Monday, November 27, 2017

November in the Learning Commons

We're grateful for all the ways Lakesiders were able to connect with and celebrate books in the Learning Commons this month. We've been busy!

In early November, in anticipation of celebrating Veteran's Day with our annual all-school assembly, third- and fourth-grade classes shared the read-aloud Blue Sky White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus, illustrated by Kadir Nelson. It was a perfect book to explore together, both because of its focus on the freedoms and traditions we all share as Americans and because it's showing up on lists as a Caldecott contender this year. We learned together about the Caldecott Medal and weighed in on whether or not this book would get our vote.

Blue Sky White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus

Fifth grade utilized the Learning Commons this month by delving deep into Native American culture and history with a wide variety of non-fiction titles. Mr. Scheidel used several of these books with his social studies students, who used the information to create Native American longhouse structures, which are now on display in our space for all the Lakeside Lions to enjoy.

5th-graders used Native America non-fiction as a resource to create their own longhouse structures

Later in November, since several classes have learned about the Caldecott medal, all Lakeside students had the opportunity to check out past Caldecott winners and honor books, which are currently curated in a display case. We talked about paying special attention to the illustrations, which must be instrumental in telling the story.
Past Caldecott medal and honor books
Fourth-graders then used their knowledge of the Caldecott awards to review a few more books that may be contenders for the prize this coming year. Any picture book published in 2017, written in English, with original illustrations by an American artist, is eligible. Students are learning to look critically at picture books and are encouraged to share their opinions on which books deserve the prize.
Students review possible Caldecott contenders
Some of our youngest Lakeside Lions shared the book Frederick by Leo Lionni this month -- a book that celebrates its 50th birthday this year! Younger students also learned more about where books "live" in our Learning Commons and used their budding knowledge of street signs and home addresses to help Mrs. O'Malley label different "streets" in our space. Next time you're in, look for "Fiction Street" or "Nonfiction Avenue" and notice the younger students looking for books at their respective addresses.
Mrs. O'Malley talking with Lakesiders
Thanks to the continued, generous support of both the East Grand Rapids Schools Foundation and the Lakeside PTO, we continue to add new titles to our Learning Commons. There is never a shortage of books to barcode, catalog, stamp, and cover; thanks to the dedicated volunteers who show up each week to help students check out books and to assist with the behind-the-scenes work that makes a library run well. In this month of Thanksgiving, we're grateful for all the energy and excitement taking place in this valuable space.

Happy reading!
New books ready to be barcoded and added to our collection

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