Kindergarten: Week 4 in the Arthur Howard author / illustrator study. We began with 2 new rhymes in our weekly Rhyme Time. Have I mentioned Rhyme Time? Hmm. Well…Rhyme Time is the warm-up activity I do to get the K’s ready for lesson. I have a chart of rhymes, and the students and I chant 2-4 rhymes each week. I will teach the rhymes one week, then we’ll repeat them for the next 6 weeks or until they learn them. The students get ready with “rhyme time fingers” (wiggling spirit fingers) and pat the beat of the rhyme on their legs as we chant. I tell the students that good rhymers become great readers, which is true (check here, here, and here). I use a mix of basic rhymes – Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Hickory Dickory Dock, Hey Diddle Diddle – as well as more esoteric yet fun rhymes – Dickery Dickery Dare, Horsie Horsie Don’t You Stop, To Market To Market. Many weeks, I’ll ask the students to do a quick-rhyme: “In Hickory Dickory, the word ‘dock’ rhymes with…”. At that point, any word that fits the bill is correct: clock, rock, stock, smock, tock, mock… This has proven to be a successful way to start a K lesson. Depending on the class dynamics, I usually use rhymes up until the halfway point of the year.
Back to the lesson. Goals: reconnect the 600’s = pets, introduce the I Can Read (beginner reader) section of the library, identify the job of an author / illustrator, identify the information on the spine label. I chose Mr. Putter and Tabby Walk the Dog as it fit with most of the goals: it’s from the I Can Read section, it’s illustrated by Arthur Howard, and it features a pet cat and dog. There are some great opportunities for questions during this story. This week the 40 minutes flew by!
2nd grade: 2014 WCCPBA Nominee The Monster’s Monster by Patrick McDonnell. Goals: connect to the 000’s (monsters) in nonfiction, opinions/facts about Monster prior to/after reading.
Don’t you just love the list of words to describe Monster based on the cover illustration? And the 2nd list is populated with words from our school’s Virtues curriculum. We had a brief – yet powerful – talk about not judging others based on appearances. Who knew a simple book about monsters could foster that big discussion?
3rd grade: Destiny, part 3. Goals: answer the questions from last week’s stoplight assessment, review weeks 1&2, introduce friending, define purpose of friending, discuss cyberbullying. Wow – all that in 40 minutes. No sweat.
Making friends in Destiny Quest is, without a doubt, the most popular feature that students can access. As such, I must be clear about the purpose of having friends: to easily make book recommendations to a large group of people. Allowing 3rd graders this power has its pros and cons. Pros: they make lovely recommendations to their friends – including me. (Side note: all students must friend me first.) Cons: cyberbullying. Simply put, these students aren’t dumb. They know if someone is avoiding them in Destiny. They know if someone “defriends” them. They know if a group friends them just to be funny. And I know it, too. These behaviors are bullying using an Internet-based tool – it is cyberbullying. I am very up-front with the students regarding this topic, and I explain that under no circumstances is it acceptable. Get caught cyberbullying using the library catalog and the student forfeits the login privilege. Students have this week and next week to “friend” classmates at school. After that, the catalog may only be used to manage their account, write reviews, make recommendations, and place holds. Next week: your online footprint and an assessment of student reviews in Destiny.
No formal booktalks this week, but I used Destiny to batch-recommend this book to all my student friends. I wonder how many holds it’ll have by next week?!