November/December 2017 Notes

The one disadvantage of seeing classes only once a week is the fact that Thanksgiving and winter break preclude many opportunities for me to read, work, and learn with students. However, we made the most with the time we had together!

Hour of Code photo credit: Mrs. Opdahl

Preprimary library classes featured stories about Thanksgiving, grocery stores, and wild-vs-domestic animals, in keeping with their classroom units. We also devoted one class period during Computer Science Education Week to the Hour of Code. The classroom teachers, Mrs. Opdahl, and I oversaw the children as they learned to code (offline) using our Beebots and some figurines.


Primary library classes included read-aloud selections that focused on the classroom theme of kindness. Extra Yarn, by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, is a wonderful picture book about generosity, with a bit of magic thrown in. We also enjoyed the classic tale of The Gingerbread Man (by Jim Aylesworth and Barbara McClintock), also in conjunction with a classroom activity.


Kindergartners enjoyed hearing the nonfiction picture book, Ivan: the True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla, by Katherine Applegate and G. Brian Karas. I hope the children will enjoy Applegate’s Newberry Medal winning novel (The One and Only Ivan) based on Ivan at some point. We also enjoyed Calvin Can’t Fly, accompanied by a discussion of migration and murmuration (see earlier post on this title).


Our first grade library classes featured a pourquoi tale from India (Little Brown Jay, by Elizabeth Claire and Miriam Katin), a funny picture book about goslings “imprinting” on a bear who most definitely is NOT their mother (Mother Bruce, by Ryan T. Higgins). We also enjoyed Thank You, Sarah: the Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving, by Laurie Halse Anderson and Matt Faulkner.


In November our second grade library classes featured Jerry Pinkney’s illustrated Aesop’s Fables, a special short video about totem poles, and a Thanksgiving story about modern-day pilgrims coming to America. In December the students began learning how to find books in the CHS library independently, using our Alexandria database. We are at the “beginning skill” level at this point, but the children are excited and eager to learn. They have made one Seesaw journal entry about Alexandria, and more will follow as the students become more proficient. If you would like to access our library catalog from home, you may do so here. Maybe your child will show you how things work!


Third graders spent our November library classes completing the design, construction and reflection of their Viking ship project. That project is described on my Makerspace page here. In December the students read biographies and made book trailers by app-smashing Chatterpix, DoInk Green Screen, and their iPad video camera. The finished trailers will be shared with parents via Seesaw, or you may view all of them here. Additionally, when we return in January, the students will make QR codes to affix to the book jackets; these codes will take library users to the online trailers.

I hope all CHS families enjoy a wonderful winter break, and Iet’s all have a literature-enriched 2018!

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