Tag Archives: Destiny

Library Lessons: Nov 4- 8, 2013

Kindergarten: Week 4 in the Arthur Howard author / illustrator study.  We began with 2 new rhymes in our weekly Rhyme Time.  Have I mentioned Rhyme Time?  Hmm.  Well…


Ready for K library!

Rhyme Time is the warm-up activity I do to get the K’s ready for lesson.  I have a chart of rhymes, and the students and I chant 2-4 rhymes each week.  I will teach the rhymes one week, then we’ll repeat them for the next 6 weeks or until they learn them.  The students get ready with “rhyme time fingers” (wiggling spirit fingers) and pat the beat of the rhyme on their legs as we chant.  I tell the students that good rhymers become great readers, which is true (check here, here, and here).  I use a mix of basic rhymes – Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Hickory Dickory Dock, Hey Diddle Diddle – as well as more esoteric yet fun rhymes – Dickery Dickery Dare, Horsie Horsie Don’t You Stop, To Market To Market.  Many weeks, I’ll ask the students to do a quick-rhyme: “In Hickory Dickory, the word ‘dock’ rhymes with…”.  At that point, any word that fits the bill is correct: clock, rock, stock, smock, tock, mock…  This has proven to be a successful way to start a K lesson.  Depending on the class dynamics, I usually use rhymes up until the halfway point of the year.


This week’s white board

Back to the lesson.   Goals: reconnect the 600’s = pets, introduce the I Can Read (beginner reader) section of the library, identify the job of an author / illustrator, identify the information on the spine label.  I chose Mr. Putter and Tabby Walk the Dog as it fit with most of the goals: it’s from the I Can Read section, it’s illustrated by Arthur Howard, and it features a pet cat and dog.  There are some great opportunities for questions during this story.  This week the 40 minutes flew by!

2nd grade:  2014 WCCPBA Nominee The Monster’s Monster by Patrick McDonnell.  Goals: connect to the 000’s (monsters) in nonfiction, opinions/facts about Monster prior to/after reading.


Don’t you just love the list of words to describe Monster based on the cover illustration?  And the 2nd list is populated with words from our school’s Virtues curriculum.  We had a brief – yet powerful – talk about not judging others based on appearances.  Who knew a simple book about monsters could foster that big discussion?

3rd grade:  Destiny, part 3.  Goals: answer the questions from last week’s stoplight assessment, review weeks 1&2, introduce friending, define purpose of friending, discuss cyberbullying.  Wow – all that in 40 minutes.  No sweat.


Making friends in Destiny Quest is, without a doubt, the most popular feature that students can access.  As such, I must be clear about the purpose of having friends: to easily make book recommendations to a large group of people.  Allowing 3rd graders this power has its pros and cons.  Pros: they make lovely recommendations to their friends – including me.  (Side note: all students must friend me first.)  Cons: cyberbullying.  Simply put, these students aren’t dumb.  They know if someone is avoiding them in Destiny.  They know if someone “defriends” them.  They know if a group friends them just to be funny.  And I know it, too.  These behaviors are bullying using an Internet-based tool – it is cyberbullying.  I am very up-front with the students regarding this topic, and I explain that under no circumstances is it acceptable.  Get caught cyberbullying using the library catalog and the student forfeits the login privilege.  Students have this week and next week to “friend” classmates at school.  After that, the catalog may only be used to manage their account, write reviews, make recommendations, and place holds.  Next week: your online footprint and an assessment of student reviews in Destiny.

No formal booktalks this week, but I used Destiny to batch-recommend this book to all my student friends.  I wonder how many holds it’ll have by next week?!

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.

Library Lessons: Oct 21-25, 2013

Kindergarten:  The author study of Arthur Howard continued.  This week’s goals included highlighting the differences between author / illustrator, reviewing information found on a spine label, and locating books by an author in the E (Everybody) section of the library.  Oh – and guiding the K students in creating their one word / short phrase book review of this week’s read aloud: Kathi Appelt’s Bubba and Beau: best friends.  I *love* this book for many reasons: the short chapters, the darling illustrations (yay, Arthur Howard!), and the opportunities for vocabulary development.  Great words included keen and distain.  Giving the K’s an opportunity to talk about things they are keen about – and things they have a distain for – is worthy of the few minutes that it takes.


 2nd Grade:  We continued our work with A Place for Bats by using the PebbleGo database to do a one-class research assignment on bats.  Goals included accessing the database independently, using the organizational features of PebbleGo to locate specific information, and writing down brief notes without copying.  Prior to sending the students to the computers, I modeled paraphrasing – writing someone else’s words in your own way – and bulleted notes – writing short phrases, not complete sentences.  Students were informally assessed as to how they met the 3 goals.  One of this week’s highlights included listening to two students debate how to write a bit of information down without copying it word for word.  Yes!



Modeling how to paraphrase information found in a database.

Modeling how to paraphrase information found in a database.

To make this project more visually stimulating, I gave students bats as note-taking templates.  I also included the citation for PebbleGo on the bat, as 40 minutes just isn’t long enough to teach a lesson AND expect students to get everything done.



Parent helpers graciously helped cut out the bats, which were then displayed in the library.


3rd Grade: This was week 1 of a 3+ week journey into utilizing the library catalog.  There was a huge amount of information to get across, as well as a need to allow each student ample time to practice skills on their own computers.  This week’s goals included: logging in to the library catalog (Destiny), placing a hold on a book or writing a review for a book, and logging off of the catalog.


The majority of students were able to log on / off, and over half placed a hold or wrote a review.  About 30% figured out how to write a recommendation, and a handful exceeded expectations by discovering the “friending” option in the library catalog.  More on this in the next couple of weeks 🙂

This week’s 3rd grade booktalks: