|The Patton School Library Media Center||
In first grade, students asked why do we build different houses in different places? So we researched houses around the world including adobe, igloo, houses on stilts, cabins, huts, cave home and houseboats. Using Pebble Go or Facts4Me students learned where the house is built, the environment around the house and the materials used and thought about why this type of house was chosen. Next we transformed the LMC into a "makerspace" and students designed and built their own model of the house they researched, using a wide variety of materials sent in by parents, such as paper towel rolls, cardboard boxes, clay, tinfoil, string, tape, cotton balls and craft sticks. Next week students will use the Explain Everything iPad app to share their creation and explain what they know about their house.
In third grade, the science research on the solar system culminated with the planet Solar Awards! Student created persuasive videos for one planet award: Most Extreme and Dangerous, Wildest Weather, Weirdest Orbit/Rotation, Most Amazing Moons/Rings or Most Spectacular Surface. We sent the videos to Ivy Hill and Olive School's third grade students to vote on which planet should win each award. When the results were tabulated, we gave out the Solar Awards! View their videos on the Student Projects page - Third Grade.
In 4th grade science, students study earth's changing surface learning about tectonic plate movement and mountain building, volcanic activity, glaciation, deposition, and erosion. In LMC, students investigated which of these processes formed the special land of our National Parks. They used Bubbl.us a free mind-mapping tool to take notes on how and when the land was formed, and then created a video "geology show" in front of our green screen explaining the Park's formation. View their videos on the Student Project Page - Fourth Grade. Finally, on Friday morning, classes played "Guess the Park Mystery Skype" with a National Park Ranger. After asking 20 great "yes or no" geology questions, students found him in Yellowstone! And we all were treated to a herd of bison walking by during the Skype!
Author visit! Author, James Riley visited with our 4th and 5th grade classes on Tuesday February 26, describing how he became a writer of very inventive fantasy such as the Story Thieves series. His presentation used his three cats to show the emotions of writing and discussed what he liked to do when he was the student's age, and what he liked to write and read. The author also gave students a glimpse into his next book, debuting the never before seen cover! Students asked Mr. Riley thoughtful and interesting questions and learned a lot about this writer and the creative process.
In 5th grade, we delved into the "Habits of Mind" of successful people in many areas of life. After discussing what "habits" or ways of thinking and skills that students think successful people have in common, student's rotated through a series of activities which corresponded to one of the 16 habits of mind that scientists have identified. Some activities were individual and some in pairs or groups and some were more difficult, while others seemed easier, but all were challenging and illuminating and shed light on what skills student's have and why certain habits can help one succeed!
Second grade is learning about the Caldecott Award for the most distinguished picture book for children published by an American illustrator each year. This week students picked two or three books to "judge" wearing a judges medal tag, reading all the pictures and then finding the book's illustrator, copyright date, choosing a favorite page and rating it too!
In Kindergarten, the new year begins a study of nonfiction and the differences between these information books and fiction stories. In LMC we examined and read an information book on Squirrels, noticing the Table of Contents, the ability to read just a chapter in the middle of the book, the bold words and the Glossary. Most of all we found out that reading nonfiction/information books you have the chance to say "I didn't know that!" when you learn something new! For example, we learned that squirrels teeth never stop growing! That can't happen with a fiction story! But then we read Scaredy Squirrel to have lots of laughs at the silliness and fun.
In Fourth Grade, we helped prepare students for independent research by examining, discussing, and practicing how a researcher needs to evaluate a website they have found before using it for information. Because nobody is checking the web, and not everything online is trustworthy or useful, student must learn how to evaluate for themselves. Using Nearpod, students learned about and assessed websites for authority, currency, content, design and purpose.
