"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Saturday, November 22, 2014

"It has meant that my family has started to read picture books more!!!"

This Wordle represents the responses to the question, "What has Picture Book Month Meant to You?" That the words - lot, time, read, reading, picture, books - stand out tells me that the students appreciated the reason and opportunity to slow down and read. Picture Book Month has been a real celebration.
Here are some individual responses:

"I can stop and read picture books."

"It meant to me that I could re read the picture books I haven't read in a while. I could go into the past."

"It gave me a chance to really rediscover my own collection of picture books as well giving lifelong lessons."

"It has meant that my family has started to read picture books more!!!"

"Picture book month meant to me was slugging my heavy backpack every Friday."

"I have been spending way more time reading than watching tv, and it has been fun to just sit down, relax, and read!"

"picture book month has meant a lot  to me because I read a lot and learned a lot of things."

"It has meant a lot to me because I love reading."

"I get to re-read all the book I read as a child."

"It reminds me of my childhood and I love it!"

"Picture book month means to me a chance to go back to when I was younger."

"It meant that i have had a new adventure every time i turn a page"

"I really discovered that I actually figured out that I enjoy reading picture books."

"It made me want to read more picture books."

"They have meant that I  get to spend more time traveling into different worlds through books with my mom."

"It showed me that picture books aren't only for little kids."

"It has shown me that picture books can be amazing"

"I think for the upper grades(3-12) kids start only reading chapter books and picture book month is a time for those students to really understand how awesome picture books are!"

"That it is a another chance to read more and promote reading."

"They have meant sitting down and reading a picture book."

"That you have to be willing to pick up a picture book instead of your chapter book."

"It has meant that I have gotten to read books that I will almost never read."

"I am reading more books than I thought."

"It meant that I went back and read picture books from when I was a little girl."

"It meant everybody could take a break from chapter books and focus on reading picture books."

"Picture book month means to me, I feel like I'm going on adventures."

"Picture book month means to me that I get a Whole month of reading for fun!"

"Picture book month hasn't meant much to me."

"A lot, Picture Book Month really helped me read more picture books."

"I realized that picture books are better than I thought they were."

"It's meant reading with my little brother."

"Picture book month has meant reading books that I would have never read if there was never a challenge."

"It has been a great experience to read books and learn interesting facts about the animals i read about."

"it's been a long time since iv'e read picture books and there pretty funny."

"Picture book month means a lot to me. I used to only read chapter books, but I now I love them!"

"Picture book month has shown me that a picture book is just as interesting and fun as any other book."

This Wordle represents the responses to the question, "Is there a particular titles that stands out for you?" 

Pigeon Takes a Bath.
Grandma's Summer 
The Empty Pot
Ring! Yo?
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild
Lily's Purple Plastic Purse
This is Not My Hat 
Ring, Yo
WW2 Eyewitness"
Flora and the Flamingo
Thank you, Mr.Falker 
Flossy and the Fox
Art and Max
This Is Not My Hat
Brown bear, brown bear what do you see?
Little Red Writing
The Scaredy Squirrel series 
You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole
Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons 
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole
Duck & Goose
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole
 Lions and Gazelles
Something From Nothing
Duck and Goose
Julius the Baby of the World
Do Dinosaurs Eat Pizza?
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole
The Painter 
Shark vs.Train 
Olivia Goes to Venice.
Big Al 
A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever

Love the responses to these two questions:

Based upon all these responses, this Picture Book Month Celebration has been a huge success.

Friday, November 21, 2014

What does a school library in the midst of Picture Book Month look like?

That's what a school library in the midst of a Picture Book Month reading challenge looks like.

Creations from a Picture Book Month Celebration

We've been busy reading and celebrating picture books. The students are finding ways to share their love of picture books. Here are a few examples from fifth graders, who are using the tool Animoto: 

First Grade Information Gatherers...

First Grade Information Gatherers are a beautiful thing to experience. They listen and read. They take notes. They create diagrams and label them. They are amazing. Look and see.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Exploring new ways to teach location and access

As a way to get the fifth graders into the different neighborhoods of the library while reviewing the ins and outs of our Destiny catalogue, I created a project that I hope will benefit, not just them, but all the students at Mason-Rice. 

I am reviewing the projects to ensure the groups have met all the criteria. I think these two students did a fine job. One place that I might have them think about is their choice of theme. What do you think?

I'll put up the rest of the projects and the work behind the scenes this weekend.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Behavior Expectations as explained by fifth graders

The students were tasked with creating Google presentations that would communicate our school community expected behaviors. 
You can read about the first part of the project on this post: Fifth Graders Take Charge. The projects are coming to completion and they look incredible. I know I am biased, but I am really pleased with how the students approached this project and impressed with how effectively they communicated their messages. 

There is a specific element in each of these projects that I think the student group did very well -- font, theme, design, layout, word choice, etc. Is there one that you think is particularly effective? Let us know!

Here are just a few of their projects:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sharing passion-driven exploration

Thursday's news of the landing of Philae on a comet lead me to revamp my lesson for my fourth graders on Friday.  I mean, really, how often is it that scientists can land a device on a "dirty snowball" 317 million miles away? 

After greeting the students I began telling them about my grandfather and how he would take the grandchildren outside after dinner and talk about the stars, the galaxies, and the solar system. I shared that I always thought of him when I looked up at the night sky and how easily I could remember the warmth of his hand as it wrapped around mine when we stood out there star gazing on cooler nights.  I explained that my grandfather was a mathematician and chemical engineer who studied the creation of the Universe. (I wrote a bit about my grandfather in the post about The Fourteenth Goldfish.)

I went on to say that I thought of my grandfather on Thursday and imagined that he would be as excited to hear of the successful landing of Philae on the comet. I recounted a few of the facts: the comet is 317 million miles away; the comet is only a few miles across; and the comet is moving at an incredible speed. As I was going on to explain that the scientists had waited ten years to see if their mission was a success, a number of hands shot up. It turns out that quite a few of my fourth graders (in each class) are space buffs as well. The students took over the details and we were off on our learning adventure!

What if you wanted to learn more about comets? What resources can you access through the library Webpage?  

This lesson was the perfect opportunity to emphasize that our library resources are available where ever they have a device and an Internet connection.  Why wait until school the next day?  The library Webpage is a just-in-time resource.

I launched Chrome, talked about our browser bookmarks, and opened the Library Webpage.

We began with Destiny, our library catalogue. I typed "comets" into the search box on the home page and explored the results with the students. We talked about search results, call numbers, neighborhoods. We expanded our search after exploring the subject headings under a few titles and finally decided on these five titles for their currency and subject matter.

Back to our library Webpage we went and I modeled how to get to the electronic resources. 
We started with the Encyclopedia Britannica. We searched for articles on Comets and read the first article after perusing the search results. We explored the accompanying images and videos. We went back to the search results and read this article about Maria Mitchell.

I couldn't help but bookmark a few articles from the NYT and NPR. The students were equally jazzed about the images and videos.

Given that it is Picture Book Month, I gave special note to the nonfiction picture books, biographies, and story picture books that related to our search and finished up the lesson by reading this great picture book:

At which point thirty minutes had passed. Luckily I had alerted the classroom teachers and had asked for an additional ten minutes for browsing and borrowing.  I am eager to see if this lesson inspired the students to follow their own interests and engage in passion-driven exploration with the library resources.