Week 13

Week 13 was a short (but busy) week for me. We were off on Monday for Veteran’s Day and I took personal days on Wednesday and Thursday. So, here’s what happened the other two days! 🙂

A few of our 2nd grade classes are researching turkeys. I went to the 2nd grade classrooms and showed each of them how to find information using Animal Kingdom and Kids InfoBits on DISCUS. Students used iPads to access DISCUS to find their information.

For the past few weeks, 5th graders have been researching countries and learning about immigration. On Friday, we had an immigration simulation and it was SO cool. I got the idea from my Smart Lady friend, Betsy Long. She was so generous and shared everything her school does for their simulation, so it was pretty easy to set up. We started the first week in November with our research. Each student was assigned a country (most of our students got a place somewhere in Europe, but not everyone…some were from Africa, Asia, South America, etc.). They had to research facts about that country like what is their currency, government, and economy. They also learned about why someone in the early 1900s would have left that country. On Friday, they pretended to be someone leaving that country and coming to America. Before our simulation, they made passports and packed their “bags.” We called our simulation Immigration Station, because it wasn’t technically Ellis Island, even though I could not resist dressing up as the Statue of Liberty. Some of our people would not have come to America through Ellis Island, but we made it work. On Friday, kids came to school dressed up as someone from their country. They came to the Learning Commons/Immigration Station in a boat made of rope (that kind of helped them understand how crowded the boat would have been). I was standing in the commons area of our school and I read part of the poem that is on the Statue of Liberty before they entered. In the Learning Commons, there were 4 Stations – Medical, Baggage, Interview, and Passport Review. We had parent volunteers at each station who examined each student and stamped their passport.  At the end, a handful of students were “deported” for one reason or another and then they all went back to their classrooms to present to their class about their country. It was a great experience and we will totally tweak it to do again next year.

Our Book Fair is this coming week (November 18 – 22), so my Kindergarten classes watched the Scholastic Book Fair Author Preview video and read Book Fair Day! by Plourde to get ready.

Speaking of Book Fair…


We have been doing a number of things the past few weeks to get our school ready for Book Fair. About a month ago, I hung up posters throughout the school and started sending emails to our teachers, asking them to put Book Fair info in their classroom newsletters. We send home a school newsletter once a month and the information was in there, as well as in my Learning Commons Newsletter. I created an “event” invite on Facebook and have been sharing that on my school Facebook pages. Also, as each 1st – 5th grade class came to the library for checkout this week, we reminded them that book fair was coming up. Finally, we sent home a flyer with everyone about all of the stuff they need to know about Book Fair (Family Night, One for Books, sales tax, etc.). On Friday, my fantastic Book Fair representative and my super duper media assistant and I set up our Book Fair and hosted the Teacher Preview. At this year’s Teacher Preview, we had Steve Black from Scholastic come and share books that were on the fair. This is the first time I’ve done something like that for my preview, and I think it was a success! The theme for this year’s fair is Reading Oasis and it is kind of like an Egypt theme with mummies and pyramids. For snacks, I had mummy pops and chocolate gold coins from Oriental Trading, along with pita chips and hummus. I have created a Reading Oasis playlist on Spotify, so that was playing while teachers were looking around. There are some great books on this year’s fair and I am excited to start selling!

Whew! All in all, it was a great week!


PS – Those personal days? I took them to go see Justin Timberlake (I don’t totally agree with this review of the show…I thought it was all around fantastic, but this is the show I was at). We had FRONT ROW seats and it was just amazing.


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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3 Responses to Week 13

  1. Sarah says:

    I am a LMS in Arkansas… I am in a middle school with 5-7 grades. Our 6th graders learn about immigrants… Would you be willing to share some documents and examples from each station? Please email me if so!
    Sarah Jewell

  2. Pingback: 2014 – 2015 Week 13 | Library Goddess

  3. Pingback: 2014 – 2015 Week 16 | Library Goddess

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