We celebrate International Dot Day every year at CCS. This year, we used the book The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds to discuss hopes & dreams, trying new things, and having the freedom to make our marks on the world around us. Traditionally celebrated around September 15-ish, Dot Day activities continued into this week and spread down the primary hallway. Library lessons for grades K-4 incorporated skills ranging from collaboration and personal expression to safe use of ipads. This just proves what I’ve known all along. The picture book format is the perfect package!
Older students have been busy learning about the new Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award nominees, and visiting the library whenever they need to. This averages out to about 50 or so students throughout the day, getting what they need from our library space.
And here is my pic of the week. These students are enjoying The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak. This is one of my favorites for practicing fluency skills, plus it just a joy to read aloud and share!
“The best kids ever!”
Welcome back CCS! We are already busy learning new routines and remembering old ones. Like other classrooms, our focus these first few weeks will be on how we take care of ourselves, others, and our school. We are taking charge of our learning! For our newest Kindergarten friends, this will mean exploring the library space and learning how to take care of their library books. For older students and staff, this will mean experimenting with different tools, like our brand-new self-checkout station!
Here are a few of our first-week-of-school readalouds. Each highlights creativity, big ideas, and the concept of “doing something more” for ourselves and for others.
Time flies, friends! Here are a few pictures highlighting the things that have been keeping us so busy over the past few weeks.
Kindergarteners are exploring how to find “just-right” books, and we’ve also been sharing great new wordless books with them, working on visual literacy skills. They had great fun designing their own!
1st and 2nd graders have been reading, reading, reading! They’ve also begun learning about our new maker space materials, and getting creative with some awesome literature as their inspiration!
3rd graders have begun their fairy tale unit, and we have begun storytelling workshops as they work to write their own fractured fairy tales! 4th graders have been practicing their Destiny Quest and research skills as they work to find information on their independent topics. They have also been exploring the new maker space materials!
5th-8th graders have been busy with research, writing, and book groups! These are times when I get to visit their classrooms to help, or have students visit me with questions like “I’m using one of the library’s eBooks. Can you show me how to cite it?” and “I know ABC-CLIO is one of the most reliable sources, but what if the information I need isn’t there?”. I love that our older students have things like citations and reliability as part of their every day vocabulary! Here is an example of how I help guide middle schoolers through the research process. Give it a try!
Westward Expansion Pathfinder
Counting on You Pathfinder
Filed under 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, Collaboration, Digital Literacy, InformationLiteracy, Middle School, Pathfinders, Research, Writing
Did you know that librarians are librarians wherever they are? Did you know that library resources include things that live on shelves AND things that are accessible 24/7 from wherever you are? I always love it when I get to teach things like digital literacy skills, and I love it even more when I get to visit classrooms to do the teaching!
Here are my feet…and here is the hall…
Here are the classrooms I visited last week to teach 2nd graders how to use a database!
They learned all about the text features of the CultureGrams database to help them learn more about countries from around the world. Students were able to practice transferring what they already know about print-based nonfiction text features to the digital realm, and learned about some features that are unique to online databases. Ask a second grader what “breadcrumbs” are. Not the fairy-tale ones, but the virtual ones! I was so impressed with how helpful our students were to one another as they explored something new, and at how they problem-solved and worked through their learning – even when the chromebooks decided to be uncooperative!
Mrs. Gerson has a nice post about why students are learning to use CultureGrams on her blog here.
If you are interested in exploring CultureGrams yourself, please let me know and I’ll help!
Our little state is home to very talented people who thankfully enjoy sharing what they know with our students! We have had the pleasure of hosting two authors over the past few weeks. Both spoke so wonderfully that students and staff are still talking about their visits.
Folklorist Jane Beck visited 5th-8th grade students to share stories about Vermonter Daisy Turner. Her new book, Daisy Turner’s Kin, traces the history of the Turner family from the west coast of Africa to Grafton, Vermont. In sharing about the Turner family, Jane also spoke about the power of story and memory, highlighted her research process, and really gave us a glimpse into a life very different from our own. Although Jane has devoted much time to collecting the stories of others, it is clear to us that she is a master storyteller in her own right!
Last week, author and illustrator Jason Chin visited our K-4 students. We had introduced his books to students during library classes and they were so excited for his visit! Jason read portions of some of his books, shared his writer’s notebooks, and talked about the process of writing and illustrating. He spoke about how he finds inspiration in the world around him. He spoke about how it takes many, many drafts to get a piece of writing or art just right. He spoke about how reading is so important because it fuels the imagination. And – hew drew – with help from the students. What an inspiring, interactive visit this was. Students are checking out lots of books about coral reefs, trees, the Galapagos Islands, and gravity. I just love it when an author’s words create this kind of excitement for exploration and learning!
A great big Thank You to our PTO for making both of these amazing visits possible for our students!
“I am a story. So are you. So is everyone. How does your story begin?” – Julius Lester, Let’s Talk About Race.
This week, CCS celebrated Reading to End Racism. We welcomed guest readers from our own community and beyond to read to our K-4 students and talk about the importance of recognizing and celebrating our differences. We shared Daisy and the Doll by Michael & Angela Medearis at our whole-school morning meeting. Vermont author Jane Beck spoke to 5th-8th graders about the life of the inspiration for that story, Daisy Turner. Students visited the library to promote the hashtag #weneeddiversebooks. It has been a full week, but this is something that we should embrace and celebrate every day. This week provides a time to remind us to continue thinking about the fact that everyone’s stories matter. I would like to thank all of our guests. It is so important for our students to hear voices other than our own. Here are some highlights from the week, in pictures!
Here are some of our guests sharing stories and activities with our students!
Here are some of our students sharing why #weneeddiversebooks!