One of the best parts of my week is when I get visited by our K1 and K2 classes for storytime. They’ve been working hard with Morah Yaffa learning all about oceans and sea life. After a conversation with a kinder during morning care who talked about his upcoming vacation to a place that has a coral reef, I decided it was the perfect topic for our next storytime.
The book we read, Coral Reefs by Jason Chin, is gorgeously illustrated and talks about both the science and the importance of reefs to the ocean. The kinders were fascinated by the illustrations and asked lots of questions and shared some of their own knowledge on oceans and on food chains, which was quite impressive.
They then had a chance to examine real coral and see the tiny polyps that comprise coral. They were very into it and we had so much fun exploring this topic. Can’t wait for next week!
Detective Club has been the best ever this year thanks to the creativity and direction of two of our amazing students in grades 4 and 5.
Each week they plan really amazing activities for our grade 1 and 2 sleuths including things like creating fake identities, setting traps for rival spies, cracking codes, etc… This week students were tasked with getting through our Laser Security Training Course. It is obvious that a blast was had by all!
The OJCS Reading Challenge is in full swing and every class is doing an incredible job. Books are flying off the shelves in the library. I’ve never seen students so excited about reading and sharing about what they’ve been reading. Students have been posting book reviews on our catalogue and also sharing flipgrid videos. There has been a tangible shift in reading culture at the school and everyone is working hard to continuously motivate the kids. The kids are also working hard to motivate each other.
Each grade is reading books that are appropriate for their age and grade level, so of course, the older the kids, the bigger the books and the longer they take to finish. Here are our numbers so far…
Grade 8 – 26
Grade 7 – 68
Grade 6 – 72
Grade 5 – 56
Grade 4 – 330
Grade 3 – 945
Grade 2 – 261
Grade 1 – 397
K – 15+
These numbers are enough to bring tears of joy to a librarian’s heart. I need a tissue.
Today grades 3 and 4 learned all about strategies for effective internet searching. Students tend to type long questions into the search bar of search engines and click on the very first site that comes up, regardless of the quality or relevance of the site. Over the past few years I’ve been trying to convey to students the importance of selecting a few important words from their questions (keywords) and using those to bring in targeted results. I have also been trying to get students to use some of the many excellent kid-friendly search engines to narrow their searches to results that are geared to their grade level.
Students worked through some research questions and experimented with keywords to find good results. For example, with the question: How many teeth does an adult dog have? The keywords were teeth and adult dog. After a bit of practice they picked up finding keywords very quickly. The keyword worksheets are available through the marvelous resource Common Sense Education.
Ms. Bennett and Ms. Mellenthin are going to practice this each day in the classroom. I think it will have a really positive impact on the quality of student research.