Library Lessons: Oct 28 – Nov 1

Kindergarten:  The day after Halloween!  Observation day!  Week 3 of our Arthur Howard study!  Phew.  I saved Hoodwinked for this week as one final Halloween treat.  Goals included: author / illustrator, spine label information, and introducing the nonfiction section of the library.  Since the story featured pets, I highlighted the 600’s.  Additionally, K’s just began studying animals in their classroom and were introduced to PebbleGo Animals in the computer lab.

Based on this week’s list of words / phrases used to describe the story, I know one area to work on: not allowing the words funny, cool, and interesting to be used.  Labeling a story in just a handful of descriptive, specific words is a hard skill for the K’s.  Maybe 3 different words / phrases (rather than 5) would be better…

Oh, and the observation.  It didn’t happen (minor building emergency).  However, I chose this week to tape myself teaching, as watching a video of yourself at work is The Best professional development for any teacher / librarian out there.  I mentioned this to my principal later in the afternoon, and she will accept the full video in lieu of coming in.  This is either good news or bad news…


2nd Grade:  Teaching on Halloween is tough enough.  Add costumes and classes that fall either directly before or after the classroom party, and that’s what I had this year.  Enter a 2013 WCCPBA nominee:

Now, it’s not a Halloween story…but the art, design, color and overall creepiness worked perfectly.  My students *loved* this book.  I love this book.  Afterwards, I asked students to consider this question: How would the story have been different if it had been illustrated with all the colors, not just black/white/orange?  Would it have been better?  Worse?  Why?  A quick think-pair-share later, and almost everyone agreed: less is more when it came to the colors used.

Being cognizant of the holiday – and the level of distraction – reading, we watched a couple of short videos after reading:

Peter Brown explains his artistic process for Creepy Carrots!  I only showed a bit of this one, as I know I have some students who are easily scared.

With almost all of my students partaking in trick-or-treating, Scaredy Squirrel’s tips were well-received.  Bonus: all of my Scaredy Squirrel books got checked out!

3rd Grade:  Three classes the morning of Halloween…one of which also had a field trip immediately after library class.  Good thing I had a solid lesson planned: week 2 of accessing Destiny.  This week’s goals: independently log in to Destiny, do one of the following (a) place a hold / (b) write a review / (c) make a recommendation, locate and use MyQuest to access inbox,  log off.  I modeled all of the expectations before sending the students off to their work stations.


Each student had a computer, and there was lots of focused work for about 10-15 minutes!  One of the major teaching points during the lesson: if students want to get a recommendation, they should write a recommendation to another.   I model this with the students, as I always have lots of recommendations in my inbox.  If someone takes the time to write to me, I should write back.  Students watched as I modeled this expectation.  As I say, it’s simply good online etiquette.  All students received a Destiny bookmark to take home, as they can access the catalog from any Internet connection.

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