Saturday, November 16, 2013

Week of Nov 11

Kindergarten- Today kinders heard How I Became a Pirate, authored by Melinda Long and illustrated by David Shannon.  We talked about author jobs and illustrator jobs, and how in some books, David Shannon does both jobs.  We looked at a poster I have hanging of No David, so they could compare the pictures from the books and decide if they thought they were similar.  Then, students who were showing good whole body listening got to choose a card from a deck and we answered comprehension questions from the book together. 

Extra Kinder- In keeping with our Pirate Theme, I read Shiver Me Letters, by June Sobel.  Students had so much fun trying to find the hidden letters on each of the pages, and also in letting me know what the next letter would be!  Then each student drew a big foam letter of the alphabet from a bag and we made a circle in ABC order and sang the ABC’s. 

First Grade- We changed out routine a little this week! Instead of hearing the story first, we went to the tables first.  I displayed (using the document camera and the Epson interactive board) the cover of the book that I would be reading- Me First! by Helen Lester and Lynn Munsinger.  Students were asked to predict what the story would be about in a picture.  When they were done, we moved to the story area, they shared their predictions and we read the story.  Students cracked up when they realized the sandwich was really a sand-witch!  It is also a really great lesson about how always needing to be first, to the point of pushing and shoving, is being a bucket- dipper.

Second Grade- I read one of the Anansi stories by Eric Kimmel and Janet Stevens, Anansi and the Talking Melon.  His stories are so funny and the illustrations are perfect!  After, the students went up to the tables and sequenced six events from the story, working in small teams of three and four.

Extra Second Grade- Students heard another Anansi story from the same author/illustrator team- Anansi Goes Fishing.  After, we did a large group Venn diagram comparing and contrasting the two Anansi stories.  I took the opportunity to introduce the term “trickster tale” to them.

Third Grade- I read Thank You, Sarah Hale, by Laurie Halse Anderson.  For older students, I have been trying to focus on non-fiction this month, and this book is a funny, engaging true story of how “Thanksgiving was saved!”  I love the way it is written!  Students then worked on completing their exploration of the non-fiction part of the library, finding one book from each of the 10 Dewey areas, and writing the title and call number.  I am using a modified version of Assessment 3.1, from the Empire State Fluency Continuum. 

Extra Third Grade- I have starting seeing a new group of third graders on the “extra” day, and the last group had so much fun with the colAR app, that I decided to do it again.  I read I am Here, and The Dot, both by Peter Reynolds.  The first is a good book to encourage bucket filling, and the second is what International Dot Day is based on- and encourages creativity.  After we read, students colored their page to get ready for the app.  They focused on creating products that were an I Read theme.  Next week, I will show them the app.

Fourth Grade- Last week students heard the somewhat lengthy non-fcition book, Giving Thanks: the 1621 Harvest, by Kate Waters.  This week, we explored an electronic version from Plimouth Plantation, a “living history museum” with an excellent interactive website.  Students became historians and learned about some myths surrounding the First Thanksgiving, as well as being introduced to the idea of what a primary document is. 

Second Fourth grade- (done by a sub while I was at a Curriculum Pull Out day)- Read Thank You, Sarah Hale (non-fiction), by Laurie Halse Anderson, and explored an online resource called FactMonster.  This website in an online almanac, dictionary, encyclopedia, thesaraus and homework helper all rolled into one!  Students were asked to use keyword searches to find the answer to five questions.

Fifth Grade- Students heard How Many Days to America?  This is a Thanksgiving story  by Eve Bunting.  Then students completed their online encyclopedia research of Veterans Day, using Grolier, a paid for database our district provides.  If students finished early, I encouraged them to explore Wonderopolis, a website/app/widget that has a new topic of the day everyday. 

Sixth Grade- Students have begun exploring ancient civilizations in class, so I read excerpts from Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, by Lynn Curlee, focusing on the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.  Then students explored a new paid-for database called TrueFlix.  I wanted students to know about this resource, and how to best use it (for this project and others coming up), but I also used this as an opportunity to review non-fiction terminology such as caption, glossary, Table of Contents, etc.

Extra Sixth Grade- This was the first week of a new quarter, and I will be going over internet safety on these extra days for sixth.  New York State passed a law last year, stating that students must be taught inter-net safety.  In our district, this was taken on by the librarians, and we adopted the Common Sense Media curriculum.  To kick things off, students explored what Digital Life means, and what theirs is like.  They created a simile comparing their digital life and posted them as comments on my blog.  See their fantastic responses here:,40093