It's been a busy month already in the OPS Library and we're only half way through December. Our Kindergarten students have been learning about how authors and illustrators use words and pictures to tell stories. We've looked at books without pictures, wordless picture books, and even a story told with just two words - banana and please.
Our 2nd and 3rd graders have been looking at two types of nonfiction, narrative and expository. We've read examples of both, and discussed how they differ.
In library club our 2nd - 6th grade students have been enjoying some spirited games of magnetic chess whenever they are not reading, reading, reading.
Our fourth grade students have been learning the difference between primary and secondary sources by looking at examples of both and applying what they've learned to a variety of scenarios where these sources are used.
Citations have been our focus in the fifth grade, with our students learning how to create citations for a variety of books.
In the sixth grade our research into climate change continues, with our students calculating their carbon footprint and considering how global warming might affect communities throughout the world.
We hope you enjoy the holiday season and we're looking forward to a wonderful 2024 with our students!
We've been busy in the OPS Library throughout the month of November.
Our K - 2nd grade students have been learning about authors, illustrators, and the elements they use to create a story - characters, setting, and plot.
In library club, our 2nd - 6th grade students have been building on that knowledge by creating wanted posters for their favorite villainous characters.
Meanwhile, our third grade students have been doing a deep dive into the Dewey Decimal System, while our fourth grade students have been learning how to evaluate a reference resource using our Lightbox Multimedia eBooks.
In the fifth grade, we are discussing plagiarism and have begun to learn how to properly credit a creator in our writing using in-text mentions and work cited pages.
Research is the focus in our sixth grade classes, as we begin to look at climate change and its affect on our daily lives. For the next several weeks, our sixth graders will be using the Big 6 Research Process to investigate questions they have developed about climate change using a variety of print, online, and multimedia reference resources of their choice.
Library Organization: Over the past few weeks our kindergarten through fourth graders have been learning how our OPS Library is organized, where to find certain types of books (fiction, nonfiction), and how to properly browse for a good book. Our kindergarten, first, and second grade students have practiced using shelf markers, and learned how to select a book using the five finger rule. Our third grade and fourth grade students have focused on searching for books in our Follett Destiny online catalog, identifying the section the book is located in, and then accessing them efficiently. In addition, the third and fourth grades will be learning about the Dewey Decimal System and how best to locate books in the nonfiction section of the library.
Bookji - Our fifth and sixth grade students are learning to use a new book recommendation tool, Bookji. Bookji allows our students the opportunity to safely discover, share, and rate books that they are interested in reading. For our fifth and sixth grade ELA teachers, Bookji provides a way for them to see what their students are reading, check their reading progress, and provide book suggestions.
While the OPS Library Media Center may be quiet at the moment, our students and staff have been anything but! Over the past month, we've been working together on a series of library assignments that have challenged the students to research ways to help save our oceans, try to break a Guinness "Try This At Home" World Record, and create a "Rube Goldberg Machine" designed to help us accomplish an everyday task, all while social distancing! Phew! Just thinking about it gets us tired, but not our students. They jumped at the chance, and we'd like to share some of their work with you.
RUBE GOLDBERG MACHINES:
The students were tasked with brainstorming a design for a Rube Goldberg Machine using only items they had around the house.
Nolan's "Dog Feeder" Machine
Jacob's "Self-Making Lemonade" Machine
Owen's Dog Treat Machine
Luka's "Ice Cream Maker" Machine
Kathryn & Lea's "Rocket Launcher" Machine
Logan's "Feeding Time" Machine
Kaylin & Emily's "Marble Passing" Machine
Juan's "Toothpaster" Machine
Isabel's "Bell Ringer" Machine
Aarush's "Orange Server"
TRY THIS AT HOME WORLD RECORDS:
The students were asked to describe a Guinness "Try This At Home" World Record they'd like to beat while "sheltering in place" at home. Here are some of their attempts -
Most M&Ms Eaten in 1 Minute Blindfolded Using Chopsticks - Record to Beat = 20 M&Ms
Most Trampoline Seat Drops in 1 Minute - Record to Beat = 59 seat drops
Most Socks Put On One Foot in 30 Seconds - Record to Beat = 28
Highest Jump Indoors - Record to Beat = 7 feet 11.6 inches
SAVE OUR OCEANS POSTERS:
After listening to a read aloud of Kate Messner's book The Brilliant Deep our students were asked to research ways we can work to save the world's oceans. Here are some of the students' posters:
Ever heard the old adage a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, there is some truth to it, and in the OPS Library we try to teach our students to read not only the words but also the pictures in any book that contains illustrations or photos. Whether that's considering the information conveyed by a photograph in a nonfiction book or the elements of a story that might be enhanced by an illustration in a fiction book. For instance, our first graders have been discussing how Dan Santat's illustrations in Aaron Reynold's Dude, enhance the single word (Dude!) that comprises the entirety of the book's text.
