Here in the media center we're ready for an exciting winter. The next few months offer the opportunity for long-term projects, since we're not interrupted by week-long vacations. Here are a few of the exciting things our students will be experiencing:
Grades K-1: Our youngest students are learning how to tie their literature favorites to Internet activities. January's featured author/illustrator is Jan Brett. We're exploring Jan Brett's books, her illustrations and how she learned to draw, and her website activities (found at www.janbrett.com.) The students will then try their own hand at becoming an author/illustrator using several tools - Microsoft Word, Microsoft Paint, and Kidspiration.
Grades 2-4: Research skills are important to a student's success, and our goal in the library media center is to teach, review, and fine-tune those skills. Over the winter, grades 2 through 4 will participate in a 10-week research skills program. Each class will read a 10-chapter mystery. At the first class each week, we'll read a chapter and discover which research tool the main characters use to solve a clue to the mystery. The next time the class visits us, we will have hands-on practice with that tool in both the library and the media center. At the second grade level, the tools are introduced and students are walked through using them. In third grade, the students review the tools and become more independent in navigating them. By fourth grade, all students are proficient in using the tools and are working independently to fine-tune those skills. This enables our students to enter the upper grades with a solid foundation for any research-based projects the teachers might expect of them.
Grade 5: Our fifth grade detectives are finishing up "The Mystery of the Burned Bunny Books." Half of the class has completed the program already, while the other half need more time and assistance to be successful. Those who are done will get an early start on our next program -- Bricks in Space, sponsored by LEGO and NASA. Students will learn some basics of LEGO engineering and will then talk (through video streaming) to astronauts on the International Space Station. The astronauts and students will build the same LEGO engineering models here on earth and up in space. They will then compare results and the astronauts will challenge our students to come up with solutions to adapt their models for successful use in microgravity. Once completed, students will share what they've learned in a multimedia presentation.
Grade 6: After sharing the videos created in their previous project, students will explore how they can use multimedia to enhance their classroom experience. Ideas for projects, classroom presentations, and lesson-enhancement will give way to ideas for winter projects which the students will plan and carry out independently.