This year I decided to go all in for National Poetry Month! One of my goals for this year was to incorporate more outdoor learning, and this was a perfect opportunity to do that. After reading selected poems from the National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry and a quick review of similes and metaphors, third and fourth graders ventured outside for inspiration. Each student started by writing five things that we saw in nature, then chose one as a topic for a poem. Students then wrote five words to describe their topic, then expanded on those words to create similes or metaphors.
,Second grade also enjoyed the outdoors and used nature to write their poems (and review parts of speech, an objective teachers reported was difficult for students). We read poems from This is the Earth and Earthshake, then used the template below to write our poems. It was definitely a challenge for students to think of nouns and verbs to describe their topic because we typically think of adjectives as descriptive words.
After reading selected poems from the National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry, first grade wrote sensory poems about spring using the organizer below. They came up with amazing observations that I had never thought of! There was a lot of talk about pollen since it is allergy season here in central Texas!
I loved reading and writing poetry with everyone! I loved it so much that we are doing another set of poetry-inspired lessons and activities, so stay tuned for another blog post about those!
We've been doing some serious exploring with Google Expeditions! Google Expeditions offer virtual reality tours of places across the universe, the opportunity to "meet" various people, and see the world as someone (or something) else. For more information, go to the Google Expeditions website.
For Education: Go Get It week, third and fourth graders used Google Cardboard, along with the career expeditions available through Google Expeditions, to explore a variety of careers. We saw a veterinarian, an engineer, a pilot, and several other careers in virtual reality. This was an amazing opportunity for students to see people at work in their careers.
I used the Expeditions app on my iPad to guide the students through the various careers. We only have six Cardboard viewers, so we had to take turns and pass the viewers around. Not ideal, but it worked!
The following week, first grade read Hank's Big Day, the story of a pill bug named Hank that describes how Hank sees his world. After reading, students used iPads and the How Animals See the World expedition. We experienced how dogs, snakes, dolphins, and dragonflies see the world and compared the animals' perspectives.
I thought using the Cardboards might be a little ambitious for first grade (since they would have to wait and pass them around), so I partnered students up with an iPad, and used the Expeditions app on my iPad to guide them.
The students loved using Google Expeditions, and I think it is a wonderful tool! I can't wait to use it again!
For the first time at our school, second graders are participating in the Global Read Aloud! The Global Read Aloud helps students connect to each other by reading the same books. For more information, visit the Global Read Aloud website.
First, we introduced ourselves by writing class poems. This is an example from Mrs. Russell's class:
We did an author study of Mem Fox, and read four of her books: Koala Lou, Possum Magic, Whoever You Are, and Tough Boris. We connected with another second grade class in Pennsylvania and we posted our work on a shared website.
Best of all, we had the opportunity to connect with our partner class via video conference! We were able to ask questions about Pennsylvania and what our partner class's school is like, and we answered questions from them. What an amazing opportunity to connect with other learners!
Dot Day is one of my favorite events in the library! While kindergarten, first grade, and second grade did the more traditional Dot Day activities (dot draw-starts, dot art, and using the Quiver app to see 3D rendering of dots), third and fourth grades took on a special Dot Day project.
After reading The Dot, third and fourth graders talked about how Vashti started small, then was able to create more, and eventually influence another budding artist. Then we wrote a goal for this school year. We discussed how the goal should be something that could be accomplished this year and that could be measured. Students created a dot of their own as well.
The following week, we used the Aurasma app to record students talking about their goals and used their dots as the trigger image. I used task cards to guide students through the steps to link their dot to their video.
The dots are up in the library, ready for students, teachers, and anyone else who is interested to scan!
School's back in session, and we are rocking and rolling!
While I love seeing familiar faces and meeting new students at the beginning of the school year, I'm not as fond of going over library procedures and book care. This year, I enlisted the help of my friend Fly Guy for my book care video. Check it out!
These two books are perfect for the start of the school year! If You Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, Don't! is a great introduction to library rules, with just the right amount of silliness. School's First Day of School is a wonderful read for 2nd and 3rd grade students. It tells the story of the first of school from the school's point of view. School's First Day of School is also one of this year's Texas 2x2 books. For more information on 2x2 books, click here.
We have so much planned for this year! I can't wait to share it with everyone!
As we wind down the 2016-17 school year, I wanted to create something other than the traditional end-of-year library report. While it's important to keep track of data like circulation numbers and items in the library, I wanted to show the amazing activities and events that we do in addition to checking out books, so I made a short video to showcase our library's year in review.
I'm already thinking about next year and all of the goals I want to accomplish in the library. Check back in August!!
Bill Burden students are working to crack the code to open our new BreakoutEDU boxes!
This was a fun end-of-year challenge for our kiddos, but I (of course) had to inject some library skills in there! Here is the presentation that I used to introduce and explain the challenge:
Next, students set out to solve the clues and open the box. I used the following sheet for students to keep track of the combinations for the various locks (images from breakoutedu.com). I also used task cards that guide students to find books in the library to unlock the alphabet lock. I made one card for 2nd grade and one for 3rd/4th grade.
This was such a great way to end the school year! Collaboration, critical thinking, and communication were all used as students solved each challenge and unlocked each lock. I can't wait to use my Breakout boxes more next year!
One of the options last week for our maker stations was creating an emoji book review. Teachers had previously created emoji book reviews for a library display, and the students wanted to make their own!
I created an assignment in Google Classroom so students could easily share their book reviews with me, and I can print them out to use next year.
I used the task cards below to guide students through the process.
Here are some of the book reviews:
In preparation for an upcoming research project, second graders learned about the Super 3 research method and how to use PebbleGo to research sea otters. The Super 3 steps are Plan, Do, and Review. First, we came up with research questions to guide us. Then students used PebbleGo on the iPads to answer theie research question. Finally, we determined if students found the answer to their question and did their best work.
Here is the research guide we used:
This spring, Burden 3rd and 4th graders are invited to take a reading challenge! We will use these reading bingo cards to encourage students to read different types of books. Good luck!!
Download your own copy here: