Sending two skiers to the Eastern High School Championships in New Hampshire was icing on the cake for Big Blue's ski racing team.
Library Media Center
The Library Media Center supports and enriches the curriculum at the Lower School and serves as an integral component of the school. The collection contains diverse materials in a wide range of formats to serve the academic and recreational needs of the students. The collections contain 22,000 print volumes, e-Books, several online research databases, newspapers, magazines, DVDs, digitized audio books, and streaming books and videos. A network of ten computers provides access to the online catalog, the Internet, and the online subscription databases which serve as information resources for student research. In addition, there are sixteen Chromebooks which accommodate a class for instruction on effective research strategies to meet and support the curriculum requirements.
Each class from Kindergarten through Grade 5 has one scheduled library period per six day cycle. Students are encouraged to visit the library anytime with teacher permission to exchange books or research topics. Through exposure to classic and contemporary children’s literature at all grade levels, students develop an appreciation for books and reading. In addition to story times, book talks, reader’s theatre and other activities related to curricular themes and topics, students receive instruction in library and research skills through content-based and inquiry-based learning. Throughout the grades, an emphasis is placed on the development of information literacy skills through the use of all the library resources. Skills build sequentially from year to year.
Students are introduced to basic library skills which include care of books and responsibility, and good stewardship is emphasized. Students are also introduced to the differences between fiction and nonfiction and learn the basic parts of a book, such as spine, dedication, and title page. The role of the author and illustrator are explored and particular authors are studied and compared. Students use online streaming books, such as TumbleBooks, and age-appropriate online research databases. In first grade, the skills build to the use of the online catalog, locating books, and finding and identifying “just right books” to read. In Grade 2, students learn basic research skill using print and online reference resources and are introduced to biographies. There is an emphasis on reading nonfiction, and students learn to identify and use the parts of a nonfiction book such as the glossary, index, and table of contents.
The skills continue to build and expand in Grade 3. Research skills develop to include identifying important facts, note-taking, and crediting sources. The Dewey Decimal System is introduced and the concept of classification is explored. Research is conducted using library online subscription databases such as Britannica, Scholastic Go, PebbleGo Next, TrueFlix, and World Book Online to access, analyze, and evaluate facts and information to support the Grade 3 social studies curriculum. E-Books are provided for individual student access and for class books and instruction on curricular topics.
Throughout the year, students learn to effectively use the online databases to research topics related to classroom learning and the Grade 4 curriculum. In the library, they learn to refine their search strategies through the use of advanced research tools, targeted keywords, and the selection of appropriate online databases. While researching topics for social studies projects, students learn to use Pathfinders and to cite sources. The concept of genre is introduced, and books are available to select by different categories. E-Books continue to be available for check out and students are encouraged to read Newbery Award books. Students use the “SuperBooks” wiki to recommend books to their classmates.
Students learn to think critically about the information and facts they retrieve from websites during their research through a unit presented on “Website Evaluation.” Students learn strategies to evaluate their sources of information and to determine if the information is valid, reliable, and current. They are introduced to tools to help identify bias in the content. The overall concept of citing sources in a bibliography is introduced. Students learn the distinguishing elements of various genres, and they are encouraged to expand their genre choices throughout the year and to include Newbery Award Winners in their selections. Students write formal book reviews evaluating and recommending their independent reading selections using the library SuperBooks wiki. During the second part of the year, students conduct a research project on Ancient Chinese inventions using print and online resources to create a group presentation using Google Presentations and Google Translation. The unit culminates with a co-curricular STEAM project using Makerspace materials and follows with a project on kite making and a kite flying challenge activity.