Exploring the AVL

For the next few weeks, my buddies on the S.T.A.R. hall and I are going to be exploring the FREE databases available for use through the Alabama Virtual Library (AVL).  The AVL is an online collection of databases available for all citizens in the state of Alabama.  Children across the state access these databases for personal interests as well as for assistance with school projects.  Students have access to these databases both at school and at home so here’s the link for anyone who wants home access: http://www.avl.lib.al.us/about/index.php.

So far, my younger buddies have learned to search for the AVL through google.  We are working on accessing the resources for elementary students by clicking student resources and elementary school.  We’ve spent time exploring the online encyclopedia as well as Pebblego and the kids have really enjoyed their time exploring these two databases.

 

My older buddies and I have begun our unit on the AVL by exploring appropriate middle school databases which are easily accessed by going to the AVL website and clicking student resources and middle school.  So far, we’ve only accessed the online encyclopedia.  However, the kids have really enjoyed searching to see what is and isn’t available through the online encyclopedia.

 

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be exploring several more of the available databases so if you get a chance, pop over to the AVL website and check it out.  There are even adult resources that might be of interest to our parents!

More Color Fun

elmer

 

This week, my MD hall friends and my preschool kiddos are reading Elmer by David McKee.  This is a lovely book about a special elephant named Elmer who isn’t gray like the rest of his herd.  Instead he is a beautiful patchwork of all the colors you can think of.  Elmer doesn’t like being different until he finally realizes how important of a role he plays in the life of his herd.  This is a great story for all kids looking to find their own place in the world!

This week, our craft is to make Elmer.  The kids have been given a paper elephant.  Their job is to spread liquid glue independently (if possible) or by using hand-over-hand assistance if necessary.  Then, we are taking a colorful confetti of paper and spreading it across our elephant.  The result is a beautiful patchwork elephant that looks just like Elmer from our story.

I haven’t really mentioned it before but we always start each lesson with a song.  This month, we are doing a color song to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”  This week in particular, I’m starting to see interaction with our kiddos.  They are clapping at the right time and some are even doing some of the motions and gestures that go along with the song!

Fun With Color

Press-Here

Colors are the library theme for September and this week, my MD hall buddies and my preschool friends are working with a really wonderful book called Press Here by Herve Tullet.  This is a unique book because it’s interactive.  Each page asks the reader to complete a task and the results of their actions are displayed on the next page.  It’s a wonderful book for combining primary colors and learning how to create secondary colors.  It also covers meaty concepts like color patterns and cause and effect.  I REALLY LIKE THIS BOOK!

My students are also participating in two activities this week.  First, we are creating dot art that is inspired by our reading.  Second, we are using food coloring and shaving cream to combine and mix primary colors.  Hopefully, by the end of this week, my friends will understand how to make green, orange, and purple.

Airplanes are Everywhere This Week!

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I am SO EXCITED about library this week because we’re all playing with airplanes!

My Friend Rabbit is the book I’m reading to my preschool and MD hall friends.  It’s about two buddies, mouse and rabbit, who manage to get their toy airplane stuck in a tree.  Luckily for them, rabbit always has a plan so he enlists the help of some other buddies to try to get the plane down.  While we read, my Linda Nolen friends and I will be creating our own tree and identifying common animals as we stack them up to get to our own paper airplane.  Our craft this week is to make a paper airplane that the kids can take home.

This week, my S.T.E.A.M. lab friends are also making paper airplanes.  I’m challenging my buddies to create airplanes that will travel the farthest distance.  With the help of the kind internet, we will determine which planes travel the farthest.  Do I need a fancy paper airplane or will a simple one work just as well?  Using teamwork, the kids are going to build three different airplanes with different levels of detail.  Then, we’re going to launch our planes and measure how far they will travel.  Each group will have a data sheet where they get to graph the distance.  When we’re done, we should be able to analyze our data to see which planes travel the longest distance.

P is for planes and perseverance.  My STAR hall kiddos are listening to the story, Rosie Revere, Engineer.  This is an awesome story about a little girl named Rosie who likes to make gadgets.  Unfortunately, one day, her favorite uncle teases her about an invention and Rosie is so embarrassed that she decides to give up building completely.  Thankfully, Rosie’s  favorite great aunt comes to visit and convinces her to build a helicopter.  Rosie’s first attempt fails but with the help of her aunt, Rosie learns to persevere in spite of obstacles.  The STAR hall kiddos are also being introduced to online dictionaries as tools for defining unfamiliar words and each class is getting the chance to define the word persevere.

 

Everything’s Going Swimmingly!

This year, I decided to do something I’ve never done before.  I decided the library needed a theme.  After LOADS of pinterest shopping, I decided to go with Under the Sea. Though the library is still a work in progress, I wanted to share the transition we’ve undergone because I think it’s turning out SO STINKIN’ CUTE!

 

ocean ocean Under the Sea Under the Sea Under the Sea Under the Sea Under the Sea ocean Under the Sea Under the Sea

Merry Media Center Mice This Month

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August is the month of the mouse!  The preschool cuties and the students on the MD hall have spent their library time this month having merry fun with a mouse themed unit.  We’ve begun each library session with the song, “Hickory Dickory Dock” and each child has had the chance to send our mouse prop running up our monstrous grandfather clock.  We’ve also read several mouse themed stories including, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie as well as Alphabet Under Construction  and Lunch by Denise Fleming.   The children have had the opportunity to complete several adorable crafts including making paper cookies, turning the letter M into a mouse, and “feeding” the mouse from our Denise Fleming stories.

This week, your little one should bring home a mouse with cutouts inside of a zip-lock baggie.  These are the necessary props so that your kiddo can share with you the  story that we are reading this week.  I’ve included the words to the story so you can help if your child forgets something.  Remember though that each child is different and the whole point of this is to have fun and connect school learning with home.  If your little one isn’t ready for retelling the story, there are other great ways to use these props.  You could always read the story (it’s included in the baggie) out loud and let your little one practice dropping the props in the mouse’s tummy at the right time.  Or, if your little one requires additional help, you can help him by placing your hand over your child’s hand and guide them through the activity.

I hope you and your little one enjoy this fun activity!