For their first research, a pair of students read one book about an animal together and each took notes on one of the features that make the animal unique and help it survive. Next they found an image of the animal and used Chatterpix to tell what they learned, as the animal! Enjoy Mrs. Cowen and Hasemeyer's students hard work here and find the other first grade classes on the LMC's student projects page:
Listen, Slowly by Thannha Lai takes the reader on a fascinating trip to Vietnam through the eyes and heart of Mai, a twelve year old California beach girl whose parents and grandmother immigrated to the United States during the Vietnam War. Now her grandmother needs to go back to Vietnam to find out what happened to her husband, Mai's grandfather, in the final days of his life. Because Mai's father, a doctor, donates his time to needy children while in Vietnam and her mother has a big court case, Mai is left alone taking care of her grandmother and navigating present day Vietnam as she meets her large Vietnamese family and the detective who will help her grandmother. Though at first Mai longs to get home to her normal life, the culture of the country and the generousity of her Vietnamese cousins, become close to her heart as she learns more about her heritage and herself. Grades 5-7. Genre = Realistic Fiction
Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon by Kate DiCamillo introduces the reader to a new character in the family and friends of Mercy Watson. Francine is an animal control warden and one of the best at her job. Nothing scares her or escapes her, that is until a ghostly screaming raccoon begins to disturb the peace on Deckawoo drive. For the first time Francine fails, the raccoon is not caught, and Francine is devastated. How can she continue to be an animal control officer if she is no longer the best at her job? Who can help her gain her confidence back to go after that raccoon again? Grade 2-3. Genre=Realistic Fiction/Humor
Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon is a funny and creative tale of a twelve year old "wicked" witch in training. Molly has always known she was vastly different from her twin sister who loves pink and all things light. She also knows that along with craving dark clothes, and the night, she can do magic. So far she doesn't know many spells but is trying everything she can to learn more. When her one magical, but far more evil friend gets an invitation to become the mistress of Castle Hangnail, Molly goes in her place. Castle Hangnail is rundown and shabby but still managed by several strange, loyal, and magical "minions" hoping for a new witchy mistress. They are suspicious of Molly's young age, but Molly's determination, cleverness, and willingness to learn and study in order to truly help the Castle and the minions, impress them all. But can Molly pass the Magical Board's list of tasks allowing her to remain at Castle Hangnail? Grade 4-6. Genre=Fantasy.
Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar (author of Holes) is a mysterious and increasingly scary story... so be prepared! Tamaya in 5th grade, and Marshall in 7th grade attend a prestigious private school that is located on the edge of woods in Heath Cliff, Pennsylvania. Though the school has plenty of grounds, the woods are not included and students are discouraged or forbidden by their parents from walking through them. But when Chad, the 7th grade bully threatens Marshall, he and Tamaya enter the woods to avoid him. Chad finds them and in their attempt to evade him they all encounter some very strange "fuzzy mud". Suddenly Tamaya has a rash that keeps getting worse and Chad has disappeared. Is it related to the mud and is the secretive Sun Energy plant located in the woods responsible for the mud? Read if you dare!
Grade 4-6. Genre=Science Fiction
Roller Girl, a graphic novel by Victoria Jamieson introduces us to Astrid the summer before she enters Junior High. Astrid's best friend since forever is Nicole but lately Astrid feels like Nicole is growing away from her, meeting new girls who love dance, ballet and boys. Then Astrid's mother takes them to a Roller Derby meet, and Astrid falls in love with the sport. She desperately wants to join the the roller derby club's summer camp even if it means going alone. Astrid discovers the camp and the sport are tougher than she expected and involve really hard work, both on skating skills, on attitude and getting to know the other Derby girls. In the process Astrid learns a lot about herself and what being a good friend means. Read to find out if her determination and spirit will get her chance to make the team and while you learn all about roller derby too! Grade 4-6. Genre=Graphic Novel
In A Hundred Horses by Sarah Lean, Nell is a lonely sixth grader, living only with her very efficient mother since her father left several years ago. Though Nell's mother insists she join Drama Club, Swim Club and various other activities to stay busy, Nell is bored and has not yet found what really interests her. When her mother's job calls her out of town during spring break, Nell is sent to her mother's sisters house in the country even though Nell barely knows Aunt Liv, her five and seven year old cousins, or anything about the horses, chickens and the fields surrounding the house. To make matters worse, a mysterious and seemingly mean girl lives nearby and decides to harrass Nell. But there is something intriguing about Angel and Nell is drawn to her and determined to figure out why people claim she has stolen a special horse and a goat. Read to find out how Nell and Angel help each other and the elderly owner of a local horse farm through their special bond with animals and a magical fairy tale. Grade 4-6. Genre=Magical Realism
My Reading List!
I am the Library Media Center director at Patton School in Arlington Heights where I help students from kindergarten through 5th grade find terrific independent reading for enjoyment and information, and teach students the skills to use information and technology safely and productively and to connect, communicate and share with others. I have four grown children, a large black dog, (flat coat retriever) and a small striped cat. I am an obessive Chicago Cubs fan and I love to run.