Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Top 10 Books of 2009-2010

Our online library catalog, Follett Destiny, allows users to view the "Top 10" titles at any given time. Here are the top 10 books of the end of the 2009-2010 school year (click to enlarge):

Diary of a Wimpy Kid books continue to be so popular - I can't keep the multiple copies on the shelves!

4th Grade Mini-Inquiry Projects

Earlier this year, I read the book "Inquiry Circles: Comprehension and Collaboration" by Stephanie Harvey and Harvey Daniels. It is an EXCELLENT book that details the concept of mini-inquiry to larger inquiry projects for K-8 students.

I decided to try a 'mini-inquiry' project with 4th graders. After getting them 'wondering' about the world and modeling my own inquiry process - What is a stinkbug and how do I get rid of it in NJ? - I set them off to work, supporting them along the way. I gave them a choice between finally creating a video or a mini-flip book or a mini-diorama. I used the awesome minibook template and diorama Powerpoint template from the authors of the 'Digital Goonies' blog, Jim Holland and Susan Anderson, tech integration specialists who I first saw at ISTE 2009.

Then they presented their work to the entire class using the IPEVO document camera acquired early in the year.
Great job 4th graders!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

3 Things I Learned... and If I Ran the Library

As an end-of-year reflection, I asked the fourth graders to jot down three things they learned and complete the sentence "If I Ran the Library..." We discussed our many memories, since I've had them since first grade, and had fun reminiscing and I loved learning what was a "lasting connection" for them.

Enjoy reading some of our students' comments (click to enlarge).

And to wrap it all up, I showed two videos from YouTube - "Party in the Library" and "Gotta Keep Reading."
The kids loved them - and we talked about what a 'parody' is too - still got some learning in at the end of the year.

Happy summer!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hillside Top 10 Fiction Children's Books Poll Results

I am a follower of Betsy Bird's Fuse Number 8 blog. She is a NY Public Library children's librarian and over the past year, she has conducted two polls in which I have participated. She asked her readers to send in their votes for the Top 100 Middle-Grade Chapter Books of All Time and Top 100 Picture Books of All Time. You can find the final results for the Top 100 picture books here. The top 100 middle-grade chapter books are listed here.

I gave fourth graders a printed list of the winners and these directions:
Blogger Betsy Bird of the NY Public Library recently listed readers’ favorite children’s books of all time. Now it’s time for you to recreate the same poll! You and other 4th graders will vote for your favorites, and collect and organize the data using a spreadsheet. Mrs. Eley will be helping you in library class. At the end we’ll have a list of the “top 10” books chosen by the 4th grade!

I created a Google Form (see image below) to allow the students to type in their responses and comments. Google Forms automatically puts their typed responses in a spreadsheet. Then I used that data to calculate the winning results! Their first choice receives 10 points, second choice 9 points, etc.

The Top 10 Children's Fiction Books chosen by the Hillside Fourth Graders of 2009-2010 are:

Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone 108 points
DIARY of a wimpy kid: Dog days 81 points
A Wrinkle in Time 71 points
No Talking 55 points
Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban 50 points
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 48 points
Fablehaven 47 points
Diary of a Wimpy Kid 46 points
Because of Winn Dixie 45 points
Deep and Dark and Dangerous 44 points

For the complete list of results and comments, click here.