Can you spy with your little eye what this Lego layout defines?
Why, it’s the Bishop Walker School…and where are those gems?
In the Library!!!
Over the summer months the Library Volunteers polished up the Treasure, with new labels and new titles. We transferred the Collection to a new online library system: Follett Destiny. Each book has been reviewed for its relevance and quality. The KINGS’ Treasure is the library containing the best books we can find for the particular interests of Bishop Walker School scholars. Our goal is developing a life-long love of reading…a jewel in the crown of their education.
How can I find that Gem among the 10,000 volumes?
Grades 3, 4, and 5 spent the first months of school leaning how to unlock the Treasure. We distinguished fiction from nonfiction, discovered different areas for Fiction such as Picture books, Series, Early Readers and Novels. Older students looked for various genres among the fiction. Games to hunt for fact-based books using the Dewey Decimal system led to great finds, such as this Rock and Mineral book about fantastic emeralds and rubies located at the 552 spot on the shelf of Natural Sciences. Lounging and reading with a friend are totally fine at BWS.
Another way to unlock the Treasure is to go online and search for your self. Both our Library volunteers and the BWS Faculty were trained in how to search and reserve books. Faculty, Staff and students have specific access but all are welcome to browse this new site: bwslibrary.follettdestiny.com
In addition to learning how to officially check out a book in the library, 2nd graders reviewed the difference between fiction and nonfiction. They explored Early Readers and found just the right fit. Then Mrs. Hannibal felt they were ready for a longer read-aloud book: “Akimbo and the Elephants” by Alexander McCall Smith.
This is the story of a young boy between eight and ten years old who lives on an animal preserve in Africa where his father is a ranger. Akimbo learns that ivory poachers are killing elephants. He is determined to stop them. A dangerous adventure ensues as Akimbo tries to save the elephants. We cannot talk about the preservation of African animals without looking at information about the animals Akimbo might encounter on the preserve. Students have been encouraged to add a factual book about African animals to their check out selections. Second graders heard stories from others countries through folktales and myth. They checked out many of the new Early Readers which will bump up their ability while making them laugh out loud. Some titles include: Narwhal and Jelly, King and Kayla Mysteries, Moby Shinobi and a new Elephant and Piggie series.
Kindergarten and First graders
Kindergarten and First graders found their way back to the Green, Green Grass for a great story to open up their imagination as well as their curiosity. Scholars learn how to read the pictures as well as the words. We have books at various reading levels and fact books in the Early Reader (E) mobile bookshelves. National Geographic provides the best range of natural science for early elementary. An entire wall is covered with the latest and greatest Picture books (P), with special emphasis on acquiring the works of African American authors and illustrators.
Kindergartners get a group of books each week to share in their classroom by authors such as Eric Carle, Leo Lionni, Don Freeman. Their teacher asked for books to supplement her curriculum such as books about the 5 senses like If You Give a Moose a Muffin and Pumpkin Soup and Eye to Eye. Halloween allowed us to introduce the fantasy of monsters and dragons and Super Hero early readers. From there, we moved to understanding the changing seasons by learning about trees and plants that provide the harvest of food we need. How Many Seeds Are in a Pumpkin and The Blackest Berry and The Little Tree are some titles.
Both K and 1st grade moved to a study of animals in our backyard. We combined fun stories with fact books such as A House for Moose, A Walk in the Woods and Squirrels Leap Squirrels Sleep. Scholars checked out nonfiction books at the earliest reading levels along with the fan-favorites like Pete the Cat. What John Marco Saw opened our eyes to what is happening outside our BWS windows. After reading Peter Rabbit in big book form, we let the scholars check out small books about bunnies, frogs, ducks and hedgehogs. Ms. Potter was the first to make small books for small hands.
By October, First graders started checking out one book of their choice each week. Understanding that borrowing a book means returning a book is part of what young children learn at the BWS library.
3rd and 4th Grades
4th graders took the challenge to find various nonfiction books in the different color-coded sections of the library. These stickers on the spines correspond to the Dewey Decimal system which is the organizing principle of every library in this country. Due to our Covid separation, these scholars have spent less time in our physical library. Now’s the time to unlock the code so they can answer their own questions with fact books. Popular areas of interest were: Space 500’s for facts and 600’s for technology, Minecraft and Marvel characters 700’s, and a ranges of 900’s biographies from Neymar the soccer player to John Coltrane. Yet for pure pleasure, the Graphic novels hold their spell on 10 year old readers. They follow Amulet, Plant vs Zombies, New Kid and Dogman.
3rd grade spent the early part of the year getting to know the authors’ last names of their favorite books. You have to know that all fiction is organized alphabetically by the author’s last name. We also introduced them to new and exciting Series books that suit their expanding reading levels. Without a thoughtful introduction to the layout a library, the students tend to go to the same favorites. After weeks of exploration we saw the range of choice grow into the breadth of our full shelves. Popular new discoveries included: Press Start, Little Shaq, Kondo and Kazumi, along with an increasing length of series Ellray Jakes, The Bad Guys and Dragon Masters.
These two grades took the theme of gems in our Library Treasure to the Kindergartners and 1st graders. They wrote reviews for display on our large Treasure box and then read to a Book Buddy during a Community Hour on Friday. Reading old childhood favorites such as Where the Wild Things Are, Green Eggs and Ham, Llama, Llama Red Pajama or Chicka Chicka Boom Boom gave the older readers confidence and the younger students joy in sharing a good story!
Finally, a long-term goal for these students is to find time and space to read a book quietly in the library. We have beanbags, padded benches and velvet gamers chairs scattered throughout the space. Now that we have the classes for 45 minutes we now have time to settle down and snuggle up to a good book. Even with a buddy nearby, the voices are calm as they chat about the books at hand.
The 5th grade has been focusing on connections between history and current events as our country continues to struggle with issues of personal freedom and civil rights. In celebration of BWS’s new library catalog (bwslibrary.follettdestiny.com) and the access it now affords to our students and staff, September was devoted to reading about libraries and talking about the threats they face today with book banning and defunding. We learned that in the past our public libraries have not always been open to all. Stories from the lives of author Richard Wright and astronaut Ron McNair illustrated how these African Americans valued libraries and overcame challenges to their ability to borrow books and read. We also read about the Little Free Libraries movement and how it spread from one man’s idea to a global phenomenon offering free books to all. Even THEARC has a Little Free Library! Check it out near the bus stop on Mississippi Avenue.
Voting was the topic to explore in October. We read about African Americans getting the right to vote in 1870 pursuant to the 15th Amendment to the Constitution as well as continued voter intimidation and suppression in the segregated South during the civil rights era. The boys were amazed to learn that women of any color did not get the right to vote until 1920. Each week’s read-aloud provoked discussion about why voting is so important, why it has been historically denied to certain groups, and what kinds of voter suppression are occurring in our country right now. Don’t be surprised if your 5th grader asks you about your intention to vote on November 8th!