News From the Library–March 25, 2013

Our First AudioBoo Book Report!

Click on the link above to see our first AudioBoo book report.  Katie G., a member of our Red Dot Book Club, took the plunge and recorded her book report on the Library iPad using a great little app called AudioBoo.  To make her report, Katie first filled out a “script” and practiced it.  Then we recorded it, snapped a picture of the book cover and inserted it, and then could send it to her parents, view it in Safari, and even embed it in this blog!  It can be used with a computer or there’s a nice little app available.  Lots of fun and I can imagine lots of uses!
Also in the Library this week..
Kindergarten–Kindergarteners had fun listening to The Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend, one of the most perfect read aloud books in our collection.  The story is great, the illustrations are large and full of fun details, and it fits really well with a visible thinking routine called Fluttering Feelings.  After first doing another VT routine–See, Think, Wonder–where students looked carefully at a projected illustration from the book, they tracked when Jack the Cat’s feelings changed towards the eggs he had so wanted for an omelet.
First Grade–First graders heard and interacted with a book app called Dino Store and they loved trying out the interactive features.  Once again, we worked on reading and listening to the text of the story first and then trying out the features.  This is a cute story about a boy and his dad who go to the store to get eggs but end up with a dozen baby dinosaurs instead!
Second Grade–Mrs. Campbell’s class was our last class to vote and after they did we carefully counted our votes and the winner for Cold Spring School is……..We Are In A Book by Mo Willems!  We will send our count to Sacramento and wait for the state results.  All the books this year were wonderful but the cleverness of the winner tipped the scales in its favor.
Third Grade–This week we worked on discovering character traits by using the Visible Thinking Routine, Character Trait Portrait.  I posted two pictures from the book of the two main characters on the white board and we talked about what character traits were.  Then I read The Talking Eggs by Robert San Souci (which completely captivated them) and then during their silent reading time, each student came to the white board and used a small sticky note to pin around the “portrait” and on the note they wrote character traits.  At the end of library time we gathered to read them together.
Fourth Grade–no library this week due to parent conferences
Fifth Grade–This week was an introduction to two lessons we will do after Spring Break on Website Evaluation.  We saw an excellent Brain Pop movie called Online Sources and then took the quiz together.
Sixth Grade–Mrs. Orwig’s class had study hall this week since Mrs. Gradias’ class would be absent due to parent conferences.
Happy Spring Break!  See you in April!


News From the Library–March 18, 2103

An Interactive Book…a Real Book!

This week I read Herve Tullet’s amazing book, Press Here.  This is a concept book at its very best and the Kindergartener’s loved it!  I started out telling them that this was an interactive book but it didn’t have a screen or batteries.  I had my iPad next to me and we talked about how much fun it is to touch the screen and have things happen.  But then I asked them if they thought it would be fun if they, not a computer, could make things happen with their own imaginations.  We came up with all the ways that would be an advantage–never needs re-charging, won’t break if you drop it, not very expensive.  And then we started the book.  I wish I could have had a video of the seriousness with which they followed each direction and the total delight on their faces when the page was turned and something happened.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPad, but this is one of those books that puts all that electronic wizardry in perspective and makes me convinced that books will never go away.

Also in the Library this week…

Kindergarten–see opening post

First Grade, Second Grade, and Third Grade–We are almost finished voting for our California Young Reader Medal Winner.  One second grade class is left to vote on Monday so watch for the results next week!

Fourth Grade–After watching a keynote about Bodie, California and talking about the differences between informational text and literature, we read a great book about the boomtowns that appeared in California during the Gold Rush.  Boomtown by Sonia Levitin traces the grown of a town near the gold fields through the eyes of a little girl who starts out baking pies and ends up with a bakery in a bustling town.

Fifth Grade–Fifth graders were in Catalina Island this week for CIMI.

Sixth Grade–Using the advanced search skills they practiced over the last two weeks, sixth graders did a webquest about Ancient Greece that their teacher assigned.

