Fly Guy has been working hard at the B.o.Y. (Beginning of Year)! This year, I decided to make videos starring Fly Guy (from Tedd Arnold's amazing Fly Guy series) to go over expectations, book care, and parts of a book with primary grades. It saves me the trouble of repeating myself 14 times in a week, and it helps keep the students engaged while discussing a topic that's not particularly exciting.
To make the videos, I simply take pictures or video of Fly Guy in the library, then put them in the iMovie app on my iPad. I do a voiceover, then speed it up the audio to create Fly Guy's voice.
Here's the video I used the first time students came to the library to cover library procedures and expectations:
I showed this video the following week to reinforce book care. I paused it after each segment so we could discuss if Fly Guy was following library expectations or not.
One of kindergarten's TEKS standards is to identify parts of a book. I show students this video, then we play "Fly Guy Says" (also known as "Simon Says") to practice.
The kids love watching the Fly Guy videos, so I might be making more in the future!
Reviewing how to use the library catalog to find books can be a less than thrilling topic...so I made it a breakout challenge! I love using breakout boxes, but I found that we were spending a lot of time opening the boxes (and waiting to open the boxes since we only have two). I decided to try a digital breakout so everyone could crack the code at the same time.
First, I created the clues. I printed these and laminated them so I could reuse them. Students worked in pairs to find the shelf where that call number is located. They wrote down the color they found on that shelf until they found all six colors.
Third grade was given just the call numbers to find. Fourth grade had clues that required them to use the library catalog to search. I gave them a quick review lesson on the library catalog and the layout of the library before we got started.
After exploring the library and using the catalog to find the corresponding clues and colors, students scanned a QR code that took them to a Google form. I used the Response Validation feature in Google Forms to ensure that a response could not be submitted unless it was the correct response.
When students submitted the correct answer, they got a message saying "You are correct! See Mrs. Jennings for your prize!" While the prize was only a bookmark, students still loved the thrill of the breakout and trying to crack the code. I won't be abandoning my breakout boxes anytime soon, but a digital breakout was a great alternative!
We're still celebrating poetry month here in the Bill Burden library!
Fourth graders created book spine poetry this week. Book spine poetry is simply using the titles on the spines of books to create a poem. Here's an example:
After creating poems, students used Flipgrid on the iPads to share their poems. Flipgrid is one of my favorite apps! I use it with all grade levels for all sorts of projects. I always share the videos with teachers so they can watch them as well.
Third grade participated in Poem in Your Pocket Day by copying poems (or writing their own original poems), putting them in their pockets, and sharing them with other students throughout the day. It was amazing to see students so excited to share their poems! Click here for more information about Poem in Your Pocket Day.
I read Bow Tie Pasta, a book of acrostic poems, aloud to second grade. Then we worked together to write an acrostic poem for their teacher using the teacher's last name. Finally, students wrote their own acrostic poems.
Kindergarten and first grade listened to me read The Best Part of Me. We talked about bio poems, which are poems about a person. We worked together to write bio poems about their teachers, and the poems were absolutely adorable. Here's an example:
I even made poems in pockets (with candy, of course) to pass out to all of the staff members at our school!
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. (Or click here to access the template.) 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. (Or click here to access the organizer.) 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!