Monday, March 11, 2019

Dorothy's List on NPR

Did you know that NPR has a podcast series for kids called Dorothy's List?  Once a month they focus on one of the book from the Dorothy Canfield Fisher book award list.  They visit children in school to find out what they think of the book, what projects they're doing related to the book, and what questions they might have for the author. Then they ask the author!  This is a great introduction to the books and an engaging podcast series for kids and adults alike.  Check it out on NPR!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

More real-world STEM

These kiddos finished two bookshelves and a book display!  Now they are moving on to an even trickier project -- creating shelves without instructions.  I love their enthusiasm!

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Library / Spanish Collaboration

One of the Red Clover books this year has several Spanish words, so the Spanish teacher and I are taking advantage of that for a few collaborative lessons!  With second grade several weeks ago, and again this week with third (3U) we were able to co-teach the class. We met in the library with the kids in their spots. We started with the regular Spanish greeting, then I read The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! while she wrote down the Spanish words on the board as we read.  We took breaks to discuss the words and add additional words based on the illustrations.  The kids pointed out things they already knew, in Spanish, from the book's illustrations.  It was a really engaging class.  I'm looking forward to finding more opportunities for collaboration.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Practical Learning

I used my Scholastic Book Fair dollars to get some new shelving units for the library.  They've been sitting around, unbuilt, for awhile now, so this week I decided to have my 5th grade STEM class put them together.  What a great decision!!  The kids are having a great time and I am amazed with the collaboration I'm seeing.  Talk about real life skills!  They self-selected groups and are working remarkably well together.  Today I heard one kid explaining a cam screw to another, who listened attentively then replied with, "Wow, cool." They are following directions, some of which are minimal at best and one set is written in Portuguese!  Fortunately it's also illustrated.  The kids have come across some problems, they've had to redo parts, and one group even had to take it all apart and start from scratch.  I've heard some frustrations, but no one has quit.  One girl, upon finding out they had to go backwards several steps, again, said, "I'M NOT DOING THIS AGAIN. I'M DONE!" but even as she was saying it, she started undoing her work and she proceeded to work with the rest of her group to fix the problem and carry on.  I didn't even have to intervene.  At the end of each class I ask if I should finish it for them or if they want to keep working on it, and I always get a resounding "We want to do it!"  So we tuck things out of the way and leave it until they come back again for their next STEM class.  I'm in no hurry to get them done.  In fact, with the effort I'm seeing from these kiddos, I'm tempted to buy more furniture!!  :)

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Be Internet Awesome

In library class 5th grade has begun a unit on digital safety, following Google's Be Internet Awesome curriculum.  From the curriculum introduction:

Welcome to the Be Internet Awesome curriculum, a collaboration between Google
and the Internet Keep Safe Coalition ( This resource is part of
Be Internet Awesome, a multifaceted program designed to teach kids the skills
they need to be safe and smart online. 
Five fundamental topics of digital safety and citizenship form the Internet Code
of Awesome:

  • Share with Care (Be Internet Smart)
  • Don’t Fall for Fake (Be Internet Alert)
  • Secure Your Secrets (Be Internet Strong)
  • It’s Cool to Be Kind (Be Internet Kind)
  • When in Doubt, Talk It Out (Be Internet Brave)

Over the next few months we will be going through the lessons and discussing online safety and digital citizenship and in order to prepare the students for their journey to middle school.  

If you'd like to discuss this with your child at home, check out the curriculum, the interactive game they'll have a chance to use in school, and Google's FamilyLink app.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Vacation time!!

Happy holidays to all.  I hope you enjoy a peaceful vacation.  I came across this on Facebook today and it made me smile.

If you need a good book for your daughter, check out Dear Girl, by  Amy Krouse Rosenthal.  I've had it sitting on my shelf for a month or so, but I finally picked it up and read it and it made my heart melt.  I just ordered a copy for my 11yr old.  Even big kids like picture books!  

Testing out Santa's Sphero sleighs

In library class 5th grade has been working on building Santa Sleighs out of recycled materials. Today they got to test them out with Spheros for reindeer! We learned that running on the carpet causes friction which slows things down, that it's good to have your reindeer closer to the sleigh, that a smaller sleigh is easier to pull but carries less presents, and that it's hard for ONE Santa to drive many sleighs!