Some class library times have changed due to the start of hybrid learning mode. The updated schedule is posted here.
Snow, generosity, and the winter holidays are the library's themes for the month of December. Specific class visit selections can be found on the Weekly Readalouds page of this website.
Charitable giving is the subject of some of the books I'm reading this month. Second-grade is hearing Maddi's Fridge, by Lois Brandt, which concerns food insecurity--sometimes not being able to obtain sufficient food for oneself or one's family. It's estimated that in Los Angeles, food insecurity affects 1 in 5 people (including adults, children, and seniors). The back page of Maddi's Fridge suggests ways to help, such as donating to a food pantry, so the students and I looked briefly at the website of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and also FoodPantries.org, which lists many food assistance sites including some that are nearby. We also took a look at the book's recipe for Cheesy Pizza Bombs, a favorite of one of the characters. They look fun and easy to make!
Not all classes will hear books about Hanukkah and Christmas, but for those that do, I aim for a balanced approach. Again this year I will be reading Hanukkah at Valley Forge, by Stephen Krensky, to grade 5. It finds common themes in the story of Hanukkah and the colonists' fight against English rule, such as the desire for religious freedom and eventual success despite tough odds. That will be followed by Shooting at the Stars: The Christmas Truce of 1914, by John Hendrix, along with a short clip from the film Joyeux Noel. I'm happy to have found some new (to me) holiday picture books to present this year, including Little Red Ruthie: A Hanukkah Tale, by Gloria Koster, and Little Santa, by John Agee.
With grade 3, I am focusing on the upcoming endangered animal report. I will be talking about internet research (including our two online encyclopedia, World Book Online and Britannica School). The PDF of that talk is below, and it includes links to websites that have been used successfully for this report in the past. I will walk the students through how to check out books from the Manhattan Beach public library, so if you are the parent of a 3rd-grader, it would be a great time to locate your County of LA Library card and figure out your PIN; or if you don't have a card (or can't find it), you can get a digital card right away by filling out this form. Finally, at the PK drive-through on December 16, each student will receive a book on her or his animal that has been checked out from the PK library. The PK library has resources on the animals that are on the list that the students received. If a student chooses an animal not on that list, the student will need to find a book elsewhere, on his or her own. There are an awful lot of specific endangered animals, and our collection, while excellent, simply doesn't have a book on every one.
I wish everyone a lovely, safe, and cozy winter break!