Monday, September 16, 2013

Making Our Mark

This was my first Dot Day.  The students were excited to share ideas about how they could "make a mark" and express themselves creatively.  The art teacher and I collaborated for Dot Day activities. Next year, I hope the PE teacher, music teacher, and guidance counselor will join us.   
Certificate Outside the Art Room

In art, students experimented with primary and secondary colors, negative space, and teamwork.  Their artwork is displayed all around the school.  Students were able to tell me about some of the techniques they used during art. The art teacher read Ish to some of her classes.  One student was able to make a connection about the boy at the end of The Dot.  Since I haven't read Ish, I was glad that she had the opportunity to share her observation.

Negative Space

In the media center, students listened to the story, The Dot and Press Here.  With the help of the app colAR Mix 3D, students colored a dot and watched it spin and bounce around.  Two classes made word clouds, listing ways they can make a mark.  It really clicked with one class when I shared the display board of the Eagle Scout's Project. One student who has been attending our school for five years finally realized the change that took place this summer. He wants to become a Boy Scout so he can make improvements around the school.  One class used Wixie to make their own version of the book, Press Here.  The students had to use creative thinking to make the dots interactive for the reader. 

I love this border.

I am looking forward to celebrating International Dot Day in 2014. Let's Make a Mark every day.

Friday, September 13, 2013

I See You Checking Me Out

The first few weeks of school have been a little hectic.  Not only did I start another semester of grad school, I had to do lesson plans, set up AR, get student numbers ready, distribute Chromebooks and Nooks, set the timers for Chromebooks and Nooks, and get the library ready for students and visitors.  I'm sure that I left out something. 
The PAWSibilities are Endless

I actually enjoyed getting the library ready.  Our school hosted a PBIS meeting the second week of school.  One of the first bulletin boards that I finished was my PBIS board. The Bulldog was cut with the School Spirit Cricut cartridge.  The letters and scalloped border were cut with the Schoolbook Plantin cartridge.  You can't see it in this picture, but I added texture to the wide border with an embossing folder on the Cuttlebug.  The paws were cut with our Ellison Cutter.  It is time to replace the cutter.  The pads are worn, and we can't find new pads.

Putting speech bubbles on some of the books proved to be a "selling" feature.  I am trying to get the students to see that we have other books besides Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Captain Underpants, Clifford, and Dr. Seuss. You know that feeling when a student leaves empty handed because there are no more copies of the series he or she has become "comfortable" with.  I am thrilled that the students are excited about reading the latest antics of "Pigeon", "Pete", Greg Heffley, and Skippyjon Jones, but I really want them to step outside their comfort zone.
I See You Checking Me Out
This is the Place for Characters
I know!  Why did I feature these characters on a bulletin board if I want the students to check out other books?  For one, I had no idea that the students missed their old friends so much.  I thought, okay, they are older, so their tastes have changed.  NOT!  Third graders are checking out the same "Pigeon" books that they checked out in second grade.  I even directed them to the new Mo Willems books that were added this summer. Another reason is that it will be easier to make connections when we talk about story elements.  I plan to do another bulletin board nearby, titled, Reading Takes Us Places or Oh! The Places You'll Go, for setting.  The main reason, I love these characters.  When I saw Primary Possibilities' door decor on Pinterest, I had to use the idea.
Word Clouds replaced the Dewey Decimal Posters in the nonfiction section.  I had fun searching for props for this section of the media center.  Some came from my past life as a first grade teacher.  Others were found while I was cleaning and organizing the media center, this summer.  A few of the dinosaurs just returned to their former residency.  I was surprised when I told a student that the book she was looking for, was on the shelf below the microscope, and she said, "What is a microscope?"  I am so glad that we are setting up a science lab in an empty classroom.

I am having a difficult time with the fiction section.  I will add genre posters. I plan to get the students to help make the genre posters.  Other than the speech bubbles on the books, I can't find my Mojo for this area.  Maybe a book club or classroom book/author study group could help me with the fiction area.

The art teacher and I are collaborating for International Dot Day.  I will post about our activities soon. Here is one the most fun activities that we did during library lessons.  You can download the app and coloring sheet at colAR app.  It's free.  It works on iPads, iPhones, and Droids.  I could not get it to work on the iPod.