Sunday, December 10, 2017

Digital Citizenship

We have been doing a series of digital citizenship lessons in fifth grade.  Some of the topics we have learned about:

  • information- what's okay to share publicly and what should be kept private?
  • power of words in a digital environment
  • whose is that anyway? (copyright and avoiding plagiarism)
In the "power of words" lesson, we discussed reactions to different online statements and how to handle them.  In this photo, students decided what had "crossed the line" and what hadn't, by stepping to one side of the line (the rope going down the middle of the library!).  This photo shows the students in agreement-- the statement I had read hadn't crossed the line.  However, for many of the statements, I had a handful of students on either side of the line.  We talked about how important it is to think before typing-- should I post that?  How might the other person feel?

Ask your student- what type of information should be kept private?  What is okay to share publicly?  Can you download an image from the internet and put it in your report?  How can you respect others' work you find online?

More of these digital citizenship lessons to come-- but first we shift gears for the next few weeks to focus on a science project for the classroom.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Hour of Code

Did you know this week is Hour of Code?  Students from around the world try to spend an hour writing code and Upham is no exception!  Learn more at

Most grades are participating in hour of code in their classroom- but second grade is doing it during their library class.  2M students worked hard today:

 Students were encouraged to help each other before getting help from a teacher.


Students in 4O did hour of code in their classroom today and I got to help out:

You can do hour of code from home!  Check this website for different activities.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Cite this!

Fourth graders have been working hard for four weeks on citations.  We have discussed why we need to cite others' ideas and how to do it (third graders learn to cite, but in a more basic way).  In the third week, they practiced writing their own book citations.  Later in the year, they will use the electronic tool NoodleTools, which makes the process much easier:

Monday, November 6, 2017


In second grade, we learned a little more about how author/illustrator Oliver Jeffers creates his stories and illustrations.  I read one of my favorite books, Stuck.  We talked about how silly Floyd was and how he could have made much better choices!  After our discussion, students drew pictures of what they would throw into the tree and stuck them onto our "tree".

And yes, even I was tossed up into the tree!

Any interest in seeing Oliver Jeffers?  He's scheduled to appear at Wellesley Books on December 5 (I'm not sure if there are tickets still available).

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Ahhh librarian heaven.....

Yesterday I attended the Boston Book Fest and went to librarian heaven.  Some highlights:

Key note speaker- Lemony Snicket.  He was a riot and read aloud his new picture book The bad mood and the stick.  

I purchased a copy for Upham (as a birthday book) and had it signed by Lemony!

One of the highlights of my day was listening to Javaka Steptoe read Radiant Child.  His book won the Caldecott medal in 2017!  It was one of our UpCott selections from last year (Upham's mock Caldecott award) and I read the book to many of the classes.

 I also enjoyed listening to Bryan Collier read a few of his books.  He read his newest title, It's shoe time, which hasn't been released yet!  I was able to purchase a copy for Upham (as a birthday book) and got it signed.

Peter H. Reynolds was there signing his books.  I had him sign Upham's copy of the Dot (remember how we celebrated Dot Day?!), Ish and Sky Color.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Learning the parts of a book

First graders spent two weeks learning the parts of a book.  In the first week, we read Charlie Cook's Favorite Book by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Shuffler and discussed its parts:

We talked about the cover (title, author, illustrator), back cover, title page, and spine (what's on the spine?!).

The following week, students showed me their skills by working with a partner to label their own book:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Just right???

This week second graders learned more about choosing a "just right" book.  A "just right" book varies by reader, but some suggestions:

  • look for books with pictures!  Pictures help tell the story when you're hung up on some of the words
  • avoid books with very tiny print
  • read some of the book- you should understand most of the words and most of the story (but it's okay to still have some questions)
  • look for books with topics that interest you
We followed our lesson by listening to the book How to read a story by Kate Messner

Students then got to practice choosing "just right" books by organizing a pile of books into "just right" and not "just right"