News from the Library–Dec. 7, 2011

photo by Will Lion

Turning that fire hydrant into a drinking fountain……

This week fifth and sixth graders worked on finding keywords in their search ideas in order to slow down the torrent of information they get when they simply “google.”  In our lesson, we highlighted keywords in 10 questions and then used those highlighted keywords for the search.  Students were amazed at how much more efficient it made their searches.  We had a fun bonus question, too.  Do you know which president got stuck in the bathtub and why?  Use those keywords and give it a try!

Also in the library this week:

Kindergarten–One of my favorite read alouds for kindergarten is The Great Gracie Chase by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated masterfully by Mark Teague.  It has all the elements of a screwball comedy and students giggled their way through the story.  The size of the book and the bright illustrations make this the perfect read aloud.  We used our developing visual thinking prediction skills to guess what would happen on each page.  An altogether great book for this age.
First Grade–First graders could relate to the main character in Amber Steward’s No Babysitters Allowed.  Hopscotch is a brave bunny except when his parents go out and he has to have a babysitter.  He tries everything not to like Mrs. Honeybunch but finds that she isn’t so bad after all.  This was a good chance for us to practice the visibie thinking routine called “fluttering feelings” in which we tracked a characters change from the beginning of the story to the end.

Second Grade–To get ready for the approaching holiday season,  second graders heard David Shannon’s very funny book, Too Many Toys.  Spencer, the main character, negotiates with his mother with the skills of a lawyer about getting rid of some of his many, many toys.  He discovers in the end that the best toy of all is his imagination and the box in which he was to put his old toys!!  Again, we used our visible thinking routine to track how Spencer changed from the beginning to the end of the story.

Third Grade–Also to prepare for a holiday filled with electronically powered toys (and some of the downsides of such toys) third graders heard Suzanne Collins delightful book, When Charlie McButton Lost Power.  When a storm knocks out the power to his house, Charlie finds himself lost without all his electronics until he discovers that playing games with his sister can be just as much, or even more fun.  Once again, third graders used visible thinking skills to discuss how Charlie’s ideas changed from the beginning of the story to the end.

Fourth Grade–The importance of learning how to cite sources is becoming more and more important and fourth graders learned the first step in citing a book by “dissecting” books.  They learned how to find the pertinent information to cite a book as a source by finding the title, author, publisher, city of publication, and copyright date.  Future lessons will include how to cite other sources and how to use a bibliography maker.

Fifth and Sixth Grade–see opening post.

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2 comments on “News from the Library–Dec. 7, 2011

  1. yearofmetta says:

    I always appreciate your monthly blog. I am a teacher librarian in Bella Coola, British Columbia. I love your image this month of the fire hydrant. Yes, the internet is overwhelming. Do you use kids’ search engines? They’re much easier to use than google.

    • Yes, we do use kids’ search engines and one of the best we’ve found is Infotopia. But so many of my students do a google search as their default method of searching that I’m trying to teach them how to do effective searches on google. In the next lessons, we’re going to learn about common search operators and advanced google search tips. Wish me luck!

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