This Week In The Library

I’m kicking off the change in weather to more autumnal temperatures with stories celebrating Halloween, including my very own jack-o-lantern!  I am reciting a beloved story of a spider and a mouse who live together in a pumpkin throughout the winter to grades preK through three, as well as some other favorite picture books and an early chapter book!

Fourth and fifth grade are still very much enjoying the DCF books we are reading together.  Ask your students about the plot, especially the fifth graders, as the story takes place in 1979-1980 and there are some pretty throwback pop culture references (think The Brady Bunch and Three’s Company).

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STEAM time is still going great!  Next week the students will have time to reflect on each other’s work, provide positive feedback, and then reassess the strength and usefulness of their house.  Keep up with the STEAM design process here!

I hope your students are enjoying library this week as much as I am!

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Bathroom Blurbs

Never one to miss an opportunity, I have taken advantage of yet another time when students have a second to read—the bathroom!! Hopefully these advertisements, strategically placed on the back of the upper grades’ bathroom doors, will entice kids to take out one of this year’s Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award-nominated books!

It’s worth a try! After all, there’s no more popular place to read than the bathroom–I know I’ll catch a few of their eyes!

STEAM blog

This year students come to the library not once but TWICE a week.  I’m so lucky to hang out with them so often!  Their usual trip to the library focuses on creating a lifelong love of reading, learning research skills, making connections to literature, and the like.  In addition to that, once a week each grade has a second trip to the library for STEAM time.  Not sure what STEAM time means?  Ask your students! They definitely know!

Interested in learning more about what we’re doing in STEAM and the design process?  Follow along on our other blog, found here.  It’ll explain a bit about the method behind the madness and highlight some photos as well.  For additional photos, check out the school’s Facebook page for the whole album!

Intriguing 2nd and 3rd Grade

I consider one of my most important jobs my responsibility to introduce stories and genres to the students who would be most intrigued by them.  For 2nd grade, I try to find early chapter books and beginning reader series that will capture the students’ interest and hopefully get them asking for the next book.  Without fail, I end up with at least two or three takers every week who want to get the next book in the series!

This week 2nd grade read the first book in the Owl Diaries series, Eva’s Treetop Festival by Rebecca Elliott.  At first, many of the boys thought the cover was too “girly,” but soon they were all loving the colorful illustrations and silly story!

I have six Owl Diaries books here in the library. Students kindergarten and older all love them!

As for third grade, I knew they would need something a little more provocative to get their attention. That’s when I thought of the brand new version of The Odyssey by Gillian Cross that I purchased this summer.  It was a HUGE hit!

Let’s just say, having students brainstorm how they would escape from a Cyclops cave is a great way to start a class! I had more students taking out books from the Mythology section than ever before!

I hope your second and third graders were intrigued this week!  4th and 5th grade are enjoying the novels we’re reading together and preK-1 read picture books about nature to celebrate some actual autumn weather.  Enjoy your Monday off and the extra day for reading!

What Is Banned Book Week

Banned Book Week, the American Library Association’s annual event which celebrates intellectual freedom and an individual’s freedom to read, has taken over Ottauquechee School!  Before I post photos of what’s going on at OQS specifically, I wanted to be sure to share the thought process behind this event.

One of my greatest privileges as a librarian is the knowledge that I am making information of all types available to students with open hearts and inquisitive minds.  I do not censor what books are purchased for the library, and I hope that all viewpoints and perspectives are present in all areas of the library, from fiction to biographies to picture books to the non-fiction.  My job is to help guide your students in their inquiry, not to decide which information is “right.”  Besides any question of age-appropriateness, I can’t think of any reason to keep a book out of the hands of a person who is seeking knowledge.

And the American Library Association agrees with me.  Learn more here.

I already had a rousing discussion with fourth grade today about why a book would be challenged, how they would feel to have information censored from them, and whether or not this kind of censorship exists in this country.  All amazing and thought-provoking questions and answers.  Why not ask your student what he or she is learning about banned books this week?

Where’s My Latte?

With many, many thanks to a local furniture-maker, Mark Benson, the library now has its own “internet café,” if you will, for its research area!  This new seating arrangement, with awesome purple stools, is just what the computer area needs.  Now I just need to wait until the novelty wears off and the kids stop twirling in their seats and raising them up and down!  My bet is another month. With an internet cafe vibe and comfy chairs, who would want to leave? It’s practically Starbucks!

As Dr. C said when she saw them before our staff meeting yesterday, “Oh, they’re beautiful!  Where’s my latte?”