Thursday, October 12, 2017


I've made it through my first month, phew! I'm getting into the groove, though I wish I were learning names more quickly. I keep thinking how much easier it will be next year when I only have to learn one grade's names!

I had a few challenges this week with some particularly chatty/active classes and it made me so grateful to have seasoned librarians in my district to lean on for support/ideas. I met with both of them, who offered me excellent advice on structuring my lessons and managing my classes.

One of the biggest pieces of advice was to keep it simple, which I don't think I have totally been doing. Some of my classes earlier in the week didn't flow as well as they could have, and I think simplifying the activities and my expectations might be wise, especially until I have more experience working with each class. But like my blog title suggests, becoming the LMS I want to be is very much a work in progress - what would the challenge be if everything was easy peasy right off the bat?

On to the week's activities...

Kindergartners watched a silly but cute video on using shelf markers. We all did some practice and then all three classes got to check out their first book. It was amazing how fast 30 minutes flew with helping them find the perfect book and then assisting in the check out process. They all did great, though!

1st grade heard a familiar story Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault. They deduced why this book makes sense to read in library class; books are arranged in alphabetical order, just like the story. Each student got a "book" (an index card with their name on it) and they organized themselves into an orderly shelf. This worked well with one class, and not as much with another. Just another example of needing to know and understand each class and tailor my approach as needed.

2nd graders got different lessons, based on how the 1st one turned out! I tried to mix up the format and not do a read aloud - instead, we were going to do a scavenger hunt to find the different areas of the library, but it ended up pretty chaotic. I course-corrected later in the week decided to focus just on nonfiction. We read The Shelf Elf Helps Out by Jackie Mims Hopkins to introduce the Dewey Decimal System and then became "Dewey Detectives" to find books in each section. This was a worksheet I created, which in retrospect, was too much. I think I will adapt it for future classes by doing a multiple choice for the keywords. It was a lot of writing, way too much for some students.

3rd graders heard Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty. I plan to do a few lessons about story elements, and we started with character mapping, using an interactive tool from ReadWriteThink. Overall, students really remembered the key traits of Ada and we'll continue this next week.

In advance of Columbus Day, 4th grade (and one 5th grade class), saw a short clip about Columbus and then heard Encounter by Jane Yolen read aloud. Students wrote down their impressions of Columbus, as portrayed in each medium, and we compared how they differed, depending on whose perspective they were hearing.

The rest of 5th grade continued their author research - many are in the "creation" phase and I am excited to see what they come up with.

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