Life in the Library

December 2015

Happy holidays from the library!

We have been celebrating the winter holidays through books and activities this month in library. Many grade levels have stories that connect to their units of study, while some used to encourage discussion and celebration. Kindergarteners bopped to the rhythmic Hannukah Hop and Pete the Cat's Christmas. First graders compared versions of The Chanukah Guest (with its new one The Hanukkah Bear) and read The Smallest Gift by Peter H. Reynolds, creator of The Dot. Second graders are studying folktales, so our holiday stories came from long, long ago! We read The Magic Dreidel and the Legend of the Poinsettia. Students drew what they wish a magic dreidel would spin out for them, and made their own poinsettias out of paper. In third grade, we have been studying author/illustrator Chris VanAllsburg, so naturally we read The Polar Express. We also read Herschel and the Hanukkah Goblins (just because!). Fourth graders and sixth graders enjoyed Patricia Polacco's The Tree of the Dancing Goats, an autobiographical story of one special Hanukkah and Christmas celebration when she was young. Fifth graders are studying historical fiction, so our stories came from that genre. Oskar and the Eight Blessings was set during World War II in New York City. Silver Packages was set in the mid 1900s in a coal mining town in the Appalachian mountains.

Other Library Happenings...

First graders and kindergarteners also shared some winter stories (even if it's felt like spring!). A brand new book, Toys Meet Snow, really captured first graders with its beautiful language and adorable illustrations. It is from the creators of the Toys Go Out chapter books, which is one of my all-time favorites! Kindergarteners talked about animals in winter using the book Over and Under the Snow.

Sixth graders are continuing to learn the Big 6 research project. Groups worked together to sort lists of topics into broadest to narrowest, discussing which are best for actual research. Next, we looked at how to evaluate print resources, finding the best ones for research quickly and effectively.

Fourth graders got tech-savvy this month. They used the iPads to celebrate the Hour of Code week, an international movement involving over 185,000 schools. has games, activities and videos to introduce young children to the world of computer coding. Through familiar characters such as Minecraft, Frozen, Star Wars and more, students learn how to visual commands and move blocks which represent the code language. Check it out! They also began practicing Power Point skills by making a fun holiday slide.

Our book fair was a tremendous success! Students loved the displays and the huge selection. Thanks to all of the parents who volunteered to help, and to everyone who came out during our extended family shopping hours! 'Tis the season to be reading! Wishing all of our Churchville families a wonderful holiday and happy, healthy new year!