Library Lessons: Jan 18, 2016

Week 19.

And what a doozy it was: 4 rainy-day recesses in the library on Thursday, an all-day Student Success Team meeting on Wednesday (while popping out to teach a class), and a soggy, unannounced, Friday afternoon fire drill. Phew.

The kindergarten students were to complete 2 Ezra Jack Keats stories: Pet Show! and Peter’s Chair. Alas, that didn’t happen for either class.  Both classes were interrupted with a fire drill. Add a full moon and Friday afternoon fever, and this lesson wasn’t the best ever. One class finished one book. The other didn’t finish one. I opened my Bag of Tricks, trying to get things back on course: we moved (making it snow like the blizzard on the East Coast). Students led our Rhyme Time. They chose their spots to sit, so there would be enough space. Lots of call-and-response. Nothing was working: too many students showed unexpected behaviors (forgetting books in their backpacks, walking away from the line, yelling at classmates, talking throughout the instruction, etc.).  The only good thing: talking with other specialists, this isn’t isolated to library class. I left school feeling frustrated, and I’m thoughtfully planning how to rebound next week.

The 2nd graders continued our mini-unit on building empathy, listening to Alan Rabowitz‘s autobiographical A Boy and a Jaguar. Not one student had either encountered or heard of stuttering, which caused young Alan much suffering and trauma.  Their Thinking Question – answered on our RSVP chart – stemmed from the ending of a video of Alan fluently speaking about his book. He tells listeners to find their passion, what they love, and never give it up. Students were asked to write their passion on a sticky note to share. I hope to make these into a window display in the coming weeks.

The 4th graders knocked it out of the ballpark this week. We read Matt de la Peña‘s Newbery-winning, Caldcott-honored Last Stop on Market Street, comparing the message of the story to the message of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. (whom students were studying in music class). In small-group and whole-class discussion, they got to the heart of the matter: MLK strove to peacefully impact equality by treating everyone – regardless of skin color – the same, while Nana and CJ strove to impact equality by treating everyone – regardless of socio-economic status – the same. Both MLK and Nana stood for justice: for treating people as people, no matter what the exterior looks like. In a school of high-SES families, this message to help and serve others is undeniably important.

No Lunch and Listen this week due to the all-day W meeting. Students were not thrilled. I, however, am thrilled that so many choose to come to the library and listen to picture books instead of socialize in the cafeteria.  It’s a good thing, y’all.

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