Wednesday, August 2, 2017

1-Thing Wednesday: Historical Fiction Focus

With so many great books released in the last year, how about a look at a few that are historical fiction, like the Newbury Honor book Wolf Hollow? Readers will find themselves pulled into the story of Annabelle, Betty, and Toby; can we trust what we believe we've seen, and do we really know the people in our lives?


Other great historical fiction promoted throughout the year in the library include some newer titles along with some old favorites:
If you haven't read many historical fiction titles--or if you're eager to read some more--we're happy to help you with that next book to read!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

1-Thing Wednesday: Pinterest Book Recommendation Board

Occasionally during the year we take the time to highlight new books or recommend old favorites using Pinterest. Both book trailers and cover images of many books are there if you're looking for something to read! Want to take a look? You can access the board by clicking in the caption below.
CLICK HERE to access the Pinterest board.
Want to see something added that you think others would like to read onto the board? Let Mrs. Ellis know, and maybe you'll see it there!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

1-Thing Wednesday: Using our AEA Databases

We are so fortunate to have access to a wide variety of databases from our area AEA, Heartland. Throughout the year, teachers and students alike use them for everything from pleasure reading to research to project creation support.
One database that students browse when looking for next books to read is NoveList K-8 Plus. When accessing our online catalog and library main page, students often use NoveList K-8 Plus, along with other book recommendation sites and tools, to guide their book selections. Students especially like that they can search author or series read-alikes.



Often, these available databases become part of our library lessons. Supporting students' many general research needs were databases such as Britannica Online, MackinVia, and Culture Grams. More specifically, however, students accessed NetTrekker to access information related to pro/con or persuasive writing and speaking presentations.
Students access AEA databases for research purposes.
As databases are updated and revised, we look forward to their continued use! Many projects await!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

1-Thing Wednesday: Destiny Quest

Using Destiny Quest has become an extension of the work we do with students throughout the year. When students were in Grades 3 - 5, using Destiny Quest was regular practice during scheduled library classes. Once students move on to the Middle School, using Destiny Quest becomes more individualized, and it has also become part of the language arts classes.

As students come and go from the library--and as they work in study halls--they sometimes sit at a library computer to respond to friend requests in Destiny Quest and send friend request themselves, sometimes making book recommendations when they do so. Students also add books to their virtual bookshelves, adding not only books they've read themselves, but also books they've enjoyed as read alouds. 

Part of the language arts curriculum includes writing book reviews, and Destiny Quest--along with our online catalog--offer students an authentic audience for their writing. Full classes visit the library, where we talk about what makes a strong book review, and then students write two reviews in a quarter. Over time our online catalog has become a place where students can read peers' reviews and thoughts about books in the collection.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

1-Thing Wednesday: Featuring New Books

Many new books will greet students when they return in August. Want a sneek peek at a few of our favorites?


Popular author Gordon Korman's new book is realistic fiction and features Chase, who remembers nothing after falling from his roof. As he begins his school year, Chase comes to understand that the person he was before the fall isn't anything like the person he is now. Will the influence of his friends sway him to return to his juvenile delinquent/bullying ways? Or will he take the opportunity to restart and become a different person?


If you were a fan of Between Shades of Gray by Sepetys, this book will not disappoint! Like Between Shades of Gray, this book is also an Iowa Teen Award nominee set during World War II. The story follows several refugees near the war's end as they make their way to a port city to try to secure passage on the Wilhelm Gustloff, hopefully to find friends and family in other parts of Europe. You can see a trailer below:


Another Iowa Teen Award nominee that's a great read is the nonfiction title I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda.

Told from both Caitlin's and Martin's points of views, readers learn of the pen pal assignment that connected the Pennsylvania girl with a boy from Zimbabwe and read portions of the letters that changed both of their lives. While Caitlin initially believes Martin's life is similar to hers, she slowly comes to understand the poverty and harsh conditions in which he lives. This knowledge--along with the warmth they feel for one another--will change both of their lives.

See something you might like to pick up this August? They'll be available for you--stop by to check them out!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

1-Thing Wednesday: QR Codes in the Library

One of the tools we like to use in the library is QR codes. They're such a handy, easy, and convenient way for students to access information! We primarily use them to promote books by linking the codes to book trailers, like in this display. Students have also been able to access trailers as they browse the shelves.

Students have also used QR codes to access trailers related to our state award nominees. Cards showing the book covers and a corresponding QR code were at tables throughout the library, and students watched the trailers, then responded on a handout as to their interest levels in reading the books later.

Stay tuned--students will likely use QR codes again in the coming school year!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

1-Thing Wednesday: State Award Nominees, 2017 - 2018

The state award nominees for the coming 2017 - 2018 school year were announced earlier in the year. Our DCG Middle Schools students are encouraged to read from the Iowa Children's Choice Awards nominees, as well as the Iowa Teen Award titles:


Over the course of the coming school year, students are encouraged to read at least two of the nominees from their lists, and should they complete the reading by late February/early March, they will be eligible to vote for the building and state-wide winner. Feel free to read any of the books over the summer, and stay tuned for many activities related to these great books!