By Amanda Waterbury, Murphy K-8 School Librarian, Educator
It’s always busy in the Murphy K-8 Library! Each day a schedule of five classes, ranging in grades from K1-8, visit the Murphy library. I serve as the school librarian and lead students in lessons ranging from information literacy (finding and using information in the library), using technology, and of course sharing a love of reading through read aloud sessions. Students also have a chance to view and choose books each week.
Currently, middle school students are studying Greek Gods, using both print and online resources to create a display of their findings. These students have also begun to share the Newbury Honor Book “On My Honor” by Marion Dane Bauer with my guidance. I share a short reading from the book each week and lead discussions in themes from the book. Students are encouraged to check out books or authors shared to enjoy on their own from the Murphy Library’s middle school collection.
Our youngest students just finished up a fun unit reading about pizzas, including William Steig’s classic “Pete’s a Pizza,” which K1 students in Ms. Sullivan’s class enjoyed acting out (see picture – student is having “tomatoes” added to him, they’re really just checkers, as in the book). Students enjoyed reading pizza related stories and creating their own paper plate “pizzas,” which were displayed in the Murphy entrance showcase. This theme coincided with a pizza unit students were already doing in their classrooms.
Second graders just finished sharing Judy Blume’s “Freckle Juice.” Students wrote their own recipes for ‘freckle juice.’ One student was so inspired she went home to make her own freckle juice and brought it in to share! Second graders are beginning to delve into chapter books and I like to share appropriate books and authors that students might want to read on their own.
At the beginning of the year, I worked with the children’s librarian at the Adams Street Library, a nearby Boston Public Library branch, to help students get a free BPL library card. This allows students to not only have access to even more great books, but take advantage of the numerous activities offered at BPL branch libraries across the city.
The Murphy library hosts two book fairs each year, one in December and one in April. Profits from the book fair help to buy new material for the library. Students look forward to coming to the book fair and selecting their favorite books to add to their own home libraries. Clifford the Big Red Dog even paid a visit to our kindergarteners at the December book fair (pictured)!
The Murphy Library is also gearing up for our annual Get Caught Reading at the Murphy, a community literacy initiative that invites guests to read to Murphy students. Community members, parents, city council members, Boston Police and Boston Fire men and women will be visiting a K-5 classroom to share their love of reading and show students the key role reading has played in their life. Guest readers will share their positive reading experiences, helping to support the daily work of establishing academic success for all the Murphy students.
Guest readers are invited to bring a favorite book of their own to read or have the Murphy Library choose a book for them to share. Guests are also invited to join in a reception in the library after reading. This annual event is always looked forward to by students and staff alike!