News From The Library–May 13, 2013


Internet Safety for Little Ones

This week second graders and I read the online ebook called Little Bird’s Internet Security Adventure.  The need to give children instruction about safe behavior online starts younger and younger and finding an appropriate and engaging way to teach these lessons can be a challenge.  This simple book/app is available free on iTunes.  (See link above)  It gave us a good, basic, simple way to initiate the conversations about online behavior without sounding alarmist or frightening.  After seeing the book, two students used our iPads and iDiary to write about their favorite page.

Also in the Library this week…..

Kindergarten- In Millie Waits For the Mail, by Alexander Steffensmeier, Millie gets her enjoyment from terrifying the poor mailman until he decided to give her a package.  When she destroys that and his bicycle, something has to be done…..  In the best sense of turning something around, Millie ends up delivering the mail.  The size of this book and the illustrations make this a wonderful read aloud and it worked well for our Visible Thinking Routine, Fluttering Feelings.  It was easy to spot the change in Millie’s feelings from the beginning of the story to the end–from scaring the mail carrier to being the mail carrier!

First Grade–In honor of Mother’s Day, we read Mars Needs Moms by Berkeley Breathed.  We started with a slide from the story in which the mom was being carried away by aliens.  Using the Visible Thinking Routine called See, Think, Wonder, students took some time to observe all the details in the picture.  Then they talked about what they thought was going on, giving details to back up their speculations.  Last they wondered what was going on in the picture.  This is a great read aloud, full of suspense, humor and wonderful illustrations.  And not a bad way to remind them not to forget Mother’s Day is this Sunday!

Second Grade–see opening post

Third Grade–Chris Van Dusen’s book are a delight to read aloud.  Third graders had previously enjoyed If I Built A House and this week heard If I Built a Car.  The mid-century style illustrations are fantastic and the story absolutely captured their own imaginations about how they might built something new.  After reading the story two students wrote about their favorite page using iDiary on the iPads.


Fourth Grade–Fourth Graders heard a book app called The House That Went On Strike, hilariously narrated, and loads of fun.  For their iPad project with this book in iDiary, they took a screen shot of their favorite page.  It was interesting to me how they saw very little difference writing about their favorite page in this book app as compared to writing about their favorite page in a print book.

Fifth Grade–Fifth Graders had a lesson on Non-fiction text features and then used non-fiction books to locate and describe the specific text features they found in their book.  The iPad students used National Geographic non-fiction books to locate text features as well.

Sixth Grade–In preparation for doing bibliographies for their Ancient Rome research papers, sixth graders practiced using Easy Bib after a demonstration of how to use it.  Using my new eBeam to demonstrate how to access and use Easy Bib was fantastic.  This is a great teaching tool!

News From the Library–May 6, 2013


iPad Fun with iDiary

Third Graders who used the iPads this week had a good time using a wonderful app called iDiary.  I’m using this app as a way for students to move beyond consuming material on the iPad to producing on the iPad.  This app gives them a chance to take a picture of their favorite page from the story I’ve read and then write a short entry giving evidence to support their opinion.  It’s a very easy app to use and set up.  I have one diary for each day of the week.  If you had a class set of iPads this would be a great way to encourage journaling or writing observations for science experiments.  Lots of possibilities.

Also in the Library this week…

Kindergarten–Mr. Greely and the bunnies are at it again in the sequel to last week’s story.  Tippy, Tippy, Tippy, Hide by Candace Fleming takes the story to winter and Mr. Greely does his best to keep those little “twitchwhiskers” out of his house.  Finally he realizes that he had trapped himself inside when spring has sprung!  Another good story for the study of prepositions and the lesson that maybe sharing is the best way after all.

First Grade–If you want to calm a class, read the beautiful Calecott honor book, Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue and stunningly illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski.  The story is poetic and the mystical illustrations give lots of opportunity to find details.  This book makes a fantastic read aloud.

Third Grade–We read the sequel to Saving Sweetness this week and had just as many chuckles.  Raising Sweetness, by Candace Fleming chronicles the trials and tribulations of the sheriff of Possum Trot as he tried to raise all the orphans alone.  But then, in the best traditions of a romantic tale, his long lost love returns and through the learning of letters, they finally get married.  Such a fun story, delightful to read aloud, and full of similies and metaphors (if you are so inclined to make that your lesson….).

Fourth Grade–As soon as the teacher says, “You know, you can think of almost anything as a math problem” the problems begins for the narrator of Jon Scieczka’s clever and entertaining book, Math Curse.  This is always a big hit with fourth graders and they figure out all the math problems and chuckle over Mr. Scieczka’s offbeat sense of humor.  A great real aloud.  (By the way, the answers on on the back cover.  After several years, I just noticed this!)

Fifth Grade–One of my favorite book apps is The Artifacts by Slap Happy Larry.  This is a fabulous example of the real difference between a print book and a book app.  The story is of a boy who collects things.  When his parents move, they get rid of his collections, much to his chagrin.  He then begins to collect ideas and thoughts.  The visuals that show this transformation are stunning.  After reading/seeing the book we did a Visible Thinking Routine called “Tug of War” with the question, “Is it a good idea to acquire a lot of things?  What evidence supports your opinion?”

Here’s a video about the app.  It’s well worth the purchase price.

Sixth Grade–This week we worked on understanding plagiarism.  We started with a short discussion, in which, as a metaphor for plagiarism, I walked over, took one girl’s bracelet, said I liked it, put it on, and said it was mine.  That made an impression!  Then students took a sheet with quotations from Benjamin Franklin and wrote them verbatim and then paraphrased them.  They loved doing this!  One of the best was “Act on the braveness of your words; do not speak if there is no action.”  I think Ben would have been proud!