Each class visits the library once a week for 30 minutes which includes a mini-lesson and time for browsing and checking out books. Typically, students can check out up to 5 books, but the limit is extended over longer breaks. Books are checked out for two weeks, but if a student is still reading a book and needs to keep it longer, having an overdue book will not prevent a student from getting another book. To read more about library policies please visit the About page.
To take a visual mini-tour of the library, take a look at the “Welcome to Your Library!” post.
September – In all grade levels, we started out the year developing a library charter by discussing how we want to feel when we come to the library. We then moved on to talking about favorite books and ones that we would recommend to others. These book recommendations will continue to be posted next to books throughout the year. Lessons were differentiated according to the grade level. Students were also introduced or reminded about library routines, including checking out books independently.
October – We focused on library orientation and how to find books using the call numbers on the spine. 2nd and 3rd graders spent time practicing using the catalog on the computer to search for and then find a book they wanted on the shelf. Students can also access the library catalog from home by using the link in the right sidebar. Most classes read the 2013 Caldecott Honor book Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds. We focused on how aspects of the illustrations contribute to the text. Students didn’t watch this video, but the illustrator, Peter Brown, discusses the art he created for the book (Vimeo link). In 4th and 5th grade we discussed how verso pages (back of title page) can be used that to find more information about a book because many are now including short summaries and subject headings. 4th and 5th graders also started research projects.
November – 1st – 3rd graders finished up their library orientation. In anticipation of the Thanksgiving Day parade the 1st and 2nd graders read the biography, Balloons over Broadway. It took at least 2 library sessions to introduce to the 3rd-5th grade classes the Young Reader’s Choice and Sasquatch nominees. 4th and 5th graders also continued working on research projects.
December – In 1st grade, we read Snowflake Bentley, a biography about the first person to photograph snowflakes, and 2nd graders learned about the parts of maps for their geography unit. To tie in with 3rd grade’s heritage projects, they learned about smarter searching and evaluating websites. One student reflected that she learned that “not everything on the Internet is true”. 4th and 5th graders continued their research in the computer lab by developing their search terms and learning about their available sources. The week before break students were treated to a book trailer day and given extra time to browse for books. Books that are already checked out may be put on hold. Based on the number of holds placed, some of the favorite trailers were Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (YouTube link), Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett (YouTube link) and illustrated by Matthew Myers (YouTube link), Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (YouTube link) and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin (YouTube link).