"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Friday, November 16, 2012

"They help you feel better when you are sad"

Books, that is....so says my very wise kindergarten student.  

You will have to listen to the Voicethread to hear these wonderful words.

Books are so many things - vessels to take us far away, blankets to soothe a sad soul, and jars to hold our dreams.  What I like best is that books provide reading experiences that can be shared.  It is that incredibly amazing connection that library teachers are privileged to witness: Student A is heading to the checkout desk.  Student B walks past and notices the books in student A's hand and says, "I loved that book!  It was so cool how the ...."  Bingo. The connection has been made.  The book reading experience will be shared.  Yeah. School Librarians are lucky people.

So....here we are, back with my kindergarten students who have been learning about nonfiction and fiction books.  What follows are three different assessment tools that I used to determine if they were understanding the concept.  For this unit, our fiction books are limited to picture books.

Here is a student explaining the difference between the two books he is checking out.

For this lesson, the students were required to check out one nonfiction (wondering) book and one picture book.  (It was "Reed's Choice" as opposed to "Reader's Choice.")

Here was my instant assessment that day: I asked the students to come back to our rug area and have a seat with their books in their laps.  I then asked students to hold up the picture book.  I snapped a picture and then did a quick visual check.  I was able to quickly see who had understood how to identify his or her book and help them self correct.  (I asked a student whom I knew had the correct book how he or she knew it was the correct book, "It has a yellow sticker and a p on the spine label.") We did repeated the same process for nonfiction.

Waiting with the books in our laps
Show me your picture book
Show me your nonfiction book
Show me your nonfiction book
Show me your picture book
Show me your picture book
The following week, I set up a Voicethread and let the students talk about fiction books and nonfiction (picture books).  

I think the combination of these three activities - assessments - provided more valuable assessment than a rubric, which would have never let me see or hear their interest or enthusiasm.

and the beat...I mean learning goes on....

1 comment:

  1. Every parent, teacher, administrator, policymaker and taxpayer (hmmm...sounds like EVERYONE) should read this blog. This is what good teaching looks like. This is what good librarianship looks like. This is what good learning looks like.

    I started reading this blog looking for guidance and inspiration for my own blog but I read it now to look for ideas to inform my own practice.

    Bravo, I say, and I can't wait to incorporate your methods into my own lessons.