The Hudson Valley Library Association brings together librarians primarily from independent K-12 schools in the New York City, Long Island, Westchester and nearby New Jersey and Connecticut communities.
It is always nice to hear about the success stories and ongoing projects of our members, so us board members thought it would be nice to spot-light some of these from time to time. This month, I'd like to share with you a member's reflection on a recent unit she implemented with her students.
Natasha Goldberg is the Middle School Librarian at Chapin and a former Communications Coordinator for HVLA.
Recently, Natasha shared a Dewey Decimal activity with me, so I asked her if she had any more tricks up her sleeve... Below is her written account of another Dewey activity. Thanks so much for sharing this with us, Natasha!
Still dreading your Dewey Decimal unit? Perhaps you might consider teaching Dewey in conjunction with your school's math teachers. This past fall, I partnered with 5th grade math teachers Shannon Quinn and Jonathan Shiller to conduct a workshop that illustrated the connections between math and library.
“The Dewey Decimal system fits perfectly into our unit on place value of decimals,” said Mr. Shiller.
First, the girls were coached how to say the numbers in proper math speak and place them on the number line. When it was clear to the math teachers that the girls were ready to try their hand at sequencing, I gave them photographs of book spines from our non-fiction collection. Each photograph clearly displayed the book's call number. Working with two math sections at a time, Ms. Quinn, Mr. Shiller, and I held races to see which team could sequence their twenty cards first, as well use the catalog to determine the call numbers' corresponding titles and authors.
(Top photo: students sequencing Dewey Decimal Cards; Bottom photo: a close up of a Dewey card)
In a follow up library class, the students took the twenty cards they had sequenced and used them to find the corresponding books on the shelf. (I armed them with digital cameras so that they could take pictures of themselves holding each book as proof. It's a trick I highly recommend as a way to amp up your next scavenger hunt!)
Finally, some enthusiastic singalongs to the Dewey Decimal Rap on YouTube encouraged the girls to cement the connection between the call numbers and subjects of those books they found during the scavenger hunt.
Posted by Laura Bishop, Membership Coordinator (2012-2013)