Category Archives: Social media

Second Grade-People Who Change Their Community

After looking at the 2nd grade’s current IB/PYP Unit of Inquiry, I asked our second grade chair about what we should be working on in the library.  I suggested that I could read some picture book biographies about people who have made an impact on their community and she liked that idea.  The students were learning about people who make a difference in their communities, such as Jimmy Carter, MLK Jr. and Jackie Robinson.   I read Jeanette Winter’s book, Wangari’s Trees of Peace, which is an excellent biography about Wangari Maathai for this age group.

Cover of Jeanette Winter's book, Wangari's Trees of Peace

Credit: Amazon

As I was reading the author’s notes in the back of the book, the students all perked up when I read that Maathai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  They would  say, “Just like Jimmy Carter” or “Just like Martin Luther King, Jr.!”

Writing Practice

After reading the book we discussed how Maathai changed her community.  I asked the students for words from the book that were important or key and we created a word wall on a white board.  Note: I had to write “woman” and “women” because many of our students used the singular form of the noun when referring to the plural or they use “womans”.  IMG_2213

Then I asked the students to respond to one of  two questions: How did she change her community? or Whose lives did she impact and how?  I asked the students to provide text evidence (one of their ELA standards).  IMG_2212

Video Recording via Flipgrid

Some students wrote a sentence of two and were immediately ready to video tape their response on Flipgrid.  Others needed some help with editing, which the teacher and I provided them with.  Since classes are scheduled for about 30 minutes we did the actual recording at their next library visit.  They love to see and hear themselves.  I email the link to the teacher after all students have recorded their reflections.

Check them out!  https://flipgrid.com/f4e331

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Chatterpix about Virus and Bacteria

IMG_1772This year I started off the school year with fifth grade students researching either bacteria or virus, one of their science standards.  I curated websites (mostly our World Book Online, Britannica Student via Galileo) using Livebinders.  Using Livebinders reduces the amount of time students spend searching for information and I try to keep this project to a three week timeline!  One week for research, a second week for writing their script and recording with the third week finishing the recordings.

Chatterpix

Chatterpix is an Apple app that lets the user make things talk, by drawing in mouth.  The user then has 29 seconds to record.  I have the students write a script in first person so the bacteria or virus is speaking.

Research and Writing

I asked them to have 4 to 5 interesting facts.  Some students were able to just write their script in first person as they were reading the websites.  Other students took notes and then went back to write their script.

I found about 10 to 15 images of bacteria and virus and let the students choose from this group.  This cuts down on time and as I only have about 25 minutes with them each week and I need to find ways to save on time wherever possible.

Upload to YouTube

After they create their Chatterpix I upload them to YouTube.  This is time consuming for me, but it’s the only way to share their creations.

Check out some of their work:

 

We are a 1:1 school, however we have Dell tablets.  Fortunately, we have a small cart of old iPads from before the 1:1 initiative, which allows us to use this fun Apple app.

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Second Grade Writes “Never” Poems

Second grade students created poems for National Poetry Month using a template (https://writeshop.com/writing-a-never-poem)  for a “Never Poem” which emphasizes repetition and alliteration.  We discussed what poetry was and some of the characteristics of poems.  I modelled the writing using a white board and let the students help me think up words (all starting with the same consonant). Then we talked about adjectives and added adjectives to describe the nouns we had chosen.

Photos of never poems

Dictionary and Thesaurus Available

I had dictionaries and thesauri at the tables to help them find words if they were drawing a blank; this also served as a review for these reference sources.

Flipgrid for an Audience

One class had the chance to record themselves reading their poems on Flipgrid, but due to time restraints (state test prep, etc.) the others might not get to record.  I think it is important to give the students opportunities to record themselves.  It is a good learning experience and they love to see and hear themselves! flipgrid.com/3a42d1

screen capture of Flipgrid

 

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3rd Grade and Book Character Poems Celebrating National Poetry Month

While in graduate school working on my Specialist degree, I was introduced to a poem template for a book character.  I used it successfully last year during National Poetry Month and decided it was worth a repeat.  I selected picture books with strong characters and a strong plot that could be read easily by the 3rd grade students. Titles included: Where the Wild Things Are, Harry the Dirty Dog, The Paper Bag Princess, The Gingerbread Boy, The Three Billy Goats Gruff (and a few more).

The small group decided how they would read the book (take turns, have one reader, etc.) and after reading the book, they completed the template.

Movie and YouTube

I recorded all of the groups reading their poem using Windows Movie Maker to put together the clips and then uploaded the movie to YouTube.  I’ve completed 2 movies and have one more to go. Check out the completed ones:

Librarian recording students reading their poem in the studio.

I used one of our Flip cameras to record the students in our morning show studio.

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3rd Grade, St. Patrick’s Day and Flipgrid

I wanted the 3rd grade students to have another opportunity to write while in the library, as this will be their first time taking the Georgia Milestones (our state standardized test), which has a portion for open-ended response.  Last week they used Padlet to respond, but I checked with one of the teachers and gave her a choice of Padlet or Flipgrid for this week.  She opted for Flipgrid, as bringing the tablets with keyboards and mouses can be time consuming. Most of our 3rd grade students have had at least 2 experiences using Flipgrid since I have used it with 1st and 2nd grades in the past.

First we read Tomie de Paola’s Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato: An Irish Folktale.