Our fourth graders have been poring over illustrations from The Mysteries of Harris Burdick to identify clues they can use as story elements (characters, setting, plot) and then using them to create their own original short stories. All of these activities help readers make connections between the text of a story and its illustrations. They also help students develop the visual literacy skills needed to improve their reading comprehension or, in the case of the older students, enhance their ability to write engaging narratives using descriptive detail and a clear sequence of events.
Santat, Dan. "Dude! Cover." Goodreads, 2020, https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/34506921-dude.
Lee, Suzy. "Wave Cover." Goodreads, 2020, https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/3171606-wave.
Over the past few weeks our kindergarten, first and second graders have been learning all about the basic elements of a story both in their classroom and the OPS Library. In the library, our students are learning about characters (primary/main and secondary), setting (time and place) and plot (conflict and resolution) by reading and analyzing classic stories like Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola and Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco. Our first graders are looking at how the characters, setting and plot of Strega Nona are introduced and work together throughout the story (beginning, middle, and end) by creating their own little flip book using various scenes from the story. Meanwhile, our second graders are working in groups to identify the characters, setting and plot of Thunder Cake using a graphic organizer, and sharing their findings in a class discussion. These activities help students to understand how each of these story elements fit together to provide a structure that moves the story from beginning to end.
In the OPS Library Media Center our students love to check out nonfiction books. This is a direct result of the time we spend studying, discussing and reading nonfiction books in the library. For instance, our K - 2nd grade students are currently learning about the differences between nonfiction and fiction, exploring narrative and expository nonfiction, and learning the various text features that make nonfiction books so engaging and informative. Likewise, our fourth grade students have just begun a Biography unit that will have them taking a look at a number of different biographies in our collection. To see some of the great new nonfiction books our students are currently enjoying from our collection take a look at the slide show above.
In the OPS Library Media Center we use games to teach. Whether it is Library Jeopardy to refresh our knowledge of library check out policies, rules, and our summer reading, Quizizz to test our knowledge of how to use the Follett Destiny search tool or scavenger hunts to apply our understanding of the Dewey Decimal System, gaming plays a role.
WHAT WE ARE WORKING ON IN THE LIBRARY
The school year may be nearing the end, but things are still hopping here in the OPS Library Media Center. Our Kindergarten, first and second grade students have been learning about folktales. They've studied fables, fairy tales, trickster tales, tall tales and fractured fairy tales. Our first graders are even coming up with their own fractured fairy tales! We're also learning about how writers use words to create tone and mood in their stories, and our kindergartners are learning about how to infer and make predictions about a story's progression based on evidence from its text and illustrations.
Our third and fourth graders have been honing their research skills by learning the Super 3 and Big 6 research models respectively. They have worked on a host of information and technology skills that will help them identify, locate, evaluate, organize and use research information to problem solve and complete projects. In particular, the third graders have learned how to utilize a KWL chart to drive their research of a topic, create effective keyword searches, and locate information on the web quickly and effectively. The fourth grade students have been learning the difference between primary and secondary sources, and how to effectively extract, paraphrase and cite information from those sources to avoid plagiarism.
What We ARe Learning About In The Library:
It has been a busy month in the OPS Library Media Center. Our Kindergarten students learned how to locate information online using online text features, and got prepared for the annual OPS Book Fair by getting a sneak peek at some of the books featured at the fair.
Meanwhile our 1st and 2nd grade students spent the month looking at various eBook platforms, including Bookflix and Tumblebooks. If you would like to access these eBook platforms with your child please don't hesitate to contact us for the log-in and password information.
Our 3rd grade students finished up a unit on locating the main idea in a nonfiction text and then took a tour of the world's coral reefs using our Lightbox online multimedia books.
In our fourth grade classes we learned the difference between primary and secondary sources, and practiced paraphrasing so that we can gather and use information from both types of sources without plagiarizing.
In the fifth grade, we began a unit on the "Big 6" research process with a focus on gathering information from online resources. In this unit the students are learning how to create research questions, formulate search strategies, and evaluate online resources.
Meanwhile our sixth grade students began a unit on recognizing and avoiding plagiarism. They practiced summarizing information from a source, created citations for a book and an online article, and are currently learning how to create in-text citations.