Thursday, April 17, 2014

Library Week

I have to share some of the awesome and hilarious notes and banners and cards that my staff and students made for my assistant and I during Library Week. 

Gotta have an acrostic during poetry month

From a student who loves the extra stuff

Teachers are always amazed that we know most of the students by name #1 says "a place where they know your name" 

Don't all librarians have a little bit of OCD!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Funny for Friday

This week in my kinder journal, we were doing the letter "Z". I read them he book "Zoozical" by Judy Sierra. Then in their journals on the Z page, they were supposed to tell me what their favorite song was.  We had a lot of ABCs, Wheels on the Bus and Calendar Songs, but one little girl wrote "Lt it go". I asked her what her favorite song was and she said, "You know" and then began singing "Let it Go! Let It Go!" while throwing out her chest and spreading her arms wide. I really wish I had a video of it! Obviously she has seen the movie more than once since she had the moves down to a "t". So funny.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Technology Tuesday: Discovery Streaming Board Builder

My apologies for being away so long.  I am going to get back on track.  Today I am going to tell you about a guided inquiry project one of my 5th grade teachers and I collaborated on.  We were addressing the science strand: predict the effects of changes in ecosystems caused by living organisms, including humans, such as the overpopulation of grazers or the building of highways. This was a 2 week project with our final product being a Board Builder from Discovery Streaming (which our district subscribes to).  

Board Builder is a tool students (or teachers) can use to display information in a poster style format.  But the cool thing about it is that you can import video clips and pictures or you can find some within Discovery Streaming and save them to use in your board.  Text can also be added.  Here are two examples of boards our students did. 

If you have access to Discovery Streaming I would highly recommend you check out Board Builder.  Let me know what you think about it!

Jamberry Spring Wraps

So I have been away from this blog for WAY too long, but I have been putting every extra second that I am not at work or at a sporting even for my kids to my Jamberry business which I LOVE!!  I two months time I have been able to pay for one son's complete season of club baseball and should be able to finish the other sons season at the end of this month.  It is that extra $300-$500 we need each month to not feel like I have to check the bank account every day to see if I can get gas or pay a bill.

Our new catalog came out on March 1st with some of the most awesomest, fun designs for spring and summer.  Here are just a few of my favorites so far.  I just love how fun they are to mix and match!

To see all the wraps, you can visit my Jamberry Page and follow me on Facebook and to learn more about the business or having a Jamberry FB party where you can earn free wraps visit my Jamberry page on this blog and if you would like to try a sample fill out this google doc and tell me which number you would like in the comments.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Technology Tuesday: Olympic Sports with Visual Poet

My third graders came in this week to do an Olympic lesson using the ipads.  First they did some quick researching on World Book Student and the Olympic Website on an Olympic Sport.  Then in Visual Poet (a free app I am loving more and more) they put together their research notes and pictures to create a neat "poem" about the sport.  
How are you incorporating the Olympics into your lessons? 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Author Visit: Aaron Reynolds

OMG!! He was AMAZING!  I have been so looking forward to his visit since some of the librarians in my district had him in October and couldn't stop gushing about how great his presentations were and he was every bit as fantastic as they said.  He was engaging and energetic (I'm sure his theater background help there) and his presentation were chock full of interaction with the students.  In his Joey Fly presentation for my 4th and 5th graders, he challenged the students in a race against the clock to solve a real-live mystery, all the while teaching them the different elements a mystery has to have.

His Creepy Carrots presentation for the younger students was just as fun.  For my 2nd and 3rd graders, he discussed how a book goes from a story to an actual book, using students from the audience as the Author, the Illustrator and the Publisher.  The kids were fascinated to find out that he has never met the Illustrator of Creepy Carrots in person.

After school, many of the teachers came by to tell me how great they thought he was and how their students could not stop talking about him all day. I highly recommend an Aaron Reynolds visit!  You will not be disappointed! 

And Aaron if you are reading this, please don't judge me on my comma usage ;)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Technology Tuesday: Graphic Novels (Finally!)

My third graders do a big research unit on forces of nature right when we come back from winter break. In the past, each class has researched a different force of nature ie hurricane, tsunami, tornado, etc and then each group within the class writes an article for the class newspaper devoted to that force of nature. Well, this year, since I now have iPads in the library, I was talking with a colleague on day and we came up with he idea of having the kids do a whole lot of app smashing and make a graphic novel! It was a really cool idea and we played and played with it, wrote out directions, and tested the directions and tested it some more and played some until we were sure it was fool proof. Ha - that is until one of the apps apparently updated and part of the directions didn't work and then scribble press wouldn't upload the finished books and we had a fire drill and 2 unplanned assemblies and I had to make a plan B and a plan C.  Lucky for me I have awesome 3rd grade teachers who just go with it!

So this is what we did.  The kids researched their force of nature and their specific question in order to make their page of the class graphic novel.  Then they used a story board to plan out the pages/s to give information about their group's specific question.  They then took one or two pictures of each person in the their group and found some backgrounds of their topic in SIRS Discoverer. Then in Puppet Pals they made characters out of themselves and put themselves in a scene using the various backgrounds they chose and took screen shots. Then here's where it gets interesting... In all of our testing the screen shots from puppet pals we put into the StoryMe app and they speech bubbles we added.  In real life, with 21 kids, the StoryMe app would not find the pictures of the kids on top of the background in the camera roll. It would see the individual pics of the kids and the pics of the background but not he screen shot of the kids ON the back ground.  Insert Plan B... 

The kids make the frame of their pages in Strip Design and save those to the camera roll and then insert that page into Story Me to add the speech bubbles. Story Me is a really cool app that cartoonizes pictures. Then they email it to me and I put the whole book together using the PAID app Scribble Press and then we share 7books on the iPads in the 7 classrooms so the kids can read the other classes books and answer questions during their station work. Insert Plan C...

The PAID Scribble Press app would not upload the book all the way for some reason. So after several failed attempts I tried using the FREe app Book Press and voila it worked beautifully. 

Here is one of our books...about Tsunamis

I might be a little biased, but I think they turned out great and will definitely be doing it again.  What kind of products do your students create for research?