Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Inquiry and Frogs

The second grade STEM curriculum includes cycles in nature, and this year I bought several new books for the library to add to our frog text set.  We prepared for the arrival of their classroom frogs with the visible thinking routine "Think, Wonder, Explore."  In the classroom, the students connected to their prior knowledge about frogs, and they wondered and asked questions that began the inquiry process.  In the library, we practiced using Destiny to find library resources.  They explored  books, periodicals, and online resources including PebbleGo, WorldBookKids, and NationalGeographicKids.  We talked about and practiced giving credit to the sources of information.  They were thrilled to share and display their findings in their classrooms.  This routine really fanned the excitement for the arrival of the tadpoles.  I predict that there will be more and more wonders as those tadpoles grow. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

New Beginnings

There is evidence of new beginnings all around us in the shelves, new books, new displays, new teachers with new ideas, and excited new readers.  We are starting the new school year with our annual "One Read-Aloud" for kindergarten, first and second grades. All of the classes are reading My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett.  A Newbery Honor winner in 1949, it is certainly not a "new" book, but it is definitely a new favorite for the children who read or hear it for the first time!   This story is packed with opportunities for describing characters (our wordle of Elmer Elevator), making predictions, and creating mental images.  What a great way to launch our new year of reading!
Wordle: Elmer

Friday, May 10, 2013

Poetry Month

Poetry Month really rocked the library!  This was our first Poetry Madness experience, and it is definitely destined to be an annual April event.  We started with "Sweet Sixteen" poems in the bracket. (What a challenge to choose those poems!)  Two poems went home each night with homework.  The kindergarten, first and second graders read them with parents and brothers and sisters.  They talked about what they noticed and liked about the two competing poems and circled their favorite. The poems were returned to the library each morning so that the votes could be tallied and the winning poem could move to the next bracket.  I never imagined the excitement that this poetry competition could produce.  I was amazed, too, that so many students were inspired to write their own poetry and display it in the library for others to read.  It was a great lead-in to "Poem in Your Pocket Day."  Everyone got involved. Some crafty kindergarteners with pocketless uniforms made their own pockets on a string.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Book Fair

There were little gasps and twinkling eyes as classes of children discovered the transformation of library to book fair.  There is just something incredibly fun and exciting about exploring and shopping for books with friends and family right in our own space.  These pictures tell the story.  Happy reading to all!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Reading Buddies...again...

Another look....
There's just nothing more joyful to witness than the second grade and kindergarten reading buddies in action. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Panther Paw Winners!

The Panther Paw results are in!  This year's voting was very interesting!  As usual, all of the books received votes.  I love that every book was someone's favorite!  This year, two books tied for the winning title (23 votes each), and two more books tied (20 votes each) as "honor book" winners.  I believe that ALL students in K - 2nd grade and dozens of parents and older siblings cast their votes.  Many, many readers commented on all of the fantastic books on the list.  Families and classrooms compared their thoughts and favorites.  Talking about reading...wonderful!
Everyone who read all 21 titles was eligible to enter the contest to win the entire set of books for their classroom.  A first grade girl thrilled her class when her name was drawn.  Congratulations to all of our readers!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Barking for Books!

Second graders were privileged to meet the author of  The Buddy Files series, Dori Butler,  via Skype this week.  Her books  have been  some of the most circulated books in the library for the last two years, and they were a fun choice for a second grade book club.  She told us about her real dog "Mouse" who was the inspiration for her mysteries. We learned about her writing process and the time she spends writing her books. She answered our questions and showed us what the Japanese version of her books looks like.  We are so excited to learn that she is working on her next series about a haunted library.  The comment that I heard over and over..."She was so nice!"  Authors who take the time to visit with students really inspire them as readers and writers!

 Buddy's "twin sister" (My golden retriever, Annie) came to school to listen to second graders read their favorite parts of some of the books.  She L-O-V-E-S to listen to children read!
Buddy Files on PhotoPeach

One second grader discovered the Buddy Files books on our Overdrive e-book library.  He downloaded it to read at home.  I'm hoping that he will inspire some other friends to explore the great e-books available here!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Read a Biography

 The biography section in the library always gets a lot of action in the weeks preceding the second grade's wax museum.  This year, during our biography library lessons, we looked at some biographies and biographic stories of people who are not so well known.  Sure enough...Annie Edson Taylor joined the museum!  Do you know Annie?  Read about her daring feat!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Kindergarten Research

Kindergarten writers are beginning to create "All About" books in their classroom writing workshops.  Many have chosen to write about animals.  They have discovered our wonderful PebbleGo database, and they are loving it!  They are adding new facts to what they already know about their animals and what they have read in their print books.  I love that they are beginning to come to the library to research independently! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Panther Paw 2013

This month is the start of our tenth annual Panther Paw Contest. There are twenty one fantastic new books on the list this year.  Kindergarten, first and second graders have been swarming to the library to read, read, read!  Parents and teachers are coming and going with books in their hands to share in the classroom and at home.  I love this time of year when there is so much excited book talk.  Watch for posters to spring up in the library...second graders trying to convince others to vote for their favorites.  Everyone who reads ten or more of the books on our list gets to vote in March.  Join in!  Find a new book to love.
Panther Paw 2013 on PhotoPeach