News From the Library–Oct. 31, 2014

headless horseman

Happy Halloween!

This week was all Halloween, all week.  Fourth, Fifth and Sixth graders heard our “traditional” grade level scary stories.  For fourth grade it’s “The Headless Horseman” by Washington Irving, fifth grade is “Duffy’s Jacket” by Bruce Coville, and sixth grade is “The Surprise Guest” by R.L. Stine.  We all sit by the fire in our little inglenook and have a great time.

Kindergarten loved hearing Going Batty by Sylvie Auzary-Luton.  It’s the story of a little bat who wants to be very scary.  The book has a glow in the dark feature and we all crowded into the server closet, closed the door and watched the pages glow.

First grade heard a very funny Porkenstein by Kathryn Lasky.  Poor Dr. Pig wants a friend in the worst way so he decides to invent one with hilarious results.

Second graders enjoyed A Job for Wittilda by Mark and Caralyn Buehner.  Wittilda the witch has 37 hungry cats to feed so she goes out job hunting and finds the perfect job–delivering pizza!

Third graders heard/watched a classic ebook.  Don Freeman’s Tilly Witch has been faithfully reproduced as an app but in a nice simple manner.  The story can be read but I chose to do the reading.  There aren’t any interactive features but the colors and illustrations look fantastic projected on the TV.  It’s so nice sometimes to just have a book as an app without all the bells and whistles that can distract from the narrative.

Our ipad project this week was to make a PicCollage about non-fiction text features to reinforce our work from last week.  Students were given a task card, followed the directions, and emailed their collages to me.

ipads               PicCollage

Hope you all have a safe and happy Halloween!

News From the Library–October 24, 2014

room on the broom

The Story Telling Rope

Kindergarteners loved hearing Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson this week and to review the story, we used our story telling rope.  This is a great way to keep students on track in re-telling a story.  I first reviewed the elements on the rope and instructed them to listen carefully for them while I was reading the story.  Then students took turns re-telling the story by going down the elements on the rope.

story telling rope

First Graders heard Scaredy Cat Splat by Rob Scotton.  What a great read aloud!  The illustrations lend themselves perfectly to reading to a group and the expressions on the faces of the characters are hilarious.  Since this afternoon is our Fall Festival, I was happy to have something so engaging for the students.


Using a projection of an illustration from the book, Haunted House, Haunted Mouse by Judy Cox second graders used worked on point of view this week.  First they studied the slide and noticed all the details and then discovered that they were seeing things from the point of view of a mouse!  This is one of our favorite Halloween stories.

haunted house

Third Graders heard one of my all time favorite Halloween stories, The Widow’s Broom by Chris VanAllsburg.  So spooky and so eerie, you could hear a pin drop in the Library as I read it.  The wonderful twist at the end really got caught them by surprise!


Fourth graders heard the classic tale, Esteban and The Ghost by Sibyl Hancock.  This is an older book but always captures the attention of fourth graders.  First they looked at a projection from the story and we did the visible thinking routine called See, Think, Wonder.  As the story progressed, they began to change and refine their predictions about how the story would end.  For Hanukkah, I read another version of the same tale, Herschel and the Hanukkah Goblins and we’ll compare the two and discuss how oral traditions carried stories from one culture to another.


Fifth and Sixth graders finished their Non-Fiction Text Feature Scavenger Hunt packets this week.

And on a personal note…..I will be retiring at the end of this school year.  After twenty-six years in this wonderful job it is bittersweet, but I am so looking forward to having time to pursue some of my other interests and, best of all, being able spend more time with my beautiful granddaughter.

News From the Library–Oct. 17, 2014


Halloween is on the way! 

This week we started reading Halloween stories.  First graders loved Halloween House by Erica Silverman and had such a good time counting down as well as using the Visible Thinking Routine called Word Detective.  They figured out words like, debris and askew by using context clues and clues from the illustrations.

