The Elementary Library is a “happening place!” All students from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade Five visit the library with their classes each week. In addition to checking out books
at this time, students also learn library skills or participate in an activity that supplements their classroom instruction. Students are also allowed to visit the library individually
at other times during the week on an as-needed basis; and after the school day, many parents and students visit the library together.
The Accelerated Reader program is used in grades 1-5 to encourage students to successfully read more books, resulting in increased confidence and more enjoyment of reading. AR library books are easily identified, and computers are available in the library and classrooms for taking quizzes. Those who reach different milestones in the program enjoy being recognized in chapel and seeing their pictures on the cafeteria wall.
Each year, Dallas Christian students participate in choosing The Texas Bluebonnet Award, the Children’s Crown Award, and the Children’s Crown Gallery Award. The nominees are introduced and promoted during the year, and student voting is done at the appointed time. Their votes are tallied with the votes from other schools to determine the winners.
Excited students and parents anticipate the Scholastic Book Fair each year in the library. Great participation from families and teachers results in high volume sales, generating a high percentage profit for the library.
A summer library program is also offered for students to come to the library on any or all of the eight times the library is open during the summer. They enjoy checking out books from their summer reading lists and taking AR quizzes on those books, giving them a head start on AR points for the next school year.
The main objective of all these things is to promote reading! With this skill, we learn how to become fruitful Christians, accomplished students, and discerning citizens.
The Dallas Christian Middle School/High School Library is a gathering place for individual students as well as classes. It is not the “quiet” library of years ago but rather a
learning commons area where students and teachers discuss books and ideas.
Reading classes come to the library to check out books and participate in book talks and discussions. Emphasis is placed on assisting students in locating books for reading pleasure as well as encouraging students to try a variety of genres.
Collaborating with teachers from a variety of disciplines, students work in the library researching information in print and non-print formats. English classes do an annual research paper and are assisted in locating sources on their chosen topics. In addition to the Dallas Christian Library resources, materials from area libraries are supplemented as needed. Classes and individual students are taught search strategies and how to navigate databases. Emphasis is placed on correctly citing sources used in research and avoiding plagiarism. The library offers Wi-Fi access to facilitate students’ use of their iPads in locating and recording information.
The library is open before and after school and during the lunch period with teacher permission. Individual students come by the library to check-out and to return books and discuss what they are reading. Both positive and negative book reviews are encouraged. In addition to promoting critical thinking skills, these lively book discussions generate interest in reading.
The library collection is a collaborative effort that includes staff, student and librarian input. Professional review tools as well as recommendations from students and teachers play an important role in materials selection for the library.
Activities are held that highlight library offerings. Library orientation is done as a “scavenger hunt” and special activities are planned during Teen Read Week and during National Library Week. Special events at area libraries are announced to classes and posted on the library’s front windows.
The objectives of all library activities are to promote the love of reading and enable each student to become a lifelong learner. The abilities to read well (whether print or electronic texts) and to locate accurate, reliable information are critical skills for the 21st century. With these competencies, students will be able to successfully locate information and discern its validity to guide them on their spiritual, emotional, educational and professional journeys throughout life.
What is Accelerated Reader?
As explained by Renaissance Learning, parent company of Accelerated Reader: “AR is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Your child picks a book at his own level and reads it at his own pace. When finished, your child takes a short quiz on the computer. (Passing the quiz is an indication that your child understood what was read.) AR gives both children and teachers feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help your child set goals and direct ongoing reading practice.
Children using AR choose their own books to read, rather than having one assigned to them. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as they can choose books that are interesting to them.
Teachers and librarians help your child choose books at an appropriate reading level that are challenging without being frustrating, ensuring that your child can pass the quiz and experience success.
If your child does not do well on the quiz, the teacher may help him:
- Choose another book that is more appropriate.
- Ask more probing questions as your child reads and before he takes a quiz.
- Pair your child with another student, or even have the book read to your child.
Accelerated Reader Links
Parent’s Guide to Accelerated Reader
Using Renaissance Home Connect, you may view your child’s Accelerated Reader progress from home, and even sign up to receive an e-mail when a he/she takes a quiz!
You can also AR Book Finder to check book titles for possible AR quizzes or point and book level information