News From the Library–March 25, 2015


A Classic

Third Graders went back in time….way back to 1947….(the year before I was born!) and heard the delightful story, “The Radish Cure” in Betty MacDonald’s, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle.  It’s so great to see how students still respond to these stories even with all the new and exciting books and technology available to them.  After I read “The Radish Cure” they scrambled to check out the other Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books I put out on display.

Also in the Library this week…


Kindergarten–Kindergarteners heard a new book, Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato. This charming books tells the story of a little elephant who has trouble doing things in a big city because of his size–something children of this age can connect with.  After cooperating with a new friend, a mouse, he gets what he wanted and a bonus of a new friend to share it with.

First Grade–no library this week


Second Grade–Another new book, Fraidy Zoo by Thyra Heder, was also a bit hit with second graders.  Poor Little T is embarrassed to explain to her family why she afraid to go to the zoo.  In a series of hilarious attempts to guess which animal she’s afraid of, her family dresses up and creates some amazing costumes.  But it isn’t an animal she afraid of, it’s the lady with the long, long fingernails who takes the tickets!!

Third Grade–see opening post


Fourth Grade–After seeing a keynote presentation on the California ghost town, Bodie, fourth graders really enjoyed Boom Town by Sonia Levitin.  It tells the tale of a little girl who starts a pie making business and describes the way the town grows to meet the needs of the gold miners in the region.  We used the Visible Thinking Routine called Plot Prediction to predict which new business would be added as the story progressed.


Fifth Grade–After doing the Visible Thinking Routine called See Think Wonder with a vintage photo of children on an orphan train, students heard Eve Bunting’s touching story of one orphan, Train to Somewhere.  With the first person point of view, it really brought home to students what these children went through.  This is a great historical read aloud for this grade level.

Sixth Grade–Sixth graders watched the BrainPop video about online sources and took a quiz.  Then, using the criteria from the video, we evaluated two websites together–one bogus and one legitimate.

News From the Library–March 20, 2015


Our Winner!!!!!!!

We have a winner!  Our Cold Spring School choice for the California Young Reader Medal 2014-15 is Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse and wonderfully illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld.  This is a clever and entertaining book that chronicles the trials and tribulations of the exclamation mark from his being flummoxed to making his mark in the world.

In the Library….


Kindergarten–In preparation for St. Patrick’s Day, Kindergarteners heard Alice Schertle’s lovely little book, Jeremy Bean’s St. Patrick’s Day.  It tells the story of a boy who forgets to wear green and after some difficult moments, finds an ally in the school principal.  No one in Kindergarten forgot to wear green on Tuesday!


First Grade–One of our favorites, Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian, was a hit with this year’s first graders.  Goldfish is fine with his somewhat boring life and then one day with intruder after intruder comes to his bowl things begin to change.  Fed up, he wants his own bowl but finds he actually misses all his “family.”  Thankfully, he ends up back in a much bigger space–a fish tank–and even finds a romantic interest!!


Second Grade–Continuing with two of our favorite character, Lola and Charlie, we read But Excuse Me, That Is My Book by Lauren Child.  Lola loves, loves, loves a library book called Beetles, Bugs, and Butterflies and if horrified when someone else checks it out.  Charlie tried to get her interested in other book to no avail until finally he comes up with a winner, Cheetahs and Chimpanzees.  We used our visible thinking routine called Plot Prediction to predict what would happen in the story based on the text.


Third Grade–Our sixth grade play this year is Cinderella and with the movie also coming out, it was fun to read Wish Bones by Barbara Ker Wilson, an ancient Chinese version of the Cinderella story. We used the Visible Thinking Routine called the Connection Game and talked about how the plot was connected to other Cinderella stories.

Fourth Grade–Fourth Graders finished up their Non-fiction text feature hunt packet.

Fifth Grade–We talked about evaluation of online sources by watching a great little video on Brain Pop.  After taking the quiz as a group, I showed them a few websites and we evaluated them together.  I had some good sites and some bogus sites.  They especially liked Save the Northwest Tree Octopus and Buy Dehydrated Water and I was surprised and heartened at how quickly they saw through both of these sites.

Sixth grade missed library this week due to assemblies and parent conference early dismissal.

News from the Library–Mar.13, 2015


Keyword Searching

This week sixth graders worked on locating key words in questions before googling them to find the answers.  They were given a sheet with a list of 20 questions (random but interesting questions) and first they highlighted the key words with a yellow highlighter pen (they loved the highlighters!).  Then they began their search.  Focusing on the key words makes such a difference in getting the most accurate hits and pares down the number of hits as well.


Also in the Library this week…


Kindergarten–The Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend is just that–perfect.  The size of the book, the engaging illlustrations, the hilarious dialog, and the touching little message make this an ideal read aloud book for this age group.  They loved it!

First-Third Grade–we are finishing up our California Young Reader Medal nominees this week and voting.  Stay tuned for the winner for our school.  In May we will get the results for the entire state.


Fourth Grade–Fourth graders worked on their Non-Fiction Text Feature Hunt.  We do this over two weeks and students find non-fiction books, locate the text features and write about how each features helps them get information from a non-fiction book.

Fifth Grade–no library this week.  They were at CIMI.

News From the Library–March 6, 2015


Shadow Puppet

This week I introduced students in grades 4-6 to a wonderful app called Shadow Puppet.  It’s a free app with amazing potential for students to use to demonstrate learning and for creative projects.  It’s very easy to use and the students loved it.  The project they did related to non-fiction text features and after choosing a non-fiction book, they phot0graphed 4 features.  Then they narrated each photograph explaining what the feature was and how it helped them when reading a non-fiction book.  When they finished they emailed their work to me.  We do have headphones with microphones but actually the built-in mic on the iPad minis worked just as well for this project.

Here’s the task card they used:


Also in the Library this week:

Kindergarten:  Kindergarteners enjoyed Three Bears In A Boat by David Soman.  This is a charming story about three bears who break their mother’s blue sea shell while trying to get some (forbidden) honey.  They then set out to find her another and adventures follow as well as a lot of sibling bickering which students could relate to.  This is a lovely story about taking responsibility for actions and telling the truth.  The ending is so sweet and underscores the depth of love of mother love and forgiveness. The illustrations are beautiful and the large format of the book make it a perfect read aloud for this age group.

Grades 1-3:  We continued our California Young Reader Medal nominees and this week two classes have voted.  So far, one book seems to be pulling ahead as our favorite.  (but I won’t reveal that yet….)