This week in the library was all about looking after our shelves, with the help of Shelf Elf (aka Skoob).
Ever read the Grimm Brothers The Elves and the Shoemaker & wondered what happened to those two little elves who were ever so helpful & generous?
Turns out, one went North to help his cousin make toys (that one was Skeeter). The other moved into a library to help keep it in order - our very own Skoob.
In Jackie Mims Hopkins Shelf Elf, we learn all about how to return books we don't wish to check out, in a way that not only helps books stay in good condition but also in good shelf order so that the next person can find what they're looking for.
Thanks to our handy shelf markers -
And some examples of very poor shelving ....
Students were able to see just how important it is to care & respect for our precious books.
Next week, we're taking another childhood staple - Goldilocks & the Three Bears & looking at a revised version to help us learn the art of choosing just the right book. Stay tuned!
You may need to look twice at the titles above to realize they are in fact two different stories.... one, of course is the old classic we know & love so well: Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
The other though is a varied version I use to help reinforce the concept of choosing the right fit: Goldisocks and the Three Libearians.
This quirky story that mirrors it's original fable, tells the story of Goldisocks exploring the home of the bear family. Instead of trying to find the porridge, the chair & the bed that are "just right", Goldisocks tries to find the book & reading spot that are "just right".
I use this story as a segway into the Five Finger Rule - using this handy (excuse the pun, terrible excuse for a joke) system to figure out whether a book is a good fit for your reading level.
I'm sometimes a little conflicted as I plan this teaching concept: part of me wishes to make the library a space of free reign - have students pick whatever it is that grabs their interest as passion for books, for words, for stories, for facts, for art is what I want to foster.
At the same time however, the catch can be: choose a book that is too hard & it sits in the backpack unread & reading itself quickly descends into a chore & a seemingly insurmountable challenge.
And this is something I fear the most.
So! My goal here in the library is to try to encourage interest and ability - crazy notion I know - don't worry I'll settle down eventually.
By reminding students of the 5 Finger Rule, I hope to ensure those students choosing books to read independently, are equipped with books they actually can read independently.
And by encouraging high interest books, I hope to help those students who may just want a book on their favorite snake to read with a parent at home, can also find exactly what they want.
It's a challenge my friends, but I am determined to help our Reed students find that book - be it chapter, picture or non fiction, that is just right for them.
For that particular day anyway.
Finding a good book for yourself can be hard enough at times, but try doing it when -
a) you're an emergent reader
b) you have no idea where to start the hunt
And that's why our Reed raccoons worked hard this week navigating the library.
Each class worked in pairs to complete a scavenger hunt, locating everything from the ABC books, to the shelf marker pocket chart to nonfiction books on dogs & our check out location.
This was a great opportunity for friends to either refresh their knowledge of the library or to discover it for the first time. And it was surprising just how much students got out of it.
Last year, I spent time creating visual labels for our developing readers, in order to help them easily access some favorites or even new topics (see below for examples!).
With luck, between our orientation lessons, our skill building lessons early this year & our topic markers, students will be at home here in the library in no time!
We also started Library Lunch Club this Wednesday! LLC is for those students who want a break from the usual recess or some quiet time. The library is open over lunch recess for quiet reading, coloring, craft or to exchange books for eager students.
It was pretty special to have some of our regulars return!
The weeks leading up to library classes have been busy & productive as I prepared for all our Reed students to begin library this week.
It is so wonderful to see our Reed raccoons back in library!
If you're new to Reed, you'll soon discover that each week, I post a little about what we've been doing in library & also other significants events relevant to our wonderful world of words here at Reed.
This week was all about what we do when we come to library:
We started off reminding ourselves all about library bodies, whole body listening - a very gruff bear (A Library Book for Bear by Bonney Becker) reminded us just how special it can be allowing ourselves to relax into story time, especially when we can follow library rules -
We also touched on book care - our 1st & 2nd graders worked on their library contracts:
While our Kindergartners received their "Practice Library Books"; a small booklet to take home, share with their families & return, ready for their first real library book!
Finally, to get familiar with this special place, our Reed readers had an opportunity to explore the book spaces I update with regularly changing displays. Each library class gets time for a quiet reading moment after check out so that even students unable to check out a book for the week, can enjoy an exploration -
Don't forget to visit my blog next week & hear more about our developing Library Skills program & the introduction of our Book Return Challenge for classrooms!
Welcome to the on-line home of Reed Library! I'm so pleased you came to visit & hope you keep coming back to read my blog on our latest happenings, new books & our exciting digital citizenship program!