Colors!

This week kindergarten and first grade will be reading these colorful stories, most of which were recommended purchases from none other than our own amazing art teacher, Ms. Kniffin!  Books about concepts like colors, shapes, the alphabet and numbers are always a big hit with the younger students, and with covers like these, I’m sure you can see why!

  

These stories are more than just fun experiments with color; there are much bigger ideas at play here.  Monsters Love Colors takes the traditional primary colors instruction and makes it a whole lot of fun!  Sky Color celebrates the artist inside of everyone, especially those who see the world in an unexpected way.  Drawn Together is an amazing multi-generational story of how art can bring families together, with illustrations by Dan Santat that are mind-bogglingly gorgeous. And Pocket Full of Colors, the true story of Mary Blair, Disney artist extraordinaire, who thought outside the box in both her life and her art, is a picture book biography all young artists should read!

These gorgeous books are going to be a BIG hit!

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A Blizzard & A Blackout!

Well with the weather we had this week, there was no question what picture books I was going to read to kindergarten, first and second grade!

Caldecott Honor Award recipient John Rocco, who also does the cover art for the Percy Jackson series, has two gorgeous pictures books about two memorable phenomena in a life of a child–a blizzard and a blackout.  We talked about how in both situations, the world is different than it is everyday, and how some of our routines change.  Students discussed how their days were disrupted by this week’s storm, and what connections they could make between the narratives and their lives.  I couldn’t think of a more perfect fit!

2nd and 3rd grade wrapped up a new early chapter book last week called Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker.  The students are clamoring for the second copy, which just came in!  A heroine like Beatrice, who looks at things from a unique perspective, is one all the students have enjoyed getting to know!

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3rd grade has been learning about using online databases for research, as well as non-fiction text features such as indexes, photo captions and sidebars, to assist them in their upcoming countries project.  Grades 4 and 5 will learn about these databases in the weeks to come.

And 4th and 5th grade are still making progress on their Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award nominee fiction book, Ban This Book.

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This week the book prompted a conversation about the Bill of Rights and current events!  I love having the students make thoughtful connections about what we are reading to their own lives and world!

There is so much going on in the library this week, including the last week of building for our STEAM challenge before testing in the forest next week!  As always, great learning and awesome stories are the heart of the library, and we are ending 2018 strong!

 

Wordless Books

Is a book still a book if it doesn’t have any words? That’s the question kindergarten and first grade are exploring during library this week, with the help of some amazing storytellers and illustrators.  Ask your students what do they think the answer is?  Hint: the answer is a resounding, YES!

The Journey trilogy by Aaron Becker was amazingly popular.  I was only planning to share the story of the first book, Journey, but every class has begged me to read all three! We were also able to incorporate a conversation on the Caldecott Award medal using David Weisner’s books, as he won so many.

The students LOVED one of this year’s Caldecott runner-ups, Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis, even though it featured a completely made-up language.  We used the illustrations to infer what the story was saying, and by the end, some students were saying it was their favorite book they’ve ever read!

Then they had time to quietly browse multiple wordless books and it was a delightful way to close out class.  I am looking forward to making a display of wordless books after we’re done using them in class– I know they’ll be excited to bring them home!

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Marvelous Mo!

Kindergarten and first graders have been having a ball this month, diving into the wonderful world of Mo Willems, one of the most acclaimed and talented authors and illustrators of this generation.  His sense of humor is second to none!  Don’t be surprised if you start seeing books starring Piggie and Gerald, the Pigeon, Knuffle Bunny and more making their way home to you from the library!  With humor like this, who could blame them?

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!

Mo Willems & An Introduction to the Caldecott Medal

January is going to be a very fun month for preK, kindergarten and 1st graders!  We are doing an author study of the great Mo Willems and learning all about some pretty delightful characters: Piggie, Gerald, Knuffle Bunny, and of course, the Pigeon!

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This week we are focusing on The Pigeon and reading his books.  We are discussing how Mr. Willems using his seemingly simple illustrations to convey his ideas, and how he uses them to get his purpose across.

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It doesn’t take the students long to realize that many of Willems’s books have big shiny medals on them, mostly Caldecott, Red Clover, and Theodor Seuss Geisel Awards. This led to a natural discussion of past Caldecott Medal winners and throughout the day, I had to keep restocking my display as students happily took them off my hands!

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1T begged me to keep reading Pigeon books during class yesterday until I read all five that I had left in the library!  They loved his expressions and his sarcasm and especially when he yells!  I know Mo Willems month is going to be a huge success!