January 2018 Notes

Well, we have survived some truly frigid days this month, and we’re not done yet! We have so many wonderful books about winter, and many have been on display for student and teacher use and enjoyment. Additionally, teachers made extensive use of our books and videos about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Here’s a breakdown of other library class goings-on.

Preprimary library class has featured fiction and nonfiction books about winter and hibernation. Winter Wonderland by Jill Esbaum, and Bear Snores On, by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman, are two favorites. The children continue to enjoy building and creating in our mini-makerspace, and they return to the library for their Wednesday afternoon Spanish class, as well.

Primary has undertaken a new content area in the classroom, airplanes, airports, and flight. The Airport Book, by Lisa Brown, is a great book from our library that the classroom teachers will be using in the classroom. We will enjoy a special related library activity using our Smartboard in early February; I also hope to get the children into the Makerspace to experiment with our flight lab.

Kindergarten library classes now revolve around the concept of setting as an important literary element. We feature picture books with text and picture clues that indicate the “where and when” of the story. The picture book versions of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series, illustrated by Renee Graef, are popular and appropriate for this unit.

Our First Graders are hearing folktales from China, which complement their classroom unit. One favorite is The Seven Chinese Brothers, written by Margaret Mahy and illustrated by Mou-Sien Tseng. We also enjoyed Tikki Tikki Tembo, written by Arlene Mosel and illustrated by Blair Lent. It is quite possible that the latter tale actually originated in Japan, but the version we enjoy with its Chinese setting has been a children’s book favorite for fifty years! I hope a future edition will correct any cultural inaccuracies in this cautionary pourquoi tale.

Second graders spent two library classes making a collaborative I Spy book. Each child assembled his or her page using little artifacts from home and school. They thought of rhyming words and, with a little help from the librarian, wrote the text to accompany their pages. The Book Creator app allowed us to put the pages together; we may add narration, if time permits. I am proud of the students and I know you will enjoy their book! (You may want to scroll over the book and click the full screen option.)

Third graders are engaged in two makerspace-related activities this month. We enjoyed using MakeyMakey invention kits to emulate bongo drums and a piano keyboard. The students applied knowledge they had acquired from Ms. Kapsch’s science unit about circuits, and used alligator clips and conductive materials to override their computer keyboard functions. This video provides an introduction to MakeyMakey. Additionally, after hearing The Matchbox Diary, by Paul Fleischman and Bagram Iboutalline, the students may make their own matchbox diaries to house tangible artifacts connected to special memories.

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