- Library Charter – Every student shared how they would like to feel when they come to the library. 5th graders were integral in creating actions for the charters and 4th and 5th graders determined which actions were essential. Developing a charter is important aspect of the RULER approach to emotional intelligence. Visit this blog post to read more.
- Library Routines/Favorite Books – Students in 1st and 2nd grade are recording responses to library lessons in their Library Notebooks. The first few weeks of library focused on a library introduction, the routines of checking out books and responding in our notebooks. Students also began writing down favorite books and talking about them with each other. (RL.4.10)
- Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato is a story about a sweet elephant who feels overwhelmed in a big city. He encounters various situations that are not that much different from being new to the vastness of Lincoln Elementary. Students took a closer look at Elliot’s actions. Elliot befriended a mouse and we described the changes in his feelings. They recorded in their Library Notebooks how they could help a friend. (RL.4.3)
- Point of View – We read The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt. Not only is this book hilarious but it switches between a narrator and characters telling the story. Each crayon writes a letter to Duncan explaining its angst or happiness at how it is being used for coloring. The Day the Crayons Quit is the perfect introduction to point of view. (R.L.4.6)
- Describing Characters – Students were not only using adjectives to describe characters but also finding evidence or examples in the text that supports their descriptions. Two of the books used with students were Louise Loves Art by Kelly Light and Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown. Louise lights up the page with her mannerisms so that you can almost imagine you are standing right next to her. She is enthusiastic and when her brother, Art, recreates her masterpiece, well, lots of words can be used to describe how she feels, looks and acts. Mr. Tiger is tired of being the same as everyone else and doesn’t want to be prim and proper any more. He acting differently than everyone else and changes over the course of the story. Eventually, all the other characters relax and become a little more themselves also. The focus was on describing Mr. Tiger as he transforms throughout the book. (RL.4.3)
- Choosing a Just Right Book – Students are encouraged to check out at least one book that is at their level. The library is not leveled like many of the books in their classrooms. To help students determine if a book is just right for them, we talk about choosing a “just right” book. We discussed reading the summary of the book, thinking about whether it would be a book that you would like (and is appropriate) and using the 5 finger rule to figure out if the book might be too hard or too easy for you. The process on this poster encourages students to take spend a little more time when selecting books to read. (RL.4.10)
- Finding Books in the Library – The library at Lincoln has a problem, it’s large, which is a great problem to have! We spent some time talking about where different kinds of books can be found in the library (non-fiction, fiction, biographies, everybody books, graphic novels) and learning about how the call number on the spine of a book tells us its address. We then learned how to use the library catalog to search for a book and see what the call number is. We can write the call number down, figure out what section to go to and then have an “address” to use if we need to ask for help finding the book.
- Fiction Scavenger Hunt – With partners, students were given a call number in the fiction section and tasked with finding all of the books with that call number. This activity helps students understanding how books in the section are organized alphabetically. Also, each number had at least 3 different authors associated with it and multiple titles. This was connected to encouraging them to not only write the call number down after finding a book in the catalog but also at least part of the title.
- Non-Fiction Books – To better equip students to navigate the non-fiction section of the library, students were introduced to the Dewey decimal system. The focus was on the general categories and how they correspond to the numbers on the posters on the wall and dividing the sections. Students loved hearing the Dewey Decimal Rap by StoryYeller as an introduction to the Dewey organizational system.
- Hour of Code – During the 3 library sessions in December every grade level participated in the Hour of Code. From the Hour of Code website, “The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics.” Even President Obama was involved with a video introduction to the Hour of Code 2014. Most of the 3rd graders programming experiences took place on the iPads. The week before winter break, students were asked to reflect on their learning. You can read more about what students were working on in the library by visiting our Hour of Code blog post. If students would like to continue learning, they can use the links in that post and a link to more resources can be found at the bottom of that post. These activities encourage students to think logically, look for patterns and solve problems. These programming environments also allow students to practice perseverance and try different techniques to solve the challenges in front of them.