News From the Library–March 11, 2013


Historical Read Alouds

When the new emphasis in the Common Core on information texts it’s an interesting challenge to blend non-fiction with literature and give students a chance to compare the two. This week fifth graders did just that.  First they looked at some original source material related to the Orphan Trains of the late 1800’s and did the thinking routine, See. Think, Wonder.  This perfectly set the stage for Eve Bunting’s touching story Train to Somewhere.  (Alert:  This is one of those read alouds that will give you a lump in your throat).  By seeing actual photographs of the trains and the posters that were sent out to the mid-West prior to the trains’ arrivals, students were able to really connect with the story.  I also put on display the excellent non-fiction book, Orphan Train Rider by Andrea Warren and students spent time on their own perusing it.  Seeing the connection between fiction and non-fiction that deals with the same subject matter helped students delineate the differences and see how each form has its strengths.

Also in the library this week…

Kindergarten–Kindergarteners loved Can’t Sleep Without Sheep by Susanna Hill.  The idea of “counting sheep” was new to them and it gave us a chance to discuss real and imagined actions in a story.  At the end, they all cuddled up on the floor and practiced counting sheep themselves and promised they would try it at night when they went to bed!

First, Second, and Third Grade–We are narrowing down own choices for California Young Reader Medal Winner 2012-13.  This week two classes voted using the official ballot and placing their votes in the ballot box.

Fourth Grade–Sam Patch, Daredevil Jumper by Julie Cummins gave us a great opportunity to comthey pare tall tales to legends.  Students were transfixed by the story of Sam Patch, its factual basis, and weren’t expecting that rather tragic ending.  We used the Visible Thinking Routine called Connections and they came up with things today that are similar to the story line in Sam Patch, taking into consideration that in Sam’s Day there were no movies or TV.  It made for an interesting discussion of this type of “entertainment.”

Fifth Grade–see opening post

Sixth Grade-  We had another practice session using our Advanced Google Skills.  Learning to search efficiently will help with next week’s classroom assignment which is a WebQuest about Ancient Greece.

News From the Library-March 4, 2013


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Celebrating Dr. Seuss

Fifth Graders celebrated Dr. Seuss this week by watching a new app I got for the iPad.  It’s a story app of The Lorax (one of my favorites) and it displayed stunningly on the new TV.  For this lesson, we did a visible thinking routine called Headlines.  This routine draws on the idea of newspaper type headlines as a vehicle for summing up or capturing the essence of an event, idea or concept.  After seeing the app, students wrote their own headline on a sticky note and pasted it on the whiteboard.  Then they read out their headlines and answered the question,  “What made you write that?” by giving specific references to the book.  Here are two of their headlines:

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Also in the Library this week….

Kindergarten–Using the visible thinking routine Plot Prediction, kindergarteners were surprised to find that the plot in My Lucky Day by Keiko Kasza did follow their predictions!  They agreed that usually the fox, or the bear, or the wolf, or the coyote are the “bad guys” in the story but they loved the twist that, in this case, it was the cute little piglet!

First, Second, and Third Grade–We are closing in on voting time for our California Young Reader Medal books.  The excitement is mounting.  Buzz on the street is that it will be a very close race!

Fourth Grade–Fourth graders worked with atlases this week.  Google Earth not withstanding for its wow factor, they found that using an online atlas just isn’t quite a satisfying as using a print atlas.  They agreed that this is one reference book that might not disappear!  Browsing through a print atlas has a very different feel from scrolling through an online atlas.  They also noted the absence of ads in the print atlas–something they liked.  To finish our lesson, they did a worksheet about our own state using the print atlas.

Fifth Grade–see opening post

Sixth Grade–Sixth graders learned advanced google search techniques this week.  By using limiters, they discovered how to hone their searches to get as close as possible to their needs. They learned to search using site, file type, quotation marks, range, plus and minus, define, and also how to highlight their search words in their results. More practice next week!