Last week kicked off a new year in the Ottauquechee School Library, and I was so thrilled to see all the kids and hear their excitement about being back in the library! To begin the year we will be working under the essential questions of What is a library? and To whom does the library belong? Hearing the range of answers when we discussed what a library is and its many functions warmed my heart. Some of my favorites were “a place to let your imagination run free,” and “a place where we are free to learn with no judgment.” I also heard “a place with wonder” and “a place where you can be yourself.” Well, this librarian was so proud she could have burst.
I also wanted the kids to realize that the library belongs to everyone in the OQS community, including parents, staff, teachers, and students. They seem to think that library space belongs to just ME, but to go along with the idea that the library is more than just a place to house books, it’s important they know that the resources there are for them, and are available whenever they need them. So I’m making a banner that will remind the kids that the library belongs to everyone at OQS, and I want everyone in the school to sign it!
With such a wonderful start to our library classes, and the fact that several fifth graders came after school Friday to beg for books over the long weekend even though I told them I wasn’t quite ready to check out books yet, I feel like the kids know the OQS library is a special place, and that we are all excited to be back!
I was introduced to the online scavenger hunt platform GooseChase last week after presenting at the Dynamic Landscapes conference in Burlington. This app makes it easy to create fun, dynamic scavenger hunts where the seekers can type, take a photo or video evidence of their solutions. Both indoor and outdoor, academic and nature-based, the students had a really fun time competing against each other and demonstrating their teamwork! I can think of so many applications of this to the grade levels, and look forward to sharing GooseChase with teachers next year!
3rd and 4th grade have been creating picture books and poetry with Storybird, an outstanding writing tool that uses prompts to help spur student creativity. Check out the pictures below to see 3rd graders in action, as well as some of the final poems written by OQS students! Click on them to see them full screen.
April wrapped up with one of my very favorite days of the year, Poem In My Pocket Day. I love walking around school that day sharing poems with students, as did several other staff members. By the end of the day the students were just inundated with poetry, and there is really nothing better.
I also created my very first Poetrees, with the help of Mr. Clough and Ms. Kniffin. These were a little scrawny, but I have bigger and better ideas for next year. We have planted the seeds of inspiration, and students and teachers have been continuing to add poems all this week!
We are all a little better off having a lot more poetry in our lives!
I’m doing book talks (basically book “commercials” where I try to sell books to kids, not that these need it) with third grade today, and I realized that these authors are so outstanding, yet I think they may still be somewhat unknown. I am not going to list their bios or their accomplishments (although they are many!), but will leave you with a list of books that would be well worth a read this summer. Take a look at the recommended ages first. Spend some time on their websites getting to know them! They are authors worth a space on your book shelf.
Enjoy your summer reading list. You’re welcome.