News From the Library–Nov. 25, 2013



Happy Thanksgiving!


Third graders listened to Thanksgiving Day Thanks by Laura Elliott this week and enjoyed coming up with things they were thankful for just as Sam did in the story.  This is a charming little book that also gives great information about Thanksgiving, including facts about the first Thanksgiving and interesting tidbits of information about thanksgiving foods and customs.  Did you know that a ripe cranberry will bounce?

Also in the library this week… (this was Parent Conference Week so some classes missed library.)

Kindergarten–Kindergarteners enjoyed The Great Gracie Chase by Cynthia Rylant.  This is a perfect book to use with the Visible Thinking Routine, Here Comes Trouble.  Students noticed in the book when the plot problem started and gave ideas about how it might be solved.  The format of this book and the fantastic illustrations by Mark Teague make it a wonderful read aloud for this age group.

First Grade–For a little pre-Thanksgiving fun, first graders heard Turkey Suprise by Peggy Archer.  Two pilgrims boys start out to find a turkey for their Thanksgiving dinner and even with the turkey’s less than successful escape attempts, they decided to opt for pumpkin pie instead.  A cute story for the holiday!

Third Grade–see opening post


Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


News From the Library-Nov. 11, 2013



Fifth and Sixth Graders were introduced to our new online daily newspaper this week.  News-o-Matic is a free app for the iPad and we have a yearly subscription to the actual newspaper.  Everyday, the content changes and it is filled with interesting stories and great information and videos.  There are games to be played using the content as well.  In addition, teachers can receive a daily lesson plan with activities that are aligned to Common Core Standards.  This is a great product!  And best of all….the students loved it!  I have put it on our two iPad minis and students love “reading the paper” during their silent reading time.

Also in the Library this week….

Kindergarten–A perfect match for our Visible Thinking Routine called Every Picture Tells a Story, My Snake Blake by Randy Siegel, gave students lots of chances to figure out what was happening by looking carefully at the pictures.  Even the shape of the book gave them some clues before they looked at the cover!

First Grade–First graders worked on making inferences with a fun new book app called Nora and the Noisy Neighbours.  Nora keeps hearing noises from her neighbors and tries to figure out them out.  Students made guesses along with Nora using their knowledge and then compared them what was actually making the noises.  This is a very simple app and perfect for teaching inferences to first graders.


Second Grade-This week second graders heard The Three Little Gators, a fabulously funny variation on The Three Little PigsThe Three Little Gators is a book app and with the Texas accent for the voicing and the great illustrations, students were rolling in the aisles!  After the story, we used Explain Everything to do a comparison of the two books.  I scanned in the Venn Diagram page and then typed in their ideas as we discussed the stories.  Then they took turned moving them into the correct circles.  Lots of fun and very motivating. (Thanks to Matt Gomez for the link to the app and the great tutorials about Explain Everything)

Third Grade–Third graders used their  Visible Thinking skills to look at a slide from the book, think about what is happening, and wonder about what could come next.  The book, Jack and the Baked Beanstalk written and illustrated by Colin Stimpson, is a fantastic read aloud book–wonderful illustrations and a great variation on the Jack and the Beanstalk story and it was fun to compare and contrast the two.

Fourth Grade–Fourth graders first looked at a slide from Randy Riley’s Big Hit by Chris VanDusen.  They speculated about what was going on in the picture by observing the details and making suggestions about what could happen in the story.  This is a great read aloud with wonderful Mid-Century Modern style illustrations and a nice message about using your thinking skills to solve a problem.

Fifth and Sixth Grades–see opening post.

News from the Library-Nov. 4, 2103



Using Explain Everything

This week second graders had a great time using the app Explain Everything to demonstrate their learning about the beginning, middle, and end of a story.  First I took screen shots of different illustrations in the book we read this week, A Job For Wittilda, by Caralyn Buehner.  This is a great Halloween read aloud and fit perfectly with this app.  I added the photos to the iPad  camera roll and then easily transferred and resized them.  I made a template for Beginning, Middle and End and saved it for other times.  Then I “stacked” those photos from the story along the top.  Students took turns moving the photos into the appropriate column.  This is a highly versatile app and well worth the $2.99.

Also in the Library this week…

Kindergarten–Poor Farmer Brown.  He doesn’t like Halloween.  In Doreen Cronin’s Click Clack Boo, he tries to avoid the Halloween party that the farm animals have by pulling down his shades, and setting out the Halloween candy, but Duck coaxes him to the party after all.  Kindergarteners had fun using our Visible Thinking Routine, Plot Prediction, to guess whether or not the farmer would ever get to the party.

First Grade–For a post-Halloween story, first graders heard A Pumpkin Story by Mariko Shinju.  This lovely, quiet story of a man who makes an entire village out of pumpkins was the perfect book for the day after Halloween.

Second Grade–See opening post

Third Grade–Third graders heard Mice and Beans by Pam Munoz Ryan.  With its wonderful illustrations by Joe Cepeda that tell the story within the story, it was a perfect book for practicing their observational skills.  We used the Visible Thinking Routine called Plot Prediction to figure out both stories!

Fourth Grade–Fourth graders heard their traditional scary Halloween story, “A Grave Misunderstanding” by Leon Garfield..  A spooky tale, told from the point of view of a dog, gave them a chance to practice the Visible Thinking Routine Circle of Viewpoints.

Fifth Grade–Fifth Graders heard their traditional scary Halloween story,” Duffy’s Jacket” by Bruce Coville.  This is such a well written ghost story and just the perfect about of “scariness.”  We talked about the Writer’s Craft (a VTR) and looked at how the author built suspense though the use of short, rhythmic sentences.  The humorous ending is always a surprise and brings lots of laughter.

Sixth Grade–Sixth graders reviews NonFiction Text Features this week and began working on their packet.  They have to find books that demonstrate each text feature and tell how that feature helps them understand what they are reading.