How Well Do You Know Our Library?

This week was tech-heavy for grades 3-5.  With students eager to be allowed onto the computers and iPads to search for books themselves, a refresher course in how to use the online card catalog was in order. Starting next week I will encourage the students to find their books themselves, especially in non-fiction. Time to become friends with Dewey Decimal numbers!

After that, students competed in teams to prove who knows the OQS Library the best via a rousing game of Jeopardy. There were laughs, some tears, a little frustration, but overall the most engaged conversations about spine labels and genres we’ve ever had! Nothing like a little competition!

Library introductions are over! Looking forward to starting our Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award-nominated book with 4th and 5th grade, Just Like Jackie, next week!  2nd and 3rd grade will begin a short, early chapter book, Dory Fantasmagory! Hope you all have a great weekend and find time to curl up with a good book!

Be Internet Awesome!

Second and third grade are beginning a unit on Digital Citizenship, using the amazing resources available from Be Internet Awesome and Peardeck.

To make the most of the Internet, kids need to be prepared to make smart decisions. Be Internet Awesome teaches kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence.

Click the photos to read more!


This week’s lesson is about what is safe to share online, what is personal vs. private information, and digital footprints.  The lessons are very interactive and the kids had a blast while learning about how to be safe online!  Upcoming units include cyberbullying and making secure passwords.  Talk to your kids about what they’ve learned and how you can apply these lessons to their screen and media at home.

Book Creator!

3rd, 4th, and 5th grade are learning to use Book Creator in library to demonstrate their learning in an engaging, dynamic way!  Using Book Creator, students can create traditional and comic books, include audio or video, and have a blast while showing off what they know.  My own children beg to use Book Creator at home, and after you talk to your kids about what’s so cool about it, you’ll understand why! Ask your students why Book Creator is so great, and then ask them what Mrs. Whitney is asking them to do with it to wrap up many months of reading and reflecting!  We’re having a lot of fun in here!

Enjoy this video of 3B as they learn to navigate Book Creator and use this tool to its full potential!

Students Believe….

3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students had a LOT of ideas about why it’s important for all of us to be responsible digital citizens, and not believe every piece of information we come across.  After learning about fake news and digital literacy for three weeks, we compiled a big Google Doc and these are some of their strongest reasons why!

Bravo, digital detectives!

Fact or Fiction?

Last week students in grades 3, 4 and 5 were given a crash course in how to tell fact from fiction in the news.  We started off diving right into a satirical article written for The New Yorker by Andy Borowitz, and talked about fake news and how to identify it.

After the students led a conversation where they discussed what they thought the purpose of this article was and what evidence supported their opinion, we watched a quick movie identifying five ways to spot fake news.  My favorite quote of the week was when a fourth grader asked me how they knew they should trust this video as a source!  High five for real-life application of learning!


Finally we reviewed a poster that I purchased from The American Library Association highlighting ways to protect oneself from fake news.  This week we are putting that knowledge to the test in a Digital Detectives Challenge!  Already 4D showed their understanding of how to be critical of information, images, and news sources.  This week is going to be full of deeper learning!

Hour of Code

Grades 2-5 participated in the worldwide phenomenon known at the Hour of Code last week.  Students all over the world were celebrating computer science and providing student access to coding that they may not have had otherwise.  Over 150,000 separate Hour of Code events registered!

The Hour of Code uses pop culture and fun graphics to entice students to persevere through the daunting world of computer coding.  Go to their website here with your student and ask them to show you around!  They were incredibly knowledgeable and intuitively picked up the nuances of coding incredibly quickly!  They are really demonstrating the skills that make them 21st century learners!

2nd grade, pictured here, participated during library, while grades 3-5 participated in STEAM time (and sometimes in their classrooms as well!) Already kids are begging me for opportunities to continue coding in STEAM and library time.

The Hour of Code doesn’t stop now.  Your students can log in to hone their skills any time.  If you’re going to have screen time, why not have them learn a thing or two while they’re at it?