I Used To Think…… And Now I Think….
In the spirit of the new year, I decided to try out a Visible Thinking Routine I hadn’t done before. Fourth Graders this week heard Frank and Devin Asch’s delightfully mysterious story Mrs. Marlowe’s Mice, a book with stunning illustrations and a story that keeps them hanging on the edges of their seats. There is a great twist near the end of the story that worked perfectly with this thinking routine. It gave students a chance to explain how, with more information, their original ideas could change to something different. When talking about this, they had to explain exactly what made them change their minds. To me, this is a wonderful way for them to “exercise” their brains and also serves as a reminder not to make decisions until all the facts are known. A great read aloud!
Also in the library this week….
Kindergarten–Brrr, it was cold in California this week! Well, cold for Californians….but we took advantage and sat by the fire and read a book about one of our favorite characters, Tacky the Penguin. Tacky Goes to Camp by Helen Lester takes Tacky and his companions to summer camp, as summer camp goes in the nice, icy land. Students had a chance to practice the thinking routine Same, Same, Different by comparing Tacky, once again, to his other penguin friends. We also compared our summer camps with theirs. And of course in the end, Tacky saves the day. He’s an odd bird, but a nice bird to have around.
First Grade–Continuing in the winter tradition, first graders heard a classic this week–Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Burton. I loved telling them that the book was published in 1943 and we had a little fun figuring out how old it was and the fact that it was 5 years older than I am! (Wow, that’s pretty old, said one little boy). I first projected the opening illustration on our incredible new flat screen TV using my iPad. Students did the thinking routine, See, Think, Wonder and noticed all the details, thought about what they might mean, and wondered what the story would be about. Reading the story confirmed my belief that with all the electronic and digital possibilities there is a place for a classic like this one. There were quite literally transfixed by this book!
Second Grade–After seeing a slide from the book first and being Picture Detectives, second graders had a riot with a new book, The Obstinate Pen by Frank W. Dormer. Students had figured out that this story was about some kind of magical pen by looking at the details in the slide but they had no idea how funny something obstinate could be. We really understand the word after reading this story! The illustrations are charming and some of the lines so laugh-out-loud funny that I know this will be a favorite for years to come. Highly recommended!
Third Grade–After Christmas, I often read The Quilt Maker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau. This is an enchanting story about giving and generosity and I started the lesson with the Thinking Routine called One Word. This requires students to use all their skills of summarizing and finding the main idea by coming up with one word, and one word only, that captures the essence of the story. The illustrations in the book are very beautiful and add much to the story.
Fourth Grade–See opening post
Fifth Grade–We had a short library period today so they checked out books, (had fun re-connecting with friends), and read silently.
Sixth Grade–To get back into the swing of things, we played Library Jeopardy this week. Close game, lots of fun!
Happy New Year!