Last week, Ms. Davis' kindergartners had an exciting Skype with author Tara Lazar! Among her many books is The Monstore, a funny tale about a boy who keeps buying monsters to scare his sister. During her Skype, Tara Lazar answered student questions and read aloud her book Little Red Gliding Hood. We enjoyed this wonderful Skype and are very appreciative to Ms. Lazar for taking the time to chat with us!
Mystery Skypes have been such a fantastic opportunity for our students to connect with classes around the nation and world. Since incorporating Skype into my library instruction several years ago, we have met friends in many places!
Last week, Mrs. Boucher's 4th grade had the opportunity to Mystery Skype with a class from Rabat, Morocco! This was the first time I have had a class connect with a group in Morocco, so it was an amazing experience for all of us. Both classes did a great job and the other class concluded with a presentation about Morocco for us! We hope to reconnect with this class again soon and learn more about their school and community.
We were very busy in the libraries this past week! Our library activities last week included:
What an exciting week we had of celebrating World Read Aloud Day! While February 1st was the official WRAD, many chose to acknowledge this special day all week. In the Hollis and GEJ libraries, several classes shared WRAD with new friends around the nation!
During our WRAD Skypes we met authors and listened to them read aloud as well as shared favorite books with classes from around the nation! Our virtual visits connected us with new friends in California, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont and Virginia. Unfortunately, due to weather in their locations, some of our buddy classes had to cancel, but we look forward to finding another time to connect with those classes!
I love using our libraries to connect our students with new friends and places, and this past WRAD was a fantastic way to meet others and share our love of reading!
February 1st is World Read Aloud Day! This exciting event is a celebration of reading our favorite books aloud to others. Readers around the world will be celebrating this amazing event. We have been celebrating WRAD in the Hollis and George E. Jack libraries for the last few years by Skyping with authors and classes around the nation and world! We have many virtual visits scheduled for this upcoming week, including several author Skypes as well ones with classes from around the nation.
To learn more about World Read Aloud Day, click here!
On Friday, Mrs. Vanasse's 1st graders had an exciting Skype with author Maria Gianferrari! We recently read her book Hello Goodbye Dog, which is on this year's Chickadee Book Award list. During our fun Skype we learned more about her and her writing and got to hear her read Hello Goodbye Dog to us! We are very appreciative that she took the time to Skype with us.
Mrs. Bshara's class had a fantastic Skype with a shark expert last week! After reading Shark Lady, a nonfiction selection about shark scientist Eugenie Clark from our Chickadee Book Award list, we connected with Jillian Morris from Sharks4Kids. Sharks4Kids is an organization that provides educational presentations about sharks. During our Skype we learned more about these fascinating animals and saw pictures and videos of different types of sharks. Thank you to Jillian Morris and Sharks4Kids for this great opportunity!
Mrs. Vanasse's 1st graders wrapped up an amphibian unit in the library with an informative Skype with an amphibian expert at the Genovesi Environmental Study Center! During this exciting Skype, we saw several types of amphibians and learned more about these amazing creatures. We are so appreciative to the Genovesi Environmental Study Center for taking the time to teach us more about amphibians!
Our 4th graders are starting our 2019 Mock Caldecott! This is the 3rd year that I have done this unit with my 4th graders, and I'm so excited about the fantastic books that our students will be looking at. The Caldecott Medal is an annual book award given to the illustrator of the best picture book of the year. The winner, and honor books, are selected by a committee of judges who spend their year evaluating many eligible books.
Using the criteria that the official Caldecott judges use, I have my 4th graders evaluate 12 books that are eligible for the Caldecott Medal. At the end of our unit, students will select the books they think should win the Caldecott. Today we began examining the books that I selected and it was wonderful to watch our learners explore these beautiful picture books. I heard many great conversations among the students as they discussed the books they were looking at.
As we near the end of 2018, I'd like to share some the fantastic things that have been happening in our libraries since the beginning of our school year! Our learners have been very busy in our active libraries!
Our kindergartners have done a great job learning to use our library! They have been learning important library words, such as author, illustrator, fiction, and nonfiction. One lucky kindergarten class had an exciting Skype about elephant seals, where they got to see elephant seals live on a beach in California!
Our 1st graders library skills have grown so much since they were in kindergarten! Hollis 1st graders have had author studies in the library on exciting authors such as Oliver Jeffers and Jerry Pinkney. One class, after a unit on elephants, had an informative Skype with the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee!
Our 2nd graders have been learning about how stories can be retold in different ways. Using classic tales such as Goldilocks, The Three Little Pigs, and Stone Soup, we have compared different retellings of these wonderful stories.
Our Hollis 3rd graders have become experts at independently locating books in the library using our online catalog! After practicing locating books using their call numbers, they then learned how to search Alexandria, our library online catalog, to search for and locate books. The unit concluded with them doing a fun digital scavenger hunt using Breakout EDU. Our 3rd grade has now moved onto a Chickadee Book Award unit, which will have them creating some fun projects around this year's reading list.
We started our school year with review of our location skills, which included some fun scavenger hunts! 4th graders also learned about the Maine Student Book Award and several of the great books on this year's list. Two 4th grades had exciting Mystery Skypes - a class in Kansas for Mrs. Brooks' class and a class in Ireland for Mrs. Boucher's class! Our 4th graders are now working on their mock Caldecott unit. This is the 3rd year that I have done the mock Caldecott with 4th grade and I'm very excited to share some fantastic books with our 4th graders as they make their Caldecott predictions.
Our Hollis 5th graders have been learning about ways to promote books we love! After watching and reviewing book trailers, our 5th graders planned and created book trailers of their own! Most are wrapping up their trailers now and will soon be sharing them with their classmates.
GEJ 5th graders have been been very busy with some exciting activities. We've done some digital scavenger hunts and are now learning about some of the exciting features of the World Book Online. We've also had some Mystery Skypes recently with classes in Alaska!
It's certainly been a busy and exciting few months in the libraries! The upcoming months will be full of more exciting learning activities including virtual field trips, author Skypes, research, and, of course, reading many fantastic books!