- 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.
- Book Trailers and Book Holds– Book trailers are short videos that are created to pique students’ interest in a book. Many publishers are now releasing trailers before books are published. Students enjoy watching trailers to learn about books they might not already know about. After watching a few trailers, we discussed the hold process. If a book is already checked out, students may put a hold on it. This year 4th and 5th graders are entering holds into the computer themselves when they go to check out books. When the book is ready it is put on the hold shelf near the library entrance with a bookmark identifying the student the book is on hold for. When students check out books, the system notifies them if a hold book is ready for them. After this round of trailers, Sisters by Raina Telgemeier was the book that the most students put on hold.
- Choosing Books – Verso Pages – “What is the book about?” The books in our library have the barcodes on the back of the book. These barcodes often cover part of the summary that describes the books. Students learned that many books now also contain a summary on the back of the title page, on the verso page. Not only is the publication date information there, but also a short summary of the book and more importantly the subject headings of the books. Students learned that they can use the summary and category headings to determine if the book is interesting and appropriate for them.
- Book Recommendations- Students are most excited about reading a new or different book when it is suggested by a peer. These recommendations were focused on a book that students had read that are currently in our school library. Students wrote about why they thought someone should read this book and included a grade level that they thought may enjoy it. These recommendations will be placed near the books on the shelves and also included in booklets that students may peruse to find a book they may enjoy.
- Search Terms – One important aspect of researching is developing good search terms so that the results that are presented are the most applicable. We watched a short video created by Google that explains how their search engine uses search terms and how it selects the results that it presents. We discussed how search engines are similar but algorithms may differ in how they decide to display results. We looked at an example question together that we broke down into specific words that we could use in our search. We also compared the difference between typing in an entire questions vs. the search terms we selected. Both work, but using search terms was more efficient and the best results were nearer to the top of the results page. Another partner activity explored what matters when creating a search query. Students conducted different pre-selected searches that looked at whether every word, the order of the words, capitalization and punctuation change the search result. Students also brainstormed questions that could be used with topics they were studying in class. (W.6.6)
- Young Reader’s Choice and Sasquatch Book Awards – There are two regional opportunities for students to vote on the books that should receive awards. Students were introduced to the nominees and provided time to browse students to books that they may not find otherwise and encourages them to read more widely. Students that read at least two books from a list will be able to vote for that award in the spring. Students that read at least 12 books from any combination of the lists will be invited to a pizza party in the library during lunch (accommodations for dietary restrictions will be addressed). Because of the award parameters, 3rd-5th graders are encouraged to participate. You can read more about the process, awards and how to participate in this blog post.
- 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.