarming! Each week students learn about new books through book trailers and student led book shares. We've listened to and explored an old favorite, the Mr. Putter and Tabby series. ER (early reader) beginning chapter books like these are a great way for budding readers to practice their skills. Students loved reading Tumblebook ebooks, available to you at home from our website. We have read fiction and nonfiction book pairs on the same subject. In addition to noting expository text features (see Guiding Students Through Expository Text with Text Feature Walks), we read an exciting example of narrative nonfiction (see Five Kinds of STEM-themed Nonfiction Books for Kids). To bring fun to our exploration we sing fiction and nonfiction songs. Care of digital equipment, Chromebooks, headphones, and mouses, is continually reinforced as students' dexterity improves. Wrapping cords isn't as easy as it looks! We are using Typing Club to build good keyboarding habits and muscle memory. A few minutes of regular home practice will help your student develop ease with this still important skill. Finally we have begun our Common Sense Media lessons. More on that in our next newsletter!


Second Grade (2x a week)

As in first grade, students were reacquainted with the library during our beginning of school scavenger hunt. New routines were established this year. Students decorated their shelf markers to use during book selection and to access Chromebooks, Typing Club, Seesaw, and Destiny Discover. Another new routine is our Library Jobs, which change every week. Students' pride in taking responsibility for their shared learning space is heartwarming! Each week students learn about new books through book trailers and student led book shares. Second graders have been introduced to our library catalog, Destiny Discover. Searches such as Keyword, Title, Author, or Subject are new to our young reader/researchers. They are beginning to understand call numbers are the "address" of a book. Using a call number to locate books in different sections of the library is challenging, a skill that will continue to develop over time. We play a book relay game to bring fun to the practice of this skill. Students have begun to place their own holds on books. Some holds are for Sowams books, others are for books in schools throughout RI. Every day I deliver requested titles to students in their classrooms! Students are just beginning to explore our collection of ebooks on Destiny Discover. These ebooks are available for school and home reading 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! We are using Typing Club to build good keyboarding habits and muscle memory. A few minutes of regular home practice will help your student develop ease with this still important skill. Finally we have begun our Common Sense Media lessons. More on that in our next newsletter!


Third Grade (1x a week)

As in first and second grade, students were reacquainted with the library during our beginning of school scavenger hunt. New routines were established this year. Students decorated their shelf markers to use during book selection and to access Chromebooks, Typing Club, Seesaw, and Destiny Discover. Another new routine is our Library Jobs, which change every week. Students' pride in taking responsibility for their shared learning space is heartwarming! Each week students learn about new books through book trailers and student led book shares. Third graders have reviewed how to use our library catalog, Destiny Discover. Keyword, Title, Author, and Subject searching, as well as locating books in different sections of the library are still being practiced. Students have begun to place their own holds on books. Some holds are for Sowams books, others are for books in schools throughout RI. Every day I deliver requested titles to students in their classrooms! Students explore our collection of ebooks on Destiny Discover. These ebooks are available for school and home reading 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! We are using Typing Club to build good keyboarding habits and muscle memory. A few minutes of regular home practice will help your student develop ease with this still important skill. Finally we have begun our Common Sense Media lessons. More on that in our next newsletter!


Collaboration with Classroom Colleagues

When classroom teachers and I team up to support students in the classroom or library, it is a win-win for everyone! This fall I introduced a database (yes, a database!) to students in one of our first grade classes. Smaller groups of students had the opportunity for guided access to PebbleGo. In second grade I've worked in classrooms with small groups to scaffold independent use of Seesaw and with the whole class to explore digital books.


In November alone, teachers requested recommendations or checkouts for 40 books! They needed 27 Clever badges, Seesaw letters for new families, and help with technology devices.

Dan Santat Event Elicited Broad Smiles!

Caldecott award-winning Dan Santat shared the joy of reading with our school! Thank you to the Sowams PTO for sponsoring this event!!

2019 - 2020 Family Book Club Theme: Empathy Gym

"There's a fair amount of evidence now that the more fiction that people read, the more empathetic that they become," says Stanford psychologist Jamil Zaki. "Because fiction is one of the most powerful ways to connect with people who are different from us who we might not have a chance to meet otherwise." - NPR
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Fall Stats

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