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Teacher: Mrs. Kristen Frost (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Library Wrap Up
Spring has been a hectic time in the library! We've concluded so many projects and we're ready for some relaxing SUMMER READING!
Here's the rundown of what has been going on:
Kindergarten completed an author study of the author/illustrator Jan Brett. We read several of her lovely, detailed books and then tried our hands at her illustration style: watercolor paints and colored pencil. We learned how much work goes in to completing one of her illustrations, let alone an entire book!
First grade wrapped up an author study on Tomie DePaola. For our final book, we read one of Tomie's autobiographies, 26 Fairmount Avenue. This book chronicles his early childhood, and is a great introduction to biography for this age group. We wrote our own autobiographies after writing some of the most important details of our own young lives. There are more books in the 26 Fairmount Avenue series, and it would be a fantastic choice for first grade summer reading!
Second grade students concluded work on poetry with a few lessons on Haiku poems. We learned the basic conventions of the poetic style, and then headed out into nature to gain inspiration to write our own. The students created beautiful illustrated Haiku poems and really enjoyed figuring out how to use words carefully to fit the syllabic rules.
Third and fourth grade students learned all about fables. We read several examples of Aesop's fables as well as some retellings, and then students wrote their own original fables. The students created an illustration to accompany their fable in the style of Eric Carle (to connect with their trip to the Eric Carle Museum). Here is their work for you to view in an online ebook:
Fifth grade finished work on non-fiction text elements and their importance to our understanding of non-fiction as readers. Students created text element collages by identifying examples of common text elements in magazines. They included descriptions of each element they found and how the element helps them as a reader.
Sixth grade finished up their work on genre. After learning the typical elements of several popular literature genres, students spoke via Facetime with a book cover graphic designer to understand how genres are portrayed in cover art on books. Then, they created their own original book cover art to represent one genre they were interested in. Their results hung in the library on an interactive bulletin board where viewers could cast votes to guess which genre they thought each book represented. It was lots of fun! Students wrapped up their work with a round of "Wheel of Genre" on the Smartboard.
Seventh and eigth graders successfully completed their 5 and 10 page research papers. Whew! What a relief to have all that hard work in the rear view window. The students really worked so hard to create strong, meaningful papers about their various historical figures. I commend them all on their efforts and success.
Even though we are all ready to take a break from school, it is the time of year to remind students and families of the importance of reading over the summer. Research shows that students who read over the summer keep their skills up and are less likely to avoid the "summer slide" (loss of skills due to lack of practice over the summer). So make sure you visit the public library this summer to find some FUN books to keep your brain busy! Many public libraries offer summer reading programs and incentives to keep kids excited about reading over the summer. Additionally, libraries host many exciting programs as well. Check out the calendar of your local library to see what kind of activities are going on. Also, in Connecticut, many public libraries offer museum passes and discounts that you can obtain for free with your library card. Explore the links below for recommended reading lists and local library information. Have a safe, relaxing and book-filled summer!
Reading lists from the State of Connecticut Website:
CT Nutmeg Book Award Site/Booklists https://www.nutmegaward.org/about
Enfield Public Library Website https://www.enfieldpubliclibrary.org/
March and April in the Library
Things have been moving right along this spring! We've been having loads of fun in the library, and with only a short time left in the school year, it still feels like we have so much to cover in our studies. These last couple of months saw our students rise to the challenge of the "Read Across America" reading incentive. All students in K-6 were invited to participate and read 8 books of their choice, checking off their progress on a map of the United States. We read from Connecticut all the way to Alaska! Participants received small prizes for their achievement. It was a festive and fun way to celebrate early March. Kindergarten students finished up their work on Caldecott Award winning books, and then started a Jan Brett author study. We are learning how her artwork helps to tell more of the story than just what the words on the page tell us. First grade students also experienced the Caldecott Award books and then began an author study on Tomie DePaola. We will cover his biography "26 Fairmount Avenue" next, as we learn the common elements of biographies.
Grades 2-4 finished up their work with many different library tools and reference resources as they related to the Fribble Mouse Adventures series. We learned all about encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, online tools, the library catalog, Dewey Decimal System and more. These students know their library and its "treasures" forward and backward at this point. Grade 2 then moved on to celebrating National Poetry Month (April) with the study of poetry, while the third and fourth grades will explore fables and try writing some of their own. Grade five completed a research project on environmental hazards, beginning with note-taking and ending with a full five paragraph essay along with bibliography. Grade five is now working on the Dewey Decimal System and all of its wonders. We will connect this learning with the text elements of non-fiction resources and how they help us when interacting with informational text. Grade six completed their work on website evaluation and presented their "mystery sites" to one another determining the validity and value of each site. Most recently, the sixth grade has been working on learning the elements of several popular genres. We will have a skype interview this week with a book designer to learn more about how genre plays in to the cover art on a book. So cool!
Grades 7 and 8 are nearing the end of their extensive history research projects. They have completed weeks of obtaining resources, note-taking, writing a bibliography, and creating an outline. All that is left is writing the five or ten page paper and adding parenthetical references. We are nearing the end of this huge project, and the students have done an amazing job! They will have the skills they need to navigate the same kind of research they will experience in high school.
It is an exciting time of year with so much going on. Welcome, spring, and all the fun and learning that comes along with it!
Winter Fun in the Library
We are cruising right through the winter, and the library has been a very busy place! During Catholic Schools Week, our library Fiction and Reference sections were weeded and shifted, creating a more easily accessible collection for all to use. Many new titles were also added, thanks to wonderful parent volunteer help.
Kindergarten and First Grade students are finishing up their work on Fairy Tales and Folk Tales, and we have also been exploring some wonderful titles that are Caldecott Award winners. Grades 2-4 are continuing their library resource learing through the Fribble Mouse Library Mystery Series. We have covered encyclopedias, dictionaries, phone directories, atlases, library catalog, non-fiction/Dewey Decimal System, and biography. We have been having so much fun exploring all these library tools! Grade 5 is deep in research mode, as they are learning about various environmental hazards. We are using non-fiction sources, taking notes, keeping bibliographical informaiton and writing a five paragraph research paper. Grade 6 is finishing up work on website evaluation, as they present their "mystery" websites to each other to show their usefulness.
Grades 7 & 8 are now beginning their history research projects. Parent notices have gone home and need to be returned, and step one of the process (locating materials) is underway. I'm linking my bibliography help sheet below for all students to access as they work on properly citing their sources for the project. I'm here to help if any students need it!