This has been another fast and fabulous week in the Johnson Elementary School Learning Leopard Library. It’s hard to believe it, but we’re already in our fifth week of school – and the students are starting to settle in to library procedures. Each week, classes get better and better at using their checkout time efficiently and working together as a team to complete their work and earn free reading time. Students who come visit me in the morning are starting to step forward as leaders and help other students to check out, which is a wonderful thing to see!
We finished up our dinosaur lesson early this week, but not before I asked one of our Instructional Assistants to snap a photo of the Dinosaur Hokey Pokey. In the photo you can see a kindergarten class showing off their dino claws and dino teeth!
With dinosaurs all wrapped up, pre-school classes moved on to a magical story time. After waving our magic wands and inviting story time magic into the room, we enjoyed Henry Tullet’s magical story Press Here together. This story requires some major help from the students, and we had so much fun! After reading the story, preschool students became illustrators and created their very own magic book to take home.
Kindergarten and first grade students had a very busy week this week, as they are going through Library Superhero Training. After learning about some of the dangers to library books last week, we are now spending our time discussing how we can save our books from danger. Students help to battle super villains in our Oh No Basket, including scissors, crayons, dirty shoes, water bottles, peanut butter, and even a dog! Once our superhero training is complete, each student gets to color a Library Superhero badge and tape it to their shirt to show everyone that they are a LIBRARY SUPERHERO!
Second grade will be working more on choosing books that are just right for them – books that are on their level and that interest them. Finding reading materials that interest them is an SOL on every grade level, and it greatly increases the chances of students reading for pleasure both inside and outside of school. According to an article recently posted by School Library Journal, students who read for pleasure are more likely to be strong students in school; and not just in reading class!
“It may seem surprising that reading for pleasure would help to improve children’s maths scores,” Sullivan says. “But it is likely that strong reading ability will enable children to absorb and understand new information and affect their attainment in all subjects. […] The researchers compared children from the same social backgrounds who had achieved the same test scores as each other at age 5 and at age 10. Their finding? Kids who read often at age 10 and more than once a week at age 16 gained higher results at age 16 than those who read less regularly.”
Check out the rest of this interesting and informative article about the importance of reading for pleasure here. With this in mind, second grade students will be reading Miss Brooks Loves Books (And I Don’t!), a story by Barbara Bottner featuring a main character that just can’t seem to find any books that she likes in the library. We will use this book to get our brains thinking about subjects that we like to read about – and subjects that we don’t!
Students in third and fourth grade are beginning to explore the geography and organization of the library. This week, we break down the five main sections of the library, and work in small groups to gather information about each section. Within the coming weeks, groups will have a chance to teach the class about their section of the library by answering questions like, how are these books most commonly used? Are these books full of facts, stories, or pictures? What are three sample titles of books I might find in this section? I am excited to see how much students know about their library, and to build on that knowledge together!
We had an exciting first-time event in the library this week, when a third grade student acted as my Library Assistant during a pre-school class. This student had earned a prize for good behavior in her classroom, and chose to come and help in the library as her reward. Her help with the pre-school classes was a huge success! Miss Grason helped the students to march, sing, and dance, and was a huge help during our magical story time and craft. Congratulations, Miss Grason, on your wonderful school behavior. We hope to have you as our Library Assistant again soon!
Thank you to everyone that came to visit during Johnson Elementary School’s Back to School Night on Tuesday, September 17th. It was a pleasure to meet so many supportive and caring parents and families! I hope to see you all again soon!