Sunday, May 18, 2014

OPPL Summer Reading Kicks off June 9th!

Can you believe it's time again for Summer Reading with the Oak Park Public Library?! 

I sure can't believe it.

Mr. Andy and Jennifer visited us this past Thursday to get everyone pumped about this summer's theme:

Visits from paleontologists, talks about cryogenics, baking soda rockets... this summer it's all about science! Starting June 9th, head to any OPPL location to sign up and read all summer. 

Summer reading = better grades and sharper brains!

Ms Maneck

Research in the library

The expectation in our library has always been that students develop critical thinking and media literacy skills through a variety of short and sustained research projects. 

The Common Core values this as well:

Students should be able to...
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Most grade levels have been working on research projects this whole school year, and it's really coming together nicely in the library right now. 

First graders are researching animals from a variety of habitats (the savannah, woods, ocean, and rainforest). They are asked to find out about the animal's life cycle, habitat, eating habits, and how it looks. 

Second graders are taking it a step further, and in alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS),  are researching habitats: the coral reef, mountains, pond, and desert. 

Third graders are learning about a famous artist or author, and will create trading cards to share with one another on the last day of library. 

Fourth graders have been planning and are now creating their book trailers. Each student has chosen a favorite fiction book that they want to share with their classmates. The end result will be QR codes that we will post around the library. Students will be able to read the codes with their iPads and have instant access to information about the book. They are being challenged to summarize the book, as well as come up with a plausible hook and cliffhanger that will entice other students to read the book they have chosen!

Fifth graders have been working hard to create narratives about a country in which they are interested. The narratives will be read over a short iMovie that contains images of the country and daily life in that country. More information about this can be found on the library home page.

As always, kindergarten, Ms. Chris, and Ms. Richardson's students are learning about the library more each day. It's amazing to see how much every student has grown this year in terms of capability in the library. Way to go!

Ms Maneck

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Declaration for the Right for School Libraries

In February, a fifth grade student, Sam S.,  came to me with an idea: he had seen a declaration for the right to libraries in the Idea Box at the OPPL, and could we possibly have something like that at our school? I was surprised, and pleased, and we jointly decided to get together and brain storm some ideas.

He wanted to share the declaration with others (which can be read here, on the American Library Association's site), but we both thought some of the wording might require a few trips to the dictionary for most students. Why not make it read as a more student-friendly document?

So we re-worded it for our library, wrote it out together, and hung it in our library, which you can see below:

It reads: 
1. Libraries give people opportunities to learn and encourage reading.
2. Libraries build bonds.
3. Libraries make everyone equal.
4. Libraries protect our right to know.
5. Libraries strengthen our school community. 
6. Libraries help us understand our world.
7. Libraries preserve our past to help us build a better future.

This week, celebrate National Library Week! Think about how your library has affected you- how has it changed you? What can you say you know, because of the library (or a librarian!)? 

Remember, Lives Change @ Your Library!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Oh, copyright!

Copyright laws can be downright confusing. Fifth graders have been talking about copyright and fair use in the library. 

We wanted to know:

So, what is copyright?
Copyright is the US law that protects artists, musicians, writers, and others from having their work used without permission.

I'm a student. What do I have to do to make sure I'm within the law concerning copyright?
Always cite your work, for a start! Use the source cards we have in the library to tell your teachers where you found your information. Remember that students have a little more leeway when it comes to using information, but you then have to think about Fair Use. Check with a teacher who can help you navigate copyright and fair use. 

Uh, go back for a moment. What's Fair Use?
Fair use allows you to use a limited amount of a work of art, song, etc. for educational purposes. 
You have to think about these four points:
- Is the purpose of using this material educational and not for profit? (Yes? Then you're good!)
- Are you only using a small amount of the work? (Yes, again? You're golden.)
- Did you add new meaning to the work, to make it original? (This is tricky...)
- Has the work been used in a TOTALLY different way? (Uh...Again, tricky)

Students had great questions about copyright, and seemed concerned about making sure that the songs, books, magazines, and videos they're using in their projects are being used properly. 

 To answer more questions about copyright, go to the CyberBee

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Audiobooks for everyone!

Starting December 9th, the OPPL will begin its winter reading program focusing on audiobooks and listening.

This is thrilling to me, as I love audiobooks, and promote them as much as I can to our students (we have a nice collection of Playaways available to our 4th and 5th graders, and some books on CD...and even cassette!). The winter reading program promotes listening to books together, in the car, at home, where ever you can.

If you have an iPad or iPhone, and you haven't yet, be sure to get the Overdrive app to check out audiobooks from the OPPL. Directions and troubleshooting tips can be found here.

Some of my favorite audiobooks, and a few listening links...

Read by Jim Dale, my favorite voice actor.

This link will take you to a live reading of the book, by the author Neil Gaiman. He reads his book for the audiobook, so it is quite similar. A wonderful listen for older students! (Perhaps a big macabre for the younger ones, but you be the judge). 

Philip Pullman and a small cast of voice actors read this first book in the 
Dark Materials series.

Tom Angleberger's middle reader series is a riot. This is a laugh-out-loud listen!

Happy listening!

Ms Maneck

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Into the fifth week...

We're into the fifth week of school, and I'll bet you're wondering what the students are learning in the library. Well...

Our early childhood friends have been studying dinosaurs so of course we've read Jane Yolen's and Mark Teague's How do Dinosaurs... books. We've also become very good at shaking our sillies out (thanks, Raffi!).

Kindergarteners are off and running, and have been learning about how the library at school works. Each kindergartener is responsible for one book a week, and can choose from any book at the Monarch (blue) table and anything I've placed on the round tables. This helps students hone their interests, and keeps them from getting too overwhelmed. Last week we made "Story Stew," the main ingredients being characters, setting, and plot. We read James Marshall's version of Red Riding Hood picking out each of the "ingredients" to make a fabulous story at the end.

First through fifth graders are learning about how to choose good fit books using IPICK. This acronym (I choose a book, I'm thinking about Purpose, my Interests, my Comprehension of the material, and if I Know most of the words I'm reading) will be used all year to help students find a book that is a just-right fit.

Over the next few weeks, we will be exploring how to use the catalog. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a short homework assignment in third through fifth grade!

Ms Maneck

Friday, September 13, 2013

Magic Tree Author Visit!

Author Catherine Jinks will be visiting Magic Tree (on Oak Park Ave., just north of the train tracks) on Thursday, September 19. Her newest book is How to Catch a Bogle...

What a great opportunity to visit with this Australian author!