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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The One and Only Ivan Google Hangout with Zoo Atlanta

What an exciting day! The Atlanta Zoo hosted a Google Hangout this afternoon with the caregiver for Ivan the Gorilla, the main character in this year's Newbery Award winning book from Katherine Applegate, The One and Only Ivan.
Mr. Clark's 5th grade class was in the library when the Google Hangout was scheduled to take place, so after some fast technology help from Mr. Clark, we were able to watch live from Atlanta. During the hangout--which included more than 70 classrooms from all across the United States--students were encouraged to ask questions via Twitter or Google. Our question is below:
And our question was selected during the live hangout! How exciting to hear your own question read and answered during the broadcast! We learned that Katherine Applegate did indeed visit Zoo Atlanta during the writing process. The weather was rainy and cold, which Ivan did not like, so Applegate did not actually "meet"Ivan, but she spoke with his handler to learn about him and his past. After Ivan's death, she even attended the memorial service for him at the zoo.

Below are some images from the hangout, as well as the archived video. Enjoy! We sure did!



Practice with the Online Catalog

Second graders have been hard at work practicing how to use the online catalog and then finding books on the shelves. We began with a brainstorm and modeling session--we talked about some of the common terms we use when we search, and we looked at how to do that searching on our computers. Then the partner fun began!

Students worked in partners to complete two tasks: an online catalog handout and a scavenger hunt.
Click HERE to access the handout.

Click HERE to access the scavenger hunt.
Over the course of two cycles, students completed both handouts. Many liked the scavenger hunt so much they asked for more sheets so they could keep looking for books!




Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Animal Research

Our 1st graders have just completed a research unit based on a similar activity from Mr. Winner at his blog. Students began with an introductory reading of Wild About Books and watching Diary of a Spider from BookFLIX. We talked about ways that authors can include facts about topics in their fiction stories. We could agree that it was true, for instance, that spiders really do have 8 legs but they do not, however, go to school or have play dates. :)

Students began with a note-taking page to gather facts about their animals. Our example is a version of Mr. Winner's note-taking page--his blog was a big help! :)
You can access the note-taking page HERE.


Students then worked on a planning page before writing their books. Ultimately, students were writing and illustrating creative mini-books that incorporated facts from their research. The planning page asked them to consider what will happen at the beginning, middle, and end of their stories. They could also sketch what they'd like their illustration to look like for this part of their stories. Again, our page is similar to Mr. Winner's page. 
You can access the planning page HERE.
Finally, it was book writing and illustrating day! Students each got a mini-book to write and illustrate their stories. We're hoping to Skype with our friends in Grimes--and maybe with Mr. Winner's group!--when our work is finished.






Friday, April 19, 2013

Doin' Dewey

Students in 4th grade are wrapping (or rapping!) up the year with Dewey Decimal System work. Check out the rap below to introduce students to the DDS:

Students will visit Glogster to look at a great glog that presents an overview of the DDS. They'll complete the handout and share their learning in partner groups.
CLICK HERE to access the glog. 
CLICK HERE to access the handout.
Students will also be creating word clouds to hang above different sections in the library, as well as a fun foldable that will feature a Dewey section. Finally, students will be playing Dewey Decimal Musical Chairs. Stay tuned to see their work and hear all about it!

5th Grade Small Group Work: Using VoiceThread

Throughout the year, 5th grade teachers have been sending a small group of students to work in the library during WIN time. This group created a VoiceThread presentation that recommends books based on a popular title or author. You can CLICK HERE to watch and listen to their presentation.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Library Display: Chews a Good Book!

It was time to take down my fireplace display and put up a new one. I like to create a display that the students can help build. I also like that it encourages conversations about and recommendations for great books in the library. Here are some pictures.....adding more gumballs daily!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Puppet Center in the Library

This year I added a puppet center to the South Prairie Elementary Library. Did it take a little bit of work to build....yes. Does it sometimes make my library a little noisy....yes (especially with the killer whale and alligator puppet!) Do the kids love it and tell stories - YES!

I love watching the kids interact with each other and tell stories to each other. A clever group of first graders realized that I had an elephant and a pig puppet and decided to put on plays based on Mo Willems' Elephant and Piggie books!

See the pictures below!

Thank you to my husband, who helped build the puppet stage!

Many teachers donated puppets to this center.

More Spine Label Poetry!

As kids began to write, we gave them time
to walk the shelves and be inspired.

Sometimes it meant more shelving, but having kids look at books
they may normally miss was worth it!

Some titles were found in several poems; Found was popular.

Many kids wanted to write more than one poem--talk about creativity!

Book Spine Poetry, Take 2!

Last year we tried book spine poetry with our 4th grade students as a way to celebrate National Poetry Month. You can see some of our students' efforts at this earlier post. Since it was such a success, we tried it again this year. :) Much fun was had by all! Check out some of our poems: