This week the Katy Elementary Library is hosting a Scholastic Book Fair, and the library has been transformed into a Story Laboratory. Mrs. Sides and Mrs. Dominguez are now mad scientists who want to expand your mind with books! Stop by and visit the Book Fair. We have Muffins with Mom on Friday, May 10 from 7:00 – 7:55 am. Come have a muffin and shop for some great books!
As teachers, we want students to learn to evaluate sources they find and determine the validity of information in books and especially the ever changing internet. We teach students to determine the 5 W’s of website evaluation: 1. Who created the information, are they experts in that field, are they credible? 2. What is the purpose of the site, is it present factual information or is there a bias? 3. When was the site created, is it current or is there more recent studies on the topic? 4. Where does the information come from, are sources cited or is the site sponsored by a company who is more concerned with advertising than factual information? 5. Why is this page better to use than another page I have found?
While students are researching various topics and finding several resources, one source that keeps being mentioned is Wikipedia. On Wikipedia’s About – Wikipedia page, they state “Wikipedia is written collaboratively by largely anonymous Internet volunteers who write without pay. Anyone with Internet access can write and make changes to Wikipedia articles, except in limited cases where editing is restricted to prevent disruption or vandalism. Users can contribute anonymously, under a pseudonym, or, if they choose to, with their real identity.” Further down the page Wikipedia states, “Users should be aware that not all articles are of encyclopedic quality from the start: they may contain false or debatable information.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About
Based on the evaluation criteria above, Wikipedia is not a valuable resource for academic research. We cannot be certain the author is an expert on the topic and the articles may contain false information. If you are looking for more credible internet resources, see your teacher or librarian. You may use the databases Katy ISD provides for students by going to the student portal on www.katyisd.org. I have also created a page of online search engines that is available in the page tabs at the top of this blog.
Which databases or online search engines have you found to be most valuable in your research? Post a comment to the blog and let us know.
The KE Library just received a new shipment of books and has placed them on the shelves. If you have been waiting for the sequel to Kate Messner’s CAPTURE THE FLAG, you are in luck. HIDE AND SEEK is now available for checkout, along with some other wonderful books. Stop by and see what’s new in the library!
Katy Elementary uses Accelerated Reader as a way to motivate students to read. As a reward, the library hosts 3 AR Bookstores each school year. Students are able to purchase new books with the points they have earned by taking AR tests. Most books range from 2 points to 15 points. We do have some “special” books that are hardback and cost between 30 and 150 points. These include cookbooks, pop-up books, and reference materials about science and history topics. This is the last AR Bookstore for this school year, so students should continue taking tests and earning points that will carry over to next school year.
Each year the American Library Association awards the John Newbery Medal to the most distinguished children’s book published during the previous year. This award was first given in 1922. After reading about a Newbery Challenge on Twitter, I have decided to take up the challenge. Participants are challenged to read every Newbery Award winner. Some participants are starting with the current book and reading backwards, some are reading one book from each decade, some are also reading the honor books for each year, but I have decided to start with the first winner from 1922 and read forward to the current winner. A listing of each year’s winner and Honor books are available at http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/newberymedal/newberyhonors/newberymedal.
The first book to win the Newbery Medal was THE STORY OF MANKIND Hendrik Willem van Loon. This book tells the history of the western civilization beginning with primitive man and covering the art, architecture, literature and religion through the modern era. I had a difficult time getting through this book. It is written like a history book and did not appeal to me at all. I am glad that I read it, and it did make me think about the development of children’s literature throughout the years. It made me very grateful for the books we have now for children.
Next up: THE VOYAGES OF DR. DOOLITTLE by Hugh Lofting
Have you read THE STORY OF MANKIND? Post a comment to the blog and let me know what you thought of the book.
When Mikey’s father goes to fight in World War I, Mikey wants to contribute to the war effort also. His teacher tells the class about a Knit-In taking place in Central Park. Mikey doesn’t like the idea of knitting until it becomes a competition between the boys and the girls. Mikey is only able to knit one sock during the Knit-In, but soon learns that he can make a valuable contribution with just one sock.
After reading this book, you may want to Knit Your Bit yourself. There are still groups that knit scarves, socks, and blankets for soldiers, veterans, or others in need. Check out the National WWII museum website for information about knitting for veterans or google “Knit Your Bit” for other organizations that participate in knitting items to donate. http://www.nationalww2museum.org/learn/knit-your-bit/frequently-asked-questions.html
April isn’t just STAAR testing time, it is also National Poetry Month. It’s a time to celebrate some wonderful poems and increase awareness and appreciation of poetry. You can celebrate Poetry Month by stopping by the library and checking out some great poetry books. You may also want to visit the GottaBook blog ( http://gottabook.blogspot.com/2013/04/kelly-ramsdell-fineman-where-are-your.html) for 30 Poets 30 Days. Each day in April, this blog posts a previously unpublished poem by a different poet.
April 18, 2013 is Poem in Your Pocket Day. All you have to do to celebrate this day is select a poem you love and carry it with you to share with your classmates, friends, and family.
Do you have a favorite poem? Post a comment to the blog and share the title of your favorite poem.