Oct 3-7, 2016: Deborah Freedman, Folktales, WCCPBA and maps

Week 6:  Deborah Freedman author study (K), Folktales Around the World (1), Learners in Our World (2)

Kindergarten:

Week 2 of the Deborah Freedman author study. This will culminate with a whole-kindergarten Skype visit with Deborah at the end of the month!

At the end of the lesson, students can:  identify the role of an author; identify a variety of feelings displayed in response to scenarios* (*from SecondSteps); use shelf-markers to assist in selecting books

Our book conversation focused on feelings. Mouse and Frog display a wide range of feelings in the book and struggle with their friendship – something very familiar to K students. Talking through their authentic reactions to Frog taking over the story (and Mouse’s reaction) was a powerful connection to their classroom-based SEL learning.

At the end of the story, to prepare for our author Skype, students brainstormed with knee-neighbors to generate questions for Deborah Freedman. Please excuse my messy handwriting – this wasn’t best modeled work; rather, it was getting their ideas down ASAP so we could check out before dismissal!

This was also the first week K’s could choose books from anywhere in the library using a shelf-marker. After I led today’s modeling, there will be quick (1min) student-led modeling of this skill for the next 4-8 weeks.

1st grade:

Our LAST week of our Folktales Around the World study! Based on student feedback, we had to continue for one more week and include the continent of Europe. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a good trickster tale to share…so Margaret Read MacDonald came to the rescue with Too Many Fairies.

At the end of the lesson, students can: sing and locate the continents of the world; identify traits of folktales make predictions; name feelings when presented with physical clues*, use claim evidence reasoning, locate and label the folktale’s origin on the world carpet map

For this story, students had two focuses: identify the feelings of the old lady AND the fairies (and how behavior was impacted based on the feelings) and make a claim as to having the fairies come to their house. Overall, a good discussion spurred by a Celtic folktale…even for the students who didn’t want to read “a fairy book”.

2nd grade:

To conclude our unit on Learners Around Our World, I chose a 2017 WCCPBA nominee to bring the learning full-circle: Anne Sibley O’Brien’s I’m New Here.  With children from 3 different countries (Guatemala / S Korea / Somalia) moving to a school in America, this reinforced the idea that we are all learners while opening a conversation on empathy and compassion.

At the end of the lesson, students can: independently access a database; locate and label a country/continent on a world map; use and understand map features; use physical, verbal, and situational clues to determine what others are feeling*; identify ways to show compassion for others in response to scenarios*

During reading, we had whole-class discussion on how the students felt in their new schools. We also talked about the (seemingly unfair) expectations of one of the teachers.  After sharing, I modeled again how to access CultureGrams, and students were set to work locating and labeling one of the countries featured in the story on a world map (a “magic map”, as I call it, thanks to Quiver!).

However…this happened in one class:

It was a Make It Work moment…time to model flexibility and problem-solving! Thinking fast, we used a generic world country map to locate and label countries as a whole class (thankfully, Google still worked!). By modeling a growth mindset of “problems happen” and staying calm, we were successful and met our learning goals.  And next week, they’ll use CultureGrams one more time!

PS: CultureGrams fixed the problem in a matter of minutes after the tweet!

 

Sep 26-20, 2016: Deborah Freedman, Trickster Tales, Learners in Our World

Week 5:  Deborah Freedman author study (K), Trickster Tales (1), Learners in Our World (2)

Kindergarten:

The first week of a 2-3 week Deborah Freedman author study (one class will miss a week due to a teacher workday).  I shared Blue Chicken as our first story…which was perfect, as the first part of the lesson was on book care.

At the end of the lesson, students can: identify ways to keep books safe, identify the role of an author, show where the E section is in our library, identify the E on the spine label of a book.

My friend Tiger – who only speaks to librarians and allows me to model polite conversation and manners – was holding a package as we sat down. After asking him if we could open it, we found books that had been destroyed: chewed up, colored in, pooped on, ripped apart, dropped in water. This was a tactile way to show why caring for books is important. I stressed that accidents happen and that telling someone if a book gets hurt is the right thing to do…no matter what.  And that they won’t get in trouble for it.🙂

Blue Chicken – when blue paint is spilled everywhere – was a lovely story to follow. The chicken who spilled blue paint did her best to be a problem-solver and fix her mistake…which is what we expect our students to do.

1st grade:

Possibly the final week of our Folktales Around the World lesson…possibly, because my 1st graders called me out for not featuring a story from Europe!

