Library Lessons: Sep 5-9, 2016

Week 2 of the 2016-2017 school year!

Another short week, but 3 full days for me (thank you, part-time-by-choice schedule!)


Our first week together meant lots of learning. Students learned: how to come in the library, where to sit (their stair spot), what to do when they know something (including if they know the story we read), how to choose a book from the top of the shelf, how to self check-out, where to sit at the end of class. Phew!

As usual, we played an I Spy game to start the class. Mr. Tiger, our favorite friend, held our books for reading. The squishy ball made an appearance, assisting in learning student names. Pointer paws gave high-fives for best efforts.  And Audrey Wood’s The Napping House was the first title shared this year. That the house in the story is modeled after her house let us make the connection to our lives and homes outside of school. Like grades 1&2, K’s were invited to send in a family photo to help build our school family. More details on teaching K’s in library, especially for the first few weeks, are found here.

1st Grade:

For a variety of reasons (Skype author visits, poor planning, etc), the end-of-year K unit on Folktales Around the World was shortened from 6 to 3 weeks. I planned to start 1st grade by picking up the unit in the middle…and to my delight, it worked beautifully.

We reviewed library expectations (Act like you’re in a library) and began with our Continents of the World song. Most students remembered it! And it was a lovely way to settle into their seating space. More review/reteaching of elements of folklore was done – folktales come from every continent except Antarctica, they’re retold (no authors), they’ve been told for many years, they’re an oral tradition designed to teach, entertain, or inform.  Students recalled folktales shared last year – The Beckoning Cat, Why Koala Has a Stumpy Tail, and Give Up, Gecko! – and mapped each to the continent of origin using our world carpet map.  I chose to start the year highlighting a new type of folktale – the trickster tale – to the delight of the students.

They LOVED this story and the antics of Anansi, prompting the plans for the next 3 weeks to include trickster tales from South and North America…and Europe, if I can find one.

2nd Grade:

PokemonGo in the library.  Fun, engaging, hands-on. Also the best way to share what the library has – and where important spaces/items are located – for young learners.

I plan to do this lesson with grade 1 later in the fall.

OH! Let’s not forget Lunch & Listen! Week 1 was a great success, with over 40 5th graders – mostly boys – coming in to listen to picture books. YAY!

Current thinking:

I feel pretty great to have implemented some of my goals/ideas for the year. Sitting at The Goldfish Line after check-out is working beautifully. Consistently using shelf markers is coming along. Self check-out is slow but steady, and students are eager to be independent. And I got Pokemon in the library for an engaging, informative lesson!

Thinking forward, Dot Day and Global Read-Aloud are in the next two months. We have an author visit scheduled for grades 3-5 (Lauren Tarshis) and the goal to add one more for the K-2 crowd (Ben Clanton). And, as always, I hope to model flexibility and forward-thinking to embrace new opportunities for learning…for students and for myself.

🙂 arika

2 thoughts on “Library Lessons: Sep 5-9, 2016

  1. btaverna

    Hello Arika! I love reading about your lessons – I especially love your whiteboard listing everything you have planned for them that day. It seems like it would set a great structured tone for your students and help them know what to expect during their lesson! I am curious about your self-checkout system – what ILS do you work with? I think that would be awesome to implement but I would be concerned about privacy issues. What does your process look like/what steps do students take when they check out? Thanks!

    1. ajdickens Post author

      Hi! I’m glad you find the whiteboards useful. Writing it each day certainly keeps me on track and answers many student questions! Thanks for the self check-out question. We use Destiny. For younger students, they scan their student barcode (pre-printed on a label, attached on a tagboard shelf-marker) then scan their items. They aren’t resetting the screen, but that is a great idea. Right now, getting the first two steps down has been Job 1 (name, then school barcode). Baby steps for us. Once they are used to the process, I think i’ll add one more scan for them to do (with a “reset” barcode). The 5th graders are resetting the screen after each transaction (I’m teaching K, 1, 2, 5 this year). If I can get a video of what self check-out looks like for the littles, I’ll share it this week. 🙂 arika


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