News from the Library–Sep. 26, 2014


Battle of the Books


This week fourth, fifth and sixth graders learned about the Battle of the Books, a program sponsored by the Santa Barbara County Office of Education.  Although the Battle takes place April 29, 2015, I like to introduce it in the fall so students get a chance to read as many of the 30 books on the Battle list as possible.  In January we will have lunch meetings to discuss and practice the Battle questions and a team of 5 will be chosen.



Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates

First graders loved Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates.  After the story we used our story telling rope to re-tell the story.  Students related the setting, main characters, the beginning, middle, and end, the problem, and the solution.  Having our “rope” is a great way to keep students on track when retelling a story.


Second graders had fun doing a Visible Thinking Routine called Same, Same, Different when comparing today’s story app, Even Monsters Get Sick, and a “real” book, or a “book book” as we call it.  I loved one comment:  “Reading on the iPad is different because you can’t stop and text with a book.”

library-lionLibrary Lion by Michelle Knudsen

Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen is one of my favorite read alouds and third graders loved this book.  First I showed them a Keynote presentation I made about the lions at the NYC Public Library.  Then we used the Visible Thinking Routine called Fluttering Feelings to track how the characters changed from the beginning of the story to the end.

News from the Library–Sep. 19, 2014


The Magic of Books


Second graders this week worked on a Visible Thinking Routine called Symbol Search.  This can be a bit of stretch for beginning of the year second graders but after spending quite a bit of time discussing this illustration from Miss Smith’s Incredible Storybook by Michael Garland they began to understand.  Books can take you on adventures.  Characters can seem real.  You can make a “movie in your head.”  And they thoroughly enjoyed the adventure of this great read aloud book.


First Graders loved Finklehopper Frog by Irene Livingston.  They listened for the rhyming and we talked about the big idea of the story….everyone can do things in their own way and all have value.

Third Graders learned how to use our computer catalog this week.  They are excited about being able to find books on their own in our library.

Fourth and Fifth Graders took a little survey this week to find out “What Kind of Superhero Reader Are You?  They really enjoyed figuring out what their “reading personality” is.  I got this from a fantastic website, A Book And A Hug.  After taking the survey they perused the website based on their results, and then looked to see if we had some of the books in our Library.

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Sixth Graders did Speed Dating for Books this week.  I set out stacks of books from all genres on three tables and divided them into three teams.  They had 5 minutes to “meet” the books on the table, then they switched tables until they had rotated to all three.  If they found a book that wanted to have a “longer relationship” with, they checked it out and found a place to read quietly while others did all three rotations.  It was a lot of fun and everyone left with a book this week!


Book Care Week


This week all classes reviewed book care and how to avoid the common problems when library books mix with things that harm them.  I have a backpack and in it are common items, some of which are good to have with library books, some of which are not so good.  Using a thumbs up, thumbs down approach we discuss each one.  Having these concrete examples really seems to help students understand how accidents can happen.



I showed students my collection of books that had sadly met their demise through a variety of misfortunes.  The really love seeing these!  And it makes quite an impression on them.

This week we also started our rotation on the iPad minis.  Each class is divided into teams of 4 students and each week those 4 have time to use the iPads during out silent reading time.  This first rotation gives them the chance to simply explore the apps I have put on the iPads.  In future weeks, I will have short assignments for them to do as well.  They really enjoy the iPads and this seems like a way to keep their use in balance and make sure all have time to use them.



News from the Library–Sept. 5, 2013


Welcome Back!

Welcome Back to the Library!  This week we reviewed the rules with our questions in “the hat.”

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This is a fun and easy way to go over all those boring rules.  In the hat are common questions about the library routine.  I pull out a card and we answered each one together.

Each class had a chance to check out books.  We have two wonderful new apps to help us find just the right fit book.  Literacy Leveler gives us the reading level of a book and Common Sense Media gives us suggestions about the appropriateness of the content of a book.

photo 2Literacy Leveler

photo 1Common Sense Media



Just so everyone is on the “proverbial same page” our check out rules are:

* K- one book for one week.  If a K student forgets to return their book on their Library day, they can “save” a book to check out when the original book is returned.

* 1—one book for one week (until January when the Bookworm Club begins. At that time it will change to 2 books for 1 week).

* 2—two books for two weeks

* 3—three books for two weeks

* 4—four books for two weeks

* 5—five books for two weeks

* 6—six books for two weeks

Additional books may be checked out for classroom assignments.

Books can be renewed up to 5 times and need not be physically returned to renew.  We can do it on the computer.

Here’s to a great 2014-15 school year!