Week SEVEN! Can it be?! (Answer: Yes. Yes, it can.)
This was the week that Book BINGO was introduced!
And, Book BINGO!
Cheers, y’all! –arika
Week 9! All should be fine…but this is real life. See 3rd grade!
We kicked off our BEARS unit with two of my favorites that I brought to London from the USA. The good: the stories were well received. The bad: they need more movement, and the riddles weren’t the best for this group. Hmm… Reflection and revision is needed.
The final week in our Peter Brown author study! Being that it was the week before Halloween, we read the 2017 release Creepy Pair of Underwear. The goal? To compare/contrast it with Creepy Carrots using a Venn Diagram. Result? Success, even though they’d never used a Venn Diagram before!
Week 3 of our Haiku Animals unit. This week: accessing PebbleGo and writing 3 bullet-point notes on a chosen animal. And citation, in limited form. Students had a mostly-complete citation on their note-taking form, and they had to discern the part missing…then fill in the blank. It was a developmentally appropriate way to introduce citing sources.
The 2nd graders are across the board in their ability to read/write/note-take. This was a surprisingly successful lesson which had everyone engaged and focused. Next week: videos with ChatterPix Kids!
Okay. So, these were the best laid plans. Students were going to use Destiny and write reviews using SWBST. BUT. Destiny was being a bear (not its fault…something deeper). Passwords and usernames were changing overnight, and I didn’t know why. When 25% of the class can’t log in, it doesn’t matter how many students there are – the lesson still goes to pot in under 30 seconds. Suffice to say, of my two 3rd grade classes, we only attempted logging in with one. The 2nd did this lesson orally.
You know those moments when a one-off lesson turns into something more? That’s what happened here. Last week, students gave feedback and input regarding our library home page in Destiny. Little did we realize that the SINGLE link every student chose as a “good” link to keep was this one: Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children
Click the link. What do you notice? As we shared in class, the list was created by the NEA, which is trustworthy organization. However…when was it published? Not one child noticed this little detail: the list was 18 years old! This was the perfect way to teach copyright and checking to see when a website was created. I absolutely love when lessons like this create themselves!
This is going to lead into our next unit: FAKE NEWS, using Laurie Thompson & Ammi-Joan Paquette’s Two Truths and a Lie, where looking at a site’s author is a key skill.
Cheers, y’all! –arika
Week 2 of the BEARS unit.
Two stories, one set of riddles, a giant bear walk around the library…and I should have had more. Note to self: 40 minutes with 4 year olds requires a LOT of activities, especially when they take less than 5 minutes to select books and check out!
Week 1 of a new author study with MAC BARNETT. Mac is one of my favorite
Each week in this study, I’ll be teaching how to read a spine label on a book. With LEO, the 2 questions listed are WRONG! (I saved the wrong slide…oops!). Students reacted to what they wondered about the story.
Week 4 in our Haiku Animals study. Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3 are here. (note: this would be a 3 week unit if students are already familiar with PebbleGo. Mine were not.)
This week, students used their notes to share information learned. They created short videos using ChatterPix.
Here were the directions, made using ChatterPix:
And here was a sample video I made using the notes I took during one of the classes:
At the end of the lesson, students uploaded their videos to Seesaw. Want to know more about how I use Seesaw in the library? INFO TO COME!
Goal: students will brainstorm wonder questions following a reading of Katherine Applegate’s Ivan: the remarkably true story of a shopping mall gorilla.
Why are we doing this? Well, Destiny has been a beast, and not all students are able to access it at this point (I’m working on discovering WHY this is). Until Destiny allows all students equal, successful access, we are taking a break. A mini-unit on nonfiction and research is just what the librarian ordered!
Next week, we’ll do a group research lesson on identifying trustworthy websites and using keywords as we search online for answers to the questions.
Week 1 of a 5 week unit on FAKE NEWS!
This week, prior knowledge of fake news kicked off our discussion. Students knew A LOT and kept bringing up certain US-based examples – even in an international school! We played a short game of “two truths and a lie” to get them prepared for the 3 stories we read in Ammi-Joan Paquette & Laurie Ann Thompson’s book, as most had never heard of it. Interestingly, two students were able to correctly identify my LIE using nothing but reasoning. Hint: it involves knowledge of history!