Halloween night

Second graders heard Halloween Night by Marjorie Dennis Murray and enjoyed the fantastic illustrations.  They did Visible Thinking Routine called Plot Prediction to hypothesize what would happen to the tricksters after they discovered a haunted house full of creepy creatures who wanted them to come in for a Halloween party.

pumpkin soup

Though not a Halloween story per se, third graders loved hearing Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper.  They used the Thinking Routine, Fluttering Feelings, to trace the changes in the feelings of the characters in the story.  There are such nice themes in the this book as well….letting others be themselves, friendship, and compromise.


one halloween night

Fourth graders heard Marc Teague’s great Halloween story, One Halloween Night. The large, detailed illustrations in this book make it a perfect read aloud for this age and the thinking routine we used was Word Detective.  Students figured out the meaning of “old wives’ tales,” saber, and guffawed, to mention a few.



Fifth and Sixth graders became Non-Fiction Text Detectives this week as they worked in teams on a packet that requiresd them to find different text features in non-fiction books.  In addition to finding a noting where the feature came from, students wrote why that particular feature helps them learn or makes finding the information easier.

6th hunte

text hunt



News From the Library–Oct. 10


Genre Scavenger Hunt with iPads and PicCollage


This week fourth graders had a good time going on a genre scavenger hunt with the iPads.  Each team had an assignment and had to find and photograph the covers of the books on their task cards.  Then they made a PicCollage and air-played it to our TV for all to see.  They are getting very proficient with the iPads!


Kindergarteners heard the Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz and many decided they might want to get a squash for Halloween this year!  This is a great story to read as a gentle reminder to treat everyone fairly no matter how different they might seem.

First Grade heard the story Hoodwinked by Arthur Howard and we did the visible thinking routine called Fluttering Feelings.  Mitzi the Witch wants a truly scary pet like the ones all her relatives have but she tries one after another until finally an adorable kitten wins her over.  Students traced how her feelings began to change in the story until finally she was more than happy with her cute pet.


Second Graders “watched” a story this week using our laptop and a great site called We Give Books.

we give books

The story is a hilarious parody of Good Night Moon called Good Night Goon by Michael Rex. In order to understand parody we compared our print copy of Good Night Moon with several of the pages in Good Night Goon.  We used the visible thinking routine Same, Same, Different to look for similarities and differences.

Third graders worked on making inferences this week.  To begin I brought out my purse, took items out one at a time and asked students to think about what the items in my purse told or inferred about me.  (My favorite was when I brought out my wallet and a student eagerly said,  “You have a job!”)  Then we looked at this slide from Spider and the Fly (the version illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi) and they  inferred what could be happening.  After doing that we read the book and they eagerly looked for all the clues to what happened to the poor fly.


Fourth Grade–see beginning post

Fifth Grade played a game called Genre Jar this week.  I lined up books from each genre on the whiteboard and we discussed the characteristic of each genre.  In my hat (which substituted for a jar) I put cards with clues about different books in different genres and one by one they figured out the genre and defended their choice.


Sixth Graders were at camp this week.


News From the Library–Oct. 3, 2014



This week in the Library was all about spiders!  On display is our collection spider books and grades K -2 enjoyed reading informational text about spiders or fiction with spiders as the main character.  Kindergarten loved Eric Carle’s classic, The Very Busy Spider.   Aaarrgghh! Spider! by Lydia Monks was a first grade favorite about a spider who wants a family to overcome their fear of spiders and make her their pet.  Second graders first watched/read an article on PebbleGo about spiders and then heard Diane Cronin’s hilarious Diary of a Spider.  Third graders read a book app together as it was projected on our TV.  This one, as seen below, is a great one available from National Geographic and available for Kindle.


Fourth, fifth and sixth graders really enjoyed going on a Library Scavenger Hunt this week, searching for genres, books, non-fiction titles, and biographies.


6th scavenger hunt