Happy New Year, readers! I hope you all had a wonderful and relaxing break. My break was long and full of books, gifts, family, and friends…it was perfect.
We are now back in the swing of things. Teachers went back to work on Monday (1/6) and our students came back on Wednesday (1/8). I have to tell you that I LOVED this. It was so nice to be able to kind of sneak back into the normal routine instead of running right into it. With that said, it was a short week. Here’s what we did:
A new group of 5th graders started Media Technology on Wednesday. We created “About Me” Tagexdos that they saved as JPEGS.
Kindergarten students are reading books by Jan Brett in their classrooms. For the 3 Kindergarten classes that I saw this week, I read Annie and the Wild Animals and they rotated through centers I had set up. I had a computer center (color a Jan Brett picture); a book center (basket of Jan Brett books); and a matching center (we printed and laminated cards from Brett’s website).
I popped in to the Computer Lab to remind 3rd and 4th graders about writing reviews for the South Carolina Children’s Book Award program.
I spoke with a 5th grade class who are helping Kindergarten students with technology. This is such a great thing that one of our teachers is doing. Her students are “Tech Buddies” for our Kindergarten students. This means that once a month, they go to the Computer Lab with Kindergarten and they show them how to do something like use a mouse, right click, use certain websites, etc. It is awesome and I can see how it is really working. Kindergarten students are going to be learning about winter animals and their teachers wanted them to know how to explore PebbleGo (a GREAT, GREAT, GREAT resource that I have available to teachers and students through my FollettShelf). Well, before the 5th graders could show Kindergarten how to use it, they had to know how to use it. So, I did a quick mini-lesson for them this week.
I also did a quick research investigation with a 3rd grade class. As part of their Time for Kids reading this week, they chose an ocean animal they wanted to know more about (I guess there was an ocean article in the news this week?). They came to the library and rotated through some centers I had set up. There was an encyclopedia center; an iPad center (that was set to go to our Symbaloo page. I showed them how they could use DISCUS to do their research); and a Non-Fiction/Informational Text center. They had about an hour, in total, to work…I thought it was perfect. It was a one and done kind of research (so, like…it was kind of real? In my real life I never spend more than an hour “researching” something I’m interested in…dog breeds, a recipe, a place I’m going to….I will find my answer and then I’m done). We gave them about 30 minutes to dig in and “research” cool facts about their animal. After about 30 minutes, their teacher told them to stop and write a paragraph about what they had learned. Then, they went back to the classroom and shared their information. That was it. Sure, we’ll do something later in the year that will take more time and more research and more visits to the library and Computer Lab, but this was an excellent first step into research. Loved it!
I started announcing our upcoming author visit this week to students as they came in for checkout. I am so excited that Matthew Holm will be coming to our school on March 25. We put up our first display this week. A Babymouse tree! Sure, Christmas is over, but you can have a tree all year round. I’ll take a picture of the tree and post it next week. My intention is to change the display once a month until his visit. As each class came in, I pointed out the display, told them he was coming, and gave each teacher a copy of one of his books. We are so excited!
Finally, I sent out my January newsletter.
How about you? How was your first week back?