Tag Archives: fun

Never Too Old

ssspyI think we sometimes forget that the big kids (aka 5th graders) still like to be read to. I had a 5th grade class that I needed to cover this week and didn’t have much time to plan, but I knew they were getting ready to start talking about the Revolutionary War. I wanted to remind them that picture books are still awesome so I brought our The Scarlet Stocking Spy and read it to them. You could have heard a pin drop. We talked about language, inferences, the time period – there are so many conversations you can have with this book.

After we read it, I also may or may not have read 5th graders a Scaredy Squirrel book that made us all giggle and start the week off with a laugh.

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Read Across America Day

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!

Spiderman was teaching PE!

My wonderful assistant as a modern day Snow White.

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.

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

Cat in the Hat

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Third grade teachers as different Seuss characters.

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!

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

Junie B. Jones

Some of the K teachers were Pete the Cat and his many colored shoes.

Some of the K teachers were Pete the Cat and his many colored shoes.

We Fell In Love!

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.

Our window display outside the media center.

Me and my inability to choose a favorite!

Me and my inability to choose a favorite!

Some of our fantastic teachers and their choices.

Some of our fantastic teachers and their choices.

Choose Your Own Disaster

4th grade students recently completed a Choose Your Own Adventure type of project with me about natural disasters. Each student chose a natural disaster to research here, and then had to create a graphic organizer with an introductory paragraph about the event, two possible choices, and two possible results from each choice. We had a lot of fun with it and it really pushed the critical thinking past the basic research facts because the students had to apply the information to various situations. Of course, we also used Citation Maker for the citation. Here are some pics of some of the finished products.

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Spring Cleaning and Summer Reading

100_0786We held our first ever book swap and it was a success! I have done these before at other schools, but not in a school as big as mine is now. (We have about 940 students.) I made some adjustments and it went pretty well for the first one! I gave students three days they could bring in gently used elementary school age books, up to ten picture books and/or ten chapter books. They brought them to the library where we gave them a voucher with the number of books (written in word form so there couldn’t be any changing of numbers) and they just had to bring them back at their grade level’s assigned shopping time to “buy” new to them books. They got the same number of books they brought in. We only let them get chapter books if they brought chapter books so it was fair for those who brought in chapter books to be able to get other chapter books. We had a few people generously donate extra books, so we had some extra to choose from that will carry over to next year’s swap. I would highly recommend trying it at your school! The kids had a blast and were so excited about their “new” books.100_0799 100_0800 100_0801

Kindergarten Blabbers

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!)

Gorilla

Walrus

Pelican

Dingo

Panda

Crocodile

Snowy Owl

Leopard

Sea Horse

Peacock

Divide the Class

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. 100_0606

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.

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