At the end of the lesson, students can: sing and locate the continents of the world, explain what a trickster tale is, identify key traits of folktales (retellers, from 6 continents, stories passed down orally), make predictions.

Years ago, I performed Tops and Bottoms at a storytelling festival, and it remains a favorite to share with listeners of all ages. After the first trick Hare played on Bear, students started predicting what Hare could grow that would benefit him while giving Bear nothing good to eat. Many giggles, lots of opportunities for conversations, and fabulous illustrations!

2nd grade:

Week 2 of Learners Around the World! This week, we looked at schools in Colombia, South America with Monica Brown’s Waiting for the Biblioburro.

At the end of the lesson, students can: identify the 7 continents of the world and Equator, use a primary source to learn new information, access a database to learn about a country, compare schools and education in two different countries using personal knowledge and information gathered from a database and primary source.

This week, YouTube came to the rescue with these two video clips, showcasing the work of Librarian Luis and his two burros, Alfa and Beto, as he takes books to remote areas in Colombia.

Safeshare – https://safeshare.tv/x/ss57ed282af200f

Safeshare – https://safeshare.tv/x/ss57ed2896db50f

Other happenings in our library:

  • Fifth graders are enamored with the PokemonGO game in our library…so much so that they wanted to create game pieces, too. So, during recesses the past few weeks, I taught a handful how I created the images and QR codes. They came in on their own time (usually 10-15 minutes) and worked…and the first student PokemonGO to our library QR code was made this week!
  • A 2nd grader stopped by one morning, sharing how she downloaded the Quiver app at home and showed her parents how to use AR with the dot picture she made in library. She wondered if there was more she could do with the app.  Answer: YES! She came in during her recess and together we explored the Quiver website, downloading new coloring pages to augment using their free app. She had the best time coloring and making her work come to life. We wonder how the technology is made and works. Maybe a future Skype visit with Quiver?
  • Fifth graders+ lunchtime + Wednesday + picture books = Lunch & Listen in the Library! It’s holding steady with about 30-35 students in the room each week.
  •  

Happy reading and teaching, y’all!  🙂   arika

Library Lessons: Sep 19-23, 2016

Week 4. Or, 10% of the year. Audrey Wood, Trickster Tales, Learners Around the World.

Kindergarten:

Our final week with Audrey Wood featured The Little Mouse…Big Hungry Bear and The Birthday Queen (so chosen because it happened to be my birthday on class day!).

At the end of the lesson, students can: make text-to-self connections (related to celebrating a birthday), identify moods/feelings based on illustrations, show where the E section is, identify the E on the spine label of a book.

Before reading The Birthday Queen, students thought of items that makes birthday celebrations special. Writing these on the board, we looked for these during our story. Each time something appeared (say, balloons were in the story), students did a cheer (pat-pat-clap-clap-HOORAY!)  There was MUCH cheering!

During The Little Mouse…Big Hungry Bear, we examined illustrations to infer mood and feeling of Little Mouse. His expressions showed surprise, worry, fear, seriousness and more. A wonderful story to practice the challenging skill of inference!

1st grade:

More trickster tales! This week, from South America: Jabuti the Tortoise.

At the end of the lesson, students can: sing and locate the continents of the world, explain what a trickster tale is, identify key traits of folktales (retellers, from 6 continents, stories passed down orally), identify ways to act when jealous of another.

Much discussion was had by the classes on who the trickster actually was – Jabuti or Vulture. This led to more discussion on why Vulture acted the way he did (jealousy) and how we, as humans, can act when we are jealous of another – a  needed, appropriate topic for 7 year olds, to be sure. A critical thinking question that came up as I read: Why, when Vulture dropped Jabuti, was it important that the tortoise land on his back?

2nd grade:

Week 1 of Learners Around the World! This week, we looked at schools in Chad, Africa with James Rumford’s Rain School.

At the end of the lesson, students can: identify the 7 continents of the world and Equator, use a database to learn about a country, compare schools and education in two different countries using personal knowledge and information gathered from a database.

Rain School is always well-received by students, though always with a bit of disbelief. Do children really build their own school with mud? This question is what CultureGrams is made for – learning about people, land, and cultures in a kid-accessible format.  While I usually wouldn’t use this with 2nd graders (it’s designed for grades 3+), I make it accessible by reading the information out loud, breaking down any difficult vocabulary or concepts, and making connections to our story.

