News From the Library–Jan. 16, 2012


To start off the New Year, sixth graders had a lesson this week that made them reflect on the connections between their studies at school.  The question posed was “How are your classes connected and, in particular, how is the work we do in the Library connected to your other classes?” To answer it,  we used a Visible Thinking Routine called “One Word.”  After showing the video above, students were given post-it note tablets and they wrote down one word that summarized what the video was about.  (By the way, the video was mesmerizing to them (no small feat) and it was a great hook into the lesson.) After they wrote their one word, we discussed their ideas.  It was fascinating to see how many different single words they came up with and how they defended their answers.  Words ranged from connected, to complicated to non-stop, to perfect, to teamwork, to life!  Then students were asked to write down two classes that were connected and how they were connected.  The example I gave was music and math, and how note values connected to fractions.  After they finished their writing, they stuck their page on the white board.  Next students came up and read someone’s page and said if they agreed or disagreed with what was on the paper and why.  It was a lively discussion and the final take away was that if you make connections between what you learn, your thinking will be deeper and you will remember what you’ve learned without simply memorizing it.  We also had fun discussing Rube Goldberg inventions and looking at a book from our collection as well as this interesting video and article from the New York Times.  A great way to start the New Year!

Also in the Library this week….

Kindergarten–We had a special treat this week as one of our kindergarten students donated a book to the library in honor of her birthday which just happened to fall on her Library day!  So we read Valentina’s gift, April and Esme, Tooth Fairies by Bob Graham.  This book was absolutely charming and right on target with the interests of this group.  A great read aloud with some suspenseful moments for the tooth-fairies-in-training and a lovely explanation of why we never see those winged creatures.

First Grade, Second Grade, and Third Grade–This week was the introduction of our ever popular Library Book Clubs.  First and Second graders are in the Bookworm Club and choose from a selection of beginning readers.  Third graders can choose from a wide range of beginning chapter books for the Red Dot Club.  Bookworms make appointments to read their favorite pages to me (one of my favorite parts of being a librarian) and Red Dot members can choose from a variety of book projects, including video book reviews that are posted on this blog.  Stay tuned……

Fourth Grade–How did people believe that famous broadcast, War of the Worlds, in October of 1938?  This is a hard concept for our tech savvy students today but we had fun looking at pictures of old radios and newspaper articles about the famous hoax.  We did a thinking routine called “Time Machine” while looking a slides from 1938.  After thinking about how different things were in 1938,  students had a much better understanding of the reaction to the broadcast as told in Meghan McCarthy’s great book, Aliens Are Coming.  For the reading of the story, I projected a large image of an old cabinet radio, we dimmed the lights, and pretended we were back in 1938 on that fateful October evening…

Fifth Grade–In honor of Martin Luther King Day, we read and discussed My Brother Martin by Christine King Farris.  I projected one illustration from the book and students did a thinking routine called “See, Think,Wonder” in which they observed the image, talked about what they thought was going on in the picture, and then came up with something they wondered about.  Then, after reading the story, we had a very lively discussion about the civil rights movement and Dr. King’s place in it.  The illustrations in this book are wonderful and paint such a detailed picture of the King family.  This book provides great way to help students understand the powerful contribution of Dr. King by telling stories from his childhood and how they affected him and his choices in life.

Sixth Grade–see opening post

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