As a class, I read aloud Chapter 5 from Two Truths and a Lie. Recognizing the challenge of reading a book like this aloud, I scanned the pages into a PPT so that children could read along (another idea: use a doc camera…I don’t have one, so scanning worked). This lesson allowed discussion on how nonfiction books are read (one can skip and choose) and text features in nonfiction (captions, bold words, photographs, etc). We talked about keywords to search, which we’ll be doing next week.
Cheers, y’all! –arika
Week 8. It’s great! Routines are mostly set. Expectations, too. It was a short week (2 days of conferences AND book fair).
NO PreK / K / Grade 1…due to conference days.
Week 1 in a research unit, designed to fuse PebbleGo, note-taking, citation, and video creation with haiku poetry. And while this book was a bit young for the 2nd graders, it worked really well with Claim-Evidence-Reasoning…which was the goal of today’s lesson. Next week: RESEARCH with our newest database, PebbleGo!
So, the Destiny home screen is in need of an update. When a handful of students per class don’t realize they’re on the wrong catalog because most of the 11 in our school group look identical, there is an issue. Step 1: survey the students to see what they think of the current set-up. They are the end-user, so their voice and opinions are the most valuable! Using their iPads (we are 1:1), they could work independently or with a small group to answer 3 questions: what is GOOD, what SHOULD be here, how should it LOOK? Following the discussion, three options for a Destiny home page were shared: one from Van Meter in Iowa (thanks Shannon McClintock Miller), one from my former school (thanks, Nanette!), and our current screen (a list of links). With little fanfare but much enthusiasm, they were most impressed with a home screen setup like at Van Meter. Next: a redesign using Symbaloo!
Cheers, y’all! –arika
As always, we begin with the Hello Song. This week, the bear unit included a bear walk around the library, with Teacher Bear and Student Bears. Why? More movement! More interaction! More BEARS! And what a coincidence that they’ve started bear walks in PE!
For this week, there was a lot of action. After reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, we acted out the story with these fantastic (free) printable cards. I handed each student an animal card (duplicate if needed), then they came up to the front when their animal was read in the story. In We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, we moved our hands (and bodies!) all around to the motions of the story. It was a wiggle-free, yet movement-filled, class!
More Mac? Yes, please! Connecting Mac Barnett’s Count the Monkeys with our newest database, PebbleGo, was a seamless lesson. Students loved the interactive story (more than the pre-k students a few weeks ago) and were captivated by the content and features in PebbleGo. Can’t wait to have them explore whales with Mac’s Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem next week!
With students studying Homes Around the World in their Social Studies curriculum, it was time to introduce the Learners Around the World unit. This will incorporate stories, map skills, databases, research, and – if we’re lucky – coding and creating media. This week’s database: CultureGrams. It’s a bit high for the average reader in the room, yet it has sections for “life as a kid” and “school”…so I read it aloud and we make it work.
With Destiny being a royal pain in the rear (not it’s issue…a school-wide issue resulting in usernames/passwords changing at random), I ditched Destiny for a research-fueled/nonfiction lesson. Katherine Applegate’s Ivan: the remarkable true story of the shopping mall gorilla captivated the students last week. This week, I led the students on a research journey. Focus areas included keywords, reading web summaries, and looking at the source of information (Pinterest website vs Zoo Atlanta?). A pretty good lesson – and one that was my drop-in evaluation.
This was busy, y’all. Following last week’s reading, students were ready to research. Armed with their iPads, they set off after a review of the 3 “articles” and a discussion of keyword and search strategies. I created my own handout – asking students to write keywords for each story, locate websites that are helpful (or not!), and decide if the story was TRUTH or LIE. More resources are found on the publisher’s page.
Cheers, y’all! –arika
What: Book BINGO – a BINGO board devoted to reading different types of books.
When: Starting NOW. Or, in a school year, some time in October. This allows everyone time to settle in.
Where: Reading can happen ANYWHERE – at home, on the bus, in the car, on a plane, in class, in library.
