News From the Library–Apr. 24, 2015


Professor Garfield Fact or Opinion

This week fourth graders had a lesson on distinguishing fact from opinion and we really enjoyed using the app “Professor Garfield Fact or Opinion.”  I projected it on the TV and read it aloud, then we did the activities as a group.  This humorous approach was a big hit with the fourth graders and gave them a good foundation for evaluating materials, particularly websites, as to their suitability for research purposes.

Also in the Library this week..


Kindergarten–In Muncha, Muncha, Muncha by Candace Fleming, poor Mr. McGreely finally plants his vegetable garden and then some little (adorable) rabbits make short work of it.  This is a wonderful book to introduce prepositions as each page talks of all the ways the bunnies get over, under, and through all the attempts of Mr. McGreely to keep them away from his veggies.  In the end, the bunnies still win and there’s a nice little message about sharing and compromise.

First Grade–First graders had a field trip to Lake Cachuma this week.


Second Grade–Using the Visible Thinking Routine called Before and After, second graders looked at an illustration from Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly by Alan Madison that I projected on the TV.  They observed all the details and then thought about what could have happened one minute before the illustration and one minutes after.  This is the charming story of a little girl who tries to distinguish herself from her older sisters in a series of humorous ways.  It’s also filled with alliteration and it was fun for students to spot all the examples.

Third Grade–Third Grade was on a field trip this week the the SB County Bowl for a performance.

Fourth Grade–see opening post


Fifth Grade–After looking at an historical photo of four men in the huge bathtub allegedly put into the White House, students tried to figure out what it was and what it could mean.  Then we read President Taft Is Stuck In The Bath written by Mac Barnett and wonderfully illustrated by Chris Van Dusen.  Not only was this a funny story, but it gave us a chance to discuss what a legend is and how difficult it can be to prove historical events prior to the internet.  This also gave us an opportunity to discuss the three branches of our government as in the story President Taft calls on all of them to solve his dilemma.  This is a great read aloud for older students!

Sixth grade–Sixth graders were challenged this week to use their knowledge of non-fiction text features.  With a worksheet they had to take a non-fiction book and find sentences that supported several of the features.

News From the Library–April 17, 2015



This week fifth and sixth graders were introduced to Wonderopolis.  This wonderful website has a “Wonder of the Day” each day that includes a short video and a text.  The text can be read or listened to and “wonder words” are underlined and have live links to definitions of the words. There is also an extensive archive of past “wonders” for students to choose from. I had students fill out an iPad task card called 3-2-1  in which they wrote down 3 facts they learned from the article, 2 opinions they had about the subject, and 1 thing they still wondered about.  I had made an icon on the iPads for Wonderopolis so that streamlined the process of finding the website.

Also in the Library this week…



Kindergarten–This week we talked about the difference between fiction and non-fiction books.  I found one of the wonderful DK books in the series called See How They Grow about butterflies and projected it from the site  To compare it with a fiction book about the same subject we looked at Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly by Alan Madison.

grumpy groundhog

First Grade–One of our first graders donated a charming book to the Library in honor of his birthday called Grumpy Groundhog by Maureen Wright.  This is the story of a very recalcitrant groundhog who needs a lot of coaxing to come out of his hole on Groundhog Day.  The rhyming story was a big hit with the class!

ralph tells a story

Second Grade–The second graders could relate to the main character’s dilemma in Ralph Tells A Story by Abby Hanlon.  Poor Ralph can’t ever think of something to write about when the teacher says, “Stories are everywhere!”  He finally comes up with a doozy and then continues to write book after book.  It was fun for the class to try to come up with stories from the prompts in the narrative and they loved the titles of Ralph’s books that are on the end piece.

saving sweetness

Third Grade–A great way to study similes and figurative language is to read Saving Sweetness by Diane Stanley.  Told from the point of view of a sheriff, this book is so much fun to read aloud.  The dialog is hilarious in places and the examples of similes abound.  Next week we will read the sequel, Raising Sweetness.


Fourth Grade–Math Curse by Jon Scieszka is a great book for audience participation and the story of a boy who discovers that “everything can be a math problem” goes from simply silly to downright challenging!

Fifth and Sixth Grade–see opening post

News from the Library–April 10, 2014



Sadly, cyberbullying has become a topic of importance for our students.  We are very fortunate to subscribe to BrainPop at our school and the videos on internet safety and digital citizenship are very good.  Students don’t want lectures and these short videos are well produced, entertaining while being serious, and the perfect springboard to discussions.  Fifth and sixth graders this week saw the video on cyberbullying and then we took the online quiz as a group.

Also in the Library….


Kindergarten–Kindergarteners loved TipTopCat by C. Roger Mader about a curious cat in Paris who gets a little too curious and takes quite a fall.  There’s a nice little message about taking risks, making mistakes, feeling anxious and then overcoming that anxiety.  The illustrations are wonderful and make this a great read aloud.


First Grade–This week we used a book app, Lars and Friends, and students loved learning about all the different words that mean a group of animals.  The app is nice and simple with lovely graphics and there is also a puzzle to do and additional information about animals.


Second Grade–Second graders also had a book app for their story this week.  Mr. Wolf and the ginger cupcakes is a charmingly funny adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood.  After hearing it, we used the Visible Thinking Routine called Same, Same, Different to compare both versions.


Third Grade–Third graders used the Visible Thinking Routine called The Connection Game to see how this version of the Cinderella story relates to the others they have heard.  I started with a projected slide of an illustration from Ashpet: An Appalachian Tale by Joanne Compton and they discussed the possible connections.  Lucky for them, our sixth grade play this year is going to be Cinderella so they will have another connection to make!


Fourth Grade–Fourth graders heard one of my all time favorites–Weslandia  by Paul Fleischman.  The idea of forming a new civilization fascinated them and they loved the story of a boy who feels like an outcast from his civilization and decides to form his own.  We used the Visible Thinking Routine called Break the Chain in which you remove one event and then hypothesize how the story would turn out differently without that event.

Fifth and Sixth Grades–see opening post