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Puzzles as Clues in our Call Number Scavenger Hunt

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 4th and 5th graders are beginning a new series of lessons where they learn to better use our library catalog. The essential question is  How can I find what I want in the library?  I used a series of puzzles as clues in a call number scavenger hunt to launch the unit. It served as a fun and engaging entry point, and students were able to successfully apply the learning the next week. 4th grade students work through their clue. Ultimately, I want students to be able to  Identify their need or interest  Use their skills to find a book using the catalog  Locate what they want/need In the past, I have found students to be moderately successful using the catalog, but not nearly as successful locating the books they want. I found students frustrated.  I decided to start with the ultimate goal and practice these skills first. After a brief conversation about the different library "neighborhoods" and what we could find there, students broke into teams and began the scavenger hunt. S

Delicious! Building Community With the Common Language of Story & Food Part 3

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This is the final installment of the activities we did in conjunction with our town read,  A Book Feast: Bridging Cultures and Building Community with the Common Language of Food.  Read about the introductory lesson here . Celebrating My Family's Culture With Food: Day 1 When I read this page from Soul Food Sunday by Winsome Bingham, I just knew this was the book I was looking for to use with my 4th and 5th grade students. We were continuing our lesson "Celebrating My Family's Culture With Food."   Granny's words echoed the feeling of the whole unit. Thanks, Granny! Soul Food Sunday became choice #1 I like to give students choice in what they read (even during the lesson portion of our class), so this delicious read became choice #2. Students chose a book to listen to and then moved on to the activity. The Activity The question presented to students was, "What is a food that your family makes or enjoys at a special celebration?" Students could show me i

Delicious! Building Community With the Common Language of Story & Food Part 2

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Every Night Is Pizza Night Our 2022 Community Read began with the book Delicious: Poems Celebrating Street Food Around the World. For more information, read more about it here .   All students in grades 1-5 read this book. The next books and activities were broken down by grade.  Here I share the book and activities for our 1st-3rd graders: Students in grades 1-3 listened to this book Students wrote or drew about the food they would eat every night. Next, students chose how to share their thinking. They could create their food with legos, model magic, or make their drawing talk with ChatterPix. Some students created their food on our Lego wall. Others created their food with Model Magic. Model Magic was a crowd favorite! A student created their food with Model Magic and made it talk with ChatterPix. My takeaways Model Magic was hugely popular. I am finding that the hands-on activities are often the most sought-after. The goal of the ChatterPix videos was to have them explain why every

Delicious! Building Community With the Common Language of Story & Food Part 1

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Community celebrations are some of my favorite units to teach in our library. There is something special about bringing people together over the common language of books/story and I am thrilled to teach in a like-minded community.  Books purchased for our Book Feast Community Read This year's community read is entitled A Book Feast: Bridging Cultures and Building Community with the Common Language of Food . This celebration is a collaboration between the town's public library and an incredibly generous group called DLIT - the Dedham Library Innovation Team, an amazing group of folks who support vibrant libraries in our town's public and school libraries.   A selection of books around the theme of food and community are being read in our town (see the list of books here ). Our school libraries received grant money to help us participate in this community celebration and with a selection of books and model magic, I prepared several weeks of reading, thinking, and creating ar

Books as mirrors and windows (with sticky notes & reflections)!

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Every year I examine books as mirrors and windows with my students.  Every year I tweak the exploration and this year was no different.  This year's additions included sticky notes and reflections.   Day 1: Mirror moments Sticky notes I created with Tony Vincent's template (link below) After modeling mirror moments (and having students make "me too" signals), students identified a mirror moment from a stack of books at their table.  "This is like my sister and I.  We fight all the time." - 3rd grader "When my mom tells me to clean my room I just sit because I don't know where to start." - 3rd grader Day 2: Window moments In the next class I modeled "window moments" and we drew windows in the air when we heard moments that were "not like us."   Students identified "window moments" at their tables with sticky notes. Students shared their "window moments" through the window we passed around our sharing circl