Monday, August 27, 2012

1st Rotation: Lessons for Grades K to 5

Kindergarten - I read the Magic Hat by Mem Fox and wear my Disney hat that lights up. We work on routines and how to check out books at the circulation desk.

Grade 1 - I read Goldie Socks and the Three Libearians by Jackie Hopkins. Goldie Socks searches the bears house for a "just right" book. After we play a game were I have clues that spell out the sentence "a just right book." The first clue is the letter "A" and it is "the person who writes the book." When the kid gets it right they stand on the stage with the letter "A". Eventually 14 kids are standing and the ones left get to read the story.

Grade 2 - We read and I blogged about it in this post Fox on Wheels. A video of the kids retelling the story using the iTouch and iRig microphone are here.

Grade 3 - We sat in a circle and discussed our favorite summer book we read for the summer. Students used the microphone to practice speaking. We also used accountable talk reviewing how we use good listening skills. Later in the year students make book trailers and they meet in a circle to discuss two things they did well or learned and one thing they would do differently.

Grade 4 - We practiced using the catalog and talked about laptop care. I created a laptop questionnaire for students to take after school. I want them to act more responsibly with the laptops and earn the right to use them. I had one blip with this lesson. The first day of school I tried having students log on and they couldn't because they hadn't gone to computer to use their passwords. I tried to cover too much ground with the catalog by adding reading levels. Next class I'm going to just talk about reading levels and what they mean then once kids know their reading levels I can explain how it is an aid to finding just right books.

I had the kids save to their resource lists and print it to go shopping. They like that phrase, "Go shopping for books." Another grade 4 teacher uses that phrase and I took it from him. I also showed the students how to log on the Follett page. They had 15 minutes left to look for books. The lesson took 30 minutes mainly because they are familiarizing themselves with the computers' interface. During the 15 minutes I was able to help students locate books in the library.

Grade 5 - I talked about my expectations when students have free time to find books. I'm not always good about reminding kids every time they come to the library. I want to work on that this year and talk about finding books and sitting down and reading them.

Students took an online reading interest survey. I then get the results and DRA scores from teachers so that I can pull books based on what they are reading. Hopefully, I can strike up conversations with kids and they'll come to me for recommendations. This is incredibly time-consuming. It takes me hours to hand pick books. We will see if it pays off by the end of the year. If you want to see the survey go to this link. I made the survey in Google Docs and put a link on the Follett Home page.

This is one of the best starts I've had to the school year and it really helps when I can reflect on lessons and jot down what went well and what needs to be improved.

Fox on Wheels part 2

I had students who forgot their books use the iTouch with the microphone to practice retelling the story I read and become comfortable with mobile devices. I found that last year students were scared of using the microphone. I used the iRig microphone and this boy has the sound on low. The button is pushed down. It's better if it is pushed up with a louder sound. By the end of the year students will do a book trailer and this should help scaffold the process. I used Mr. Middleton's script of having students begin by saying the date and day. This helps with nerves and gives them a comfortable start.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Start of a New Year

I read this to 2nd graders and they loved the character of Fox. He is annoyed with his younger sister that he has to babysit, has to deal with his fear of heights, and makes a bad choice by racing in the supermarket with his friends. This tied in nicely with the start of the year and talking to students about appropriate places to run and not run. My huge library is prime ground for sprinting youngsters. Fox is a distinct character with high energy, talks back, shows he's annoyed with younger sister while at the same time showing that he cares about her as well. He's mischievous and likeable.

This transitional book has repetition, slang, and plenty of action to keep students engaged. The author has surprising elements that balance well with the predictability of Fox's actions. For instance, when Louise hurts herself Fox feels guilty and gets her anything she wants. She gets more outrageous with her requests and while she asks Fox for things, he replies, "Of course" meaning of course he will get her what she wants. It isn't until her friends show up and she pops out of bed that Fox realizes she is taking advantage of his attention. There is a depth to how the characters act that allowed for some good discussions with students and laughter to-boot.

This is a level three book with greater frequency of compound and complex sentences and the pictures function more as decoration versus explanation. Although the illustrations do help with understanding some sections and words such as when Louise climbs a ladder and falls off while Fox watches TV. The students like the ending that shows Fox being punished by using a push mower and his other friends being punished as well by washing the car and using a push mower. Many students didn't know what a push mower was but they got the idea that it wasn't as fun as skateboarding which is what Fox is trying to do throughout the entire story. The other phrase they didn't understand was "hold your horses" and laughed when I explained it.

The first page of Fox on Wheels draws readers in with Fox wanting to skateboard with his friends and his mom telling him he has to babysit his younger sister. There's nothing like not getting your own way that pulls a reader into a story. I inevitably have someone blurt out, "I have to watch my sister too!" They are sympathetic toward Fox immediately and drawn by the fun of skateboarding. The three chapters are episodic with the action beginning at the start of the chapter and a resolution happening at the end.

Reading Level 1.9

5 out of 5 Smileys

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Using iMovie on the iPad to Welcome Patrons to the Library

It's a new school year! We had a blast making this movie for the library. It took about 2 hours.

I purchased the iMovie app for our iPad to make a movie introducing our staff. We'll put the movie on the LCD screen outside the library. Originally, I tried to make a book trailer but had too many words. I abandoned that project and started tinkering with the preset trailer templates. I decided we could be "Super Librarians" and had Ms. Lin Photoshop a logo like "Superman's" except with an SL versus an S.