News From the Library–October 2, 2013


Even Monsters Get Sick–Learning how to read a book app

This week Second Graders loved seeing the book app Even Monsters Get Sick by Michael Bruza.  I took this opportunity to present a very high quality book app to help students learn how to read an app.  It’s obviously quite different from a printed book and without direction some students see book apps as games with stories–tapping all over the screen to make all those whiz bang interactive features work and paying little or no attention to the narrative of the story.  So we slowed it down this week  and went through the app together.  This is a good one to use for this purpose.  The narration, should you choose to use it, is a charming boy’s voice.  We listened to the words first, then I invited students to come up to my iPad and first talk about what they predicted would be the interactive features before they tapped.  Slowing down is key here.  By doing this, students not only heard the narration first, but we got a chance to have fun in a thoughtful manner, especially when they explained why they chose to touch a certain part of the page and why they thought the app developer chose to make it work or not.  We reviewed how to advance to the next page, how to find a page if you wanted to go back to it, and how to quit the app.  This app has two or three activity pages within the story.  We looked at them, but didn’t stop and break up the story to use them.  With our two iPad minis that students can use during our silent reading time, they will be able to go back, find this book, re-read it if they want, and do those activities then.  We ended our time with a Visible Thinking Routine called Same, Same, Different and talked about how book apps compare with printed books.

I am so very fortunate to have this wonderful technology and a flat screen TV for presentation purposes.

Also in the Library this week….

Kindergarten–Kindergarteners also enjoyed a book app this week–Nighty Night by Fox & Sheep.  Again we took it slowly, working on thoughtful tapping on my iPad as they predicted what each animal would do and then found the light switch to put them to bed.  This is a great app to introduce the use of an iPad for reading stories.


First Grade–First graders used the Story Re-Telling Rope this week after we read Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates. First, we discussed the elements of fiction– setting, characters, problem, beginning, middle, end, and solution.  Then I read them this charming story of a dog who wants to open a bookstore.  After the story I chose one student to come up and re-tell the story using our Story Re-Telling Rope.  I got this lesson on Teachers Pay Teachers and made a yarn rope with cutouts of each of the elements attached in order to the rope.  The student held the rope and moved down the rope and explained each cutout.  It was a fun way to accomplish this important Common Core related skill.  We decided, however, that a real rope would be more fun.  I’m off to the hardware store this weekend!


Second Grade–see opening post

Third Grade–Third graders really liked our story this week, Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen. We used the Visible Thinking Routine called Fluttering Feelings to track the changes in the characters’ feelings from the beginning of the story to the end of the story.  This is such a perfect book to go with that routine and also one of those perfect read aloud book–large and with wonderful, evocative illustrations and a problem that shows that solutions are not always black and white.


Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Graders–This week I introduced the upper graders to the Battle of the Books program that takes place in the Spring of 2014.  Because there are 30 (!) books on the reading list, I have found it is a good idea to introduce this early in the school year.  Starting in January, I will host weekly lunch meetings in the Library for students who want to join our Battle Team.  More information about the Battle and a link to the booklist can be found on the Library Website at

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