News From the Library–Dec. 17, 2012


Happy Holidays!

Third graders heard Elise Primavera’s Auntie Claus this week and it’s become one of our favorite holiday books.  The text is lovely with a nice little theme and the illustrations are captivating.  Students used their thinking routines to predict what would happen next and to be word detectives.

Also in the Library….

Kindergarten–It’s a scary idea that Santa could be replaced by a machine and kindergarteners were a little worried listening to How Santa Lost His Job by Stephen Krensky.  Using their thinking routine Same, Same, Different they compared Santa with the “Deliverator” and for awhile it looked like it was curtains for Santa.  But as we all know, machines are prone to disasters, especially when you’re in a hurry, and Santa won out after all.

First Grade–First graders enjoyed an iBook this week.  Slinky Malinki’s Christmas Crackers by Lynley Dodd is a charming and simple little app.  It’s the story of a mischeivious little cat and his encounter with a Christmas tree.  First graders used their Word Detective thinking routine to figure  out the word culprit.

Second Grade–Second graders also enjoyed an iBook this week.  Michael Garland’s An Elf for Christmas is another simple app and works very well when read to a group.  The illustrations are charming and the text very engaging.  It has three modes:  read to me (with narration), read myself (which I like to use so we can pause and discuss the story), and record my voice so that a child could record their own reading.

Third Grade–see opening post

Fourth Grade–I purchased the classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas” app this year and fourth graders really enjoyed it.  The narration on this app is charming,  using different voices for the characters.  In addition the interactivity is subtle and not distracting.  (We had a great time making the pine needles fall off Charlie’s little tree.)

Fifth Grade–no library this week.  Explorer reports.

Sixth Grade–Sixth graders enjoyed going on a holiday scavenger hunt online this week and discovered traditions from around the world.

Here’s wishing you all a peaceful holiday season and a wonderful New Year.  See you in January 2013!

News From the Library–December 10, 2012


Great New Christmas App

Third graders were delighted with a new Christmas story app that is one of the best apps I’ve used so far.  Moving Christmas blends a funny story with some serious ideas regarding global warming without ever becoming preachy.  The story is the focus in this app but there was enough interactivity and animation to make it incredibly appealing.  Apps like this are what makes this new technology exciting to use in the library setting.  Highly recommended.  And for now, even better, it’s free!

Also in the Library this week…..

Kindergarten–We love Tacky the Penguin and it was really fun to read the ebook Tacky’s Christmas on the iPad this week.  All through the story we used the visible thinking routine “Same, Same, Different” as we discovered all the ways that Tacky is well….an odd bird.  The app was well done, simple and structured in a way as to highlight the story.  I chose to read it to the children so we could stop from time to time discuss it but it could also be used in the “read to me mode.”

First Grade–First Graders really enjoy Karma Wilson’s “Bear” books and this week heard Bear Stays Up for Christmas.  The gentle rhyming text and the wonderful illustrations make this a calm read aloud for the holidays.  First graders did a great job of being “Word Detectives” and figured out such words as toiled and hoisted by using the context of the sentence and picture clues.

Second Grade–After seeing a Keynote, second graders used the thinking routine “Same, Same, Different” to compare St. Nicholas and Santa Claus and then enjoy Aaron Shepard’s beautifully illustrated book The Baker’s Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale.  This is a book that completely captured their attention with its story of a baker, St. Nicholas, and how the custom of thirteen being a baker’s dozen began and its connection to generosity.  It’s a great addition and alternative to the traditional Santa Claus stories.

Third Grade–see opening post

Fourth Grade–After looking at a slide of an illustration from the story and being a “Picture Detective,” fourth graders heard Patricia Polacco’s beautiful holiday story The Trees of the Dancing Goats.  After looking at the details in the slide, students hypothesized that the story took place many years ago and involved both Hanukkah and Christmas.  Doing this visible thinking routine really focuses their attention and they loved the story so much they applauded at the end!

Fifth Grade–Fifth graders heard one of my favorite holiday stories, Herschel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel.  This story is a wonderful way to learn about the tradition of lighting the menorah.   The illustrations of the goblins are fantastic and add so much to the story.

Sixth Grade–Sixth grade had a quiet library time of reading and checking out books this week because many in the class were in a chorus performance.