Due to so many snow days lately, our Read Across America Day was postponed to last Friday. Staff and students dressed up as book characters and did lots of fun activities like green eggs and ham breakfasts and mystery readers. Though, we didn’t have as many readers as we had planned because of the rescheduling. Here are some of the pictures of the costumes. (I don’t usually show many students pictures because I want to be sure they have permission to be on the internet, here are a couple but mostly I just showed staff.)
Spiderman was teaching PE!
My wonderful assistant as a modern day Snow White.
Reading to the classes as a mystery reader! The older kids, even the boys, all came asking for The Rouch Face Girl after this.
Cat in the Hat
Third grade teachers as different Seuss characters.
This is me! I usually don’t do characters from movies too, but my girls have been checking out the Disney princess books like crazy. So, I went with the one that loves books – Belle!
Junie B. Jones
Some of the K teachers were Pete the Cat and his many colored shoes.
I meant to post this earlier than this, but we have missed 7 of the last 10 days of school for inclement weather! So, better late than never, here is what we had on our windows for February to go with our Read Me Maybe door. I love it! It was too hard for me to choose one book as you can see from my picture below. So many people stopped by to look at the photos and see what books were chosen – kids, parents, staff – they all loved it.
Our window display outside the media center.
Me and my inability to choose a favorite!
Some of our fantastic teachers and their choices.
We had fun blabbering on in Kindergarten! By that I mean we created animal blabbers with Blabberize! We have used Blabberize recently with third graders, but I had not tried it with kids younger than that before, but when a K teacher asked me about an animal project – I thought we might be able to give it a try!
The teacher wanted to research animals with a high reading group, so I suggested creating a final project with Blabberize. We had planned to research one day and do the blabbers the next day, but the K schedule got moved around a bit, so she ended up doing the blabbers as a center in the classroom. We used a graphic organizer that asked for 3 things they learned, 2 interesting facts, and 1 question they still had. We had them choose an animal from books I had pulled that they would be able to read. They had about an hour for research in partners the first day and the teacher said it took about an hour to do the blabbers, but she had already used Creative Commons to find pictures to make it easier to get started. We are really excited about the results and the kids were super happy to see the finished products. We will definitely try this again!! Here are some of the final projects. (I tried embedding them, but the links work better!)
By collaborating together on a project for students, teachers and media coordinators can reduce class size by then splitting the class to teach smaller groups. I recently worked with a third grade teacher to reinforce division by having the students write a real life story problem that would use division, then write out how to solve it and create a powerpoint to represent it as well.
We started with a whole class introduction where I showed an example and we talked about when we might use division. The kids then started writing the story problems and solutions while the teacher and I could both circulate to assist them. We found that this was helpful because the kids were pretty good at writing out the story but writing out and explaining the solution really made them have to stop and think about how division works and how they work problems out.
The next two days I took half the class and led them through their powerpoint while the teacher kept the other half to reteach or accelerate, then we switched the second day. In creating the powerpoint, we made a two slide powerpoint that the kids typed the story problem on the first page, the answer on the second, and used clip art to also represent the problem.
The fourth day we used to present the powerpoints. To keep the students not presenting engaged, we had each student try to solve each problem before showing the solution slide on each powerpoint.
The kids LOVED this project and were already asking when we could do it again. The only thing I would change would be instead of just using scratch paper to solve the problems, I would have them label each problem with the student presenting’s name so we could go back and see which ones they solved correctly and which ones they had trouble with. All the students were engaged from beginning to end, high students and struggling students alike. Being able to choose a situation they were interested in helped as well. We saw topics ranging from sports to food to the mall to gardens. It helped reinforce division for them, but also gave the classroom teacher some time to work with a smaller group of students in the classroom, so it is really a two birds with one stone. Here are some pictures from their presentations, I hope you can read some of their problems and solutions. I mostly put photos of the solutions because I wanted to show the different ways the kids explained how to solve the problems.