Saturday, October 1, 2011

Colors, Classic Characters, and Digital Sticky Notes

Week 6

PreK 3: Guiding Question - What colors do we know?

Spot's Big Book of Colors, Shapes, and Numbers, by Eric Hill

Color Farm, by Lois Ehlert 

PreK 3 students are learning about colors in their classrooms. We looked at two fun color books this week and worked on library routines.

Both of these make good interactive read-alouds. For Spot we called out objects that we recognize. For Color Farm we made barnyard noises and identified the colors that create the animal shapes.

PreK 4: Guiding Question - Why is it important to be ourselves?

Elmer, by David McKee

Our PreK 4 students are also learning about colors. We read about the colorful elephant, Elmer, whose bright exterior mirrors his fun personality. He always comes up with fun ideas for the others in his herd. But he feels unhappy about sticking out among the group, so he tries to cover his colors with grey. But when he returns to the herd and realizes he's appreciated for his humor and for being him, he's happy to be washed by a rain cloud back to his own colorful self. After this story, we talk about being unique and special and about how it's good to be who we are.

Thanks to some printables from SparkleBox, I used color pictures on a magnetic board to support the read-aloud of the story. We also practiced our fine motor skills by coloring our own "Elmers." These turned out so well, we'll put them on display next week!

Kindergarten: Guiding Question - Who are Henry and Mudge and how did they meet?

Henry and Mudge: The First Book, by Cynthia Rylant

As we read different series books from the I-Can-Read section, we're talking about what makes a book part of a series and how important it is to try to read the first book in the series. 

This week, we met Henry and Mudge and learned that Henry got Mudge because he had no brothers and sisters and no playmates on his street. His parents agreed to get him a dog and from then on the two were almost inseparable. But one dreadful day, Mudge wanders off on his own, gets lost, and the two realize they should never be apart. It's a big relief to see them together again by the end of the story.

Grade 1: Guiding Question - How do we use the alphabet in the library?

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin Jr.

This familiar story/song was fun for grade 1 students to read again as we talk about using the alphabet in the library. We have a new flannel version to use as we tell the story, too. (Thank you #flannelfriday on Pinterest for the inspiration.)

Afterwards we challenged ourselves to sing the ABC song to the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" using one letter for each note. It works but it's hard!

To finish up, we lined up alphabetically by last name and stood along the I-Can-Read shelf. Each child found his or her last name's letter section and chose a book to take home from there. Loved the idea of matching students' last names to sections of our library. Thanks @libraryjet for posting that idea last week!

Grade 2: Guiding Question - What are personal narratives? How are older people important in our lives?

Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge, by Mem Fox

A little boy with four names befriends an old lady at an nursing home.  When he learns that she has lost her memory, he tries to help her get it back by bringing her different objects. The connection between the child and the elderly woman is so lovely in this story. Afterward, we talk about the older people in our lives and how important they are.

The Two of Them, by Aliki

This tear-jerker tells the story of a girl and her grandfather and their time together. We know by the end that their days of building sand castles, tubing down river, and picking apples in his orchard will be cherished memories for the girl for years to come. Soft colored pencil drawings add to the tender tone of this classic.

Grade 3: Guiding Questions - How can we show our favorite places in the library? In class project: How can we organize notes for research? 

We completed our library maps this week, adding personal touches to show our favorite sections to find books and cozy up to read.

Sample corkboard
In class, two sections are starting a "Structures of Life" project in which students research a different insect and show their understanding of the function of its various components.

They learned about nonfiction text features with their teacher, so they were able to find facts from their books using the table of contents and index and were able to break down the text using headings, bold words, and captions.

They took notes on digital sticky notes using We talked about how we can organize our information by color and location after we gather all of our facts. Students can drag notes around the cork board and choose different colors of notes for categories of facts.

We'll add digital photos to the notes as well, so when it's time to make a keynote presentation, all of our information will be handy.

Grades 4 & 5: Guiding Question - What can we do with our library accounts?

We continued with creating accounts in the library catalog this week and of course, checking out lots of books. Check out our new digital display: Cool Tween Reads!

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