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Then I asked them what they would wish for if they caught a leprechaun.  After writing their responses on index cards, they recorded them on Flipgrid.

These students have become very independent users of Flipgrid.  I set my laptop up on a chair and showed them how to place their index card up against the screen.  I had one or two students in a line observing the student who was recording and off they went!

Student recording on Flipgrid.

These 3rd grade students are pretty independent now when using Flipgrid.

Amongst the usual wishes (lots of money, a pot of gold, magical cars, etc.) there were a couple that tugged at my heart.  Hannah wished for world peace and Kyrique who wanted money to pay homeless people.  Check out the 3rd grade responses.  What would you wish for?

Mrs. Orme’s class (Hannah is a student in this class) flipgrid.com/36ca5f

Ms. Cook’s class (Kyrique is in this class) flipgrid.com/f7d65f

Mrs. Cambron’s class  flipgrid.com/7732bf

 

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3rd Grades: Perspective and Padlet

By this time of the school year I am in need of inspiration.  Standardized state tests are coming up and spring break is still weeks away.  So I asked the 3rd grade chair what skills I should be covering with the students the following week.  I had read Brendan Wenzel’s book, They All Saw a Cat, to them the week before so the idea of “perspective” was on my mind.  I wanted to introduce the students to another digital tool, so after brainstorming we decided we would do something about perspective and have the students use Padlet to record their response.

Photograph and Padlet

I found an intriguing photograph that I thought might inspire some interesting thoughts and could provide different storylines of what is going on. I googled, “What’s going on in this picture?” and found the New York Times’ website, “What’s Going on in this Picture?” https://goo.gl/G21vdd.  I choose the photo by Danielle Zalcman, which shows some Native Americans on horseback facing a line of law enforcement officers.  We don’t really know what is going on; you have to wait until a week after the photo is posted to find out the details.

I created a Padlet and arranged for the students to bring their tablets to the library.  I projected this classic image to grab the students attention and explained perspective:

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Wikipedia: Brocken Inaglory

“Perspective: What are the points of view?” is one of the International Baccalaureate’s Key Concepts.  Then I projected this photograph:

Credit: Danielle Zalcman

We asked the students to describe what they thought was going on.  We reminded them to provide text evidence of their opinions and statements. This was also a good opportunity for the students to practice writing using their tablets, which is a component of the upcoming Georgia Milestones test.

Check out one classes’ responses to the photograph: https://goo.gl/dHrvxx

Screen shot of Padlet

What Is On the Minds of Our Children (Real World Comes into the Library)

You can see what is on the mind of one our Latino’s students:

Capture

This post is also from a Latino student but she focuses on the caring/protective aspect of police work:

Claudia

The students really enjoyed reading each others’ posts, too.  Very successful use of technology, a IB/PYP concept and writing practice!

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Read Across America Day 2017

I have organized, planned and executed 12 Read Across America Days at my school.  It’s always the most exhausting but rewarding day (and only 5 more to do before I retire-but who’s counting?).  Lots of walking (to and fro from the office, to classrooms to take photos); excited members of the community coming to read; random parents and volunteer readers showing up unannounced,etc.

Additional Student Involvement: Including Student Readers

This year we involved our students more in RAAD.  I asked some of the 4th grade students who had recently read to fellow students and staff for World Read Aloud Day if they would be interested in reading to Kindergarten and 1st grade classes.  I tried to match up a couple with younger siblings’ classrooms.  I gave them some choices on book titles and we went over how to read aloud to a group.

I will definitely keep this student involvement for next year’s RAAD, but I will spend more time training them and have them practice with me.  They enjoyed reading to the classes and I think it helped build their self-confidence.

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Fourth grade student reading to a kindergarten class.

Further Student Involvement: Official Escorts

At the suggestion of our International Baccalaureate: PYP Coordinator, we added student escorts.  These members of our school’s United Nations Club took the readers to their classroom, guided them to a second classroom if necessary, and escorted them to the front office to sign out of the building.  The students basked in this responsibility and it gave the readers (mostly community members) a chance to further interact with our students. I will definitely continue this next year as well.

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3rd Grade United Nations Club member escort and RAAD reader.

Read Across the World Day: A New Experience

One of our kindergarten teachers came to me a week or so ago with an idea proposed by a parent of one of her students.  The father of the student is in the Army currently stationed in Kuwait.  The mom thought maybe we could Skype and have the dad read a book to the class.  After discussions back and forth, the mom came up with the idea of dad recording himself reading.  She uploaded the video to YouTube and sent me the link so that I could project it on the big screen in the library.  She arranged to come to school and the class came to the library for a “special reader” who was going to share a story.

I had the teacher sitting in a chair with the book as dad (and 3 fellow Army members) read the book from his phone. It took the student a couple of seconds to realize what was going on and then he said, “That’s my dad!”. The teacher turned the pages while the soldiers read the book and the students were very engaged.  As the class was leaving the boy asked his mom if he could call his dad!

The soldiers did a very energetic reading and singing!

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Our long distance reader, a kindergarten student’s father reading from Kuwait via YouTube!

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The kindergarten class after they finished watching the video from the soldiers in Kuwait, with mom and teacher.

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We had 4 news reporters from our local Fox television stations read to the students.  One class of 5th graders asked the young reporter for her autograph!

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