News From the Library–May 6, 2013

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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!

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