Our library is a busy place. With classes coming and going all day long, my job is to guide students as they make connections between new learning and prior knowledge.
I have over 450 students - and I know them each by name.
I met most of our current fifth grade students when they were just kindergarten students and it has been incredible to be a part of their educational journey. Ranging in grade level from K-6, we get to spend one 40-minute class period together each week. For grades K-2, we read exciting stories and begin the process of learning how to research a topic. Older students, in grades 3-6, discover how many different technologies can guide them to excellent information. We also work on digital literacy and how to be positive contributors to the Internet.
Through these weekly classes, I am able to watch students become more independent and assertive. I have the opportunity get to know families and celebrate with them as their children advance through the grade levels. I also have the privilege of partnering with community members who volunteer on a weekly basis to keep our library operating.
A large part of library class for grades K-2 is story telling. We share classic stories, tall tales, fairy tales, stories from around the world, and nonfiction stories that teach us about the world around us. In a 40-minute class our time together is short, and it is my responsibility to make sure that the learning continues throughout the entire class period.
Following book selection, there is often a 5-10 minute gap before the classroom teacher arrives to bring the children back to their room. In this time, I am constantly looking for new ways to engage the students in a way that connects to the story that we shared together. Puzzles are a great way to extend the theme of the day after book checkout. Additionally, they allow students to practice working together toward a common goal.
We currently have two puzzles available for students in our library - one with all of the presidents, and one with animals.
After one or two classes, students begin requesting more variety in the puzzles and begin to look forward to the period at the end of class where they can choose how to spend their time. The addition of new puzzles to the library will help students to continue to see the library as an exciting place to be - for books, technology, and opportunities to practice team work.
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