Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Gingerbread Man loose in the Library

Ready to let the gingerbread man loose in your library?
Our students loved learning about the various neighborhoods or sections in the nonfiction section of the library with this gingerbread-themed scavenger hunt!

First, we read The Library Gingerbread Man written by Dotti Enderle and illustrated by Colleen M. Madden.  I absolutely adore this tale!  I had the kids tell their neighbors what they knew about the original story of The Gingerbread Man before reading and after we read we compared the two.
We also sequenced the characters who chased the gingerbread man through the library after reading.

In the story, the gingerbread man escapes from his book in the 398.2 neighborhood and is chased through the library by various characters that escaped from other neighborhoods in the nonfiction section.  To get the kids up and moving and familiar with some of the neighborhoods in the nonfiction section of the library, I sent the kids on a scavenger hunt to find six gingerbread men that were loose in the nonfiction section.

I colored one part of each gingerbread man on purpose.  I hid these six gingerbread men in various areas in the nonfiction section.  One was hidden in each of the sections from 400 through 900.
  Each of my six teams were given a clipboard with a blank gingerbread man, a set of clues, and a cheat sheet for the Dewey Deciman system.

Gingerbread man on the front of the page.  I put each gingerbread man inside a plastic sleeve so I could reuse them for each class.

My sixth graders wrote clues (4 lines each with ABCB rhyme scheme) that would help each team find the gingerbread men that were hiding in the nonfiction section.  I highlighted one clue for each team (six clues in all which correlate with the six neighborhoods that the gingerbread man runs through in the book) and told the teams to start with that clue and work through each of the clues in order.  That way, the teams stayed separated for the most part.

I found this visual Dewey Decimal classification and copied it for every group to use to solve their clues.

When a group found a gingerbread man, they wrote the correct hundreds classification on the colored part of the hidden gingerbread man.  For example, if a gingerbread man was hidden in the 700's and that gingerbread man had his left mitten colored, the team wrote the number 700 on the left mitten of their gingerbread man on their chart.  

Here is a team finding their gingerbread man in the 400's where the word wizard hopped out of his book in the story.

Gingerbread man hiding in the 700's where the origami books can be located...just like the origami bird that chased the gingerbread man in the story.

Students reading their next clue.

I had second grade label each nonfiction section with the correct hundreds number, but for K and 1st I modified the lesson.  To help them become familiar with the neighborhoods in the nonfiction section, they only had to find the gingerbread man and color in the part of the gingerbread man that was also colored on the hidden one.  That way, they didn't have to identify the hundreds section, only find it.

If you try out this lesson in your library and have any questions, ideas, or suggestions, please leave a comment.

Happy hunting!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Library Spaces

As some of you know, our library has moved two times.  No, not magically.  We've boxed and packed and moved every single item in our library two times.  Whew!  The exciting part is that we're back in our original library space!  We spent a lot of time at our school's inception redesigning our library space.  Now, it's exciting to be back in that space and re-think how it will look eight years later.  Here are some before and after pictures with a few details...

I love the colors in our library.  Our color palette was inspired by Michael P. White's illustrations in the book, The Library Dragon.  As you can see, we had a lot to unpack this summer.  Mr. Victory and James built new bookshelves for our fiction section because our collection has grown quite a bit in eight years!  

Our maintenance man put up a magnetic board that I'm going to use as a parking lot for book talks written by our kids.  Anyone can write a book talk and add it to the board.  I also bought a few boxes of Command Hooks (the little bitty ones) and used them to hang the letters of the alphabet on my shelves in the easy fiction section.

These are holding up very well as you can see in the photo above (letter D in easy fiction section).  They are also great to use to hang small signs that signify our reference, biography, and special series sections.  These are great to have around!

I covered our reading couch in new fabric and our secretary suggested also covering it with a thin sheet of plastic.  That is really helping the couch to keep its color and the plastic covering cost just a few dollars.  I bought a few zebra pillows for reading and lounging.  The kids can get these out after they've checked out their books and sit and read.  They know to return the pillows to their special spots when they line up to go back to class.  I purchased by Captain America from Scholastic's School Resource Catalog.  Our Captain America now has a speech bubble that says, "Return your books here."  We don't have a bookdrop, so we have a large black book bin in front of Captain America where books are returned in the mornings.  The bookshelf to the left of Captain America is our graphic novel/comic book section.  We hung a poster of  Spiderman behind the books for effect.  

Our gutter bookshelves are one of my favorite additions to our library space.  Home Depot donated $50.00 towards the purchase of materials for our gutters.  The total cost for two nine foot gutters and all installation parts was about $90.00.  Our gutter bookshelves hold nonfiction books that need to be shown off!  Our city schools purchased the chairs (bottom right) for our kids to use when looking for books, sitting and reading, or even when they need a small tabletop.  The great thing about our chairs is they are also portable and can be moved around to be used wherever they are needed.

I used wrapping paper for the background of the bulletin board that is black and white.  I also framed my monthly calendar with an old black frame.  I purchased the individual letters that spelled out, READ, and painted a canvas board black and Mod Podged the letters on to the board.  We have lots of secondary lighting around the room that is used instead of the overhead lights.  I also have a whole wall of windows and I open the blinds a bit for natural light as well.

As you can see, the kids are right at home in our library space. 
The move was a lot of work, but it sure is
good to be home! 

Reading in the Schools Day

This year we celebrated Reading in the Schools Day by taking a step back in time.  When our school began, we used the story of The Library Dragon written by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Michael P. White as the inspiration to re-design our library space.  Now that we're back in our old school building, we thought it would be fun to re-visit the story so the kids know a little about the history of our library space.

  We also realized that the newest book, The Library Dragon Returns, had also been published.

With these amazing books as our guide, we began to plan our event.  Each of our teachers signed up readers to visit their classrooms for Reading in the Schools Day.  Our talented group of PTA volunteers helped to set the mood for the story in our building.  They sent home one dragon scale with each child to decorate as they wished.  The scales made up our very own library dragon that scaled the entrance of the school.  

Our volunteers took pictures of our kids reading beside the Library Dragon.  They created a bulletin board with all of the kids pictures that stated, "Reading Enchants Us."  This kids loved to see the principal, teachers, and fellow students reading on the board.
We also had each classroom design their very own shield that represented their class as readers. Our volunteers hung the shields down the hallways with tissue paper torches between each one. The kids loved all of the decor!

To top off the event, the illustrator, Michael P. White, visited our school and talked with each grade level about illustrating his books. The kids loved the illustrator's visit because they were asked to bring paper and pencil and they drew along with Michael.  It was a fantastic Reading in the Schools Day event!