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Friday, December 13, 2013

Holiday Book Spines and ABC order!

We love picking out our favorite holiday books to share with students this time of year. This year, we added an extra layer of learning by adding a lesson on abc order and library book spines for our first and second graders. Here's how it worked......

On week one, we read a holiday book to our students. I decided to share An Otis Christmas by Loren Long. It is a wonderful story of bravery, Christmas magic (and surprise!), and the true meaning of Christmas. The pictures look like paintings and our library has a copy signed by Loren Long! Every class I read it to (all 15 classes) loved it and were on the edge of their seats.

After reading, we talked about ABC order in the library and how we look at author's last names when putting fiction books in order. This was review for our students. I then used Reflector on my computer to show my kids how to play the game Shelver on Mrs. Lodge's website on my iPad.
I had an iPad on each table for kids to play. It was such a success for all levels! It was such a great way to reinforce the skill.

At each table, while one student was playing Shelver, the other two were working on creating a book spine for a holiday book. They were the authors and had to create the title. They used real books as reference tools and did a great job.

Next, on week two, we are just starting the process of putting the book spines in order on a bookshelf I made out of paper and hung in the hallway outside the library. I also have created a bookshelf on a board in the library--I'll never fit them all on one bookshelf! I have been having classes put an other class's book spines in ABC order since most know the order of their class. The kids have been doing a great job of putting all 20-something spines in order! Success!

The large bookshelf in the hallway.
A close up of some of the spines
Some first grade examples
I'd like to see this book..Santa Likes to Toot! Kids would love it! 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

iPads, Doodle Buddy, and K - 1 Students

Our K - 1 students have just a couple rotations left in the library rotation cycles before the holiday break, so we decided to break out the iPads and pair them with holiday books. After looking at several different apps, we chose Doodle Buddy as our drawing app of choice.
Doodle Buddy

Students listened to Little Santa by Jon Agee or An Otis Christmas by Loren Long, and then in partner groups, they were to recreate a scene from the story.

Students chose backgrounds for their images, then added stamps, text, drawings, or their own drawn art to their pictures. 

Here are two examples of their work:

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Our First Mock Caldecott

After reading about several elementary library lessons related to the Caldecott Medal, we decided to try our own Mock Caldecott unit. (You can read about The Busy Librarian's lessons and Travis Jonker's lessons, too.) We roughly followed their lead, but of course we had our own timelines, books, and student needs to consider. :)

In our early stages, students listened to several Caldecott Medal winners and honor books, as well as examined them on their own. Students discovered some were wordless books. . . 

. . . some illustrations were black and white. . . 

. . . and some were really funny!

After looking at many, many books, students worked in their table groups to evaluate the wide selection of nominees for our first ever Mock Caldecott Award. We teachers modeled how to complete the scoring guide, and students then practiced assigning points to books at their tables before scoring them "for real."

Based on their scoring, these seven books were the finalists at Dallas Center Elementary:

Again taking our cue from the librarian blogs we'd read, our next step was to discuss the Caldecott Medal itself before students designed a medal for our own buildings. In class, students voted for the two medals that would be our "finalists," and they also voted on the winning book from our narrowed list of nominees.

So what book was the 2013 Mock Caldecott winner at Dallas Center Elementary School? Cat Secrets, by Jef Czekaj.

The winning book now features the Mock Caldecott student-designed medal, and the other six books--our Mock Caldecott Honor books--will feature the medal as well.