Friday, November 12, 2010

Thanks to everyone!

We met our book fair goal! Thanks to everyone who volunteered and helped at book fair to make that happen and thanks to everyone who came and supported our school. The money we earned will help us purchase new books for the media center. Some of the books we are ordering and hope to have soon include Diary of a Wimpy Kid #4 and #5, the Warriors series, Big Nate books, new Babymouse titles, the NCCBA Picture Book and Junior Book nominees and more! So check out the library in a month or two to see all the new titles!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Starting off with a good scare!

We are starting the year off with a good scare! This class was working on improving writing with more details and descriptions by writing stories about dreams with aliens. They had some great material!

We are so excited to have our readers back at school. Don't forget your purple and silver on Spirit Fridays!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Volunteers needed soon!

Welcome back everyone! We are so excited that our students are reading and so interested in our books! However, this means a lot of shelving each day. If you are interested in helping us shelve books anytime, check out students in the mornings between 8:25-9:00, or as needed in other areas, please let Mrs. DuBois know! We are happy to show you what to do, and even just 15 minutes of shelving can make a difference.

Thank you all for all you do!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Welcome Back for 2010-2011!

We are busy getting ready for everyone to come back to school! New books are here waiting to be added to the media center as  you can see here. Hopefully we will be able to get them ready for you near the beginning of the year.  We have some new magazine subscriptions this year too! Be sure to stop by and see us when you come for Open House on the 23rd!

Stop by the media center to Check Us Out!

See you soon!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Emerging Readers Site

Check out this great site for emerging readers:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Glogs on a Blog

Some of the 5th grade has been working on researching states and regions of the US. We wanted them to have a fun way to compare the regions and states without the boring charts and maps, so we turned to Glogster. Today the first class got started on their Glogs and loved it. They did an excellent job and were so into the project they did not want to stop and kept asking how they can do them at home and on their own. The assignment was to personify and compare two regions or states as a couple and how compatible would they be. Take a look at what a great job they did - (these are still in progress)!
You can see some finished ones here, here, here, here, here, and here. It was great to see each different personality in their Glogs and how they made connections. All we did was give direction on how to use Glogster and what they had to include, all the designs are fully the kids' creativity.


Technology is a wonderful thing and adds so much richness to our curriculum and involves students in ways they never would be otherwise.

Except when you get them excited and it goes wrong. Sometimes you just have to roll with the way things play out - go with Plan B. (That's how I roll!) Anyway, today we were very excited for 5th grade to come to the media center and participate in a live webcast with Karen Cushman, Newbery Award Winner and author.

Once we got 3 classes in and settled, we got started - or so we thought. Now, keep in mind that I had checked and double-checked the site, clicked and tested the click here to test your connection button at least 3 different times, and the pre-webcast music was playing perfectly.

Then, it started - and so did the issue. The streaming was intermittent so you heard parts of words, then nothing, then a sentence, then a part of a question. We tried for about 10 minutes hoping it would clear up, but it didn't, so we called it a day with the webcast. The good news though is that it will be archived here on or around May 15th, so you can see it after the fact, it just is not live so not as much fun. Oh well! I think it is a good thing for students to see that sometimes things don't go as you planned and it is ok to sometimes need a Plan B, because that is how we roll here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Butterflies all over

2nd grade has been watching caterpillars turn into butterflies as part of their unit on life cycles and today they released them. Hopefully we will see butterflies all over!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

US Research for first Glogs!

Fifth grade classes from Mrs. Hill and Mrs. Hennis' rooms have been researching states and regions of the US using WorldbookOnline, websites, state books, and other sources. Of course we are citing our sources as we go and using the Big 6 research process while we gather our information.
Using links off the Destiny homepage
Using websites and WorldbookOnline
So glad they still use print sources too! We talk about text features to find information and also about backing up information you find online with trusted sources.
So, what comes next? Glogs of course! We are very excited to try this out - I learned about it at the technology conference I went to a couple of months ago. Students will be taking the information they learned about their assigned regions and sharing with the class. Each student will then choose two regions to pair up and create a post about why they would or would not get along well together and why. This might be because they are similar in many ways or because opposites attract, but students will have to approach comparing and contrasting in a new way. You can see an abbreviated example I made to show the kids using Canadian provinces here. We are excited to see how they like it!

Cinquains, Haikus, and more - oh my!

First graders have been working on poetry lately so I have been reading poems with them from books such as Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich and Big is Big and Little, Little, but my favorite to read with them right now is Dogku by Andrew Clements. I love his novels for kids to start with, but this is such a great way to teach kids about Haiku without confusing them altogether! We talked about rhythm and beats and syllables in haikus before we read it since a haiku has 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables. Then, as we read, we checked his haikus for the syllables too so by the end they knew the rhythm and numbers for a haiku. The kids were set loose to write their own. It could be about anything, but of course I suggested books, reading, or the library as possible topics!! See some of the examples they came up with below - not all follow the perfect syllable scheme, but close and they had fun doing it which is the important part!

Earlier this week, with another class, we attempted cinquains. After doing a class example easily, I wanted the students to try it and they wanted to also. This one was not such a success, but we were a little rushed with time also. Next time, we need to have a little more time, but I think this poetry form is also great for first graders! Anyone know a good book for example of cinquains for kids??

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Recycle What?

Mrs. Skolaris' class has been working on researching how various things are recycled as Earth Day approaches on April 22nd. Each student chose a topic to find out how it was recycled and what types of items it was made into using books and online resources like Webpath Express and NetTrekker. This included paper, cans, plastic bottles, computers, cars, and more. Now, they are working to create commercials about each topic to run in the school. They are having a last working on the commercials and got some good exposure to research skills including how important it is to have questions about your topic to answer, not just a vague topic. Using the Big 6 steps, defining your task and questions is the first step and is invaluable. We can't wait to see how the commercials turn out!

Monday, April 19, 2010

2010 Spring Book Fair

THANK YOU all for helping us meet our book fair goal once again. The profit from the book fair will be used to purchase more books for our library and we hope you were able to add to your home library in the process.

2010 NCCBA State Winners Announced

The votes are in for the state and the winner of the 2010 North Carolina Children's Book Award Picture Book with 26,940 of the 136,895 votes is:
And the winner of the 2010 North Carolina Children's Book Award for Jnuinor Books with 2,820 of the 16,312 votes is:

Thanks for voting!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Who knew so much went on out on the farm?

With Kindergarten last week, we talked about farms as they are about to have a field trip. Some kids knew a tremendous amount about them and some knew next to nothing. It surprised me though how even the kids that could name sheepdogs as a farm animal did not know what a barn is called. They all just call it a farm, even the big red building is a farm. We looked at some non-fiction books about farms and talked about what is on a farm, why it is on a farm, text features of the books, and so forth, then I had the students close their eyes, picture their own farms and draw the elements they would have. Now, these pictures were wonderful because I love kid art, but what I discovered was that it was not what they drew, it was what they contained. By this, I mean that they would tell me stories about the pictures that went so far beyond what they drew - there were whole other stories going on in the barns for example. They would draw a few things, but tell me all about inside the barn chickens were laying eggs, cows were being milked, horses were living, etc. They got much more that I would have known just from looking at the pictures and reminded me to talk to the kids too as they work. See some of the great art below.