What images appear in your mind when you think of the library? I hope you see students like preschoolers gathered together listening to a wonderful story, building early literacy skills without even realizing it. Libraries are all about literacy, and it starts in the story square with our youngest students.
The library program also reaches beyond the story square. Here are some other images I’d like to think come to your mind when you think of the library. Picture this – K-2 students gathering together, listening to a good story, AND communicating with others around the world about it through Global Readaloud.
Picture this – 3rd & 4th graders practicing information literacy skills with our Destiny Quest library catalog, getting ready to teach others how to use it.
Picture this – Students of all ages taking on a new design challenge in our creation station.
Picture this – 5th graders enjoying a read aloud at the end of the day that I knew would keep them on the edges of their seats and provide tons of opportunities for thoughtful classroom discussions. It not only has a great story, it contains excellent vocabulary, and even math and science connections. The book? Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sacher.
Picture this – 6th graders learning how to ask good questions about big ideas. Knowing how to ask good questions is the start of the inquiry process. Ask a 6th grader what the connection is between a traffic light and asking questions.
Picture this – 7th & 8th graders in the classroom using their information and digital literacy skills with the library’s Digital Reference databases to research the early 1900s. Oh and yes, they still visit the library to use paper books, as well. The best part of all this for me is that I have been here long enough now to see how my students grow and develop these various literacy skills, from preschool to 8th grade.
These are just a few snapshots of learning that have occurred over the past couple of weeks in our school, supported by the library program, in the story square, and beyond!
Filed under 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, Books, Collaboration, Destiny Quest, Digital Literacy, InformationLiteracy, Kindergarten, Learning, Preschool, Readalouds, Research
When school begins in late August, it always seems as if the year ahead is long, just waiting to be filled with learning. Then April break happens, and…poof! It seems as if those last few weeks go by in an absolute blur. CCS staff congratulated 8th grade graduates last night, and waved goodbye to our K-7th graders this afternoon. Another school year is over, but I’d like to celebrate some of the learning that has happened over the last few weeks in the library.
We have helped students research, research, research! From independent topics to those framed by curriculum, students from grades 3-8 have been exercising their very best inquiry habits. We’ve seen tons of use of our print and digital resources. Curious about how to find resources yourself? Ask one of Miss Leach’s (former) 3rd graders! They learned how to use our Destiny Quest library catalog in order to help them become experts in a topic of interest. Not only did they create tutorials for YOU on how to use the library catalog, they also wrote their own informational books in class! They celebrated their hard work this week by sharing their books with Ms. Lubic’s (former) 1st graders. Click here to see & listen to a sample how-to crash course on using Destiny Quest!
We have also celebrated reading and writing. Ms. Lubic’s class participated in our 6×6 Reading Challenge, a partnership with the Charlotte Public Library aimed at highlighting the power of reading whatever we want to read! In class, they wrote book reviews of their favorite titles as part of their writing unit; during library time, they added audio and visual layers using the StoryKit iPad app. Then, we added their written reviews as well as their StoryKits to our library catalog. Now that Miss Leach’s class has taught you how to use Destiny Quest, go there and search for Stink: the Incredible Shrinking Kid by Megan McDonald. Click on the cover, then on one of the links under “Electronic Resources” to see a sample. To read the review, simply click the “Reviews” tab. Enjoy! Need more options? Ask one of Ms. Lubic’s (former) 1st graders. Need help? Ask one of Miss Leach’s (former) 3rd graders!
In recent weeks, we have also hosted readathons, student-created book talks, and poetry readings. We have talked up summer reading opportunities, tracked down over 1,000 library books, genrefied our fiction collection, and generally celebrated all the learning that has happened in our library space over the past year. We can’t wait for next year!
April is School Library Month! This is the perfect time to talk about the variety of learning experiences that happen through our school library program. I’d like to highlight a few that show the reach of our program.
We teach specific skills. 3rd grade students have flip-flopped roles and are using what they have learned to teach others!Ms. Leach’s students have learned the finer points of using our automated catalog, Destiny Quest, to locate materials in our library. This skill was learned to support their current writing unit. In addition to locating expert topic books, they are also using their expertise to create digital “How-To” books for their peers. We will post them for all to see when finished!
