Unfortunately Easy Street does not accommodate 27 rambunctious 5-year-old Kindergarten children very well – a flaw in the design that I will have to work out. Happily, adding another weekly time-slot, their teacher and I have worked out a split, where she works with half, while the other half comes to me.
This week each group met Earl the Library Ape. Earl had a big problem when he first came into the library, running around and Ooo, Ooo, Oooing all over the place. He was so excited he grabbed one book after another off the shelf and tossed them on the floor. He was very embarrassed as he told the children about how, when he realized what a mess he had made he stuffed the books back into the stacks willy-nilly.
When Johnny came in to get a book, the librarian couldn’t find it because it wasn’t in the right place. Earl sheepishly suggested that I show the students how to use a spacer so that problem wouldn’t happen again. After that the students practiced with the spacers in pairs while they looked at the library books.
After glancing through a few nonfiction books about wolves and reading some ‘facts’, I read Becky Bloom’s delightful Wolf to the Grade 1 class. The class was tickled at the complete change in the wolf’s quality of life after he perseveres in learning how to read. We then chatted about the difference between fiction, the stories that come from an author’s imagination, and nonfiction or information books.
The Grade 2 class was shortened somewhat this week but we still had just enough time to watch Hector Elizondo read Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch on StorylineOnline. We always leave time for book exchange and a few minutes to snuggle up with our books before going back to class.
Enough by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch meshes nicely with Grade 3 Social Studies (Ukraine) and L.A. (Genres – Folktales). As the book is based on the ‘real’ famine in the Ukraine of the 1930’s, it was interesting to discuss how true events might have been ‘twisted’ to create this wonderful folktale. We listed some of the many different kinds of ‘old stories’ on the Smart Board – fables, folktales, fairytales, legends and myths – and discussed how they differed from one another.
In Grade 4 we are reading Justine McKeen Eat Your Beets by Sigmund Brouwer. The students are enjoying the story because they can identify with the character. Justine, who cares about the world and isn’t afraid to take action to defend it (Gr. 4 Science) and Blotzo, who isn’t really as nasty as he wants everyone to think. Students have been checking out other books in the series.
It might take us a while to finish Sarah Elllis’ A prairie as wide as the sea : the immigrant diary of Ivy Weatherall in Grade 5 library classes, because each week sends us off on a tangent exploring the details of the story. We have looked at fountain pens, emigrant ships, the East London accent that Ivy might have spoken with as well as the fashions and vehicles she would have used and seen. Pointing out that the book begins in the same year that Queen Elizabeth II was born helped some of the students put the time period into perspective. Many of the students are checking out and enjoying others in the Dear Canada series, which are all great supplementary books for Alberta Grade 5 Social Studies.
Not only was it a great connection to their Social Studies, it was fun to read Vote For Duck by Doreen Cronin to the Grade 6 class and then to discuss how the citizens of the farm participated in decision making and what they learned. We compared what offices Duck might have been running for if he had been Canadian rather than American and how each level of office became harder and harder for Duck.