News From the Library–October 4, 2010

The Incredible Miss Smith

Second graders were treated this week to a wonderful book written and illustrated by Michael Garland.  I love reading this book because the story is humorous, the illustrations captivating, and the message just perfect for younger students who are learning to read on their own.  In the story, Miss Smith has an amazing storybook in which the characters leap from the page and  into classroom.  When she is delayed one morning and the principal takes over the result is disastrously humorous.  Beside being a great story, this book illustrates  just what I want students to do when they hear a story–to make those pictures in their minds and to imagine they are in the story right along with the characters.  This is a skill that when practiced leads to readers who make the “movie in their head” and become avid readers.  And books are so nice…no batteries to recharge, nothing to download, can be taken almost anywhere.  Not that I don’t like technology but there really is nothing like a book in the hand.

Also in the Library this week….

Kindergarten–It’s fall and time for the scarecrows!  Kindergarteners heard Margaret Wise Brown’s classic story The Little Scarecrow Boy and loved hearing about how the little scarecrow became fiercer and fiercer.  This book is also a great way to teach the concept of ordinals as the little boy learns to make six faces, each one scarier than the last and he counts them down from first to sixth as he is chased by a crow.

First Grade–In  Barbara Bottner’s Miss Brooks Loves Books, the main character is a little girl who is a very, very reluctant reader.  Miss Brooks, the librarian, tries very, very hard to entice her into choosing a book for an assignment in which the little girl will dress up as the main character of the story.  After many exhausting tries, they land on William Steig’s Shrek and the girl eagerly dresses up as the ogre with all the warts, charming her classmates with her snorts!  This led us to a great discussion about how to choose a book that you would like.

Second Grade–see opening post.

Third Grade–What happens when you are dancing with your pet alligator, you both slip, and he ends up being accidentally flushed down the toilet???  Third grader chortle at Richard Waring’s Alberto the Dancing Alligator when Alberto ends up in the city sewer system, causes a mild panic, and finally makes his way back to his owner (by way of tango music played in her bathroom).  This is a book that is just right for the humor of a third grader.  And as a bonus, we got to talk about what a rumor is (1000 alligators loose!  All toilets at risk!) and how important it is to check out your facts before starting to panic.

Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Grades–This week I introduced the upper graders to “Battle of the Books” which will take place this school year on April 14, 2011.  Students read from a list of 30 pre-selected books to prepare for the Battle which is sponsored by the Santa Barbara County Schools.  These same 30 books are read by students all over Santa Barbara County.  Practice meetings at lunch will start in January 2011 but many students eagerly began checking out the books on the list.  We will be able to take 5 students from Cold Spring to the Battle.  More information will follow in the Wednesday Word and on this blog.  A list of the books is available on the Blogroll to your right in the link to the Battle of the Books list.


One comment on “News From the Library–October 4, 2010

  1. I love your book choices. We gave my middle daughter’s teacher the Miss Brooks Loves Books story for a present. She was Miss Brooks until she got married half way through the year (and invited the entire class of kids to the ceremony). Part of the class gift was Lily’s Big Day by Kevin Henkes.

    I didn’t know about the Michael Garland Miss Smith book. I am excited to find it and read it! Thanks for your post!

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