Cher’s class is creating a Google site to teach other 3rd graders beyond our school about the life of American Colonists. Do you have what it takes to start a new life in a new country? We can’t wait to share the site so you can see all the different things you’ll need to consider!
We collaborate with teachers to curate amazing resources to support and extend classroom learning. 7th & 8th graders are in the thick of learning about the 30s and 40s. This is our display of fiction & nonfiction titles those students are choosing from to complete an independent reading project. The library was hopping recently with these students spread out in nooks & crannies, rooms and tables with laptops, microphones, scripts, and their imaginations to create radio show-style broadcasts. Researching World War II now includes navigating both print and digital resources. We created a pathfinder to help them along the way that is accessible 24/7 from school or home.
We partner with other community establishments. CCS just completed another successful Reading to End Racism Week. Our school and public library worked together to support this program. We love any excuse to work together, especially when students benefit. Here are Margaret Woodruff and I teaching a mini-read-aloud-lesson to volunteer readers.
They, in turn, chose a book to share with classrooms throughout our building. The setting, along with the books, provided an avenue for the readers to share their own stories with students.
We also put our librarian heads together and are gearing up for the first official 6 x 6 Charlotte Reading Challenge. The goal is for readers in the school and around the community to commit to reading 6 books in 6 weeks. Modeled after the Six Book Challenge started by The Reading Agency in the UK in 2008, our aim to inspire and support readers of all ages and abilities. Join the fun!
I loved nonfiction books as a child. I love them still, and so do many of my students!They can satisfy a curious streak, and can send our brains in totally new directions. Students are always practicing their inquiry skills here in the library. They are naturally curious and love to search for answers to their questions. This is a picture of a diorama made by one of those curious students who learned more about the Titanic. Many thanks to Spencer Horgan and Patrice McHavern for allowing me to display it in the library!
3rd and 4th graders are currently working on developing their searching skills. This means exploring more sophisticated use of the library catalog as well as the Dewey Decimal System. Do you remember how books are organized? How are your search skills? How can thinking about how things are organized help us be better searchers online? Take a peek at the TRAILS(Tool for Real-Time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills) link on the library website. How many questions can you answer correctly?
The school library has access to over 50 new eBooks via our Infotrac/Vermont Online Library subscription! These eBooks will be ideal for students and teachers in grades 5-8. I was able to catalog these wonderful titles and they have been added to our Destiny Quest library catalog.
This is a wonderful way for me to stretch our budget dollars. No special readers needed – just your computer!
Features include a citation generator, bookmark generator, download toolbox which allows for printing, emailing & downloading, and ReadSpeaker technology(text-to-speech).
Hmmm…What would you like to do today? Check out a few of the titles:
Beacham’s Guide to Endangered Species of North America
Bowling, Beatniks and Bell-Bottoms: Pop Culture of 20th Century America
Chemistry: Foundations and Elements
Grzimek’s Student Animal Life Resource
Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes
World of Earth Science
To access, search for titles on Destiny Quest . Destiny Quest will also allow you to perform an advanced search where you may limit your search by “format” and “electronic books”. You may also go directly to our Gale Virtual Reference Library site. Please stop by or call me at 425-6632 for the access password and full title list.
Click here for a tutorial!
Do you remember this? I often remember it being accompanied by a “Shhhhhhhhhh”! It never moved, it only told us what was in our library, and it was kind of cumbersome to use.
The library catalog has come a long way! Our Destiny Quest catalog is a visual, customizable gateway for our students whether they are researching or trying to find something that interests them. Students are able to see what reading materials we own, as well as what is available at other schools in the district. They are able to read reviews written by their peers. They are able to access age-appropriate, teacher & librarian collected websites.
The catalog is available 24-7, anytime, anywhere. It is used in the library as well as in classrooms and from home. There is usually no shushing allowed near students researching using Destiny Quest. It is but one tool used by our students in a collaborative world.
What can Destiny Quest do for you? Check out the “Resource Lists” section. We create all kinds of booklists for you to browse through. Looking for a great readaloud? Check there. Looking for great choices to support math learning? Look there. Interested in seeing something else? All you need do is ask! Take some time to play around with the catalog and see what your children are learning to use. Vist this link for more directions from our software provider on how to use various features. Happy searching!