Penguins, BYOD, and Mom

After a little break, I am back to reading South Carolina Picture Book Award nominees with Kindergarten – 2nd grade! This week, we read About Penguins by Sill. Before reading, we reviewed the difference between Fiction and NonFiction and I asked the kiddos to listen for something new to them about penguins (About Penguins is a wonderful NonFiction book for younger readers). I read the book and after the reading, each student went up to the SMARTBoard to finish one of these sentences: Penguins can… / Penguins are…/ Penguins have…(they did this AFTER a quick movement break of pretending to be a bunch of penguins hopping, waddling, or sliding around the room). After sharing what we know, there was really only enough time for checkout. Next week, we’ll read Under the Snow because it seems like a natural tie-in with penguin stuff.

This was the last week for this group of Media Technology 5th graders. They showed off games and movies they’ve made and on Wednesday, we had a “Bring Your Own Device Day,” during which they brought in their favorite device (not one of which was an e-reader like a Nook or Kindle) and talked about what they use it for and showed off any of their favorite apps or games. This experience was interesting to me for a few reasons. While it was fun and YES, kids are using and loving mobile devices, they are clearly ONLY using them for fun. At least, that’s the case with this group of 23 kids. We don’t use mobile devices much (yet) in the classroom at my school, but I know that’s the current push in education. I might do an entire blog post about this sometime, but everytime I see an elementary aged kid with a device, they are playing on it – and that’s all they want to do. Plus, it was like instant lack of attention the moment they had the device in their hand. They couldn’t even really listen to others talk about what they had brought because they were so focused on their own device, they totally zoned out.

5th grade Book Club met on Thursday morning. We are trying something new this year – they are reading different books (South Carolina Children’s Book Award Nominees) and breaking up into small groups, depending on the book they are reading. At each table, I had generic questions for them to answer about their book. After talking about the book, they each wrote a review of the book. The trick was the review had to be 140 characters or less – like a “tweet.” AFTER the fact, I found a pretty cool SMARTboard template for a Twitter page they could have done…next time 🙂

And, finally, a mom update: Mom went into the hospital on Monday to get her right lung drained. This is a procedure she has had done in the past and it usually makes her feel better very soon after it is done. However, this time, her right lung will not re-inflate fully. After a few days in the hospital, her doctor decided that it really isn’t going to re-inflate and it is best to go home. She went home on Friday and is now on hospice care. That is scary and sad, but I like to find the positives. First, she really seems to be her regular self right now. Sure, it is hard for her to get around, and yes, we realize that you need your lungs to work and her lungs don’t work. BUT, her personality is the same and she is lucid and she looks good – we are thankful for that. I’m glad that my dad will have help. He has been her 24/7 caretaker since August and he needs a break too. I’m glad that we still have some time. Many people aren’t lucky enough to have a chance to say good bye. We have that chance. We are all spending as much time together as possible. I am still going to work and exercising. Lots of people are asking me why. If I don’t do those things, I am not going to be any help to my dad. Plus, they need their space and time together too. I am going there everyday…please keep my family in your thoughts.

VBF

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About Valerie Byrd Fort

I live in South Carolina. I am passionate about libraries, books, and reading. I am also a mom. This is my blog about those things.
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