Today, February 16, is Chinese New Year! Happy Year of the Dog! This week my second grade classes have been learning a little more about Chinese New Year and the customs that go along with this celebration. My book for the week has been The Runaway Rice Cake written by Ying Chang Compestine. The kids figure out quickly that this story is very similar to the story of the Gingerbread Man. Only here, instead of the Gingerbread Man running away, the Chang family is chasing a runaway rice cake they were planning to eat for the new year's celebration. After enjoying the story we have talked about the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. Many students have shared their experiences of visiting Chinese restaurants and looking for their birth year on the placemats on the tables. I have shown the students a much larger version of this on my SMART board. Together, we located their birth year, discovered their zodiac animal, and read about the characteristics of their personality. Most of the students have either been oxen or tigers. No matter their animal, they have enjoyed this discovery. So, in the Chinese zodiac, what animal are you?
Each Wednesday I get the privilege of going down to our PreK classes and reading to them. I have to admit that this is one of my favorite things to do. A couple of weeks ago the classes were learning about winter and winter animals. Check out some of their artwork I noticed in the hallway for the book The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats!
In my second grade classes we have been talking about our favorite stories and our favorite kinds of books to read. We have had some wonderful discussions on the subject. Students have talked about their favorite book characters and subjects they like to learn about. This has led us into learning about fiction and nonfiction. As students named their favorite stories we decided, as a class, whether their choices were fiction or nonfiction. To go along with this unit, we have read two books that I love to share with the students. One is Miss Smith's Incredible Storybook by Michael Garland and Wild About Books by Judy Sierra. As each of the second grade classes visited the library we made a list of favorite stories from those students. I told each class that at the end of the unit we would share the lists and compare responses across the grade level. To make the comparing / contrasting a little easier, I created a Wordle with all of the second grade responses. Check out our Wordle and see all the wonderful stories we love to read. Are any of them your favorites, too?
One of the things I focus on in my Kindergarten lessons is how to use the library. Along with this we also focus on library manners. This includes behavior while in the library and also how to care for the books we check out and take home. To help communicate these ideas to the students, I share with them some of my favorite Sesame Street videos. In one video, Cookie Monster learns what he can get when he goes to the library and in the other, Grover teaches us why it is important to use indoor voices when visiting the library. These quickly become student favorites with requests of, "Can we watch that one again?" Well, of course we can!
One of my favorite new books this year has to be Quit Calling Me a Monster written by Jory John and illustrated by Bob Shea. This is a great book about a monster who is tired of being called a monster because it hurts his feelings. It really bothers him when he is called a monster, even though he has horns and wild eyes and fangs and clompy feet and long toenails and crazy hair and a smile that glows in the dark. Instead, he would much rather be called by his name: Floyd Peterson! Drop into the library and check out the book, or you can click below and check out the book trailer!
In a little less than a week, the library will be filled with Southwest students checking out their first books of the school year! I'm so excited to welcome you all into my library! I hope you are excited, too. Hmmm, which book will you choose?
Mo Willems is one of our favorite authors here at Southwest. His characters are some of our favorites as well. Who doesn't sympathize with Pigeon when he doesn't get to drive the bus? Everyone loves shouting "banana" along with Elephant and Piggie in their book We Are in a Book. And we have all been in Trixie's shoes when we discover our favorite toy, like Knuffle Bunny, goes missing. Well, Mo Willems is back with his new book Nanette's Baguette. Who is Nanette? And what's a baguette? You can find the answer to those questions by checking out Nanette's Baguette by Mo Willems from our library. Until then, here is a behind-the-scenes time-lapse video of Mo as he created his new book.
This past year I was honored to receive a $5000 grant from the Laura Bush Foundation. I finished spending my money at the end of the school year and have been cataloging them over the summer, getting them shelf ready. I was able to buy so many wonderful books that I can't wait to share with the students. Remember that empty book case in one of my earlier posts? Well it won't be empty for long!
After the broken water pipe flood of 2016 one of my book cases was damaged. This shiny brand new one came to replace it at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. It was so close to the end of the school year that I never even got to put books on the shelves. Now it's just sitting there empty waiting for the new school year and some brand new books! Wonder what it will look like come August? Watch this space!
About me . . .
Formerly a classroom teacher. Currently a School Library Media Coordinator. I loved being in the classroom, but now that I am in the library I can't imagine doing anything else! The library is my favorite place to be. From my rocking chair to my ABC rug to the smiling student faces checking out books, the library just can't be beat!
Learning in the Library
I have a fixed schedule in my library which means I get to see all the students in my library classes each week. This blog highlights some of the things we are learning and some of the great things going on in our library!