As a whole class, we located the continent of Africa, the country of Chad (which we had estimated on our own world carpet map), then used the sidebar to navigate to Schools in Chad. And at the end, when asked how we are the same as learners, it was easy to make the connections. Yes, there are many differences. But there are many similarities, too…and seeing how we are the same as humans, no matter where we live or how much money we have, is a huge part of this mini-unit.

Students did not write any information down, as we barely had enough time to complete the story, database access, and check out…but I hope for them to independently access and use CultureGrams later this year…maybe for Culture Week?

Happy teaching, y’all!🙂 arika

Library Lessons: Sep 12-16, 2016

Week, 3, y’all! Author studies, Folktales Around the World, Dot Day!

Our first full week of school. Bring. It. On.🙂

Kindergarten:

Week 2 in our 3 week Audrey Wood series featured King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub and Piggies.  At the end of the lesson, students can: show where the E section is, explain the job of an author.

A quick introduction of the spine label – and the E meaning “everybody” – was done.

One of my big thoughts for the year – genrefying the entire E section (and whole library a la Mr. Plemmons in GA) using genres found in our local public library (KCLS).

1st grade:

Week 3 of Folktales Around the World. This crew really enjoyed trickster tales with Anansi last week, so we shared another: Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock.

At the end of the lesson, students can: sing and locate the continents of the world, explain what a trickster tale is, identify key traits of folktales (retellers, from 6 continents, stories passed down orally).

2nd grade:

Dot Day 2016!

Having never celebrated International Dot Day, I wanted to do something exciting and memorable. Skype visits were booked way in advance (note to self: book EARLY…as soon as the specialist schedule is released!), but the 2nd graders didn’t know any better. They were so excited to listen, to create, and to augment reality.

At the end of the lesson, students can: identify a word that best describes who they want to be this year, appropriately manipulate AR technology, create and save an image using AR technology.

Resources used: Quiver, Dot Day, iPads (we had 10, but we could have done this with even 1 iOS/Android device)

Our 40 minute lessons looked a bit like this:

8 minutes: reading Peter Reynolds’s The Dot, discussing a word that best describes who Vashti wants to be

2 minutes: brainstorming words to describe who we want to be this year, sharing words (if willing)

5 minutes: whole-class modeling of AR tech, including quick explanation of augmented reality (according to M-W: an enhanced version of reality created by the use of technology to overlay digital information on an image of something being viewed through a device) and a self-created example

12 minutes: student work time to write, draw, and use AR tech. Work stations were set up at our tables (work mat, sharpie, crayon buckets). Students requested iPads pre-loaded with the free Quiver app when ready.

3 minutes: regrouping to discuss  new learning (there was some!), challenges (always), and share how to access the information at home.

10 minutes: check out

Students received the Quiver dot on a half-sheet of paper – less space meant less coloring, meaning less time to complete. At the end, they received a blank dot on a 1/4 sheet. Shrinking the dot did not impact the size or quality of the AR…but did allow me to save resources and give students blank templates to create with their families.

After completion, the dots were printed and displayed on the library windows in time for Back to School Night. They were a huge visual hit, causing many parents to stop and look twice!

Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar

Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar

The only thing worse than spending summer vacation in a dusty, remote New Mexico town is meeting grandfather Serge, who is struggling from dementia. As Carolina’s family prepares to sell Serge’s house, he tells her stories of a long-lost tree and how bees will save them.  Magical realism at its finest.  (Ages 10-14)

One of the titles shared at Build a Better Collection, part of PSESD’s 2016 T-L Summit.

It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas

It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas

Newto Newport Beach, Cindy (nee Zomorod) seeks to reinvent herself into a true California girl. But as an Iranian-American in the 1970’s, she’s faced with realistic racism which escalates during the Iranian Hostage Crisis.  A historical, hysterical coming-of-age story.   (Ages 10+)

One of the titles shared at Build a Better Collection, part of PSESD’s 2016 T-L Summit.

Ms. Bixby’s Last Day by John David Anderson

Ms. Bixby’s Last Day  by John David Anderson

Three boys – Topher, Steve, and Brand – narrate this touching story of an unforgettable teacher. Ms. Bixby is dying of cancer, and her expected last day didn’t happen as planned…leading the boys to draw on her lessons and their memories to go on an epic journey (and it is epic) in the hopes of sharing one final moment with her.  (Ages 9-12)

One of the titles shared at Build a Better Collection, part of PSESD’s 2016 T-L Summit.