How: With books. The books can be from home, from school, from your friends or teacher, from a bookstore or library. The books can be in English or another language that you read. The books can be read out loud to you or as an audiobook or as an e-book.
Why: Because the best way to get better at reading is by READING. And readers need to read a wider variety of books – not just chapter books, but also nonfiction, biographies, folklore, poetry, and different genres. This year, my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders will get to do Book BINGO.
The commonly asked questions:
But are there rewards?: Yes. Rewards are for everyone who completes a column. Students will be called and recognized at the monthly school assembly. (Side note: public recognition in front of one’s peers is a powerful reward)
Can I get more than one reward?: Yes. Read all 6 columns, get recognized SIX times.
Are there blackout rewards?: Likely so. (But don’t ask what they are…I don’t know yet!)
Where are the BINGO cards to download?: HERE: book-bingo-pdf They’re PDF’s and can’t be edited. If you want the original Publisher file, leave a comment with your email.
This is FREE?: Yes. I created these templates and made them available for free. 🙂
Are you doing Book BINGO too, Ms. Arika?: Yes. I’ll be doing Book BINGO along with my students, posting my reads in the hallway of the school.
Why are there are 3 versions of the BINGO board?: One version is for each grade. The smallest board (with 24 squares) is for grade 2, then 30 squares for grade 3, and 36 squares for grade 4.
How long does Book BINGO last?: We are reading until June…so all year long.
How do you copy them?: Front to back. I did the front side first, then loaded the paper back into the copier and did the back side. This kept the margin alignment on point.
And, possibly the biggest question: Does one book count for only one square?: That’s right. One book per square. You can’t use Harry Potter for fantasy AND first in a series AND book over 200 pages AND book by a British author. One book, one square…and lots of reading.
I hope you find this useful for you and your students. Make it match your readers and your audience (like the British author while I’m a #librarianinlondon). Cheers, y’all! –arika
Week 6. Time is moving right along.
These two stories were PERFECT for the PreK set. Sergio Ruzzier’s Two Mice was both simple and complex, as there were many places for inferencing and predicting. Mac Barnett’s Count the Monkeys was, as usual, an interactive gem. Picking books that give opportunities to talk and move will serve you (and your little learners) well!
Continuing the Author Study with Peter Brown. The best part of this week’s lesson was the BRAIN question: what surprised you? So many surprises, from Tiger walking on all four legs to getting undressed to going back to the city. Open ended questions like these allow all students to participate without fear of being “wrong”.
Notice that this week, I left off the bottom of the spine label AND the period from the underlined title. This was a teachable moment – it took about 90 seconds and will be part of the review for the next 2-3 months.
First: reading for the sake of reading. No agenda, no questions, no work…purely a story to enjoy.
Next: Book BINGO! More about that HERE.
Know that some of the BINGO sections were chosen to match last week’s Scavenger Hunt. Students should now know where to find Fairy/Folk Tales, series, nonfiction. Next time, I’ll add biographies and poetry to the hunt!
After sharing the goals of BINGO, I booktalked 2-4 titles that would be great fits for their BINGO board. From titles like Ready, Freddy! to Bunjitsu Bunny to Mercy Watson, many books were getting checked out to support the BINGO board.
Book BINGO was the big lesson, followed by booktalks and goal-setting (which BINGO column would be their first to tackle).
Some background: SO many of these students wanted to know why we weren’t doing Battle of the Books (which was done by the previous librarian). Short answer: because we’re doing something that allows everyone to participate. Longer answer: BINGO supports all language learners as books can be read in any language. It allows students to achieve success if they move mid-year. Extra copies of the same books don’t need to be purchased. Books can be in any language and from anywhere. MORE books and a wider variety of books are read with Book BINGO than in Battle (where the same 6 titles are repeatedly read). No class time is needed to run BINGO, as compared to Battle. No extra meetings need to take place. Diverse titles are supported in BINGO (though, as an international school, diversity is already a big part of their lives). I love that everyone – adults and students alike – can participate and succeed and grow with Book BINGO!
Cheers, y’all! –arika