News From the Library–April 23, 2012

A Fascinating Life

This week fourth graders heard Blockhead, The Life of Fibonacci by Joseph D’Agnese.  This charming book gives biographical information about medieval Europe’s greatest mathematician and the numerical sequence that is found throughout nature and still bears his name.  Using visible thinking skills and the “connection game” students studied slides from nature students and discovered the amazing sequence in the petals of flowers.  A lovely undercurrent in the story is the celebration of a thinker who was teased and perhaps bullied, but kept his own vision of himself, the importance of his study,  and loved the beauty of the world around him.

Also in the Library this week…

Kindergarten–Poor Mr. Greeley.  He has waited and waited to plant his vegetable garden and this year he finally does.  But each night while he sleeps, three adorable bunnies get into his garden in Candace Fleming’s delightful book, Muncha, Muncha, Muncha!  Not only is this book great for practicing visible think skills like predicting and hypothesizing, it also serves as a wonderful introduction to prepositions.

First Grade–City Dog, Country Dog by Susan Stevens Crummel and Dorothy Donohue is a delightful variation on the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse.  The two dogs meet in art school–Henri and Vincent–and become great friends despite their differences.  Using the visible thinking routine Same, Same, Different, first graders had fun finding not only the differences in their appearances, but the similarities in their painting to the works of two famous french painters.

Second Grade–I Wanna Iguana by Karen Orloff is a great way to introduce points of view and persuasive writing techniques.  Told as a series of letters back and forth between a boy and his mother, this hilarious story ends with a resolution that pleases everyone.  We discussed all the ways in which the boy made his case and why he was successful.  Watch out parents!

Third Grade–We love Miss Smith and in Miss Smith Reads Again by Michael Garland, students are taken to the jungle to tangle with explorers and dinosaurs.  Although the story in this book is not quite as engaging as in the first Miss Smith book, the illustrations are fantastic.  Students had fun predicting what dilemmas would befall the class at each turn of the page.

Fourth Grade–see opening post

Fifth and Sixth Grade–To review reference books, fifth and sixth graders took a little quiz.  There were ten “scenarios” or problems and students had to decide in which book they might find the answer.  We talked about how many of these  resources were online now and why, and also how important it is to know a reliable source.  Seeing the actual books and discussing what information each one might contain gave them a concrete image and a head start to finding a website from a publisher they recognize and can trust.

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