News From the Library–March 26, 2012


10 Minutes Before, 10 Minutes After


This week Sixth Graders did one of the more interesting Visual Thinking Routines called 10 Minutes Before, 10 Minutes After.  After showing them a slide with the illustration from the book (above) The Butterfly by Patricia Polacco, they speculated on what could have happened ten minutes before this illustration and then ten minutes after.  Using lots of visual clues, many students felt that it had something to do with hiding children from the Nazis which is indeed the narrative line of this wonderful book.  Having students use some kind of thinking exercise before I read to them has been very interesting.  I have found many times that students do bring to the story their own knowledge but having to explain their thinking brings it to another, much deeper, level.  It makes the story have connections and our discussions have moved to a much more adult level.  This book is a perfect vehicle for this kind of lesson as it is set in a real world situation but also has the dramatic narrative to hold their interest.

Also in the Library this week….

Kindergarten–What happens is all the signs we take for granted get changed?  Do we follow them?  That’s the funny premise in Tedd Arnold’s The Signmaker’s Assistant and Kindergarteners got quite a chuckle about what happened with Norman, the title character, decides to have a little mischievous fun while the signmaker is away.  An added bonus to this story are the gentle reminders about apologies and taking responsibility for fixing mistakes.

First Grade–A book with a very funny twist delighted first graders this week.  Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown is the story of a bear who wants a little boy for a pet.  This was a great way to introduce point of view to students!

Second Grade–The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill is set on that sometimes terrifying domain of the elementary school playground where one child dominates everything that happens.  When a new girl arrives and doesn’t fall for the bullying, it’s revealed that the bully really wanted friends after all.  All the students were connected to the story.  This is a good book for starting discussions about playground issues and ways to solve them.

Third Grade–Third graders loved hearing “The Radish Cure,” from Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald.  I always start out by showing students the copyright date (1947), and tell them it was written a year before I was born.  (“That’s old!”)  Then we talk about some of the things that weren’t around in 1947 (The list gets longer and more jaw-dropping every year) but the story still resonates with students and they clamor to check out all the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books when I finish reading the story.

Fourth Grade–no library this week due to parent conferences.

Fifth Grade–Fifth graders worked on their website evaluation skills this week.  We evaluated two websites together and the next lesson will involve them evaluating two sites on their own.  If you’d like to view the lesson and the websites we used they are on our Library Skills Blog under the lesson entitled “When in Doubt….doubt!”

Sixth Grade–see opening post.

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