Monday, August 31, 2015

We're Moving!

The Francis Library blog will now live in a different place. We are consolidating information into a more dynamic website for students, teachers, and parents. The blog will now live on  a Weebly site.  Check it out here >>

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Kids' Mock Sibert Picks

We held a Mock Sibert Award in fourth grade for the end of the year. The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal is awarded annually to the author/illustrator of the most distinguished informational book (aka nonfiction). I thought it would be fun to read the actual winner for this year along with some of the honors and one non-Sibert contender and see how the results compared. First, we read Neighborhood Sharks by Katherine Roy. Students loved this book. Both classes voted to keep it on the finalist list. Next we read Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh. Classes were split on this book. One class overwhelmingly voted to keep it in the finals because they felt the subject matter was so important. The other class felt that even though it was important, it was too long for most kids to enjoy. The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant, the real Sibert winner for this year was next. Both classes voted to drop it. I had one student who really wanted to keep it because she thought it was interesting, but other than that, it was unanimous to remove it from our finalist list. Finally, we read Unusual Creatures: A Mostly Accurate Account of Some of Earth's Strangest Animals by Michael Hearst. This was my wild card. I picked a nonfiction book that had an interesting cover and that was not a narrative. It was not a winner or honor book for the actual Sibert Award for any year. Surprisingly, both classes chose this not only as a finalist but as the winner. Students liked how the book featured unusual animals. They liked the author's humor. They also liked illustrations and the shortish descriptions for each animal.  I can see how Unusual Creatures is appealing in that it can be read from cover to cover or as a browsing book. Personally, I loved all four books. I would have a tough time deciding between any of these.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Students' Book Look Questions in Library Class

A few weeks ago, I decided to write down all of the questions students ask me during our checkout time. Book Look and checkout is always a whirlwind of activity at every grade level. At the end of the day, when I reflect on how the day went, it's not always easy to remember the details of checkout time. Usually somewhere between three and twelve students ask me questions about books within a ten minute time period. This was a great exercise to document the range of questions students have during Book Look in the library.  It's encouraging to see how students are interested in exploring a wide variety of topics.
  • Can you recommend a good book for me?
  • Do you have any books about real ghosts?
  • Can we research our person for the biography project at home?
  • Recommendations for the two of us? We want to read the same book.
  • Where are the Bad Kitty books?
  • Do you have any books on ATV’s or motorbikes?
  • How do I change a book from my Currently Reading to Have Read shelves in My Quest?
  • I went to the Seekonk library and got out a bunch of books and realize I have high expectations for what I read. Do you have any good fantasy chapter books?
  • Is The Blessing Cup by Patricia Polacco historical fiction or nonfiction?
  • Can I use a Google search result for my paper if it is an “ad”?
  • Can you put the Philadelphia Eagles book aside for me when it comes in?”
  • Can you see I lost a tooth? - kindergartener :)
  • Do you have a 2015 almanac?
  • Can you help me find a good fantasy book?
  • I’m having trouble finding a book. Can you help me find something good?
  • Do you have another book about Helen Keller?
  • Do you have a short fantasy book for my book talk?
  • Is there a Coretta Scott King book here?
  • Is Cinderella a fantasy book?
  • Do you have a book about sea monsters?
  • Do you have any Lego books?
  • Where are the princess books?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Adopt a Pet Flyers with SMORE in 5th Grade

Students in grade five are presenting their SMORE pet flyers this week. Their job was to act as a pet shelter employee in charge of marketing the animals up for adoption. They worked in groups to come up with the animal, find an image, cite their image source, write a short blurb about the animal, and create a SMORE flyer with all of their information. This flyer was a culmination of an earlier research lesson about searching online for information. Read more about that in a previous post. The pet adoption flyers were adorable. Students worked well together to come up with ideas and enjoyed looking for cute pet photos and designing their flyer themes. Read about Oreo and Nutter Butter below for an example of their work.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Scranimal Poems in 2nd Grade

Applemon Fish (apple & demon fish)

After reading Jack Prelutsky's Scranimals, students in 2nd grade wrote their own Scranimal poem by combining a plant and animal into a new creature and writing a poem about it. See examples below.

Tangerape (tangerine & ape)
Swinging through the treetops is a fragile tangerape.
You barely get to see one, despite their planned escape.
Their body is all orange but they have good grip on hands.
That hold on tight, very tight, just like rubber bands.

Seachark (seaweed, chimp, & shark)
Watch out for a seachark, he's very bad to meet.
You should get away before you are his treat.
He can go on land.
He does not have a band.
So never ever go near a seachark.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Diamante Puppet Poems in 3rd Grade Complete!

Kadir Nelson Marionette
Third graders have completed their diamante (diamond) puppet poem performances. Students worked in groups to research a famous person. They gathered words from that research and created a diamante poem. Students performed their poem aloud with a marionette puppet they made in art. Diamante puppet poems were shown at the Art Show Medley last week so the whole school community could see our work. If you missed the Art Show Medley, see our YouTube playlist below.